Racist billboards, espousing “white pride,” have been popping up in some Southern states recently, most notably in Alabama and Arkansas. A billboard in Harrison, Arkansas shows a photo of a very sad white girl, holding a puppy, and reads “It’s NOT Racist to love Your People,” the word love replaced with a red heart.
That ad is is sponsored by the Klan, and includes a link to White Pride Radio. The other billboard, which was erected next to an Alabama interstate, has been taken down, but the message read “DIVERSITY MEANS Chasing Down The Last White Person,” along with the hashtag #white genocide.
Who would champion a billboard that interprets genocide so incorrectly? That equates the indiscriminate slaughter of millions of people with diversity? In August of last year, a website called The Daily Stormer published an article promoting a campaign to erect billboards in the Northwestern U.S., with similar messaging. From the post:
The folks behind the White Genocide Project, a site that we regularly feature stories from here at the Daily Stormer, have organized a campaign to raise funds to have a billboard put up in the North Western part of the United States, alerting the people about the ongoing genocide against our people.
Through their “Fight White Genocide” activism page, the team is attempting to raise $6,000 to pay for the billboard.
Hi, what? The “ongoing genocide against our people?” Dude, I’m white, and I can promise you, there’s no white genocide. But taking off my incredulous hat for a moment, let’s look at the actual definition of genocide, from Merriam Webster:
the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group
Deliberate and systematic. For example, what white Europeans did to Native Americans would qualify as genocide. We celebrate Columbus Day in this country, but we really shouldn’t. What happened in Bosnia qualifies as genocide. And of course, what the Nazis did is the most infamous genocidal event in modern history.
A desire for some sort of “purity” often inspires acts of genocide. Hitler envisioned a “master race,” a race of Germans who would be superior to all other races. And starting in the 1930’s, German physicians were allowed to perform forced sterilizations. The groups first targeted by the Nazis were Roma, the mentally and physically handicapped (including people who were born deaf and blind), and African-German children. From the website for The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Hitler and other Nazi leaders viewed the Jews not as a religious group, but as a poisonous “race,” which “lived off” the other races and weakened them. After Hitler took power, Nazi teachers in school classrooms began to apply the “principles” of racial science. They measured skull size and nose length, and recorded the color of their pupils’ hair and eyes to determine whether students belonged to the true “Aryan race.” Jewish and Romani (Gypsy) students were often humiliated in the process.
On July 14, 1933, Hitler issued the Law to Prevent Hereditarily Diseased Offspring. Again, from USHMM:
Believing that “racial purity” requires state regulation of human reproduction, Adolf Hitler issues the Law to Prevent Hereditarily Diseased Offspring. Among other provisions, the measure prohibits “undesirables” from having children and mandates forced sterilization of certain physically or mentally impaired individuals. The law will affect some 400,000 people over the next 18 months.
Thus began the deliberate and systematic eradication of over ten million people, six million of them Jews. Genocide.
There are people in this country who advocate genocide. Pastor Charles Worley is one. In 2012, a sermon given by Pastor Worley to his flock went viral, due to his statements about the LGBT community. Worley told churchgoers about an idea he had: get all the “queers,” and the lesbians, and drop them behind an electrified fence. He suggested dropping some food in, then leaving them to “die out.” Another pastor who champions the idea of genocide is Pastor Steven Anderson, of the Faithful World Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. In a sermon to his church, Anderson referred to LGBT people as “homos,” and goes on to say:
Turn to Leviticus 20:13 because I actually discovered the cure for AIDS.
He jokes that “we can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas,” and then offers his solution. His solution is genocide. Quoting from Leviticus, Anderson says:
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. And that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS. It was right there in the Bible all along — and they’re out spending billions of dollars in research and testing. It’s curable — right there. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.
Two men, two white men, calling for the deliberate and systematic destruction of an entire group of people. Two supposedly Christian men, leaders of churches, advocating genocide.
Which brings us back to the original question: What the hell is white genocide? Southern Poverty Law Center uncovered the truth about one man who perpetuated the myth of white genocide, a man who was known online as Horus the Avenger. Horus ran an internet radio station called White Rabbit Radio, where he would spread a message called the “Mantra.” The “Mantra” is a 221-page long diatribe that blames immigration for the “genocide” facing white people. A portion of the Mantra reads “Anti-racist is code word for anti-white.” You see that a lot in white nationalist organizations, including in the comment section at Daily Stormer. Horus, by the way, is a guy named Tim, who at the time of the SPLC article, lived with his parents in Michigan. According the SPLC piece, this is what white nationalists believe about “white genocide:”
The basic idea of the Mantra and its proponents — that white people, far from ruling most of the developed world, are actually being subjected to a genocide that will ultimately wipe out their race — is not new. It has been developing since the racist right essentially lost the civil rights battles of the 1960s, and racist writers like Wilmot Robertson began adopting the language of the civil rights movement to depict whites as increasingly “dispossessed.” In the last 20 years, the idea that the white race is facing mortal attack has become the norm on the extreme right, with the neo-Nazi National Alliance, for instance, repeatedly describing whites as “Earth’s Most Endangered Species.” Such fears have picked up speed in recent years thanks in large part to the U.S. Census Bureau, which has predicted that non-Hispanic whites in this country will lose their majority by about 2043.
It seems that, much like right-wing pundits who compare the Holocaust to abortion (so often that the Anti-Defamation League has begged them to stop), white supremacists have co-opted a word that describes the most heinous thing humans can do to one another, and applied to the possibility that white folks might be a minority in 28 years. Given that white nationalists typically support a world without Jews and black people, and given the hateful rhetoric spewed by pastors like Worley and Anderson, perhaps we can agree that white genocide is the least of our worries.