Donald Trump, Charlottesville, Nazis, KKK, Alt Right
The ash heap of history. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.

Following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA last week, Republican and Democratic politicians alike were quick to condemn what they saw. Almost to a man — that man being President Donald Trump — they stressed that the ideology on display was inconsistent with American values and the principles the United States was founded on.

That sounds nice. But it is, of course, mostly false — and that’s part of the problem. While it is true that the United States is founded on admirable ideals, the implementation of these lofty goals has been a work in progress since Day One.

From the very first breath the young republic took, white male supremacy was part of it. Whites could own blacks and only white men could vote (in fact, initially only white, male property owners could vote, which is probably the preferred way of voting even today for some people).

The breakup of the country and its bloodiest war were needed to change that. Even then, it took another 100 years and a massive civil rights struggle to try to force all states to stop treating African-Americans as second-class citizens.

And some of these same states are still fighting this notion of equality today, passing laws that systematically disenfranchise minorities.

The bottom line is that deep-seated, historic institutional racism has very much been a part of the United States — and it continues to be to this day. Fortunately, there is much less of it than before.

The reason is that good people of all races have stood up and said “Enough”. Many of them have lost their lives in this struggle, just like the young woman in Virginia last week.

Others, however, are clinging to a more comfortable narrative. Instead of acknowledging that racism has been woven into the fabric of the United States, they are confusing — either willfully or ignorantly — the ideals upon which the country was founded, with what the reality looked like.

And that has made it more difficult to fight this inequality: It’s difficult to fix something that many people refuse to see as a problem — in part because it would interfere with their notion of American exceptionalism.

What they don’t realize is that what makes the United States a great country is not the ideals the founders outlined more than 200 years ago. Rather it is the many individual and collective acts of heroism that helped implement and defend those ideals since then.

Now it’s time for a new generation of Americans to make their mark, reject hate and move the United States another step toward achieving the principle of true equality.

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4 years ago

A problem that doesn’t exist except in the fevered minds of journalists and liberals seeking election.

4 years ago

PS The CIA considered considered the Information in All Honorable Men so threatening to its plans, that it bought up all the copies it could find and destroyed them. The reason the “intelligence” agency was so alarmed is explained in Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile by Paul Manning, a WW II correspondent and colleague of Edward R. Murrow’s. The Bormann book is another free PDF at Dave Emory’s Web site. A few hardcover copies are for sale on line. It never went to paperback. The release of the book in the 1980s wasn’t properly advertised. “Someones” knee capped publisher Lyle Stuart, and he fled the country to recover. Some of the books in the bibliography of Family of Secrets were also published by Stuart.

4 years ago

This is a good beginning. But the problems dating from the founding were exacerbated by the eager embrace of fascism by the GOP’s “base”–businessmen, industrialists, and Wall Streeters– in the 1930s. Good introductions to the subject are All Honorable Men:The Story of the Men on Both Sides of the Atlantic Who Successfully Thwarted Plans to Dismantle the Nazi Cartel System by James Stewart Martin and Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Disastrous Effect on United States Foreign Policy by Professor Christopher Simpson. Both books are available in digital format from Mark Crispin Miller’s Forbidden Bookshelf Project. The index page numbers don’t match up in the new edition of All Honorable Men. A free PDF of the book with accurate page numbers is available at Dave Emory’s Web site. I just sent Russ a copy of a document titled The Charlottesville Statement with a link to the original at Richard Spencer’s Web site. As many people as possible need to read its 20 points. I hope to see it highlighted here. The alt-right didn’t come to Charlottesville, which is 40 miles north of where I live, to engage in dialogue. They came to claim territory and intimidate anyone who objects to their benighted philosophy. Legal push back needs to start now. The Southern Poverty Law Center Web site provides a detailed overview of alt-right groups in the United States and their activities.

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