A month after a Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville, Virginia ended with the police using tear gas on protesters, The New York Times reported Charlottesville braced this past weekend for white nationalist demonstrations and counter protests. Friday night, several hundred torch-bearing men and women marched on the main quadrangle of the University of Virginia’s grounds, shouting, “You will not replace us,” and “Jew will not replace us.” They walked around the Rotunda, the university’s signature building, and to a statue of Thomas Jefferson, where a group of counter protesters were gathered, and a brawl ensued. A planned protest for Saturday afternoon by
white nationalists was abandoned Saturday morning before it got started, after a spate of violence prompted Governor Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency and ordered law enforcement officers to clear the area. These racist demonstrations are un-American, cause loss of life and serve as a distraction, they conceal the true reason for the hidden tension that threatens to divide America.
The true reason is simple, it’s the changing demographics of America. American whites, some racist the majority of them non-racist, are concerned about the population changes that are occurring in America. Changes that mean that American whites will no longer be the majority in a country whose society is built on the principle of one person one vote majority rule.
America is approaching a transformational point, due to the changing racial/ethnic demographics that have traditionally defined the cultural values, behavior, beliefs, language, arts and symbols of American society.
The population in America is shifting from a racial majority of Caucasian or White people (American Whites), to a blend of American Blacks, Hispanics and Asians constituting the future majority.
The changes to American society that could potentially occur is a legitimate non-racist concern for American whites. Unfortunately the legitimate conversation about this is not taking place because it’s overshadowed by the alt-right’s distractive racist behavior, making anyone attempting to have the legitimate conversation subject to being tainted as a part of the alt-right’s racist ideology.
The absence of the legitimate conversation has not stopped the anxiety American whites feel from expressing itself. One way those anxieties expressed itself was the large white American vote to elect Donald Trump
President. According to a post 2016 election analysis done by The Atlantic and the Public Religion Research Institute white Americans carried Donald Trump to the White House. He won college-educated white voters by a four-point margin over Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls. But his real victory was among members of the white working class, Twice as many of these voters cast their ballots for the President as for Clinton.
In the wake of Trump’s surprise win, some journalists, scholars, and political strategists argued that economic anxiety drove white Americans to Trump. But analysis of the post-election survey data found something different, evidence suggests financially troubled voters in the white working class were more likely to prefer Clinton over Trump. Besides partisan affiliation, it was cultural anxiety — feeling like a stranger in America, supporting the
deportation of immigrants, and hesitating about educational investment — that best predicted support for Trump.
Sixty-eight percent of white working-class voters said the American way of life needs to be protected from foreign influence. And nearly half agreed with the statement, “Things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.” Together, these variables were strong indicators of support for Trump: 79 percent of white working-class voters who had these anxieties chose Trump, while only 43 percent of white working-class voters who did not share one or both of these fears cast their vote the same way.
Nearly two-thirds of the white working class say American culture has gotten worse since the 1950s. Sixty-eight percent say the U.S. is in danger of losing its identity, and 62 percent say America’s growing number of immigrants threaten the country’s culture. More than half say discrimination against whites has become just as problematic as discrimination against minorities.
None of these anxieties in any way justifies the violence and hatred we saw this weekend in Charlottesville, however they do explain why President Trump chose divide and conquer politics by refusing to condemn the specific racist white supremacy on display there.
White supremacy and President Trump’s refusal to condemn it, is the wrong way to address the legitimate concerns of non-racist white Americans about the consequences of population changes in America.
America’s history is full of affirmative steps taken to address issues of similar concern for all other racial and ethnic groups in American society, now is the time to take Affirmative Action steps on behalf of American whites. Considering that the new emerging American majority will speak Hispanic or Latino languages, designating English as the official American language is one Affirmative Action step that would calm a lot of fears and anxiety for American whites.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective into current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.