The corporate deadstream media continues to stoke the flames of an alleged brewing race war. Is there any truth to this tale or are we witnessing something much more nefarious?
There is a division brewing. At least, that’s what the “mainstream” media would have you believe. If you have been plugged into the deadstream corporate media (TV, Internet, magazines, etc.) over the last year, you would likely have spent at least some of your time being afraid of the following:
Now you can add white supremacists and anti-fascists to the list of things that should keep you up at night. This is not to say that any of these topics are completely irrelevant. What I am getting at is the fact that the corporate media (which is owned by a handful of corporations) have the power to influence your thinking and, as a result, keep you afraid or angry. The media (and the people behind it) are working together to create conflict. To stir the pot. To stoke the flames. In reality, for the average American these issues truly represent a small slice of the issues which are of immediate threat to their freedoms and livelihood.
While I believe all people should oppose low-level, primitive thinking such as racism and bigotry, we should be hesitant to let these stories and pundits play on our fears and push us into violent action. Also, we should remain skeptical and be aware there are infiltrators and provocateurs involved with promoting these fears. That is what I would like to focus on today. We must consider the possibility that the threat of both white supremacists and violent left-wing activists is being blown out of proportion to manipulate the public’s emotional state. A second possibility: These incidents of violence are being provoked by a State agency in order to create further conflict and justification of police state measures in response to this faux race war.
As I first wrote in December 2016, the purpose of a Donald Trump’s presidency is to radically divide the American people. He has not only emboldened conservatives who grew tired of mainstream politics and neoconservatism, but his actions and words have lit a fire under the extreme right wing of American politics. This extreme, or “Alt”-Right includes white nationalists, white supremacists, anti-Semites, former anarcho-capitalists and libertarians, and others who do not quite fit in with mainstream (or even independent) politics. Of course, not all Donald Trump supporters are racist bigots and not all those who choose to identify as Alt-Right should be considered racist bigots. Still, there is no denying that Trump’s policies and speeches have given the bigots a glimmer of hope that their ideas might become mainstream.
In reaction to the rise of racist factions of the Alt-Right, we are seeing the growth of the American AntiFascist Action (Antifa) movement. Despite the reports from the corporate media, this tactic has historical roots. Since at least the 1930s, anti-fascists and anti-racists took the streets of Europe to fight actual fascists. In America 2017, the Antifa activities have tended to focus on pro-Donald Trump rallies, freedom of speech rallies, and the growing American Alt-Right.
The purpose of this piece is not to argue that white supremacists do not pose a danger or that Antifa has not used violence. The purpose is to punch holes in the idea that these conflicts over race and identity are 100% organic. To be fair, there have been previous reports warning about the dangers of white supremacists. Specifically, in a joint intelligence bulletin, issued May 10 and obtained by Foreign Policy, the DHS and the FBI said white supremacist groups had carried out more violent attacks than any other domestic extremist group over the past 16 years. The report also said the agencies expected more attacks. There’s also a 2006 bulletin warning law enforcement about infiltration by white supremacists. Unfortunately, organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center often lump these legitimate dangers together with warnings about peaceful “anti-government” activists and organizers.
The white supremacists are not the only group striking fear into the heart of some Americans. An online petition calling on the White House to designate Antifa a terror group has been signed over 300,000 times. “It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety,” the petition reads. Unless we are to assume that all 305,000 signatures were done by their white supremacist nemeses, it would seem Antifa’s tactics are opposed by a few hundred thousand Americans.
These two groups — the right-wing racists and the left-wing anti-fascists who fight them – -are quickly becoming the focal point of the latest drama in middle America. The corporate media has done a hell of a job running round-the-clock news coverage of these white supremacists and Antifa. Not only do these groups represent a small minority of Americans, but, as I wrote in my last piece, there is a great danger in the FBI (or other government agency) infiltrating Alt-Right, white supremacist groups and anti-fascist groups for the purpose of causing or encouraging violence.
“There is a real danger of masking up while in the moments of conflict , not only from law enforcement , but also the possibility of hidden white nationalist who infiltrate to cause disruption or to make antifa conflicts worse,” scott crow, former Antifa organizer and author of the upcoming Setting Sights: Histories and Reflections on Community Armed Self Defense, told Activist Post. “We have seen it online with fake antifa sites calling for fake violence.”
The desire to protect one’s identity is understandable, but it also opens the door to infiltrators who only desire to initiate chaos and violence without any purpose or message. Police masquerading as black bloc activists have been exposed at the 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, and at protests in 2007 in Quebec, and police posed as activists to infiltrate the Occupy movement.
“There is always a cost benefit analysis that needs to be assessed before any strategy or tactic is used,” crow warned. “These questions have to be answered by those participating in the streets at any given time, and sometimes its absolutely necessary and infiltration does happen.”
