The Face of Elite Panic in America

Rebecca Solnit, writing for Literary Hub, has a sharp critique of the McCloskeys, the white couple who brandished weapons at a peaceful march in St. Louis, Missouri, out of what can perhaps best be described as racist fear.

But the white people who saw this as their country—and only theirs—to run are right in one key way: their time is running out. They are not literally threatened by violence, much, but they are threatened by something much more powerful, a revision of who matters and who will run things in the future, which is why BLACK LIVES MATTER is the central affirmation. Even to admit that this change is underway is dangerous, because then you might have to admit that it’s just and fair that others share power and opportunity and privilege. It’s safer for the status quo to imagine that the protests and protestors and uprisings are just violent and criminal, and that’s exactly what the McCloskeys seem to have done—imagined that a march for justice was coming for them directly in their fortress-palazzo. Which was in its own way an admission that they embody injustice.

Solnit, Rebecca. (2020, July 1). Chrome-Plated Pistols and Pink Polos: The Face of Elite Panic in the USA. Literary Hub.

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