The fact is that the struggle for equal rights will outlive all of us. Substantive and systemic changes are very slow to come, and they are made slower still by the reality of intersectional struggle. When you are struggling not only for your own freedom, but freedom for all oppressed peoples, you increase the chances of encountering opposition from erstwhile allies.
American exclusion and criminalization of non-white people proffered a blueprint to Nazis, who engaged intimately with it in the hopes of carrying it out to its logical extent: an openly racist legal system that systematically drove out the so-called racially decrepit to foster a pure Aryan state.
White children who were taught history lessons including information about racism experienced by African Americans demonstrated less biased attitudes toward African Americans than their white counterparts who received otherwise identical lessons that omitted those ‘pessimistic, unpatriotic’ teachings.
While white supremacists seek confirmation of their personal racial inheritance, they are often confronted with what they regard as deeply discrediting information, such as mixed-race ancestry. This new type of genetic information creates what we call a genetic stigma—a significant gap between the person’s prior conception of themselves and the way others in the broader community perceive them.
Even in the face of life-threatening natural disasters and military action potentially on the horizon, ‘45’ makes clear through his weekly escapes to his members-only, signature golf clubs that revitalizing the bonds of white fraternity is an essential part of his project of ‘Making America Great Again.’
White backlash was never limited to the southern states. Vast and sudden changes after 1865—especially implied by the prospect of emancipating four million black people—stirred ugly counterattacks and racial backlash against the nation’s free black northern population.
Life and cultural expectations in East Texas continue to promote segregation in both personal and social relationships. Although white supremacist marches like the one in Charlottesville grip American headlines, neo-Nazis and Klansmen supporting the same doctrine in the open are not uncommon behind the Pine Curtain.