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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

The Violence Is Growing

Updated: Oct 28, 2018

By Donald V. Watkins

©Copyrighted and Published on October 27, 2018

Today, 11 people died in a hail of bullets at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. They were shot and killed at their place of worship. The gunman wounded 6 others, including 4 police officers, before surrendering to police.

Last year, a violent group of neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia took to the streets and chanted, “Jews will not replace us.” One of the Nazis murdered Heather Heyer, an innocent counter-protester. President Donald J. Trump quickly declared that there were “good” people among the neo-Nazis.

As America descends into political tribalism where anything goes if the party of your choice is in power, demagogues who can stoke the flames of racism, sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and bigotry against immigrants of color are rising in the leadership ranks of America’s elected and appointed officials. What use to be confined to the local white citizens councils and state sovereignty commissions in Southern states during the 1960s has now invaded the White House, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Supreme Court and is nesting in these cherished institutions.

As a matter of course, entire categories of people have been dehumanized to justify the Trump administration’s mistreatment of them. They have been called “dogs”, “pigs”, “rapists”, “criminals”, “lazy”, “low IQ”, “mobs”, and “thugs,” and these are the words used by the President of the United States to describe them. The groups targeted by Trump include women, Muslims, Americans of color, Jews, gay Americans, Transgender Americans, news organizations, and non-white immigrants from poor “shithole” countries.

Last week, one of President Trump’s disciples mailed and hand-delivered pipe bombs to the President's high-profile political and media targets, including President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, actor Robert DeNiro, billionaire philanthropist George Soros and CNN, among others.

A total of 12 pipe bombs were located. Fortunately, none of the bombs detonated.

The Jewish worshippers in Pittsburg were not so lucky.

Orchestrating Police Violence for Political Gain

The next display of politically inspired violence will likely occur at the Southern border in early November. Donald Trump has declared that a U.S.-bound caravan of 7,000 migrants from Central America constitutes a “national emergency." He has dispatched 2,700 military troops and federal law enforcement officials to the border to confront marchers in the unarmed migrants.

As a matter of settled U.S. law, any migrant is eligible to apply for political asylum at the border and there is nothing illegal about traveling to the border to make such an application. With no evidence to back up his claims, Trump has labeled these peaceful migrants as “terrorists” and “drug-dealers.” In reality, they are innocent men, women, and children who are escaping abject poverty and gang violence in their country.

Rather than setting up extra stations to accept and process their applications for political asylum, Trump is preparing to inflict violence upon these migrants. He needs a photo op of police violence against these migrants for his political base much like Alabama Governor George C. Wallace needed one when he ordered state troopers to brutally attack unarmed and peaceful civil rights marchers in 1965 at the base of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Police violence against unarmed “undesirables” is a tried and tested way to galvanize a political base that tolerates the dehumanization of human beings.

Sooner or later, someone with courage and character will have to rise and lead America out of this abyss. It cannot be the president who brought us here.

PHOTO: Eleven people died today in a bloody massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

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