White supremacy structures how the news media frames and reports events in the United States (and elsewhere). There are so many examples of this fact that the difficulty is not one of finding them, rather, the challenge involves which examples of white racial framing to discuss and detail.

Saturday's riot by white college students at Keene State College's annual Pumpkinfest is a priceless example of white privilege and white racism as a type of social practice and habit.

It was high comedy. Twitter had great fun with mocking and calling out the foolishness of the white pumpkin rioters.

It was also deadly serious. Fires were set, cars destroyed, bottles and other dangerous objects were thrown at random people, and the police were attacked by the white students at Keene's pumpkin festival.

In a stark and clear manner, white privilege and white supremacy color how the obnoxious and violent behavior of the white rioters at Pumpkinfest is described by the media.

Black folks who are protesting with righteous rage and anger in response to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson have been called "thugs", "animals", and cited by the Right-wing media as examples of the "bad culture" and "cultural pathologies" supposedly common to the African-American community.

Privileged white college students who riot at a pumpkin festival are "spirited partiers", "unruly", or "rowdy".

Right-wing propaganda sites such as the Drudge Report pander black beast rapist negrophobia to their racist audience with grotesque images of "black crime" and "black criminality" as a standard theme. By contrast, the violent behavior of white college students is met with relative silence save for a description of the events in Keene, New Hampshire as "extreme partying".

And of course, the race of the rioting students is not mentioned by Drudge and/or the mainstream news media because Whiteness has no stigma or connection to criminality and violence as seen through the White Gaze.

The racial innocence of Whiteness is one of America's greatest lies as white folks, here demonstrated by acts such as racial genocide against First Nations peoples and racial pogroms against blacks, are the most violent and destructive group of people in the history of the United States.

White college students riot over pumpkins, but are mute and show no equivalent expenditure of upsetness or energy over the murder of Michael Brown and the many other black and brown people killed by the police and white identified vigilantes every 28 hours in the United States.

Hmm...I wonder why?

Privilege is the ability to deny reality by creating a bubble of willful ignorance around oneself.

This is true of white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege, and all of the other ways that the dominant and the in-group benefit materially and psychologically from a culture that is designed to bend the world in the service of their will.

The mainstream media has, for the most part, moved on from the murder of Michael Brown and the gross violations of the black community's human rights by the police in Ferguson, Missouri. The twenty-four hour news cycle has a limited attention span; the corporate news media does not serve the public interest as it is first and foremost beholden to profits over people and truth-telling.

I will continue to write about and discuss the events in Ferguson because what has and is transpiring there is emblematic of America's national problem and sickness that is white supremacy. Ferguson is a petty fiefdom of meanness, cruelty, and racism; there are many Fergusons in the United States.

Yesterday, the Washington Post and the website Mediaite featured two news items about Ferguson that together constitute a textbook and ideal typical example of white racism in the post civil rights era.

Of course, the comment sections on both stories feature white racists publicly masturbating with their own political feces as is their preferred habit.

Nonetheless, both pieces are very revealing.

The Washington Post's story,"For some Ferguson whites, racial fault lines exposed by shooting come as a surprise", focuses on the ignorance and faux racial innocence that typifies Whiteness as a political and racial ideology.

"For some Ferguson whites, racial fault lines exposed by shooting come as a surprise" is also a clinic in aversive and symbolic racism.

But since the death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white police officer, some African Americans are calling it segregated and racist. Now Singen has found herself talking in terms of “us” and “them,” “we” and “they.”

“I didn’t have any problems with anybody or any color, and all of a sudden it feels like we are being held responsible for something that’s not our fault,” Singen, 70, said as she left Faraci Pizza, a 46-year-old Ferguson business that has become a focal point of racial tension. “I don’t get it.”

That sense of shock is common here among Ferguson whites in the wake of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death and the explosive protests in the days that followed.

Hart has lived here most of his 47 years. He was class president at McCluer High School. More than a third of the students were minorities then, and he said he could not recall a racist incident. He believes in building communities and the good of people — which made it possible to think that his town’s troubles could be helped, if not solved, by a slice of pizza.

White privilege and colorblind racism nurture a sense of white victimology and racial grievance mongering towards black Americans. White privilege also flattens history by presenting complicated matters of institutional racism and white supremacy as "simple" problems to be "solved" (here with pizza) by individual behavior as opposed to a serious and rigorous examination of inter-group power relationships.

The Washington Post continued:

“My biggest gripe is that no one is giving the justice system a chance to work out,” Hart said. “We don’t know all the facts, but there is an investigation and a process. This is America.”

Protests and arrests have continued in Ferguson and across the St. Louis area, though things have been less volatile than in the summer. On Saturday, black and white demonstrators bought tickets to a St. Louis Symphony performance and at intermission stood and sang “A Requiem for Mike Brown,” with mixed reaction from a stunned audience.

America is a society structured around maintaining white privilege and white supremacy. One of the ways that this is accomplished is by socializing the white public to believe that America is a meritocracy whose social and political institutions treat all people the same way--regardless of skin color. In turn, a belief in this lie nurtures resentment, hostility, and anger towards people of color because the latter's lived experiences battling white supremacy are translated by the White Gaze into complaining, belly aching, "reverse racism", and not being "patriotic" towards the "greatest country on Earth".

When institutional racism is exposed--only the willfully ignorant and those who have cultivated their own stupidity are surprised by these glaring inequalities--there is a hostile reaction by many white folks because they are wedded to the lies of American meritocracy and "colorblindness".

Moreover, the premise that white people have received unearned advantages means their dominant group position/individual success may not have been earned, but rather received unjustly at the expense of others. This is often too much for White America's collective and individual psyche(s), to process.

In contrast to the polite and restrained white racism of the Washington Post's story, Mediaite featured a video and accompanying story which shows the racial bigotry that hides in the the "backstage" of American life moved to the "frontstage" for all to see.

Mediaite reported how:

At the top of the video, an older gentleman looks directly at the camera and shouts about how if these (all-black) protestors had been working (at night?) “we wouldn’t have this problem!”

The crowd soon begins chanting “Let’s go Cardinals!” to drown out the protestors’ chant about “shutting the shit down” if they aren’t given justice for slain 18-year-old Michael Brown. That Cards chant quickly changed into “Let’s go Darren!” referring to Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who killed the young man.

Things continue to get uglier as the video progresses.

One Cardinals fan calls a protestor a “crackhead,” while another fan presumably made eye contact with one protestor and began questioning his “tough guy” status, telling the unseen protestor that “if you ever saw me in the street, you’d look at the ground, that’s what you’d do.”

While one protestor waves an upside-down American flag (symbolic of “country in distress”), a blonde lady enters, telling the crowd: “We’re the ones who fuckin’ gave all y’all the freedoms that you have!” Another lady takes it upon herself to question the cameraman’s background, suggesting she doesn’t believe he’s an ex-Marine, while asking incoherent questions about his rank. All fun times.

Peppered throughout the rest of the video are “USA! USA!” chants from the Cards fans, along with one woman getting real clever and shouting at the protestors: “Africa! Africa!” There were also more calls for the protestors to get jobs, pick up their pants, and remove their caps.

I prefer honest white supremacists. Their behavior is refreshing.

The white fans at the Cardinals game, shouting their support for a police officer who killed an unarmed black person who was surrendering, hands raised, in cold blood, are racial contrarians.

 It is also important to note how their chants and screeds against the defenders of Michael Brown's right to life and our shared civil liberties reflect the standard racist talking-points of the Right-wing media and the Republican Party in the post civil era.

In all, the supporters of Darren Wilson are engaging in a type of idolization of their hero because they too would like to earn their bounty by killing a black person.

Homicidal idealization and symbolic racism have reduced the killing of Michael Brown by a cowardly white thug cop named Darren Wilson into a set of dueling chants at a sporting event.

