Fascism simply put is the politics of “us” and “them.” America’s entire history has been based upon concepts and constructs of us versus them. “Us,” being those in power here in America…White people. “Them,” they, and those people are anyone or group considered to be less than or unequal to Whites. The group without power.
Our history keeps repeating itself because Americans fail to learn from our own bouts with fascism. It’s knitted neatly into the fiber of America. It’s stubborn too.
The politics of “us” versus “them” is a divide and conquer strategy that relies on tactics like propaganda (fake news, unfounded racist theories, revisionist history~ Whitewashing, vilifying Blacks, minority groups and immigrants), unnecessary crime control politics, inciting fear, supporting anti-intellectualism, racism, sexual anxiety, nationalism, constant calls for “State’s rights,” authoritarianism, and the twisting of our democracy’s normal language (i.e. purposely mixing patriotism with White Nationalism).
Trump is just an in-your-face version of What America really is.
America’s Politics Are Rooted in Fascism
While many foolish Americans would like to think fascism has only been practiced in places like Germany, Italy and Europe, fascism has also been practiced right here in America for a very long time. If you believe America hasn’t practiced fascism, it’s likely because you were always on the winning side of history. Therefore, no one should be surprised about the racism and identity politics practiced in 2018. It’s simply an extension of the fascist politics employed throughout the nation’s tumultuous, whitewashed history.
Take for instance the old Southern Strategy . The strategy of “us” versus “them” has been around since before slavery. Sadly, White folks will buy this divisive strategy, even when it harms their own community or economic interests, and even if it kills others. They buy it because the men in power look like them, so believe they trust them. They’ve been trained to not only buy deception, but also to dismiss truth. White men (I say men because of how this nation, as it is today, came to be) continue to practice fascism on their own people, and on Black people, because they know it works. Every time.
Old Propaganda: Creating Mythic American History
America has been a fascist propaganda machine in its own right for centuries. Historians have assisted in creating and spreading mythical historical facts (propaganda) about Native America and Slavery which whitewashes the death, despair, poverty and inhumanity of slavery and the slaughter of Native Indians to steal land, resources and to enrich Whiteness. In my opinion it’s the very origin of the politics of “us” and “them.”
American history is a whitewashed history that proudly coddles and cradles fascism. We’re intentionally fed manufactured, fake history packaged (propaganda) and sold to protect Whiteness, a proven strategy created by White America history magicians and manipulators.
It’s a bunch of bullshit.
Take for instance Columbus Day. Americans dismissively celebrate Christopher Columbus discovering America (the “New World” that wasn’t really wasn’t new) despite indisputable evidence America was already discovered and occupied by Native Americans who migrated 11,000 years ago prior to his arrival. He’s a thief and a liar has a federal holiday.
Our federal calendar is loaded with holidays dedicated to honoring deception. We not only celebrate Columbus Day, we also celebrate George Washington’s Birthday. I realize he was the first president, but he also was a slave owner. And no matter how history tries to whitewash how well he treated his slaves, the fact remains he kept people (men, women, and children) for the sake of having free labor for his financial benefit. There is nothing good you say about keeping human beings against their will.
Let’s not forget we cheerfully celebrate Independence Day each year, the federal holiday adopted in 1941 to celebrate the birth of a nation that was already born and independent. Then there’s Confederate Memorial Day, a day some Southern states use to “honor” end of the American Civil War to remember the estimated 258,000 Confederate soldiers and sailors who died fighting against the Union. Many states adopted this holiday in opposition of Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday. They felt only White people should be honored with federal holidays. Classic Whiteness and White accomplishments taking precedence over Black suffering or Black accomplishments. It’s “us” over “them.”
Finally, we come to Thanksgiving, a day celebrating English traditions dating back to the Protestant Reformation. The truth behind Thanksgiving is that one living Patuxet Indian, a man named Squanto, had survived slavery in England and knew their language. He taught them to grow corn and to fish, so the sad saps could survive on the land they stole. Squanto negotiated a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation so they wouldn’t ship anymore Indians to England into slavery. At the end of their first year, the Pilgrims held a great feast honoring Squanto and the Wampanoags. We’ve been peddled more propaganda than we can ever un-teach ourselves.
