The notion that racism is a violation of human rights is not a new one, as those who have experienced it effects would testify. The ground-breaking progress gained by the civil rights movement of the 1960s in the United States has steadily eroded over the past decade, and the issues and incidents of racism as well as anti-Semitism, homophobia, and violence against women are ones that need to be addressed with increasing urgency. While the courts are more and more frequently relying on civil rights laws to prosecute racially motivated violence, the common abuses of basic human rights are often overlooked.
In fact, the encroachment of white supremacist ideologies into the social fabric of our politics, our institutions, and our laws means that intolerance 1. is becoming the rule of the day, and the overt violation of the persons and property of individuals and groups is not only easily accepted, but part of the status quo. America has moved into a new era of white supremacy. The new tactics used by white supremacists and far right organizations must be exposed so that we can work together to mitigate their effectiveness.
This includes a discussion of the relationship between three converging and ever-growing factionsthe ultra-conservatives, religious fundamentalists, and the far right. In this context, racism cannot stand alone as the sole antagonist of human rights violations. The victims of white supremacist ideologies and politics include immigrants, gays and lesbians, Jews, and women, as well as people of color. From the ranks of homophobes, anti-abortionists, racists, anti-Semites, and those who are simply afraid of a fast-changing world, white supremacists find willing allies in their struggle to control Americas destiny.
Hate groups cannot be dismissed as a more complex than the virulence of a few fringe fanatics. With the breathless way the media covers hate groups, it is sometimes easier to characterize them simply as misfits or extremists, rather than acknowledge them as part of the larger problem of widespread racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. FBI statistics report that 65 percent of Americas hate crimes are committed by whites against blacks. A good portion of such hate crimes are what we call move-in violence, when neighborhoods, schools, churches, or jobs are finally integrated 2.
30 years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Terror over the visibility of the lesbian and gay movement lays behind the numerous hate crimes against gays and lesbians (and their allies) the fastest-growing hate crime category in the country. Some of the haters, living on the United States borders, are petrified at the thought that brown hordes of Mexicans, Chinese, or Haitians may swarm over them if they cease their militant rhetoric and violence toward these immigrants. If they live near Native American reservations, the aim of their violence is to challenge the few remaining treaty rights granted native peoples.
Other white supremacists want to save the white race by controlling the behavior of white womenthey attack interracial couples, lesbians, and feminists. They join the anti-abortion movement, believing they can prevent white women from getting legal abortions. Racist far right organizations have been quick to glorify anti-abortion violence, making it yet another hot issue to fuel the fires of the white revolution. Hate groups have decided that they are no longer willing to wait for the white revolution, the violent backlash against human rights movements.
They want a fast solution before, as they put it, the white race is extinct. These fanatics are terrorists who use bombs, murder, arson, and assaults in their genocidal war. Some skinheadsfor example, the Fourth Reich Skins arrested a few years ago in Los Angeles or the Aryan National Front, convicted of murdering homeless people in Alabama are in the vanguard of this street-level violence. Meanwhile, older survivalists like Randy Weaver, who was acquitted of killing a federal marshall in an Idaho firefight in 1992, 3.are barricaded in mountain shelters with stockpiles of weapons, awaiting the final Armageddon.
Impressionable, often alienated people, both young and old, are natural recruits for this movement. They bring new energy and a willingness to display their hatred aggressively. They also expand the influence of the white supremacist movement, into the anti-abortion movement, into the anti-gay movement, into the English only movement, opening new avenues for the expression of hate. In the 21st century, the image of organized hate is rapidly changing.
It is no longer the exclusive domain of white men over 30. It is becoming younger, meaner and more violent. Many people join the movement as teenagers, including a remarkable number of young women. This new and dangerous increase accounts for nearly one-third of the membership of some hate groups. The increase in the number of women, coupled with a strategic thrust to reform the public image of hate groups, has expanded womens leadership. These new recruits do not fit the stereotypical image of wives on their husbands arms.
In fact, many of them are college-educated, very sophisticated, and display skills usually found among the rarest of intellectuals in the movement. Of particular concern in this early 21st century is a continuing convergence of sections of the white supremacist movement with the radical Christian Right, as represented by Pat Robertson, and nationalist ultra-conservatives, as represented by the crackpot Tea Party members and conservative Republicans such as Rick Santorum.
This alliance is between religious determinists who think that ones degree of Christianity determines ones future, economic determinists who see themselves in a 4.war of the haves against the have-nots, and biological determinists for whom race is everything. All believe they are in battle to save Western civilization (white Europeans) from the ungodly and the unfit (people of color, gays and lesbians, and Jews). What many Americans fail to realize is that, increasingly, white people are being literally scared out of their wits by demagogues, who crystallize for them their fears of people of color, lesbians and gays, the government, the media, welfare mothers, immigrants, the economy, health care, and the list goes on.
The fact that race relations in the United States are usually presented as a black/white model disguises the complexity of color, the brutality of class, and the importance of religion and sexual identity in the construction and practice of white supremacy. This simplistic model, which fails to convey many of the important aspects of white supremacy, cannot specifically explain how white supremacy influences American culture and politics. White supremacy is an ideology that manipulates US politics and affects all relations in American society.
It is sustained by rigid ideological categories. The construction of racial categories, although varying greatly over time, has always been based on the economic, social, and political aspirations of people of European descent. Throughout European history, racial definitions have been based on lineage, characteristics, skin hue, and religion. At the present time, there are not safe places for the victims of this type of violence to turn.
No homeless shelters, no womens shelters, and often not even 5.police departments offer them support. The first step in building these resources is to recognize the magnitude of the problem so that human rights activists can come together to offer help and support to those outside the majority rule. A concerted, prolonged effort to teach young people about the true impact of white supremacy and its prevalence in American society is fundamental to breaking the cycle. To ignore this issue is to build intolerance into the next generation.
An understanding of the historical and institutional effects of racism and the other isms that dominate our culture and society is vital to understanding present bigotry and abuse. In conclusion, when we recognize that racism, homophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia flow from the same spring, and that they permeate every aspect of the lives of all Americans, we can then take steps together to make the United States a place that respects and honors the dignity of all people.
6. A Childs Tale By Gloria A. Loftin Let me tell you a tale my child of blue and grey of a world gone wild Let me tell you a tale my child of men in hoods and capes of hearts full of rage and hate Let me tell you a tale my child of men of god of greed and wealth Let me tell you a tale my child of peace and hope for all the world Let me tell you a tale my childÑŽ