The moral rot of the white fans at the Cardinals game who heckled and harassed the supporters of justice for Michael Brown are reminders of Mark Twain's wisdom in the classic book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where he wrote:

I didn't rightly know what to say, because I didn't know whether the boat would be coming up the river or down. But I go a good deal on instinct; and my instinct said she would be coming up -- from down towards Orleans. That didn't help me much, though; for I didn't know the names of bars down that way. I see I'd got to invent a bar, or forget the name of the one we got aground on -- or -- Now I struck an idea, and fetched it out:

"It warn't the grounding -- that didn't keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder-head."
"Good gracious! anybody hurt?"
"No'm. Killed a nigger."
"Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.

Twain wrote that scathing observation of how white supremacy damages white people's ethics and morality in the year 1885. It is now 2014. Twain's insights remain painfully valid.

America's public discourse is obsessed with the cultural "problems" and supposed pathologies of black people. "What does it feel like to be a problem?" is the birthright slogan penned with existential ink on the minds and bodies of black Americans.

The events in Ferguson--as well as others such as mass shootings, right-wing domestic terrorism, breaking the economy--are a reminder of America's real problem: the United States has many cultural pathologies rooted in Whiteness and white privilege.

Instead of demanding that black folks fix their "bad" culture and demanding "where are the black leaders?", White America needs to exercise some of the "personal responsibility" it is quick to throw in the face of others by getting its own house in order. White America also needs to challenge its own "leaders" to do better and to act more responsibly.

Ferguson needs a better class of racists. America does as well.

Once more, and as Ethiop asked, what shall we do with the white people?

Several weeks ago, Levar Jones, a black motorist, was shot by a white South Carolina state trooper named Sean M. Groubert while complying with the latter's request that he present his drivers license for inspection. This unwarranted and unnecessary use of violence by Groubert was recorded on video. He was fired from The South Carolina State Police and subsequently arrested.

In the United States, the black body is so imperiled and used to being the object of white racial terrorism and violence that Levar Jones, an innocent man, apologized to Sean Groubert after being shot.

If there was not a dashboard camera, Groubert would have concocted one of the typical lies told by police officers--the "criminal" was reaching for a gun; he lunged at me in a "threatening" manner"; it was a "clean" shot because I was in "reasonable fear" of my safety--and been given a commendation and left free to walk the streets where he (or she) would continue to harass and murder other innocent members of the public.

The news media has responded to the video recording of Sean Groubert shooting Levar Jones with surprise. Headlines read that the recording is "shocking" or "unbelievable". The largely white commentariat on TV and elsewhere seem genuinely dismayed at Groubert's actions.

I would suggest there is nothing shocking, amazing, or surprising about Sean Groubert's shooting of Levar Jones in South Carolina. Perhaps, this is a function of my blues sensibilityand the common sense life skills that I as a black man have had to develop in order to navigate the color line in the United States?

However well-intentioned and sincere the concern and surprise by the (white) American public (and some in the chattering classes) towards the events in Ferguson, the shooting of Jones by Groubert, or the panoply of unarmed black men by the police ever 28 hours in America may be, their response is still colored by white privilege.

Black and brown Americans have been complaining about, organizing in response to, and publicly discussing police brutality and extra-judicial violence against their communities for several hundred years. Those concerns have largely been ignored by the white public.

The white racial frame deems that those life experiences must be invalidated as somehow exaggerations, lies, or a function of the "natural" irrationality of those who are not white--as compared to the natural "reason" and capacity for "critical thinking", "objectivity" and "rigor" which supposedly comes with being white and male.

It is also important to highlight the raw truth: many members of the white public are invested in white on black and brown police brutality and violence because of both their implicit, as well as overt biases against people of color.

Moreover, even when "habeas corpus" is, quite literally in these instances, in effect, where an unarmed or otherwise innocent black or brown person has been killed by the police or other white identified street vigilantes, and the events are recorded, white racial paranoia still finds a way to twist those events into a bizarre lie of a scenario in which the victim somehow provoked their own murder or abuse.

Eric Garner was killed by police and it was recorded on video. John Crawford III was killed by the police on video. Levar Jones was shot by police on video. And we can forget the recent recordings of a police officer beating a black woman MMA style on the side of the highway, throwing pregnant women on the ground, attacking street vendors, and the many other examples of police thuggery against unarmed, innocent people.

To be surprised by these events, given the history of the United States, and the many times that African-Americans and others have publicly protested police racism and violence requires cultivated racial naivete, willful ignorance, and the almost unique ability to ignore and dismiss the life experiences of the Other that comes with being a member of a privileged group in a given society.

Life in a white supremacist society exacts a high cost on the mental well-being, sanity, and overall health of non-whites. In such a culture, one of the most exhausting experiences is when white folks "discover" a truth that people of color have long known and communicated.

When white folks are surprised or shocked by anti-black and brown racism, I nod my head in acknowledgement of their discovery. I then respond, "did you previously think that black people were crazy? Were we lying all these years? Insane? Mad? Was there some concerted effort and conspiracy for us to lie about police brutality and racism more generally?"

The temporary disruption to white innocence and naivete by the "shocking" discovery that police kill and abuse unarmed people of color is a temporary emotional and cognitive state. Whiteness and white privilege are nothing if not a highly refined type of cultural and social amnesia.

By contrast, the white public and media's shock, surprise, and dismay at the murder of unarmed black men and women by police is a continual state of being for Black America.

White folks are just tourists in this world; we have to live in it.

In the aftermath of Darren Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown several weeks ago, an almost all white police department engaged in a riot against the black citizens of Ferguson, Missouri.

During those days of civil disturbance, police were recorded using racial slurs, threatening innocent people with violence and death, violating the Constitutional rights of journalists and others who attempted to monitor their street brigandry and hooliganism, and in all, treated the black community of Ferguson as though they were terrorists and insurgents—with the police conducting a mission of counterinsurgency and mayhem.

The Ferguson police are not ashamed of their horrible behavior.

Darren Wilson has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his successful bounty and head-hunting campaign against an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.

Anti-black Homicidal ideation and racism drive Wilson’s supporters; they yearn to participate in a 21st century lynching party by proxy.

Ultimately, Darren Wilson is a protected man, receiving paychecks while the prosecutor and his home police department orchestrate a cover-up of his cowardly killing of Michael Brown.

It would seem that despite overwhelming evidence that Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in an execution and vigilante style murder, that the latter, young Mr. Michael Brown, will receive no justice by the local authorities.

The police in Ferguson are emboldened by these events.

In fact, as reported by MSNBC and other media outlets, they are apparently so encouraged by a culture which enables, protects, and encourages white supremacist violence by the police and other white identified street vigilantes against people of color in the United States, that some members of the Ferguson police department have begun wearing wristbands which say “I am Darren Wilson”.

The symbolic politics of the “I am Darren Wilson” wristband makes clear what the black residents of Ferguson—and other communities in the United States—have known for decades and centuries. The police do not “serve and protect” black and brown communities, specifically, and the working classes and poor, more generally.

As descendants of the slave patrollers of the American slaveocracy, police are on the front lines of maintaining the hierarchies of race, white privilege, and white supremacy in the United States.

The “I am Darren Wilson” wristband evokes the demons of white racial terrorism against black Americans.

The wristband naturally leads to an existential question: what does it mean for a police officer (or one of their supporters) to say that “I am Darren Wilson”?

Darren Wilson repeatedly shot an unarmed black teenager who had surrendered to him.

It follows that:

“I am Darren Wilson” means that you idolize a killer.

“I am Darren Wilson” means that you support the killing of unarmed black people.

“I am Darren Wilson” means that you support white supremacy.

“I am Darren Wilson” means that you are a racial paranoiac so drunk on authoritarianism and racial animus that you can rationalize, in the face of the preponderance of the available evidence, the execution of an unarmed person for the crime of being black, breathing, and walking down the street.

“I am Darren Wilson” means that your ethics are so twisted and distorted by the white racial frame and white supremacy that you sympathize and empathize more with the white cop who killed an unarmed black teenager than you do with the person who was shot dead and left in the street for hours like garbage.

