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A thread on white supremacy + what's happening now in the US. #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism
I've been studying white supremacist rhetoric in the US + globally for about 30 years now. These ideas + policies go back to the very foundation of our country.
Yet, the presence and visibility of *EXTREMISTS* - groups or individuals willing to march, dress up, get tattoos, commit violence - ebbs and flows over time.
Some have suggested that the presence of *EXTREMISTS* depends on economic downturns, but this doesn't match up with the evidence.
For ex, during the 1920s (a relatively prosperous economic period) in the US, there were MILLIONS of white people - both men and women - who donned outfits of the KKK + marched in public.

theatlantic.com/politics/archi…
Membership in the KKK actually declined during the 1930s (an economic depression).
These groups (KKK + others) continued through the 20th century, but in much smaller numbers....until the Civil Rights Movement.

blog.oup.com/2015/01/north-…
It was after Brown v. Board of Ed, and the movement toward racial integration, that the numbers of *EXTREMIST* groups began to increase, right through to the 1970s, + the appearance of David Duke.
I mention DD, because he was a force behind bringing the 19th century KKK into the 20th century. The larger point is that these groups mobilize in response to, and reaction against, Black progress.
So, what we're living through now is a reaction against the Black progress - symbolically + materially - of the Obama era + specifically, Barack Obama as President of the US.
What often gets left out in understanding *EXTREMIST* white supremacy is the way that it is interwoven with *MAINSTREAM* white supremacy, in politics, policy, academia + popular culture.
While the reactionary *EXTREMISTs* of the 1970s-1990s were carrying on, there were political figures like Pat Buchanan who was giving a speech at the '92 Republican National Convention that was almost identical to current anti-immigrant policies.
For more on similarities between Buchanan + DJT, see this piece by Jeff Greenfield:

politico.com/magazine/story…
And, to be bipartisan about this argument, Bill Clinton was saying things about Sistah Souljah that could have been lifted from extremist WS newsletters. For more on this, see my 1997 book, White Lies: routledge.com/White-Lies-Rac…
In popular culture, television talk shows of the 1990s were having white supremacists on to "debate" civil rights leaders. This always ended badly, but was good for ratings. nytimes.com/1988/11/04/nyr…
But, how does all this relate to what's happening now? What's changed since Pat Buchanan's speech in '92 --- which the great Molly Ivins said, "sounded better in the original German." A few things explain now:
#1 Backlash against Obama + all Black progress.
#2 Changing media ecosystem....meaning, FoxNews (founded in 1996), rise of the popular Internet (DD + other extremists saw the usefulness of this for spreading their ideology), and REALITY-based TV (which emerged as response to a writers' strike).
#3 The proliferation + easy availability of automatic-weapons, a reality that is rooted in whiteness + white supremacy. aljazeera.com/indepth/featur…
To illustrate #3 in cartoon form, see this:

To summarize, the white supremacist violence we're seeing now is baked into the US experience. AND, the current moment is amped up in various ways because of backlash, tech/media + guns.
We can have nice things --- like a peaceful, civil society without mass shootings and maybe even a social safety net and re-built infrastructure. OR, we can have white supremacy.

We, white in the US + especially our white political "leaders," keep choosing white supremacy. //
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