Is America Fascist? Part 6 – Racism and White Supremacy

The racism in America has some disturbing and frightening trends.  The depth of it may surprise many people.  It is a violent form of racism that has been growing in the last few decades.  While the violence of racists is often relegated to earlier parts of the 20th century, there are continued acts of violence carried out in more disturbing ways, people being dragged behind trucks until they die, attacks on places of worship, Sikh, Synagogues, etc.  The ideology of white supremacy has helped to maintain this.

The most prominent identifier of the violence of racism in America is the Black Lives Matter movement.  The African American community got to the point where they needed to speak up.  The intimidation by police had gone on too long and caused so much fear that they had to say something.  The decades of intimidation at the hands of the police after the civil rights movement has taken its toll.  Decades of people being pulled over by police for no other reason than they were the wrong colour.  An example of this from Minneapolis, a city council member, very well respected and known to the community, very competent was pulled over one evening while driving home.  She was quite aware that because she was driving an expensive car, not speeding, not drinking, and hadn’t violated any traffic laws that the reason she was pulled over was because of her colour.  I expect it wan’t the first time this happened to her.  It is extremely common for people to be pulled over for DWB, driving while black.

When unarmed African Americans are killed by police, repeatedly and with little or no consequence, there is a major problem,  When unarmed African Americans feel that they have a better chance by running away from police, and being shot in the back.  There are serious issues in the culture that need to be addressed.  When those same police officers are not punished by the law and very few have been, there is an even greater problem.  When the Blue Lives Matter campaign started in response to Back Lives Matter, it suggests that most police officers are killed by African Americans.

White supremacy is at the heart of many of these actions.  It is rampant in America and has grown in the last years under the former president.  One can very easily come in contact with open and vocal white supremacists.  Many of the places that they hang out in are readily known by the wider community.  White supremacists have their own newspapers, publishing houses and music labels in America.  It was not uncommon for me to have an encounter with someone who was openly racist in all kinds of bars or other public venues.  I wish I could say that someone saying to me “White power!” was a rare occurrence.  Maybe I just spent too much time in the wrong places.

An example of the reaches of white supremacy in America can be told from personal experience.  It was in the early 1990’s when the verdict for the police officers in the Rodney King beating was announced.  The African American community saw this as another act of injustice.  They were understandably angry.  Since I lived in a neighbourhood that was predominantly African American, I was ready for their expressions of anger.  When driving around the neighbourhood in my car, I would sometimes have this anger voiced at me when I was stopped at stop lights.  People would come over and hit my car and yell at me.

I was worried that when I rode my motorcycle through the neighbourhood that I could be at real risk of bodily harm.  However, when I rode around almost no one would look me in the eye. I was riding an older Harley.  In that neighbourhood there were a few motorcycle clubs who had their clubhouses there and they were known to have very strong white supremacist leanings.  There was fear in the community of these particular groups and anyone who may be associated with them.

White supremacy has a certain level of acceptability in American culture.  The rebel flag of the confederate states is one such symbol that can be found everywhere.  The fact that most people will just pass off racist and supremacist remarks as nothing remarkably wrong helps this ideology to remain and become acceptable.  One of the changes that has shown that it has become more acceptable has to do with the military.  Prior to the early 2000’s, people with white supremacist connections were excluded from the military.  That is no longer the case.  They are being accepted on many levels.  While the overt white supremacist talk during the lead up to the last election was quite shocking to people overseas, many people in America didn’t even recognise it as being racist.  They will even go so far as to say that they could find nothing racist in what Trump had said.

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