Power of One iconPower of One
Farid Rasuli

The bombing of a Norwegian government building in 2011 in the heart of Oslo, followed by a massacre in the country’s Labor party youth summer camp, which claimed 80 lives, was executed by a neoNazi who wanted to “prevent [the] invasion of Muslims.” In 2015, nine people were shot in a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina by a 21-year old white supremacist. Last year, the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which took 11 lives, was carried out by yet another white supremacist who was actively campaigning against Jewish people. He claimed that the, “[Jews] are bringing Muslim refugees to kill us” through social media. All these terrorist attacks resemble a common ideology — the fear of “invasion” and “replacement of the whites.”

On March 15th, 2019, fifty people were brutally killed in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. This inhumane act was carried out by a white supremacist in two different mosques. This catastrophic event was the most recent act of terrorism by white supremacists around the globe and there have been many more.

The existence of white supremacy can be traced back to the founding of the United States itself. The Constitution of the United States viewed slaves as threefifths of a person as a result of the ThreeFifths Compromise. The cause of the Civil War between the north and south was in fact the result of white supremacy in the country. The south believed that whites were superior and therefore had the right to enslave others. After the abolition of slavery, the violence of white supremacy continued through Jim Crow and was shown through countless lynchings. During the civil rights era these violent acts became more visible. At that time, the white majority were newly able or willing to acknowledge the impact of violence and hate on minorities, particularly towards African-Americans. In the current political climate, we can see that white supremacists are again becoming more active, maybe more than ever before. This is dangerous to the younger generation and our hopes of having a unified nation in the future.

In a Twitter post on
August 15, 2017, Paul Ryan
(@ PaulRyan) wrote,
“We must be clear.
White supremacy is repulsive.
This bigotry is counter to
all this country stands for.
There can be no
moral ambiguity.

The young faces of marchers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “white lives matter” was a signal that demonstrates how white supremacists are radicalizing young people. White supremacists are often from privileged backgrounds: they carry AR-15s while marching, their socioeconomic status is higher than others, and they have strong presence throughout social media. I am worried that as white supremacists continue to promote hate, younger generations may get radicalized by them, and that is not good. I am worried that white supremacy, with its violence, will become mainstream.

White supremacy has existed in American culture, but it hasn’t been this powerfully visible in recent years. It takes only a few words from a public figure — especially political leaders — to normalize white supremacy. Therefore, they must be conscious of their words more than anyone else. White supremacy must have no place in the identity of the United States, it must be eliminated as soon as possible. If not, the United States will lose the strength of diversity that it has.

 

 

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