Let me start by applauding your efforts to bring the issue of racism to the mainstream (cover story, "Inside the secret world of white supremacy," Oct. 19). Often, today's public, both educated and uneducated, deals with issues of racism by looking the other way. The incorporation of many forms of oppression into everyday culture allows this to be done easily. The article does effectively define very blatant and unashamed racism, which brings ideas and discussion of hate and oppression into the homes of all your readers.
However, when discussing racism it is necessary to understand that racism, sexism, homophobia and the clashing of classes, etc., do not stand alone. All systems of oppression are interlocked. For example, when discussing the issues surrounding the equality of the African-American community, how are African-American women included without also including a discussion on sexism? Along these lines, how can one possibly consider discussing racism or sexism without also considering poverty or class disparity?
I bring this up only because of a line in your article a couple of weeks ago. I would like to again thank you for discussing the issue of racism in such an open format; however, the line, "despite the feminine touch, Griffin described himself a 'warrior for God'" borders being a sexist comment. The printed statement implies that any person displaying femininity cannot possibly be considered a warrior of any kind. This obviously is offensive to not only women, but also to anyone with feminine characteristics. The line commits to the patriarchal society in America that allows for femininity to be equated with weakness and masculinity to be equated with strength or the status of a warrior. This logic allows one kind of person to be considered better, or more well fit than another, based on miniscule differences. This system of thought is what has allowed and continues to allow all minorities to be oppressed. This is a system that desperately needs to be changed.
One line in one article can seem small to some, but it is this same kind of ignorance that allows the public to turn a blind eye to racism. If an article on sexism was printed and the line read, "Despite his color, he still considered himself a warrior of God," your readers would undoubtedly be appalled. Where do we draw the line at racism or any system of oppression for one line in one article?
The article emphasizes the racist community's language in speeches and songs that keep the movement alive. Years of oppression through things as simple as language or as large as an entire community based on hate cannot be distinguished.
One of the first steps in uprooting the hate that is clearly outlined in the article, as well as the imbalance of power incorporated into everyday culture, is understanding how deeply intertwined language and oppression that continues to keep one group of people weaker than the other are. Equality will not be achieved until this entire system is analyzed and broken down.
-- Wendi Jonassen, Atlanta
Ignorance is bliss
Thanks for writing the article (cover story, "Inside the secret world of white supremacy," Oct. 19). It is quite stunning to hear people so openly admit to their own ignorance. Just please remember that most Christians don't hate and the real ones remember that even a Jewish God said love your brother as yourself. Thanks again man, that was amazing.
-- Floyd Griffin, Charlotte, N.C.
right topic, wrong people
After reading this article (cover story, "Inside the secret world of white supremacy," Oct. 19), I would expect to turn on the evening news and see so-called "white supremacists" engaging in all sorts of crimes. Instead, what I see are rapes, murders, robberies, burglaries, car-jackings and other violent crimes committed predominantly by blacks, totally out of proportion to the number of blacks in our population!! Maybe John Sugg could do another "objective" article on black supremacy and the war that's being waged on all of us by them. Maybe he could also expound on why a "minority" race commits the vast majority of crimes and why the prison population is more than 80 percent black. Or maybe that's not "politically correct" to write about.
-- Jeffery Johnson, Charlotte, N.C.