America is in horrid state at this juncture in its history, and not solely because there is a corrupt administration and Republican Congress running the country. Oh, it is true the events of the past couple of days inform the Republic is in trouble, but there is an epidemic in the population as dangerous as the criminal in the White House. And it is noteworthy that the offender in the Oval Office is part and parcel of metastasizing the white supremacy plague nationwide.
A couple of days after a white Oklahoma police officer who shot and killed an unarmed African American man with his hands in the air had her record wiped clean of the incident “as if it never happened,” Nazi white supremacists staged a “white lives matter” protest; they have had enough of white people being persecuted.
There has been of a growing chorus of white supremacists complaining that, despite how often unarmed African Americans are shot and killed by white police officers, or African Americans’ voting rights are abridged by white Republicans, the real victims of racial injustice in America are white people under assault from “forces of darkness;” hardly a subtle dog whistle to white supremacists.
The “white lives matter” protest in Shelbyville Tennessee over the weekend was led by a convicted felon and white supremacist who took a minute to explain why the Nazis and Confederate fascists were taking to the streets. They were protesting being persecuted and there to “defend their white heritage” by standing “against the forces of darkness.”
A group of about 100 white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and avowed fascists were met by a “heavy police presence” and about 200 counteprotestors in a small Middle Tennessee town on Saturday past. Members of the community in Shelbyville were terrified they would see the same level of violence that “visited” Charlottesville, Virginia a couple of months ago. Their fears were well-founded because one of the Nazi leaders, Mike Tubbs, has spent time in prison for plotting to bomb African American businesses and was responsible for ordering the violence in Charlottesville. Then as now, the white supremacist was fighting to preserve white supremacy, not heritage, from “forces of darkness” – code for Black people.
Because there was such a heavy police presence and mass of counter protestors, a second white rally planned in the afternoon in the larger city of Murfreesboro, was “abruptly canceled” by the Nazi organizers.
The “Nazi rally” was organized under an umbrella group of white supremacist organizations called the Nationalist Front; a loosely affiliated federation made up of white hate groups such as Vanguard America, the League of the South, Traditionalist Worker Party, National Socialist Movement, Anti-Communist Action and The Right Stuff.
Like they did in Charlottesville, the white supremacists “were seen throwing up Nazi salutes, carrying shields, wearing helmets and chanting “white lives matter” and “blood and soil.” All of this hate and vitriol is to demonstrate against white persecution and to protect whites from the “forces of darkness.” And of course they took their “protest” to another former Confederate state.
A serious phalanx of police stood between the counter protestors and fascists to prevent a repeat of Charlottesville. There was no violence at the “protest,” but there was an racially-incited assault after the “rally” when members of Traditionalist Worker’s Party (TWP) assaulted a white woman for having dinner with an African American man. No doubt the white assault victim was part of the “forces of darkness” because she was dating a Black man. When these white supremacists say they want to preserve “their heritage,” they mean revert to a their concept of a “happier time” when commingling with a member of another race was a crime.
The head of the National Socialist Movement, Jeff Schoep, told a Huffington Post reporter that the Nazi fascists’ ultimate goal is transforming America into a “white ethnostate” or “white homeland;” in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany the term was “Aryan Nation.” Schoep said that for now, he and his fellow Nazis will have to settle for being “white civil rights advocates” and pressing the issue that “white lives matter;” no matter how often white privilege allows white cops to shoot and kill unarmed African Americans or white Republicans restrict African Americans’ right to vote.
It is unbelievable, or maybe not, that the government is not taking some kind of action to address this absurd idea that white people, supremacists or otherwise, fail to see the white privilege in America and instead, claim they have to protect themselves from the “forces of darkness.” If any American thinks that Nazi fascists and white supremacists are alone in thinking “their race” is under assault, they are grossly misinformed.
In a fairly recent poll more than half, 55 percent, of white people surveyed say that “generally speaking, they believe there is discrimination against white people today.” In 2011 a Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School survey found similar results under the conservative catch-phrase “reverse racism.” In that poll, white Americans were certain discrimination against white Americans in 2011 was worse than anti-Black discrimination in the 1950s. Trump took advantage of that bizarre idea during the campaign and continues unabated: The rise of the Nazi fascists and white supremacists is indubitably a result of Trump’s election and incessant incitement to racism, white supremacy, and a return to “white heritage.”
There is no doubt there has been a fair amount of racial animus among whites for a long , long time; it just wasn’t an openly popular position to embrace until Barack Obama’s election in 2008. Many Americans were curiously dumbfounded that despite a decent majority of Americans voting for an African American man as their President, that there was still racism in the population. The racism was always there, but the idea that an African American man was elected as President of the United States was a bridge too far and all the proof the racists needed that their “white heritage” was under a vicious assault for “forces of darkness” in the form of Barack Obama.
Trump simply seized on that roiling racism as a campaign tactic and the conservative movement has embraced it as one of its primary means of keeping the people in a state of acrimony. It is no coincidence that Trump began assailing primarily Black NFL players for exercising their 1st Amendment right to protest racial injustice. He is deliberately portraying those African Americans as “un-American” and unwilling to know their place. It was telling that Trump said if they failed to do as he ordered the “sons-of-bitches” should be “terminated.”
It also is no coincidence that Trump is attempting to erase President Barack Obama’s accomplishments as if an African American President never existed. Trump is as much a racist as his Nazi white supremacist devotees.
There is a reason Trump and Republicans take advantage of the rampant racism among their supporters; to keep the population both at odds with, and terrified of, “the other.” The last thing Republicans, or Trump for that matter, want is for all Americans to communicate and finally realize that 99 percent of the population is being played against each other by the 1 percent.
These white supremacists are not going away anytime soon, if at all. The only temporary remedy is what occurred in Shelbyville Tennessee over the weekend; greater numbers of counter protestors and a massive police presence. However, there is sadly no easy, or culturally-acceptable long-term solution primarily because this kind disease, white supremacy, is a generational affliction that no amount of “tolerance training” is going to solve. Besides, the idea of “tolerating” other American citizens is still just a means of covering over institutionalized racism.
The reason so many Americans are stunned at the level of racism is because white supremacists were veritably forced to “tolerate” African Americans as equal citizens with the progress won by the civil rights movement. Now they have a racist administration behind them and they know they can proceed without fear or impediment from the Justice Department as they build momentum towards creating what too many Americans apparently desire; a “white ethnostate” or “white homeland.” It is exactly what Adolf Hitler created in Nazi Germany and exactly what a terrifyingly disgusting number of Americans want today.
Image: Stephanie Keith/Reuters