Knowing nothing has a great history among fascists

For [Elizabeth] Neumann, her nightmare scenario of globalized white supremacist terrorism was coming to life…the U.S. government was doing far too little about its own homegrown extremists — often “lone wolves” radicalized online by white supremacist websites and fueled by hostility toward immigrants and minorities. …White House officials didn’t want to talk about the rising domestic extremist threat or even use the phrase “domestic terrorism.” The administration’s relentless, single-minded focus on immigration enforcement — coupled with nonstop turnover on the National Security Council — constantly pulled senior DHS leadership away from everything else. And her ultimate boss, President Donald Trump, was part of the problem…

“At least in this administration,” Neumann said, “there’s not going to be anything substantive done on domestic terrorism.”

Trump supporters are rarely more advanced, comprehensive than their Fearless Leader. “Furriners” are always suspect whether terrorist in inclination or not. Why consider some fellow-American to be a danger? Especially if the political and social analysis he clings to matches your own.

“Stranger Fruit”


Unchanging, perpetual, the American Pietá

There is a demand put upon you with “Stranger Fruit.” That much is clear. The photographs of mothers and sons, of Black bodies—whole and unpierced, yet still Christ-like in death—do not gently plead with viewers any more than street protesters merely invite police to change. These are Black mothers, sitting, standing, kneeling with their lifeless sons, staring straight at the camera, straight at the viewer, straight at the nation, commanding your attention, and it costs you dearly to see them. But it costs more to look away.

“What we’re experiencing now is just this series of reliving these traumas as far as the African-American community,” says Brooklyn-based visual artist Jon Henry. His “Stranger Fruit” exhibition is based on police killings of Black people. It draws on the song “Strange Fruit,” Nina Simone’s interpretation of the Billie Holiday requiem for lynched bodies “swinging in the Southern breeze, strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.” It compels you to consider the grief of families and communities left on their own and trying to move on. “It’s difficult to keep living these over and over again, sort of like a perverse Groundhog Day where these murders just keep on happening,” Henry says.

So say we all!

[Click on the photograph up top for Lady Day’s original]