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White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that
white people White is a Race (human categorization), racialized classification of people and a Human skin color, skin color specifier, generally used for people of Ethnic groups in Europe, European origin; although the definition can vary depending on cont ...
are superior to those of other races and thus should dominate them. The belief favors the maintenance and defense of any
power Power most often refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy In , energy is the that must be to a or to perform on the body, or to it. Energy is a ; the law of states that energy can be in form, bu ...
and
privilege Privilege may refer to: Arts and entertainment * ''Privilege'' (film), a 1967 film directed by Peter Watkins * ''Privilege'' (Ivor Cutler album), 1983 * ''Privilege'' (Television Personalities album), 1990 * ''Privilege (Abridged) ''Privile ...
held by white people. White supremacy has roots in the now-discredited doctrine of
scientific racism Scientific racism, sometimes termed biological racism, is the pseudoscientific Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseu ...
and was a key justification for
European colonialism European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convent ...
. It underlies a spectrum of contemporary movements including
neo-Confederate Neo-Confederates are groups and individuals who portray the Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or simply the Confederacy, was an List of historical unrecogni ...
s,
neo-Nazism Neo-Nazism refers to the post–World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State m ...
and the so-called Christian Identity movement. Different forms of white supremacy put forth different conceptions of who is considered white, though the exemplar is generally light-skinned, blond-haired, and blue-eyed—traits most common in northern Europe, which are pseudoscientifically viewed as being part of an
Aryan race The Aryan race is a historical race concept which emerged in the late 19th century to describe people of Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the l ...
. Different groups of white supremacists identify various racial, ethnic and religious enemies, most commonly those of
Sub-Saharan African Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan African
ancestry,
Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
of the Americas and Oceania,
Asians Asian people (or Asiatic people)United States National Library of Medicine. Medical Subject Headings. 2004. November 17, 200Nlm.nih.gov: ''Asian Continental Ancestry Group'' is also used for categorical purposes. are the people A peopl ...
,
multiracial people Multiracial people are people of more than one race (human categorization), race or ethnicity. A variety of terms have been used for multi-racial people, including ''mixed-race'', ''biracial'', ''multiethnic'', ''polyethnic'', ''Métis'', ''Cre ...
,
Middle Eastern people The ethnic groups in the Middle East refers to the peoples that reside in West Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Easte ...
,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
, and
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
. As a
political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones." Formerly applied prim ...
, it imposes and maintains cultural,
social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology The word "Social" derives fr ...
,
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...
,
historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems a ...
, and/or
institutional Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which govern the behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and ...
domination by
white people White is a Race (human categorization), racialized classification of people and a Human skin color, skin color specifier, generally used for people of Ethnic groups in Europe, European origin; although the definition can vary depending on cont ...
and non-white supporters. This ideology has been put into effect through socioeconomic and legal structures such as the
Atlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of various enslaved African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** ...
,
Jim Crow laws Jim Crow laws were state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...
in the United States, the White Australia policies from the 1890s to the mid-1970s, and
apartheid Apartheid (South African English South African English (SAfrE, SAfrEng, SAE, en-ZA) is the set of English language dialects native to South Africans. History British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * B ...

apartheid
in South Africa. In addition, this ideology is embodied in the "
White power White is the lightest color Color ( American English), or colour ( Commonwealth English), is the characteristic of visual perception described through color ''categories'', with names such as red, orange (colour), orange, yellow, gre ...
" social movement. Since the early 1980s, the White power movement has been committed to overthrowing the
United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or U ...
and establishing a white ethnostate using paramilitary tactics. In academic usage, particularly in
critical race theory Critical race theory (CRT) is an academic movement made up of civil-rights scholars and activists in the United States who seek to critically examine the law as it intersects with issues of race, and to challenge mainstream liberal approaches ...
or
intersectionality Intersectionality is an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person's social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions bet ...

intersectionality
, "white supremacy" can also refer to a social system in which white people enjoy structural advantages (
privilege Privilege may refer to: Arts and entertainment * ''Privilege'' (film), a 1967 film directed by Peter Watkins * ''Privilege'' (Ivor Cutler album), 1983 * ''Privilege'' (Television Personalities album), 1990 * ''Privilege (Abridged) ''Privile ...
) over other ethnic groups, on both a collective and individual level, despite formal legal equality.


History

White supremacy has ideological foundations that date back to 17th-century
scientific racism Scientific racism, sometimes termed biological racism, is the pseudoscientific Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseu ...
, the predominant paradigm of human variation that helped shape international relations and racial policy from the latter part of the
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link= ...
until the late 20th century (marked by decolonization and the abolition of
apartheid Apartheid (South African English South African English (SAfrE, SAfrEng, SAE, en-ZA) is the set of English language dialects native to South Africans. History British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * B ...

apartheid
in South Africa in 1991, followed by that country's first multiracial elections in 1994).


