‘White supremacy courses through veins of America’
The shooting of nine African Americans inside a church in
Charleston, South Carolina by a young white male comes on the
heels of high-profile deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of
white cops, provoking a debate as to whether guns alone are to
blame for such senseless acts of murder, or if a deep underlying
racial problem exists between blacks and whites.
RT:What does this massacre tell us about racial tensions in the US?
Carl Dix: This massacre in the church in Charleston, South Carolina, is a reflection of the white supremacy that has coursed through the veins of America from its very beginnings and continues to flow through those veins today. From the enslavement of the African people who were dragged to these shores, and the genocide practiced against the native inhabitants, down to the wave of intensifying police murders of black and Latino people that are happening across the country…this massacre is a reflection of all of that. It’s not a deranged, lone individual whose actions can’t be understood. They are understood in the same vein as the actions of the police murder black people in the streets across the US.
RT:President Obama has said shootings like this don't happen in other countries. What makes America different?
CD: America was formed as a settler colony destroying the native inhabitants and their civilizations, and it was also very militarized to maintain control over the millions of enslaved Africans. So in that context, every white person, every white family was expected to be armed to help hold down the enslaved Africans and to drive off the native inhabitants. And that has continued in the US culture, so the widespread use of arms – both by law enforcement and the citizenry – has become part of the American ethic, if you will. You see that black people, even when unarmed, are treated as dangerous by law enforcement, but among white citizens bearing arms is viewed as a right. There are even extreme right-wing forces who have what they call “open carry’ marches, going around the streets with rifles and handguns openly displayed as an assertion of their rights.
RT:When the massacre happened, the US media
was quick to blame lax gun controls... were they right?
CD: They needed to look no further than the flag that flies over the state capital in South Carolina, a Confederate flag that flew over the slave republic that the southern states formed in 1861 to defend the right to own black people and enslave them. Even though the slave owners lost that war, they continued the fight for the supremacy of white people and the suppression and degradation of black people. It continues today and comes out in a lot of different ways. Some people in South Carolina… pointed to all of the monuments to leaders of the Confederacy down there and how this is talked about – not just in South Carolina, but across the southern US – well, this is just about Southern heritage. Well, it is about Southern heritage, but that heritage is rooted in slavery…
RT:Gun control is of course a serious problem. How many deadly incidents like this need to happen before Washington takes decisive action on this issue?
CD: I don’t expect Washington to take decisive action. This is a question that at the top of US society they are divided up and fighting over and the right-wing asserts the right of the citizenry to have unrestricted access to guns and refuses to entertain any kind of common sense restrictions. Then you have the Democrats who oppose it, but whine and go along with it. That is the way things are in US society on a number of different fronts and literally it’s going to take a revolution to deal with these issues, and that is something that I am working on as a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, building a movement for revolution to not only get rid of horrors like the Charleston massacre perpetrated against African Americans, but to also deal with the attacks on women in this society, the despoiling of the environment, the US wars for empire… It’s going to take revolution, nothing less.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.