I suspect that when the smoke clears from this current racial controversy more white people will have a better appreciation for where black Americans are coming from and be more willing to accede to the black viewpoint that white people have been crushingly brutal in their treatment of people of color, and it is now time to remove all of the symbols of their ruthlessness from public spaces.
When this battle has been won by black activists and white progressive forces it will signal the coming long, last gasp of white supremacy. White supremacy is dying; it has been slowly dying for hundreds of years. The pace accelerated in 2008. But, as it has been able to do over the long offensive course of its existence, white supremacy has a tendency to exhibit strong spurts of vitality when it has received a powerful setback and feels more threaten. The 2016 presidential election was viewed by a sizable number of white people as their last stand; they win that election or perish. The 2016 election would be their last chance to recover from the stench of the 2008-12 elections. In the ’60s we referred to this almost impulsive reflex as White Backlash.
I’m convinced that more white people will be pulled towards black reality because the lines of the current controversy are so raw it shapes the different positions distinctly with absolutely no room for ambiguity. On one side the White Nationalists, the Neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan oppose the removal of the symbols of the Old South, and on the other side are black activists and white progressives who sense that the time has come to achieve an additional phase of black liberation in America by taking down the symbols of the Old South. In addition, moderate white Americans have been exposed to the real face of Donald Trump, making it impossible for whites to amalgamate in the numbers and social and political diversity as they did in 2016 – not to even happen again.
Since the white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine black Charlestonians worshipping in a historic Charleston, SC church, they have been calls to remove the monuments and symbols of the traitorous south, though not in those exact terms, South Carolina removed the Confederate flag that flew on its capital statehouse grounds. Since that time, the momentum for removal of the symbols has been expressed in a national outcry. The old symbols of the Civil War south are coming down all over America.
The ranks of the progressives are swelling daily as white people ignorant of the backgrounds of the instillation of the statues stumble upon the truth. Most white people have never given any thought to the issue and when and if they did, they would have thought that these symbols were erected as some innocent historic memorial to a past that in their minds were contradictory but honorable – a small town’s way of bestowing honor and connection to its past and presence.
With all the nonsense that is found on the Internet, sometimes the truth can shine through and even take hold. This is the case of the many stories of how and why many of the statues and monuments to Civil War figures were erected. As it turns out these symbols were put in place for a much more aggressive mission than unsuspecting white people would have believed. In many cases, these symbols were intended to intimidate African Americans in times when whites thought that blacks were making inroads in jobs, housing, and education. Lynchings and statues of KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest or Robert E. Lee were means of menacing the black community as well as a means to reassure whites that their status would be protected. Much of this went on after WWI and WWII; some time during the early 60s lynching halted, but the statues remained.
As more wholesome thinking white people become more familiar with the issues surrounding black oppression, it will be more difficult for white supremacists to recruit them to their side for an issue further isolating and diminishing the ranks of white supremacist. From now until after the 2018 med-term election, white supremacists will be outnumbered by tenfold wherever they appear. This will happen as a political strategy of the Left, but also because it is the moral thing to do.
Come 2020, with the Right fringe on the run, and white supremacists covering their faces again, America might be ready for a major course correction and maybe even some redemption and making more history. The course correction will be in election of a progressive politician to the presidency; the redemption would be in electing another black politician to the presidency and letting that person do the job, and making history would be to elect a woman president and finally shattering the glass ceiling. Sounds like I’ve just described Senator Kamala Harris of California.