The Hate Eruption

Asian women have been mowed down in Georgia. Unarmed Black men continue to be killed or maimed by police and self-appointed “good guys with guns.” Anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents have proliferated. A new report links these eruptions to a surge in White Supremacy propaganda.

Not even a once-in-a-century pandemic could prevent white supremacist groups from deluging American cities with extremist propaganda in 2020. Banners were hung from freeway overpasses. Stickers were slapped onto street signs. Fliers were dropped onto the windshields of parked cars.

An Anti-Defamation League (ADL) study published Wednesday recorded 5,125 incidents of white supremacist physical propaganda last year, marking the highest level of cases reported since the non-profit began tracking such data five years ago. The findings average to about 14 incidents per day—and are nearly double the 2,724 cases reported in 2019.

The data highlights the stunning growth of new splinter movements that did not exist when President Donald Trump took office. At least 30 white supremacist groups disseminated propaganda in the U.S. in 2020, but three of them—Patriot Front, New Jersey European Heritage Association and Nationalist Social Club—were responsible for 92% of the activity, according to the ADL. All of them were founded within the past three years.

This research gives us a lot to unpack.

First and foremost, these findings support the accumulating evidence that the Republican Party, now for all intents and purposes the Trump Party, has become little more than a White Supremacy Party. The politicization of hate–the partisan retreat into full-scale culture war–is incredibly worrisome. Equally troubling, the language of hate is amplified daily by media outlets that can only be considered GOP PR appendages rather than genuine journalistic endeavors.

Those of us who insist that language matters–that “mere words” may not be the sticks and stones that break your bones but nevertheless can incentivize actions inflicting bodily harm–find ourselves between the proverbial rock and hard place.

Giving government the right to suppress any idea (even, in Justice Holmes’ memorable phrase, the “idea we hate”) would be incredibly dangerous and even counterproductive. The Free Speech clause of the First Amendment was based upon recognition that giving government that power would be more dangerous than even the expression of truly horrible ideas, and efforts at suppression more often than not simply give oxygen to such materials.

That leaves those of us who are horrified by the surge in hateful incitement with only the tool of social opprobrium, often derided as “political correctness” or even “cancel culture.” Although in the age of social media, criticism of language deemed bigoted or stereotyping can certainly go too far (in the jargon of the day, be too “woke”), expressing disapproval is arguably less damaging to the social fabric than ignoring the dissemination of hateful and hurtful characterizations.

Perhaps, in a weird way, the increasingly overt expressions of animus and bigotry may force us to confront some unpalatable realities. Surface niceties allowed many of us to assume that we’d made much more progress than we had. Just as the Trump presidency reminded Americans that the absence of honest, competent governance really hurts us all, the explosion of racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism and other hatreds reminds the rest of us that we humans have to live together on a small and endangered planet, and that we need to find ways to cooperate and co-exist.

You can’t lance an invisible boil, and you can’t solve a problem until you recognize how extensive it is.


  1. Thanks. In just the last week we have seen the message of hate being amplified by elected Republicans in the Senate and House. They are all in on hate & division.

  2. “…the explosion of racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism and other hatreds reminds the rest of us that we humans have to live together on a small and endangered planet, and that we need to find ways to cooperate and co-exist.”

    To borrow words from Rodney King, a black man in America who had little reason to ask this of us as a nation, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

    The worst of the racist violence is taken against, not others who have attacked or threatened them, but those going about their daily lives or seeking entertainment for an evening. The latest in Boulder, CO, is the as yet unexplained killing of TEN PEOPLE in a supermarket, one of those killed the white police officer who responded to the call of help. Even the insurrection at our Capitol was against those who were there to perform the jobs they were elected and paid to do. Weeding out those who were part of the insurrection from inside will be part of the pain we must endure as Americans.

    “You can’t lance an invisible boil, and you can’t solve a problem until you recognize how extensive it is.”

    If you have ever had an actual boil lanced, you know you must be prepared for the excruciating pain required to release the poison in the infected area. The Republican House and Senate members must face the fact that they are trying to cover up how extensive Trump’s White Nationalist poison has infected this entire country and they are preventing the lancing of that boil on the ass of their party.

  3. For most of us on this blog the Republican Party, aka the Trump Party, has indeed become a Party of White Supremacy. That is how WE see THEM. But the more important question is, “How do members of the Republican Party see themselves and us?”
    If you are like me, you have family members, friends and neighbors who are Republicans, and those same people have grown distant in their relationship to you. The deliberate divisiveness that has plagued the country for over a decade has resulted in two or more distinct views of the country and of ourselves. The constant drumbeat of that divisiveness via the media in all of its forms keeps us from seeing each other as we are.
    Until we turn down the volume and tone of our discourse we will never be able to resolve our differences, much less learn that there were never all those differences to begin with. Then maybe we can begin to solve our problems as the nation we claim to be.

