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Our Opinion: The ugly rhetoric of white supremacy
Our Opinion

Our Opinion: The ugly rhetoric of white supremacy

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The United States is not a white homeland.

For sure, there are white people here, with European ancestry and Christian traditions.

But there are also people whose ancestors came from other countries — from every country in the world, likely, with different traditions, even different languages. Certainly their religions differ — Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu or no religion. Their political beliefs differ. So do their tastes — in food, music, art.

But everyone born is this country is a citizen of the United States. That’s all the Constitution requires.

Some come here from other countries and earn their citizenship — their full citizenship. They’re not provisional citizens or second-class citizens — they’re full-blown Americans with the same rights and privileges that every natural-born citizen has.

Unfortunately, some Americans are having a great deal of difficulty understanding these very basic facts.

White-supremacist, anti-Muslim and anti-government extremists on the far right have driven domestic terrorism incidents higher than ever, according to a Washington Post analysis of data compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies released last week.

Since 2015, right-wing extremists have been involved in 267 plots or attacks and 91 fatalities, the data shows.

Some of them became so agitated by the reality of America’s diverse population that they marched with torches in Charlottesville in 2017. Some organized the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overthrow the duly elected president.

And some, appearing on cable TV, are lending support to their cause.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson — whose lawyers argue that viewers shouldn’t take him too seriously — comes closer every day to publicly joining their ranks. Lately he’s been repeating and endorsing the “great replacement” theory that motivates violent white supremacists. He does so to the praise of VDare and other white nationalist organizations, who say he’s helping “mainstream” their arguments — and to the condemnation of Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League, which knows a thing or two about such bigotry.

“It is anti-Semitic, racist and toxic. It has informed the ideology of mass shooters in El Paso, Christchurch and Pittsburgh,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted recently.

The Democrats, Carlson says, are actively trying to replace the current electorate (where would they go?) with “more compliant” immigrants who are guaranteed to vote for them.

Never mind the insulting stereotype of compliance. His statements echo the white supremacist chant in Charlottesville in 2017: “Jews will not replace us.”

Democrats do, indeed, express more sympathy for refugees from violent South American countries, where children are openly recruited to street gangs or prostitution, than Republicans. They’re more willing to support people who need help, who admire us and want to become contributing members of our society.

Even if it were for mere political gain, it’s the right thing to do — the moral thing to do.

But for Republicans to then argue that these refugees should be rejected because they’ll vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is not only a capitulation to cruelty, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy — who wouldn’t vote against the party that tried to extend their suffering?

The same goes for U.S. territories that could possibly become the 51st or 52nd state, finally gaining representation to justify their taxation — who would vote for the party that tried to deny them a place at the table?

For all their talk of “coming here the right way,” many Republicans celebrated when former President Trump began his cruel “zero tolerance” campaign against southern border refugees — and when he limited legal immigration to record lows.

We’d prefer to see the Republican Party extend a little compassion toward refugees, as Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did in the past. It might help them grow their shrinking tent.

Carlson and others of his ilk are playing a dangerous game. Their arguments are guaranteed to stir up more hatred and violence toward racial and ethnic minorities — their fellow Americans.

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