“I am Darren Wilson” means that your moral framework has been corrupted and ruined by white privilege and white racism.

The “I am Darren Wilson” wristband is not a minor accouterment or detail that is coincidental to a given police officer’s uniform: it is a major statement of power, politics, attitudes, and values.

The website Police One details the importance of a police officer’s dress and comportment:

The uniform of a police officer conveys the power and authority of the person wearing it. Clothing, including the police uniform, has been found to have a powerful psychological impact on those who view it. When humans contact other humans they subconsciously search for clues about the other person so that they can understand the context of the encounter. The police uniform is a powerful clue as to the wearer's authority, capabilities, and status.

Research has revealed that the uniform has a subconscious psychological influence on people, based on the person's preconceived feelings about police officers. When a person wears the police uniform, citizens tend to be more cooperative with his or her requests. People also tend to curb their illegal or deviant behaviors when a police uniform is visible in the area.

Research has revealed that alterations to the traditional, paramilitary police uniform can result in changes in perceptions by the public. The style of the clothes, the type of hat worn, the color of the material, and even the condition of the clothes and equipment have an influence on how citizens perceive the officer. For these reasons police administrators need to take their uniform policies seriously. The selection of a uniform style, regulations on the proper wear of the uniform, how well uniforms are maintained, and policies on when officers may wear plain clothes should all be taken very seriously.

The police uniform should be considered an important tool for every patrol officer.

In the context of the over-militarization of America’s police departments, the vicious violence of the police riot against the people of Ferguson, and the overt and covert racial animus that black folks in Ferguson and elsewhere have experienced at the hands of the police and other elements of the criminal justice system, “I am Darren Wilson” is an announcement that even in the post civil rights era that “we, the police, can, will, and have killed black and brown people with relative impunity…and will do so again”.

There is continuity to history. It proceeds with fits and starts, progress moving forward in the face and despite the best efforts of reactionaries and conservatives to derail and hold it back. History is also beset by a dualism where the habits of the past coexist with the present and the future.

White supremacy, as one of the most powerful ideologies in recent human history, follows those contours.

A black man is President of the United States in a moment of continual anti-black and brown violence by the police and the criminal justice system. There is obvious racial progress in many areas of American life. Yet, the country remains hyper-segregated, the job market still discriminates against people of color, and white privilege still over-determines and advantages the life chances of whites as compared to non-whites.

The intimidation and violence of the police uniform and the “I am Darren Wilson” wristband is a statement of white racist thuggery and intimidation against both the black body and the black community en masse.

The “I am Darren Wilson” wristband has ugly historical precedents: its ancestors include the white Ku Klux Klan uniform and the Nazi Swastika. All three are symbols of white supremacy, terror, and intimidation against people of color and those marked as the Other.

The KKK chose white robes as their uniform in order to intimidate free blacks by pretending to be the ghosts of dead Confederate soldiers.

The swastika was adopted by the Nazi Party as a way of harassing, threatening, and intimidating Jews (as well as other groups) who were targeted for destruction.

The “I am Darren Wilson” wristband is a claim to the right of preemptive and prejudicial violence by the police against African-Americans: it is a signal that that they too, could on a police officer's whim, be made into the next Michael Brown.

If there is any doubt that the killing of Michael Brown was influenced by racial animus within a broader cultural, as well as local context of white supremacy—and an utter contempt towards black and brown people’s lives—a person need only to look at the behavior of the Ferguson police department and Darren Wilson’s defenders and apologists.

The black residents of Ferguson are treated as less than full members of the polity, forced into a life of “custodial citizenship” by a police and local government which lords over their community.

For the white folks who support Darren Wilson, and the cops who wear “I am Darren Wilson” wristbands, this is the natural order of things--one that they are dedicated to protecting.

Charles Cobb is a veteran of the Black Freedom Struggle. He was on the front lines of the insurgency against Jim and Jane Crow and its regime of racial terrorism.

Cobb is also the author of This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement. He has both the practical credibility that comes from risking his life in the fight against American white supremacy during the civil rights movement, and the research/academic credentials to locate his own individual experiences within a broader historical and theoretical context.

Writing for the Washington Post online, he recently dropped what fans of professional wrestling call a "pipe bomb".

A pipe bomb is when a person tells the truth instead of limiting themselves to the official public script and/or narrative.

The public discourse on the police riot in Ferguson that occurred in response to the execution of Michael Brown by the cowardly thug cop Darren Wilson has--with the exception of the Right-wing hate machine--largely been framed around police brutality, white racism, and black victimhood.

Because of the clear and obvious questions of morality and injustice at play, the dominant media frame has (and in my opinion quite correctly) placed the responsibility for the police riot and momentary spasmatic citizen's revolt, on the local and state authorities in Ferguson, Missouri.

While acknowledging the fact of white police thuggery and racism, Cobb's essay, "Black people had the power to fix the problems in Ferguson before the Brown shooting. They failed." asks raw questions about black folks' responsibility in perpetuating the conditions of their own disenfranchisement.

Cobb writes:

Many images that came out of Ferguson, Mo., last month looked like scenes from Birmingham, Ala., in the 1960s: the gun-wielding police officers, the sign-carrying protesters and the chants demanding equal treatment and human dignity. But that’s where the similarities ended.

For all the righteous indignation it inspired, the Ferguson turmoil has become the latest in a series of flash-in-the-pan causes that peter out without inspiring lasting movements for racial justice. As an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Mississippi during the ’60s, what I learned was the importance of organizing at the grass-roots and how even small actions at this level can have national impact. That is why I cannot help but notice that many black leaders, in their efforts to drive change, are ignoring some of the great lessons of the Southern Freedom Movement.

For one, the black leaders we most often see in the public eye have become experts at complaining about what the white man does to black people. Al Sharpton and others fill their rhetoric with fury about the white power structure, but ultimately serve messages that are superficial and myopic. To be clear, I am no right-wing ideologue blaming black people for the oppression that has beset them for generations. At 71 years old, I have experienced my share of brutal and dismissive racism. But this one-track approach will not generate change. Perhaps the great lesson of the southern Civil Rights Movement is that as much as it challenged white supremacy, it was the challenges that black people made to one another that truly empowered the movement.

He continues to bring the heat here:

Now consider Ferguson. Only 6 percent of eligible black voters participated in the last municipal elections — this in a town that is more than two-thirds black. No wonder the six-person City Council only has one black member and the 53-person police force only has three black officers. Just two generations ago, black Southerners endured arrests and beatings in order to vote. And yet, it seems we’ve already forgotten the immense power of the ballot. With the existence of the Voting Rights Act, low black voter turnout or registration cannot be charged solely to white people, no matter what machinations they use to suppress voters.

Black people are not faced with anything like the violence that confronted those seeking voting rights five decades ago. Let’s end the excuses. The people of Ferguson have all the power they need to simply get rid of their unrepresentative government — vote them out. This does not take any great political computation.

The abysmal voting numbers in Ferguson — and in communities like it around the country — are a failure not only of the people, but of black leaders. We see them parachute in and out of Ferguson, Harlem and Sanford, Fla. We see them on TV. We see them in marches. But ultimately, they offer nothing enduring.

Charles Cobb has brought to the public forefront the conversations which occur in the semi-private spaces of the black counterpublic.

He is also signalling to how in a digital global era the events in Ferguson (and elsewhere) are mediated visuals which are depicted in a spectacular fashion that in turn create a sense of immediacy on the part of the viewer, but where the images themselves (and the momentary public outrage they create) may not result in long-term systemic change because substantive political work takes blood, resources, and long-term planning, sacrifice, and energy.

In all, "hashtag activism" and "liking" posts via social media are not replacements for real, substantive politics.