  4. At my small local Walmart supercenter, I purchased Barack Obama’s book A PROMISED LAND. Hefting it, it did not feel ‘right’. A first edition I paid the reduced from $45 to $31 and brought it home along with other purchases. After removing the price tag, I opened it to check out the pictures. The book still not ‘feel right’. Aha! Inserted perfectly between two picture pages was a crisply folded slip of paper. On that paper was 14 words with a link to the (I found out later) The Amerucan Nazi Party. That is why that book did not ‘feel right’. White supremacy popaganda is everywhere.

  5. When you speak out, you might lose some friends, but ask yourself one question. If this is how my friends respond to my anti-hate message, are they friends worth having?

  6. Perhaps we underestimated the impact of the Russian-based disinformation campaign against our country. Since they aren’t strong enough militarily or economically to compete on a level playing field of nations, they have to do what Republicans have been doing for decades, CHEAT.

    In Donald Trump they found their perfect politician here to disseminate their divisive methodology. We’ve often wondered why Trump never criticized Putin. I think what we’re seeing with the huge emergence of white supremacy today is that Trump and the Republicans basically told them it was okay to voice their hate even if it meant destroying democracy and the government. That, of course, is sedition and treason.

    Any of the right wing lip strummers who keep promoting that crap are complicit in being Russian assets. The Russian propagandists must be thrilled beyond anything they could have hoped for that our ignorant, hateful and utterly corrupt political party of the right wing could be so efficient at destroying our country from within.

    So, all those Republican “friends” who have drifted away from you did so because they were told to hate you. That’s the Republican plan. It’s working. Ron Johnson, MTJ, Lauren Boebert, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, et. al., are all tools of Russian propaganda.

    And the Democrats are flat on their asses by not going to the parts of the country that vote Republican no matter what. Now, “no matter what” is the Russian plan to destroy our democracy.

  7. Yes, as several have mentioned, friends and family suffer from this pro-Trump hate against others. Since they are all meshed into the Christian church, it is even more confusing. I didn’t choose my family — I was born into it. On social media, it’s easy to eliminate hate-filled speech — unfollow that person. However, that doesn’t solve the problem of their hate. You’ve just censored it or suppressed it from your view. Another term I use is whitewashing.

    We have done the same thing as a Nation many times throughout our short history when we don’t really like how things look to the outside world. We bring out the whitewash and begin covering up the problem. As CG Jung would say, we’ve moved it from our collective conscious to our shadow, where it impacts us just below the surface of our conscious.

    I could make a long list of historical elements now residing in our collective shadow while our “leaders” and the propaganda media use words like “exceptionalism” to describe our Nation.

    The truth is we are not even mediocre. We have military mite, and the oligarchs control much economic means to subject pain on others who we disapprove, but we completely lack any moral authority over other nation-states. Our words and deeds toward others are embarrassing considering our current conduct against other countries.

    The whitewashing and propaganda have us all believing that our proverbial feces doesn’t have a rank odor, but it stinks badly and is getting worse by the day. Our truth-tellers are tortured, marginalized, and not given space which adds to the stench. The censorship allows the “evil-doers” to continue excreting their foul excrement over this nation while the propaganda media tells us it smells like roses.

    We need the muckrakers now more than ever to take the Nations inventory from top to bottom.

  8. Hello Una, I hope you found the redress of my cousins grievous comments after reposting and pointing out to her, the flaws in her arguments on her terms, not mine. She hasn’t spewed her completely ignorant reposts since. So like I mentioned before in a previous thread on this blog, you have to be able to understand a persons reasonings behind what they say and do. Having the knowledge and/or the power because you actually have knowledge, will make, or will take one a long way towards making a valid point, or points, in that persons mind, thereby possibly changing their flawed thought process.

    I’ve noticed certain commenters on here, ( sometimes) very rarely are able to see the hypocrisy of their comments! Thereby lashing out and even agreeing with each other’s false narratives! We all can be harsh at times, especially when you get tired of hearing the drone of stupidity and ignorance like the background noise of some garbage dump, it’s tolerable until it isn’t anymore!

