You just have to put white people’s comfort over the rights of anyone else.
Had a fun (read: banal) little bit of back and forth yesterday on Twitter Dot Com with someone convicted of a hate crime for teaching his girlfriend’s dog to “nazi salute” when prompted with antisemitic speech and then putting a video of it on YouTube and leaving it up to drive traffic to other videos.
I said (not really to him, but someone had tagged him into the coversation and I hadn’t noticed) that I didn’t believe the “it was a joke” defense because of his association with a white supremacist (one “Tommy Robinson,” aka Stephen Christopher Yaxley, formerly of the notorious anti-Muslim hate group the “English Defense League“) and his simultaneous wearing of a symbol commonly worn by white supremacists with a hard-on for vikings, the Valknut. He responded demanding proof that his buddy is a white supremacist, in the form of the demand: “Find me evidence of Tommy saying that the white race is superior, which is a requirement to being a white supremacist.”
I didn’t have the time or energy at that moment to explain that there really is no such requirement, but here, I’ll say it now:
You do not have to say “the white race is superior” to be a white supremacist and/or to support white supremacism. You don’t have to get caught on tape saying it. You don’t have to be photographed wearing a white sheet over your head with little holes cut for your eyes. You don’t have to get a membership to a Nazi party or give Nazi salutes in rooms full of people chanting things like “white power” or “Trump! Trump! Trump!”.
You just have to act like a white supremacist.
So here’s just a few things white supremacists do, that, if you happen to find yourself doing, you might want to think long and hard about. Because maybe, somehow, you don’t know that you’re participating in white supremacism.
Well, here’s your chance to stop.
1. Giving preference to white people over others.
Here’s a photo of the White House intern pool. Notice anything? I’ll wait.
If your workforce looks like this, when white people make up far less of the population than the roughly 97% shown above, then you’re probably participating in white supremacism.
Fun fact: you get bonus white supremacy points if your automatic response to this is something about “merit.”
2. Implying that nonwhite people should “know their place.”
— Thomas Bishop (@bishopk0s) February 16, 2018
Expecting nonwhite people to be silent, to not speak up for their own wellbeing, to be grateful for their success as though it’s somehow something you allowed them to have? Yeah, that’s definitely something a white supremacist does. So don’t do that.
3. Spreading conspiracy theories about nonwhite people “infiltrating” or “subverting” a country.
Xenophobia, fear of anyone or anything different, is the primary weapon of white supremacy. It’s used to take insecurities about change in a person’s neighbourhood, town, or country, and elevate them to the point where the people who harbour them start advocating for white supremacist positions, like “separate but equal” (see below). This is, in point of fact, why I don’t believe Mr. Yaxley’s claims to not support white supremacism: because he’s spreading xenophobic lies about “Islamism spreading across the country.” In Yaxley’s defense, he does seem to limit his personal bigotry to the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. The fact that Muslims are by and large nonwhite is, I’m sure, totally inconsequential.
4. Advocating for the division of society along racial lines, even if you say “everyone’s equal.”
White supremacists love this one, because it lets them pretend they’re not what they are. Out loud they’ll say things like “everyone’s entitled to a homeland,” and then use it to advocate for a white ethnostate. Fun fact: you can’t make a white ethnostate in a place where nonwhite people currently live without being a white supremacist. The action of preferentially removing people from where they live so that white people can be more comfortable is literally putting the comfort of white people over the rights of nonwhite people, and that’s a white supremacist action.
This is the thing: you don’t have to say “white people are better” to be a white supremacist.
You just have to consistently put white people’s interests, or even their simple comfort, over the rights and comfort of everyone else.
That’s it. That’s what makes a person a supporter of white supremacism. That’s what makes a person complicit in white supremacism. Even if they never say “whites are better” out loud. It’s not “thoughtcrime” to point this out. It’s not “1984” to call racism racism. It’s putting white people over nonwhite people over and over again, using whatever excuse you feel like coming up with at the time.
So if you find yourself doing these things, white folks? And you don’t like people saying you’re supporting white supremacism or you are a white supremacist? Here’s a quick tip: stop.
I’ll see you all next week.
Signed: The Remixologist
Featured image of a family of Klan members (one adult and three children, in Klan hoods and robes): Image Editor, CC BY 2.0