QAnon is the umbrella term for a sprawling spiderweb of right-wing internet conspiracy theories with antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ elements that falsely claim the world is run by a secret cabal of pedophiles who worship Satan and are plotting against President Trump. Though some influential individuals are active in the movement, it is not an organized group with defined leadership.
Americans–or perhaps certain elements of the media–have been running amok looking for conspiracies beneath every rock and under the woodwork of everything building. This reminds me of the McCarthyism of the 1950s when the House Unamerican Activities Committee “saw” communists everywhere.
At the time, when the committee said so and so is a communist, my response was “so what?” But in those days, communists were presumed to be working for the Soviet Union and were often blacklisted (most famously by Hollywood) by their employers.
The blacklisting is happening again. The daily news brings us reports that various people have been fired for expressing their personal opinions on Facebook as though they’re part of a conspiracy, in college lectures, in speeches, in books, and when this happens we’re all reminded that the First Amendment doesn’t protect us where we work–or on Twitter and Facebook as it turns out.
These days, if somebody “screams I’m offended,” my response is “so what?” But corporations, including colleges, are often influenced by those who are offended more than by who’s right.
This article tells us what’s behind all the shouting.
My novels are set in the 1950s when the traditional KKK in Florida was strong and active. Years later, hatred is still alive and just as sick as ever, though it’s been dispersed into a variety of groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Florida has 67 hate groups currently tracked by the Center.
The Center notes that sixteen statewide groups are not shown on the map. Otherwise, you can place your cursor on the white circles on the map on the website to see the names of the groups.
We should be aware of these groups: otherwise, it’s hard to combat them. A word of caution, though. While some have websites, those sites are composed of the sickening kind of tripe (and pictures) one would expect of thugs, psychopaths, and other degenerates. Don’t go to these sites unless you have a strong stomach.
Florida has more hate groups than any other state except California with 88 groups. So, hate is not just a product of the South in spite of how our part of the country is often portrayed by others.
In A “superhighway of hate:” Extremism is flourishing in Florida from “Florida Phoenix,” Diane Rado writes, “From hate speech to hate groups to hate crimes, Florida faces a broad atmosphere of hatred that has been escalating for years, though residents and tourists may not have realized how much the extremist landscape has changed.”
Just why Florida has so many groups is unclear, but some suggest the Intenet has helped thread the hate around, allowing groups to become interlinked–among other things, groups that once operated out of a basement are easier to find via search engines today and those whom they attract help them do their work.
Groups of various stripes have been more vocal of late. The media gives them exposure. Peaceful and legitimate protests often give hate groups a foot in the door to gather on the same streets and give the protesters a black eye when the news shows buildings on fire and police cars turned over.
The times have become ripe for the radicalization of people who are easily led by news accounts of violence and social media information. Hatred is one virus no vaccine is able to defeat; no doubt it will still be around when COVID is long gone.
We have a lot of work to do to clean the scum out of this country.
“The American population is moving toward a minority-majority future, a shift the Census Bureau predicts will occur sometime in the 2040s. Nativists, racists and our president are taking advantage of the browning of America, contrasting it with nostalgia for a perceived better, whiter past, and using that idea to activate citizens into white nationalist thinking.” – Heidi Beirich
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that monitors racially based and gender-based hate in the U.S., two statistics stand out: The number of monitored hate groups in 2018 was at an all-time high at 1,020 and hate-based murders conducted by members of the “Alt-Right” made last year the deadliest year ever (presumably, not counting the Jim Crow era when the KKK got rid of more people).
As Beirich notes, the so-called browning of America is leading to a rise in white nationalist thinking. Often-criticized today, the movie “Gone With the Wind” painted the days of slavery with a sad and nostalgic brush for those who owned the plantations and participated in gracious living based on purportedly honorable and sacred traditions. Now there are a lot of people worrying about the fact that, according to the Census Bureau, the United States will become “minority white” by 2045, whith whites comprising 49.7% of the population. At that point, the demographics are expected to be 24.6% Hispanic, 13.1% blacks, and 7.9% Asian.
So it is that what will really be gone with the wind for frightened white people are the times when more whites lived in the U.S. than all other races combined. Hate groups are reacting as though whites will be less numerous than every other group rather than continuing to have nearly a majority. Nonetheless, the predicted demographics represent change and, on the surface, that scares people.
I’ve mentioned on this blog before that when my brothers and I were in junior high school, we used to build sandcastles on the beach during low tide and then make a game out of seeing how long they could hold out against the incoming high tide. This is what white supremacists are doing today–except it’s not a game. It’s a deadly and disgusting war against minority groups that’s being carried out by thugs who believe they will no longer be about to hold their own without relying on the traditionally high percentage of whites in the country.
That is, they fear that on a level playing field, their real or imagined inferiority will make them lose.
Lose what? Control, I suppose. An edge, probably. The luxury of never having to coexist with other races, cultures, and religions, no doubt. Walking down streets, walking into stores and churches and sporting events and backyard barbecues with the confident assurance that everyone one else there is exactly like them, good, bad, and ugly, but safe and understood without having to think.
Those with self-confidence in their own abilities, agility to adapt to changing times, a spirituality that embraces the totality of humankind, and minds that know how to think rather than reacting to every difference as a threat will have no problem with the demographics of 2045. Those who do not are, at best, dinosaurs in their death throes who are resorting to hate as a sand-castle bulwark against the incoming tide.
White supremacists are doomed, and in their heartless hearts, I think they know this. Rather than change or at least graciously step onto ice floes heading out to sea, they are attempting to justify their murder and terrorism as a reasonable response to their demise. They’re not innocent. They’re killing the innocent, though
Which prompts me to say, the country will be much better (more free, fair, exciting, and more creative) when they are gone.