    But when we criticize those who might be of like mind in other areas, especially when one has a complete lack of understanding or depth of knowledge of those certain areas and ideals, the cancel culture as is claimed, and, brought out very well by Joe Scarborough’s crew, will only exacerbate the issue, only make folks dig in unless it’s pointed out rationally in a way that they understand, i.e. the falsities of their beliefs.

    Also, as mentioned before, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Priestley, Viscount Bolingbrook, Thomas Paine, and others, had opinions, strong ones, on the separation of church and state! Now, these men had been religious and were religious themselves in many ways. But they saw the hypocrisy and the misuse of religion not being true to its own dogma. Because of the misinterpretation and misuse of Scripture by those in charge of congregants and specific denominations which brought about man’s inhumanity to man, hence slavery and wars, amongst other things, the separation between church and state had to be like a wall! The speech of all different churches and denominations needed to be kept private in those congregations or the homes of those congregants. Not, held out like a bull horn or a bludgeon to subjugate other religious groups or ethnicities!

    Free speech can only be successful if the government enforces the guidelines of it.

    “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)

    Wisconsin Sen. McCarthy and his brand of character assassination called McCarthyism, ruined many careers and drove some to suicide! We can see history repeating itself in Wisconsin right now with Wisconsin Sen. Johnson! This is free speech, free speech to drive those towards insurrection and sedition? Free speech to drive some towards suicide? This type of speech is not free, and should not be allowed! There is no need for it and has no healthful benefits in society. It’s the hammer that drives the wedge! White nationalism, Islamic fanaticism, ultra Orthodox and religious Zionists, and many others, are good at driving wedges and use religion and Scripture to subjugate and/or peel away the humanity of those they don’t agree with! In other words, if they don’t get their way they’ll burn everything to the ground.

    In Germany it worked well with burning down the Reichstag and blaming it on the Communists to allow them to roundup the Communists and exterminate them literally. Here, they are attempting the same thing, white nationalists saw what worked then, and, figure it will work now. China is doing it with the Uighurs, Myanmar is doing it with the Rohingya, and, well you get the point! One man’s belief or nonbelief is no more important than another’s! And, free speech should not be weaponized to force opinions, whatever they may be, on one’s fellow citizen or their fellow man and no matter where they live.

    The Hebrew Scriptures forbade any feeling of malicious joy when an enemy met with disaster, and even commanded that he be assisted when in trouble: “If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink.” Job 31:29; Proverbs 24:17 and 25:21 the religious groups mentioned above all believe in the Hebrew Scriptures, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism! So obviously the hypocrisy runs deep.

    When harvesting their grain or fruits, the Israelites were not to gather what remained in the field, gleaning after themselves. The gleanings were to be left “for the alien resident, for the fatherless boy and for the widow.” Deuteronomy 24:19-21 The patriarch Job stated: “I would rescue the afflicted one crying for help, and the fatherless boy and anyone that had no helper.”​Job 29:12.

    This is expected human conduct, but is conduct that is not taught in the churches and promoted by religion as it should, religion has allowed itself to be hijacked by those who seek power! To change the narrative everyone should be enlightened with the knowledge of which they continually roil against! That, will make a difference.

  9. As Theresa said, “Until we turn down the volume and tone of our discourse we will never be able to resolve our differences….” But, the hate, probably energized individually, by fear, is resistant to being turned down, as it operates on the emotional level.
    We do not really know why Trump never criticized Putin, but I do expect that Putin is having quite a laugh at our expense.
    The GOP has, indeed, shown us what has been at its heart for so long, and its rancid mouthpieces need to be sent packing. If Biden can get his For the People Act through congress, there might be a chance to pack and ship these raving bigots. And the GOP will do ALL it can to prevent that, knowing what is at stake for them. If this piece of legislation fails to get Biden’s desk, the GOP will dance on the grave of Democracy!

  10. As an older white man (Baby Boomer type) I fit in so to speak. I am like a spy in a way, listening in to other white people talking among themselves. They speak in “code words” and then listen in to hear if I respond to them.

    I knew there was a population who spoke the “Code Words”. I had no idea of the extent of how deeply it reached. The Trumpet and Pastor Pence essentially said – “You do not have use dog whistles or Code Words anymore”. If you are a Reactionary-Male-Macho White Supremacist in the world of The Trump Cult – it is OK to say it – No need to hide it.

    It is not brain washing in sense – You are not being told to be what you are not. You are already there. For many all the conspiracy theories make perfect sense as they wrap themselves up in The Cult tighter and tighter. The message is spread and at some point a deluded loser will buy some firearms and try to inflict his pain on to others. They will have no remorse or regret for taking human life as they feel justified in doing so.

