The president of the United States is a white supremacist. Having heard him respond to issues of racial conflict—there is no other way to describe him.
He is not the first. There have been many white supremacists in the White House—perhaps a majority. But in modern times, #45 is exponentially worse. Combine the power granted to the commander-in-chief with his;
- blatant refusal to condemn white supremacist violent acts;
- public nod to white supremacists groups, telling them to “stand by”; and
- refusal to agree to a peaceful transition of power
and it is clear the American people are sitting at the edge of a precipice.
Some argue that we’ve been here before. They ask, wasn’t that what the Civil War was about? Yes and no. The sad truth is that a belief in white supremacy has been the root cause of much of this nation’s woes since colonial times, before the Civil War, after the Civil War, and right up to the reign of this current wanna-be dictator.
Twelve of the first 18 U.S. Presidents enslaved Black Americans. Even Ulysses S. Grant—a Civil War General in the Union Army no less—was, himself, an enslaver of human beings before he was president of the United States.
But aside from the presidents who enslaved Black people, the countless other U.S. Presidents, elected public officials, and law enforcement officers who expressed their white supremacist inclinations throughout history in a variety of ways both explicit and implicit—from the Trail of Tears, to the caging of brown people, to the Muslim ban, to Chinese massacres, mass lynchings, Japanese internment, to the killing of unarmed Black people—there have been those who endorsed their behavior with their silence. Silence and willful ignorance has been the most important tool in the white supremacists tool box since Europeans arrived on this land.
White supremacists have run roughshod in this country much like Trump ran roughshod over debate moderator Chris Wallace, who failed to maintain order and get the president to adhere to the agreed-upon debate rules.
Wallace’s handling of Trump’s flagrant disregard for the rules are symbolic of this nation’s delicate treatment of white supremacists in the face of their flagrant violation of the law, compared to the overly punitive treatment minorities, especially Blacks, receive at the hands of the “authorities”.
In a recent Congressional hearing, Trump’s own FBI Director, Christopher Wray, testified that white supremacist terrorist organizations represent a persistent and pervasive threat to national security, even though Donald Trump and other officials have tried to downplay the threat. Speaking before the Homeland Security Committee, Wray said, “Racially motivated violent extremism,” mostly from white supremacists, has made up a majority of domestic terrorism threats.
So, what do we do about this? The threat that Director Wray speaks of is not new. But the sustained marches and protests that erupted in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Tayler, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the shooting of Jacob Blake, have served to insert this into the national conversation—much like the fire hosings and beatings that were filmed and shown on nightly news in the 60’s helped to promote the Civil Rights Movement.
We have to begin to see that the threat to national security, as described by Director Wray, does not begin and end with the thug-like behavior of neo-nazi militias. They are nothing more than one end of the spectrum. Their development and ultimate flowering happens over time, often while they are coddled by nice white families.
It is the timidity that we saw on stage with Chris Wallace that must be challenged. Roger Ray, a regular contributor to the LA Progressive, wrote about his white supremacist family here. Please read it and the posts we've included in this special post-debate edition of the LA Progressive.
The behavior of nice white people who would never think of uttering a racist epithet but have yet to take a stand against white supremacy may be the deciding factor that determines if this national security threat will or won't continue to thrive in these United States.
Publisher, LA Progressive