America’s Ghost Problem: Racist ‘Ghost Skins’ Infiltrating US Institutions

“Since coming to law enforcement attention in late 2004, the term ‘ghost skins’ has gained currency among white supremacists to describe those who avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes. One Internet posting described this effort as a form of role-playing; in which ‘to create the character, you must get inside the mind of the person you are trying to duplicate.’ Such role-playing has application to ad-hoc and organized law enforcement infiltration. At least one white supremacist group has reportedly encouraged ghost skins to seek positions in law enforcement for the capability of alerting skinhead crews of pending investigative action against them.”

This is an excerpt from a 2006 FBI warning, which has come back to haunt us again because of the recent stories in the news of police brutality against African-Americans and the targeting of police officers in retribution that took place in Dallas, which ended in the first time a robot strapped with a bomb took out a suspect. We’ve reached the next level of violence in America, and it is Terminator, but what did we ever do about the ghost skins?

In the wake of all this disgusting violence, we are reminded about institutional racism, and that America is becoming numb to witnessing unjustified violence perpetrated by police against people simply because of their skin color. That’s why #BlackLivesMatter has to be said after all, at the same time that we say that violence never solves anything but creates more violence.

Over the years, we’ve seen stories of cops who turned out to be in the KKK in addition to all the police brutality against unarmed black citizens. Concrete evidence of ghost skins? People working for skinheads but masquerading as serving and protecting the diverse American public perhaps, as disgusting as that sounds.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map shows a pox upon our land, with a spike in hate groups since 2014, and 42% increase in anti-Muslim hate groups. There are currently 892 hate groups total represented coast to coast, but it would seem to be more than that if you have ever read comments on Facebook.

Surely it can be no surprise with all of these active hate groups, that some of them would be working to quietly infiltrate positions in law enforcement or government, so that they can further their causes. We’ve had cases of senators, a Supreme Court Justice and even past Presidents who have been linked to the KKK. We are currently watching as the GOP humors Donald Trump, despite masses of evidence that he is a racist firebrand who makes conservatives think bigotry is as all-American as Trump’s reality TV shows.

Trump supporters will commonly state, even in the open these days, that the #BlackLivesMatter campaign is erroneous because the reason they are targeted more by police is that they are statistically more likely to be criminals. Well, conservatives will also ignore this totally: A study by the Center for Policing Equity that was released last week indicates that “black residents were more often targeted for use of police force than white residents, even when adjusting for whether the person was a violent criminal.” It is also true that the people killing police officers are more often white offenders.

Part of doing something about the ghost skins – the people in positions of power who hope to perpetuate racism, is to get those organizations to simply admit they have a ghost problem and to take steps to eliminate institutional racism. The FBI has a long history of working to stop extremist group activities like the KKK, but maybe what America needs to hear today is that police groups have taken clear outlined steps to do the same. We need to see that racism won’t be tolerated under any circumstances, not more stories about black victims and more evidence that all-too-obvious ghost skins are just moments away from materializing every time we turn around. We need a real life Ghostbusters.

It’s time to get rid of the ghosts in America’s machine.

Featured image: Hate Map by Southern Poverty Law Center with ghosts from Pixabay

About Matthew Silvan 283 Articles
Matthew Silvan is a gay man from the American South who has spent years fighting against the scapegoating and demonization imposed on the LGBT community by Republicans and religious hypocrites and zealots. His writing reflects the constant struggle to overcome the inequality and discrimination still rampant in America. He is an advocate for diversity and progress, with a passion for nature and preserving the environment, who also tends to approach things in a lighthearted way despite it all.

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