For years, non-white people have asked white people to try and address hate and bigotry in their proximity. Whether it’s the racist uncle, parent, or sibling, non-white communities have sought assistance in addressing these people because of the threats they pose. White folks can be dismissive about their family’s or friends’ beliefs but the rest of us can’t because too often we’re their targets. Those people your family tells you to overlook later go online and feed the hate machine that leads to brutal assaults, talk of genocide, and even mass murder.
We’ve seen attacks on the US power grid in an effort to create chaos and try to start an ethnic war. While the goal has always remained the same, it’s an idea that has evolved over the decades. Those people, oftentimes members of hate groups, are the same people pushing attacks on Black history, trans rights, drag queens, and non-white immigrants – in addition to the anti-Semitism, racism, and outright disdain for anything that’s not European American.
White people who think their bigoted neighbor or coworker are harmless are missing the bigger picture. Maybe those people won’t be the next mass shooter. But they could very easily be one of those people we see videos of on social media every day. Black people, Spanish-speaking Latinos, and people of color have borne the brunt of the explosion of hate over the last decade and not enough direct confrontational action is coming from the white delegation.
A good example of how prevalent cultural, racial, and ethnic animus is comes from Alexander Hinton who is a Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University – Newark. He recently attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to hear firsthand what conservatives and Trump supporters had to say about political polarization.
“I discovered five frequent demons at the conference: there were China’s Communist Party and border criminals – including Mexican drug cartels and undocumented immigrants,” said Hinton. “Radical left Marxists” and the ideologies of “wokism” and “transgenderism” were also frequent targets.”
Bolstered by recent talk of war with China and conducting military operations in Mexico against cartels, the focus on linking the two makes them a bigger target every day as noted by Hinton. Extremists often accuse foreign entities for what ails the US while never adequately addressing the problems in order to gain control of epidemics like the opioid and fentanyl crises. Politicians and their punditry help bolster these false ideas and ignore the corporate entities that created both problems that disproportionately impact white people.
And just like with cocaine in the 1980s and 90s, white people get rehab, and Latinos from all over the hemisphere are to blame for their addiction. When it came to “crack” cocaine, Black people were charged with crimes and thrown in prison for unusually lengthy sentences. They were blamed for destroying their own neighborhoods. Yet, there were no social programs to avoid breaking families apart as we had – and have – for white people. However, who the system decides to incarcerate and whose communities they opt to destroy are still telling to this day.
Demonizing non-white people for crises created by white men is how white supremacy works. The US keeps doing it because that’s what it’s made of. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if voters started blaming street gangs for distributing fentanyl when we all know it’s bought, sold, and used primarily by the [white] man’s kids. It almost feels inevitable. Meanwhile, people in power continue refusing to address addiction with intervention programs and various other solutions.
“The crisis, CPAC speakers said, includes large numbers of undocumented migrants crossing the border – who they sometimes derogatorily referred to as “illegal aliens,” said Hinton. “Oddly, those crossing the border were depicted both as victims of the violent cartels and as criminal and economic threats to Americans.”
Yes, it’s nonsensical. But hate doesn’t need to make sense. Hate is big business.
Your Neighbor’s Civil War
Recently during the trial of the Proud Boys for the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, one of their members, Matthew Greene, testified that after former president Donald Trump’s failed attempts to get the election overturned, conversations among Proud Boys leaders became more heated. He said they were “ready and willing for anything that was going to happen.” He also added that the group saw itself as “essentially the tip of the spear.”
“We were openly expecting a civil war at that point,” Greene said.
Recently, a neo-Nazi was arrested for setting off bombs all over Fresno during December and January. When Scott Anderson was finally caught, police say they seized 11 illegal firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, 90 grams of methamphetamine packaged for sale, and $50,000 in cash after serving three search warrants at different locations. They also said they found flags, signs, clothing, and banners with white supremacist and Nazi paraphernalia
According to Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama, four others associated with Anderson were arrested for various charges. It’s unclear if they had any connection to the bombings. Balderama says their possible involvement is under investigation.
