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Much of the Republican vitriol is based on their personal truth that they have been unfairly smeared as racists and bigots instead of just products of their environment.
Young African woman hugging a white northern woman after a protest - Northern woman with end racism banner in her hands - Concept of no racism. America’s Black Lives Matter movement struck a chord around the globe. A testament to America’s soft power. Courtesy of Shutterstock.
People on the Right are mad about being shamed as racist and bigoted because they also grew up in a modern society (with spots of revanchism and homogeneity) much more populated and diverse than the one our parents and grandparents inhabited. It still doesn't excuse how the GOP decided raw bigotry would become a spiteful game out of some esoteric sense they were wronged. It sheds cultural insensitivity and a subliminally hollow understanding of marginalized peoples.
Accusing someone of racism is equivalent to accusing them of a moral failing. It is another way of pointing out that someone has a darkness in their heart that taints their ability to be humane. Many of the young GOP grew up in the years after "I Have a Dream" and thought the debate ended. Instead, the debate has evolved.
The increase in hate crimes towards Asian Americans from people in all communities has been a deeply disturbing development. It reveals the power of racism to warp humanity and our shared values. Courtesy of Shutterstock.
Many within the young GOP (and young conservatives) also feel that having more opportunities to interact with other groups makes them immune to historical idiosyncrasies, while still being able to hold close to policy agendas that provably perpetuate inequality. Some of this policy allegiance can stem from the fact that ideas are about lived experiences and worldviews. To grow up upper middle class in modern America is to live in some of the wealthiest entrapments afforded to many people compared to the rest of time.
On the flip side, to not grow up around extreme (and even moderate) poverty or to even encompass a background where poverty is seen as a starting ground rather than a systemic and class flaw (as everyday life in cities among different people and income levels reinforces) is also a frame of reference. Objectively, not growing up around ideological, political, and social diversity plays a major factor in how one approaches public policy and their view of why it is needed as a governing and intellectual tool (and product).
There are so many factors as to why someone comes up with their political ideology, so when they are deemed racist, they think their experiences and thoughts up until that debate have been discredited as evil or amoral. People espousing implicitly (and subliminally) tribal ideas are not thinking about SCOTUS decisions or laws. They just take the accusation of having a deep-seated tribal moral failing as a personal attack on them and how they attained their ideas. I sympathize with this, but the right wing has decided to use this as a cudgel rather than a launchpad for national consensus.
By debilitating, and attempting to eliminate historical pathways, intellectual contributions, and the ancestral memories of marginalized Americans, Republicans at the state and federal levels are using their misplaced and provincial rage to whitewash history. The harm is further chipping away at our democratic institutional memory and taking the words and stories away from young otherized Americans in a harebrained scheme to make everyone in the next generation conform to a specific culture and specific worldview.
One nation, one culture.
In that manner, I still use the word racist to describe implicitly biased and malicious designs to take the real history of one group of people away from them just to push a NARROW UNDERSTANDING of what made America great.
A NARROW UNDERSTANDING that is often based on a perspective, and implicit praise/bias, of an America steeped in racial, cultural, religious, and social homogeneity. One that existed not that long ago.
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