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This Week's 5: The White Supremacist Threshold

April 27, 2018

Author's Note: This Week's 5 is a weekly collection of stories designed to provide insight into how racism works and serve as an easily accessible resource for people trying to have nuanced discussions about these issues. For more explanation on how This Week's 5 works and descriptions of each of the categories, click here.

 

Overt: If you haven't been paying attention, ever since the 2016 Election, white supremacists have adopted a new sign off for their street level attacks. Specifically, they have an uncanny penchant for evoking the name Donald Trump. The Center for Investigative Reporting identified 150 reported (emphasis on reported) incidents of Trump-themed harassment and attacks in 39 states over the last 18 months. Read more from The Root.

 

 

Institutional: Police throughout the country (and abroad) just keep getting caught displaying an odd fondness for white supremacists. Seemingly every week or so, a story emerges where the police are going out of their way to protect white supremacists, using whatever law they can find as justification, while taking a sledgehammer to groups who oppose them. This week, the excuse was that counter protesters were wearing masks. Read more from the Huffington Post.

 

 

Critical Race Theory: White privilege can and often does literally get people killed. The Waffle House killer actually had his guns confiscated on multiple occasions, only for his father to exploit loopholes in the law to return them to his dangerous son. That son even tried to rush security to confront Trump at the White House at one point. Nonetheless, he was given every opportunity enact a tragedy and sure enough, he took it. And to no one's surprise, the police found a way to capture him alive. Meanwhile, Black people like Philando Castile get shot to death in front of their families for obeying orders during a traffic stop. Read more from The Root.

 

 

History: People forget that Rosa Parks built her career as an anti-rape activist before she became known for not giving up her seat on the bus. While some publications are now trying to rectify it, many people aren't aware that the #MeToo movement was created by Tarana Burke, a Black woman, ten years ago. Black woman have been driving this work for decades, setting the table for the progress we're seeing today, all while also fighting the long history of mostly white women using false allegations of rape to lynch and imprison mostly Black men. Read more from Vox.

 

 

The Fragility Breaker: It's always interesting to see the threshold for what makes people reveal who they really are. When you look at supposed progressive bastions like New York, Boston, or Portland, that threshold is often housing and schools. People who usually go out of their way to appear on the right side of history will suddenly let all of their white tears flow on video when faced with the idea of living next to Black people or *gasp* letting their children go to school with us. That these reactions are so predictable is telling in and of itself. Read more from The Root.

 

 

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