Why Antifa and RAM Won’t Let the U.S. Evade Its Unbroken String of Genocides
By Dallas Darling
Submitted by Author
Friday, Oct 13, 2017
|Being designated a “domestic terrorist group” by the Department of Homeland Security and FBI-mainly for using the same tactics as their designators didn’t dissuade Antifa and the Abolitionist Revolutionary Movement (RAM) this past Monday. On behalf of their nationwide “Deface Columbus Day,” some risked arrest by writing “mass murderer” and “decolonize” or splattering red paint on statues glorifying the Spanish explorer. Claiming that “we’ll all be judged in years to come by how we responded-and respond-to past and present genocides,” others even went as far as to destroy Columbus’ statues-a symbol they believe reflects the European-U.S. holocaust of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas.
Whether or not you agree with Antifa and RAM, they did raise an important issue, and questions that demand answers. To be sure, the European-U.S. holocaust of Indigenous Peoples is the most extensive and destructive genocide in the history of the world. Not only does it still occupy the dire conditions of Indian reservations-the poverty, the crime, and high rates of alcoholism and suicide, but Indian culture continues to be ignored, forgotten and virtually nonexistent. What’s more, Antifa wanted to bring attention to an unbroken string of genocides, such as the rising death tolls in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen, or the acceptance of Las Vegas as the “deadliest shooting in history.”
Antifa and ARM also believe that what caused the American holocaust-as did the Nazi Holocaust or any other act of ethnic cleansing for that matter-is too much power in too few hands. As a result, they’re not only calling for more violent revolutionary acts to “right” the “wrongs” of a violent history that conceals cruel institutions, but they want to replace White Nationalism, fascism and capitalism with collective revolutionary power. Even if this means “peace through violence,” they hope those who have difficulty seeing beyond what’s only immediately in front of them will someday join them to ensure an “equal” redistribution of political power, economic property and historical awareness.
Neither will Antifa and ARM allow the U.S. to evade its genocides through censorship. Believing that governments are mandated by law to protect people from ethnic cleansing, they point to how the Yuki’s in California’s, once numbering 30,000, were murdered by miners, ranchers, and state and federal troops in just 30 years. What’s more, their women and children were used as servants, the latter as “wives” and concubines. By 1880, the combination of kidnapping, epidemics, starvation, vigilante justice, and state-sanctioned mass killings virtually annihilated the Yuki leaving only 168. Just as Columbus started the American holocaust, reminds Antifa and ARM, the U.S. government continued it.
Antifa and ARM even challenged the media’s coverage of the Las Vegas tragedy. Calling it the “deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history” not only discounted Indigenous narratives that were far deadlier, like Sand Creek and Wounded Knee Massacres, but it showed how minds are still colonized, naively sent to reservations. Accordingly, don’t be surprised if someday anyone who resists such narratives of White Supremacy will be designated a “domestic terrorist.” Did not “Who, after all, speaks today of Reservation Camps and the annihilation of the American Indian” eventually turn into Concentration Camps and the Jewish Holocaust!”  Don’t think for one moment it can’t happen here.
By destroying monuments which glorify Christopher Columbus, Antifa and ARM therefore claim they’re also exposing a close link between the U.S.’ genocidal discourse and the more virulent but shorter lived hateful ideologies that fueled the Nazi Holocaust. Given that the “manufacturers of consent” (and “context”) have practically made Nazis the sole scapegoats for ideas of extermination, they think it’s perilous to avoid how Nazism’s modern ideologies and behaviors actually originated within the U.S.-European holocaust framework. In fact, Antifa and ARM members warn that ethnic cleansing is occurring still today through “genocidal-lites” in foreign countries.
For instance, Afghanistan’s dramatic increase in drone warfare, and its new and “relaxed” rules of engagement” among U.S. troops, has led to the rise in massacres. So too has the intensification of bombing in Syria, or repeated attacks against schools, hospitals and port cities in Yemen. With each ethnic cleansing campaign, the U.S. continues to downplay civilian death tolls and its role in sociocide, as it did in Iraq. It also hides the true motives of an imperial power. Whether maintaining economic sanctions or toppling foreign governments that lead to genocide, Antifa and ARM believe that what’s really behind U.S. foreign policy is racism, colonialism, ethnocentrism, and exceptionalism.
At least by destroying monuments, maintains Antifa and ARM, the U.S. is forced to deal with its “unwritten” genocidal past. To be sure, ethnic cleansing campaigns, biological warfare, slavery and forced and indentured labor, famines and starvation-worsened by destruction and occupation of native territories-are always dismissed as a necessary step towards progress and civilization. So too was the forced education of indigenous children in white-run schools, where mortality rates sometimes reached genocidal levels. Antifa and ARM sadly think the U.S. boasts of its “revolutionary” histories but not of its “evolutionary” genocide. This is something they want to change.
Another thing they want to change is a forgetful and complacent nation. In other words, the nation that doesn’t understand what caused ethnic cleansing and slavery, or needless wars, will only ensure that it happens again, and again. Consequently, the justification that Indigenous Peoples had no right to lands they inhabited, or the religious view that they needed to be saved, must be confronted and altered. So too should an ideology which divides the world into those who are worth more and those who were worth less. Until this occurs, more unbroken chains of genocides will exist-at least for those who still have eyes wide open and recognize when a people’s dream is dying.
[Author's Note: Antifa members were also concerned for being designated as domestic terrorists. Along with expanding the type of conduct that the government can investigate when it is investigating “terrorism,” the government has sweeping powers to monitor, infiltrate and disrupt, and make arrests. Fines and sentences are more severe too. On a more hopeful note, as of this writing Los Angeles is planning to rename Columbus Day Indigenous Day. Antifa members hailed this as a small step towards a new and improved society.]
Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John‘s Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for www.worldnews.com. You can read more of Dallas’ writings at www.beverlydarling.com and wn.com//dallasdarling.
(1) “Deface Columbus Day,” Notes from an interview with Antifa members conducted by Dallas Darling. October 7, 2017.
(2) “Deface Columbus Day,” by Dallas Darling.
(3) “Deface Columbus Day,” by Dallas Darling.
(4) Jones, Adam. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. New York, New York: Routledge Press, 2006., p. 108.
(5) “Deface Columbus Day,” Notes from an interview with Antifa members conducted by Dallas Darling. October 7, 2017.
(6) “Deface Columbus Day,” by Dallas Darling.
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