In the last 4 years, we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in hate. We’ve always known that America has had a problem with race and hatred. But the scariest part is how it’s become mainstream – it’s been rebranded as just a different way of thinking.
So while I wasn’t surprised that those who consider themselves alt-right are growing in number. What did surprise me was that some of the growing numbers include people who identify as mixed race or persons of color.
It began with a conversation in reaction to one of my recent articles. Someone contacted me who identified as mixed and began espousing beliefs that could only be described as racial separation. They didn’t like being part black and didn’t think that races should be mixing together.
I found further articles where people who identified as mixed frequently attended meetings with the Proud Boys and also the Unite the Right rally in Charleston. They proclaim that racism is a figment of the past. Any difficulties that people of color have now is strictly of their own doing.
It’s easy to dismiss this as a rare phenomenon. A misguided few who don’t represent the many. But what we miss is the true way how racism works – in plain sight, but obscured by subtlety. And it can be used against someone who’s mixed to make them loathe part of themselves.
Where before hate was a declaration. Now it begins with questions:
“Wouldn’t it be easier if we were all separate?”
“Don’t we have the right to promote our culture?”
“Haven’t we progressed far enough?”
These questions are aimed to seem reasonable. No one asking these is out to “promote hate”, they are simply giving a “different perspective”
Once you begin to entertain the perspective, then more extreme views can be fed in. It starts with the notion that other races lack in intelligence, backed up by “science”. And the need to preserve culture is more important than it ever has been in order to save the country. It brings up old ways of thinking about race (like the One Drop Rule) and tries to put a new spin on it.
And always the goal is to continue to hate the same part of yourself that they do. Becoming a living example of what their version of America needs to be without.
This is not an about us vs them. They may be against the idea of people coming together and embracing what makes us different. But that is ultimately what we need to do in order to thrive as a nation.
There is no stopping this nation from becoming a more diverse one. Culture always changes, it’s inevitable.
The choice that we have to make is whether we will use it to excel, or fade away into obscurity. Like so many great nations throughout history have before.
I certainly hope our choice is the right one.