White Supremacy Can Not be Separated from the United States

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Or The Necropolitical Death Loop of State Sanctioned White Supremacy

To call our current moment a time when state sanctioned inciting of violence is a regular occurrence would be an understatement. In the wake of a recent shooting in Buffalo, we’re now facing down a string of mass murders made by white supremacists who believe themselves to be righting a wrong of marginalized people existing and taking up public space. The idea of Black, Asian, Native, Latinx, Jewish, QTPOC, disabled folks simply existing in the same public space as white supremacists and those whose talking points they parrot is an injustice that’s logical endpoint is genocide. That this is a pattern and something we can name over decades (arguably centuries) as a struggle to even name these mass murders as white supremacist actions and have them acknowledged as such by those who have tangible power to move the country against it is horrifying.

But it’s important to understand how much of the current framework benefits our current political system. We’ve seen time and time again how conservative media and politicians come together to promote that the success and prevalence of queerness and increased racial justice spells the end of their way of life. And in a certain sense, they’re right! This last point is critical both in what action and inaction reveals about the systemic nature of white supremacy at the heart of electoral politics in the United States. For the rich far right like Tucker Carlson and many Republican politicians, adopting great replacement theory serves a growing base that is unable to reckon with the mass upheaval brought about by many of those same Republican politicians and a global pandemic that has left the world in shambles.

It might be easier to use the common scapegoats of growing acceptance of queerness and policies that enfranchise more Black Americans as the real issues that are ruining the country than to actually solve the inequities which will still affect poor white folks, regardless. When faced with what seems like a real existential threat as presented by white nationalists as apocalyptic events and calling for action, many radicalized white folks who might otherwise feel powerless to change these conditions seek to “fix” these perceived crimes the only way they know how: through violence.

I believe our current nightmare of white supremacists calling for genocide can best be summed up as a necropolitical cycle, where the agency of the marginalized both living and dead is used to fuel a crusade to drive those deemed undesirable out of public space.

It’s important to note that while I believe the top left step is what directly emboldens neo-Nazis and fascists (as nothing short of extermination is an acceptable endgame for fascists), the continuation of this loop primarily hinges on those who have the power to name these mass murders and systemic violence as white supremacists acts failing to do so in any meaningful way. After all, to name white supremacy as the root of the problem with countless mass murders in the US would also admit being complicit in this vicious cycle. It would posit policing as an inherent contributor to the deaths of so many marginalized people and would then implicate the state governments that create such conditions. Most importantly, there would be no doubt whether those in power are directly promoting the white supremacist ideologies so proudly spewed on FOX News, and neo-Nazi conspiracy sites, any semblance of respectability would be gone once you acknowledge the labor and deaths of marginalized people at the foundation of the US as a nation. To put it simply, inaction is a tool that liberals in power use regularly to uphold their current positions of power in all levels government, and this same inaction is exactly what the white supremacists are counting on a widespread level to continue indoctrinating more youth into their cause. 

To come back to the beginning here, I want to stress that what we’re seeing is not just state sanctioned white supremacist violence, but white supremacist violence perpetuated by the state. Whether it’s the active call to arms of white nationalist vigilantes by the far right or the indifference until it benefits their political futures on the liberal agenda, the entire electoral political system of the United States has a white supremacist problem that it needs to reckon with. It’s only through solidarity on all fronts to reject this systemic presence of whiteness that we can create lasting change.  Across race, class and gender lines, solidarity between Black folks, Asian folks, Native folks, disabled folks, Latinx folks, SWANA folks, QTPOC AND white folks is what I believe we need to break down the fascist totalitarian systems that make up this country and hurt us all. 

About the author

Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

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Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

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You can reach me for writing jobs, speaking engagements, consulting work and anything else at mxjoandark@gmail.com!