The threat of white supremacy in the 21st century

Kyra Robinson | Opinion Editor

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Vincent Thian | Associated Press

The world was shaken off its axis last month when news dropped that there were mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. According to Vox, 50 people were killed and 50 people were injured in what was the country’s worst mass shooting ever.

Brenton Tarrant, charged with murder in the attack, is a 28-year-old white male from Australia with white supremacist views, USA Today reported. This unsettling event has again brought up the discussion of the rise of white supremacy, not only in America but across the globe.

“Most terrorist attacks in the United States, and most deaths from terrorist attacks, are caused by white extremists,” wrote Adam Serwer for the Atlantic.

Serwer got his information from the Anti-Defamation League, which reported that “right-wing extremists accounted for 73 percent of such killings, compared with 23 percent for Islamists and 3 percent for left-wing extremists.”

White supremacy on a global level has existed for centuries, with the viciousness of it seen throughout history. From slavery in America to the Holocaust in Europe, the ideologies of white supremacy have existed freely, terrorizing wherever it could.

However, still to this day, white supremacy is not recognized for the danger it is. President Donald Trump has allowed these extremists to fester, whether intentional or not, and has been feeding into their dangerous ideologies.

His reluctance to criticize white nationalists, seen on multiple occasions but most infamously after the Charlottesville riots – in which he said there were “very fine people on both sides” – is disappointing and troubling.

What is most disconcerting is that white supremacist ideology continues to surface despite others’ progressive, openminded rhetoric. As society becomes more accepting, antagonists only grow more belligerent. We are seeing more women and more people of color in positions of power, more representation on television, and more legislation passed that helps less privileged communities. I would have hoped that would help to eradicate racism and extremism.

We have seen powerful white nationalists such as David Duke endorse Trump. We have seen the rise of the alt-right, an even more radical conservative party that generally feeds into white supremacist rhetoric, in the past three years.

White supremacy, always lurking, is quickly rising from the shadows, and it is nothing less than terrifying.


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