The Narrative Of White Supremacy

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Listening closely, Trump’s skillful deflection within the white supremacist narrative has three parts. First, it avoids the use of the term white supremacy, Nazi or neo-Nazi, and uses the sanitized sticker, alt-right, a less emotionally charged term that doesn’t churn up centuries of violence by officials and citizens or the lasting political imprint of oppression from rights and freedom denied. With a simple word change, Trump closes the door on decades of history and evidence. That door becomes a means that denies the storehouse of hate speech and thought, strategy and tactics, official and popular abuse hidden behind it—including the tactic of sheltering hate and violence in place, behind closed doors of denial and new labels.

Secondly, Trump takes advantage of the failure of many to recognize that white supremacists have deep strategies of justification. Its unique blame-shifting blames its victims as it plays the victim! This double tap is a Trump staple and favorite. Cruelty is simply self-defense or truth spoken, whether physically, politically or through violence; its victims the problem.

Omaha Court House Lynching, 1919.

Omaha Court House Lynching, 1919.


Strategies of White Supremacy

Strategically, by omitting details of their actions, white supremacy reduces its internal threat to a mere difference of positions, despite arriving at rallies with clubs, guns, and shields, and leaving as a legacy, tapes of brutal beatings. The narrative of white supremacy ties itself to patriotism. So Gen. Lee, a West Point graduate who resigned his US Army commission, joining the Confederacy to fight against the US, is given false equivalency of George Washington. The protests (and issue) are not about slave owners, but confront white supremacists who sought–and still seek–to assert oppression by color and heritage, by restricting civil liberties and economic opportunities. In the case of statues, Civil War generals.

The white supremacist narrative reframes slavery and segregation as states rights, claims support from uncounted masses; and appeals to emotion and the tradition of white privilege. It reframes its quest for white power today as fighting back against minority gains, some suggesting genocide of whites is being promoted by equality and inclusion.

Finally, the white supremacy narrative leaves its worse impulses unspoken, and this is where the President may have gone too far in revealing by his support to the country the horror of its rhetoric and violence.. Not in over a century has a major political leader mounted an open defense of white supremacy; yet Trump echoes its most egregious strategies. His narrative denies evidence. He redefines violence into a false history!

Slave Scarred by Whipping.

Slave Scarred by Whipping.

Lee surrendered in 1865. But white supremacists fight on, never in the name of justice or America, never for progress and equality–but for white “culture”–a legacy of acts and ideas of oppression and violence that were in their minds, self defense–or in Trump’s words, part of the “blame on both sides.”

Trump, of course, never mentions his one-sided attacks against the media and leaders who point to white supremacy as cause and effect.

Let’s become knowledgeable of the threat of white supremacy; its persistent views and strategies, so we know and recognize its displays in rhetoric and violence.


The Creed of White Supremacy

What is white supremacy? Texas defined it pretty well in its Article of Secession, describing itself as “a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery–the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits–a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.”

Trump’s claim, “We all pray to the same god,” tried to establish a national religion! We don’t “all” pray to the same god—as Trump knows from his Muslim ban! That is an alt-right dog whistle, tying Christianity as granting divine privilege, authority and dominion over those not white or washed by Jesus.

Texas, as do many of today’s conservatives and extremists, also condemned, “States proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color–a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law.”

With few shifts, a line runs from Texas’ declaration, debated, written, and approved on the cusp of the Civil War, to the violence and deaths in Charlottesville, and ahead. White supremacists continually reject Gen. Lee’s final order (No. 9): to “return to their homes” and “avoid useless sacrifice.”

Charlottesville, VA. August 12, 2017. Car Striking Protesters.

Charlottesville, VA. August 12, 2017. Car Striking Protesters.