An Anarchist Response to the Racist Knife Attack in Olympia
As many have heard, on the evening of Tuesday, August 16th
a white supremacist violently attacked an inter-racial couple in
downtown Olympia. Using a knife, the man stabbed one person and cut the
other. Luckily the wounds were non-fatal. The attacker, identified as
Daniel Rowe, was arrested after being chased down and incapacitated by
one of the victims.
In custody he stated his open support for the police in their war
against Black people. According to one article, “He told police several
times that he was defending them and that he had their backs.” Court
documents say that the suspect told police, “that he knew we couldn’t
hurt the black groups on the street so he wanted to let us know that he
takes care of them for us. That he is able to fight those fights and
will continue the fight against all of the Black Lives Matters people.”
According to news sources, he went on to state that he was motivated
by an anti-police march that occurred on Sunday night, in solidarity
with the uprising in Milwaukee. This informal demonstration was not
actually affiliated with any BLM group although it was inaccurately
described as such by a local media outlet.
This is not the first time neo-Nazis have attacked people in Olympia.
Most notable is the 1992 case where a young Asian-American man, Robert
Buchanan Jr was beaten to death by racist skinheads. It is also not the
first time such racists have come out to support OPD. Many Olympians
remember last year, when a group of white supremacists associated with
the neo-Nazi prison gang, the Hammerskins, were violently driven out of
town by a group of anti-racists. This conflict happened when the Nazis
tried to establish a street presence after a series of confrontational
anti-police demonstrations took place in the wake of the racially
charged OPD shooting of two Black men in May of 2015.
This recent attack in Olympia can best be understood within the
context of a larger framework of racist terrorism. This is the same
logic evident in Dylan Roof’s murder of nine Black people in Charleston
and the racist shooting of five people at a BLM protest in Minneapolis,
in June and November of last year, respectively. It appears that what
these terroristic attacks seek to achieve is to dissuade anti-racist
resistance by raising the stakes of the fight. These retaliatory attacks
all seek to create an atmosphere of fear, promising violent reprisal
for rebellion in order to reinforce the racist order.
Racist terror is nothing new however. From the founding of this
stolen land called America, whiteness was violently constructed and
upheld to give coherence to a diffuse system of domination. It was and
has continued to be an un-paralleled tool of social control. For the
bribe of inclusion into white privilege, large swaths of disenfranchised
poor whites sell out their class, to identify with and reinforce the
very system which has disenfranchised them. This is clearly reflected
amongst the demographic supporting Donald Trump in his bid for
presidency. What other invention could so insidiously divide a
population of exploited people, could obscure and deflect class tensions
so effectively? What other tool could convince poor and working-class
people that a billionaire has their best interests at heart? What else
could so effectively hinder our collective liberation?
This is a call to not give up the struggle which so many lives have
been lost for. This is a plea to not fall into the divisive trap which
seeks to place the blame of racist violence on the shoulders of those
struggling against racism. It is stomach wrenching that this attack
happened in our city but the blame rests on the system that has
violently upheld a regime of racism for 500 years. The blame is on the
police apparatus which systematically devalues the lives of poor people
and people of color, to affirm white supremacy and class rule. These
extra-legal attacks are given institutional legitimacy every time a cop
gets away with murder.
This is also a call to be safe while fighting. The enemies of
liberation are dangerous. They are police, Nazis, and militiamen but
also business owners, landlords and city planners. Beware those who hold
a stake in the current social order. They will go to great lengths to
hold on to their privilege. As our threat becomes greater, the measures
they deploy will also intensify.
Against the world which has created police and Nazis.
For the spread of Black insurrection.
For the abolition of whiteness.
For total freedom.
Links to this posting:
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