DeAndre Harris and White Supremacy: A Warrant To Shut Down ‘Black’

Credit: Anthony CriderCredit: Anthony Crider

DeAndre Harris, the young black man severely beaten by a group of white supremacists at the Charlottesville rally, just got served with a warrant by the city magistrate for having allegedly assaulted one of the men who were seen beating him. Let me repeat that for you, just in case it didn’t click: DeAndre Harris, the young black man severely beaten by a group of white supremacists at the Charlottesville rally, JUST GOT SERVED WITH A WARRANT by the city magistrate for having allegedly assaulted one of the men who were seen beating him. According to the Washington Post, Harris is now being charged with a felony for allegedly attacking a self-described  “Southern Nationalist” named Harold Crews. DeAndre Harris, mind you, sustained a deep head laceration and a spinal injury after being attacked by Crews and a few others. Yes, this is actually happening. White Supremacy is alive and well.

The year is 2017, the White House has contracted a fatal virus and, as a result, the entire country is battling an advanced infection. Except that this analogy only works if in addition to infecting several of its citizens with terrible ideological outlooks, it also wakes up some genetically latent predisposition to suck at being reasonable, empathetic beings. The year is 2017, and the White House is plagued by an administration whose every ambivalent act implies a continual support of hateful white supremacist outbursts and invectives.

We’ve all heard Trump’s initial response to “Unite the Right” Charlottesville rally participants about how there were very “fine people on both sides”. I even heard that speech being called a “condemnation” of the Charlottesville rally, but was it? It’s probably just me, but I’m unable to see how Trump’s inarticulate rhetoric was in any way a condemnation of such an event; it came way too late, basically praises neo-Nazis, and shows every sign of being the result of some twisted strategic pow-wow by his impish, and deeply damaged, advisors. It wasn’t even good damage-control! You’d think that he’d actually condemn such acts and save face (or that bloated, distended excuse for a face). But it’s not surprising; after all, the hubris is strong with that one, young Padawans.

So as a result of all this, we have this subculture of intolerance literally sprouting from every crack of every pavement in the U.S. because racism obviously never died. Instead, it went underground to hibernate and is now feeding on every piss-poor rationale and Facebook argument to survive this symbolic winter (truth is, I hesitated to use this metaphor since I really like bears and most Trump supporters are more like the bears’ droppings than the bear itself). What’s happening now -just in case you weren’t paying attention- is that these people -who’ll deny being racist while simultaneously wearing a confederate flag cap and popping the word “nigger” as if their lives depended on it- have been suddenly activated.

Zack D. Robert, via Associated Press

                                                            Zack D. Robert, via Associated Press

These people are running rampant, spouting all manner of supremacist drivel, venting their personal insecurities and frustrations as faux political acumen, and using their power to retaliate against a people who they actually believe are somehow rotting the foundations of our country when it’s their divisiveness that is eating away at the democratic infrastructure. And it was out of this bubbling cauldron of racist goo and ideological sludge that people like Richard Spencer were summoned to haunt our souls with their insipid I’m-better-than-you, Dark Ages nonsense. This is not to say that all supremacy talk is a direct claim to superiority, at least not all of it. Much of it is subtle, deeply embedded unreasoned reasoning, the kind that implies superiority rather than demands its enforcement directly.

In the case of DeAndre Harris, we’re talking about a situation that clearly merited self-defense. Had he no right to protect himself? What would you do in that situation? Are black men supposed to accept abuse? Is this warrant a quiet admonition telling people of color to “know their place”? That when you are beaten by a white man, you take it and never retaliate, because you’re not his equal? DeAndre Harris is a victim and not an offender. He should be treated as such. How many times have we heard this story where a black man is a victim, but ends up being treated as the antagonist? Countless times. And the reason for that is that there are people behind the scenes with just as shitty “value” systems as those we can easily recognize in the daylight of things.

These individuals are everywhere; they exist in all strata of society. They’re our grocery store clerks, our cops, our pilots, our chefs, our insurance agents, our city councilors, etc. They affect our school systems, our policies, our lawmaking, our communication outlets, and our rights as citizens, all the while playing the ever-so ironic role of victim because they’re, oh, SO oppressed by the very people they consider inferior. Go figure.

White supremacy is everywhere and when you see that a man, who was beaten by a group of white supremacist halfwits served with a warrant for attacking one of the very people WHO BEAT HIM, you get a live demonstration of that quotidian white supremacy in action. The everyday denial of it, the bitter wretched taste of it, the stubbornly persistent boldness of it, the vileness of its transparency. That warrant was retaliatory and evidently initiated by a) a white supremacist, however “anonymous” they may have been and b) processed by a white supremacist sympathizer who does not have enough moral scruples to stop for a second and say, “wait, this is a ridiculous allegation” and nip it in the bud. The act is a transparent and tremendously angled slap to the face of anyone of color. The act says, “we defend our own and you won’t get away with defending yourself against your superiors”. It’s disgusting, and if WE don’t do something about it; the virus will wipe us all out. Maybe zombie movies are a prescient subconscious warning to a world that may soon be overrun by drooling idiots who feed on brains precisely because they lack them.