In August of 2005, a time that now feels like ancient history, we began to notice the effects of climate change. A massive hurricane, generated by increasingly unstable weather patterns in the Atlantic slammed into the Gulf Coast. It was the deadliest day in American history since 9/11. According to the most conservative estimates, between 1,245 and 1836 people died. Particularly hard hit was the low-lying city of New Orleans. While anybody and everybody who could afford a car and a tank of gas had already evacuated the city, there were thousands of poor, mostly black people who couldn’t find a way to get out. The corporate media acted badly, running stories, that later turned out to be completely fictional, about rapes and looters, generating a climate of fear and paranoia. It had tragic consequences. When the Bartholomew family ventured north across the Danziger Bridge, looking for food and shelter, they were met, not by a helping hand, but by a hail of gunfire.
On September 4, 2005, several New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers including Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Sgt. Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso, and Officer Robert Faulcon — none of whom were in uniform — arrived at Danziger Bridge in a Budget rental truck. A witness, Kasimir Gaston, described the men as lining up ‘like at a firing range’. Armed with rifles including AK-47s, at least one of which was unauthorized, and an M4 carbine assault rifle, the men opened fire without warning on a family, the Bartholomews, who had been walking to a grocery store and were then sheltering behind a concrete barrier.
Aubrey Huff is a former major league baseball player. While I’ve never heard of him — I no longer follow baseball — he’s worth about 26 million dollars. One would think that Mr. Huff would be a happy, contented man. After all, 26 million dollars is a lot of money for playing a game. I can’t even imagine how I’d even spend that much. Maybe I’d buy a more expensive bike. Who knows. But Mr. Huff is not outside enjoying the mild California weather, drinking good liquor, smoking good pot, now perfectly legal, or standing on a beach somewhere with his surf board catching some rays and waiting to catch some waves. On the contrary, he’s at the gun range, teaching his kids how to kill.
While I live in a fairly wealthy town, I do not know if the majority of wealthy people in the United States are happy, or if they’re stocking up on ammo and canned goods, waiting for the coming socialist revolution. My impression is that the only thing most of them want to talk about is their kids’ hockey games. In any event, Aubry Huff will have little to worry about if Bernie Sanders wins the Presidency. Maybe his taxes will go up a bit. Maybe some of his less fortunate neighbors will get health cares. Maybe the kid who serves him his latte at Starbucks will get a living wage. More likely, Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren, will end up like Jimmy Carter, a one term President stymied by a Republican Senate and the institutional paralysis in Washington. Even in the event of a successful social democratic Presidency, the wealthy won’t have much to worry about. We’ve already had one. Google Franklin Roosevelt. Wealthy people in Kshama Sawant’s district in Seattle haven’t lost their boats or their million dollar condos. So what is Aubrey Huff really worried about?
Personally I don’t think he’s worried about anything. In spite of all the propaganda in the corporate media about “Venezuela,” I don’t think even he’s dumb enough to believe that the United States will put “crippling sanctions” on itself and destroy its own economy. But I think wealthy, right wing reactionaries like Huff want social chaos. In a previous post, I speculated about the connection between the opiate epidemic in red America, mass shootings and climate change denial. It’s not that all of Donald Trump’s supporters believe oil industry propaganda about climate change. I’m sure some of them do, but I also think that just many realize that climate change is happening, and that, like with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it means increasingly unstable weather patterns and more catastrophic weather events. For most of us this is a terrifying prospect. For fascist gun nuts like Aubrey Huff, on the other hand, it means an opportunity. It means they’ll get to shoot people.
In a rare show of Democratic Party unity, both Bernie Sanders’s large online community of supporters, feminists, and establishment Democrats quickly “ratioed” Huff’s moronic tweet. To get “ratioed” on Twitter means that you’ve said something so dumb that the number of negative comments on a tweet far outweighs retweets and likes. Personally I’m skeptical about the effectiveness of the “ratio.” Aubrey Huff seems a little too dense to care. In spite of the number of people who have reported him for an implicit threat against Bernie Sanders, it’s unlikely that he’s going to lose his Twitter account. Twitter will ban obscure nobodies on a whim, but once you get that blue check mark, you could probably tweet about shooting someone down on Fifth Avenue and still keep your account. What’s more, it’s clear that Aubrey Huff isn’t threatening Sanders or his supporters. Sanders, a wealthy white man with a seat in the Senate, is exactly the kind of American who, in spite of politics, conservatives almost always show respect and deference.
So who is Aubrey Huff jerking himself off to thinking about killing?
Not surprisingly, Aubrey Huff’s fantasy involves killing, not a United States Senator, or middle-class political activists, but the same kind of poor, desperate people who were murdered by off duty police officers on the Danziger Bridge back in September of 2005. If you don’t think that’s why these creeps are stocking up on guns, think again. As Albert Camus pointed out in his book The Rebel, fascism always involves both a suicidal urge and the urge to murder. For the Nazis in 1945, the German people were both the master race, and yet losers and weaklings who lost the war to sub-human Slavic Bolsheviks and multi-cultural, mongrelized Americans. That meant not only destroying Warsaw in 1944. It meant destroying Berlin in 1945.
Aubrey Huff’s mind works in a similar way. Note the two step on Americans. First he declares that he will kill his fellow Americans. But then he says that if they’re poor, and in desperate need of food and shelter, they’re not his fellow Americans, probably not even Americans at all. The Aryan Superman of 1941 has became the beaten Germany of 1945. Aubrey Huff, in spite of his money, wants social catastrophe. He wants an apocalypse, a nihilistic dystopia where he and his two kids will get to shoot the poor, hungry, and disenfranchied. Aubrey Huff is a mentally ill, suicidal man, but he’s also a type, a member of a far-right-wing death cult that wants to take as many of us down with them as possible before they finally go out in a hail of bullets.
We need to take their guns.