There are several points concerning white supremacy that the media gets and presents the wrong way.
People start thinking about white supremacy and the threat it poses only when someone gets shot or stabbed or anything like this. But even at such terrifying moments, there is a double standard in the media concerning how the treat the facts.
Below you’ll find 5 popular misconceptions actively promoted by the press.
- White supremacy is a rare thing. No, it isn’t. Just “when it comes to Muslim terrorism, nobody questions it’s a problem that’s an ongoing threat ― a security problem, radicalization problem, et cetera ― which it is,” Heidi Beirich, the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said. “But when it comes to Portland or Dylann Roof [the 2015 Charleston church shooter], they always seem to appear as one-offs.”
- All white supremacists are extremists. Not at all! “People frame it as weird guys with fringe beliefs ― no,” Farai Chideya, a journalist who has been reporting on white nationalism for more than 25 years claimed. “White supremacists don’t just wear hoods and give Nazi salutes. White nationalists are in the U.S. government.”
Distressing that this piece I wrote on white supremacist violence in March can be so easily re-upped for Portland. https://t.co/zezC2Ymsko
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) May 31, 2017
3. White supremacists are not terrorists. And it’s ‘no’ again. “What is terrorism? Acts designed to inspire terror. But somehow, we don’t call this terrorism,” Chideya told HuffPost of the Portland attack. “When a Muslim terrorist kills one, two, five people, it’s immediately labelled terrorism. But when a white nationalist kills one, two, five people, it’s not labelled terrorism. But they’re the same.” Press is trying to depict white supremacists as mad lone wolves. “Plenty of terrorists have had mental health issues,” Chideya explained. “There is a more general presumption that white people are good and innocent in American culture at large ― and journalists come from that culture.”
The presumption that the attacker is mentally ill and not “radicalized” is strictly based on religion and race, btw. https://t.co/onKJtOAog1
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) May 27, 2017
4. White supremacy shouldn’t be spoken about. America is just ashamed of its homegrown terrorists but you can’t remain silent when people are getting killed!
5. Racial hatred is a small problem. Unfortunately, it’s bigger than you can imagine. According to Huffington Post, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for instance, puts out a report of around 5,000 to 6,000 hate crimes each year. But when the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics did a large-scale study from 2007 to 2011, Beirich noted, it found the number of hate crimes closer to 260,000 per year.