Charlottesville
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Politics and Activism

Charlottesville

Originally posted August 13, 2017

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Charlottesville
Geoffrey Preudhomme

The young 20-year-old Nazi, James Fields, Jr., who plowed through anti-fascist protesters in Charlottesville yesterday, was self-radicalized in the same manner as many Islamic extremists. His mother was unaware of his political views and thought he was going to see Donald Trump, and his former history teacher says he had a deep love for Nazism and idolized Adolf Hitler. The "Alt-Right" is spreading online faster than ISIS. There have been more acts of white supremacist extremism on American soil, than acts of domestic Islamic extremism since 9/11.

A historic and remarkable amount of social change, not seen since the civil rights era, has taken place in America in the last decade. Barack Obama helped to usher in this new America by fighting for more equal recognition and representation for minorities, religions, and women. The consequential amount of social change that took place during Obama's presidency created the perfect atmosphere for a candidate like Donald Trump, who ran his campaign on demonizing this new America by scapegoating minorities and people of color. This country is becoming more diverse, with the country projected to be half white and half of all the minority groups (Blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc.) lumped together by the 2040s and that is a white supremacist's or even some misguided, particularly older, white Americans, worst nightmare. He gave people who were afraid and fearful of equality and diversity a new hope.

After Obama's election and re-election, there was a sharp rise in the expansion of these hate groups, but Donald Trump's candidacy, and now presidency, gave these groups a resurgence and win that they have not witnessed since the civil rights era. By rising to power and becoming the standard-bearer of a major political party in the 21st century through demagoguery and coded bigotry against the first black president, Blacks, Latinos, and Muslims, he stripped the shame off of racism and again, gave these people new hope for a past America.

I am not surprised that he did not condemn white supremacists specifically yesterday, they make up parts of his base and helped elect him and he likes to win, no matter what. His administration made major changes to the "Countering Extremism Program" that worked to counter all forms of extremism and slashed the budget of groups dedicated to fighting white supremacy extremism in order to focus solely on Islamist extremism. Do I believe Trump's a white supremacist? Yes. Do I believe that he supports aspects of the ideology? Yes, I do. I personally believe he supports the ideology to have said the things he has said and to have surrounded himself with white nationalists like Steve Bannon.

I am now fearful that as the country continues to change and become more diverse, this white supremacist backlash is only going to become more dangerous. That's why we must speak out, white, black, and brown, and not normalize it which is their goal. They feel as though they are losing their place in America when in reality, they are only losing their privilege in terms of recognition and representation.

Equality is shared privilege which is why the growing demands for equality in recent years have been met with a growing backlash from those with power and privilege. Unless if their empathetic or compassionate, most people don't want others to have access to the social privileges they enjoy, whether consciously or unconsciously because then it's no longer a privilege, it is equality. The root of inequality is power. This is why black power differs from white power. White power is about keeping in place social privileges and supremacy, while black power is about dismantling privilege so that it is shared privilege= equality. That is why Black Lives Matter differs from the Ku Klux Klan and they should never be compared, ever. When you have become accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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