Cobb is also asking an important foundational question about what constitutes a "leader" for a given community? This is very timely given the recent release of the The Root's List of 100 Top Black Influencers under 45. While I like and respect the work of many of the folks included on the list, one must ask, how is their work actually impacting and improving the day to day life chances of black and brown people? Should this be a criteria for being considered a "black leader" or "influencer"?

And are leaders a reflection of the particular social and political circumstances of a given era? Is there some universal rule or definition?

Cobb's essay is bold and necessary; it is also missing some nuance. The people of Ferguson and other dis-empowered communities do not participate in government because they correctly sense that the State is non-responsive to their needs and lacks legitimacy. However, this calculation leads to do a dualism and feedback loop: the State is non-responsive and does not serve the needs of the black and brown folks of Ferguson and similarly situated communities because the latter are not participating and included in it.

It is important to locate this angst, citizenship, and non-participation within a dynamic context. Racially discriminatory laws remove millions of black people from full democratic citizenship because felony disenfranchisement deems them as unable to vote. Black political leaders and organizations were destroyed by a decades-long effort by the federal government and other actors to discredit, kill, undermine, and imprison them.

The remnants of the civil rights movement were then corralled into the "success" of leading bankrupted central cities that were robbed of resources by suburbanization, globalization, and the removal of federal support for America's cities just at the moment (what was not a coincidence) when they became more black and brown demographically.

In addition, during late 1960s and 1970s many civil rights leaders were bought off and cooptated by corporations and private foundations that sponsored events and conferencessuch as the 1972 National Black Political Convention.

Black politics and its traditional models of protest, organization, and engagement are obsolescent and ineffective in the post civil rights era and its long shadow of the neoliberal state, austerity, and consumer fundamentalism.

Naivete about the relationship between government and civic involvement must always be pushed back against: Power does not want an active citizenry; an elite and corporatist democracy wants to limit effective citizen participation not expand it.

The people of Ferguson, and the majority of the American public, are forced to deal with the consequences of a broken and ineffective government that is working precisely as intended by the 1 percent, the rentier banking and finance classes, and the other members of the American plutocracy and deep state.

Dysfunctional government creates a lack of faith in democracy. Neoliberal governance and policy makers use those feelings to expand their influence and power. Empirical research has documented how American policy makers are most responsive to the demands of the richwhile being relatively indifferent towards the needs and wants of the American people.

There are a litany of reasonable and centrist public policy positions and initiatives which are favored by the American people but that its elected "leaders" ignore. American government officials also have contempt and loathing for the public.

Sheldon Wholin's vision of what he termed as "inverted totalitarianism" is the result of the above processes.

In the United States, inverted totalitarianism is also advanced through the rise of persistent and intrusive surveillance technologies, anti-democratic interest groups that subvert the public will as enabled by the Supreme Court and decisions such as Citizens United, and an exhausting and distracting media environment in which spectacle has replaced responsible reporting and advocacy work.

Could it just be that the people of Ferguson know that "normal politics" and the system are a sham? And if so, what are the alternatives to the United States' broken, non-responsive, and corrupt arrangement(s) of political power?

As reported by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, new public opinion research by the Remington Research Group has revealed that 62 percent of white St. Louis residents believe that the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was shot multiple times while surrendering with his hands in the air, by a white police officer named Darren Wilson, was justified.

The support by white St. Louis residents for the killing of Michael Brown is not just a simple matter of a difference in public opinion regarding how individuals locate matters of public concern within their own cognitive schema.

Instead, their attitudes are formed in relation to a given social and historical context. Consequently, the political attitudes of Darren Wilson's white supporters reflect a society that is organized around a racial hierarchy which privileges Whiteness.

Remington’s poll is part of a larger constellation of data on white racial attitudes in response to the Ferguson incident, specifically, and the realities of white on black racism in the post civil rights era, more generally.

In August, a poll by Pew Research found that:

...the public overall is divided over whether Brown’s shooting raises important issues about race or whether the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves: 44% think the case does raise important issues about race that require discussion, while 40% say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

By about four-to-one (80% to 18%), African Americans say the shooting in Ferguson raises important issues about race that merit discussion. By contrast, whites, by 47% to 37%, say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

These results echo earlier polls that reveal how whites and people of color are starkly divided in their opinions about the permanence and power of racism in determining life chances.

As a point of comparison, at the height of the civil rights movement, a moment when Jim and Jane Crow segregation and racial terrorism were still a de facto state of affairs in much of the United States, white folks reported to Gallup and other pollsters that black people had equal opportunities in America.

White America's willful denial and delusions about the twin realities of white supremacy and white privilege are a recurring feature of American cultural and political life.

Race is operative, both on a personal and institutional level, in Darren Wilson's decision to shoot and kill Michael Brown (for example, see the over policing of black and brown communities; the historic origins of modern American police departments in the American slaveocracy; racially disparate treatment by the American "criminal justice system"; and empirical research on implicit bias by white police towards black people).

The preponderance of the social scientific evidence on American social and political life demonstrates that the standing decision rule should be that racism is almost always a variable influencing interactions across the color line, as opposed to needing some extraordinary standard of evidence to demonstrate such a basic fact.

Ultimately, because America is a racist society, the attitudes and values of its citizens, to varying degrees, will reflect that trait.

This is a macro-level claim and observation.

The masses may be asses. While the extreme political polarization of the Age of Obama hascomplicated the thesis, with the exception of "engaged" partisans, the American public has historically been considered "non-ideological", possessing little substantive knowledge about political matters.

Racial attitudes are an outlier.

Both white and non-white Americans hold consistent beliefs about race and public policy, racial attitudes help to structure other political attitudes and values (including partisan identification), racial attitudes are relatively stable across one's life span (with general replacement, elite cues by the media and other actors, and social movement activity helping to account for the rise of "multicultural" America), andthe decades-long divides between Democrats and Republicans about questions of race, social justice, and public policy have remained relatively stable.

Moreover, the chasm in public opinion between whites and blacks regarding Ferguson, and police abuse more generally, also reflects how "old fashioned" racism, authoritarianism, and symbolic racism have combined together in modern American conservatism.

It is more likely than not, that the majority of the white respondents in the Remington survey possess some degree of either conscious or subconscious racial bias, animus, or resentment towards black and brown people.

[The power of white supremacy as a cultural force is also revealed by how 35 percent of black respondents also supported Wilson's killing of Michael Brown.

White supremacy is one of the most powerful ideologies and inventions in the modern era: people of color are not immune to it; some people of color, most notably black American conservatives, even seek out its approval.]

Drilling down, I am very curious as to the type of racists that comprise the 62 percent of white respondents in the Remington survey who support Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown.

While not an exhaustive list, I would argue that the 62 percent of white respondents to the Remington group survey consist of the following types.

These categories overlap and are not mutually exclusive from one another.

Racial Contrarians. Any observations or opinions offered by a black person, individually or as a group, about racism, as it relates to the latter’s own personal life experiences, are immediately suspect. For this type of white racist, black people are viewed as inherently irrational, hyper-emotional, stupid, too sensitive, and possess a distorted view of American society because of their "obsession" with racism. The white racial contrarian views all black people's truth claims, regardless of the empirical data in support of them, as suspicious and unfounded until proven otherwise (preferably by a white person).

Old fashioned racists and those with feelings of homicidal ideation. The cowardly police officer Darren Wilson has raised more than 500,000 dollars for his defense fund. As exemplified by the comments on the websites through which those funds were donated, the people who offered monetary support to Darren Wilson consist of a good number of traditional "old fashioned" racists.

Their donations to Wilson are a type of new age lynching photography wherein they are enjoying the thrill of killing Michael Brown by proxy; this is a disturbing and frightening type of white on black homicidal ideation.

Aversive and symbolic racists. The behavior of aversive and symbolic racists constitutes what has come to be known as "modern racism". The aversive racist publicly subscribes to norms of racial egalitarianism, but in private, as well as subconsciously, possesses negative sentiments towards blacks (and other people of color, to varying degrees).

