Race

white terrorists think they’re the heroes

November 2, 2018
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You have to be pretty diluted to believe that committing crimes against other people can help you achieve something “positive,” but a recent report has revealed just how misguided perpetrators of hate crimes really are. White terrorism, like all terrorism, is an attempt to scare people into submitting to their will. These killings, the fear, and the men radicalized by it: They all reflect what some experts describe as the ­evolution of the hate crime in the United States.

The key motivator for white extremists and the foundation for what White Supremacy in America has evolved into is the existential fear that the white race will no longer be on top of the social hierarchy. A position they have historically held through terror, exploitation, and genocide. In order to protect the white race, white people employ the same tactics that have kept them in power for so long. Violence like the kind we saw at the Tree of Life synagogue is an assertion of dominance as well as an attempt to “protect” whiteness.

While white folks have been terrorizing the rest of us in America from the moment they arrived, there was a striking turn in the violence following 9/11. And the legalization of gay marriage. And the election of Barack Obama. James Nolan, an expert on hate crime at West Virginia University, is a student of hate crime history and notes that post-9/11, hate crimes were less and less perpetrated by young thrill-seekers (aka sociopathic assholes) than by older man closer to 40 acting in reaction to the changing demographics of the country. “From the FBI hate crime data we can see how the conditions for defensive hate crimes are created by significant events and the discourse surrounding them,” Nolan said.

Basically, white men see the advancement of other groups and they literally cannot stand it. White people belonging both to hate groups and without any affiliations believe it is their duty to protect white power and that doing so is even a noble act. “Dylann Roof thought he was saving the world,” said Heidi Beirich, a project director at the Southern Poverty Law Center. “They’ve come to believe they’re saviors of the white race. . . . I’m doing this to protect my race.”

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