Exactly How Many White Supremacists Are There In America?

I heard two different numbers the other day and started wondering if there’s a scientific method to determine exactly how many white supremacists there are in America. The first number was provided by a presumably white Internet associate (I wouldn’t go as far as calling him a friend) who I communicate with regularly on a purported legal blog which seems to attract quite a few white supremacists. He insists that the only people that qualify as white supremacists are card-carrying members of the Klan and nobody else. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) estimated in 2016 that there were 3,000 active members at that time. Therefore his number was 3,000.

A real-life black friend recalled hearing a speech given by the Rev. James M. Lawson who estimated the number at 50 million. For those who don’t know, Lawson played a pivotal role in organizing the Freedom Riders working with students primarily from Fisk University and Tennessee State including Diane Nash and Congressman John Lewis. Lawson was a serious activist during the civil rights era and has some credibility on the subject.

There’s quite a difference between 3,000 and 50 million so I wanted to consider ways to narrow the gap, assuming the true answer is somewhere in the middle. I considered that there are other organizations besides the Klan that would qualify as white supremacists. I went back to the SPLC and looked at their designated hate groups, this doesn’t make them white supremacists as these groups include al sorts of haters and all the groups are not mostly white.

I felt safe in including the American Freedom Party which “exists to represent the political interests of white Americans.” They also want to return America to, “White Rule.” I added the American Renaissance and the Aryan Brotherhood. The Brotherhood seems to be hard to enter and leave with their motto, “Blood in, blood out!” They’re mostly a prison gang but run gambling and prostitution rings. The “Brotherhood of Klans” (different than the Imperial Klans of America, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan) has gone international and claims to have about 250 Canadian members who I’m not including in my total. Looking at the various Klan organizations alone, I was starting to suspect my associate may have misled me with that 3,000 number. It could also have been an honest mistake.

Working backward alphabetically there was; White Revolution, White Lives Matter, Vinlanders Social Club, VDARE, United Constitutional Patriots… By the time I got to the League of the South (they want to politically dominate black people and other minorities. I was ready to accept that the number of white supremacists affiliated with groups in the United States exceeded 500,000 as estimated by one source. Then I read something that was truly disturbing which was that most white supremacists don’t affiliate with organizations. It’s probably because of the dues.

Most white supremacists do not belong to organized hate groups, but rather participate in the white supremacist movement as unaffiliated individuals. Thus the size of the white supremacist movement is considerably greater than just the members of hate groups. Among white supremacist groups, gangs are becoming increasingly important. -ADL

That made sense to me, the average white supremacist isn’t marching down the streets anymore in his/her robe and hood. It’s your co-worker, your pharmacist, the bagger at your local grocery store… your minister. White supremacists look just like your white neighbor, and maybe your neighbor is one?

Instead of working from the bottom number and adding up. I wanted to look at the 50 million number and see if I needed to reduce it. I said to myself, white supremacists would likely do white supremacists things; like vote in their self-interest. In the past Presidential election. A white supremacist would likely have viewed it would be in their self-interest to vote for Donald Trump as opposed to Hillary Clinton. How many people voted for Trump? Just under 63 million people.

Now I am not suggesting that everyone that voted for Trump is a white supremacist. A lot of wealthy people who wanted to get a lot richer with his tax cut might have voted for Trump. Desperate coal miners and their families thinking Trump would put them back to work. Blacks for Trump? No that was just a couple guys with signs at his rallies. The point is that no good information could be gleaned by looking at Trump voters.

I went back to my hypothesis that white supremacists do white supremacist things. I looked at states where people voted to legalize voter suppression. Who wanted to ban Muslims? How many people were Birthers? Who thought “both sides” were to blame in Charlottesville?

I never got close to establishing an exact number of white supremacists in America. I’m positive that 3,000 was a terribly low estimate. I wish I could have proved the 50 million number was wrong beyond all doubt, but I couldn’t. Assuming Trump hasn’t gotten himself Impeached and is still the Republican Nominee, he may get 63 million votes again and all of them won’t be white supremacists. It will be true they don’t mind mingling with them, however.

