White supremacy is the domination of the white race over other races. The white race in this context is perceived to be superior, and thus they should be privileged and given priority. Regarding this, the belief favors any position a white person holds, and the position is maintained and defended with privileges that can sustain it. This ideology may be seen to be of the past era when colonialism was taking place, like the time of Jim Crow laws, but still, this belief exists among neo-confederates. White supremacy has a range of movements that it advocates for; these things include white separatism, Christian identity, white nationalism, and also neo-Nazism (Beliso‐De Jesús, 2020).
Consequently, white supremacy is associated with different movements in the United States. That their primary target is African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, immigrants, homosexuals, leftists, abortion providers as well as atheists; the movements that are commonly associated with targeting these groups of people include Ku Klux Klan normally shortened to KKK, White American Resistance, and Aryan Nations and also included are the Proud Boys. Some of these movements have tried to distance themselves from the claims of being associated with white supremacy, like the Proud Boys. However, in an academic context, their involvement is seen (Beliso‐De Jesús, 2020).
On the same, social websites have also been involved in white supremacy; websites such as Reddit, Stormfront, and Twitter have greatly contributed to increased activities promoting white supremacy. Most users of these websites have interacted in a way that propagates the activities of white supremacy. Websites like Stormfront and Reddit are commonly known for their main activities of being hate sites promoting white supremacy and other hate activities targeting certain individuals. On the other hand, despite Twitter being a social platform where people share their views through tweets, it is associated with promoting white supremacy. Some people use Twitter’s social interaction to propel views that overshadow other races. When such views are propelled, a conversation will erupt, and it becomes a trending topic, and there, white supremacy spreads (Beliso‐De Jesús, 2020).
Different forms of white supremacy dictate who can be considered a white person. These conceptions include that a white person should be light-skinned, blue-eyed-traits, and blond-haired. Communities of people without such characteristics are then considered by white supremacy movements to be their enemies. These characteristics give the privileges to the white that they enjoy making the other races disadvantaged. The whites are placed in a position that favors them, and in turn, they create a white-dominated society. White privilege has been developing with time because of its formalization. Obvious and non-obvious advantages have been validated to benefit whites. Some white people even are not aware of the favors that they enjoy because, to them, it has been normalized; therefore, they think it is their right. Some of these passive advantages may include but are not limited to the assumption of greater social status and having the freedom to move, work, buy, speak freely and even play. Consequently, the impacts of these privileges can be seen in personal, professional, and educational contexts (Wolfgang, 2019).
Similarly, white supremacy is meant to overshadow other races, which gives whites the notion to term other races as exceptional or different. The whites assume their experiences are universal; therefore, as per their view, they are normal, unlike the other races. The formalization of these practices puts the whites in a position where they are deemed “special” than other races, and these become consistent in detrimental to other races that they view as “abnormal .”These prioritizations create racial inequalities among other ethnic groups and whites (Wolfgang, 2019).
Significantly, white supremacy propagates white separatism, where this social and political movement seeks to separate the white race from other ethnicities. The hate groups either try to create a white-only community or remove the nonwhite from their community. Modern researchers have explained that white separatism is associated with white supremacy and that they have no distinctions. Some social platforms like Facebook have even proceeded to ban content that promotes white separatism and white nationalism because they are part of promoting white supremacy. Some, to cover their racism, have developed the use of words like self-identity to cover their promotion of white supremacists. Nevertheless, the Anti-Defamation League has termed the use of the word to reduce the negativity that can be felt rather than using the term white supremacist (Wolfgang, 2019).
In recent times, during the campaign of President Donald J. Trump, he was associated with much white supremacy. Significantly, the white supremacists showed great support to his campaigns together with the white nationalists who purported to celebrate the “white” identity and grieve over the erosion of white economic and political power and also the perception that the white culture was deteriorating and by having these lamentations they targeted the immigration of the nonwhite and the impact brought by it of multiculturalism. During his presidency, the white supremacists became more vocal and increased their number. In turn, a significant increase in the targeting of minorities like immigrants, Jews, and Muslims was experienced. Therefore, during the presidency of Donald Trump, an increased interest in white supremacy grew, and these groups’ activities increased, forming the center of the white race (Inwood, 2019).
Consequently, white supremacy is greatly embedded in the American culture and has emerged to have a white-dominated society. By enjoying white supremacy privileges, whites are given more opportunities to hold power positions and loftier treatments by institutions. These privileges have been validated and made a norm to the whites; therefore, sustaining these racist actions does not need any ideologies, but so long as they are taken for granted, they become formalized. White supremacy privileges try to impose the domination of white people in institutions, politics, history, culture, and society over other ethnicities. So long as whites receive both direct and indirect privileges, white supremacy will continue to develop, and white supremacist groups will grow (Ferber, 2020).
Subsequently, when white supremacy is propagated around the United States, the inequalities between them and other races will keep growing. Whites will keep on being perceived as the star formation for other races. This is because other races will need to incline to the whites so that they can receive some privileges and survive. In return, the whites seeing other ethnic groups depending on them, will continue to demand their supremacy and overlook the others. With traditions that have grown of white supremacists becoming outspoken and their numbers increasing, then the dominance of whites will be greatly felt (Ferber, 2020).
Ultimately, white supremacy is somehow central to racial formation in the US. From the previous election of a president who purported to support white supremacy and even going to the extent of making statements that promoted white supremacy, it is with no doubt that white supremacy has a great impact on race formation in the US. Though the country’s government has tried to show that it is not an ethnic of the white race, this is regards with the appointment of a person of color as judge and the election of the first woman of color as deputy president. Still, the deep-rooted white supremacy is there. Similarly, as white privileges are still being taken for granted and ‘invisible’ over other ethnic groups, white supremacy is far from being solved. Therefore, white supremacy in the US is the center of race formation so long as the interests of whites are given precedence over other races and continue to evolve and be maintained (Ferber, 2020).
Beliso‐De Jesús, A. M. (2020). The jungle academy: Molding white supremacy in American police recruits. American Anthropologist, 122(1), 143-156.
Wolfgang, C. N. (2019). The white supremacy of art education in the United States: My complicity and path toward reparation pedagogy. Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, 36(1), 14-28.
Inwood, J. (2019). White supremacy, white counter-revolutionary politics, and the rise of Donald Trump. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 37(4), 579–596.
Ferber, A. L. (2020). The white supremacist movement in the US through the lens of the matrix of race. In Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Racisms (pp. 178-190). Routledge.