Do you believe in coincidences? Well, when it comes to the way that race in America unfolds, there are none. Those who thought that white supremacy and more specifically, anti-blackness, weren’t gaining traction; I present to you the latest hocus pocus from amateur hour at the White House.
The FBI; a group whose love for black people has been documented, recently experienced a “leak” of an internal report in which it surmises that Black Identity Extremism increased violence against law enforcement. The term Black Identity Extremism (BIE) is not new, as the bureau’s report notated that peak violence related to BIE occurred in the 1960’s and 70’s.
What is new though is the classification of BIE as a terror threat. The most worrisome aspect of this all is the intentional ambiguity of the term. It leaves itself open to interpretation and puts our liberties at the mercy of said interpretations. Traditionally, interpretations haven’t worked out too well for black folks because regardless of one’s true intent, criminality and deceptiveness is always suspected.
To Bill O’Reilly and those with similar, white supremacist thought patterns, a simple act like kneeling during the national anthem warrants a label as BIE. To others, it may involve storming state capitol buildings to protest legislative proposals as the Black Panthers did on May 2nd, 1967.
Regardless of who’s doing what, the goal is clear. The intention is to officially criminalize blackness and all things of black interest like protests for equality, erasing white privilege and supremacy, etc. As it told website foreignpolicy.com, the FBI cannot officially “initiate an investigation based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or exercise of First Amendment Rights”. In classifying BIE as a terror threat though, they’ve done the next best thing.