Dave Koehler was a Bellcore wonk living close enough to the front gate of the MIC massive procurement operation up river from me so that he might have walked there if he wanted to. I was selected, perhaps, because I was not curious, or had been conditioned not to be curious about what people did. 

        He gave me a thousand dollars to go to Rio where I said my bit to the world about American Fascism. I was right and I knew it. By 1992 I knew that drug war was a pogrom and that both parties where willing to allow the selective enforcement of it in poor mostly non white communities. 

        I had concluded that ecology needed a broad base of support to ebb relentless degradation, and that non white urban Americans were subject to the very worst conditions even before post segregation internal state sponsored terrorism shaped into a mass incarceration like no other. The collapse of the Soviet only made the destruction of urban America more brazen. 

         I had concluded long  before Rio that drug war was foolish and racist, but eventually understood fascist as well. American Fascism had expanded to include Irish, Italians and Jews as white, and this was shocking to me. I had not been raised to hate Jews or Catholics but was also not taught that Jews or Catholics were actually white or that America had never stopped projecting white power violently. We lived together, but there was never a question as to who was who in our little world.  

         And so it was in Rio that this dog had bit the hand that fed it, by calling 41 exactly what he was...a fascist.  Bush was a fascist who cared about the planets ecology to some extent...certainly more than he cared about people who did not look or ACT like him.

          I am grateful that 41 had made it to Rio at all, and that our people did not kill me. I paid dearly when I got home, but they let me live...Perhaps only because I was as white as they were...or whiter. 

           I hid...activists were getting wacked all over the world. I quit being broke and broken and became a photographer, or was allowed to be a become a photographer, but stopped being who I actually was for seven full years. It took me that long to recover from the behavior modification program that I ran right into after Rio.  Bush 41 is dead, but American Fascism lives on.  

            We almost overcame, but were jackbooted into what we are now, a failed state with a despotic figure head. 

I’m not driving.


Views: 60

Comment by koshersalaami on December 6, 2018 at 2:58pm

Interesting choice of vocabulary. Actually, good choice.

Every once in a while, Blacks and Jews get into a very bad game of comparative oppression. Not good. The answer to that question is that the oppression that both groups have experienced is radically different, the only similarity being scope, so they don’t compare. However, the persecution vocabulary we use was mainly developed with Jews in mind. Ghetto, Holocaust, Genocide, all were developed to describe the Jewish experience. They’re all used to describe the Black experience and they mostly don’t exactly fit. This vocabulary is about neighborhoods that function as literal prisons, complete with walls and gates, and large scale eradication. What the Black community faced among other things was cultural eradication on a level we never had to cope with and can’t relate to, the forcible breakup of families which we also didn’t experience on a mass level, plus a lack of rights worse than ours, both lasting continuously for centuries. Our vocabulary is inadequate to their disaster. 

But one term fits perfectly, yet I’ve rarely if ever seen it used that way. The term is pogrom. 

I’m glad to see it used here because it fits. 

Comment by Robert B. James on December 6, 2018 at 4:44pm

KS thanks for the comment. I’ve seen hate up close, I know what it looks like. I also know that fear and ignorance the two main components of hate. Beyond hate is internal state sponsored terrorism...hate with a political goal, administered by the government. 

The third stage of IST...is genocide. White America has always been ok with it. 

Comment by J.P. Hart on December 6, 2018 at 4:51pm

Surely the sunrises arms length not far. Sparkles that estuary, shimmers silver, galleon gold.
Upon his reclaimed barn wood porch, John Steinbeck's The Pearl fit inside those lucky jump boots, left to the magic night.
Ol' St. Nick, one son-of-a-gun trickster-here now, end of the line, finished book:
'And the music of the pearl drifted to a whisper and disappeared.'
118 pages.
Day in the life. Solstice 2018 will be at 4:23 on Friday, December 21. Gone remain, that clip of Johnny Carson and Julio Iglesias. 1962 a summer day, Galveston Beach those flying fish smack the frontal cortex, right eye blink. Tumble wave rides. Even now plausibility of 3D printing earth's mountains. Not far. Camouflage homage angry speechless whale. 1967 a circular circumstance of pen, a thought of Gunga Din. Never win soundtrack, a '63 Vette ragtop, midnight blue, extra push ups make weight head fake Acapulco gold let the story unfold. Sorta an I Ching dice cup slam.
Something to do.
A step of advice to youth: beware that John Wilkes Booth.

Comment by Robert B. James on December 6, 2018 at 11:14pm

Travels with Charlie...but no angel, no prophet, but the head of HR for the MIC’s multi billion dollar operation. Shorter days still, then JP....and fewer as well. My 67 bug was metallic green with a sun roof and an eight track, but played don’t rock the boat at 4:30 am on the way to walk hots at the track in 1974. Columbian gold was better the stuff we grew over the cess poll that year. The magic eight ball says yes. 

I say make it quick.


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