white supremacy

Elections are about a lot of things, obviously. People vote for a variety of reasons, obviously. But when you have white nationalists (AKA white supremacists) jumping for joy at the election of someone who they think will “bring their world view into being,” you really have to sit up and take notice.

One prominent white nationalist says plainly that the election of Trump was about white identity:

That concept would be that white Americans, as whites, have collective interests that are legitimate — just as blacks and Asians and every other group have collective interests that are legitimate. One obvious legitimate interest of whites is not to be reduced to a minority.

Now, I don’t think Donald Trump really thinks in those terms. But for those of us who have been trying to slow the dispossession of whites, all of his policies — at least, those pertaining to immigration — align very nicely with the sorts of things we’ve been saying for many years.

I think that is almost — well, probably entirely — an accident. He does not arrive at these views because of any kind of sense that white Americans deserve to be a majority in their own country. I don’t think he thinks in those terms.

White nationalists, again AKA, white supremacists, are overjoyed and energized. Their attendance doubled, the Washington Post reports, at their key national conference last week.

In the wake of Trump’s win, attendance more than doubled from last year’s Washington gathering of the group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center places in the vanguard of “academic racism.” The Institute’s core belief, according to the SPLC, “is that ‘white identity’ is under attack by multicultural forces using ‘political correctness’ and ‘social justice’ to undermine white people and ‘their’ civilization.”

Political correctness. You remember that phrase spat out by EVERY Trump supporter interviewed in the mainstream media in the last 18 months. If it wasn’t clear then what they meant, it should be clear now. They – white Americans who espouse these views – want the ability to shout their grievances that they have lost their dominance and they want it back.

We should listen to them, carefully. We should have listened to them. But, then, listening is not the same as condoning. Regarding race, we’re entering a very dark period in the U.S., pun not intended.

There’s a reason for that.

Today, after a young white supremacist opened fire in South Carolina’s historic black church, killing nine, we get the usual apologists who say:

- Well the government couldn’t have stopped this.

- Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

- He was crazy, crazy, and we can’t stop all crazy people.

And this one: It was a hate crime but it was an attack on Christians. Because it happened in a church. Get it? Therefore preachers should be armed. That trope was peddled on Fox News today. We won’t link to it. No need to give them the traffic.

It was a hate crime. But this white supremacist didn’t shout anything about Christianity. He said Black people are taking over his country and therefore they had to die. He said this. Pretty clear what his motivation was, isn’t it?

But then there’s the flag, the Confederate flag. Still flying at the SC statehouse. At least some in the country – and some even in the old Confederacy – think this is an insult to those who died. From Vox.

This is more than just an awkward juxtaposition. As Cornell historian Edward Baptist explains in a series of chilling tweets, the Confederate flag isn’t just a symbol of the pro-slavery rebellion, it’s also a symbol of post-Civil War white supremacy — including the KKK and other groups that expressed that supremacy violently, at times by attacking black churches. That it’s flying today, after what Charleston police are describing as a hate crime, is profoundly ugly.

It is ugly. Take it down.