We have lots of holidays that shouldn’t really be holidays. It’s the equivalent of saying “let’s celebrate us, and fuck what really did to “them.” Hope no one ever finds out.
Choosing to “White out” the harm done to the Indians who were already here in America as well as those taken from their native lands used as slaves for centuries has been disastrous. America’s practice of revising history (i.e. the Civil War), repackaging it, and reselling it to the minorities and Whites has been extremely harmful to the progress of this nation as well as to race relations. Our history has entailed minimizing Native American and Slave history to propagate White history and the American White nationalism we know today. It’s just more of them and us.
Your Role in Enabling Fascism
Whether it’s celebrating Confederate Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, Columbus Day, etc., too many of us participate in upholding the traditions of “us” versus “them” here in America.
America’s forgetfulness and unwillingness to acknowledge how this nation’s history has always vilified lower classes Native Americans and Blacks since slavery, enables fascism to not only survive, but to thrive. Our forgetfulness makes us all complicit in today’s rise in fascism. Our silence is consent, a green light to continue the path of “us” and “them” politics.
Not only do we need to call out these instances where our fascism is showing, we need to smack it down. We need to stop causally celebrating America’s fascist tendencies of old.
What Fascism Does to “Us” and “Them”
Over the past 12 years, American politicians have invested more and more effort in the politics of “us” and “them,” and it’s working like a charm. From forecasting the last-minute disease infested caravan coming from South America through Mexico to get to the U.S. carrying small-pox, syphilis, herpes, whooping cough, and Ebola, to Black gubernatorial candidates Stacy Abrams and Andrew Gillum being labeled thieves, caste as Black inferiors, and too incompetent to lead their respective states despite their track records in politics and public service, to Dems labeling a faction of their own party “too progressive” for rebuking the inequality of their party’s own White privilege and own status quo.
The fascist politics of “us” and “them” in America thrives on fear, orchestrated racism, economic instability, ignorance, voter suppression, and keeping poor people poor and powerless.
America’s far-right and far-left fringes understand most White people will vote for White interests, White privilege, and maintaining White power while restricting power and dismissing or overlooking the interests of any other American minority group, especially Blacks. This nation is unfashionably fascists already whether we want to believe it or not.
Look at racism. Fascism likes to keep Blacks from voting because it takes power from us (Whites) and gives it to them (Blacks and people of color). The “Them” are not worthy of power, unable to govern themselves, and an untrustworthy they believe. They are unfairly labeled based on whitewashed history thanks to White Supremacists. The same was done to Native Americans and other immigrant groups who migrated to America in search of a better life. It’s a flawed and selfish mindset that one group is stronger, smarter, less likely to be criminals, deserves less punishment, deserves more wealth, or is more deserving in general than another group is “us” over “them” 101.
Realize in 2018, we are still seeing the first Black, the first Asian, and for goodness sakes the first American Indian Congressional Representatives despite those populations having been in those areas for centuries and in the case of the Indians thousands of years. We are still celebrating “firsts” when it comes to ethnic representation in America thanks to institutional racism and our history of fascism.
Look at jobs. Whiteness's favorite line in America is “They are taking our jobs.” They are not. Mexicans and other Spanish-speaking people (They) are taking jobs from Whites. Never mind the fact that White politicians have signed trade acts that shipped their jobs overseas or that White politicians came up with Clean Air Acts that lead to cleaner energy resources which took away rural White jobs, just blame Mexicans for all White woes instead of placing the blame where it should be which is one White men. But politicians gotta have a victim and a scapegoat to blame right?
Mexicans are the new Black scapegoat! Nobody’s taking jobs. Mexicans just do the jobs Blacks once did (i.e. sharecropping, picking vegetables, maintaining farms, meat processing, construction, etc.) and jobs White won’t do.
Look at education. Since Brown vs. Board of Education, states have figured out ways to keep schools segregated. From developing suburbs to ensure they are isolated from people of color, to underfunding poorer and rural communities, to mismanaging, de-funding, and closing majority minority school districts (i.e. Detroit, Chicago), American fascism demands Whiteness takes resources from Blacks and minorities to ensure they stay oppressed, poor, ignorant, and behind. Always us against them.
And let’s not forget anti-intellectualism.
