The past four years, particularly the November 3rd presidential election and its ensuing debris, have made one fact clear and convincing: America is now two nations—Whites and Non-Whites, Red and Blue, Us and Them, and These People and Them People. The two nations’ political and cultural divisions have become more contentious, more threatening, and more dangerous.
This division was evidenced recently by F.B.I.’s data showing more hate crimes in America in 2019 than in any other year since the agency started tracking such data in 1990. That year the Congress enacted the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, 28 U.S.C. § 534, which required the U.S. Attorney General to collect data “about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” The attorney general delegated the data collection responsibility to the F.B.I.
Hate Crimes on the Rise
The F.B.I.’s Uniform Crime Report Program defines a “hate crime” as any criminal offense “motivated, in whole or part, by the offender’s biases against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
The fact that Congress three decades ago found a need to pass a “hate crimes” act illustrates that America was seriously beginning to tear itself apart at the seams because of hate.
College Dean Forced to Resign Over Intolerance
Hatred is as old as humanity. The religious, political, and cultural hatred between America’s two nations was recently expressed in a Facebook post (since deleted) by Paul Ewell, the former dean of the Virginia Wesleyan University Global Campus. He was forced to resign following the post. The post, first reported by the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, read as follows:
“If you were ignorant, anti-American, and anti-Christian enough to vote for Biden, I don’t want to be your social friend on social media. I wouldn’t hang out with you in real life. I don’t want to hang out with you virtually either. You have corrupted the election. You have corrupted our youth. You have corrupted our country. I have standards and you don’t meet them. Please remove yourself.”
This extreme hate-based divisiveness manifested itself last month when the F.B.I. announced the arrest of 13 all-white, anti-government suspects involved in a plot to kidnap and execute Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The hate-base divisiveness has spawned, and even socially legitimized, vicious hate groups like the Michigan militias, QAnon Conspiracy Theorists, the Boogaloos, and the Proud Boys.
Members and adherents to these groups’ hate philosophy are responsible for the surge in hate crimes in this two-nation society.
14% Rise in Hate Crimes in Year of Extremism
The F.B.I. report documented a 14 percent rise in hate crimes in America last year—the increase mostly involving anti-Semitic attacks. The Washington Post reported a slight decrease in attacks against Muslims and attacks against Christians “remained nearly flat.”
2019: Year of Hate and Extremism
The Southern Poverty Law Center (“SPLC”) called 2019 “The Year in Hate and Extremism.” The Executive Summary of that report made these disturbing points about the growing threat of the white supremacy movement:
“A series of terror attacks in the United States and abroad—including the mass killings in El Paso, Texas, and New Zealand—have led federal authorities to put more focus on combating terrorism that stems from the movement. F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray told the House Judiciary Committee in early February that the agency had upgraded its assessment of the threat posed by racially motivated extremists to a ‘national threat priority.’ His remarks amplified his message from November, when he told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that a majority of domestic terror attacks are ‘fueled by some type of white supremacy.’
“Wray is right to be alarmed. White nationalism poses a serious threat to national security and pluralistic democracy. It’s a virulent and profoundly undemocratic ideology that infects our political system with hate, fear and resentment. And, as we’ve seen in recent years, the threat of violence is very real. In fact, there’s a growing sector of white supremacists, calling themselves ‘accelerationists,’ who believe mass violence is necessary to bring about the collapse of our pluralistic society.
“With heightened attention to the movement since the deadly 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, internal struggles have surfaced. Some leaders have been kicked off their social media platforms and other internet services they relied on to raise money, recruit new members, and spread racist propaganda. The organization of one of the country’s most recognizable white nationalists, Richard Spencer, appears to have gone dormant.
“Despite these developments, the white nationalist movement remains the most mobilized threat from the American radical right. It is not, however, the only one tearing the social fabric of inclusive democracy. Hundreds of hate groups are operating in America, targeting immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ people, Muslims, Jews, Blacks and other people of color.”
Succession Movement Gets Renewed Support
In 2012, twenty states filed petitions to “secede from the union,” including Texas whose petition garnered 80,000 signatures. America’s first and only African American faced and won reelection that year in which predominantly Non-White vote prevailed over the White vote. It was that political fissure that paved the way for a fear-mongering Donald J. Trump to become president in 2016—and Trump has consistent throughout his tenure as president stoked the flames of racial division and has personally expressed racist views in both policy and deeds.
Texas Republican Party Chair Floats Succession
In response to the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear another frivolous lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to overthrow the results of the presidential elections, Texas GOP Chair, Allen West again floated the idea of succession. “Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution,” West said.
America now stands divided—two nations squared off against each other through hatred. It is no longer just an “issue of hate crimes.” It is an issue of whether this hatred will destroy both nations as our Civil War once did before. At least 20 states in 2012 were willing to secede from the Union to pursue a New Dixie way of life.
We hope it will not come to this. But that is not enough. All freedom-loving people must join together to see that it does not.