Dispatch #29 August 24th 2017
Day 291 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)
Day 216 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings
Yeah, I have been OUT-RAGED my entire life. You know: If You Are Not Outraged You Are Not Paying Attention. Over the decades, my OUT-RAGE intensity has been punctuated by my personal experiences – white woman circumscribed by Misogyny, and by my work – poverty and social justice circumscribed by White Supremacy and Capitalism.
After November 8th, I swore that I would never again moderate my OUT-RAGE. That, for me, ethical and principled Resistance to the Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny required a higher level of OUT-RAGING. Early 21st Century Fascism in America is not about the White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS himself. White Supremacy and Misogyny are the toxic foundations of America. Institutionalized White Supremacy and Misogyny demanded the elevation of the Village Idiot instead of the Supremely Qualified Woman.
And PU-LEEZE spare me the hand-wringing about temper-tantrum-nuclear-war and the post-Charlottesville-mea-culpa-ing about the White Supremacist-in-Chief. And the self-serving whining pleas to rescue ‘liberal democracy’ that for centuries has allowed White Supremacy and Misogyny to flourish. Democrats are the worst offenders with their continuing BULLSHIT about the economic pain of white men, and their reprehensible willingness to deny women’s human rights and dismiss identity politics.
Boiling OUT-RAGE is tough on body and soul…..I do falter with my own perseverance. I can appreciate why the morbidity and mortality rates for chronic disease are so high for black people in the US who have labored under 400+ years of White Supremacy. But, their strength and perseverance – make a way out of no way – demand that we White People meet our responsibilities to SEE, root out, and destroy White Supremacy at every turn.
Dr. Crystal Marie Fleming, Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana studies at Stony Brook University, provides a provocative tutorial on the insidious intractability of “soft” White Supremacy in “To Be Clear White Supremacy Is the Foundation of Our Country. We Won’t Destroy It by Toppling Statues.”
From the inception of this nation, white supremacist ideology was used to justify genocide and slavery. And so, the problem of collective memory extends far beyond Confederate memorials. Removing memorials to white supremacy in the United States is not simply a matter of knocking down statues of Robert E. Lee. It’s relatively easy for some to see the Confederate flag as an emblem of hatred and white supremacy. But slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow, mass incarceration and centuries of systematic racism all happened under the star-spangled banner. In other words: It is not enough to recognize white supremacy in its most obvious manifestations (the overtly white supremacist Confederate). We also need to see it in the founding principles (and ongoing practices) of the nation itself.
So while the removal of Confederate symbols of white supremacy is completely justifiable and repulsively long overdue, it is also important to recognize the fact that the flag of the Union—and, indeed, our current, actual flag—is an emblem of white supremacist racism, too. The nation that existed prior to the Civil War was racist. That country is still racist today. It has never not been racist.
You want to know why the United States still has memorials to white supremacy while Germany does not? White supremacy was our founding principle. Yes, of course, Germany was racist before Hitler, and anti-Semitism predated the Holocaust. But unlike the United States, Germany was not explicitly founded on white supremacy or racialized violence. Indeed, German Nazis actually modeled their death-making logics and practices on the implementation of white supremacy in the United States.
A clear-eyed understanding of our nation’s systematic relationship to white supremacy reveals that the United States has consistently treated white supremacist terrorists with more sympathy and respect than civil rights activists. This is why, beyond Confederate statues, we still have hundreds of monuments, buildings and prestigious schools (Yale, to name just one) honoring people (mostly wealthy, white men) who made their fortune enslaving, exploiting, torturing and raping racialized minorities.
White supremacy in the United States cannot be toppled by toppling statues. It’s endemic. Importantly, the endemic nature of white supremacy was repeatedly denied by former President Barack Obama. Obama built his political career (before, during and, now, after his presidency) granting some acknowledgment of racism but insisting that white supremacy was not a fundamental feature of our country. Which is to say, he perpetuated a lie.
As a system, white supremacy needs people to believe that it 1) doesn’t exist, 2) has been overcome or 3) exists only among extremists. White supremacy can’t tolerate millions of people finally realizing that it is pervasive and systematic. It needs us ignorant and “hopeful.” And it needs us to cling to a particular kind of hope—a hope that reinforces racial ignorance and denial of white supremacy. A hope that sells you neoliberal inclusion and “feel good” tokenism—the kind of hope that cannot threaten the racial status quo. www.theroot.com/to-be-clear-white-supremacy-is-the-foundation-of-our-c-1797990783
A powerful resource from Southern Poverty Law Center provides the graphic evidence about exactly that these Statues stand for – that is, visible endorsements for the ascendency of White Supremacy over all efforts to dismantle this American apartheid.
Dr. Carol Anderson, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, challenges us to grasp how “America Is Hooked on the Drug of White Supremacy—We’re Paying for That Today.”
Unless, that is, we come to grips with the reality that we are seeing the effects of far too many Americans strung out on the most pervasive, devastating, reality-warping drug to ever hit the United States: white supremacy.
Like all forms of substance abuse, it has destroyed families and communities and put enormous strains on governmental institutions. It has made millions of Americans forsake their God and jettison their patriotism just to get a taste.
High on its effects, its users feel powerful, heady, even as they and everything around them disintegrates. And, as with most drug crises, while not everyone may be strung out, everyone is very surely affected. In 2017, millions of Americans are hooked on this drug. As clearly as track marks in the arms, the most visible signs are all around.
Yet, odious as he may be to many, Trump is, in fact, only a symptom. All of his racist rants would have dropped him on the outskirts of the lunatic fringe if it hadn’t been for the way that a major political party had spent decades making white supremacy the Republican party’s drug of choice.
