In our day and age, acts of hatred are overwhelmingly common, ever-evolving, and can be formally structured in the groups that have long been institutionalized in the United States.
Under a bigoted philosophy and racist worldview, hate groups associated with the ideologies of neo-Nazis and white supremacists remain more prominent than ever. Despite efforts made by numerous progressive movements such as the “Civil Rights Movement”, the U.S. has never managed to let go of its cruel history of racial oppression.
White supremacy is a racist ideology with its basis found in the belief that white people are superior to people of all other races and hence should be dominant. A similar movement is neo-Nazism, which seeks to revive the ideology of Nazism. Both of these are social movements, which perceive and identify different racial and cultural groups as their main adversary.
Slavery and segregation may have been a thing of the past, but the roots of white supremacy linger and persist today.
Moreover, daily acts of hatred have demonstrated how old racial prejudices can still drive emotions and trigger violence. This is clear with the ongoing incidents such as the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, with white supremacists, members of the KKK, and neo-Nazis among those in attendance. This horrific event is a profound reminder that racism and bigotry are not only deeply embedded in society, but also have become staples of American culture.
The question of whether these people that identify with extremist hate groups may be rehabilitated and reintegrated partakes in a discussion as complex as the concept itself. This will be a challenging task, one that requires genuine effort and communication.
Currently, the president of the United States, who was running a campaign essentially rooted in xenophobia and hate, fails to generate dialogue that powerfully disproves such acts, as seen in Charlottesville. After this incident, the statement he made dismissed the rallies by blaming it on “all sides”, grouping together the anti-racist protestors with white supremacists, rather than calling out the white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Everything about this is wrong, as the president should use a strong discourse that condemns and rejects the mobilization of such hate groups. This is because the only way to reach people who are filled with such hatred is to communicate with them as you would with anyone else, while simultaneously engaging in grassroot movements-mobilizing against such counter-revolutionary forces.
One of the main issues which allows for this phenomenon is the idea that white supremacists are a result of ignorance, implying that their actions are neither calculated nor coordinated. However, these acts of violent racism go well beyond ignorant acts, or ignorant thinking; white supremacists and neo-nazis have been demonstrating the same behavior for many, many years, while living among various different races and cultures.