Why Is Racism So Persistent in America?

by | Apr 30, 2022 | Human Rights & Justice, Opinions

Apartheid Museum entrance, Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Bobbi Kassowitz

Why Is Racism So Persistent in America?

by | Apr 30, 2022 | Human Rights & Justice, Opinions

Apartheid Museum entrance, Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Bobbi Kassowitz
Racism is hardly limited to American life and politics. But the American brand has a sticky persistence that must be closely examined to overcome it.

America has its own brand of racism. Before Trump came along and ripped off the social vernier, some people actually thought we had moved past racism as a social phenomenon. But that was really never the case. It has always been there, smoldering below the surface of Southern “politeness” and behind Northern masks of “tolerance.”

In other countries the phenomenon of racism is more overt and in your face. But here in the “Land of the Free” some of that overtness is making a comeback. A good portion of the credit for that goes to Trump and his quip about white supremacists and Nazis being “some very fine people.” But more is happening now.

Republican governors like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott are fanning the flames to endear themselves to the hardcore elements of Trump’s base. Both are pulling election-year publicity stunts to strengthen their appeal to white supremacists, who are also religious extremists and hate LGBTQ people as much as they hate black and brown people.

Nineteen Republican-led states have passed laws restricting voting with some attempting or succeeding in pushing through new election district maps to reduce Black voting access and representation.

Meanwhile the far right, emboldened by support from the former guy, is fielding candidates like Michigan radio host Randy Bishop. Bishop, who ironically registered as a Democrat, and is running on a platform that “Family should be a white mom, a white dad and white kids.” And he’s sponsored by Trump’s favorite conspiracy theorist, Pillow Guy Mike Lindell.

The basic philosophy of the right wing of American politics can be summed up in one word, exclusion. Republicans—and one clearly insane wannabe Democrat—want to exclude people they don’t like from many aspects of American life: the economy, voting rights, housing, etc.

And there are a LOT of people these folks don’t like. Black people, brown people, Asian people, Jews, Hollywood “elites,” unless they happen to be some has-been who supports Trump, poor people, electric car owners, solar panel users, LGBTQ people, vegetarians, anyone who isn’t “from” America—the fact that this includes anyone except Native Americans eludes them.

Somehow candidates pandering to these exclusionary crazies earn the label of “populist” by media pundits and reporters. They are clearly the exact opposite since they are seeking to exclude the majority of the population from their lives.

One has to pose the question of “Why?” There is a deep seated insanity among this crew. Not all of them. The majority of the adherents to the exclusionary party line are simply prone to following rather than examining and questioning. The hardcore leadership are stark raving nuts and that insanity has a way of rubbing off on people associated too closely to it.

Oddly enough the majority of the rank and file of the racist population of this country are redeemable. It takes work. One person who set a clear example of this is musician Daryl Davis, who has one by one, befriended members of the KKK and got them to quit the Klan.

American racism, despite having crawled out from under the rocks again over the Trump years, is still largely covert and fearful. Bigotry and fear are close bedfellows. But that covertness makes it harder to deal with, hence the persistence.

The Solution

After painting this grim picture it must be stated that this situation is far from hopeless. The racist core of the Republican party is trying to shore up its position by passing laws to restrict voting and voting rights.

Voting is the thing they fear the most. Despite their ambition to turn this country into a one-party system closely followed by a dictatorship, we the voters, still hold sway.

The one solution to this is to do what these people don’t want us to do: VOTE.

Primaries are coming. VOTE!

The Midterms are November 8th. VOTE!

For who? Any candidate who clearly supports ALL people, not just some small group of terrified racists, shouting loudly in their white hoods and red hats.

To lighten the mood after all that, enjoy this video from Trevor Noah, who in his brilliant way, of course has a very simple take on this. (Confession: Trevor’s video inspired this article.)

1 Comment

  1. Bobbi Kassowitz

    Trevor Noah is a true genius, honest, amazing person. I hope that someday I can meet him in person.

    Reply

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