Monday, December 21, 2020

Biden's Victory: White Nationalism Fortified


Biden’s Victory: White Nationalism Fortified

Peter Schultz


            Americans are a most interesting people. Apparently because they are currently concerned with white nationalism, they think that if they take down some statues of Confederate generals, change the names of some military installations named for Confederate generals, they will be dealing with the nation’s white nationalism, moderating or even eradicating its force, leading to a post-white nationalist era.


            One reason a lot of Americans think this way is because they have been taught that white nationalists are aberrations, that they exist outside of mainstream American politics in, for example, militias and organizations like the Klu Klux Klan. They fail to see or appreciate that white nationalism, or white supremacy is intertwined into the fabric of American society. They fail to see that their claims, so often made that they are taken for granted as justified, to lead the world toward democracy are claims that only make sense if one embraces ideas of the supremacy of US nationalism. America is, it is taken for granted, the exceptional nation, hence, its nationalism is exceptional, nothing like the nationalism found in other places like China, Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, or Vietnam.


            So, Americans embrace and are proud of their nationalism and, because black nationalism is unacceptable in the United States, this means that they embrace white nationalism and, therewith, white supremacy. When someone like Joe Biden, who throughout his career has embraced US nationalism – in the guise of the war on terror or the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan or policies leading to the mass incarceration - is elected president, the forces of white nationalism are fortified or reinforced. That the the diversity of his cabinet is merely decoration is revealed by the fact that one way to describe his selections is to say they are “non-white.” And this is basically what diversity in the US has come to mean: Incorporating “non-whites” into the ruling elites.


            Pulling down statues of Confederate generals or decorating the cabinet with non-whites actually does very little to offset the white nationalism that is deeply interwoven into our society and our politics. And this white nationalism will continue to infect our society until we realize that the issue is or should be nationalism. Trump may have been an aberration in some ways but his white nationalism wasn’t one of those ways. Rather, by revealing the power of white nationalism, Trump went to “the dark side.” But then it was white nationalism that allowed prior presidents like Bush and Obama to also go to “the dark side.”

No comments:

Post a Comment