Recently, the New York Times reviewed a book entitled THE SECOND COMING OF THE KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition, By Linda Gordon. You can read the review by clicking here. Below is an exceprt:
“Unlike the first and third Klans (the third appeared during the civil rights era), the 1920s Klan was well integrated into American life ‘The KKK may actually have enunciated values with which a majority of 1920s Americans agreed,’ Gordon writes.”
In other words, the KKK was normalized and its reach into the everyday is what made it powerful. It was embedded into society, culture, and politics.
This got me thinking smarted thoughts with my brainy-brain.
Considering where we are today, is it plausible that although the KKK label is poisoned, the ideals, values and hate associated with it might be just part of the American fabric? Let’s think about this using the concept of the deep state. Administrations might change, political directions might shift, but those embedded in the national security apparatus hold on to secrets and shadow agendas regardless of who holds power. Alternatively, as ideals and values are passed from generation to generation, the values of hate are normalized and become part of the whole. Similar to the concept of the invisible hand of the free-markets, this is the invisible hand of hate. And this generational hate is the root cause of the structural violence prevalent in our culture, laws, and systems of government today.
The invisible hand of hate is dangerous because it operates on its own. It’s institutionalized. And as a result, laws might be passed and regulations proposed without racist intent, but they have racist results.
“No place for hate” signs are everywhere. If we want to get rid of the hate embedded in our culture we have to do better than lawn signs. Let’s begin with examining who benefits and why. For example, let’s very sincerely explore the reasons why affordable and quality healthcare is so exclusive, or the reasons and history of why marijuana is illegal, or the reason for the continued existence of funding schemes for public schools that create a known imbalance of funding for black and brown schools compared to white schools. From there we’ll have better insights as to how to purge hate.
I’ll make a bold prediction (and here it is, the great reveal) – once we begin asking why and follow the path backwards, we’ll be walking ultimately into the colorless doors of a extraordinarily big nameless bank, and there will be an ancient white-man greeting us. His teeth will be made from the purest of gold. He isn’t anybody you have ever met, sorry to disappoint you there. He has an ordinary face with eyes impossible to read. His robe is unexceptional. Call him the Wizard of Oz, or Mr. Tail that Wags the Dog, call him whatever you want – he’s heard them all–but whatever you do, don’t call him late for dinner, you know-that dinner you prepare him every time you buy something.