United States

White supremacy was dominant in the United States both before and after the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
, and it persisted for decades after the
Reconstruction Era The Reconstruction era was a period in American history The history of the United States started with the arrival of Native Americans in North America around 15,000 BC. Native American cultures in the United States, Numerous indigenous ...
. In the
antebellum South The Antebellum South (also known as the antebellum era or plantation era) was a period in the history of the Southern United States The southern United States, also known as the American South, the southern states, or simply the South, is a ...
, this included the holding of African Americans in
chattel slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that gives ...
, in which four million of them were denied freedom. The outbreak of the Civil War saw the desire to uphold white supremacy being cited as a cause for state secession and the formation of the
Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or simply the Confederacy, was an unrecognized herrenvolk republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system ...

Confederate States of America
. In an editorial about Native Americans and the
American Indian Wars The American Indian Wars, also known as the American Frontier Wars, the First Nations Wars in Canada (french: Guerres des Premières Nations) and the Indian Wars were fought by European governments and colonists, and later by the United States an ...
in 1890, author L. Frank Baum wrote: "The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians." The
Naturalization Act of 1790 The Naturalization Act of 1790 (, enacted March 26, 1790) was a law of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising ...
limited U.S. citizenship to whites only. In some parts of the United States, many people who were considered non-white were
disenfranchisedDisfranchisement, also called disenfranchisement, or voter disqualification is the revocation of suffrage Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise is the right to vote in public, political elections (although the term is sometimes use ...
, barred from government office, and prevented from holding most government jobs well into the second half of the 20th century. Professor Leland T. Saito of the
University of Southern California , mottoeng = "Let whoever earns the palm bear it" , religious_affiliation = Nonsectarian - Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious de ...

University of Southern California
writes: "Throughout the history of the United States, race has been used by whites for legitimizing and creating difference and social, economic and political exclusion." The denial of social and political freedom to minorities continued into the mid-20th century, resulting in the
civil rights movement The 1954–1968 civil rights movement in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North ...
. Sociologist Stephen Klineberg has stated that U.S. immigration laws prior to 1965 clearly "declared that
Northern European Northern Europe is a loosely defined geographical and cultural region in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict cri ...
s are a superior subspecies of the white race". The
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, also known as the Hart–Celler Act and more recently as the 1965 Immigration Act, is a federal law passed by the 89th United States Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson ...
opened entry to the U.S. to non-Germanic groups, and significantly altered the demographic mix in the U.S. as a result. 16 U.S. states banned
interracial marriage Interracial marriage is a marriage Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouse A religious marriage. A spouse is a significant other Significant othe ...
through
anti-miscegenation laws Anti-miscegenation laws or miscegenation laws are laws that enforce racial segregation Racial segregation is the systematic separation of people into race (human classification), racial or other Ethnicity, ethnic groups in daily life. Raci ...
until 1967, when these laws were invalidated by the
Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or Americ ...

Supreme Court of the United States
' decision in '' Loving v. Virginia''. These mid-century gains had a major impact on white Americans' political views; segregation and white racial superiority, which had been publicly endorsed in the 1940s, became minority views within the white community by the mid-1970s, and continued to decline into 1990s polls to a single-digit percentage. For sociologist
Howard Winant Howard Winant (born 1946) is an American sociologist and race theorist. Professor Winant is best known for developing the theory of ''racial formation'' along with Michael Omi. Winant is Distinguished Professor of Sociology Sociology i ...
, these shifts marked the end of "monolithic white supremacy" in the United States. After the mid-1960s, white supremacy remained an important ideology to the American far-right. According to Kathleen Belew, a historian of
race Race, RACE or "The Race" may refer to: * Race (biology), an informal taxonomic classification within a species, generally within a sub-species * Race (human categorization), classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, and/or s ...
and
racism in the United States Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority Superior may refer to: *Superior (hierarchy), something which is higher in a hi ...
, white militancy shifted after the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
from supporting the existing racial order to a more radical position (self-described as "white power" or "
white nationalism White nationalism is a type of nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to ...
") committed to overthrowing the
United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or U ...
and establishing a white homeland. Such anti-government militia organizations are one of three major strands of violent right-wing movements in the United States, with white supremacist groups (such as the
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan (), commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that white people White is a racial classification and skin color specifier, gene ...
,
neo-Nazi Neo-Nazism refers to the post–World War II militant, social, and political movements seeking to revive and reinstate Nazism, Nazi ideology. Neo-Nazis seek to employ their ideology to promote hatred and white supremacy, attack racial and e ...
organizations, and racist skinheads) and a
religious fundamentalist Fundamentalism usually has a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, ...
movement (such as
Christian Identity Christian Identity (also known as Identity Christianity) is an interpretation of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachin ...
) being the other two. Howard Winant writes that, "On the far right the cornerstone of white identity is belief in an ineluctable, unalterable racialized difference between whites and nonwhites." In the view of philosopher
Jason Stanley Jason Stanley (born 1969) is an American philosopher who is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He is best known for his contributions to philosophy of language and epistemology, which often draw upon and influence other ...
, white supremacy in the United States is an example of the fascist politics of hierarchy, in that it "demands and implies a perpetual hierarchy" in which whites dominate and control non-whites. In a 2020 article in ''The New York Times'' titled "How White Women Use Themselves as Instruments of Terror", black columnist Charles M. Blow wrote that: Some academics argue that outcomes from the
2016 United States Presidential Election The 2016 United States presidential election was the 58th quadrennial presidential election A presidential election is the election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or mul ...
reflect ongoing challenges with white supremacy. Psychologist
Janet Helms Janet E. Helms is an American research psychologist A psychologist is a person who studies normal and abnormal mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by experimenting with, and observing, interpreti ...
suggested that the normalizing behaviors of social institutions of education, government, and healthcare are organized around the "birthright of...the power to control society's resources and determine the rules for hose resources. Educators, literary theorists, and other political experts have raised similar questions, connecting the
scapegoating Scapegoating is the practice of singling out a person or group for unmerited blame and consequent negative treatment. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals (e.g. "he did it, not me!"), individuals against groups (e.g., ...
of disenfranchised populations to white superiority. As of 2018, there are over 600 white supremacy organizations recorded in the U.S. On July 23, 2019, Christopher A. Wray, the head of the
FBI The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, cre ...

