Jan 5, 2014 - White Supremacist Propaganda Cannot Be Tolerated, By Danielle Miller
While many claim the cure to racism is to ignore it, many could say that “ignoring” racism is no longer tolerable when it is constantly blown up in our faces.
Has ignoring racism allowed it to vanish? That answer becomes clear every time someone says “you never cared about this issue before” in defense of racism. Every time I hear this excuse it becomes evident that social justice has not been loud enough.
High schools created signs mocking the Trail of Tears. Another sign displayed outside of a Sonic drive-in used violence and stereotypes allegedly to bring intimidation and excitement for the Chiefs vs Redsk*ns football game.
The signs echo sentiments of America’s divisive past of segregation. They contribute to oppressive systems and have become so normalized that they are even allowed the benefit of the doubt to be considered “potentially” racist.
These racist signs are not just being implemented by school children and restaurant workers. More signs have been posted by white supremacist groups. White supremacist groups handed out fliers at Eastern Kentucky University.
White Supremacist flyers distributed in Kentucky
Knoxville banners with the message “’diversity” is a code word for white genocide”. Other banners and signs have been seen in Arkansas and Oregon. Another message on a sign was “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White”.
Last Real Indians was involved when white supremacist tried to take over a town in Leith, North Dakota in September 2013. Protestors recognized the potential danger of allowing these groups to live nearby reservations. Many trivialized the situation saying that the group had a right to free speech and they wouldn’t hurt anyone. Predictably, their leader Craig Cobb was later charged for terrorizing the town in November 2013.
Chase Iron Eyes speaking at Leith Anti-Racism Rally
The allegedly staged show Duck Dynasty has sparked public interest about freedom of speech. While the situation is a distraction from other issues, this freedom of speech debate has relevance to this discussion.
Freedom of speech gives one the right to say something ignorant, but doesn’t grant immunity from the repercussions which result from practicing that freedom of speech. Freedom of speech also should not infringe upon other’s rights to live life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Addressing these issues isn’t about being anti white, but anti white supremacy.
In a country that values diversity and equality, it becomes necessary to challenge actions which threaten or oppose those values. Once again I will utter the mantra, what you allow is what will continue.
While it is very difficult to deconstruct racist belief systems there is still hope to make positive change. This is why these issues are addressed, not to make scapegoats, or “attack” individuals. The first step to making changes is to acknowledge the problems that exist. Equality is the logical end goal, not to make the situation a debate on whether the individual or their action “is actually racist”.
To even allow derailing to occur we are reaffirming privileged mentalities which aim to trivialize the seriousness of racist actions to justify them. In doing so, we shift focus to irrelevant arguments full of fallacies rather than discovering solutions.
Racism is the elephant in the room, and it’s time to stop allowing racist apologists to shift the blame. The huge signs and banners with racial epitaphs are blatant enough. The trivialized encroachment of supremacy should no longer be tolerated when it trumps true equality and safety.
While we may not know who has been hanging the signs and banners we know that the incidents are increasing and this trend is disturbing. This leads to the need to reflect on our society’s goals and what we are actually achieving.
Some even say this may be a social experiment to see how people react to such signs. Shows like “What Would You Do?” on ABC use actors to experiment how the public reacts to racism. Admittedly it would have been gratifying to have cameras around during the Trail of Tears banners or the Sonic sign debacle.
However, due to the prevalence of blatant racism escalating, a mere social experiment is likely. This seems more like white supremacy reacting to the increase of social justice. Whether in person or online, social justice advocates are making it known that our society is no longer tolerating racism and hate.
Every privileged solution is a contradiction which leads to the ultimatum of just accepting racism and injustice. Apathy might be the easy way out but it’s no way of ensuring a better future. There is no shame to direct action, but there is shame in no action when you see injustice occurring right in front of you.
“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”–Sitting Bull