Psychologists Adam Pearson, John Dovidio, and Samuel Gaertner describe the aversive racist in the following way:

Aversive racists, in contrast, sympathize with victims of past injustice, support principles of racial equality, and genuinely regard themselves as non-prejudiced, but at the same time possess conflicting, often non-conscious, negative feelings and beliefs about Blacks that are rooted in basic psychological processes that promote racial bias...

The negative feelings that aversive racists have towards Blacks typically do not reflect open antipathy, but rather consist of more avoidant reactions of discomfort, anxiety, or fear.

Symbolic racists believe that black people violate American civic norms such as hard work, individualism, patriotism, and impulse control. Symbolic racists also possess high levels of white racial resentment towards people of color--African-Americans in particular--and are highly motivated in their political decision-making and racial attitudes by stereotypes which link black people to criminality, rape, violence, and other types of social disorder.

Symbolic racism is one of the core tenets of contemporary, post civil rights era American conservatism. It is embodied by the Southern Strategy, "birtherism", racial dog whistle politics, and the white supremacist paranoia and overt racial hostility towards President Barack Obama by the White Right and the Tea Party GOP.

As demonstrated by the Remington Group’s poll, aversive and symbolic racists support Darren Wilson because of their subconscious racial biases, identification with an ostensibly race neutral belief in the merits of "law and order", and a belief that black people are inherently criminal, dangerous, and a threat to white society.

The 62 percent of white respondents in St. Louis who support Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown mirror other larger national surveys and experiments which show that white Americans support racist, and punitive punishments for black offenders--even when they have been made aware that the punishment is racially discriminatory and unfair.

For at least 300 years, America's police departments have served as the armed wing of the Racial State. In that role, they help to maintain and monitor the color line in the service of white America at the expense of blacks, Latinos, First Nations peoples, and other non-whites.

By analogy, America's wars abroad are fought by an increasingly small percentage of the population; drones are making killing a "clean" and "bloodless" affair for the American people and its leaders.

Supporting a system of white privilege and white supremacy, America's police departments function in much the same way in how they treat black and brown communities. White America can look away and feign ignorance until events such as Ferguson momentarily force the reality of racist policing to the national front stage. But ultimately, racist police practices are perpetuated and overlooked because white society deems them a net gain and a social good because they protect "us" from "them".

The divides in public opinion regarding the events in Ferguson, the killing of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and many others by white police or white identified street vigilantes, as well as the resulting racially incendiary language online and across the Right-wing hate media, indicate that white supremacy remains a serious social problem in the United States.

Racism is not a mental illness. However, the metrics and tools that have been developed to measure it are extremely helpful in trying to understand and locate white racism within a proper social, historical, and political context.

In response to the Holocaust, Gordon Allport developed a scale for measuring racism and prejudice.

As described by noted psychologist Alvin Poussaint:

Extreme racists' violence should be considered in the context of behavior described by Allport in The Nature of Prejudice. Allport's 5-point scale categorizes increasingly dangerous acts. It begins with verbal expression of antagonism, progresses to avoidance of members of disliked groups, then to active discrimination against them, to physical attack, and finally to extermination (lynchings, massacres, genocide). That fifth point on the scale, the acting out of extermination fantasies, is readily classifiable as delusional behavior.

The public speech acts and other behaviors by the defenders of Darren Wilson and his ilk, both online and across the public sphere, more generally, exemplify the range of behaviors identified by Allport. The White Right's response to the election of Barack Obama, twice, is also a mass display of the guidelines developed by Allport for measuring white racism as a continuum of violent acts that culminate with racially delusional behavior.

The divergences in white and black public opinion about the killing of Michael Brown reveals one of the central paradoxes of American life during post civil rights era America.

Black people as a product, consumer good, image, and embodiment of the “cool pose” are loved, emulated, and imitated. Yet, 91 percent of white Americans do not have one black person in their social network.

While the black culture industry can sell blackness to White America through rap music, sports, fashion, style, and other venues, the American media still circulates distorted, inaccurate, and deranged depictions of black humanity to a global public. The news media is especially guilty in this regard: television news programs misrepresent and exaggerate the amount of crime committed by black people while simultaneously under-reporting the amount of crime committed by whites.

It is likely that the vast majority of the 62 percent of St. Louis respondents who support Darren Wilson, the cowardly cop who shot and killed an unarmed and surrendering black youth named Michael Brown multiple times in broad daylight, do not have personal animus towards Michael Brown the person.

However, the white respondents in that survey, as well as in others, hold bigoted, hateful, and racist ideas towards the idea of Michael Brown as a black person--and the idea of him as a black male.

America is a racially segregated society. The white collective imagination fills in the gaps in its understanding of black people as real, complex, dynamic, human beings with the fictions, fantasies, and lies they have learned from the mass media, the educational system, friends and family, churches, as well as social institutions.

The result of these processes is a white collective memory which reinforces white privilege and depicts non-whites as somehow less than and inferior relative to white people.

In this twisted worldview, it is wholly rational and reasonable for a person to believe that Darren Wilson was "within his rights" to kill Michael Brown.

White privilege distorts and ruins the ethical, moral, and cognitive processes of those who subscribe to and are invested in Whiteness. The 62 percent of white St. Louis residents who support Darren Wilson are proof of that fact.

13 years have passed since Al Qaeda attacked the continental United States. There is a particular type of hurt when outsiders attack the "homeland".

On the morning of September 11, 2001, many Americans stood with mouths agape, wondering "how could they do this to us?" Others shook their heads, asking, "why do they hate us so much?" The American people, drunk on lies of their country's exceptional nature, willfully blind to the deeds and acts done in their name abroad, too many of whom would rather watch stupid human tricks on the TV, they the products of failed school systems and a deceptive 4th Estate, latched on to such empty questions--questions which both then and now have readily available answers.

Ignorance is a sweet pablum until it makes one sick. The pundits, policy wonks, and other inside experts knew, understood, and could readily explain the concept of blowback, its relationship to American foreign policy in the Middle East, the rise of Osama bin Laden, and the organization that the Western media would christen as Al Qaeda. Alas, truth-telling about 9/11 would be punished. It was and remains far easier to embrace lies such as "unknown unknowns" where 9/11 is framed more as some mystical, bizarre, and unpredictable event than it is to talk in a direct and clear fashion about how America's policies abroad can and do have implications for the American people at home.

In many ways, the noted American public intellectual Cornel West has the first and last word on the emotional and psychic impact of September 11th on the (white) American public. When the planes were brought down on that day, and the national security surveillance state reached out to touch even white folks (in relatively minor ways) as compared to how it has historically treated people of color, West brilliantly observed that white Americans had been, for a moment, "niggerized".

They were made to feel unsafe, insecure, vulnerable, and subject to random violence. White privilege works as a shield against such feelings as experienced by white Americans en masse. The lie that Whiteness is a type of existential innocence means that most white Americans are complicit in a type of historical and contemporary amnesia--what is a break in the chain of cause and effect--that makes it extremely difficult for them to understand how they could be disliked as a people and targeted for group violence.

Al Qaeda's attack on the United States was not a motherless child.

In many ways, the attacks on September 11, 2001 were a gut punch to the stomach of White American racial innocence.

By comparison, black and brown Americans have a long experience with "niggerization" and what it means to be subjected to random, unjust, violence that is designed to make them feel insecure. In total, Black and Brown America have had centuries of practice in trying to navigate white racial terrorism, and also developing the defense mechanisms necessary to survive its assault.

Stated differently, September 11th was an attack on the American people by a foreign terrorist organization.

But, what if your experience as an American was that of being routinely attacked and terrorized by your own country and fellow citizens because you were a person of color on the wrong side of the white on black enforced color line?

The activist Bill Fletcher Jr. has written a great short essay called Suspected of Being Black. It grapples with questions of terrorism and the American habit that is the extra-judicial murder of black people in a snug and powerful way.

