After more than a decade, the War on Terror continues. After transporting troops and arms to shock and awe millions of Iraqis, at least a million are killed, 5,000 of ours gone, and it goes on. After we preemptively started the war, lying about Saddam Hussein having WMDs, and after invading Afghanistan to find Osama bin Laden, the purported ring-leader of 9/11 and kidney dialysis patient in the American Hospital in Dubai in July of 2001, the mindless War on Terror goes on.
Even as the Iraq War is supposedly over, it continues with new revelations by scientists on the effects of depleted uranium, skyrocketing figures on birth defects and cancers of Fallujah residents. This resonates along with the murder of an entire family of 17 by a U.S. soldier or soldiers in Afghanistan. It is amplified by bombing the smithareens out of Libya, Somalia, intruding in Syria, drone-bombing Pakistan, beating the drum to bomb Iran and supporting the Israelis bombing the Palestinians and salivating to do it to the Iranians.
And what really drives these wars, as I see it, is a relentless greed driven by the racism of America for people of color, the majority of the world. This was the neocon poison pill for history to swallow. Like millions of others, I haven’t swallowed it. But millions of white people and others have.
Despite the many things that white people and people of color do share in America, the current firestorm of opinion over the slaying of Trayvon Martin surges with white voices from the right claiming Martin’s killer is innocent. Moreover, there is no arrest of George Zimmerman (the white man with the smoking gun), after a month of national mourning. It is the young Trayvon who is said to be guilty by the white right. They claim he tried to kill Zimmerman in mortal combat on the grass behind the homes of the development that led to Trayvon’s father’s girlfriend’s home, where he was headed for safety. Trayvon was found dead, face down in the grass of one those open backyards.
This while George Zimmerman, the self-made “Stand Your Ground” vigilante had stalked then shot Martin with a nine-millimeter pistol. You’d think justice could just move forward like eye-witnesses after a month of debate, in order to release evidence, forensics and resume rational investigation, and a trial, as opposed to being stonewalled by the Zimmerman family, police, and residents. We do know that the funeral director who prepared the boy’s body for burial did not find any bruises on him, except the mortal wound made by Zimmerman’s bullet.
Is this not an act of old fashioned Southern terror? And is this race war echoing the Civil War? In fact, as Florida’s registerguard.com reports, “The number of ‘Stand Your Ground’ killings has tripled since the law went into effect in 2005.” It goes on to say, “Florida was the first of at least 20 states to adopt this legislation. It did so at the urging of the gun lobby and against the advice of law enforcement officials who warned it would produce exactly the kind of violence that it has in Florida. The law protects people from prosecution if authorities determine they used deadly force in self-defense. That part of the law is seldom questioned—Americans have long had a right to defend themselves against attackers. But ‘Stand Your Ground’ goes a dangerous step further absolving individuals of any responsibility to retreat if they can safely do so when faced with a serious threat.” So far no one has determined Trayvon used deadly force or that Zimmerman retreated to safety in any way.
“Before the arrival of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, authorities applied the test of whether a ‘reasonable person’ would have resorted to deadly force to avoid injury or thwart an attack. ‘Stand Your Ground’ unwisely abolishes that traditional legal test. The Times investigation found that ‘Stand Your Ground’ defenses have been used in bar fights, gang shootings and road-rage incidents. As a recent Times editorial said, ‘It gives a ‘get out of jail free’ card to people quick to feel threatened and who have a lethal weapon at their disposal.” Amen.
It seems our national rage is fueled by an imagined extra-strength violence of people of color. Just like 19 Muslims were claimed to have overtaken a $60 billion intelligence capability on 9/11 to destroy the World Trade Center with hijacked airliners—while nary a US plane was able to get off the ground into the air to defend our country. And more than a decade later, even after Osama bin Laden has been murdered, we still pursue and harass Muslims at home and abroad. Most Muslims are people of color. Worse, they are Muslims not neocon Christians or Jews. And they should step into the For-Colored toilet or restaurant of the world and confess their eternal guilt.
Yet, in all fairness, as in our Civil War, hundreds of thousands of brave, patriotic white soldiers came from the North to the fight to undo slavery, and nearly 600,000 thousand of those Union soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice. Also, from the usurping South, came some 400,000, somewhat misguided Americans who were lost as well. That war ended in 1865—on April 9, 1865, when Lee surrendered to Grant. That ratio of freedom-lovers to slavery, I have the feeling, may still stand.
