Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

scene outside the bar

There has been a mass shooting in the Borderline C&W Bar and Grill, in Thousand Oaks, California, an upper middle class suburb of Los Angeles.

White American Nationalism One of the first witnesses interviewed on CNN said the shooter may have been Middle Eastern. Let this scribe opine immediately — that’s very doubtful; that is a typical White nationalist prognostication. White nationalism is not an ideology reserved for people who have been organized into fringe groups like the KKK, or for those who study Mein Kampf, such as the President of the United States. White nationalism is a spirit that permeates the culture. Independent of our will, each one of us, no matter what color we are, can spout, knee-jerk fashion, views which bolster the White American nationalist project at any time.

Police officers were shot. This alone proves that a still alive shooter is White. Only White American shooters survive after they have shot White cops. The only condition of a shooter of-Color after killing White cops is … deceased— this is a social law, at the root of the spirit of this country.

Holden, a White kid, witness to the scene, explained that “this is one of the most tragic things that has ever happened… This is Thousand Oaks, California. This is a safe haven. It’s a beautiful place… Wednesday nights is a Country Music scene at this bar. It’s a college bar. Cal-Lutheran students, Pepperdine students… It’s very sad. I’m traumatized.” Over thirty shots were fired…

Generalized Apocalypse The attacker forced his way into the bar, starting with shooting the security guard at the front door. In connection with daily mass shootings, it must be clear that this social order, particularly in the United States, has reached its day of reckoning. Social scientific tools are for the purpose of examining events in the moment and seeing the era-oriented purport inside. The message inside this daily violence is that this social system has reached its denouement.

A dear friend of mine lives in another upper middle class town in the United States. He has an infant girl, and he was bemoaning the prospect of having to worry which day care or preschool he will be sending her to in the near future. Indeed, in connection with the call of the Republican Senator from Florida to arm kindergarteners with semi-automatic weapons, and the President’s entreaty that synagogues should have guards armed with machine guns around their perimeter, my friend’s fear is grounded in normal daily life of this country.

I told him, “Chickens are coming home to roost.” My dear friend protested that this was an insensitive pronouncement. He heard it as more than a prediction, but a wish for complete collapse and chaos. I told him there was nothing of a wish in this adage; that this is simply a sober social scientific assessment. He protested, “When Malcolm said that of the killing of President Kennedy, he wasn’t talking about little children going to pre-school.” He insisted, “Malcolm X didn’t mean that.”

In the present conditions of quick-fix “social science research” produced by the internet, my dear friend from the next generation (I grew up with Malcolm — I came up under his teachings), Malcolm X is easily turned into a common liberal. After all, doesn’t the US Postal service carry a Malcolm X stamp today? My friend cannot believe that Malcolm X could have been predicting the future insecurity of pre-school children in upper middle class White neighborhoods.

Of Liberal Hand Wringing and Revolution Malcolm X was a revolutionary. When he said, in response to the assassination of President Kennedy, that “Chickens are coming home to roost,” he meant that President Kennedy was part of a ruling clique that had committed many crimes against humanity and life on Planet Earth. As such, part of his ilk — the ruling cabal of the most imperialist state in the history of the world — decided that he too was expendable, and they took him out. Chickens had come home to roost on the body of John F. Kennedy.

Chickens are coming home to roost. “As a proverbial expression, it’s half a millennium old. The older fuller form was curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost, meaning that your offensive words or actions are likely at some point to rebound on you” (

Indeed, chickens have come home to roost. This is not a wish for doom and destruction. This is a sober analysis of what is taking place right now around us.

Revolutionaries, such as Malcolm X, are assessing that a liberal reform of gun laws touches only the surface of this apocalypse — it in no way solves the problem: Prison officials just finished assassinating Whitey Bulger on national television. If they can do this live on TV, clearly gun laws are not going to fix this problem. It is a problem of the social system. It is a “problem” of the era of history we are living in. Revolutionaries say that the resolution lies in a change of social system. The present social system is based on the profit motive. It is based on individualism — “each man for himself.” This social system is based on the practice of one group benefitting from the oppression, exploitation and death of other groups.

This social system thrives to the extent that other peoples are ground into the dirt. We must have another social system based, not on the profit motive, but based on community-building, based on love and sharing, based on equality, based, not on racism and misogyny; based not on hatred and division. We need a new social system which honors the different ways people love each other. We must find common ground for creating a new, healthy social system, such which is based on principles of love of humanity and love of Mother Earth.