It is nearly impossible to turn on the television and not hear some political commentator dismissing revolutionary action as the work of some individual(s) who has been “radicalized”. The term “radicalized” is the new millennium equivalent of the 20th-Century’s crazy. Make no mistake about it, the pinning of the term “radicalized” upon any individual allows for society to simultaneously dismiss them as an outlier and ignore the very real issues that led to their activities.
Considering that I have been known to associate with a few Revolutionary minded individuals, I paid very close attention to the descriptions coming from mainstream media outlets regarding the path or steps to radicalization; who knows it may help me not be the guy who has been convinced to wear a remote-controlled suicide vest in the name of starting a new homeland for Black people in the middle of North Dakota. Hey, you just never know.
What are the steps to “radicalization”?
- An individual has a sense of perceived injustice.
- An individual has a need for identity.
- An individual has a need for belonging.
- An individual is mentored and socialized into ‘radicalization’.
- Access to the internet is important as it will ‘educate’ one regarding who the enemy is and why.
Persons who are on the path to being “radicalized” develop the following traits:
- They have an “us vs. them” mindset.
- They are absolutist who bow to authority and therefore no longer question authority, use critical thinking, or dissent against even immoral orders. This allows for them to frame everything in a us vs. them competition, good vs. evil.
- They are threat-oriented, meaning that they are persistently reminded that the “us” is at risk from “them.” Such a teaching promotes internal cohesion and opposition that is eagerly directed at all others.
- They are motivated by hate that energizes their violent action. The alluded to hate encourages not only direct action, but also allows moral disengagement and dehumanization that erode the normal social and psychological barriers to engaging in violence.
I constantly state that one’s political viewpoints and conclusions are significantly affected by one’s relationship to actions and activities. After viewing the above steps to “radicalization” I cannot escape an obvious conclusion; that being, law enforcement officers have been “radicalized”.
Unfortunately, for the African-American community, officers “radicalization” has crafted their minds into the “us vs. them” mentality and I am quite certain that you do not need for me to highlight for you who the “them” are in that equation.
There is no better answer to the reason that “good” officers do not report their “bad” brethren. It also explains the “blue wall of silence”, although I am certain that there are a few individuals who will disagree with this statement, law enforcement officers have been not only trained to join the war against poor people regardless of their race/ethnicity, but also convinced that this is the only course of action. Failure to become “radicalized” naturally deems one unfit for duty.
Make no mistake about it, the presence of “radicalized” law enforcement officers means that the Black community is under attack by the ‘boys in blue’. Unfortunately for the majority of African-Americans, they do not have a real understanding of what this means as evidenced by their continuation of antiquated marches, protests, and whatnot. From the perspective of “radicalized” individuals, such activities are not a deterrent, rather an invitation to heap on more damage to their opponent. One must remember that the recent violence in Dallas and Baton Rouge came from individuals “radicalized” by the U.S. Military.
It is equal parts ironic and inconsistent that the actions of Micah Xavier Johnson and Gavin Long are being wholly denounced while the actions of equally “radicalized” law enforcement officers are not only ignored, but also celebrated with slogans such as ‘Blue Lives Matter’.
As previously stated, our conclusions as citizen’s and a national body are heavily influenced by our relation to the “radicalized”. So as long as African-Americans continue to have little issue with their second-class citizenship, it is predictable that they will lend support to “radicalized” law enforcement officers whose primary job is ensure that their opponents are never able to mobilize a significant strike for either their individual or collective freedom and chastise their own “radicalized” freedom fighters. It is all part of the “radicalization” process, quite possibly the primary problem within our community is that we are too darn afraid to admit that we have also been “radicalized” and foolishly believe that we are not only the targets of “radicalized” law enforcement officers, but also can escape their wrath if we attack our own and prove that we are part of the “US” and willing to help destroy “THEM”.
What a perilous game it is that we are playing, a game that could ultimately lead to our extinction if we are not careful.
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016.