FBI
, said at a
Senate Judiciary Committee The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, informally the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a Standing committee (United States Congress), standing committee of 22 U.S. senators whose role is to oversee the United States Department of Jus ...
hearing that the agency had made around 100
domestic terrorism#REDIRECT Domestic terrorism Domestic terrorism or homegrown terrorism is a form of terrorism Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to vi ...
arrests since October 1, 2018, and that the majority of them were connected in some way with white supremacy. Wray said that the Bureau was "aggressively pursuing omestic terrorismusing both counterterrorism resources and criminal investigative resources and partnering closely with our state and local partners," but said that it was focused on the violence itself and not on its ideological basis. A similar number of arrests had been made for instances of international terrorism. In the past, Wray has said that white supremacy was a significant and "pervasive" threat to the U.S. On September 20, 2019, the acting
Secretary of Homeland Security The United States secretary of homeland security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for public sec ...
, Kevin McAleenan, announced his department's revised strategy for counter-terrorism, which included a new emphasis on the dangers inherent in the white supremacy movement. McAleenan called white supremacy one of the most "potent ideologies" behind domestic terrorism-related violent acts. In a speech at the
Brookings Institution The Brookings Institution, often referred to simply as Brookings, is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States ...
, McAleenan cited a series of high-profile shooting incidents, and said "In our modern age, the continued menace of racially based violent extremism, particularly white supremacist extremism, is an abhorrent affront to the nation, the struggle and unity of its diverse population." The new strategy will include better tracking and analysis of threats, sharing information with local officials, training local law enforcement on how to deal with shooting events, discouraging the hosting of hate sites online, and encouraging counter-messages.


School curriculum

White supremacy has also played a part in U.S. school curriculum. Over the course of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, material across the spectrum of academic disciplines has been taught with a heavy emphasis on White culture, contributions, and experiences, and a lack of representation of non-White groups' perspectives and accomplishments.Mills, Charles W. (1994). "REVISIONIST ONTOLOGIES: THEORIZING WHITE SUPREMACY". ''Social and Economic Studies''. 43 (3): 105–134.
ISSN An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an eight-digit serial number used to unique identifier, uniquely identify a serial (publishing), serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is especially helpful in distinguishing between ...
0037-7651.
Woodson, Carter G. (Carter Godwin) (1993). ''The mis-education of the Negro''. Internet Archive. Trenton, N.J. : AfricaWorld Press. . In the 19th century,
Geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The first person t ...

