There's been lots racism in the news lately — pickup trucks, law school students, and now (possibly!) an Arizona state senator. Yes one such politician follows a racist organization on Twitter. One commenter tried to figure this all out.
So I went on that website, and I think somewhere between the spirited conversation about whether mixed-race families come about because of a genetic defect in the white person, the thread dedicated to Hitler's most poignant aphorisms and the debate about what the content of the official Stormfront anthem should be, I became able to believe in anything. It's the only way to think when you're confronted with this scale and scope of irrational hatred. Obviously I'm not ignorant of the fact white supremacy still exists, but I've never had the wherewithal or particular desire to seek out any primary sources of it. Having now seen such a bastion of diseased thought, I can safely repeal my notion that the 21st century is "progressive". There are lots of progressive people, sure, but any society that still has any kind of permissive attitude to these organizations and people, allows them to have this forum (I'm all for free speech, but aren't hate speech laws applicable here? Maybe I underestimate the strength of America's freedom of speech laws?) and worse, have it legitimized by a State Senator like this, is indicative of an endemic cultural problem that at best is ignored with vapid arguments, i.e. that it's just in the South, shit like that. Judging by the usernames, there were plenty of Europeans and Canadians spewing just as much vitriol. Scapegoating the Southern US undermines any chance of a real dialogue and excuses the rest of the world's racists. Maybe I'm being melodramatic here, but the lack of seemingly anyone trying to understand why racism is still pervasive worldwide is disturbing. Yes, we're past the Reconstruction era, Jim Crow laws and lynchings in the early 20th century but it's a slippery slope and the fact that people out there still consider these things good ideas is almost as bad. Modern racism needs to be understood as a very different product of historical racist thought and dealt with accordingly, not as some affectations of one region that's caricatured by the media.
On a side note, I had a momentary reprieve when I burst out laughing that in the middle of these awful threads was a white supremacist asking something about a dental crown and whether he needed one. I hope that fucker needs a root canal.