Another man was arrested in Michigan for a tirade of threats against President Joe Biden, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and the LGBTQ community. The FBI is currently investigating the threats according to a criminal complaint filed by the agency. The complaint alleges Randall Robert Berka II made several violent threats between late February and early March that were posted on a YouTube account, according to court records.
The FBI says Berka was once involuntarily committed to a mental health treatment facility in 2012 and was restricted from owning firearms. Despite that, his mother purchased four firearms for him in the last year. Three were long guns and one was a handgun. Within the messages discovered by the FBI, Berka also threatened to shoot and kill FBI agents and “trans freaks and gays lgbt freaks.“
In one post, Berka said, “I am willing to kill these people, f*** it I don’t care, f*** the feds, f** them. Im not mentally ill for needing to be violent towards these people, call the ccops, f*** them. Ill shoot them too. I’ll kill anyone who tries to take my guns. ANYONE. I AM DONE. TRY TO CONFISCATE THEM FROM ME AND I WILL KILL.”
Sadly, Berka is but a product of a growing movement of hate. The growth of the “alpha male” is just toxic masculinity being utilized as an entry point to more bigoted beliefs. Homophobia and transphobia are being employed by hate groups to access Black, Latino, and other non-white communities. All over social media, we’re seeing more non-white people buy into the same hate being promoted by white supremacists. By buying into the animus created by racists that hate them, some Black people, Latinos, immigrants, and other non-white groups are negatively impacting their communities with intolerance for gay and trans lives.
Offensive as bigots are, the rhetoric shouldn’t come as a surprise. Most of the hate we see today comes from social media platforms as a consumer’s primary source. It spreads largely unabated. A study by James Madison University discussed how hate groups have been using softer language as a baited hook to entice young white men. Their language inevitably leads to the promotion of outright racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and transphobia.
“Racial activists renewed efforts to rebrand extreme positions, soften racist rhetoric, and grow the movement,” read the James Madison University study.
The people mentioned here could easily be your neighbor, friend, or family member. Even if they aren’t criminals, their hate contributes to what extremists do. Intolerance should be unacceptable regardless of where you live, work, grocery shop, or work out. As hate and bigotry continue to grow, it behooves a so-called “civil society” to tackle the issue head-on. But similar to so many other crises in the US, solutions to the problem are being overlooked.
Many often use a phrase similar to, “if we forget about history, we’re doomed to repeat it.” The phrase is attributed to philosopher George Santayana in 1905. The actual quote is, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” However, when it comes to white supremacy, it’s not history repeating. It’s bigots doing the same thing they’ve always done. They’re simply using different tactics to continue circumventing an individual’s human rights. They never stopped.
Attacks on the LGBTQ community fit right in with neo-Nazi beliefs. The intolerance of an entire community of people around the world is propped up by religious sectors of society. The same sectors with a broad and entrenched history of child abuse, molestation, and rape – what bigots baselessly accuse much of the LGBTQ community of. Hate groups argue – while stuffing their faces with Hooter’s wings, watching children’s pageants on TV, and leaving their kids with youth pastors – that the LGBTQ community is indoctrinating children.
But looking back at the historical timelines of white supremacist movements in the United States, the language hate groups use and the ideologies behind them are no different than the era of the founders. Benjamin Franklin said about German immigrants, “In short unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so out number us, that all the advantages we have will not, in my opinion, be able to preserve our language, and even our Government will become precarious.”
Yes, it sounds a lot like Franklin feared “white extinction” – because of Germans, go figure. He had fewer nice things to say about Italians, French, and Spaniards – all of which we consider white today – and their “smarmy” complexions. Don’t doubt for a minute that if you gave Franklin a cable “news” show he’d fit right in with Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon, and Sebastian Gorka.
He’d probably name it “The B. Frank Hour.”
What we’re witnessing today in the attacks on everything non-white or non-cis isn’t history repeating itself. It’s but a continuation of the same old bigotry from the founding fathers and the KKK to every hate group in the US today. Hundreds of extremist movements exist right now and their goal is to villainize everyone that doesn’t fit their model of western chauvinism. Meanwhile, many of your family, friends, and neighbors buy their crap and provide them with a comfortable life.
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