Opinion: White supremacists fear the increasing diversity of America

White supremacy is a deep and hideous stain on human consciousness. It plagues our history and continues to bleed into our world today.

White supremacy is defined as “the belief, theory, or doctrine that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial groups, especially black people, and are therefore rightfully the dominant group in any society.” As hate crimes and speech rise on a global level, white supremacy has once again found a powerful platform in the U.S.

There has been an undeniable resurgence of this hateful ideology in popular media, and as the U.S. population diversifies, these hateful displays have increased. For example, in 2017 we saw the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville where people openly displayed Nazi symbols and called for racially pure blood. President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn the murderous and hateful rhetoric displayed at the rally is another example.

We have all heard countless stories about violence where hate was the catalyst, such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the multiple different Synagogue shootings, including Pittsburgh and more recently California, the mass shooting at the African American church in Charleston and the 2017 incident in Portland where a man who was shouting racist and anti-Muslim slurs at two teenage girls then fatally stabbed two men who had tried to intervene. Former FBI agent, Erroll Southers said, “I don’t think [white supremacy is] any longer a fringe movement, it is certainly coming of age. It is being globalized at a very rapid pace.”

In 2018, the Anti-Defamation League reported a 182 percent increase in hate propaganda. FBI statistics also show that hate crimes increased by 30 percent in the three-year period ending in 2017, and white nationalist groups increased almost 50 percent from 100 groups to 148 in 2018.

It has become crystal clear that today in 2019 there are thousands upon thousands of people that are either outright white supremacists or are complacent against such disgusting and shameful ideas. This recent display of fear and anxiety has been triggered by growing racial tensions fueled by political discourse and inevitable population shifts in the U.S.

President Trump began his political campaign on the premise that all immigrants were criminals and that they didn’t belong in the U.S. He stated in his announcement speech about Mexico that, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…” Then he promised to build a wall and shut them out.

Now I’m not blaming Trump for white supremacy, but his administration and his supporters role in giving fear and hate a platform cannot be ignored. They have time and again associated those we deem as “others” with crime, economic hardship, and the destruction of American family and values.

This is a highly advanced political tactic known as ‘dog whistle politics,’ where politicians use coded language to send messages to people. The Trump Administration is sending subliminal messages to the working class white people of America that immigrants, African Americans and Muslims are the enemy and are to blame for their troubles.

This is known as “Scapegoat theory” — a sociological theory that explains how, out of aggression or frustration, dominant groups will displace their anger on minority or subordinate social groups. This is exactly what has happened in the U.S. for hundreds of years, and Trump’s administration is no exception. In fact, they have resurfaced many of these deep fears and anxieties in American society.

This fear mongering is coincided with the reality that America is a rapidly changing country, where the population is set to become “majority minority” by 2042. This is sometimes referred to as the “browning of America” where ethnic and racial minorities will be the majority population.

According to the Census Bureau, 2013 marked the first year that a majority of U.S. infants under the age of one were non-white. Data also reveals that in 2030, immigration will be the dominant driver of population growth compared to natural birth rates.

According to the 2010 State of Metropolitan America report by the Brookings Institute, out of the 100 largest metropolitan regions in the U.S., 17 already have a “majority minority” population and 31 metro areas already have a “majority minority” child population. This same report states that the nation is projected to grow at around eight to nine percent every decade, but senior growth rates will top 30 percent.

Census data shows that the non-hispanic white population is expected to fall from 199 million to 179 million between 2020–2060 and research from the University of Wisconsin’s Population Lab found that white deaths outnumber white births in 26 states. The foreign-born share of the U.S. population is also expected to rise from 14 percent in 2018 to 17 percent in 2060.

Considering the data, the U.S. population is aging and diversifying at the same time, while the non-hispanic white population will continue to dwindle in the coming years. This has caused considerable panic among white populations and increased feeling of powerlessness and fear.

In 2013, the Center for American Progress conducted a survey and found that average respondents thought the country was 49 percent non-white, but the correct answer then was 37 percent.

In a study conducted by psychologists Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson, some white participants were given a press release about geographic mobility, while others read a report highlighting the growth projections for racial minorities in 2042. The group that read the press release with specific mentions of race held more conservative views.

A 2016 Public Religion Research Institute poll found that 57 percent of whites agreed that “discrimination against whites is as big a problem today as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.” This shows that many white Americans are already feeling the pressure of losing their status as “majority” and they fear that will also lose their power.

This fear being generated amongst whites is baseless and has created a resurgence in violence by those ignorant enough to believe that these demographic shifts will make white people the target of ‘reverse racism.’

Racism is not the same as prejudice — racism requires power. Even if whites are the minority in number, they still hold the majority of the nation’s wealth and power. This will most likely still be the case by 2042, as the majority of the nation’s poverty stricken groups are racial and ethnic minorities. Sociologist Daniel T. Lichter suggests that if the current demographic of poverty continues on its current path, by 2050 more than 70 percent of America’s poor will be the racial and ethnic minorities of today.

To clarify, white dominance is not being threatened by these demographic shifts and the manufactured fear of this only serves to increase racial tensions and incite violence. As white supremacy bleeds into American politics, remember that these cowards are afraid of progress and no amount of fear or hate can change the inevitable.

Alyssa Tatro

Alyssa majors in urban studies and community development. She is interested in and concerned about issues in Tacoma that impact the community. She is obsessed with all things chocolate and piggies.