Disputing science, bad mouthing colleges for being liberal and not adhering to conservative values is nothing new. Even our fool-ass President despises science despite living in a state enduring King Tides and Floods during Super Moons, and deadlier hurricanes. Trump doesn’t believe in climate change, yet believes we put a man on the moon. It makes no sense, but followers eat it up like cheese dip. Anti-intellectualism is essential in fascist politics, and it’s one of the biggest threats to our democracy today.
Other examples of good old American us against them are:
Entitlements: the flawed belief that one group deserves all entitlements while others do not despite this nation being built on the backs of the less entitled groups.
Religion: the selfish belief Christianity is the “best” religion of all religions in the world for Americans, despite there being over 4,200 different religions globally, many of which are older than White America’s self-proclaimed national religion. Additionally, religion was used throughout colonialism (the practice of domination) to steal lands, steal natural resources, steal people, keep certain segments oppressed, and to modify behaviors of minority groups. It was the craft of taking from “them” to sustain “us”.
Many non-White Americans still practice the same Christianity used by Puritans and Colonists because fascist politicians over the centuries have changed the religion’s intentions. But make no bones about it, the purpose of ensuring Christianity is the premier religion is the same as it was back in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s, and that is for the subjugation of one people to another. Fascism is in deeply entrenched in religion, even in America’s beloved Christianity.
Look at corruption. Political corruption is rampant among both major political parties here in the U.S. Fascists politicians in both parties claim they are against political corruption (i.e. Trump draining the swamp and being in love with law enforcement while running for office), all awhile disenfranchising Blacks preventing them to vote, engaging in nepotism and cronyism (i.e. Senator Mitch McConnell is his wife’s boss, who has some questionable past ties to corruption). While White politicians are busy distracting us by pointing their fingers at “would be” thieves, they are stealing our money smiling all the way to their off-shore banks.
Look at the war on crime. The war on crime has long been code for go after Black and Brown folks. The war on crime was an oppression effort that arose after civil uprisings in Detroit and other cities across America in response to, and to prescribe policies to suppress future disorder. And while the fake war on crime was coined by Lyndon B. Johnson in the late 60’s, and came about because of his flawed thinking began from the assumption that black community pathology caused poverty and crime. Despite being much of the nation’s population, a decision was a decision made by conservatives that Blacks were more prone to crime than Whites, and therefore required more policing.
Never mind White people have had a recorded history of lying on Blacks about crimes they didn’t commit as well as lynching them and allies for centuries. Most Whites accused of lying and killing never faced any punishment. Armed with these historical facts, you’d think White people would look at Whites as more prone to crime based on historical data.
But when Whiteness combined with fascism gets to make all the laws, creates policy, makes up the majority of the nation’s police, is the judge, the data clerk, and the false premier authority on dictating American history…they get to determine our plights in their history books. Fascist politics says “we” (Whites) are less dangerous than “them” (Blacks) even though history illustrates Whites have been far more violent since landing here in America. History should also dictate Whites need more policing that Brown folks due to their past atrocities.
Why Are So Many White People Still Falling for Fascism
I don’t know the answer, but I’d like to. Why are White people so deeply entrenched and dedicated to fascism? Why do White people support political leaders using fascist tactics and propaganda? Why are White people unable to connect the dots of the nation’s history, and how White people and people of European descent have benefited from the “us” and “them” strategies employed by politicians?
Why are White people so invested in remaining ignorant? Why are White people okay with poor people and people of color being harmed for the false sense of security White people need to “feel” safe and economically secure? Why do White people choose the politics of fear over faith?
I have other questions…but there are a few to start with. Why is fascism so appealing to some groups here in America? Racism and fascism go hand in hand in a fragile democracy. Waiting too late to fight it fascism is devastating for our national security. It’s deadly to minority groups. Most importantly it’s dangerous to the entire world. There are more Brown people in the world than White people and people claiming to be “pure” of European descent. Fascist desires for a White world means Black and Brown blood must be shed.
White people cannot continue to be silent. People all over the world are watching America. Holding historians accountable is a start. Let’s stop accepting all supporting whitewashed history.
Nothing will ever change if we don’t start talking about fascism in American politics. I don’t just want to talk and give my opinions. I also want to listen.
Marley K., 2018