Schrödinger’s Rapist, for those who don’t know, is the unanswered question that flits through every woman’s mind when she meets a man she doesn’t know: Is he or is he not a rapist? (And, more to the point: Will he or will he not sexually assault ME?)
Of course, if she gets sexually assaulted, the question will be answered definitively. If not, and the guy just goes his way, he still remains Schrödinger’s Rapist — the criminal equivalent of the cat who is and is not killed by hydrogen cyanide gas if the Geiger counter in the box detects an alpha particle from a decaying atomic nucleus. He remains, in short, fraught with potentialities: both possibly a criminal and possibly not one, and one never knows which he is until he offends. If he offends.
The same goes for the black person’s variant on the theme: Schrödinger’s Racist is the guy who might or might not be out for non-white blood. One never knows for certain until he tips his hand by acting in a conspicuously racist fashion.
Of course, the Portland Train Terrorist tipped his hand long ago. He’s a well known white supremacist. The Geiger counter has registered an alpha decay, and Schrödinger’s cat is dead. In this case, the cat is two men, one young and one not so young. (A third has survived, but barely, with serious injuries requiring surgery.)
The cat is also two teenage girls, one black and one a visible Muslim. They, too, are victims. Fortunately, they lived to tell.
And another woman, too, also black, who maced the terrorist when he tried to physically accost her on the train the previous day. That day he threatened to stab someone.
The next day, he followed through on his threats at last.
How many cats are there in this box? At least half a dozen. Dead or alive, they all count, because none of them emerged unscathed. It’s a very large box.
And it’s at the centre of a very sick quantum social experiment. One in which our collective tolerance of racism and sexism is being tested. The hypothesis, if I had to guess it, is: How much more of this shit do we put up with before we say enough’s enough, and start treating white supremacists and misogynists as the real terror threat that they are — the biggest terror threat in North America?
Of course, this sick experiment is being conducted in the United States of Amnesia, so the time limit is indefinite. And since they’re currently ruled by white supremacist misogynists with terrorist connections, don’t look for any leadership on THAT front.
To stop the experiment, there’d have to be a revolution. And the radioactive source, the fascistic elements, would have to be purged. Which they didn’t do back when they had a real chance, in the years immediately following World War II. When, on the contrary, the US of Amnesia actively coddled its own Nazis, and even imported some authentic gangsters from Germany, in the name of
destroying communism — oh sorry, “protecting democracy”. “Protecting”, that is, by not stamping out its worst real enemies.
And in a further ironic twist, the Germans were largely left to do that job for themselves. Having seen with their own eyes what happens when one doesn’t, though, they weren’t so reluctant to ban a certain party and all its ideology and symbology with it, “freedom of speech” notwithstanding. People had to renounce Nazism if they didn’t want to lose their jobs and their social positions. Churches formerly co-opted by the party had to change their theologies. The well-being of a devastated, rebuilding country depended on it.
The Germans — my people — learned the hard way that you can’t allow everyone to just blat whatever idiocies they want and let the chips fall where they may, because they will invariably fall on the square marked Death.
The fact that ALL speech has consequences, and that therefore no speech is 100% free, should be a no-brainer. But there are a lot of people with no brains running around loose in the US of Amnesia, and one of them murdered two men and nearly killed a third on a train in Portland. He left two teenage girls scarred with a memory that will haunt them all their lives, coloring everything they do, silently restricting every movement they make in public. And still he had the gall to yell that this was about HIS freedom of speech, his precious freedom to spout any bullshit thing he liked. That he was not a terrorist, but a “patriot”. Even though the objective facts show that he had engaged in terrorism, and that his so-called patriotism had, in truth, undermined the safety and security of his country. That it had been doing so for decades, if not at least a century and a half.
After all, Adolf Hitler got his genocidal ideas from Andrew Jackson (the same “Injun killer” that the current squatter in the White House so admires), and from the centuries of slavery that “built” the US of Amnesia into the giant fog-wall of white supremacist forgettance it is today. The post-Civil War Reconstruction era saw the rise of KKK “militias” out of what had been the ashes of the old slave patrols. The KKK were the forerunners of the Gestapo and the SS.
Oh sure, freedom of speech is prized in the US of Amnesia, but some people’s speech is clearly valued above that of others, and far above the others’ safety, security, and freedom to move and associate as they please.
White supremacy is not innocent. Its mouth is frothy with “free speech” — and blood. It is constantly hungry for more blood. And it isn’t shy about howling for blood, as we have seen.
The question now is, what is to be done — concretely and collectively — to stop this social experiment?