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Monday, August 14, 2017

White supremacy: bad for whites, too.

I'm writing this two days after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent.

Trump has decried violence on both sides, but hasn't come out with a condemnation of the white supremacist entities -- which supported him during the campaign. (Trump will criticize anyone -- except white supremacists and Putin.)

If we look at white supremacist regimes -- we'll take the antebellum American South and Nazi Germany as our examples -- we see obvious evils perpetuated against non-whites: slavery, and the murders of millions of Jews as the obvious examples.

Less obvious is the fact that white supremacy isn't so great for whites, either.

In the South, the political strings were pulled by the rich planters. Poorer whites didn't own slaves, and didn't have much real political power, but at least were allowed to feel superior to the slaves -- a bit of a sop which could make them feel more in control than they were in that aristocratic regime.

In Nazi Germany, white was defined narrowly. Of course, if we want to say there are 3 "races" -- white, black, and asiatic -- then Jews are white. So are Poles and other Slavs, gypsies, homosexuals, and "political enemies".  So, for most whites, white supremacy didn't include THEM.

Once we start treating other human beings as being overall inferior, there's no end to the distinctions we can make. This isn't news: Jonathan Swift famously satirized this in Gulliver's Travels with the wars around which end of the egg to open.