Juan Peralez: White supremacy’s threats present clear danger

White supremacy has plagued us since before the nation’s founding. It can’t be ignored by anyone.

Juan Peralez

Juan Peralez

By Juan Peralez / Herald Forum

White supremacy is a historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white people from the European continent for the purposes of maintaining a system of wealth, power and privilege. White supremacists dream of a world in which minorities are either subservient or non-existent.

White supremacy violence is not new! Most people are aware that it was integrated into every institution of our government created after the independence of the United States from the British with the help of more than 5,000 Black soldiers and sailors, a fact many people may not be aware of. Many may not be aware that one of the first martyrs to the cause of American Independence was Crispus Attucks, a former slave who was killed by British soldiers during the Boston Massacre of 1770.

White supremacy’s violence in this country started with the horrendous genocide committed against the continent’s Indigenous native nations across what is now known as the United States. To the Blacks of this country on whose backs this country was built, white supremacy’s violence has simply meant terror that has continued to this day.

However, these days white supremacy’s violent extremists target everyone who doesn’t believe in their myth of white supremacy, instilled by Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine. The Ku Klux Klan’s march in Charlottesville on Aug. 19, 2017, is a prime example. The marchers shouted out “blood and soil” translating the Nazi slogan “blut und boden,” meaning that the blood must be racially pure and that the land belongs to the racially pure.

For new American Nazis the enemies are Black and Brown people who are supposedly destroying their pure white race in the U.S. They marchers also shouted, ”Jews will not replace us!” echoing Hitler’s paranoid fear of Jews as the ultimate enemy. The KKK leader David Duke, a Trump supporter, said to the marchers, they were there to fulfill the promise of Donald Trump to take back their country.

Another example is the attempted insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021 where you had members of the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Proud Boys and 147 congressional members as principal organizers of the attempt. In response to the firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and hiring of Christopher Miller to replace him, CIA Director Gina Haspel privately told the chair of the Joint Chiefs that ”we are on the way to a right-wing coup.“ Oath Keepers member Jessica Watkins sent text messages inviting people to basic training in Ohio and told supporters, ”I need you to be fighting fit by inauguration day.”

After the 9/11 attacks, lawmakers across the country passed laws eager to be tough on terror, but they ended up targeting communities of color. This was the case under Bush, Obama and Trump administrations. Trump gave $10 million to organizations across the country as part of its controversial Countering Violent Extremism Program. The program has been found to target and criminalize Muslims and migrant communities.

Even though there is no federal statute against white violent extremism groups, the FBI has all the power needed to fight white supremacy violence but instead it focuses too often on Black Lives Matter, Muslims and other social justice protests. Excluding white supremacist violence has emboldened individuals to act with impunity, which is what we saw Jan. 6, 2021. This neglect by the FBI has conditioned these groups to believe they are authorized to act.

Since the FBI itself has declared these white violent extremists as the biggest threat to our democracy, the Department of Homeland Security has extended its alert bulletin warning against the heightened threat environment posed by these groups, and the Biden administration provided 77 million to states to address the issue. The question must be asked: Why is our state not addressing the issue?

If one is concerned about the threat to our democracy and our personal safety whether you are Indigenous, Black, Brown or white you must contact your respective state legislators and demand that the issue be addressed. To inform people on white supremacist violence, town hall meetings on white supremacist violence must also be conducted before the next legislative session begins in January 2023.

Juan Peralez is president of Unidos of Snohomish County.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Aug. 7

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Teresa Reynolds sits exhausted as members of her community clean the debris from their flood ravaged homes at Ogden Hollar in Hindman, Ky., Saturday, July 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Editorial: How many billion-dollar disasters will it take?

A tally of climate disasters shows an ever-increasing toll of costs and lives. Congress must act.

Calley Malloy, left, of Shawnee, Kan.; Cassie Woolworth, of Olathe, Kan.; and Dawn Rattan, right, of Shawnee, Kan., applaud during a primary watch party Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Overland Park, Kan. Kansas voters rejected a ballot measure in a conservative state with deep ties to the anti-abortion movement that would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to tighten restrictions or ban abortion outright.(Tammy Ljungblad AP)/The Kansas City Star via AP)
Viewpoints: States’ abortion laws ignoring majority opinion

A survey found that majorities in states with restrictive laws support access to abortion in many cases.

Comment: Protect funding for Community Health Centers

CHC Snohomish, with several clinics in Snohomish County, provides a range of primary care services.

Comment: Employers should study up now for general election

Races for the state Legislature will be consequential as state lawmakers address numerous issues.

Constitution’s ‘militia’ clauses clarify use of firearms

Proponents of gun control have long pointed to the Second Amendment’s prefatory… Continue reading

Columnist Sid Schwab backs up his opinions with facts

I read a recent letter to the editor criticizing Herald columnist Sid… Continue reading

Editorial cartoons for Saturday, Aug. 6

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

A group of Volunteers of America crisis counselors and workers meet with Gov. Jay Inslee, left, after the governor toured their facility and gave a brief address about mental health services on Thursday, July 28, 2022, outside the VOA Behavioral Health Crisis Call Center in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Editorial: Our support makes sure lifeline is there in crises

The new 988 crisis line is seeing an increase in calls that speaks to the need for mental health care.

Most Read