The Republicans, of course, believed that they could control it. Getting a little taste every now and then, the party would swear that it wasn’t hooked, but, inevitably it needed an even more powerful strain each time to feel that high
With white supremacy’s current grip on the Republican party, everything the addict once valued has become expendable. Gone from power are moderate Republicans who believed in limited government, fiscal restraint and civil rights. Gone, as well, is the clout of the national security hawks, who put American sovereignty, might, and global leadership first….. As long as Trump gives the white supremacists one more Ice raid, one more deportation, one more Muslim travel ban, one more hunt for “illegal voters” in a sanctuary city, the craving is temporarily satisfied. And as with any addict, anything that gets in between the user and the drug has to go.
Republicans have convinced themselves, as addicts do, that they’re still in charge, that they’re getting out of this what they’ve always wanted – tax cuts for the rich, eventual destruction of the Affordable Care Act, a supreme court that will overturn Roe v Wade, and decisively fewer regulations on private industry – but none of these, if they were truly sober and in their right minds, are worth destroying the United States for. Yet, here we are. We’re not all addicted, but we’re surely enduring the consequences.
And in “Charlottesville is Just More Evidence American Was Born and Raised on Racism and Violence” Kali Holloway assesses the impact of America’s history:
Remember that within hours of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down key parts of the Voting Rights Act, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi and Alabama moved forward with voter ID laws that specifically disenfranchise black and brown folks. Remember that the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, which means black people have only legally been able to vote in every part of this country for a sliver of the time we’ve been Americans. Remember that people were murdered for trying to vote, sometimes by lynching, events which were celebrated and memorialized in picture postcards. Remember that through voter suppression tactics, millions of black people are still denied voting rights, and remember who benefits from that.
Remember all this when you hear someone respond to Charlottesville by saying racist violence is “un-American” or that it’s “not who we are,” because that is a bald-faced lie. In fact, it’s what this country has been about since day one; this is the U.S.A. at its most transparent. And nobody gets to pretend to be shocked anymore. www.alternet.org/right-wing/charlottesville-just-more-evidence-america-was-born-and-raised-racism-and-violence
Need More Exhortations and Guidance for Actions?!? From the remarkable Angela Glover Blackwell at PolicyLink www.policylink.org/blog/white-people-show-us:
Over the past several days we have watched in disgust as the progeny from our nation’s despicable past terrorized a city, committed murder, and received tacit approval from the highest level of government. White supremacy has found a home in the White House. The President is determined to perpetuate and maintain the social, political, historical, and institutional domination by White people at the expense of people of color. And in so doing, he is creating an environment that is also too toxic for White America. The White supremacy movement will not vanish until people of good will succeed in atoning for our nation’s past, reconciling, and building a bridge to a just and fair society where ALL are prospering and reaching their full potential.
America is seeing in real-time what the fight for equity looks like. When cultures, structures, and institutions are forced to change, the responses by those comfortable with and benefiting from the status quo are too frequently ugly, distressing, and violent. Equity leaders should not expect anything less. We signed up for this. Consequently, when things are at their worst, we must be at our best – body, mind, and soul. PolicyLink remains optimistic and single-minded in our work. We are standing strong in the face of formidable opposition because equity leaders, especially those on the front lines, are making progress.
We also are standing strong because we are getting a sense that increasing numbers of White people are sick of other White people’s racist conduct. We applaud the fact that from the streets, to corporate board rooms, to charitable giving, White people are taking up the work of equity. We hope we live in a country where most White people do not sympathize with White supremacists. If our perceptions are real, we have an opportunity to accelerate the advancement of equity, and we must seize it. While people of color are going to see this fight for equity through to victory, there is a powerful role that White people must play, and this role can no longer be eschewed for safer, transactional expressions of solidarity.
Show yourselves to be true patriots by joining with people of color, believing in the potency of inclusion, and building from a common bond to stamp out White supremacy and realize the transformative promise of equity – the imperfect and unrealized aspiration embodied in the Constitution. White America, you can perfect this aspiration! To do so requires that you honestly and forthrightly call out racism and oppression, both overt and systemic. And while this is a good start, it is insufficient. Your work is to lead the way in designing and implementing equity-centered public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms that trump White supremacy and create a just and fair society. This must be your call to action. This is what people of color need from you.
The normalization of White supremacy must be stopped now before it irreversibly poisons the nation’s culture. Your leadership is critical in this moment. You are best equipped to defeat White supremacy. Here are actions you can take that are transformative.
- Get Informed – Read the New York Times reading list entitled “A History of Race and Racism in America in 24 Chapters”.
- Fight Online – Join Color of Change and participate in these campaigns. Call for the removal of ALL Confederate symbols from places of honor in AmericaTell Congress to refuse to side with White supremacists/force Trump to #FireBannon
- Show Up for Justice – Visit the Indivisible website to find and join a solidarity event near you.
- Lead for Equity at Work – Use your power and influence to transform your organization into a national model of equitable practice. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide provides practical ways to start.
- Vote for Justice and Fairness – Vote for elected officials with a demonstrated track record of introducing and voting for equity-centered policies that improve the quality of life for people who are not wealthy
- Show us that our perceptions of a White majority opposed to White supremacy are real. Show us that we have a reason to believe that you will fight with more devotion to create a society that is just and fair for ALL, than White supremacists will in their pursuit to maintain their structural advantage, their racial privilege, their “whiteness.” By accepting this invitation, you’re not doing anyone any favors. You’re doing the work necessary to make America all that it can be. History has its eyes on you. Show us. Fight for equity
YEAH, FIGHT FOR EQUITY AND JUSTICE