White supremacy as the norm

Just a few days ago, the South rose again. The photos and video coming out of the University of Virginia and the greater Charlottesville, Va. area were clear and explicit examples of how the foundation of white supremacy and anti-Black racism continue to serve as guiding principles and desires for far too many white Americans in the 21st century. Unfortunately for the rest of the nation, the president’s chickens are coming home to roost. After almost two years of race baiting, encouraging his supporters to return back to the “good old days,” appointing and being advised by know white supremacist and anti-Semite Steve Bannon, and remaining silent while white domestic terrorists committed heinous acts across the country, the president must now deal with a country divided by racial sparks he stoked for decades.

Let us be clear, racism and white supremacists in the United States are not new. They are actually a part of the soil of this nation. What is new are the ways in which we can chronicle and report these incidents in real time, see the inner thoughts of these individuals on their social media platforms and see how far too many elected representatives and members of law enforcement also espouse these same beliefs. There have been far too many stories over the past two years that have shown law enforcement individuals speaking about Blacks (and other people of color) in a derogatory manner and going so far as to even display their Ku Klux Klan and white power paraphernalia alongside of their police uniforms. These are some of the same individuals who remain employed after shooting innocent unarmed people of color in broad daylight. And we must note that these individuals remain employed at a time when the talented quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed for taking a knee and trying to raise awareness about the inequity occurring in Black communities across the country.

After the terrorist events in Charlottesville, the president released a mealy mouthed neutral tweet (followed by reading a brief statement) that condemned both sides. Both sides? Unfortunately, the racial animus the president encouraged is coming to a head, which is forcing even members of his own party to speak out more strongly against the president’s mild-mannered comments. What is even more concerning is that these incidents will likely not stay in the news for very long. With this particular president, a man who does not believe in reading or being a student of history or politics, he will likely say or do something to detract from this important series of events.

What we do know is that no matter how disgusting these racist acts might be, they will not serve to distract us from the past and present rhetoric of the president, and they will not distract us from Bob Mueller and his investigation.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream” and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy.com. You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.