While driving around my town in blue-state, metro Oregon, I saw an old white guy on the side of the road waving a large American flag next to a sign that said, “Law and Order.” It was obvious that he did not care for the Black Lives Matter protests that have been a daily occurrence in our city to the west, Portland. Of course, if the Proud Boys or any of the other homegrown white-supremacist groups had been protesting, they would have been “exercising their First-Amendment rights,” probably while also exercising their Second-Amendment rights, which serve to remind everyone else that they aren’t there to negotiate.
There’s a reason that white men can take over federal property as they did in Malheur, Oregon a few years ago, or march into state capitol buildings with guns in an effort to intimidate politicians. It’s also the reason why a pluralistic group of mostly nonwhite men can’t take over an area in Seattle without being pepper-sprayed or threatened by the president. It all boils down to the definition of “law and order,” which in the U.S. has always meant, “doing what the white man says.” Those who fail to comply will be punished.
For example, are you a black man in the wrong neighborhood? Are you a black man who looked at a white woman? Are you a woman who didn’t obey her daddy or her husband? Are you a Native American who wouldn’t stand still (on the Res) to be further abused? Are you Latinx, reaching above your station? Are you a gay man threatening a white man’s sensibilities? Are you a lesbian woman who dares not to service white men?
White men have been running this show for so long that any suggestion that anyone else should have a say sends them into fits of rage. We can see this playing out everywhere:
- Incels are raging because women won’t sleep with them!
- Conservative militias, once supposedly afraid of government tyranny, are trying to impose their own tyranny by showing up with arms at Black Lives Matter protests
- Right-wing (white) media has been raging about “feminazis,” Black Lives Matter, and the #metoo movement for years
- Trump can “grab women by the pussy” and rape 13-year-old girls, but an actual woman running for president is depicted as Satan with a bad email habit
- A white man who dares to go against white male authority by holding a Black Lives Matter sign is abused by white men
- More than 1,000 white hate groups are now operating in the United States
Of course, there are always nonwhite men and women who will buy into White (Christian) Authority and go along with it. For some, it may be a survival mechanism. For many, it’s a way to get ahead and make money. But you have to sell out to do it. You have to sell out women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and any other marginalized group. Some, like Candace Owens and many others, have no problem with this because doing the opposite — opposing systemic oppression — paints a large target on your back. And all kinds of enraged white men and their lackeys will set their sights on you. Sometimes that metaphor is quite literal. (See also: Martin Luther King, Jr.)
The rage gets worse as the tables begin to turn. White men (particularly the extremists) are a minority, and things are changing, however slowly. A black president, however complicit and willing to play their game, sent them over the edge. Their rage is a fire burning through this country, but there is another fire burning: the outrage of the oppressed. And now even some white men see that this is so, and that it has hurt not only the oppressed, but themselves. So a change is coming. But first we have to deal with the fire. We need to burn down the White, Male Supremacy House. We can’t just remodel it. We must destroy it completely before we can rebuild. And we must not leave anyone without a key.