The goal for HazieThoughts and myself was to take the last quarter of the year slow and prep ourselves for a strong 2017. I sort of made that decision around September – with a new job and moving to a new state there were more important things than writing on my mind.
Then Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election in November and than things changed
For some odd reason many people in the United States after the victory of Donald Trump were now concerned with what would happen to their everyday lives. People wore pins in solidarity other people wanted to give out hugs – everyone wanted to try and understand what had just happened. There was one thing however that kept getting repeated by people in the media and even people I would have conversations with, “Donald Trump’s presidency is emboldening racists.”
This idea to me was hysterical, the notion that Donald Trump’s ascension to the highest office in the land on a platform solely centered around racism, misogyny and Islamophobia was the reason for this new found racism and not the hundreds of years of racism, misogyny and xenophobia that has been a staple of this country.
Because of this I’ve tried to stay away from much news about Trump or the people who have now all of a sudden become embolden in “Trump’s America”. That was until I came across the story of Nathan Damigo. Damigo, a self proclaimed white separatist had a nicely written piece about him in the Los Angeles Times.
Damigo life story is presented for the audience through carefully choice words and descriptions of who Damigo is. Here’s an example of Damigo referring to himself by the popular term “Alt – Right” and the Times doing their due diligence to try and take those words out his mouth.
“We as the alt-right are the reason why Trump won,” he said, laughing. He then held up a bullhorn and described how, as he drove home from celebrating with friends in Folsom, he had shouted at people who were presumably not white: “You have to go back!”
The loosely defined alt-right, a white nationalist movement, has been emboldened by Trump and his rhetoric about Mexicans and Muslims, his sharing of white supremacists’ tweets and his appointment of Stephen K. Bannon
First off the “alt-right” is not loosely defined, they are a group of white nationalist, supremacist and separatist who believe that white people are inherently better than other groups. This isn’t up for debate, maybe up for arguing how far each of these groups will go to achieve their goal, but one thing is clear, these groups are defined by one thing, upholding white power.
It’s not just the LA Times want to protect these ideologies of white power that is an issue (it is definitely an issue) but also the willingness to protect certain criminals, here’s another excerpt from the LA Times on Damigo.
“A few days after the anniversary of a friend’s combat death, he spent a night drinking and went for a walk with a gun he’d gotten two days before as a gift. He came across a La Mesa cab driver who he thought was Iraqi, put a gun to his head and robbed the man of $43, records show. He was convicted of armed robbery and spent a year in county jail and four years in prison for the crime.”
“Damigo said he was embarrassed and guilt-ridden by the robbery. Still, he considers the time alone in prison a gift of sorts.” “Because you have nothing but time to think in prison, that’s when I finally started looking at the more intellectual roots and started researching books and literature on race and identity,” he said.
He was greatly influenced, he said, by “My Awakening,” the book by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and by racial provocateurs J. Philippe Rushton and Nicholas Wade.
Now I want you to imagine that a young black man went to jail for robbery, while being in jail said he was influenced by the teachings of former members of a black militant group would the LA Times be so gleeful to write about him and his journey?
Damigo is able to get a profile in the LA Times about his “work” promoting white supremacy after being convicted of a felony, yet we spent a year arguing whether or not Mike Brown was an angel or not after his death for at worst was for stealing candy.
The story of Nathan Damigo is one that has become all too normal since Donald Trump has shown that he could become the President. White supremacy did not start after Donald Trump won the Presidency, it has been a central part of life in the United States for as long as this country has been an idea. It’s our responsibility in 2017 to not just complain, but actively put an end to this behavior of being nice to racist people and ideology.
So no more sugarcoating racism, no more coming up with fluffy and cute terms for phrases such as “alt-right” and no more arguing about whether or not a racist is a racist because probably they’re racist.
You can read the full piece on Nathan Damigo on the LA Times here.