Aug 5, 2019
Twenty people are dead, massacred in an El Paso, Texas Walmart; twenty-six more were wounded. (These were the casualty figures Sunday noon, August 4. They will get worse.)
The people killed weren’t all Mexican-Americans or Mexicans who crossed the border to do their weekly shopping – but they were all victims of a young man angered by what he called the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
A so-called “manifesto” was posted on an extreme-right on-line forum just before the gunman struck, apparently by the gunman or someone close to him.
It described the weapon and ammunition which was about to be used in the Walmart shooting. And it analyzed their capacity to cause maximum damage to human flesh – in cold, technical terms, as though the shooting were simply a “test” to see which gun and which ammunition could produce the most terrifying result.
With the same cold, technical language, the killer discussed the purpose of his carnage: he intended to “provide” Hispanic people with “the right incentive ... to return to their home countries.”
That’s terrorism, outright terrorism: inflict horrifying casualties to “give them an incentive to leave.” It’s the moral ethic of the gangster.
It’s also the moral ethic with which Trump approached the migrant crisis. On the 3rd of July he said it: “If illegal immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the detention centers, just tell them not to come.”
The location of the massacre in El Paso was not an accident. El Paso is the port of entry which the Trump administration has turned into a hell-hole for migrants, fleeing desperate situations in their own countries.
But El Paso is also the place where Americans of Mexican descent have lived for generations. It is connected by the “Bridge of the Americas” with the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez. Dozens, hundreds, even thousands of people go back and forth every day. It’s an area where families have lived on both sides of the border for generations, with a grandparent in El Paso, parents in Ciudad Juárez, and adult children in both places. It’s a place where Americans of Mexican descent have married Americans whose ancestors came from someplace else – which finally is the issue that most outraged the man who killed those 20 people.
In internet posts, he denounced “race-mixing,” which, according to him, foretells the “replacement of the white race.”
These are not the ideas of just one crazy guy. They are the unscientific ideas that float every day on extreme-right, on-line forums around the world. The white man who killed 50 Muslims in New Zealand repeated them. So did the white man who killed 77 teenagers in Norway – as well as the white man who killed six Muslims in Quebec, and the white man who killed nine black people in a church in South Carolina.
These men may all be white, but that’s not what links them. What they have in common is their commitment to terrorism and to racist ideology. Today, they may seem to be a few crazy people, but behind them there is money making sure these ideas circulate around the world.
Trump sits in the White House today. The racism didn’t start with him. Nor did the violence. But occupying the presidency, he gives legitimacy to these vile ideas.
Behind Trump is the capitalist class. If they were really horrified by him, they would have dumped him long ago. No, the poison he spews can be useful in the future for dividing the working class. It’s why they keep him.
The violence these “crazy” guys have created should be a warning to us. We’re going to face it in the future, carried out by more than a few crazies. We need to begin organizing ourselves today, figuring out how to deal with it.
The working class – no matter where we come from, no matter what our nationality is – we are one class. We have the capacity to deal with the problems we will face. No matter what our “race” is, we are all one race: the human race. That is OUR manifesto.