Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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‘White supremacy’ once meant David Duke and the KKK. Now it refers to much more

The New York Times reports:

As July 4 and its barbecues arrived this year, the activist and former N.F.L. quarterback Colin Kaepernick declared, “We reject your celebration of white supremacy.”

The movie star Mark Ruffalo said in February that Hollywood had been swimming for a century in “a homogeneous culture of white supremacy.”

The director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of New York City’s most prestigious museums, acknowledged this summer that his institution was grounded in white supremacy, while four blocks uptown, the curatorial staff of the Guggenheim decried a work culture suffused in it.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board issued an apology two weeks ago describing itself as “deeply rooted in white supremacy” for at least its first 80 years. In England, the British National Library’s Decolonising Working Group cautioned employees that a belief in “color blindness” or the view that “mankind is one human family” are examples of “covert white supremacy.”

In a time of plague and protest, two words — “white supremacy” — have poured into the rhetorical bloodstream with force and power. With President Trump’s overt use of racist rhetoric, a spate of police killings of Black people, and the rise of far-right extremist groups, many see the phrase as a more accurate way to describe today’s racial realities, with older descriptions like “bigotry” or “prejudice” considered too tame for such a raw moment. [Continue reading…]

The Daily Beast reports:

Nine immigrant-rights activists who’d been extradited across state lines on misdemeanor charges of trespass and littering gathered outside the Henrico County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office on Thursday with supporters, waving flags and calling for their charges to be dropped.

An hour away in Newport News, Virginia, heavily armed men—some associated with the right-wing “Boogaloo” movement—also gathered outside a police station to protest a misdemeanor trespassing charge against one of their own.

Members of the immigrants-rights group, who learned that their cases would not be dropped, were taken inside the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office to process their arrest paperwork. Members of the Boogaloo group received a public announcement system and chocolate milk from the Newport News Police Department.

The disparity underscored complaints of unequal treatment for protesters in Virginia, which has been a hotbed of unrest in 2020—from a massive pro-gun rally at the state capitol building to racial justice demonstrations after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police custody.

Activists on the left have accused police of cracking down on them for minor infractions while giving right-wing demonstrators a free hand. And Thursday’s demonstrations in Richmond and Newport News illustrated the canyon in police responses against the left and right. [Continue reading…]

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