Fletcher begins with the following observation:

Two recent killings, one of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, speak to a very different reality experienced by African Americans compared with whites in the USA. Without going through the details, there are certain questions that can be asked to anyone in the USA and, depending on the answer, one can ascertain what I would call the ‘racial terror index.’

Here are a few examples:

Are you generally afraid of the police?

To what extent do you expect there to be a possibility that you will be stopped by the police? Have you ever been trained on how to respond if you have been stopped?

If you were in a car that broke down, how likely are you to knock on someone’s door seeking help?

If you are man, how likely are you to drive long distances with a female of another ‘race’?

If you had difficulty getting into your own home, how likely would you be to contact the police and ask for their help?

How many neighborhoods do you need to be careful in transiting for fear that the police will stop you?

What white America largely misses is that there is a system of terror under which African Americans constantly live. It is not the terror of Al Qaeda but a terror that began with slavery and continued during the reign of the Ku Klux Klan. But it is also represented by lynchings and false arrests. It is truly terror because it can come at any time and be directed at any individual, but it also is the use of violence against civilians in order to advance a political objective. In that sense it is no different—in fundamentals from a car bombing.

He continues:

The personal uncertainty and insecurity that so many white Americans felt and expressed post-September 11th terrorist attacks came as such a shock to the system…but not for African Americans. For African Americans, living with uncertainty is about living in the USA. Living with the reality that at any point and for any reason, we may be ‘misidentified’ by the authorities, and jailed or killed; we may be targeted for extra-judicial harassment and killings; we may be humiliated by the authorities, yet obtain no apologies. We may be otherwise silenced.

The (apparent) surprise nature of the events of September 11th cause the American people deep pain.

Al Qaeda's attacks on the American mainland pierced a veneer of invulnerability, caused national trauma, and excited a war fever blood lust that almost destroyed the American economy while killing thousands of American soldiers, crippling and otherwise injuring many thousands more, and subsequently wrecking the American middle class.

If "terrorism" is wrong when directed at the American people, it should be wrong when used abroad, and especially as directed by one group of Americans against another in the "homeland".

Moral consistency ought to demand that the tears, memorialization, pathos, reverence, and public memory of 9/11 be similarly reflective about the terrorism which has been visited upon the people of Ferguson and Michael Brown. A mature understanding of terrorism, state violence, and race would also locate white on black and brown state violence within a continuity of terrorism both in the United States and around the world.

In many ways, American Exceptionalism is a bridge too far. Consequently, the adherents to that civic religion are unable and unwilling to acknowledge that terrorism and state violence are American traditions.

It is far easier to find righteous anger when "those people" attack "us". White privilege and the white racial frame make it difficult for the owners of Whiteness to be introspective, and thus to ask, "what must it feel like to be a person of color, and a member of a community, that is routinely terrorized by the police and other white-identified vigilantes?"

The killing(s) of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford, Eric Garner, Jonathan Ferrel, and so many other unarmed black people by white police and other street vigilantes are acts of political violence and terrorism. The attacks on 9/11 were more spectacular. The killings of black people by white police and white-identified street vigilantes every 28 hours, within a decades and centuries-long continuum, has exacted a far higher body count and is no less traumatic to our families and communities.

It is tragic that the flag waving patriotism of September 11th has not been turned to larger questions of social justice, equality, and how to make sure that no American is ever subjected to terrorism and violence by their own government.

The defenders of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who repeatedly shot an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown at least 6 times in Ferguson, Missouri claim that “the facts” will clear their champion of any wrongdoing.

Unfortunately for Darren Wilson, the facts of what transpired on the day when he shot Michael Brown in the face and body with multiple bullets have not been kind to him.

Independent witnesses have told the press and federal investigators how Michael Brown was unarmed, had surrendered with his hands in the air, and was repeatedly shot by Darren Wilson. These witnesses are African-American.

For the white bigots who defend Darren Wilson, as well as the Right-wing hate media that stoke the flames of white racial resentment and white supremacy, black people’s truth claims about racism (regardless of the mountains of empirical evidence in support of their experiences) are de facto and a priori judged to be insufficient by the White Gaze.

This is part of a centuries-long tradition in America, where for most of the country’s existence, African-Americans were not allowed to testify in court or to have any type of legal standing.

In the post civil rights era--and especially since the election of Barack Obama--the Tea Party GOP and the White Right have demonstrated that they would like to return to an arrangement of civic and public affairs in which black people are silenced and muted. In all, the Tea Party GOP and its allies yearn for the civic erasure of black and brown people—it enrages the White Right that they cannot follow through on their wishful dreams of social and political death for black Americans.

The American Right-wing’s defense of the killer cop Darren Wilson is instinctive: it is an extension of a base hostility to the freedom, well-being, life, liberty, and happiness of black and brown Americans.

To point. The most morally rotted and ethically suspect supporters of Darren Wilson have collectively donated at least 500,000 dollars to protect him from the consequences of killing Michael Brown.

As I wrote here, donating money to Darren Wilson (and other white vigilantes and extra-judicial killers of black people such as George Zimmerman) is the new lynching photography of the 21st century. Instead of buying postcards of hung, tortured, and burned alive black bodies, those who donate to Darren Wilson enjoy the vicarious pleasures of killing a black person by proxy. Michael Brown, and by extension other black American men, are born with a bounty on their heads.

Darren Wilson is the white gunslinger who brought the black “thug” to “justice”. This is cathartic violence for the White Right and its Fox News driven propaganda machine.

The supporters of Darren Wilson are enjoying the fun of a thrill kill; they are sharing ownership over the deed by donating money to their idol Darren Wilson.

Two new witnesses to the shooting of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by Darren Wilson have now come forward. As reported in Sunday's edition of the newspaper St. Louis Post-Dispatch, two white construction workers watched Darren Wilson shoot dead an unarmed and surrendered Michael Brown.

According to their accounts, Michael Brown was not “charging at” or “attacking” Darren Wilson as the professional liars in the Right-wing hate media have suggested to their supplicants--and an easily duped 24/7 corporate mainstream media which is desperate for any new “information” on the Brown case, however specious or incorrect it may in fact be.

The account provided by the new witnesses corroborates the version of events offered by previous witnesses in which Darren Wilson repeatedly shot an unarmed person from some distance away whose hands were raised in the universal sign of surrender.

Darren Wilson chose to shoot Michael Brown. As detailed by the witnesses, as well as the audio recording of the events that day, Darren Wilson chose to stop shooting Michael Brown for several seconds…before then delivering the final shots to his head and face.

The white racial paranoia of the American Right demands that Michael Brown be vilified, “niggerized”, and thus made responsible for his own killing at the hands of Darren Wilson. The White Right (and too many members ofthe white American public, more generally) is cognitively, emotionally, and materially invested in the over-policing, harassment, and violence of the police against black and brown communities.

Those sentiments have deep historic roots.

During the 19th and 20th centuries at least 10,000 African-American men, women, and children were killed by white racial terrorists. The white owned newspapers and other media of the era justified and legitimated this violence.

The Southern press would often detail how the lynch mob was comprised of “honorable men”, doing their “civic duty”, and who were burdened with the “responsibility” of “protecting” white society against black “criminals” and “troublemakers”.

The spirit and energy channeled by the white 19th and 20th century press to legitimate and honor the white supremacist terror afflicted on black people by the white public is none too different from that channeled by the American Right-wing media in the 21st century, when the latter defends the killers of unarmed black people by white cops and other white-identified vigilantes.

Writing in the journal American Nineteenth Century History, Susan Jean describes this phenomenon in the following way:

The Courier-Informant’s reporting was typical of portrayals of ‘warranted’ or
‘respectable’ lynchings. The most conspicuous feature of such reports was the salacious language used to describe the black man, his alleged crime, and the lynch mob’s actions…

Newspapers that branded a lynching victim a ‘black brute,’ an ‘inhuman fiend,’ or an ‘imp of inferno’ were from the start helping to exonerate the lynch mob. In depicting the bestiality of the black man and by contrast the sweet, delicate, and innocent nature of his alleged victim, reporters were courting the fury of their readers and encouraging them to identify with the lynchers…

The people who punished the negro considered that they were doing their duty to their community, and they went about the business in the most orderly manner, and no unseemly passion or excitement was shown whatever.’

