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If Black People Embrace The Underwood Doctrine, Cops Will Be Killed


"We don't submit to terror.  We make the terror." Frank Underwood, "House of Cards"

I'm a huge fan of Netflix's original series, including the original original series, "House of Cards."  I think the writing is unsurpassed and Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright insufficiently acknowledged for their extraordinary work.

In the last episode of Season Four of "House of Cards," the context of which I won't discuss, both Frank and Claire Underwood look into the camera, breaking the fourth wall, while Frank declares, "We don't submit to terror.  We make the terror."

I would call this the "Underwood Doctrine."  At least two blacks, one in Dallas and one in Baton Rouge, have embraced it.

From slavery to now, there has always been a contingent of my race that has believed that violence is an all-too-appropriate response to violence against us.  If you think of African Americans -- or any Americans, for that matter -- on what I would call a violence acceptance spectrum, I would say that, at one end of the spectrum, there are the violence acceptors, followed by the violence sympathizers, the violence understanders, and the violence rejectors.

The violence acceptors, especially the two black men who shot police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, embraced the Underwood Doctrine.  One could call into question their mental stability, but I would venture to argue that not all violence acceptors are unstable.  Violence acceptors have no problem with retaliating against those who are part of the group who terrorize, even if such individuals have done no wrong themselves.

The violence sympathizers won't personally engage in retaliatory violence, but they support those who do.  They might even post bail for them, mount a legal defense for them, seek mercy for them.  They believe the retaliatory violence is justified.  The violence sympathizers might use violence in self-defense, but they won't use it in retaliation against those who have not directly harmed them.

The violence understanders don't agree with violence in retaliation for violence, but they understand those who do.  They seek to explain to those who don't understand retaliatory violence how the violence acceptors got to the point where they feel retaliatory violence is justified.

Finally, the violence rejectors reject violence of all kinds against anyone.  Dr. King was a violence rejector.

The problem is that with each unjustified killing of an unarmed black person by police officers or vigilantes like George Zimmerman, the more the rejectors become understanders, the understanders become sympathizers, and the sympathizers become acceptors. The more black people become acceptors, the more likely we will not submit to police terror, but make the terror instead.

Or as my 91 year-old dad so aptly put it in the haze of his dementia, "We ain't gonna lay down this time."

As I see the Black Lives Matter movement being demonized as a hate group even though no one involved with Black Lives Matter has picked up a gun and killed police,  I ask that we talk about the hate that got us where we are today, where black lives can be extinguished by fearful, racist police officers and vigilantes -- of all races, mind you -- without justification, explanation, condemnation, or consolation from the people doing the killing.

America, you got some 'splainin to do, as they say in the South. But stop blaming Black Lives Matter.  Your hate and fear made Black Lives Matter not just possible, but necessary.

America, what you need to fear more than you fear us is to fear us armed.  Fear us making runs on gun stores like you do every time gun control legislation is introduced.  Fear us becoming Nat Turner radicalized, especially in open carry states.  Fear us at the gun ranges, preparing to retaliate.

Fear us putting real context to the faux "All Lives Matter" movement, with police officers' lives being extinguished without justification, explanation, condemnation, or consolation from black people.

Fear us embracing the Underwood Doctrine.

I do.


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