We must also consider the infiltration of the right-wing groups, especially the more extreme racist and supremacist groups. While there were Internet rumors of Crowds on Demand organizing paid protesters for the Charlottesville march, those allegations are not factual. There was another story from the website True Pundit which claims that anonymous FBI sources confirmed that federal confidential informants were responsible for the violence at the Charlottesville march. Unfortunately, anonymous government sources are not credible. We do not have to imagine the entire rally to be fake to understand the danger of provocateurs. As the Alt-Right and their supporters begin to don masks and helmets it is likely that police or private actors will infiltrate for their own purposes.
Believe it or not, there is actually a historical precedent for provocateurs playing a role in riots and protests directly related to racism. By studying the Central Intelligence Agency’s role in promoting riots and racial division in Guyana one might gain insight into how the CIA (or other state agency) could operate domestically.
Race War Is Being Engineered: Part II
Guyana is a former colony of the United Kingdom located in South America. It has been reported that U.S. officials feared Guyana would become a communist nation once it gained independence from the UK. The U.S. and UK worried their respective national interests would be threatened should Guyana gain independence under the leadership of Marxist activist Cheddi Jagan.
The paper, “When you’re handed money on a platter, it’s very hard to say, ‘where are you getting this?’: The AFL-CIO, the CIA, and British Guiana,” written by Robert Anthony Waters, Jr. of Southern University at New Orleans and Gordon Oliver Daniels of Mississippi Valley State University, explores the CIA’s connection to labor and race disputes in Guyana during the 1960s. The paper explains that until the 1990s the historical foreign policy files of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) remained unseen by the public. Around this time, the papers of the AFL-CIO’s International Affairs Department’s chief, Jay Lovestone, were opened at the Hoover Institution. The Lovestone collection has a “tremendous” amount of files dealing with the CIA’s role in assisting the AFL-CIO’s international efforts. According to the researchers, the AFL-CIO foreign policy files related to the CIA were missing.
The US intervention in British Guiana is one of the CIA’s least known covert operations. The only mainstream news stories came out in 1967 when Neil Sheehan of the New York Times described the CIA effort to bring down Jagan, as did the Sunday Times of London. At the center of the allegations was the AFL-CIO, which had provided British Guiana’s unions with training and financial aid, and had provided secret funding to Guianese opposition parties. Most of the money for these operations came from the CIA, which finally acknowledged its role in April 2005. The New York Times and Sunday Times stories were part of a wave of revelations about CIA funding of the arts, religious and student groups, as well as labor, and were not followed up.
The CIA helped fund major strikes and riots that took place all over Guyana in 1962 and 1963. Using the AFL-CIO as cover, the CIA helped create labor tensions, race riots, and other violence that helped unseat Jagan in 1964. The leader preferred by the United States, Forbes Burnham, would go on to lead a twenty-year dictatorship. Foreign Policy reported on the CIA’s role in an article titled, “CIA Meddling, Race Riots, and a Phantom Death Squad“:
“Washington funded splinter and opposition groups challenging Jagan, who — as the country’s premier in its final colonial years — had developed close ties to Cuba’s Fidel Castro. (According to U.S. State Department archival documents, $2.08 million was spent on “covert action programs” in Guyana between 1962-1968.),” Foreign Policy wrote. “In the lead-up to the poll, the CIA and AFL-CIO were on the ground, allegedly inciting racially charged strikes and riots.”
“The U.S. fostered violence and death in British Guiana,” historian Stephen G. Rabe, author of U.S. Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story, told FP. “U.S. money fueled this violence and death.” (Activist Post will have an interview with Mr. Rabe in September 2017)
I present this information not to dismiss or diminish the threats of violence faced by people of color in the face of white supremacy and nationalism. I am also not claiming that every Alt-Right and Antifa activist is a cop or a government agent. What I am attempting to raise awareness about is the possibility that various forces within the ruling class (government, media, unions, academia, etc.) may be stoking the flames of racial division, or in some cases, directly going to the streets to commit acts of violence. Make no mistake, this violence will be answered with a heavily militarized police state.
To be clear, I do not support or condone initiatory acts of violence at this point in time. I know there is still power in a face-to-face conversation which allows opposing view points to be heard and discussed rationally. I also know that in a truly free society there will be individuals who choose to favor their culture, ethnicity, nationality, or race (be they Native, European, African, etc.). Although these are not my preferences, I know that this is every individual’s right, so long as they are not initiating force or coercion on other free people. Having said that, I oppose violence and authoritarianism from both the right and left.
If you take anything away from this piece, let it be a renewed sense of skepticism and self-awareness. Remember to question everything, including your own presuppositions and motives. Remember that most people in the world enjoy experiencing and intermingling with a diverse set of cultures, customs, food, traditions, and languages. The majority of people are not judging people based on their color or nation of birth. Most of us are free, beautiful, powerful beings. We are surrounded by free, beautiful, powerful individuals. The sooner we recognize this, the sooner we can move past the division and centralization being forced upon our lives.