For many people — white, black, and brown people, white supremacy is something abstract and intangible. Many simply think it doesn’t exist because they cannot see or feel the effects of it. I’ve gotten into many an argument with family, friends, and complete strangers as to the genuine existence of white supremacy, something I consider the worse form of hatred towards black and brown people all over the world.
As I have often said, white supremacy isn’t just members of the alt-right, white nationalist groups, or the Klan terrorizing black and brown people. It is the conscious and unconscious acts of people — black, brown, or white, to enforce — at times even violently, white values, cultures, and beliefs as superior to those of all other cultures. White supremacy does not want to share the world with other cultures because it wants to run the world.
Yesterday, as the Trump-guided mob looted the US Capitol — the very symbol of democracy the world over, white supremacy showed its face, and it was a dastardly ugly one indeed. For many white people, it was the first time that they were seeing white supremacy personified, and they were shocked.
I live far away from the US, far away from those looters that raided the Capitol, but somehow last night, as I bolted upright in my bed, awoken by a nightmare, I felt that those looters were in my backyard, breaking the windows and pounding on the doors to get into my home.
In my bad dream, I recalled those images I had seen on TV of angry white men trying to destroy me because I, a black woman, represent a threat to their egos and dominance. The tidal wave of rage that comes through when these same white men attack me for writing about racism, was the same rage I could see on their faces as they ransacked the US Capitol.
As the events unfolded yesterday, I studied those faces of hatred — from the white Republican congressmen inside the Capitol itself objecting to the certified votes of the Electoral College of Arizona, to begin with, to the white mob attempting to beat down the doors of this landmark. To me, all those white faces looked the same. They were the faces of white desperation, the faces of racists, of white supremacists, of entitled white men drunk on white power and privilege.
Media commentators expressed surprise as the events unfolded, and I continue to ask myself why? Can the media — both the traditional and social media — be surprised when they are also culprits in instigating these events? Don’t they remember how they repeatedly retransmitted all the heinous and racist messages that Trump spurted out over the last 4 years just to maintain their ratings? Their hypocrisy is nauseating.
And then there are the other Republicans — the ones that the media are now calling the moderates. The ones that had Trump’s back until the first window at the US Capitol was broken by the mob. Yes, those who finally began to see that Trump was a liability. Yes, those ones. Who the hell do they think they’re fooling?
Trump's access to power is not a unique phenomenon. History tells us that the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Mugabe, Idi Amin — can all come to power. Human beings can be brainwashed, they can be manipulated to do their master’s bidding. And Trump rallied up 70 million Americans to do just this.
The duality of human nature: the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the angelic and the demonic all exist in mankind. Humans are capable of good deeds and evil ones. It wasn’t a question of if Trump's words would lead to dangerous life-threatening actions in the US, it was simply a question of when — and yesterday was that time.
Where do we go from here? Let’s not imagine that when Trump leaves the White House on January 20th, all of this is going to disappear like a bad dream. White supremacy like the cancer that it is has already infiltrated and metastasized in US society. White people just didn't notice.
There is no way of easily getting rid of this hatred now. Like a sneaky, malignant cancer, it may hide for a while under Biden’s soft speeches and calls for unity, but we should not forget that it is still there and if it is not cut out, it will come roaring back with a vengeance in 2024.
To stand a chance of curing this cancer, the US is going to have to do a complete and total overhaul of its society. The message here is: diversify, diversify, and diversify more. The country is still segregated, red states and blue states, white neighborhoods and black neighborhoods, white universities and black universities, white Twitter, and black Twitter. This needs to stop. It creates fear, estrangement, and animosity to and of the other, of the person that looks different.
The country needs to make a Herculean effort to bring people together, to bridge inequalities, to build real unity, to build empathy and caring amongst the American people. Without this, there will be no hope for America, and like the Roman and Greek empires before it, America will surely fall.
Those that want to Make America Great Again, should heed this warning and have every interest in building unity to pursue that greatness.
Thanks for reading my perspective.