When a white mob lynched Charles Scarborough for attempted rape in 1909, ‘There was no excitement in the matter at all. The people were determined that the negro should pay the penalty for his attempted crime: that was all.’

White supremacy and white privilege are interrelated political and social projects that have evolved over time and which continue to exist in the present: white violence towards the black body is a fixture of this system.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries Michael Brown would be a black “fiend”, “beast”, or “giant negro”. In the 21st century, Michael Brown (and other black and brown victims of police violence) is depicted by the Right-wing media as a “thug”, or as a person who was “armed” with his “strong, scary, self.”

The Right-wing media and its public will lie and misrepresent the information provided by the new witnesses to the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson because they are racial paranoiacs who have so internalized white supremacy and white privilege that it has distorted their understanding of reality.

While some psychologists and mental health professionals have suggested that racism is a type of mental illness, I have long-subscribed to the idea that white racism is as much a choice about personal behavior, as it is a system of power relationships.

The defenders of Darren Wilson are not all mentally ill or pathological racists (althoughundoubtedly some of the latter are among that group). Rather, they are morally bankrupt people who devalue the lives of non-whites, and believe both consciously and subconsciously, in the superiority of those who are “white” over those who are “black” and “brown”.

The most salient facts about the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson are not complicated. Numerous witnesses have said that Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown multiple times. Michael Brown was unarmed. Michael Brown had surrendered.

The context for the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri is provided by a country that has a centuries-long history of racist violence by the police against people of color.

For example, Darren Wilson is a member of an organization that engaged in a racist police riot against the black community in Ferguson. In addition, the police department in Ferguson has been targeting the black community in a racist debt peonage/collection racket where over-policing (tickets; court fees; fines and arrests for petty crimes on exaggerated charges) has been used to fund the township.

And perhaps most damning, prior to his employment with the Ferguson police department Darren Wilson was a member of another police force that was disbanded because of a history of racial violence.

The facts are not kind to Darren Wilson and his decision to kill Michael Brown. Unfortunately, white privilege, white supremacy, and the racial paranoia that sustains the defenders of Darren Wilson and the White Right exist independent of empirical reality.

White supremacy is one of the biggest lies in modern human history. Its supporters and adherents live in a fantasy world of white innocence and superiority, one that is juxtaposed to a fictive belief that black people are a natural race of violent degenerates.

Those who defend Darren Wilson are simply following an old American cultural script.

“Ferguson” is now a meme as opposed to a place; it is a story that individuals can read themselves into depending on their own politics, values, and life experiences.

A person’s response to the explosive combination of race, crime, and the law in Ferguson is a litmus test for deeper political values and life experiences.

Black Americans have historically and in the present been victims of police abuse and disproportionately punished by a racist and classist criminal “justice” system. The killing of Michael Brown is one more death in a necropolis of unarmed black people killed by white police, white street vigilantes, and others with like power and orientation.

The killing of Michael Brown is not a surprise or a shock to most black Americans. We have either personally experienced racially motivated harassment by police authorities, have a relative or friend who has, or live in a community where such norms govern our day-to-day lives and limit our full citizenship. Police abuse is part of the collective memory of black Americans. Understanding how to navigate that maze and mine field is a necessary skill which is taught to us early in life.

Black parents, and those others who love black or brown children, have to rob the latter of their childhood innocence by teaching them that their very personhood will be looked at as a threat by the police and other white authority figures. We have to tell our children that they will be “niggerized” even if they are unarmed innocent victims. We will adultify them so that they will not be surprised when the world does so in ways much, much crueler.

Responsible parents and mentors of black children must rob them of their innocence by teaching them about the realities of life in a racist society. We are their “hard masters”. These lessons are not mean or some type of child abuse. No, they are acts of love, because if you love your child you want them to live, prosper, and grow into adulthood. A black child who does not learn how to interact with the police is more likely to end up killed and dead at the end of a police officer's pistol or rifle.

For many white Americans, the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer is an anomaly; in their cognitive framework, there must be some reasonable explanation for why a police officer would kill an unarmed person. The collective experience of White America is one where its members are not routinely abused, violated, killed, and harassed by the police. Of course, individual white people may have negative encounters with a given police officer. However, those interactions are not reflections of an institutionally biased set of power relationships where that negative treatment is legitimated and encouraged as both a normal and expected type of public policy.

Historically, the primary role of the police in the United States has been to monitor and control black and brown people in the interests of protecting a dominant racial hierarchy, one that serves to maintain the material, economic, and psychological advantages of white people en masse.

Many white Americans may not have the knowledge or language to articulate this fact. Others know this fact to be true, but they are unwilling to state it for fear of violating the bargain of Whiteness as a type of historical amnesia, and whose owners and signatories believe that Whiteness is ultimately benign and harmless. Both groups of white folks instinctively defend police abuse and the killing of black and brown people because of a deeply learned and taught set of assumptions in which African-Americans are viewed as a race of inherently dangerous rapists, brigands, and murderers.

When people say that “Darren Wilson must have had a reason for killing Michael Brown”, or that “we should give police the benefit of the doubt when they shoot someone”, is as much an embrace of lazy thinking and a default surrender to petit authoritarianism, as it is a projection of a type of white racist logic which deems that black people are “scary”--and "what 'smart' white person would not proceed from such a 'reasonable' assumption and act accordingly?"

And yes, there are some white folks who dare to tell the truth about white supremacy and the realities of white privilege and the color line. In turn, they often face censure, hostility, and rage from other white people. Whiteness and white privilege are a version of the Mafia’s infamous “omerta”. There are consequences for breaking its trust and pact.

The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri are a metaphorical nucleus around which a person’s and a community’s political attitudes and values revolve. Here, the national controversy surrounding Michael Brown’s killing by Darren Wilson channels and arouses the sentiment and ideology known as white racial resentment and symbolic racism. Narratives of black criminality, guns, and police authority are central to the “law and order” politics that have driven the Republican Party’s racist Southern Strategy, as well as the Right-ward shift of “New Democrats” from the 1960s to the Age of Obama.

In all, scaring the white American public about “black crime”, ginning up white racism, and creating resentment towards reasonable efforts to ameliorate or confront the economic and social consequences of centuries of white racism against people of color, pays political dividends for white politicians in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

And like “old fashioned racism, the “new racism” embodied by white racial resentment and “conservative colorblindness” also pays material dividends to its owners, beneficiaries, and owners.

As was seen with George Zimmerman—he also raised significant monies from the (white, gun right) American public—killing unarmed black people is an occasion for generous charity towards the shooter.

Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is one such white person who has directly profited and benefited from a literal version of “the wages of whiteness.” As of today, he has raised almost 170,000 dollars.

[On ethical and moral grounds, I will not share the website or other information about Darren Wilson’s donation drive.]

This amount is larger than that raised for the Michael Brown memorial fund, monies that will be used to bury a young man in what will likely be a closed casket because his face was disfigured and shattered by Wilson’s bullets, and whose body lay in the street for hours like garbage.

The comments on Wilson’s donation page are very revealing. They help us to understand what type of person would give money to a man who shot dead an unarmed black teenager, in broad daylight, who eyewitness accounts was surrendering.

Undoubtedly, given that the KKK is raising money for their new hero, some of the donors to the Darren Wilson fund are white supremacists.

Others may be friends or relatives of police officers. This close relationship has limited their ability to locate the events in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere within a historical and social context of police abuse towards people of color. They assume that because “their cop” is one of “the good ones” that all others must be given the same consideration: perhaps it a weakness of the human condition, but intimacy and closeness often rob us of the capacity for rigorous and critical thinking.