Geography
lessons contained teachings on a fixed racial hierarchy, which white people topped. Mills (1994) writes that history as it is taught is really the history of White people, and it is taught in a way that favors White Americans and White people in general. He states that the language used to tell history minimizes the violent acts committed by White people over the centuries, citing the use of the words "discovery," "colonization," and "
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: " 6c:_from__...
"_when_describing_what_was_ultimately_a_European_conquest_of_the_Western_Hemisphere_and_its_"_when_describing_what_was_ultimately_a_European_conquest_of_the_Western_Hemisphere_and_its_Native_Americans_in_the_United_States">indigenous_peoples_ Indigenous_peoples,_also_referred_to_as_first_peoples,_first_nations,_aboriginal_peoples,_native_peoples_(with_these_terms_often_capitalized_when_referred_to_relating_to_specific_countries),_or_autochthonous_peoples,_are_culturally_distinct_e_...
_as_examples._Swartz_(1992)_seconds_this_reading_of_modern_history_narratives_when_it_comes_to_the_experiences,_resistances,_and_accomplishments_of_African_Americans.html" "title="Native_Americans_in_the_United_States.html" "title="Western_Hemisphere.html" ;"title="6c: from ...
" when describing what was ultimately a European conquest of the Western Hemisphere">6c: from ...
" when describing what was ultimately a European conquest of the Western Hemisphere and its Native Americans in the United States">indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
as examples. Swartz (1992) seconds this reading of modern history narratives when it comes to the experiences, resistances, and accomplishments of African Americans">Black Americans African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from othe ...
throughout the Middle Passage, Slavery in the United States, slavery, Reconstruction era, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, Jim Crow, and the Civil rights movement. In an analysis of American history textbooks, she highlights word choices that repetitively "normalize" slavery and the inhumane treatment of Black people. She also notes the frequent showcasing of White
abolitionists Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), w ...
and actual exclusion of Black abolitionists and the fact that Black Americans had been mobilizing for abolition for centuries before the major White American push for abolition in the 19th century. She ultimately asserts the presence of a ''masternarrative'' that centers Europe and its associated peoples (White people) in school curriculum, particularly as it pertains to history.Swartz, Ellen (1992). "Emancipatory Narratives: Rewriting the Master Script in the School Curriculum". ''The Journal of Negro Education''. 61(3): 341–355.
doi #REDIRECT DOI DOI or Doi may refer to: Science and technology * Digital object identifier, an international standard for document identification * Distinctness of image, a quantification of vision used in optics * 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine, a ...
:10.2307/2295252.
ISSN An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an eight-digit serial number used to unique identifier, uniquely identify a serial (publishing), serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is especially helpful in distinguishing between ...
0022-2984.
She writes that this masternarrative condenses history into only history that is relevant to, and to some extent beneficial for, White Americans. Elson (1964) provides detailed information about the historic dissemination of simplistic and negative ideas about non-White races.Au, Wayne, 1972–. Reclaiming the multicultural roots of U.S. curriculum : communities of color and official knowledge in education. Brown, Anthony Lamar,, Aramoni Calderón, Dolores,, Banks, James A.,. New York. . OCLC 951742385. Native Americans, who were subjected to attempts of
cultural genocide Cultural genocide or cultural cleansing is a concept which was distinguished by lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944 as a component of genocide. Though the precise definition of ''cultural genocide'' remains contested, the Armenian Genocide Museum def ...
by the U.S. government through the use of
American Indian boarding schools Native American boarding schools, also known as Indian Residential Schools, were established in the United States during the early 19th and mid 20th centuries with a primary objective of "civilizing" or assimilating Native American Native Ame ...
, were characterized as homogenously "cruel," a violent menace toward White Americans, and lacking civilization or societal complexity (p. 74). For example, in the 19th century, Black Americans were consistently portrayed as lazy, immature, and intellectually and morally inferior to white Americans, and in many ways not deserving of equal participation in U.S. society.Elson, Ruth Miller (1964). ''Guardians of Tradition: American Schoolbooks of the Nineteenth Century''. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. For example, a math problem in a 19th century textbook read, "If 5 white men can do as much work as 7 negroes..." implying that white men are more industrious and competent than black men (p. 99). In addition, little to none was taught about Black Americans' contributions, or their histories before being brought to U.S. soil as slaves. According to Wayne (1972), this approach was taken especially much after the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
to maintain Whites' hegemony over
emancipated Emancipation is any effort to procure economic and social rights, political rights or equality, often for a specifically disenfranchised group, or more generally, in discussion of many matters. Among others, Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx ...

emancipated
Black Americans. Other racial groups have received oppressive treatment, including
Mexican Americans Mexican Americans ( es, mexicano-estadounidenses or ) are Americans of Mexicans, Mexican ancestry. In 2019, Mexican Americans comprised 11.3% of the US population and 61.5% of all Hispanic and Latino Americans, Latino Americans. In 2019, 71% of ...

Mexican Americans
, who were temporarily prevented from learning the same curriculum as White Americans because they were supposedly intellectually inferior, and Asian Americans, some of whom were prevented from learning much about their ancestral lands because they were deemed a threat to "American" culture, i.e. White culture, at the turn of the 20th century.


Effect of the media

White supremacy has been depicted in music videos, feature films, documentaries, journal entries, and on social media. The 1915 silent drama film ''
The Birth of a Nation ''The Birth of a Nation'', originally called ''The Clansman'', is a 1915 American Silent film, silent Epic film, epic Drama (film and television), drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. The screenplay is adapted from ...
'' followed the rising racial, economic, political, and geographic tensions leading up to the
Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation The text of presidential proclamation 9552 of December 9, 2016 regarding the lowering of flags because of the death of John Glenn, as published in the Fede ...

