I hereby decree…
White supremacist families create white supremacists.
When a young person is racist, and especially when they act on that racism with a gun that no one should legally be able to have, you get all this reaching for what to blame for it, like “oh noes, social media is radicalizing them!” or it’s whatever show they watch or music they listen to, yadda yadda yadda.
It’s none of that. It’s their families.
You say “maybe he watched too many racist YouTube videos!” while ignoring that he grew up with a father who used the N-word fifty times a day and a mother who always grumbled when someone spoke Spanish at the grocery store.
Was it that white supremacist reddit that got him into “replacement theory”? Or was it listening to his grandma wax nostalgic about how nice the neighborhood was before *those* people moved in?
Did he get interested in white supremacy because of a Twitter thread? Or was it because he’d been listening to his grandpa rant about how the Civil War was a noble cause about states’ rights since before he could walk?
Did these families ever explicitly say “here, go commit some horrible racist atrocity”? Of course not. As such, they’d swear up and down they never taught him to be racist.
But they did. They planted the seed early and often.
They made white supremacy feel like home.
This doesn’t absolve him of anything. It’s still his responsibility to recognize and unlearn the racism. It’s a hard process. Many give up or don’t bother. And right wing media certainly doesn’t help.
But the process is needed in the first place because of the family.
In fact, right wing media thrives on families making white supremacy feel like home. It dissuades you from unlearning the racism and shields you from confronting white privilege by inviting you to lean into it.
Thanksgiving is easier when you agree with your racist uncle.
When white supremacy feels like home because family instilled it in you at a young age, then leaning into it means continued familial connection. Whereas unlearning it, and recognizing the toxicity and harm of all these messages you’ve been hearing your whole life, means familial disconnection and tension. Yet another reason many don’t bother to unlearn.
It’s another reason the right wing touts itself as being about family. They want to further dissuade you from unlearning the racism and thus causing this familial disconnect and tension. They profit when you don’t realize that Grandma was full of shit.
All that said, there’s no easy solution to this. But let’s at least recognize it. Don’t let these families act all shocked like “We never taught him this. Must be the video games!” and proceed to blame video games. It was them. It’s always them.
Yeah, these racist families never explicitly said “yeah, go commit some horrible racist atrocity!” but they low key taught him all his life their whiteness is under attack, that there was this problem they’d be pleased to see solved. And then act all shocked when he goes out and does so.
Originally tweeted here.