I share this piece every time I cite it or recommend it to someone, so once again:
"When the state laid the blame for violence on “white supremacists,” they very intentionally shifted the target of people’s anger from the systemic racism that led to the murder of George Floyd and countless others to relatively marginal extremist groups. With this displacement, the state resumes its role of protecting its citizens against such extremism, and undermines those whose rage against the police sparked the uprising in the first place. I have identified it as a discursive maneuver, and it is one that more precisely recalls the rhetorical figure of synecdoche, a movement from part to whole or whole to part. The location of white supremacy is displaced onto an extremist part — an assortment of bad actors — only serving to mask its true whereabouts in the heart of civil society as a whole."