Do Not Deny Racism in America
What seems obvious to some is incomprehensible to others; Racist terrorists are present on U.S. soil and are very much capable of organizing and inciting terror.
One of the most exacerbating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the acceleration of existing conflict and political tension that has stemmed from the Trump presidency. The political polarization that has plagued this nation for so long came to a head with the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Since then, right-wing extremist groups were granted a foundational basis to expand their views and incite terror to anyone that disagrees.
Political protests are supposed to be an outlet of inclusivity in the sense that Americans should be able to voice their opinions. However, when political protests threaten the white racial hierarchy, mobs take the law into their own hands in order to enforce social control. Throughout 2020, Black Lives Matter protests swept across the nation calling out police brutality and systemic racism that exists. But these protests threatened the status quo, strengthening motivations for extremist right-wing groups. The outcome of the 2020 elections proved to be the tipping point that prompted extremists into action.
Photo by: NBC News
The U.S. has seen this deep hatred from white supremacists before. Lynching mobs ran wild across America for over 100 years. On Jan. 6, a noose made an appearance outside of the U.S. Capitol, reminding Americans that white supremacists will shamelessly continue to use this symbol of racist brutality on whoever they please when they feel the social order is being threatened. For some, it is unsettling to be reminded that in this day and age, over 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement, a white mob came together in solidarity to riot over the loss of a prejudice president. But this is not new. The social cohesion in the United States was completely disrupted and has further polarized our nation over the past four years with the help of Trump. The recent attack on the U.S. Capitol is the perfect example of how a lack of initiative by the U.S. government to address domestic extremists has resulted in violent acts of terror on our nation’s soil. This was not shocking. The once less publicly visible forces of white supremacy have risen to the call of maintaining the status quo. Right wing extremist groups, like the Proud Boys, have capitalized on weak social state of Republicans and rallied behind Trump in a more violent form of political protest in order to gain sympathizers and further extend their white privilege. But is storming the U.S. Capitol, a national symbol of the American people, considered a political protest or an act of terrorism?
The capacity and degree to which protests are carried out have drastically changed over the course of a year. Dissatisfaction with Democratic political policies and agendas that threaten to taint the racially pure ideologies of right-wing groups have led to action. The lone wolf attacks by right-wing extremists have been on a steady rise, proving that the planning, organization, and execution capabilities of these groups are legitimate and pose a serious threat to democracy. The racist ideology that many right-wing extremists hold act as motivation to create a racially pure state. The use of violence has been a consistent, and unfortunately successful, tactic used to attract attention to their extremist views.
It is a sad truth to say that that some people had more faith in the government to appropriately address legitimate terrorist concerns abroad than they did to address domestic extremists, especially under the Trump administration. Newly elected President Joe Biden faces a challenge. Tackling the white supremacist wave of violence means tackling the heart of the issue. At least Biden is already one step ahead of Trump in that he can openly acknowledge that racism in America is still very much present and while white supremacists are a significant threat to our democracy, he will take action towards their defeat.