Emancipation Proclamation
and the Southern
Reconstruction era The Reconstruction era was a period in American history The history of the United States started with the arrival of Native Americans in North America around 15,000 BC. Native American cultures in the United States, Numerous indigenous ...
that was the genesis of the Ku Klux Klan.
David Duke David Ernest Duke (born July 1, 1950) is an American neo-Nazi, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, far-right politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated ...

David Duke
, a former
Grand Wizard The Grand Wizard was the head of the Reconstruction-era The Reconstruction era, the period in History of the United States, American history that lasted from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War (1861–65), marked a significant ch ...
of the
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan (), commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that white people White is a racial classification and skin color specifier, gene ...
, believed that the Internet was going to create a "chain reaction of racial enlightenment that will shake the world." Jessie Daniels, of , also said that racist groups see the Internet as a way to spread their ideologies, influence others and gain supporters. Legal scholar
Richard Hasen Richard L. Hasen is an American legal scholar and expert in legislation Legislation is law which has been promulgation, promulgated (or "enactment of a bill, enacted") by a legislature or other Government, governing body or the process of making i ...
describes a "dark side" of social media:
There certainly were
hate group A hate group is a social group that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race (human classification), race, Ethnic group, ethnicity, nation, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any oth ...
s before the Internet and social media. ut with social mediait just becomes easier to organize, to spread the word, for people to know where to go. It could be to raise money, or it could be to engage in attacks on social media. Some of the activity is virtual. Some of it is in a physical place. Social media has lowered the collective-action problems that individuals who might want to be in a hate group would face. You can see that there are people out there like you. That's the dark side of social media.
With the emergence of Twitter in 2006, and platforms such as '' Stormfront'' which was launched in 1996, an
alt-right File:Donald Trump alt-right supporter (32452974604).jpg, upright=1.35, An alt-right supporter at the March 4 Trump rally in Saint Paul, Minnesota; due to copyright issues, a depiction of Pepe the Frog on the man's sign has been digitally remove ...
portal for white supremacists with similar beliefs, both adults and children, was provided in which they were given a way to connect. Daniels discussed the emergence of other social media outlets such as
4chan 4chan is an anonymous English-language imageboard An imageboard is a type of that revolves around the posting of images, often alongside text and discussion. The first imageboards were created in as an extension of the concept. These si ...

4chan
and
Reddit Reddit (, stylized as reddit) is an American social news news aggregator, aggregation, web content rating site, rating, and Internet forum#Discussion, discussion website. Registered members submit content to the site such as links, text posts, ...
, which meant that the "spread of white nationalist symbols and ideas could be accelerated and amplified." Sociologist
Kathleen Blee Kathleen M. Blee (born 1953) is a professor of sociology and Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the College of General Studies at the University of Pittsburgh , nickname = Panthers , ...
notes that the anonymity which the Internet provides can make it difficult to track the extent of white supremacist activity in the country, but nevertheless she and other experts see an increase in the amount of
hate crime A hate crime (also known as a bias-motivated crime or bias crime) is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their membership (or perceived membership) of a certain social group or race (human cate ...
s and white supremacist violence. In the latest wave of white supremacy, in the age of the Internet, Blee sees the movement as having primarily become a virtual one, in which divisions between groups become blurred: " l these various groups that get jumbled together as the alt-right and people who have come in from the more traditional neo-Nazi world. We're in a very different world now." A series on YouTube hosted by the grandson of Thomas Robb, the national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, "presents the Klan's ideology in a format aimed at kids — more specifically, white kids." The short episodes inveigh against race-mixing, and extol other white supremacist ideologies. A short documentary published by TRT describes Imran Garda's experience, a journalist of Indian descent, who met with Thomas Robb and a traditional KKK group. A sign that greets people who enter the town states " Diversity is a code for white genocide." The KKK group interviewed in the documentary summarizes its ideals, principles, and beliefs, which are emblematic of white supremacists in the United States. The comic book super hero
Captain America Captain America is a superhero A superhero or superheroine is a stock character that possesses Superpower (ability), ''superpowers'', abilities beyond those of ordinary people, and fits the role of the hero, typically using his or her p ...

Captain America
was used for dog whistle politics by the alt-right in college campus recruitment in 2017, an ironic co-optation because Captain America battled against Nazis in the comics, and was created by Jewish cartoonists.


British Commonwealth

There has been debate whether Winston Churchill, who was voted "the greatest ever Briton" in 2002, was "a racist and white supremacist". In the context of rejecting the Arab wish to stop Aliyah, Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine, Palestine, he said:
I do not admit that the The Dog in the Manger, dog in the manger has the final right to the manger, though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to those people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race or at any rate a more worldly-wise race ... has come in and taken their place."
British historian Richard Toye, author of ''Churchill's Empire'', concluded that "Churchill did think that white people were superior."