An Open Letter to Republican Friends of Elijah Cummings: Stop Voter Suppression

After the recent death of Elijah Cummings, many Republicans who call him friend have come forward to offer condolences. I don’t doubt that some of them were sincerely his friend. Cummings himself during a televised hearing mentioned that one of his closest friends was Republican Congressman Mark Meadows. He tweeted:

“There was no stronger advocate and no better friend than Elijah Cummings. I am heartbroken for his wonderful family and staff — please pray for them.

I will miss him dearly.”

Trey Gowdy, the former Republican Chairman of the House Oversight Committee which was Cummings position said:

“ Cummings was one of the most powerful, beautiful, and compelling voices in American politics. We never had a harsh word outside of a committee room.”

These people and many other Republicans called Cummings a friend. Elijah himself confirmed that in some cases andI’m willing to take them all at their word. Mark Meadows called upon that friendship during a committee hearing when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) suggested Meadows committed a racist act in positioning a black woman behind him to give credence to his position. Cummings dramatically revealed their close friendship and stood up for Meadows. A short time later in an unrelated event, Donald Trump accused Cummings of racism. Meadows rather weakly said he believed neither Trump nor Cummings were racist.

One of Elijah Cummings’s prime issues was voting rights and fighting voter suppression. He believed every eligible voter should have an equal opportunity to vote without regard to which party they belonged to. Cummings didn’t care if they were from the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Democrat or Republican. He railed against voter suppression while those that call him friend, fully supporting it, although they called it by another name. If you were truly Elijah Cummings friends. I ask you to reconsider your position. Think of your friend, perhaps your country, something besides your party’s desire for power while they continue to diminish in numbers.

Mark Meadows, you personally have screamed at the top of your lungs about “massive voter fraud” with no evidence to support it. When Republicans in North Carolina were found guilty of real voter fraud, you said “it’s too early to tell” if fraud was committed despite sworn affidavits from many involved. I wonder if you ever explained that behavior to your late friend? The next time you have a chance to take a stand on voter suppression, ask yourself if you could look the late Mr. Cummings in the eyes and take the same position? When you needed your friend to stand up for you, he did so for all America to see and hear. What will you do?

It’s easy to say the right thing after someone dies. Even Donald Trump had someone else issue a statement of condolences. We know someone else wrote it because… spelling. My question is, what will you do when it gets harder when a little time has passed? Will you do the right thing? Ask yourself… what would your friend Elijah Cummings do?

View at Medium.com

What Your History Books Never Told You: Massacres on American Soil

Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of young people in Tiananmen Square in Bejing, China. The protesters had been gathering daily to voice their disapproval of high inflation and rampant corruption, and for freedom of the press and free speech, among other issues. China eventually declared martial law, positioning tanks and troops throughout the city, eventually marching into Tiananmen Square. Soldiers fired at the students with assault rifles. Killing a still unknown number (estimated between several hundred and several thousand with thousands more injured. On this anniversary, the event is barely spoken of in China with the government accusing the outside press and US government officials of a “violation of International Law” for bringing it up. The US demands that China talk about its darkest moments which is quite hypocritical given the scant mention of numerous events on US soil, almost all perpetrated against minorities.

Here is a list and brief description of a limited number of events either not taught in schools, skimmed over, or totally distorted from their true nature:

