Last week, 28-year-old white supremacist James Harris Jackson came to New York City with one nefarious goal in mind, kill as many black men as he possibly could. His victim was 66-year-old Timothy Caughman, a man described by all who knew him as a good dude.
In a world where kindness and goodness are fast becoming obsolete on an interpersonal level, Caughman's death is indeed a tragedy. However, when coupled with the fact that he was stalked and killed by a deranged racist, his death becomes a sickening barometer of the racial environment of our times as well.
On Monday, April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer if the White House had a comment on this hate crime. He repeatedly dodged the question, passing the buck to the Department of Justice. He later said he didn't know all the details, but what more is there to know? A white man traveled all the way to New York to kill an African-American. The White House has frequently commented on hot button racial topics over the past eight years, but not this time.
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Even President George W. Bush, a man who rapper Kanye West famously said "doesn't care about Black people", has spoken out about racial inequality while in the Oval Office. So, when a race-based terrorist act is committed in a country that supposedly prides itself on togetherness, the silence of the President or his representatives on this matter is curious to say the least. At it's worse and most egregious, the silence of the White House is a dog-whistle shout out to white supremacists across the country, both overt and covert.
Decades ago in my youth, many elder Black males have told me that there was war on the Black family in general, and the Black man in particular. Though I ingested the information and advice these various sages tried to extol, I never really believed it. Sure there were portions of it that were apparent, but I had so hoped they were wrong, just as I hope I am wrong when I say they were actually right.
There is a visceral hatred of the Black men in particular by white supremacist ideologues. Many of them are also chauvinists. So, in their minds, the elimination of the Black man has the desired effects of rendering black folks ineffective. We look at the prison industrial complex, racist drug laws and other instances of institutionalized racism, as well as how they have robbed black communities of millions of prime working age men, and we see this evil line of thinking has always existed.
According to their ideology, if they had it their way Black women would be used as domestic servants and sex slaves. Black men are to be completely wiped out. I didn't make that up. Check just about any American Neo-Nazi message board and it's likely have one rinky dink manifesto or another.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are currently 930 hate groups in America. The overwhelming majority of them are white supremacist or white nationalist groups. Their numbers are growing rapidly fueled by the current political environment.
So, when I hear a 28-year-old man has killed a Black man with a sword and that he hates all Black men, I'm reminded of those numbers. I'm also reminded that President Donald J. Trump was endorsed by just about every white supremacist nutjob that you can think of.
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The President who takes to Twitter to speak on any and every random, nebulous and inconsequential thing under the sun has nothing to say about a racially motivated, brutal terrorist attack? Well, it's actually apropos when you consider we have the white nationalist Legion of Doom in the White House. All evidence denounces them as racists and proud of it. Perhaps we should stop being so shocked.