Just days after a black man was viciously beaten at a Donald Trump rally, racist violence has broken out once again. Black Lives Matter protesters had been demonstrating outside of the 4th District Police Station in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after 24-year-old Jamar Clark was gunned down by police officers. Clark was unarmed and reports indicate that he was cuffed, or at least restrained, when the killing happened – making it a summary execution, prompting the protests and an investigation by the Department of Justice.
Three white males wearing masks approached the protests and began behaving “belligerently.” When they were escorted away from the protests, they turned and open fire, injuring five protesters before fleeing. The suspects have yet to be apprehended. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis has called the shooting an act of domestic terrorism by white supremacy, which it certainly was, and have vowed to return to protesting despite the violence.
Coming one year to the day that Officer Darren Wilson was acquitted in the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the shootings highlight the extraordinarily tense relations between our nation’s white majority, who are terrified of losing their privilege, and African-Americans who are finally rebelling against decades of institutionalized racism and systematic oppression. The refusal of the conservative right to even acknowledge the problem or meet with the protesters is drawing battle lines. As Salon noted:
“The right-wing news-entertainment media complex routinely uses eliminationist and violent rhetoric to describe liberals and progressives. There, the implicit (and often explicit) narrative is one that those who people who are not members of the American right-wing are “traitors,” “un-American” and deserving of whatever violence comes to them. This is not empty talk, hyperbole, or “playful” rhetoric designed to cheer on Republicans and build up morale before a presidential election. The right-wing media has actually weaponized its followers. The results are those black folks killed by Dylann Roof in Charleston, the woman’s reproductive health doctor George Tiller, and the other victims of right-wing domestic terrorists shot dead at Sikh Temples, Jewish Community Centers, and elsewhere in the United States.
These problems aren’t just going to go away. As Donald Trump and the rest of his race-baiting and rabble-rousing peers continues to outdo themselves with unabashed scapegoating and naked racism, more and more whites will feel threatened by the demands of Black Lives Matter, and more violence will come.
Watch the aftermath of the incident here:
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.