But slavery was supposed to end when the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified in December 1865 by three-quarters of the states. So that supposedly was it. The North won the war and the slaves were freed. But that wasn’t it. It was the beginning of Reconstruction and the occupation of the South by the North, which was also never forgotten.
Wiki reminds us, “The assassination of United States President Abraham Lincoln took place on Good Friday, April 14, 1865 [what an irony], as the American Civil War was drawing to a close. The assassination occurred five days after the commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee, surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln was the first American president to be successfully assassinated, though an unsuccessful attempt had been made on Andrew Jackson thirty years before in 1835.” The white assassin was John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who had considerable support from sympathetic sources of the “Old South.” So the plot continued . . .
The Northern troops moved back up North, thinking the war was over, while, lo and behold, Deconstruction and the state-sponsored terrorism of the Klu Klux Klan arrived—once again displaying this undying hatred of people of color by untold numbers of whites, especially for those slaves who were declared free men, beholden to no one. Perhaps those ex-slaves were hated more because the old dehumanization of the black man was no longer legal. After all, this was a great humiliation to the poor white class who needed the degradation of blacks to up its deflated self-esteem and to feel human by being inhuman. Today, it seems those regressive forces of our world culture are alive among Conservative Christians, Israelis, controlling elites, and bigoted Zimmerman families everywhere.
Nevertheless, there are millions of good white people in America, whether Democrats, liberals or conservatives, just as there are millions or good people of color. There also is a rival force of racial haters, who’ve gone from leaning to the right to falling into the abyss of hatred, however thinly or thickly it’s disguised, as in the Trayvon Martin case.
If we wish to rectify this balance, let’s see if we can as a people squeeze a simple trial from a simple Florida town over the crass murder by a misguided vigilante simply, idiotically “standing his ground.” Our culture’s racism is showing its worst side, compounded, too, by racist rants against Hispanic immigrants.
No matter how we try to whitewash ourselves in history books, corporate-bought media, or government this is not American Exceptionalism, except in the most negative sense imaginable. It’s pedestrian and ugly. Also, our culture remains as an extension of its slave-holder tradition, presently via the likes of the Koch Brothers and Lloyd Blankfein, trying to reduce the 99% of us (white and black working and middle classes) to slavery, having abused millions of people of color already with toxic mortgages, criminal bank debt, collateral debt obligations (CDOs), etc. In fact, Wall Street has become the plantation owner of this racist, criminal cabal that wishes to rule America and the world.
The schemes of debt manipulation, speculation in commodities, oil, precious minerals, gold, silver, even water, reveal it. Even Europe’s aged colonizing countries, Spain, France, Portugal, Greece and others, are being enslaved by austerity programs that are making the people paupers, sentenced to slavery through austerity programs. The final irony is that America and the White World has for the last 30 years turned on its own with a vengeance that equals the slave-masters of the past. Consider that when you hear the threats to kill entitlements for the aged, infirm and retired to support warfare and the top earners getting their entitled tax cuts.
Think of Trayvon Martin’s smiling face and the grief of his parents, so like the grief-stricken faces of the Syrians, Libyans, Somalians, Egyptians, all the oppressed of the Mideast and Third World countries. Consider that when you examine the incomes and life-styles of the 1% versus the 99%. The Occupy Wall Street movement has identified not only the economic exploitation of this system, but given a racial context to the exploitation.
Trayvon Martin is the poster boy for racial hatred. It cries out for the elimination of this domestic terror. Settling it would spare the world the pain of our continued preemptive war, and go a long way towards a new level of humanity in the U.S. An even simpler solution would be don’t swallow the poison pill that white humanity bests the humanity of color. It doesn’t. If you can accept that, we’ll both be better off, more productive human beings. What’s more, Trayvon and his family and all those families like his can find some justice and peace at last.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer, life-long resident of New York City. An EBook version of his book of poems “State Of Shock,” on 9/11 and its after effects is now available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. He has also written hundreds of articles on politics and government as Associate Editor of Intrepid Report (formerly Online Journal). Reach him at email@example.com