Made in America: one atrocity after another
Our friends in the United States have been experiencing some rather surreal circumstances that demonstrate a crisis that arguably expose some fundamental fractures in their society.
Veteran academic and commentator, Noam Chomsky — Professor Emeritus at MIT — contends there is ample evidence, such as the January 6 uprising at the Capitol when we witnessed the unravelling of the democratic fabric of the most powerful society in human history.
The latest chapter of this saga was revealed with the verdict of the trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse for the killing of two and wounding of a third person with his military-style AR15 semiautomatic rifle. Rittenhouse lived in Illinois, 20 miles away from Kenosha. He contends that he had volunteered his services “to protect property during a protest” and has been exonerated by a jury.
Chomsky’s assessment of the state of the fabric of his society was supported on the day before that controversial verdict, when representative Paul Gossar was censured by the Congress. This disciplinary action, for posting a cartoon video by Gossar of himself killing fellow congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and stabbing President Joe Biden. It should be noted that only two of Gossar’s fellow Republicans voted with the Democrats on the censure motion. The Republican leader in Congress has remained mum on the whole salacious matter.
It also is of note that immediately after the censure motion, Gossar retweeted the cartoon video.
Chomsky reports that he has been experiencing something of a déjà vu in the climate of his country over the past few years. The 92-year-old, highly respected philosopher is the child of German-Jewish parents who had escaped their homeland before the worst of the insanity took hold. While he didn’t speak the language, he recalls hearing the radio coverage of some of Adolf Hitler’s rallies along with his family. Noam contends that too much of what he has been witnessing in America resonates with that descent into fascism during the previous century.
• Representative Gossar claiming that his cartoon video was intended only to “be a joke”, but it lines up with attempts to incite violence against progressive representatives — such as Ocasio-Cortez — who have received numerous death threats in the recent past
• Inciting violence is a part of the playbook of fascists from the time of Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany. The idea is to direct the anger of the marginalised in society against those who are either pushing for progressive change or who are “others”. Ocasio-Cortez fits this bill, being a woman and of Puerto Rican origin who is pushing for reform in healthcare and a higher minimum wage
• Rittenhouse being evidently marginalised, having dropped out of high school and engaged in social media, while pushing back on Black Lives Matter. It is noteworthy that since the systemic structures have again resulted in a lack of judicial accountability, the same Republicans who have no comment on the “video kill of AOC” are inviting Rittenhouse to become an intern in Congress
• This should be seen in the context of the Republican push at the state level to roll back voting rights — especially across the South
• It is noted that the protest in Kenosha was originally a peaceful one, as a result of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by policemen
• Clear evidence made available from the Freedom of Information Act that Cointelpro in the 1960s targeted civil rights, peace and other movements, promoting violence to undermine efforts for progress
• Of course, the United States has a track record of terror against Native Americans, Blacks and other non-Whites, as well as against labour activists
• The US, by far, has the highest rate of personal gun ownership in the world — more guns than people. In spite of it being the country with the most mass shootings, the gun lobby rules the roost
• The gun lobby is a part of the military industrial complex of the US, which spends more on its military than the combined total spend of the next 12 countries on that scale
Let’s hope that people of conscience among our neighbours are able to turn around this trend. The good of that country is so important for the good of the rest of us who share the planet.
• Glenn Fubler represents Imagine Bermuda