We condemn unreservedly the tragic and obscene assertion today by US fascists that they hold enough power in our government to get away with murder. Make no mistake: this verdict will heavily energize fascism and you absolutely will see an increase in right-wing violence against leftist protesters going forward, as predictable as a sunset. That’s what this case has been engineered to do since the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle was still warm, and with the help of a judge who should be not merely removed from the bench and disbarred but criminally charged with aiding and abetting insurrection through deliberate judicial incompetence, it has succeeded.
This verdict will not merely be perceived by the fascist right as a license to kill antifascists, progressives, BLM protesters, and anyone else that want to claim is a “threat,” it quite literally is one. The “proud boys” and “oathkeepers” and “three percenters” and “prayer warriors” were sent a message from their comrades in arms already established in our government today: “you are free to kill with impunity and you will be protected from consequences.”
While all people possessed of even rudimentary critical thinking skills and human decency are outraged at today’s public declaration by the fascist power structure that it believes itself firmly enough established in our government to get away with murder, it is still absolutely critical – and we fear we’re trying to stop a tidal wave by waving back at it, but it still must be said – to NOT allow your anger and passion to cause this situation to escalate into further violence that can then be blamed on “the left” or “antifa.”
Right-wing autocrats and their organized, well-documented groups (which, we remind you, “antifa” absolutely is not) have been trying to troll decent people into giving them an excuse to start shoving us into concentration camps hard for several years now.
This is part of their overall strategy.
DO NOT let them succeed.
We understand passion, and outrage. We also understand that as difficult as it is to accept emotionally, the right – ethically, morally, humanly RIGHT – thing to do is avoid escalation until the costs of that avoidance become higher than the costs of escalating…and those costs are considerable. Indeed, the risk of losing democracy itself is on the table, and injudicious action borne of heightened emotion will greatly increase that risk.
These are big problems that require big solutions and in spite of this execrable slap in the face to everything decent about this country, we are moving forward in important, tangible, meaningful, substantive ways every day, and the right-wing autocrats (regardless of what label they choose or cafeteria to hang out in) know that. They see people they deem unworthy and undeserving of humanity being treated as worthy human beings, and it makes them afraid because it forces them to question their entire concept of worthiness and associated ideas like honor, decency, and patriotism, and they’re psychologically incapable of dealing in a healthy and effective way with the cognitive dissonance between the person they can intellectually and objectively see that they are, and the person as whom they emotionally and subjectively wish themselves to be seen.
That is why they’re lashing out, escalating, becoming more brazen and more violent.
Because they know the very way they think is broken, ugly, hateful, ignorant, and dying, and they’re afraid they’re not strong enough as people to change and grow with that progress. This again creates a dissonant cognitive friction with the ego, and they thus undertake to prevent the progress from happening at all thereby absolving themselves of the moral imperative to participate in it.
Frankly, below the very most affluent and powerful top-top tier of oligarchy, most of these folks are to be pitied (with some reasonable contempt for the revelations their choices make about their character); in the big picture they’re exploited just as much by plutocracy as the rest of us…but in the mean time they’re full of fear, arrogance, and now an overt license to kill.
This is not a recipe for social peace, justice, democracy, or freedom.
It is absolutely critical at a moment like this to resist more than anything else the urge to allow ourselves to be trolled in to that explosion of passion and outrage that they can then use to justify further insults to our country and values and people, and their rights as citizens and human beings.
We recommend you channel that energy into EFFECTIVE action. From getting that judge yanked off the bench, pressing for charges in a different jurisdiction (e.g. federal v state) if possible, and organized, well-composed, polite, but firm expressions of demand to our elected decision-makers that they start getting serious about culling the fascists from their ranks before they find out the fascists are the majority.
Remember we’re not an organization; it’s not up to us to tell you specifically what you should do. All we can do is offer our guidance as fellow antifascists with plenty of experience in the fight. We trust in anyone decent enough to oppose fascism to have sufficient resources and imagination to come up with their own specific initiatives, actions, and strategies in whatever area, geographical or otherwise, they are most likely to succeed.
No sane person wants violent conflict. War and violence benefit only the fascists, no matter who “wins.”
Breathe, focus, and channel your energy into positive, productive, constructive expressions of outrage that can be fashioned into movements and initiatives and petition drives and candidates and new regulation and the whole bit.
We can’t save democracy by destroying it in a fit of pique. We have to do the hard work of living through the lack of it while we fashion a model that frees us from the historical errors and baggage of our founding documents and the culture in which they were created.
Make no mistake – that takes far more courage than waving a sign or smashing a window, and has far more positive and long-lasting outcomes.
Keep your heads down and your voices up, and please don’t hesitate to share news about any efforts you’re involved in to make things better. There are a few thousand people on our Facebook page and hundreds of thousands if not millions of others connected through small groups and local initiatives across the country; it’s a reasonably decent bet you can find someone near you who’d like to collaborate.
Don’t let the fascists troll you into giving them an excuse to murder you. As we have now learned beyond question, they’ll take it and their fascist co-conspirators already entrenched in our government will protect them.