  1. The Ocoee Massacre — I always name this first because it happened in the same County as Orlando, FL and 95% of the people that live here know nothing about it. Because two black men had the nerve to try to vote in the 1920 Presidential Election, white people from Orlando (including a former police chief), Winter Garden and surrounding communities, shot and killed random black people and burned out the rest. Ocoee had no black residents for the next 40 years. To their credit, the current leaders now mention it and are organizing a memorial. Depending on who you believe, the death toll for blacks was between 39 and 500. The headline the next day in the major newspaper read, “Two Whites Killed in Race Riot.”
  2. Black Wall Street — It started when a young black shoeshine boy was accused of raping a white elevator operator in a building he had permission to enter to get water and us the bathroom. She didn’t file a complaint and press charges but officials went ahead anyway and arrested Dick Rowland. White people formed a mob and demanded he be lynched. Black men stood outside the courthouse until a white man with a gun approached and confronted an unarmed black man. There was a struggle over the gun and the white man was shot. Black people retreated to the Greenwood District, probably the richest black township in America. Greenwood had black-owned banks, restaurants, hotels, and businesses. They formed a barrier and awaited the assault. White people outnumbered the black people greatly, including members of the National Guard who used planes to drop nitroglycerin bombs on the black citizens. When it was over, 35 blocks and over 600 homes had been destroyed. The official death toll was 26 black victims but estimates range as high as 500. Be on the lookout for the upcoming film, “Tulsa 1921.”
  3. The Colfax Massacre — Another election-related massacre in 1872 where the black citizens of Colfax, LA were under the misconception that Reconstruction was still ongoing and they could vote. Democrats and the Klan which were often one and the same. Using rifles and a cannon, they surrounded the black people in the local courthouse, killing some and taking dozens captive for several hours before ultimately killing them too. A few of the perpetrators were convicted but ultimately freed after the US Supreme Court declared the Fourteenth Amendment only applied to the government and not individuals, nullifying rights previously passed by Congress to protect the Civil Rights of black people.
  4. Opelousas Massacre — In the fall of 1968, several black men from Opelousas, LA attempted to join the local Democrat Party in nearby Washington. They were rejected and the local unit of the Knights of the White Camellia (Klan) gathered to oppose them. An 18-year-old white teacher wrote an article and invited blacks to become Republicans. He was beaten nearly to death and fled to the North. Thinking the teacher had been killed, blacks marched on the courthouse, some armed although they didn’t have the same right as white citizens to bear arms. After a confrontation; 29 black people were taken prisoner and put in jail. 27 of them were killed, touching off weeks of the Klan randomly killing black people in the area. When it was over, Republicans said 200–300 black people had been murdered, Democrats put the number between 25–30, presumably not including the original 27 removed from the jail and then killed.
  5. Hanapepe Massacre — Kaua’i, Hawaii was a paradise in 1924 unless you worked on the sugar plantations. The newest minorities on the block were from the Philippines, having less status than the Chinese and native Hawaiians. By 1922 the Filipinos had begun to organize and in 1924 a strike was called demanding $2 a day and limiting their workday to eight hours. Ultimately, strikers were assaulted by police with clubs and guns (the strikers were unarmed). Fourteen Filipinos and four policemen were killed. It goes without saying that the Courts sided with the companies in denying the workers a living wage. It has always been thus.
  6. Chinese Massacre of 1871 — It struck me as funny strange that this massacre broke out on Calle de los Negros (Street of the Negroes). Black and mulatto had been displaced by the Chinese in what could graciously be called a slum. Chinese residents had little protections from whites as laws had been passed prohibiting them from testifying against white people. An incident occurred and a white policeman was injured, blowing his whistle for reinforcements. When it was over, between 17–20 Chines had been hanged and displayed in multiple locations. They didn’t suffer as they’d been shot and killed first. Ten of the mob of over 500 were arrested and eight were convicted of manslaughter. The convictions were all later thrown out on technicalities. No justice, no justice, never any justice.

I apologize for not providing examples of the massacres of Native Americans. There were so many, Wounded Knee and the Trail of Tears are relatively known. There are so many examples that I got a little depressed trying to pick some and decided to let it go. Let’s just say that every treaty brokered between the US Government and Native Americans ended the way of the land crossed by the Keystone XL Pipeline. When the Government wanted what they’d bartered away, they took it back. In they met resistance, they used violence.

When I say these were limited examples I was underestimating. The history we’re not taught paints a far different picture than what we are. Legislators in Texas are trying to impose yet another history on us in which American Exceptionalism is to be highlighted and slavery was like summer camp. The next time we want to point out other nations failure to honestly discuss its history. We should take a closer look at our own.

Racism In America: “Did You Find Something?”

