Racial inequality remains deeply embedded within U.S. social and economic structures, even as its forms and justifications are in flux. Claims to White racial superiority, though not entirely dead, were largely washed aside by the civil rights struggles of the ’50s and ’60s. Since that time, so-called “colorblind” racism has become the dominant racial ideology in the United States. Opposition to affirmative action, indigenous treaty rights, and other government programs is commonly justified with the claim that equal rights among racial groups have been achieved and that we as a society are, or should be, “beyond race.” This belief in the diminishing importance of race makes it more, not less, likely that stark racial inequalities will persist since they will remain unchallenged.
To bolster their colorblind rhetoric, some sectors of the Right promote spokespeople – and provide patronage to conservative intellectuals and institutions – from communities of color.
Growing immigration, especially from Latin America and Asia, threatens Whites’ numerical majority, and, along with the government’s massive post-911 campaign of racial profiling, is inspiring a nativist and White supremacist backlash. Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have also experienced resurgence since the 911 attacks.
What does broken windows policing—the theory that law enforcement should aggressively pursue arrests of minor offenses in order to avoid a slippery slope of criminality—have to do with the Right? That is the question that attorney and author Andrea Ritchie explores in “Black Lives Over Broken Windows.” The paradigm that emerged from neoconservative approaches to law enforcement in the 1980s has played a major role in many of the recent deaths and assaults of Black citizens at the hands of police, from Michael Brown, shot for jaywalking; to Eric Garner, killed by an illegal chokehold for allegedly selling loose cigarettes; to Rosan Miller, also choked by police for grilling on the sidewalk. What Ritchie finds is that the seeds of this theory emerged from unproven “folk wisdom” that, with the help of right-wing think tanks and leaders, was sharpened into the deadly force it is today.
Author Victoria Law discusses the decades-long mistreatment of women of color by law enforcement and political leaders. From police violence (including against pregnant women) and runaway imprisonment rates to heavy-handed restrictions on the assistance critical to helping women lift themselves up and out of poverty, the years concerted attacks have destroyed far too many and left a legacy of stigmatization. But now, campaigns like #SayHerName are looking to reverse the tide and bring justice.
There’s a direct line between the infiltration of Muslim communities & militarized street-surveillance and home invasion experienced by African American communities. The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement speaks to the level of rage beneath the surface of marginalized communities – and to the impact of systematic law enforcement-driven repression.
On Monday, November 23, 2015, a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota were shot at—leaving five wounded. Shortly afterward, the police made four arrests, and it became clear that those allegedly involved in the shooting were influenced by the Hard Right Patriot movement. The day before the shooting, in a video that went viral on social media, two of those who were later arrested recorded themselves making racist comments and flashing a gun while driving to the #4thPrecinctShutdown, an Occupy-like encampment that had sprung up in the wake of the police shooting death of Jamar Clark.
Defending Justice is an Activist Resource Kit that helps progressive activists understand and resist the Right, the State, and other forces that contribute to the growing system of courts, surveillance, policing, and incarceration.
PRA’s Gabriel Joffe and Katherine Stewart expose how right-wing influence invaded the recent update to AP U.S. History curriculum. The new curriculum glosses over our country’s racist past in favor of American exceptionalism.
Since 9/11, more Americans have been killed by right-wing militants than by Muslim militants. Yet law enforcement and the media continue to perpetuate the “lone wolf” moniker for White, male shooters, instead of identifying the local terrorist networks they’re a part of.
Cryptofascists and pro-White separatists are attempting to make inroads into progressive political and counter-cultural circles. In the not-so-distant past, one had little problem identifying a White separatist. Generally, they came in two styles: white hoods and burning crosses, or oxblood Doc Martens and swastika tattoos. And their relationship with the Left was usually in the form of breaking either bookstore windows or activists’ bones—if not outright murder.Barring them from progressive spaces was an act of physical self-preservation—not a show of political principles in drawing a line against ideological racism and fascism.