The Paradise Cost

I suppose the collective Black caucus of America should give the Republican Party a cookie for their petty sentiment on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day; or perhaps a pizza party for remaining calm in the wake of the patriot pandemonium that other developed countries would classify as domestic terrorism. What I’ve come to understand during these past 9 months is the true meaning behind the phrase Black Live Matter - justice. The World saw what “patriots” truly thought of the thin blue line flag as they killed officers in an effort to re-establish that the lives of Black people don’t matter. It was never about law enforcement, just their lifetime membership to white supremacy and if there is doubt the bodies will fall.

Loyalty to the status quo is the main reason why Dr. King detested the white liberal moderate and his word still holds true today. To those that are starting their journey on systemic racism education and abolition, there are some key points that you have to look for when topics of white supremacy are addressed in the media. The common phrase I see on social media is white supremacists are infiltrating the police force and the military, as if the foundation of this country isn’t white supremacy itself. My inner cynic is wanting to draw the conclusion that neoliberalism is the new “watered down klansmen” and it's all because of references to what happened in Portland, OR. The media painted Portland as an anarchists’ playground and quickly associated BLM with destruction of property and not the “Proud Pansies” that caused the damage nor did they talk about the peaceful protesters getting tear gassed by federal agents! Trump supporters couldn’t wait to mask their internalized racism towards people of color as concern of easily replaceable inanimate objects that were damaged. In the wake of this race war, the only thing we have to show for it in the Pacific Northwest is Ted Wheeler wanting tougher law and order and more police tools. In 2019, text messages between Oregon police and the white supremacist group “Patriot Prayer” leaked into mainstream media and the public demanded an independent investigation. As we have all seen lately, there wasn’t much cracking down on extremist groups like "Patriot Prayer" because they represent the historical mob mentality that has kept certain neighborhoods white for years! It infuriates me that Oregonians are even surprised that the attack on the state capitol occurred when just this past summer, law enforcement incriminated themselves on video! In the video the cop was warning the white supremacists to hide so they can avoid arrest, so how exactly can we reform white nationalism?

There can be no unity in a country where white people think I’m beneath them because of my color or that my trans friends are undeserving of basic human rights or where indigenous peoples are ignored or where immigrant children are locked in cages. The problem is that white supremacy was never held accountable, just allowed to lash out with minimal repercussion or even adoring praise. The America that white people are waking up to is the America that people of color have always struggled to survive in. Embracing "all lives matter", as long as they aren’t Black, has been the paradise that white folks are accustomed; but a liberation movement robs them of that as we demand justice for state sanctioned murder. The capitols across America were on high alert and for good reason as 12 Army National Guard members were moved from inauguration duty to ensure a peaceful transition of power. In the midst of all of these "Christian" groups supporting murderers like Kyle Rittenhouse and other agents of white nationalism, the interpretation of Paradise Lost from Malcolm X comes to mind. During his time in prison Malcolm X did what others who've read the book didn't do, he didn't identify with Satan, he interpreted that the characters' actions were a metaphor for whiteness. I admit that I never thought of John Milton's work as an allegory for European imperialism but considering the political climate of his day, I'm seeing some familiar symptoms of this plague. Americans that ironically call themselves patriots as they attempt seditious acts on the U.S. capitol serve as a reminder that the cost of white paradise is paid at the expense of the dehumanization of my race.

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