When I was seven or eight years old, I attended Field Elementary School in Minneapolis, MN. Back then we had recess periods to let kids exercise and blow off steam, one day at recess I looked down and saw a shiny Kennedy half-dollar coin on the ground. I picked it up and put in in my pocket. At the same time I noticed a white boy about my age scouring the ground looking for something. We looked each other in the eye.

He said, “Did you find something?”


We looked at each other for a few seconds, I moved on and he kept searching the ground. I knew he had lost the fifty cents, he knew I had found it.

There were several hundred students at Field Elementary and I have no memories of the other kid, we weren’t friends, didn’t share classes, maybe we never spoke again in life? Across the street from the school on 46th and 4th Avenue was a corner grocery store called, “Dave’s.” When kids had money, they’d go over and buy candy. When school let out, I bought some red licorice coins with my fifty-cents. I never gave the most-recent owner a thought, finders keepers and all that. He probably never forgot me, the black kid that got his money. Maybe he appropriately singled me out individually for having took what was his? Maybe he held a grudge against all black people? I don’t know. I do know that even though this story isn’t inherently about race, it’s a perfect metaphor for what one aspect of racism looks like. Somebody got something that belongs to you, denied they have it, they benefited and you lost. If the boy had brought it up again I might even have gotten an attitude about it?

Fast forward a bunch of years, racism in practice doesn’t seem that much different although attitudes have changed. Racism is universally decried as a bad thing in the abstract, yet the benefits and costs are perpetually denied. It has also been redefined such that almost nothing qualifies any longer. In the aftermath of the Roseanne controversy. I’ve had discussions with multiple white people who condemn Roseanne Barr’s individual racism yet get very uncomfortable discussing its systemic nature. They are shocked… shocked to read her vile tweets, which are little different than her tweets gone before. They laud ABC for doing the right thing yet forget they knew who she was when they originally picked up her show. Roseanne says, “I am not a racist, I have never been a racist.” More likely true is that she has never been not been racist as an adult but it’s not of her I wish to speak.

Many white people are uncomfortable speaking about racism other than in an individual because they know they got the fifty-cents but can never admit it. Instead of red licorice, their fifty-cents went toward generational wealth, property ownership, and policies intended to protect those who have benefited from the rules that they put into place. There’s a class aspect of this as well as and poor white people have much to argue about regarding their treatment as well. Often those with the least are pitted against each other to keep them from joining forces but that’s another discussion.

I choose voter suppression as an example of how racism works today. The goal of voter suppression has always about maintaining power. Historically the Democrat Party has practiced it more openly and violently than the Republicans who have made it a mainstay of their current political strategy. It is also their strategy to say voter suppression doesn’t exist… “I don’t have your fifty cents.” I don’t mean to single out modern day Republicans, voter suppression cannot exist in a vacuum. Its tolerance in an allegedly Democratic society is because Democrats, Republicans, Independents and the courts, up to and especially including the Supreme Court allow it. Ultimately, all of their interests lean toward protecting the rich and making sure power remains in the hands of those deemed worthy to wield it. As the steady trend of demographics make America less and less white. All the more important becomes voter suppression along with a targeted immigration policy. America is looking more and more like South Africa trying to maintain minority rule.

Some of the arguments from white people I’ve heard recently include; “Racism ended after Jim Crow, why don’t you just get over it?” or “Wouldn’t you be better off focused on black on black crime or the illegitimate birth rate?” To the first question I reply, “Tell me when you believe racism ended so I can bring you up to date?” To the second, it’s an opportunity to talk about the racist policies that help create or perpetuate those real issues. People often say, “We need to have a discussion about race, yet there is the concern that the discussion will get back to, “What about my fifty-cents?” so mostly that discussion won’t be had.

As I write this, there are discussions about bringing back a spin-off of “Roseanne” without Roseanne Barr. By canceling her show and removing her individually, racism in America has once again been stamped out and life can return to normal. The problem is, it’s normal that needs to be fixed. #RacismAliveAndWell

To the little white boy on the playground, I apologize that I didn’t return the money I found. While I actually feel sorry about it and wish I had acted differently then. It is of no more consolation to you than thoughts and prayers. You may never have forgotten and I certainly haven’t, I owe you fifty-cents… plus interest.

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