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Friday, July 24, 2015

Mass murder = failed ethnic cleansing?

The subject line is a bit rough but bear with me for a moment. I'm cobbling this together as I write.

There is the theory that slave revolts and riots are the language of the unheard lower class/caste of society. (And I am increasingly of the opinion that there is an active attempt to stratify society in the US into some semblance of a caste system for reasons I may discuss later.) If we consider this theory and then look at mass murder events, I find myself wondering if there is perhaps some parallel sociological activity in play.

Hate crimes that target ethnic communities with violence can be clearly considered attempts at ethnic cleansing when the objective of said crimes is the murder of said community. Mass murder propelled by motivations to kill/eliminate members of an ethnic group is an obvious attempt at ethnic cleansing. What about when the mass murder is in an attempt to eliminate a group of people who are of differing ideology?

I contend, again, this is an attempt at ethnic cleansing. Ethnicity is more than the color of your skin, the language you speak, and the food you eat. It incorporates ideology. Efforts to eliminate ideology is an attack upon the group that holds said ideology. When mass murderers go on their killing spree for the sake of removing an element from society, I think it is safe to say that their motivations are the same as those of a warlord in some petty third world country who is killing tribesmen he believes are filth to be removed from the Earth.

I will also be so bold as to say that this is not a case of random nutjobs at play here. Considering this from the angle of looking at societal pressures at play in the country, I see that as people resist the 'traditional' values/ethos/worldview of the dominant group, there will arise violence in places of tension. Police brutality, when examined from this lens, becomes an effort by the dominant group to reassert their dominance over the group they feel should be subservient to them. The more this group resists the will of the dominant group, the more the dominant group attempts to quell them with increasing force. I am counting the use of legal measures enacted to oppress a given group as a form of said force.

If we look at the United States, we find that the black population are pushing back against the systemic racism of the dominant culture. As this has gained traction, the dominant culture pushes back. It is for this reason that many black churches were burned. It is for this reason why a man was found lynched not long ago. It is the reason why there are so many cases of police brutality against minorities (predominantly blacks from what I can tell in my research thus far). A simple search turns up videos of law enforcement members abusing and, in some cases, killing people.

One may wonder why these things happen. This push back by the dominant culture via the increase in violence is an effort to intimidate the minorities into the previously occupied role within society that was present before resistance began. One may wonder, how does all of this fit together with mass murder. It is my argument that people who undertake mass murder that are members of the dominant social group are acted upon by sociological forces that encourage them to commit the act of violence against the targets deemed subhuman.

In an environment where relations between the dominant cultural group and the minority cultural group in question becomes increasingly polarized, violence is bound to erupt. This violence is a manifestation of the friction between the two social groups and attempts by each group to accomplish their goals.

Some may say, "But, Deb, we're civilized. We don't go around beating people into submission." I would point to all the ways that violence against the 'undesireable' people in society is laughed at and minimalized. There are states where murdering someone because they are transgender is acceptable. Let that sink in for a moment. There are states where MURDER is permissible. The way that the dominant society turns a blind eye to the violence within it is implicit approval of said violence. When said violence is turned into socially acceptable 'jokes' those who are inclined towards engaging in it find approval for their inclinations and encouragement in those jokes being permissible.

There are a lot of people who are up in arms over the idea that there is an active campaign to erase 'Southern heritage' and a lot of people who are up in arms over the idea of the 'illegal immigrants threat'. We won't bother getting into the hysteria surrounding Islam, the long standing and systemic racism against blacks, or the well entrenched xenophobia that is rampant through the dominant culture. Instead of focusing on all these 'threats' to society, we need to look at where the societal fault lines are and the underlying problems that are causing the increasing violence in this country.

The problems in the United States are not due to this group or that. They're not a result of something that happened generations ago (directly) or because there is a lack of homogeneous thought in the country. These problems are present because there is a failure to uphold human rights. When a person is no longer considered a legitimate person, when they become something other, they are robbed of their humanity and the inalienable rights that comes with said humanity. I honestly am not surprised that the UN and the international community are becoming increasingly disturbed with what is going on in the US. Flagrant violation of human rights are on the rise and there is an attempt to mainstream said violations as the norm.

Another nation did that. WWII resulted from it. And horrific damage was done to that country and it was functionally destroyed. If we don't work to resolve the human rights issues in this country, we are heading down a dark and terrible path.

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