Call Racism By Name

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer holds the daily press briefing on Monday.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer holds the daily press briefing on Monday.

Monday, when pressed (no pun intended) by White House correspondent April Ryan to call the murder of Timothy Caughman by James Jackson a hate crime, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would not. In fact, Spicer got righteously indignant. In that moment, Spicer reasserted that Donald Trump was about uniting the country; leading to his point that the media hastily attacked “people on the right” on the matter of recent cases of Antisemitism; specifically the bombing of Jewish community centers. Spicer said, “There’s no question, black and white, we need to call out all instances. But I do think there’s been a rush to judgment on some of the anti-Semitic cases.”

Spicer does two things here. First he does not acknowledge racist hate crimes of White against Black but he does acknowledge crimes of Antisemitism. Second, his lack of admission of White against Black hate crimes (and ignorance of the Caughman murder by Jackson) exposes the Trump Administration’s lack of regard for racial crimes against Blacks. This is unfortunate. What is also unfortunate is the lack of attention to history by the Trump Administration. There is a historical link between Antisemitism and the racial oppression of Black people by White people in the United States.

The Trump Administration is quick to point out the horrible atrocities committed against Jewish people, specifically the holocaust, while juxtaposing that with the horrible condition of Black people in the inner-cities. The juxtaposition frames one group as the victim (Jewish people) and the other as a self-abuser (Black people). However, if remembering the Jewish Holocaust and all of the horrible events that led to it as a method for policing modern Antisemitism in American society, one must also consider the inspiration for the Jewish oppressor. Nazi Germany looked to the United States of America’s treatment of Black people for inspiration and guidance for creating and implementing its new race regime. Hitler himself described the United States as ‘the one state’ that had made progress toward the creation of a healthy racist society.

Hate crimes are wrong, no matter the skin color, gender, sexual orientation or religion of the victim. So you should call hate crimes just what they are… Hate crimes. A hate crimes in the United States, racial in nature and otherwise, is an act of domestic terrorism. James Jackson was charged with terrorism. The very spirit of terrorizing Black people was born from a similar spirit that led to instituting of Black codes, Separate but Equal and the often overlooked portion of the 13th amendment that allows the enslaving of the incarcerated. That very spirit was the model for Nazi Germany and the Nuremburg Laws. Black people have been terrorized throughout the Black experience in America; Nazi Germany knew who to look to. In order to make America great again, the Trump Administration must come to grips with what America is made of.

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