South Africa

A number of Southern African nations experienced severe racial tension and conflict during global decolonization, particularly as white Africans of European ancestry fought to protect their preferential social and political status. Racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times under the Dutch Empire. It continued when the British took over the Cape of Good Hope in 1795. Apartheid was introduced as an officially structured policy by the Afrikaners, Afrikaner-dominated National Party (South Africa), National Party after the South African general election, 1948, general election of 1948. Apartheid's legislation divided inhabitants into four racial groups—"black", "white", "coloured", and "Indian", with coloured divided into several sub-classifications. In 1970, the Afrikaner-run government Separate Representation of Voters Amendment Act, 1968, abolished non-white political representation, and starting that year black people were deprived of South African citizenship. South Africa abolished apartheid in 1991.


Rhodesia

In Rhodesia a predominantly white government issued its own Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence, unilateral declaration of independence from the United Kingdom during an unsuccessful attempt to avoid immediate majority rule. Following the Rhodesian Bush War which was fought by African nationalism, African nationalists, Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith acceded to biracial political representation in 1978 and the state achieved recognition from the United Kingdom as Zimbabwe in 1980.


Germany

Nazism promoted the idea of a superior Germanic people or
Aryan race The Aryan race is a historical race concept which emerged in the late 19th century to describe people of Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the l ...
in Germany during the early 20th century. Notions of white supremacy and Aryan racial superiority were combined in the 19th century, with white supremacists maintaining the belief that white people were members of an Aryan "master race" that was superior to other races, particularly the Jews, who were described as the "Semitic race", Slavs, and Names of the Romani people, Gypsies, who they associated with "cultural sterility". Arthur de Gobineau, a French racial theorist and aristocrat, blamed the fall of the Ancien Régime, ''ancien régime'' in France on racial degeneracy caused by racial intermixing, which he argued had destroyed the "purity" of the Nordic or Germanic race. Gobineau's theories, which attracted a strong following in Germany, emphasized the existence of an irreconcilable polarity between Aryan or Germanic peoples and Jewish culture. As the Nazi Party's chief racial theorist, Alfred Rosenberg oversaw the construction of a human racial "ladder" that justified Racial policy of Nazi Germany, Hitler's racial and ethnic policies. Rosenberg promoted the Nordic theory, which regarded Nordic race, Nordics as the "master race", superior to all others, including other Aryans (Indo-Europeans). Rosenberg got the racial term ''Untermensch'' from the title of Klansman Lothrop Stoddard's 1922 book ''The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-man''. It was later adopted by the Nazis from that book's German version ''Der Kulturumsturz: Die Drohung des Untermenschen'' (1925). Rosenberg was the leading Nazi who attributed the concept of the East-European "under man" to Stoddard. An advocate of the U.S. immigration laws that favored Northern Europeans, Stoddard wrote primarily on the alleged dangers posed by "colored" peoples to white civilization, and wrote ''The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy'' in 1920. In establishing a restrictive entry system for Germany in 1925, Hitler wrote of his admiration for America's immigration laws: "The American Union categorically refuses the immigration of physically unhealthy elements, and simply excludes the immigration of certain races." German praise for America's institutional racism, previously found in Hitler's ''Mein Kampf'', was continuous throughout the early 1930s. Nazi lawyers were advocates of the use of American models. Race-based U.S. citizenship and anti-miscegenation laws directly inspired the Nazis' two principal Nuremberg Laws, Nuremberg racial laws—the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. To preserve the Aryan or Nordic race, the Nazis introduced the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, which forbade sexual relations and marriages between Germans and Jews, and later between Germans and Romani people, Romani and Slavs. The Nazis used the Mendelian inheritance theory to argue that social traits were innate, claiming that there was a racial nature associated with certain general traits such as inventiveness or criminal behavior. According to the 2012 annual report of Germany's interior intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, at the time there were 26,000 right-wing extremists living in Germany, including 6000 Neo-Nazism, neo-Nazis.


Russia

Neo-Nazism, Neo-Nazi organisations embracing white supremacist ideology are present in many countries of the world. In 2007, it was claimed that Russian neo-Nazis accounted for "half of the world's total".


Ukraine

In June 2015, Democratic Representative John Conyers and his Republican colleague Ted Yoho offered bipartisan amendments to block the U.S. military training of Ukraine's Azov Battalion — called a "neo-Nazi paramilitary militia" by Conyers and Yoho. Some members of the battalion are openly white supremacists.


New Zealand

Fifty-one people died from Christchurch mosque shootings, two consecutive terrorist attacks at the Al Noor Mosque, Christchurch, Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre by an Australian white supremacist carried out on March 15, 2019. The terrorist attacks have been described by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as "One of New Zealand's darkest days". On August 27, 2020, the shooter was sentenced to Life imprisonment, life without parole.


