White supremacy is a subgroup of white nationalism that advocates the belief that white people are superior to other people from different racial backgrounds. It is a political ideology is derived from social Darwinism and National Socialism. This ideology or belief is generally prevalent in countries that have a large white population. It was attached to the theories of racial hierarchy that was advocated by German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.
Generally, white supremacy promotes historical, political, and social domination by the white race. Similar to racial supremacy, white supremacy is an off-shoot of ethnocentrism.
Ethnocentrism is a term coined by William G. Sumner when he observed several groups of people having the tendency to judge others from another cultural system. Ethnocentric people judge another group’s that are relative to their specific ethnic group or culture. Judgments are basically based on the difference in customs, language, physical attributes like skin color, behavior and religion.
White supremacy was very dominant in the United States before the American Civil War where slavery was rampant especially in the south. It was also dominant several decades after the war was over. Chattel slavery in the south was one of the main causes of the war, prompting the formation of the Confederate States of America to maintain white supremacy in those regions.
This ideology became a catalyst to secure power over non-white people, resulting in violence and criminal activities. It operates in one basic idea and that is to eliminate all non-white races or to separate them who white people, delegating them to lower social position and livelihood.
A highly theorized reason behind the ideology based mostly on conjecture is the opposite of this complex. Psychologists have theorized that white supremacy has stemmed from the feeling of inadequacy and inferiority manifested through envy and later on hate.
The greatest supporters of white supremacy are from the Nordic and Germanic people: Germans, Scandinavians, English (Anglo) and Dutch descent.
The target peoples of white supremacy are those with darker features and different cultures such as Jews, Eastern and Southern Europeans, Poles, Gypsies, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, Latinos, and Africans.
In the United States, white supremacy started after the abolition of slavery in 1865 and the passing of the Bill of Rights in 1866. Several white supremacy organizations sprouted across the confederate south, oppressing the African-American population in the process. These groups or organizations had made a lot of news coverage throughout the years. One of the most prolific would be the Ku Klux Klan.
The Ku Klux Klan, also known as KKK and informally called the Klan, is one of America’s most talked-about local terrorist organizations, a right-wing extremist organization that spanned more than a century of advocating white supremacy, white nationalist and racial segregation. KKK history has been a bloody chronicle of various criminal activities that became front page headlines in major newspapers across the United States as well as the rest of the world. The first incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan, founded in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1866, became foremost in their aggressive intimidation strategies and violence throughout the south based on the white supremacy ideology. During the peak of their violent outbreak, they had accumulated approximately 500,000 KKK members. By the 1920s, Ku Klux Klan numbers ratcheted up to 6 million, even expanding their reach to offshore chapters in Canada.
The succeeding two incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan was always timed during an economical crisis and social schism. The Great Depression became a catalyst to re-form the KKK and gather enough muscle to wrest political power from immigrant sympathizers in the government. When the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement came about in the 1950s, the Ku Klux Klan re-emerges as a more violent group that ever before.
Some of the targeted areas in the south where a lot of lynch-mobbing, pubic demonstrations that always ended in violence, shootings, bombing, murders, kidnappings and outright slanderous public speeches by Ku Klux Klan leaders, are Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, North and South Carolina.
Their conical hooded robes that somehow started as a non-terrorizing clothing called capirotes worn by Nazareno priests in Spain during Holy Week and in the Spanish Inquisition marches before that, became part and parcel with KKK today. That costume, which is worn to hide their real identities, had now become synonymous to white supremacy, racial discrimination and terrorism. Ku Klux Klan members, both men and women, would parade during street demonstrations wearing the robes to declare their strength to the spectators.
Declarations of their white supremacy beliefs have been numerous. Ku Klux Klan members are known to be very vocal about their opinions, voicing them in crowded events like baseball games. One such incident happened when Samuel Green (former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan) opposed and pushed to ban having two African-American baseball players from the Brooklyn Dodgers (Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella) to play in the Exhibition Baseball Game in Atlanta and Macon. He kept on saying disparaging words and spoke against black players playing baseball in a white team.
The Ku Klux Klan still remained a white supremacist organization despite being re-formed thrice in the past century. The beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan had transcended to other negative ideologies and continue to act on these beliefs through series of violent acts and extremely illegal means like:
- distribution of posters and print ads depicting racial slander
- distributing fliers of white supremacy propaganda
- posting unwarranted white supremacy comments in social forums
- public viral videos of white supremacy ranting
- public humiliation
- disparaging racial comments
- supplying firearms to warring countries
- ghost masquerades
- midnight parades
- burning crosses
- manic shootings
- illegal executions
Besides the Ku Klux Klan, among other notable white supremacist groups in the U.S. both past and present would be the following:
- American Nazi Party – a neo-Nazi organization based on Adolf Hitler’s ideals and supports the Holocaust denial.
- Aryan Nations – a neo-Nazi organization founded in the 1970s by Richard Girnt Butler as an arm of the Christian Identity group the Church of Jesus Christ.
- Creativity Movement – a political organization formerly known as the World Church of the Creator. They advocate racialist religion and worships white race itself rather than a god or a deity.
- National Socialist Movement – a party founded in 1974, this group of people have staged numerous demonstrations and street marches especially in 2005.
- The Order (Brüder Schweigen or “Silent Brotherhood”) – a Revolutionary organization founded by Robert Jay Matthews. They were most remembered as the group who murdered Alan Berg, the talk show host, in 1984.
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