The scary convergence of armed vigilantes and sympathetic police

President* Trump,

I don’t know, maybe it’s not going exactly how your evil schemers planned or hoped, but it sure seems like you all are getting the signs and signals you need to feel confident that a critical segment of your base is going to be there for you in the clutch down the stretch. Between the unchecked armed militia groups descending on state capitols to protest COVID-19 public health mandates and the armed vigilantes “guarding” used car lots and other businesses during protests, it sure seems like you’re getting solid pre-game information that your defenders will have your back no matter which way the election goes. Hell, the police in Kenosha were filmed giving water to armed civilians, apparently including the teenager who is under arrest for murdering two protestors and injuring a third. Cozy deal there. And it’s the same cozy deal the militia groups had with state troopers – no arrests, no tear gas, no rubber bullets – and those fuckers were armed and making credible threats against state officials.

Remember that sticker I told you about seeing in the bus stop up the street from us? The one with the manga girl who’s saying: “There is no such thing as a non-racist cop because they are all enforcing a racist system.”

So I know it’s semi-anecdotal but you’re getting lots of evidence from lots of corners of the country that lots of Trumpian-cult members are ready and willing to converge on hotspots with their weapons drawn. The real bonus, though, is that legions of local police, state troopers, and national guardsmen (I’ve not seen pictures of guardswomen involved in these situations) are ready and willing to attack peaceful BIPOC protestors and their allies and, crucially, they’re ready and willing to welcome the “assistance” of armed White assholes.

My brother, who you might recall is Black and lives in the Portland area, texted me yesterday to say he’s been keeping an eye on the RNC convention. I told him I thought it was a bad idea to watch you all as the whole thing is a hyperbolic propaganda circus aimed at propping up your weak ego. Actually, I just told him I didn’t think it was good idea for him to watch your crap, but the weak ego-propping circus aspect of it was behind the advice. Anyway, he countered that he needs to watch so he can see what the coded messaging is and he made clear that what he’s seeing is leading him to worry A LOT about what is going to go down come November.

I wish I disagreed with him, but I don’t think it’s all that far fetched to worry that your race baiting and goading will lead to some very scary shit pretty soon here.

On the one hand, we have hundreds of thousands of members of the targeted communities and their allies coming out night after night to protest systemic racism and its expression in the form of police brutality against BIPOC. We have millions of people saying enough is enough and that all of this must stop now, before another Black person’s life is taken, before another Black mother has to make the case that her son is human and deserves to have a life. On the other hand and at the very same time, we have a relatively small handful of freaked out, enraged White people with weapons who are pumped up by the implicit, complicit backing of the POTUS and the powers of the state, which are giving them license to use those weapons on people they’ve been brainwashed to hate.

It’s a sick, dangerous game you all are playing that isn’t going to end well for any of us, but I don’t see you backing down or calling them off – your pride is too fragile and your soul is nonexistent.

May we be safe from brainwashed zombies with guns.
May we be willing to be clear-eyed about what is going on.
May we turn out to vote in massively strong, undeniably large numbers.
May we not numb out and accept that where our POTUS is trying to take us is remotely ok.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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