For all the current across-the-aisle adoration of Senator John McCain, it is worth noting that, Sarah Palin, the running mate he chose for his failed 2008 presidential campaign arguably helped to kick in the door for the unchecked, politically incorrect, dog whistle politics of the current administration. Of course, blatant white supremacy didn’t begin with Palin’s wink-and-a-nod soccer mom racism, or with the election of former reality star Donald Trump—or even with McCain’s own vote against a national Martin Luther King holiday in 1983 (as well as a state holiday in 1990—he wouldn’t fully denounce his decision to cast those votes until 1998).
The images captured at the recent white nationalist and Nazi marches in Charlottesville, Virginia were both difficult to look at and tragically reminiscent of historic photos from the days of public lynching, Jim Crow and sit-ins. Sure, white hoods and cloaks have been exchanged for white polo shirts and khakis. But the similar visuals beg important questions: Is there really a significant difference between the Klu Klux Klan rallies of decades past and the gathering of young white people who showed up with tiki torches and chants of “blood and soil” this year? We understand that both the former and recent groups showed up to protest equality, racial diversity and the idea that America is made great not by one race of people, but by all. So, in the spread of time between then and now, has anything really changed?
Cassius, Newsone‘s sibling site, asked some of our most valued thinkers on the matter of race to compare photos of white supremacist groups of today and yesterday, and to weigh in.
White supremacy on display then and now. / iOne DigitalJESSE WILLIAMS, ACTOR/ACTIVIST: “RUN THEM OUT OF TOWN”
The people [in these photos] are the exact same. They found a way to justify slavery; they’ve always found ways to push the boundaries of what is socially acceptable. If they made