The Banality of White Supremacy
Part One: Attorney Steven Thomas Druckenmiller of Upper Arlington, Ohio
On the left is Steven Thomas Druckenmiller, son of Kevin and MaryAnn Druckenmiller of Fremont, Ohio. He is a licensed attorney who, as of last year, was working for the Department of Justice in Columbus, Ohio, as a federal Workers Compensation Claims Examiner. On the right is his wife, Allison Lucille Pheanis Druckenmiller, who makes almost $10,000 per month working as a Business Process Analyst for the State of Ohio.
They seem like the typical upper-middle-class professional family with kids that one would expect to find in a big city suburb. But this family is different, for behind Steve’s shiny but forgettable Elmer Fudd façade is a brain brimming with white supremacy and a will to inflict pain on others, including Black residents of Upper Arlington, Ohio.
The Druckenmillers purchased their home in the suburb of Upper Arlington in late 2012. They chose a city that conspired to remain a whites-only community until 1971, and which today has the lowest percentage of Black residents in metro Columbus.
There were certainly indications that Mr. Druckenmiller was problematic prior to 2020. But it’s recently become obvious that he* is not just trolling.
After the death of George Floyd, protests began in Columbus and its suburbs, including two in Upper Arlington. It appears that this enraged Mr. Druckenmiller to the point that intermittent offensiveness and dog-whistle just wouldn’t cut it anymore.
In response to “Blackout Tuesday” on June 2, 2020, Druckenmiller (who now goes by “Steve Drew” on Facebook) responded with a “whiteout” profile pic. Soon after, he created a cover image stating “You Are Not Alone,” and paired it with “It’s Okay To Be White,” a common white supremacist image and slogan, for his profile pic.
Stevie not only upped the racism on his personal Facebook page — he also began spewing a mixture of racism and anti-BLM posts on local Upper Arlington discussion forums and the personal pages of other Upper Arlington residents.
In summary, in his posts, he has written that Black lives “only matter insofar as they can be used as a weapon against us” (Us who?). He has disputed that racism happens in UA, and he has vowed to fight against anti-racism measures in the city.
He also managed to slide another covert white supremacist slogan onto a UA discussion forum: “Antiracism is code for antiwhite.” In his version, though, he capitalized the word “white” again.
Lately, he has begun organizing with like-minded UA residents. They created a group called “Proud UA,” but many must have realized that name was too obvious, so organized a“We Are UA” page. Chillingly, there are several prominent community members who have also joined this group. (More on their identities in a later writing).
He appeared incensed when the UA School Board announced a plan to combat racism in their schools, and he spoke out against students’ stories of racism posted on an Instagram account:
But online organizing wasn’t enough for Steven Druckenmiller, so he decided to take action. First, as a response to protests against police violence, he began selling “We Support UA Police” signs. Then he decided to go picket a Juneteenth celebration held by Upper Arlington teachers. All by himself.
Reportedly, as he picketed UA’s teachers at the Juneteenth event, he also filmed them and demanded to know their names.
Upper Arlington does not have many Black residents. However, it appears that Steven Druckenmiller has gone out of his way to target several of them. He posted this bad (and likely dishonest) review on the business page of a Black UA resident:
He then appeared to try to affect the employment of another Black UA resident by making claims about the person’s spouse:
Most recently, he has tokenized a biracial young man from UA who wants to become a police officer:
As of the week of June 29, 2020, his employment status has changed to “self-employed” on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Attorney Directory. However, it is currently unknown if he continues to work at the Department of Justice.
Steven Thomas Druckenmiller is the type of person who should never hold a position in our society that might allow him to have power over the lives of those who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color.
It’s time for all community and business leaders to cut ties with him, publicly condemn his words and behavior, and disavow his endorsements. The people are watching.
All biographical and other information in this essay has been gleaned from publicly available sources.
*While it’s always possible that a friend, family member, or three raccoons in a trenchcoat could be posting in his name, given the consistency of his words and actions, that seems extremely unlikely.