CW: incredibly blunt discussions on racism, whiteness, and white nationalism
Defining White Supremacy Terms
I define “White supremacy,” as the systemic norms and professional conduct we expect socially, politically, and in our daily lives.
“White supremacist” is defined as an individual who believes in the genetic, superior, race of white peoples or “Aryans.”
1. Stop Allowing Racists Into Your Life
Us white people have issues talking about racism and bigotry. However, as white nationalism increases in the U.S., it’s time to stop allowing these people into our lives–and accept them and their values as they are.
It’s time to accept that despite how someone else is connected to us, or despite their public personas, that some of our closest and most complicated relationships are steeped in white nationalism.
I have a suspicion that all white supremacists abuse their children. Obviously, I could be wrong. But I bet I’d be hard pressed to find other white people who haven’t suffered some combination of abuse and neglect, yet still involve their abusers (who also happen to be white supremacists) into their lives.
This isn’t at all surprising, provided the complexity of families. White Christianity is often interwoven into white nationalism, and it’s sometimes impossible to separate the two in some white families. Yet that doesn’t mean the power and control dynamics are isolated to the abusers. It’s possible to take some power back.
2. Social Consequences
If talking about race and religious freedom doesn’t work, and it feels unproductive or unhealthy to continue the same relationship patterns, what to do?
Stop talking to them. Don’t allow people communication with you if they’re okay with racism and bigotry. Being nice won’t change their beliefs or behaviors, even if it temporarily makes you comfortable.
It’s not easy to love someone and come to this boundary. But it’s doable, and allows you the power of social and emotional boundaries.
3. Use Your White Privilege to the Maximum Against White Nationalism
Professionally and personally, it’s possible to set boundaries, however small. Never feel powerless if you are safe physically to stand publicly against racism, antisemitism, and anti-trans bigotry.
All white people across the U.S. have the duty to stand against anti-Blackness and racism. I word this intentionally: as all racism begins with anti-Blackness.
In one’s family, friendships, professional circles, the boundary must be clear: this is what my values are. And if you won’t align to them, then our relationship won’t exist.
4. How To Shut Down Racist, Antisemitic, Homophobic, Bullshit
Challenge it online, but do it in person, too. Make sure the people in your life know that you will not tolerate any kind of hate, bigotry, discrimination. Follow through if you say you will, too.
Be incredibly literal. “I will not have anyone around myself or my children who are antisemitic and anti-Black.” I’ve found, that when it’s worded so clearly, it tells you everything you need to know about your loved one by their reactions and responses to such a clear statement.
Follow through. If you tell someone that you won’t have someone in your life doing a specific thing, you must be mentally and emotionally prepared to follow through.
Not to be dramatic, but I’ve been watching “The Hitler Tapes” on National Geographic. In the documentary, tapes are played of Hitler’s former friends. Interviewed in the 1970′s, many laugh with familiarity describing his personality. His determination. His ability to charm and “captivate” others.
Imagine, surviving friendship with Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust, WWII, and decades after, still finding joy in Hitler’s memory. Don’t be like these people. Do accept that it’s possible that the most charming and charismatic person can be horrifying human beings. Do accept challenging this in every single way you can.
Voting in the 2024 Election Isn’t Enough To Stop White Nationalism
The U.S. has always been racist. The very fact that anti-trans and anti-Black legislation are intertwined, attempting to erase this fact, makes it laughably validated historic and current, fact.
Voting alone isn’t going to stop the ideologies that drive MAGA supporters, Proud Boys, and other organized (or not) white supremacists.
If you’re white, it’s your responsibility to confront those around you and make sure that there is no safe place for Nazis.
Not in your home, not in your children’s lives, not in your work life.
White people especially seem to shy away from direct confrontation, but now may be our last chance for lasting impact.
Take away the power of those around you who support white supremacists. Take away your relationships if you have to. You are not powerless.
How White Nationalism Affects The Trans Community
White trans people can be as racist as anyone else. Nowhere else is that more clear than Twitter. The oppression which white people experience because of ableism, abuse, or transness isn’t comparable to racism. Being anti-Black and treating other people as less than human makes you a Nazi. “Othering” of anyone is a slippery slope into the same dehumanizing bullshit that drives anti-trans legislation.
Three-quarters of every death due to violence in the trans community is a Black trans woman, despite Black trans women making up only 13% of the overall trans population.
Nowhere should violence, in word, online, or in person, be tolerated against Black trans and non-binary people. Words and ideologies are indeed violence, when one is facing these statistics. Protect our trans siblings; don’t harm them further by being racist yourself.
If you’re white and trans and won’t understand this, are you even really trans?
Use your white privileges before you lose them.