White Supremacy. A decade ago, civil rights activists felt that using this term to talk about racists and racism was too inflammatory. Then the brilliant legal scholar Professor Charles Lawrence used the word in a speech or an article and I started thinking that I could and would use the term.
On June 16, 2015—my birthday—Trump glided down that golden escalator and used a venomous and disgusting smear of Mexican Americans in announcing his candidacy. The very next day the little demon Dylann Roof went into Mother Emanuel Church with the dear Christians who welcomed him in prayer and massacred them.
Later that year, anti-Semites announced that their intent to march on San Francisco. The Board of the Equal Justice Society directed the staff to speak up clearly and loudly against this evil that was taking root in our country. A couple of years later—those of you who know me know that I am a joker—I thought of a weekly column called “This Week in White Supremacy.” It seemed like a smart-ass title but it felt right. Now, like something out of Grimm’s fairy tales, the defeat of the ogre and his minions who have been terrorizing the good people of a village means that we can breathe a little easier.
This will be the last edition of This Week in White Supremacy, at least in this format. The end of the TWIWS newsletter does not mean we see the decline of white supremacy on the horizon. The Equal Justice Society remains passionately committed to fighting white supremacy and calling out racism, even when it’s coming from our allies.
In 2021, we will be exploring other ways to shine a bright light on white supremacy. Your feedback on TWIWS will help us in this effort. At our Board meeting, it was suggested that perhaps we use this weekly newsletter to highlight how we might make our country sane again. We might start with pushing the Congress to pass a stimulus plan. Our fellow Americans are hungry, out of work, and facing evictions at the time of the year when home and family are dear to us all.
TWIWS started with a desire to call out white supremacy wherever we saw it. I read a tweet saying that if you wanted to know what you would have done in the early days of Nazi Germany, then look at what you’re doing now. It was also inspired by suggestions from my friends Susan Baronoff and Virg Dzurinko.
In February 2018, Otis R. Taylor Jr. at the San Francisco Chronicle covered TWIWS in an article “This Week in White Supremacy tracks battle for racial justice.” TWIWS has “become a weekly reminder of the racism that exists in this country – and that has been exacerbated by the current president of the United States,” wrote Otis.
When we started TWIWS in the fall of 2017, the white supremacist march in Charlottesville was still fresh in our consciousness, Trump ordered an end to DACA, and Hurricane Maria was weeks away from devastating Puerto Rico (although we did not know it at the time).
We produced 150 editions of TWIWS. Thank you to Melissa Male, Meher Dhaliwal, and Keith Kamisugi for their help putting this together every week.
We know too well that evicting Trump from the White House won’t be the end of white supremacy. The fight will go on. And EJS will remain that fight.
Thank you for reading TWIWS. Season’s Greetings my friends and allies.
THE GOOD NEWS FIRST:
- Civil rights museums bust Confederate myths, key to protest movement https://bit.ly/37TRlrQ
- Krysta Louise on Twitter: “WASHINGTON (AP) — AP sources: Biden taps retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary; he would be 1st Black Pentagon chief if confirmed.” / Twitter https://bit.ly/3qK6Zi1
- Wear A Mask Protect America on Twitter: “From ABC News: Biden expected to tap Vivek Murthy for surgeon general https://bit.ly/33YG48o
- Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith: Racism scholar to head up Joe Biden’s Covid-19 Equity Task Force | The Independent https://bit.ly/37PqBJ7
- This Los Angeles Team Wants to Diversify Cycling. They’re Starting With Its Podiums. – The New York Times https://nyti.ms/37Pa5sF
- When Culture Really Began to Reckon With White Privilege: Black artists didn’t wait around for institutional change. They are making it happen. – The New York Times https://nyti.ms/34i8fQb
- ‘Is Austin on Your List?’: Biden’s Pentagon Pick Rose Despite Barriers to Diversity – The New York Times https://nyti.ms/2K9SNOP
AND NOW THE NEWS RELATED TO WHITE SUPREMACY:
- Kristen Clarke on Twitter: “What is #VoterSuppression? It’s when you designate a single day of early voting for District 1 in Camden County, Georgia where many Black people live while other districts get an entire week of early voting each. Watching you @CamdenCountyGA https://t.co/D4NKiKpyND” / Twitter https://bit.ly/2JVWYxH
- Bree Newsome Bass on Twitter: “Never ceases to amaze me how Black people protesting against police violence raises more alarm & immediate response than the Republican Party attempting a coup & threatening violence against both elected officials & the citizenry on a daily basis. White supremacy is incredible.” / Twitter https://bit.ly/37R91Er
- Peter Darker on Twitter: “Emmett Till & Joe Biden were born 1yr apart. Think about that.” / Twitter https://bit.ly/3oM4Y3n
- A Prominent AI Ethics Researcher Says Google Fired Her | WIRED https://bit.ly/3qV5MVs
- Ava DuVernay on Twitter: “A Black woman watches the KKK walk the street in Montgomery, AL. Today is the 65th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It lasted Dec 5, 1955 to Dec 20, 1956, when Browder v. Gayle took effect. For one year, Black folks walked + carpooled. ONE YEAR. Bless them. Thank them. Twitter https://bit.ly/2JRtMIg
- Black Mother Fatally Shot; White Man Confesses He Wanted to ‘Teach Her a Lesson’: Report https://bit.ly/2JVxeBJ
- Report Finds ICE Detention Centers Are “Hotbeds of Infection” https://bit.ly/3oy11z4
- lo on Twitter: “There Is a serial killer in Baltimore he has already killed five black women he cut off their feet and hands and head. The Baltimore Police Department is also trying to keep this under wraps. please be safe out here y’all ” / Twitter https://bit.ly/3qV7fuW
- USA TODAY on Twitter: “Stickers with swastikas and the words “We are everywhere” were found affixed to the only Anne Frank memorial in the United States, and another was pasted to a statue representing the “spiral of injustice.” Twitter https://bit.ly/33ZZb25