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.
Racism and oppression, like domestic terrorism, have deep roots in the United States. As modern Americans confront a seemingly endless barrage of racial violence and terrorism, the language associated with these crimes serves as an important marker of national values and beliefs.
While the response of the president was certainly unprecedented, the inclination to highlight violence on the Left, and especially violence from black Americans, is not. In the mid 1960s, as black activists engaged in a decidedly nonviolent struggle for justice, that same tactic appears.
By his own admission, film creator Gottlieb was able to spend most of his life in Silver Spring shielded from the community’s past that included widespread discrimination in the community’s businesses, public buildings, and housing. Even after completing the film, Gottlieb appears to have learned little about the substantial role racism played in shaping his community.