The evidence of White supremacy mentality at the Republican National Convention – amplified by coded speeches that demonized immigrants, Muslims, the Black Lives Matter movement, and topped off with U.S. Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) inflammatory statement that only Europeans contributed to civilization – seemed to seep into the following week when Democrats held their convention in Philadelphia.
After a rousing and emotional speech by First Lady Michelle Obama, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly responded to a statement she made about watching her daughters grow up in a house built by slaves with ignorant and unsettling commentary that seemed to imply that, because slaves were “well-fed,” the institution of owning human property was somehow acceptable.
From King to O’Reilly, the irresponsible dissemination of a whitewashed history, which many believed to be powered by Donald Trump’s xenophobia, seems to dominate the internet. But is this type of rhetoric, while not new, fueled by the upcoming election?
“Hillary Clinton may bring out the worst in a lot of people who feel that a woman shouldn’t be in control,” Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson told NewsOne in an exclusive at the Democratic National Convention. But that racism, he said, is not simply a symptom of Trump’s bigotry or what seems to be Clinton’s willingness to support marginalized communities.
“When we look at what Steve King said, when we look at Bill O’Reilly, this is what Gore Vidal called ‘The United States of Amnesia.’ This is the lure and seduction of White supremacy. This is the inability of White narcissism to impale itself on the sharp edge of history,” he said.
“If these racists are coming out of the woodwork, America must be doing something right,” Dyson said. “They are appealing to the worst instincts, what we are doing is reproducing the pathology of White supremacy.”
To combat this, Dyson suggests all Americans, no matter gender, race, or sexual orientation, recognize their privilege and work together to dismantle the sickness of racism.
“All of us have got to see, we are in the same boat. Just because you are thirsty, don’t cut a hole in the boat where we’ll all go down. Let’s stay in it together to figure out how to make this ship of democracy work.”
For more, watch the full interview above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty