Friday, April 19, 2019

What will you do when the ethnic cleansing starts?

Forces are gathering in this country that are eager to begin gunning down the people they don't like, randomly and at will. Their numbers are still small. The actual trigger pullers will always be a small percentage of the group. But they are supported by a much larger population of half-assed, wimpy bigots who would be happy to see the world made safe for their kind. They just don't have the guts to come right out and lead the charge. Maybe some of them would join in once the carnage gained momentum. Others would just run out and kick a corpse a few times to feel the emotional rush with absolutely no risk to themselves.

Looking at history, after the extermination of all of their enemies and inferiors, the remaining homogenized population will romanticize them and role-play, like a sports team with a native American mascot, or white performers made up as black, or Asian. Perhaps a few token populations of the other races will be kept alive in controllable communities.

There are conservative people who are not "Aryan." When they have helped the white supremacists to achieve dominance, will they be allowed to keep their holdings, or will they be stripped of wealth and thrown in the camps with the other losers? Do they think that they can avoid that?

There are about 300 million firearms in the United States. Of those, approximately 5 to 10 million are assault-style rifles. How many do you own? Three hundred million is just about enough to arm every person in the country with a gun. The high figure of 10 million combat-inspired weapons is still a pretty small fraction. But when you figure that the 300 million figure includes esoteric target-shooting weapons, single and two-shot guns, tiny handguns, and some cheap stuff just as likely to blow up in your hand as send a bullet at a bad guy, a lot of us will be undergunned in a firefight.

We peaceniks don't want a firefight at all, of course. A few of us are so committed to nonviolence that we would let ourselves be slaughtered rather than become combative. A somewhat larger percentage believes that they could be that calm, but would definitely hide behind something for as long as they could. In a larger ring around this stand the reluctant warriors who would resist force with force if they had to. The question is, resist with what?

The advocates for gun control want background checks. This is an excellent idea. We want to filter out people with documented tendencies to violence. But the current administration in Washington, and the governments in many states, clearly want a certain demographic to be armed and ready to do violence on their behalf. It can't be an official policy, but if you look at trends in law enforcement, and at the pervasiveness of white privilege in all things, you can sketch in how it might develop from here. The people who insist most strongly on being armed are the ones most likely to be useful to a wealthy, racist state. And the wealthy, racist state doesn't even have to pay them and put them in matching uniforms. The "well-ordered militia" is perfectly happy to act on their own. As long as no one treads on them in a way that they can actually understand, they'll do the wet work for free, just for the pleasure of it. Governments will drag their feet on background checks until the shit is about to hit the fan. Then they will enact them. But they won't be filtering out the abusers, the bigots, the borderline mentally ill control freaks. They'll be filtering for the reluctant warriors for peace. They'll look at political leanings, personal and published writings, any hint that you might stand in the way of what they call progress.

I have never wanted to die from a gunshot. As a normal male in a culture shaped by testosterone, I have imagined putting a few slugs into someone who might "have it coming," but it only took a little more thought to realize how that might apply to me. And it isn't just cowardice to say that perhaps blowing each other away is not the best way to solve a long-term conflict of belief systems. It's an emergency action. I certainly don't want to give any satisfaction to a punk with a bumper sticker that says "Visualize no liberals," by letting him put one through my forehead, either execution-style or as a sniper. But I would still rather that he wised up, rather than have me gun him down.

They've got us by the paradox when we say that no one should be killed for their beliefs, and then they go start killing people for their beliefs, forcing us to kill them back. We are then killing them for their beliefs. And if we seek them out and kill them beforehand because we knew that they were about to kill us, we've hopped right over the line and played by their rules.

So what do you do when the genocide starts? What do you do when a killing madness finally erupts in the small but significant number of people who want it to be that way? The question is especially acute if you don't happen to have a soft, fuzzy belief in a loving god smoothing the upholstery on a radiant heavenly couch for you to relax on after your martyrdom. There are atheists in foxholes, just as their are gay, lesbian, and transgender members of the armed forces. Some belief in a better future makes the idea of personal sacrifice palatable. Unfortunately, history has shown that every bloodbath has only brought partial and temporary relief from the forces of darkness. Sometimes it hasn't even brought that. So perhaps one accepts the martyr's death because there's nothing worth sticking around for anyway. Say a sad farewell to beauty, pleasure, joy, and love, because darkness will always force itself on you and make you kill or die.

If you plan to put up a fight, you might do well to arm yourself now, while it's easy, get trained, practice, and stockpile ammunition so that you can give as good as you get in the hail of gunfire. Train as well with hand weapons and with no weapons. Become as much of a super soldier as possible, while still doing whatever else you might have preferred to do with your life. Or start thinking differently, and talking relentlessly about the choice being forced on us now, and in other countries where the dark side has risen again.

We may not be able to stop the ethnic cleansers from starting a few massacres, but we can at least put governments in place that will recognize it for what it is and prosecute it. We can take the high ground and make the bigots scale it. We can demand that government be for all the people. Like it or not, we're all equipped with a racial identity. We're born with physical characteristics that other people react to. We have a limited ability to control the reactions of others, but we can control our own. That's why any durable change has to come from within individuals, one at a time. It may never work. But it definitely won't if we don't keep the idea alive that it should.

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