The Boundaries of Whiteness Are Protected With Blood and Bullets | The Nation
The desire to uphold white rule has always been a potent force in American politics. And since the era of eugenics ushered in a fanatical obsession with breeding, that goal has been aided by rhetoric that inflames fears of the extinction of whiteness. From the anti-immigration statutes of the 1920s to anti-miscegenation laws to Trump’s Muslim ban, racists have sought to protect the boundaries of white racial purity. It’s a boundary often drawn in blood and bullets.
“The grim truth of the matter is this: The whole white race is exposed, immediately or ultimately, to the possibility of social sterilization and final replacement or absorption by the teeming colored races,” wrote the Ku Klux Klan officer and author Theodore Lothrop Stoddard, in his 1921 book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. The white man, he wrote, “cannot withstand colored competition.” Ninety-eight years later, a similar dread of white “replacement” has motivated four mass shootings in the past year—a sentiment little changed over most of a century. But today the Internet has allowed the message to be transmitted globally and reduced the time it takes for violent events to inspire one another.