Gerald Horne: Ethos of Violence Intensified by US Chauvinism
TEHRAN (FNA)- Gerald Horne, American historian, says violence has always been embedded in the American culture, and it is observed clearly during racial extremist movements in the country.
Speaking in an interview with FNA, Professor Horne said, “Gun control does not occur because the bulk of the majority defined as 'white' insist that the status quo remain. Why? They argue that this is necessary in case a government comes to power that they oppose, and they can shoot it out of power.”
Professor Gerald Horne is an American author and historian who currently holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He has extensively written on struggles against imperialism, colonialism, fascism, racism and white supremacy.
Below is the full text of the interview:
Q: It is quite familiar for Americans that after almost every shooting incident, anti-racism protests take place. What do the US gun culture and gun violence have to do with racism?
A: Today the ethos of violence that was at the heart of the republic's founding, continues and is exacerbated by a kind of national chauvinism, which limits severely the ability to criticize the sainted founding. Unsurprisingly, Black people remain a prime victim of gun violence, often at the hands of the state -- meaning police forces -- which has given rise to the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.
Q: Following anti-racism protests, there are calls for tighter gun control; but nothing actually takes place on the legislative level. Why is that the case? How can it be countered?
A: The potent US right wing remains a major supporter of the culture of gun violence. They tend to oppose the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and oppose measures to even engage in research on gun violence. This feeds into their bellicose foreign policy, which too is based on violence and intimidation, as Iran can well attest. That is one of the many reasons why Iran should raise forcefully in international channels the question of 'Black Lives Matter' -- as the Chinese delegation did at the recent Alaska Summit.
Gun control does not occur because the bulk of the majority defined as 'white' insist that the status quo remain. Why? They argue that this is necessary in case a government comes to power that they oppose, and they can shoot it out of power.
Q: Where do immigrants stand in regard to gun culture?
A: When the US was formed in the late 18th century, gun rights were insured for settlers, not least to aid in suppressing of slave revolts and indigenous uprisings.
Those that are not defined as 'white', i.e. the ruling group, are often treated as if they are akin to African-Americans when it comes to gun culture.
Tellingly, American Muslims are often not regarded as 'white', which means they too can be discriminated against, while American Christians and Jews, often are inducted into the hallowed halls of 'whiteness.' This is a typical 'divide-and-conquer' policy which Washington deployed effectively against the Native American population.