Charlottesville Is a Reminder of What Racism Brings

The violent clashes that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia recently have once more attracted the attention of the world to the racist ideologies and structures in the US. Especially the fact that the streets of a peaceful city was besieged and terrorized by heavily armed militias aroused significant worry among many. That protests turned violent only in a few months in a country that had long served as a global model of social peace is truly mind boggling. The US government should take urgent precautions in the face of rising racism and the pro-violence counter-groups rising with it. The world needs a USA in which the common sense prevails. 

The USA is perhaps one of the countries with the most notorious history in regard to racism. A mere 150 years ago, American people decimated each other in a civil war that had erupted because of slavery. One million Americans lost their lives on both sides in four years. The rich, fertile lands and infrastructure of the South were effectively destroyed. Although slavery was constitutionally abolished in the wake of the war, it took a century before it could be fully materialized in the real life. During this period, anti-black organizations such as the Klu Klux Klan fought hard to prevent the rights American black citizens had obtained from being implemented in the social sphere. Movements such as the eugenics movement and racial hygiene policies, which emerged in the first half of the 20th Century, were also racist approaches. 

Racial violence was ever present in the US territory, particularly in the southern regions, until the very end of World War II. Only after the civil society movements of the 60’s did it became possible for blacks and whites to attend the same schools, travel on the same buses and eat at the same restaurants. Today, an ideological substructure that favors the discrimination of people according to the color of their skin is still prevalent among certain segments of the society. This climate of violence is giving rise to terrorists who reckon themselves as patriots such as Timothy McVeigh, the infamous Oklahoma City bomber, who caused the deaths of 168 people. This is an issue that the US society has to tackle for itself.

Members of the white supremacy movement carry Nazi flags and wear Swastika tattoos. These groups chant Nazi slogans such as "blood and soil," expressing the idealization of a racially defined ethno-nationalistic body ("blood") united with a geographical area ("soil"). They hold anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish views as well, as is the case with Charlottesville.  Although these values are certainly not a part of the US society, they still find supporters among racist, right wing extremists.

Radical right terrorists have also perpetrated numerous mass killings over the recent years.  Six Indians lost their lives in a mass shooting carried out on a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin in 2012, while in 2014, three innocent Jews were slaughtered in an attack on a Jewish community center. One of the most vicious attacks of late was carried out by Dylann Roof. In a massacre that took place at a black Methodist church in Charleston, Southern California, nine pious Christians lost their lives. All of these attacks were perpetrated by the followers of white supremacist organizations.

Today, this racist movement has myriad small structures within the US. These groups are largely spearheaded by neo-Nazis. Neo-Nazis coordinate their activities over the Internet. Another major racist group following the neo-Nazis is the White Nationalists. Although compared to the neo-Nazis, this movement can be said to hold a more moderate view, they are still waging a struggle to establish an ethno-nationalist state based on racial purity. Right under this group are the neo -Confederates. This faction, too, pursues the same end: founding a white-only state. They have a nostalgic attachment to the pre-Civil War South era. Even though the KKK movement is not as rampant as these groups, nor anywhere near as powerful as they were a century ago, they maintain their activities in the certain parts of the country nonetheless.

As for the so-called Alt-Right, which has recently emerged as a more modern and urban movement, it does not consider itself as being in the 'racist' category. However, liberals, feminists, social justice warriors or immigrants beg to differ.

In the last three elections, these discussions expanded into the US politics. The rightist voters united against Obama's practices which they believed went against American values. Donald Trump was elected the president of US by a narrow margin with the votes of pious and conservative voters. Following the announcement of the election results, the streets overflowed with the protests of left-leaning voters. The protests acquired a violent aspect by the actions of the radicals. Today, the USA is in a vicious cycle where violence begets violence and hatred begets more hatred.  Meanwhile, the politicians, statesmen and intellectuals, who are supposed to work toward a solution, are distancing themselves from common sense.

This irrational atmosphere promotes and fosters both radical rightist and radical leftist movements. Having been initiated through the provocations of only a handful of pro-violence groups, these organizations are rapidly extending their social footing, absorbing the political center in the process. On the other hand, the radical rightist protests have brought out Antifa, a pro-violent leftist movement. Today, Antifa shows up in any and every rightist activity, wearing masks and carrying bats. It declares all conservative cadres to be racists and essentially turns peaceful protests into war zones.

The violence taking place today will serve no purpose other than promoting racism even further.

Adnan Oktar's piece in American Herald Tribune:

2017-09-04 14:37:43

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