White hatred of people of color is a permanent fixture in American history. The violence done to people of color by White Americans cannot be undone, nor the historical recordings of that violence erased from the chronicles of history.
Racial hatred was brought to America by English settlers determined to seize and control the land of Native Americans. They evidenced this hatred with their May 26, 1637 Pequot Massacre that left 500 adults and children dead because the indigenous Pequots served as an impediment to colonization.
Deep Roots of Racial Supremacy
White American genocide killed millions of Native Americans through massacres, forced relocation marches, brutal assimilation programs, and disease. The Native American population stood at 5 million in 1492 but had plummeted to a mere 600,000 by 1800.
Just 18 years before, the 700 Puritans who resided in Jamestown, part of the Virginia Colony established in 1607, purchased from Portuguese colonial forces roughly 20 kidnapped Africans in exchange for food. The Africans became enslaved colonial Americans.
Before the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery, the number of enslaved Americans had risen to nearly 4.5 million people. Hundreds of thousands of enslaved people died through torture, physical abuse, and starvation before the 13th Amendment was enacted. In the nearly 100 years between the 13th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, tens of thousands of Black Americans were killed by White men through lynching, race riots, and murder.
Throughout this country’s history, White Americans have inflicted violence and abuse on other people of color, such as Hispanics, Latinos, Asians, and Arabs. Religious persecution has similarly targeted Catholics, Jews, and Muslims.
Replacement Theory Embraced By White Supremacist
With such a historical landscape littered with the bodies of so many people of color, many White Americans quickly accepted, and continue to embrace, the “great replacement” theory coined by the French racist author Renaud Camus in his 1979 book “Tricks.” This theory postulates that in predominantly White countries, people of color (primarily immigrants) will eventually outnumber White people and seize control of power over them.
That is why White Americans, mostly political conservatives and religious evangelicals, have a fear deeply rooted in their conscience that they will one day live as a marginalized minority, much like the one they have imposed over people of color since 1492 in this country.
Racial Hatred and Supremacy Drives Massacre
This irrational fear, driven by the underpinnings of racial hatred, drove Payton Gendron to enter the Tops Market on May 8, 2022, in Buffalo, New York, and slaughter ten innocent Black Americans who were doing no more than that going about their daily lives.
Congressional leaders Elsie Stefanik(R-NY), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and media personalities Fox News Host Tucker Carlson and author J.D. Vance, have echoed replacement conspiracy theory and inspired those like Gendron the irrational need to fight it. His murderous action and their socio-political rhetoric are interchangeable.
And that is why there are thousands, if not millions, of Payton Gendrons simmering in the fear and hatred of the White Supremacy Movement now in the body politic of this nation.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports 773 hate groups firmly entrenched in the White Supremacy Movement. These groups were born from four primary subgroups of the Movement: Ku Klux Klan, White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and Anti-Government Militias.
All these hate groups, and the now mainstream White Supremacy Movement, have one thing in common: continued oppression and suppression of people of color and the control of power by White Americans. This racist soil will continue to produce a bumper crop of Payton Gendrons.
Here is a sample of the hate-driven produce that sprouts from the White Supremacy Movement when it is giving Christian validation and mingled with evangelical proselytizing. It can be found in the words of popular right-wing Tennessee evangelical pastor Greg Locke who told his Global Vision Church congregation on May 15, 2022, in what can only be described as insane rant called a sermon, that:
“A bunch of creeps stole an election that everybody knows they stole, and they’re trying to do as much damage as they possibly can (citing high gas prices and baby formula shortages) … It’s purposeful … If they can’t kill your baby in the womb, they’ll starve them to death later on after they’ve been born … I’m to the place right now [that] if you vote Democrat, I don’t even want you around this church. You can get out … You get out, you demon. You get out, you baby butchering election thief … Let me tell you something. You ain’t seen the insurrection yet! You keep on pushing our buttons, you low-down-sorry-compromisers, you God-hating communists. You’ll find out what the insurrection is, because we ain’t playing your garbage. We ain’t playing your mess. My Bible says that the church of the living God is an institution that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” He then continued to state that the Democratic Party “the biggest slave plantation on the planet.”
Tragically, this message resonates with close to 100 million White Americans, including Ginni Thomas, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and dozens of House and Senate Republicans. Not to be outdone, the Lone Star State is charging ahead under the lead of replacement theorists and a historical revisionist Governor, Lt. Governor, and criminally indicted Attorney General.
Replacement theory and the accompanying fear mongering against the boogeyman of Critical Race Theory, stolen elections, and revisionist history will undoubtedly produce more Payton Gendrons. The question, then, is: are we at a point of no return in race relations in the great American melting pot? Or is this the last gasp of desperation by forces of hate, racism, and bigotry that have unjustly propped up the ruling White population for far too long?