“During the racist retrenchment of the late 19th and early 20th century, white supremacist policy flourished alongside an extraordinarily racist cultural milieu. This was the age of Jim Crow laws and minstrelsy shows, rampant discrimination and widespread Confederate nostalgia. And they worked in tandem, establishing and reinforcing racial caste and stigma.
President Trump represents a kind of racist retrenchment, an attempt to stem demographic change and bolster the political power of a shrinking group of conservative whites. Trump has allies in the culture — there are people who cater to the soft white nationalism of “Make America Great Again.” But the general trend is in the opposite direction. Anti-racism has never had more adherents. Millions of Americans hold racially egalitarian views. And many of them are rethinking those parts of our cultural landscape that exclude others and affirm racist values.
It’s one of the ironies of the Trump era that the return of open racism to mainstream politics exists alongside an open attack on the racist symbols of the past. I find it fascinating, but not altogether surprising. Just days after Trump announced his run for the White House in June 2015, Dylann Roof murdered nine worshipers at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. The act was laden with symbolism, from the church itself — a longtime pillar of the city’s black community — to Roof’s interest in Confederate and white supremacist iconography. The attack sparked a fierce debate about the Confederate flag, which quickly extended to Confederate monuments.”
Continue reading the article: It ain’t no big thing, to wait for the bell to ring
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