I have struggled over the last week how to channel my disappointment and concern over. Not only Trump winning the election, but more importantly, the policies he ran and won on, coupled with those he is selecting to work beside him, a calls to change the very fabric of equality and privacy protections guaranteed by the US Constitution. I have had difficulty fathoming the violence that has befallen a friend of mine's daughters. Feeling disspirited, I found ways to act and comfort among all of us who have joined by compassion. That relief was short lived.
I warn you, if you haven't heard this segment on NPR at the link below, it contains offensive words and thoughts. Do not listen unless you are feeling strong to just let it be. We must understand how latent racism got rebranded.
We must understand how a "white" agenda (and let's me clear, Im a woke white woman who confronts my own bias as much as possible), became dressed in pseudointellectual garb with a message that resonates with a broader segment of our population. It's gaslighting. It's dangerous. And fighting it with normal outrage makes it all the more slippery than catching a greased pig.
At first I couldn't fathom how a nation that has yes, been slow to embrace equality and social justice, with miles to go, could simultaneously take not step back, but step forward into what represents dystopia.
Then it dawned on me. Years ago, my nephew snuck a peek at his Christmas presents. My sister understandably punished him by telling him how she knew he'd done it, since even though the presents were rewrapped, the tape was messed up and only his presents had been disturbed. I laughed with her, and pointed out that she had taught him not her intended lesson to not peek, but by telling him how she knew, he might have learned to make sure not to get caught.
Racism has been here, and for at least the immediate future, is here to stay. When white hooded KKK acted on its racism, it's violence broke the law. They went to court, some and not enough of them, and like the misshapen tape, they learned how not to get caught.
How the Alt-Right came to be is for sociologists and politician scientists and historians to tackle.
That said, racism grew exponentially this election cycle because that lesson learned over the decades: it was worth not getting caught. White supremacy is rebranded and accepted because many who would be horrified at graffiti, or assault, already live segregated lives. They don't want that "criminal element."
And this sells amongst non whites who are tired of being judged as if they were among the "criminals." The blatant racists were ostracized by being defined by what they are against. That wasn't done in polite company.
Racist learned to be defined by what they are for. This is far more seductive and palatable by those who now acquiescence in silent agreement, by voting on one issue or another, turning a blind eye. Never forget racism doesn't require intent. It requires racist effect and make no mistake, the alt-right entering positions of power, not just with the administration of our President Elect, but among our intellectuals, and pervasiveness in our culture, is here.
May each of us, act today.
Click here for NPR segment on Richard Spencer
If link doesn't work, here is the URL: