racism |ˈrāˌsizəm| - the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
The Raj. Brit overlords sneering at the white man's burden. The Southern deputy pulling over a Black in a too-new vehicle. Buchanan whining about the loss of cred and status of ugly old white guys who have stormed the beachs and filled the breeches and made the speeches. This is the traditional racism.
But look at the definition again. The race of the racist is not specified. The racists I knew and loathed were in no way superior, nor did they seem to believe it. They merely resented those who were.
Cut to National Socialism.
Hitler's party did call themselves "National Socialists," because when Hitler found the ragtag outfit in the 1920s, it was a fringe movement of provincial, patriotic, largely unemployed workers. The 1920s and '30s were the heyday of socialism, remember, and you could hardly have a grassroots party without using the name. The Weimar Republic in Germany was an unloved government, and the National Socialists were just a mixed group of malcontents easily moved by Hitler's speeches against Jews (who were bankers, businessmen, artists, urban professionals, "cosmopolitans" and Marxists — almost everything except German workers and farmers) and against the weak social democrats in Berlin. - Nazis and Health Care; Michael Scott More
Imagine that. Lowgrade unaccomplished pawns provoked by fascist propaganda. This sounds familiar. But what is significant in my history and in these quotes is that the bilge of society does not truly regard themselves as an elite class, by any means. They recognize this is not so, and they viciously fear and desperately loathe those who possess qualities the commons lack. They see clearly a race that is inferior, and they is us.
Something else on the wires is very familiar, this from a review of Manchester's Death of a President in Vanity Fair.
Manchester also discovered that Dallas “had become the Mecca for medicine-show evangelists … the Minutemen, the John Birch and Patrick Henry Societies, and the headquarters of [ultra-conservative oil billionaire] H. L. Hunt and his activities.”
“In that third year of the Kennedy presidency,” Manchester wrote, “a kind of fever lay over Dallas country. Mad things happened. Huge billboards screamed, ‘Impeach Earl Warren.’ Jewish stores were smeared with crude swastikas.…Radical Right polemics were distributed in public schools; Kennedy’s name was booed in classrooms; corporate junior executives were required to attend radical seminars.” A retired major general ran the American flag upside down, deriding it as “the Democrat flag.” A wanted poster with J.F.K.’s face on it was circulated, announcing “this man is Wanted” for—among other things—“turning the sovereignty of the US over to the Communist controlled United Nations” and appointing “anti-Christians … aliens and known Communists” to federal offices. And a full-page advertisement had appeared the day of the assassination in The Dallas Morning News accusing Kennedy of making a secret deal with the Communist Party; when it was shown to the president, he was appalled. He turned to Jacqueline, who was visibly upset, and said, “Oh, you know, we’re heading into nut country today.”
Manchester discovered that in a wealthy Dallas suburb, when told that President Kennedy had been murdered in their city, the students in a fourth-grade class burst into applause. For Manchester, who revered Kennedy, such responses, encountered throughout Dallas, were deeply offensive and would influence the book he was about to write.
Manchester also learned that in 1963 there had been 110 murders in Dallas—“Big D”—in what he described as the city’s “dark streak of violence.” “Texas led the United States in homicide, and Big D led Texas,” he wrote. He would come to believe that Dallas’s charged political climate had been a factor in the assassination, helping to further unhinge the already unstable Lee Harvey Oswald.
He also discovered that Kennedy had been warned not to make the trip. “Evangelist Billy Graham had attempted to reach Kennedy … about his own foreboding. The Dallas mood was no secret,” he wrote. And Senator William Fulbright, the liberal senator from Arkansas, had pleaded with Kennedy: “Dallas is a very dangerous place. I wouldn’t go there. Don’t you go.” Manchester learned that the last words Kennedy probably heard were spoken by Nellie Connally, the governor’s wife. Delighted by the enthusiastic crowds along the motorcade route, she turned around in her seat and said, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.” And then the first shot rang out.
From about sixty miles from where those shots were fired, I spent the earliest and longest years of my life. It is something you have to experience to believe, and it isn't worth the experience, believe me. This one Billy Graham has right.
Every weekday afternoon we deplore the ignorant goons who bring gats and spew hate in public. But then the killing starts, and it's no longer just a freakshow.