It’s Not ‘P.C.’, but White Communities are in Crisis

Larry Steven McQuilliams took to the streets of downtown Austin to attack government buildings last year, continuing a troubling tradition of violence in the white American community that has perpetuated for centuries.
Larry Steven McQuilliams took to the streets of downtown Austin to attack government buildings last year, continuing a troubling tradition of violence in the white American community that has perpetuated for centuries.

It’s happened again — another story of organized crime and violence in the white community.

This time the threat is very close to home. In our own backyard, 52 members of of a white organization have been arrested as part of a “years-long meth trafficking operation” in North Texas. And according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 37 members of another coalition of white organizations were arrested in Texas on similar charges in 2014.

And who can forget the terrifying shootout earlier this year in sleepy, hometown Waco? There, in May, 124 white males were arrested after a biker bloodbath at a restaurant. Of course, you can’t say “Waco” without bringing up memories of violent leader David Koresh, a white Christian who led dozens of people to their deaths in 1993.

It’s long past time that the white community comes face-to-face with itself and talks honestly about the ways white culture glorifies and celebrates violence and drug use. “Breaking Bad,” anyone? What about “Sons of Anarchy”? Have you listened to an “Eminem” song lately?

The white American community has had hundreds of years to get itself on track, and yet white Americans remain predisposed toward violence.

In 2010, right here in Austin, a white man named Joe Stack flew a plane into tax offices, attacking the very foundations of American share-alike democracy. And just last Thanksgiving, a white man named Larry McQuilliams (how do you even pronounce that?) took to the streets of downtown Austin and attacked government buildings with weapons and homemade bombs. These men are part of a long legacy of anti-establishment hatred in the white community that began with the first rumbles of the Revolutionary War in the 18th century — evidence of literal centuries of the dangerous development of white culture in this country.

To be sure, not all white people are meth traffickers, members of organized crime syndicates and anti-government movements. I am sure that many caucasian Americans work hard, pay taxes and stay off entitlement programs. Some of my closest friends are of European descent — I treasure them, and I value the important contributions they’ve made to their communities.

But I have to wonder: where are the white leaders during this community’s time of crisis? I have heard nothing from Greg Abbott or Dan Patrick, both prominent members of the mostly white faction of American politics known as the Republican Party, take strong stances in favor of strengthening this troubled community, and helping them assimilate into wider society without strife and harm.

Disturbing statistics from our own U.S. Department of Justice show that whites even disproportionately commit acts of violence against members of their own race — 84 percent of crimes against whites are committed by other whites. But is it any wonder, when white families are in turmoil? There are more white women in the highest ranks of American Fortune 500 countries than of any other race. Who is raising white children? Where are white fathers at? Why are white children being left home alone to watch programs like “House of Cards” and “Game of Thrones,” which depict ruthless and callous white men as leaders and kings to be celebrated and emulated?

It may not be “politically correct,” but these are questions white community leaders need to examine, if they want their community to earn the respect they say they deserve. Until then, it’s up to the rest of us to stay vigilant and keep our families safe.

Andrea Grimes, a native Texan and avid twitterer, is the digital editor at the Observer.

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Published at 8:30 am CST
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