I said it wasn’t a “bombastic claim” to call the police terrorists. I wrote that here, a week or two ago. I’ve spent my time since trying to convince myself that I was, in fact, being bombastic. I’m prone to overreaction. Like recently I’ve suspected that the government’s trained local crows against me because I keep getting dive bombed outside the local grocery.
But it was confirmed once and for all when, in a release posted to YouTube, Dave Chappelle asks, in reference to the black veterans who shot cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge in 2016, “What were they doing?” Chappelle continues, “Why would our guys do that, black people from the military? Because they believe, just like they did when they were joining the fucking military, that they were fighting acts of terror.”
Since I watched Dave’s new thing I can’t escape this terrible sense that my delusion is overwhelming reality or, perhaps more accurately, that my delusion is reality. It occurred to me in a delirious state some time ago that terrorism is a nonsense term. That it’s no more than an authoritative narrative device used to sort violence into groups of good and bad, though it’s primary function in discourse is to posture state violence as good. Because when has it ever been hard to cast violence as bad? But as arbitrary as it may be, its significance in our discourse may not yet be fully understood. The people sitting on top of this big ‘ol iceberg of rhetorical bullshit seem unaware of the obvious signs that the ‘berg’s about to flip. Look at the comments under Wall Street Journal articles on recent unrest to see for yourself.
While it has no universal definition, because it’s truly a nonsense term, most security professionals would accept that terrorism is the use or threatened use of violence for ideological, political purposes. With a definition like that, the most terrifying questions Americans can ask themselves are: Am I willing to admit that my eyes can see? And if so, what’s it mean that freedom’s not free?
We all saw Seattle Police (SPD) pepper spray a child. Then we saw SPD conduct what appears to be a retaliatory arrest against the bystander based on false accusations. The man has since been released and there appears to be no charge pending against him. Nor does there appear to be any official documentation concerning the hypothetical incident used to justify his arrest.
We’re reaching a point where we can’t narrative the ongoing unrest as anything but a rational response to calculated terrorism. I wish it weren’t the case but the nonsense word “terrorism” is hopelessly ingrained in our public discourse. And it’s too much to ask that we lose the meaning of words for unaccountable police violence.
Dave Chappelle is a hero of mine. I’ve never met him, but I love Dave and when he speaks I listen. I like to daydream about riding my bike across the country to Ohio to talk politics and America with Dave Chappelle. I imagine that when I get there he lends me a pair of overalls and a big straw hat so I can help till dirt for a garden while we listen to Wu-Tang, tell jokes, smoke hella weed and fly around on jet-packs or whatever. Basically just being best friends forever. But I don’t think that shit’ll ever happen now ’cause the future’s looking bleak. Like Dave said in his new special, “the streets are talking” and what they’re saying is clear. But our leader’s aren’t listening and the outcome’s predictable.
To close his latest, Dave said, “…David Chappelle understands what the fuck he is seeing, and these streets will speak for themselves whether I am alive or dead. I trust you guys. I love you guys. We’ll keep this space open, this is the last stronghold for civil discourse. After this shit it’s just rat-ta-tat-tat-rat-tity-tat-tat-TAT!”
I felt sick when I heard Dave say that because I know it wasn’t a joke or a threat. That Dave Chappelle is done joking around is a statement in itself. We’re seeing something rise up in these cops, something we tried to put down before though we only drove it underground. Well, it’s back and militarized with dystopic surveillance and automation capabilities. I don’t think anyone is deceived about the stakes and yet we’re saying, NO! THIS ENDS NOW!