Decoding Charlottesville: Politics of hate will exact a cost

Amna Mirza
Amna MirzaAug 18, 2017 | 18:52

Decoding Charlottesville: Politics of hate will exact a cost

With white supremacists and protesters clashing following a two-day rally in Charlottesville, US, the event merits attention as it’s a reflection of hurt and of using hate as a cover for the incapacity of the state to deliver.

It is also sad that the issues on the fore these days are about war, racism, white supremacy, Neo-Nazis, etc., posing a serious question - what's wrong with the world?


Anger and unease seem to be the right emotions of response to white supremacy. Sadly, US president Donald Trump does not have the moral clarity needed for this moment. This applies to several other world leaders too who are dealing with similar issues at home, and where one way of life seems to be portrayed as superior to another. Further, it points to the limits of law as processes are at play to test constitutional bounds.

As one confronts the supporters of white supremacy as enemies of the people, one has to see that even Satanism, as an individualist religion, rejected all forms of collectivism. Also, it is not just about revival of white supremacy, since after all the latter has always been America's longest-running show.

There is white supremacy in the White House - one can see it in person and in policy. It also lends itself to the idea that the US is an exceptional nation with the right to attack and determine the leadership of other nations. 

The Charlottesville moment unveils two staggering systems which are hallmarks of the US - the class system which is defined by capitalism and a nuanced caste system which is personified by white supremacy. Further, patriarchy, white supremacy and imperialism are all tools of oppression for unfettered capitalism. An eerie silence and no explicit rejection of the above from our leaders render any eventual words of condemnation as hollow.


White supremacy is akin to any kind of homegrown terrorism, designed to spread fear and violence. Words and ideas are related to each other. This is why tepid remarks by Trump put a big question mark over whom he was talking to. Attempts at deflection only add to the belief that the world stage is definitely not normal.

Trump’s equivocation after Charlottesville only emboldened the white nationalists who have been part of his campaign drill and even his advisers, such as Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller.

There is no debate on what is driving the agenda and why, or can white supremacist groups be blocked from raising money online. The talk is all particular versus general - that one Muslim terrorist doesn't represent all Muslims but one white supremacist represents all Trump voters?

Atlanta, Austin, Boston, LA Mountain View, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Washington DC are all preparing for rallies in the times to come.

White supremacy is akin to any kind of homegrown terrorism, designed to spread fear and violence. Photo: AP

Sadly, it speaks volumes about injustice when there are reports that a white supremacist runs people over and there is a call to wait for facts and a blame game on both sides. The same standards of judgment are not adopted when a brown person is an accused and the incident is given the colour of terrorism! 


In this quagmire, the Republicans too have demonstrated backflips, calling the recent Barcelona attack as “terrorism” just days after a white supremacist did the same thing.

Failure to deal with such matters will be colossal. Common sense is needed to intervene with the strategic racist ideology. Will all minority groups in the US join worldwide minority groups to battle white supremacy globally?

Denial to tackle this form of hatred - like all other forms of racism – will exact a cost. At a time when the state must focus on job woes, vagaries of nature and investment, the government is plotting one group against the other.

The “white supremacy” dividing the foundations of America may be traced as a Russian plot or related to the Reagan era or even seen as a pervasive global wave of intolerance. However, rationalising of this blatant form of domination is just a failure to learn from history - that in every nation there has been an anti-imperialist struggle for liberation and America is no exception.

To fancy that the reigns of control must be in the hands of a particular people is high on imagination and does not work in reality. Any attempt to hegemonise the task of building and running the nation is doomed to failure as diversity is a great counter-attack.

Agreed that expansionism opened the domestic frontiers to ups and downs, but to forge a new autocracy on alignment of race is just a mockery.

Looking at the contemporary scenario, compared to this violence of assimilation and integration, efforts of resistance are not enough. There are rumblings to carve out a new way of succession. Sadly, what gives racial hatred impetus is that the forces of opposition are in disarray.

If the government cannot find solutions to complex problems like consumerism and inequality, then it may act to desperately plunder the past for symbols to justify its existence. High time we moved beyond fixation over one ideal way and handled problems which indeed demand a plural and multifaceted approach. Flagging controversy to divert attention from failure shall not work well in the long run.

Last updated: August 18, 2017 | 18:52
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