Another Voice: The poison of white nationalism can destroy America – Buffalo News


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Thank you, President Biden, for calling the May 14 massacre an act of “domestic terrorism.” We did not need thoughts or prayers. And yes, we are dealing with the “poison” of white supremacy. But that threat has moved beyond an intellectual or ideological battle. We are in the middle of a low-intensity war being waged by the radical right. Their weapons are anti-Black and anti-brown fearmongering, and again in this century, guns and bullets.Conservative parties and the religious right, which include many of the GOP leaders, are promoting and implementing racist, sexist and hateful ideologies: anti-immigration, anti-Critical Race Theory, anti-abortion, anti-Muslim, anti-gun control and anti-LGBQTT. Trump and his ilk enflame and create foot soldiers like Kyle Rittenhouse and Payton Gendron, both individuals who support that agenda and have carried out violent, terrorist attacks.This kid, old enough to buy guns and ammunition, but not alcohol or tobacco, was not a lone wolf. His actions (including intel and surveillance) are classic underground guerrilla tactics. Fast-paced, small scale violent attacks by individuals or groups, who work independently, yet in conjunction and support of the formal body politic, are moves the radical right has been using for generations.
Gendron is from the small town of Conklin, N.Y., whose residents stated they were “shocked by it all.” Yet, many of those same residents shamelessly fly the Confederate flag. That flag cannot be separated from its racist history or its thinly veiled threat against people of color.The center and the left need to realize that their public protests and demands for policy change are not working. History has shown that movements based on equal rights do not confront or defeat racism, bigotry, anti-semitism and sexism – all major tenets of white nationalism.Government leaders need to challenge the growing right radicalism within the Republican Party. News, entertainment, and social media outlets need to be held accountable for dissemination of hate speech and lies.Serious changes need to be made to our Senate representation. The Electoral College needs to be eliminated. We need to move away from the rhetoric of “rugged individualism” to the practice of “a collective good.”The massacre on May 14 targeted and traumatized Black Buffalo. White domestic violence has once again terrified our nation. Support for white nationalism is growing. It is time to address the dangerous right radicalism that is taking possession of the soul of our nation – the only soul we need be concerned with. Else, we will not be great enough to avoid a second Civil War.Beth Kwiatek works as a Senior Research Fellow at the UB Center for Urban Studies.

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