A racially divided society will not make US ‘great again’
Published: Jul 30, 2019 07:33 PM
Once again, the US is shrouded in gun violence trauma - this time, mixed with the horror of white supremacy. The Sunday shooting rampage at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California spoke to the reality that domestic terror at the hands of white supremacists is on the rise in the United States of America.

The 19-year-old gunman who killed three and wounded a dozen more had recently waded into the world of white supremacy, according to NBC News. 

Prior to the shooting rampage, he posted on his Instagram page, "Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard," as well as slurs against mixed-race people, NBC News reported. Might is Right or The Survival of the Fittest, an 1890 racist manifesto, is a staple among neo-Nazis and white supremacists on extremist sites.

The US has experienced a resurgence of white supremacy and a growing string of attempted and implemented violence attributed to white supremacists in recent years. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned in April that white supremacy presents a "persistent" and "pervasive" threat to the US. Worse still, as white supremacist ideology spreads to young Americans, the US is unable to curb it. 

White supremacy in the US is becoming extremely troubling. The internet and social media have facilitated white supremacy propaganda, enabling hate to spread at the speed of light. Though US President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he is not a racist, some of his remarks and actions, be it the promise to build a wall on the US-Mexico border or the row with four non-white Democratic congresswomen, are widely believed to have encouraged white supremacists.  

After Trump told the four congresswomen of color that they should "go back" to the "crime infested places" they came from, white supremacists cheered online for finding a common cause with their president. 

By targeting the four congresswomen and linking the issue to the Democratic Party, Trump could win greater support from white nationalists, which is helpful to his reelection. But a worrisome result is that this has further aggravated division of the US and fueled white supremacy, even if Trump may have not meant it.  

With rising white supremacy, the conflicts and confrontations between white and non-white Americans are intensifying. What Trump has done is not to ease or bridge conflicts, but has worsened the situation. This is determined by the US political system. As the president seeks reelection, he has to make use of the racial conflicts to win votes, which will inevitably exacerbate divisions. 

A racially divided US can never become great again. The greatest challenge facing the US is how to unify the country for future development. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, warned that white supremacy "could be the lurking issue that ends this country in the future" if the US doesn't wrangle it down in its time. 

But given the current momentum of white supremacy and political environment, it's difficult for the US to overcome the challenge.

If racial division in the US continues to widen, there will be more domestic terror fueled by white supremacy. From a wider perspective, US leadership and endurance capabilities in its competition with China will be further undermined. China is capable of bearing the US-launched trade war because Chinese society is unified in dealing with the challenge. Can the US be united to make the country great again? That's a big question. 

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