Earlier this week, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives broke up a plot by two neo-Nazi skinheads to assassinate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree.
I’m not one to devote much attention to the most extreme racist elements of our society who fill the ranks of organized and overt white supremacist groups. I’d rather deprive them of the attention they seem to seek.
And, on the whole, the white wingnuts seem far less of a threat than the everyday unconscious racism that permeates our mainstream institutions and produces devastating disadvantages for people of color (along with untold privileges for whites). Trying to change the racial bias of deeply entrenched policies and institutions somehow seems a lot less futile than trying to convert a proud swastika-tattooed, white-hooded racist.
But Obama’s campaign has reinvigorated all kinds of racist elements in our society – from the privately biased to the publicly bigoted. Now, any wacko with a weapon has to be taken seriously because they’re just one gunshot away from making a name for themselves. As much as I’d like to ignore them, the reinvigorated white supremacist movement requires more scrutiny.
James Ridgeway, author of Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the Rise of a New White Culture, has an interesting post this week in a UK Guardian blog, entitled: Fourteen Words that spell racism: The prospect of an African-American president is bringing white supremacist subculture in the US out of the shadows.” Accompany the article is a short video, shown above, that features an interview with a white supremacist, Steven Boswell, Leader, Missouri Chapter National Socialist Movement.