Equality and racial justice won't improve until people stop profiting from hate and fear
As much as some Americans don’t like to admit it, the United States is a racist society. From the first days of slavery to the last days of Philando Castile’s life and beyond, America runs on hate and fear. The fear of minorities and the black man in particular help to keep the white population in line and benefits many of the powers that be.
What happened in Dallas, Baton Rouge and St. Paul this past week won’t change anything because the profit motive is too high. While many of us are saddened at the sight of racial violence and death, there are those who see only dollar signs and opportunity.
One powerful group, perhaps the most powerful, that profit from racial tension is the media. Not just right-wing media, but the mainstream media in general. From their perspective it’s all about ratings and advertising revenue. It’s in their best interest to keep tensions high in order to keep viewership high.
When you offer opinion without facts to back it up (you know, actual news) then you are inciting more racial tension, often by praising one side and demonizing the other. Nowhere is this clearer than the likes of Fox News, the Blaze and other hate profiteers such as The Drudge Report and the New York Post.
The New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch, for example tried to fuel racial tension and sell more newspapers following the Dallas shooting with the headline “Civil War: Four Cops Killed in Anti-Police Protest”
Then there are outlets like Fox News who fuel racial tension and line their pockets with pundits and contributors who deny race is still a problem in America. Then they have the nerve to call Black Lives Matter a “violent movement” when in reality, they are trying to raise awareness about violence directed at them.
Then you have the real wackos like Tomi Lahren of the Blaze who’s trying to further her career and possibly land a job at Fox News by tweeting the Black Lives Matter movement is the new KKK. Then you have the Drudge Report with the headline “Black Lives Kill” and Alex Jones who thinks the Dallas shooting is part of a global Obama/Clinton conspiracy theory.
Let’s not forget good old Rush Limbaugh who claimed Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group committing hate crimes and Radio Host Joe Walsh who said “This Is Now War. Watch Out Obama. Watch Out Black Lives Matter Punks. Real America Is Coming After You.”
These are all media figures with an audience, some of them pretty sizable, who benefit from prolonged racial tension and violence. In fact without the racist element to their gig, they wouldn’t have much of a platform in the first place. They may cater to those who are already racists, but anyone not intelligent enough to see through their bullshit will also fall in line and unknowingly become one of them.
Racism isn’t inherited, it’s taught, and it doesn’t always come from the parents… Or the media. In America that dishonor also falls upon our leaders. Whether it was Democrats back in the day or Republicans since the Civil Rights Movement, racial tension has been used as a political weapon to fundraise and win votes.
I won’t go into too much detail about Nixon’s southern strategy, Ronald Reagan’s creation of the welfare queen myth, the Clinton Crime Bill or why George Bush doesn’t care about black people, I’ll just go with the obvious example; Trump.
Here is a man who now represents a party so ashamed of having a first black American President that they collectively question not only his nationality, but his religion as well. And they all blame Obama for everything, let alone everything race related.
Whether it’s a black man shooting cops, cops shooting black men, black men shooting other black men or even white men shooting black people, Obama is responsible for it. Apparently the only thing Obama is not responsible for is white on white crime, which doesn’t exist anyway.
Donald Trump has masterfully used racial tension, be it with Mexicans, Muslims or blacks, to rise to the top of the Republican food chain. If anyone has benefited from racism in America in 2016, it is him. And yet if you ask many conservatives, he’ll be better for race relations than anyone, he loves the blacks.
As of this writing, Trump has yet to comment on the tragedy in Dallas, but if and when he does, we all know what he’ll say because we’ve heard it all before, again and again. If a white man kills a bunch of people, it’s because he was crazy. If a Muslim man kills people, it’s because of his religion, and if a black man kills people, it’s because of black people.
In America there are those that protest injustice and those that profit from it. We progressives can protest injustice and racial intolerance as much as we want, but as long as there are enough people out there who benefit or profit from racial tension, nothing will change. Perhaps we should start protesting the benefactors instead…