i was having a drink at my regular bar in portland when donald trump was elected. somebody sitting across from me vowed to riot, saying, it’ll be civil war soon enough. it was the first time i heard a person publicly state such an idea.

over the years since trump’s election, i’ve heard or read the subject steadily increase—now to the point where it’s expected. civil war is a topic of conversation i have with a disturbing frequency—similar to wondering how long we’ll all live into the future given the impending consequences of the climate crisis.

after the horrific murders in buffalo over the weekend, the media has been asking many of the usual, useless questions: how could this happen? who is responsible? what can be done?

while it’s hopeful the killer will be charged with domestic terrorism, it’s one more reason to add to the obvious: there is no future date for civil war. we are already living it—civil war is here. it is happening right now. the media may or may not choose to re-use the label lone wolf for the murderer, but that’s not really what he was. we may see him as a terrorist, but to his fellow neo-nazis who support the great replacement theory, this guy is a soldier. this is a war.

this sentence from the asymmetric warfare definition on wikipedia speaks volumes:

When practiced outside the laws of war, it is often defined as terrorism, though rarely by its practitioners or their supporters.

from police who get away with murder to the fascists who commit ‘random’ acts of violence, these are not acts of terrorism. these are chess moves, demonstrations of power—normalizing racially-based bloodshed to the general public at an increasing rate.

it’s important to remember that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. these killers aren’t considered evil by any stretch of the imagination to those who believe the same doctrines. while the crimes may not be coordinated, they are connected by belief—and just because neither the state nor the media will call it as such, these ongoing acts that terrorize specific communities are celebrated by those who have declared their own war in defense of white supremacy. moving forward, it’ll probably be important to remember that.