Some of the donors to Darren Wilson have not outgrown the infantile and juvenile idolization of the police. They gave money to Wilson because it is their way of connecting with a projection of who they would like to be in an alternate version of this life. Perhaps these people want to be "super" and "heroes"? They do not realize that police are regular folks, with a range of human flaws which deem them neither "heroic" or "superior".

The most degenerate of Darren Wilson’s donors have given him money in order to experience the killing of Michael Brown by proxy.

The instinctive defense of Darren Wilson by the White Right and the Right-wing hate media is a reflection of a sick and perverse type of white victimology politics that have existed in the United States since slavery. During the American slaveocracy, whites worried that they would be conquered by blacks if the latter won their freedom. In 2008, the election of Obama was met by all manner of virulent racism from the White Right as circulated by the Fox News hate media. This obsession with white victimhood continues into Obama’s second term, where Mo Brooks, the white racially reactionary and Republican Congressman from Alabama, publicly complained that there was a “war on white people” in the United States.

White racial paranoia is a fixture and continuum in America’s social, cultural, and political life.

Beyond the contemptible public trolling and petty racist contrarianism of the “counter-protesters” in Ferguson, Missouri who marched in support of Darren Wilson, there is a deep moral rot in the heart of Whiteness—one that persists even in the Age of Obama.

White people are the most economically and politically dominant racial group in the United States. Yet, many white folks are delusional: they believe that they are actually victims of “racism”, and that “discrimination” against white people is one of the United States’ biggest social problems. Their anger is also misdirected. Instead of raging at the plutocrats, robber barons, and their assorted enablers in the Republican Party, white racial resentment points their ire towards black and brown folks, the poor, and the working classes.

Darren Wilson is not a victim. He has been protected by a militarized police force that ran amok in Ferguson, Missouri, terrorizing tens of thousands of black people, all for his sake.

Like the white welfare king Cliven Bundy, Darren Wilson is a beneficiary of one of the most gross and obscene demonstrations of white privilege in recent memory.

Libertarians and“principled conservatives” will deny the role that race has obviously played in the public and the police department’s response to the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson. In reality, the bona fides and credentials of libertarians’ and “principled conservatives’” on these matters of racial justice are weak and flaccid because conservatism and racism are one in the same thing in the post civil rights era.

The Republican Party is the United States’ largest de facto white identity organization. Libertarians of the Ron and Rand Paul variety would not have supported the Voting and Civil Rights Acts: they view the rights of black people under the Constitution as secondary to the freedom of white people to trample on them.

A more basic litmus test of the distorted reality created by the white racial frame and white supremacy is highlighted by a basic question. If Darren Wilson was a black police officer, and Michael Brown was a white teenager, in the same exact circumstances, would the first person be free and the police, the Right-wing media, and the Tea Party GOP public, be defending him?

The answer is “no”. Racism is not an opinion. It is a dominant fact in American life, culture, and politics. The events in Ferguson, Missouri are one more data point in support of that truth.

The niggerization of Michael Brown has begun in earnest. The police and the Right-wing media have decided that like all other black people who have been killed by the police and white (identified) vigilantes, Brown is guilty of causing his own execution-style murder.

Writing about the behavior of the police department in Ferguson, Missouri and their efforts to derail, obfuscate, lie, and dissemble about the murder of Michael Brown is an experience akin to Bill Murray's in the movie Groundhog Day. It is a cultural script that plays out repeatedly in the United States--the events of which are only a surprise to the naive, willfully ignorant, dishonest, and/or stupid.

Those of us who write about race and work the "racism beat" have to struggle to find something new to say about the seemingly endless parade of black unarmed men killed by police and other white-identified authorities. Being a truth-teller on such matters is tedious, not easy, and mentally exhausting.

Cornel West's use of the word "niggerization" to describe how black people are robbed of their humanity by the White Gaze and White Supremacy is cited and mentioned so frequently for a reason: it is one of the most precise and sharp ways of describing both the institutional as well as the ethical and moral violence visited upon black people by centuries of white racism in the United States and the West.

While "Black Twitter" developed a meme designed to point out the twin lying nature of the White Gaze and racial paranoia in how it selectively frames black people's humanity, Right-wing hate media such as the Drudge Report, Fox Newsand other conservative sewers defaulted to the black rapist "Bigger Thomas" frame, wherein Michael Brown is a "thug" who got "what he deserved":

Sociologist Joe Feagin's concept of the white racial frame dominates this moment:

In the book Systemic Racism I develop the concept of a white racial frame holistically and comprehensively. Since its development in the 17th century, this racial frame has been a “master frame,” a dominant framing that provides a generic meaning system for the racialized society that became the United States. The white racial frame provides the vantage point from which European American oppressors have long viewed North American society.

In this racial framing, whites have combined racial stereotypes (the cognitive aspect), metaphors and interpretive concepts (the deeper cognitive aspect), images (the visual aspect), emotions (feelings), and inclinations to discriminatory action. This frame buttresses, and grows out of the material reality of racial oppression. The complex of racial hierarchy, material oppression, and the rationalizing white racial frame constitute what I term systemic racism. This white racial frame includes much more than the usual concepts we use in the study of racial matters, such as stereotyping and prejudice or discrimination.

Black people who have had violence visited upon them by the white racial state and its agents are forced into a type of bizarro world. Like women who are the victims of sexual assault, black victims are forced to defend their right to exist; rapine logic as applied to women is a neat analogy for white racial logic as it applies to black victims of white police (and other) abuse. In this framework, Michael Brown, Renisha McBride, and Trayvon Martin were somehow asking to be killed.

As social scientists have repeatedly documented, there is a deep connection between white racial animus, a fear of black criminality, support for guns, and what is euphemistically labeled as "law and order" politics. White conservative politicians have skillfully exploited that bundle of attitudes for great electoral gain from the end of Reconstruction and "Redemption", to the Southern Strategy, and the present.

The mainstream corporate media dances around a basic fact, one that I have no fear or compunction about stating clearly and directly. Michael Brown is dead because the police are empowered by a good percentage of the white American public to kill black and brown people preemptively and with extreme prejudice. If you doubt the glee that the White Right and the silent majority feel for the killing of Michael Brown, a quick examination of the comment sections on CNN and other news sites will disabuse you of that notion.

During the Cold War, it was "better to be dead than red". Historically, in the United States "it is better to be safe than sorry" by killing black people--who may or may not have committed a crime--as due process is jettisoned in favor of white rage and brutality as a means of enforcing the color line.

There has been an amazing amount of racial progress in the United States. Barack Obama, a black man, is President of the United States. Black culture is American culture.

However, it is the "exceptional" and "special negro" who is lauded and praised, made acceptable and embraced as an exemplar of white tolerance and the virtues of American exceptionalism and superiority.

But what of the black stranger who exists in a type of liminal space? Where he or she is just an idea or concept for the collective White psyche and white racial consciousness, in which cultural biases and old fashioned racism too often deem black personhood as dangerous, predatory, and criminal?

On both sides of the color line, it is easy to love the idea of the exceptional negro. By comparison, for the White Gaze, it is far harder to possess a common feeling of shared humanity and decency with a black stranger, one who even in the Age of Obama and the post civil rights era is overlaid and embossed with the stain and shadow of Whiteness's paranoia, nightmares, fantasies, fetishes, anxieties, longing for, desires, fears, arousal, envy, hostility, and other assorted feelings.

White Supremacy colours black and brown people with a reflective patina that shines back to it a projection of what white racism desires to see people of color as, instead of who we actually are.

The substantive racial progress required to finally vanquish White Supremacy from American cultural life will mandate that all Americans accept the full humanity of non-whites...even as some of the latter, like all people, are less than perfect in their behavior and comportment.

Loving an exceptional and perfect black person is easy; loving less than perfect human beings who happen to be black, and simultaneously extending to them their basic human rights on an interpersonal level, is a far more difficult task for white folks--and those others--who are infected by the racial logic of Whiteness and White Supremacy.