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Racism in US rooted in culture

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-29 07:37

Racism in US rooted in culture

Protesters hang up a flag which reads, "Racism lives here", above a depiction of St. Louis, Missouri, outside the City of Ferguson Police Department and Municipal Court in Ferguson Missouri, March 11, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

The white-supremacist protest on Aug 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, against the proposed removal of the statue of a Confederate general in the American Civil War (1861-65) snowballed into riots, in which a counter-protestor was killed and many people were injured.

The US media said President Donald Trump's criticism of the riots exposed his bias toward whites yet again, and instead of ending the chaos, it has deepened the social divide on racial lines. The US has not yet found a permanent solution to racism. In fact, the American Civil War was fought mainly between those for and against the abolition of slavery. And although the war ended with the official abolition of slavery, racism didn't disappear from US society, as the Ku Klux Klan which advocates white supremacy emerged in 1866, immediately after the end of the civil war.

Still, after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 abolished all enforced public segregation in the US, the white nationalist militias went underground. That's why many were shocked to see so many white supremacists marching openly in Charlottesville.

Neo-Nazi groups, which are strictly banned in Europe, now openly roam the streets in the US. They also have allies in other fields that usually air their views on the internet to propagate white nationalism. What's more disturbing is that many people sitting in front of TV sets at home also seemed to support the white supremacists. Such people felt depressed when Barack Obama became president and hope the US continues the tradition of white-dominated politics.

But Trump alone is not to blame for the reemergence of white supremacists in the US, as blacks were targeted even during Democratic administrations. Trump, thanks to his political and social policies, may have helped the white supremacists become more aggressive, but it is beyond his capacity to resolve the racial conflicts once and for all. The cause of racism is rooted in the culture, not in any US president.


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