Academic use of the term

The term ''white supremacy'' is used in some academic studies of racial power to denote a system of structural or societal racism which privileges white people over others, regardless of the presence or the absence of racial hatred. According to this definition, white racial advantages occur at both a collective and an individual level (''ceteris paribus'', , when individuals are compared that do not relevantly differ except in ethnicity). Legal scholar Frances Lee Ansley explains this definition as follows: This and similar definitions have been adopted or proposed by Charles W. Mills, Bell Hooks, David Gillborn, Jessie Daniels, and Neely Fuller Jr, and they are widely used in
critical race theory Critical race theory (CRT) is an academic movement made up of civil-rights scholars and activists in the United States who seek to critically examine the law as it intersects with issues of race, and to challenge mainstream liberal approaches ...
and Intersectionality, intersectional feminism. Some anti-racism, anti-racist educators, such as Betita Martinez and the Challenging White Supremacy workshop, also use the term in this way. The term expresses historic continuities between a pre–
civil rights movement The 1954–1968 civil rights movement in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North ...
era of open white supremacy and the current racial power structure of the United States. It also expresses the visceral impact of structural racism through "provocative and brutal" language that characterizes racism as "nefarious, global, systemic, and constant". Academic users of the term sometimes prefer it to ''racism'' because it allows for a distinction to be drawn between racist feelings and white racial advantage or white privilege, privilege. John McWhorter, a specialist in language and race relations, explains the gradual replacement of "racism" by "white supremacy" by the fact that "potent terms need refreshment, especially when heavily used", drawing a parallel with the replacement of "chauvinist" by "sexist"''.'' Other intellectuals have criticized the term's recent rise in popularity among leftist activists as counterproductive. John McWhorter has described the use of "white supremacy" as straying from its commonly accepted meaning to encompass less extreme issues, thereby cheapening the term and potentially derailing productive discussion. Political columnist Kevin Drum attributes the term's growing popularity to frequent use by Ta-Nehisi Coates, describing it as a "terrible fad" which fails to convey nuance. He claims that the term should be reserved for those who are trying to promote the idea that whites are inherently superior to blacks and not used to characterize less blatantly racist beliefs or actions. The academic use of the term to refer to systemic racism has been criticized by Conor Friedersdorf for the confusion it creates for the general public inasmuch as it differs from the more common dictionary definition; he argues that it is likely to alienate those it hopes to convince.


Ideologies and movements

Supporters of Nordic race#Nordicism, Nordicism consider the "Nordic peoples" to be a superior race. By the early 19th century, white supremacy was attached to emerging theories of racial hierarchy. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer attributed cultural primacy to the white race: The eugenics, eugenicist Madison Grant argued in his 1916 book, ''The Passing of the Great Race'', that the Nordic race had been responsible for most of humanity's great achievements, and that Miscegenation, admixture was "race suicide". In this book, Europeans who are not of Germanic origin but have Nordic characteristics such as blonde/red hair and blue/green/gray eyes, were considered to be a Nordic admixture and suitable for Aryanization (Nazism), Aryanization.Madison Grant, Grant, Madison (1916). ''The Passing of the Great Race''. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. In the United States, the
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan (), commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that white people White is a racial classification and skin color specifier, gene ...
(KKK) is the group most associated with the white supremacist movement. Many white supremacist groups are based on the concept of preserving genetic purity, and do not focus solely on discrimination based on skin color. The KKK's reasons for supporting racial segregation are not primarily based on religious ideals, but some Klan groups are openly Protestant. The KKK and other white supremacist groups like Aryan Nations, The Order (white supremacist group), The Order and the White Patriot Party are considered Antisemitism in the United States, antisemitic. Nazi Germany promulgated white supremacy based on the belief that the
Aryan race The Aryan race is a historical race concept which emerged in the late 19th century to describe people of Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the l ...
, or the Germans, were the ''master race''. It was combined with a Nazi eugenics, eugenics programme that aimed for racial hygiene through compulsory sterilization of sick individuals and extermination of ''Untermenschen'' ("subhumans"): Anti-Slavic sentiment, Slavs, Jews and antiziganism, Romani, which eventually culminated in the Holocaust.
Christian Identity Christian Identity (also known as Identity Christianity) is an interpretation of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachin ...
is another movement closely tied to white supremacy. Some white supremacists identify themselves as Heathenry (new religious movement), Odinists, although many Odinists reject white supremacy. Some white supremacist groups, such as the South African Boeremag, conflate elements of Christianity and Odinism. Creativity (religion), Creativity (formerly known as "The World Church of the Creator") is atheism, atheistic and it denounces Christianity and other Theism, theistic religions. Aside from this, its ideology is similar to that of many Christian Identity groups because it believes in the List of conspiracy theories#Antisemitic conspiracy theories, antisemitic conspiracy theory that there is a "Jewish conspiracy" in control of governments, the banking industry and the media. Matthew F. Hale, founder of the World Church of the Creator, has published articles stating that all races other than white are "mud races", which is what the group's religion teaches. The white supremacist ideology has become associated with a racist faction of the skinhead subculture, despite the fact that when the skinhead culture first developed in the United Kingdom in the late 1960s, it was heavily influenced by black fashions and Black music, music, especially Jamaican reggae and ska, and African American soul music. White supremacist recruitment activities are primarily conducted at a grassroots level as well as on the Internet. Widespread access to the Internet has led to a dramatic increase in white supremacist websites. The Internet provides a venue to openly express white supremacist ideas at little social cost, because people who post the information are able to remain anonymous.