    The Police will tell us they can find no motive. The “normal criminal justice system” looks for some economic reasons to commit a crime or maybe some temporary rage or long term abuse. These mass murders are like a werewolf when the full moon comes out, the urge to kill overwhelms them.

  11. Like with all medicine we have to sort out the telling symptoms from the patient’s feelings. Too many guns, tribal warfare, Trump, McConnell/McCarthy/Cruz/Hawly, etc elicit strong feelings of fear and anger and hate but they are not in my opinion root cause. What is at the base of things are evolving decisions to turn the Republican Party into a for personal profit business selling influence obtained by pandering to certain American subcultures to donors complete with heavy entertainment/social media advertising to build minorities into tribal cults.

    The bottom line is that their product has become the past, what used to be, what used to favor the minorities as compared to the future, what must come next. (“Minority” in this context are groups that separately are ineffectively small in our democracy but can be coalesced into significant influence.) The era of Trump was an anomaly made possible by Putin experimenting with ways to reduce American global influence. Without that push, Republicans would be struggling with declining influence.

    In the absence of any change in the state of things, it seems that the Republican Strategy has no real future. The state of things is unpredictable though. Random chaos will never end and events out of our view and control can always bring about surprising turns of events.

  12. Looking at where we are as a country – caught in a quagmire of existential problems from which we have no way to extricate ourselves – is it possible to be a “proud” American? Mass shootings? No clue what to do. White Supremacy? Heartily endorsed by a recent ex-president. Racial and ethnic animosity? Been around a long time and not, apparently, going away. Poisonous and self-defeating politics? We have a major party denying any role for compromise. State defiance of federal authority? Look at the wording in the South Carolina legislature’s Senate Bill 112 which is an undisguised effort to repeal the U.S. Constitution. Hate and intolerance in every direction. Sexual abuse run rampant despite recent laws. An unwinnable war on drugs. Political deference to our most threatening international enemy. A former Senate leader threatening a scorched earth policy if he doesn’t get his way. Nationwide defiance of the most informed authorities on the pandemic. Cops with no compunction about killing people. Airplane manufacturers cutting safety corners for the sake of profit. Climate denial. Domestic terrorism.
    Hate, divisiveness, cheating and rampant corruption in every direction. Etc., etc.

    Einstein said that “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” It’s possible our opportunities are greater than at any time in American history.

  13. I have been barking up the wrong tree. I have been predicting the fall of the Republican Party back into the Whigdom from which it arose in 1854. I was wrong. That “party” has morphed instead into what can be called the Trump Party, a loosely organized cesspool of insult, immorality and insurrection with no principles, no platform, and no vision for the future of America.

    The Trump Party doesn’t stand for the conservative principles of Republicans such as the Tafts or those of the more progressive Teddy Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower; it stands rather for the use of any means possible (including criminal means and even insurrection) to gain power, and to use that power to destroy the institutions that once unified America (even though some of such “institutions” were based on myths such as American exceptionalism). Perhaps it is more important to be unified than Trumpified as defined by relative degrees of propaganda. (See Boulder, Columbine, Newtown, and the insurrection vs. prairie schooner stories and the virtues of capitalism etc.).

    We are into more than merely winning elections, as demonstrated by the power-lusting Trump Party, which denies that its candidate lost. We are into “winning the soul” of America back per Biden, where losers admit defeat and winners invite the losers to have their say on solution of the issues of the day via compromise rather than by an insurrection designed to grab all power via some form of dictatorship based on Barr’s view of “unitary executive power” in his delusionary reading of Article II of the Constitution.

    Americans have two battles to win: (1) elections, and (2) for the soul of America, and while winning elections may be easier than winning souls, we must win both if we are to survive the slings and arrows of failed states such as Rome, which history informs us fell from discord from within, as it has been with most failed states. Thus informed, unity should be our primary day to day goal, so let’s get on with it.

  14. Trump has brought out those groups that are very bigoted. Now they are clearly visible. I hope this cracks the denial that bigotry is not alive and well in certain groups , areas in this country and that exposes how much of the Republican party believes in the supremacy of some over others. This is a reaction to having a president and now a vice president who are people of color.

    So now we clearly see how divided and bigoted our country is. I so wish we could liberate people from their fear of the “other”.

    I still plan “to be the change I want to see in the world. ” That means I have to pray for those who see me as a threat. I have to commit myself to being the small difference that makes all the difference in the world. I hope and pray that all of you plan to use your own gifts to do the same.

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