White separatism

White separatism is a political and social movement that seeks the separation of
white people White is a Race (human categorization), racialized classification of people and a Human skin color, skin color specifier, generally used for people of Ethnic groups in Europe, European origin; although the definition can vary depending on cont ...
from people of other race (human categorization), races and ethnicity, ethnicities. This may include the establishment of a white ethnostate by removing non-whites from existing communities or by forming new communities elsewhere. Most modern researchers do not view white separatism as distinct from white supremacist beliefs. The Anti-Defamation League defines white separatism as "a form of white supremacy"; the Southern Poverty Law Center defines both white nationalism and white separatism as "ideologies based on white supremacy." Facebook has banned content that is openly white nationalism, white nationalist or white separatist because "white nationalism and white separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups". Use of the term to self-identify has been criticized as a dishonest rhetorical ploy. The Anti-Defamation League argues that white supremacists use the phrase because they believe it has fewer negative connotations than the term ''white supremacist''. Dobratz & Shanks-Meile reported that adherents usually reject Interracial marriage, marriage "outside the white race". They argued for the existence of "a distinction between the white supremacist's desire to dominate (as in
apartheid Apartheid (South African English South African English (SAfrE, SAfrEng, SAE, en-ZA) is the set of English language dialects native to South Africans. History British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * B ...

apartheid
, slavery, or Racial segregation, segregation) and complete separation by race". They argued that this is a matter of pragmatism, that while many white supremacists are also white separatists, contemporary white separatists reject the view that returning to a system of segregation is possible or desirable in the United States.


Notable white separatists


Aligned organizations and philosophies

* Aryan Brotherhood *
Christian Identity Christian Identity (also known as Identity Christianity) is an interpretation of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachin ...
* Council of Conservative Citizens * Ethnopluralism * Eurocentrism *
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan (), commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that white people White is a racial classification and skin color specifier, gene ...
* National-anarchism * Neo-Confederate * New Orleans Protocol * Northwest Territorial Imperative * White pride


Political violence

The Tuskegee University, Tuskegee Institute has estimated that 3,446 blacks were the victims of lynchings in the United States between 1882 and 1968, with the peak occurring in the 1890s at a time of economic stress in the South and increasing political suppression of blacks. If 1,297 whites were also lynched during this period, blacks were disproportionally targeted, representing 72.7% of all people lynched. According to scholar Amy L. Wood, "lynching photographs constructed and perpetuated white supremacist ideology by creating permanent images of a controlled white citizenry juxtaposed to images of helpless and powerless black men."


See also

* Black supremacy * Creativity (religion) *
Christian Identity Christian Identity (also known as Identity Christianity) is an interpretation of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachin ...
* ''Heroes of the Fiery Cross'' (book) * Kinism * White nationalism * List of white nationalist organizations, White nationalist organizations * White power symbol (disambiguation) * Race and intelligence * Boreal (politics and culture) * Frances Cress Welsing *"The White Man's Burden" (poem) * White power skinheads * Me and White Supremacy * Anti-Romani sentiment * Antisemitism * Racism against Black Americans


Notes


References


Further reading

* Brooks, Michael E. and Fitrakis, Robert (2021). ''A History of Hate in Ohio: Then and Now.'' The Ohio State University Press. * *Sophie Bessis, Bessis, Sophie (2003) ''Western Supremacy: The Triumph of an Idea''. Zed Books. *Dobratz, Betty A. and Shanks-Meile, Stephanie (2000) ''"White Power, White Pride!": The White Separatist Movement in the United States''. Johns Hopkins University Press. *MacCann, Donnarae (2000
''White Supremacy in Children's Literature: Characterizations of African Americans, 1830–1900''
New York: Routledge. *Kees van der Pijl, Van der Pijl, Kees, ''The Discipline of Western Supremacy: Modes of Foreign Relations and Political Economy, Volume III'', Pluto Press, 2014,


External links


"Heart of Whiteness"
A documentary film about what it means to be white in South Africa
"Voices on Antisemitism"
Interview with Frank Meeink from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
"Russell Moore: White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?" the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.“Exterminate All the Brutes, Reviewed: A Vast, Agonizing History of White Supremacy" (HBO Series), by Richard Brody, April 9, 2021, The New Yorker
{{Authority control White supremacy, Neo-fascism Neo-Nazi concepts Political theories Politics and race Racial segregation Racism Reconstruction Era White nationalism Political movements in the United States White separatism