Nationalism, which is a political term for white supremacy, has been an issue in the United States since the beginning of slavery, lasting long after the annullment of the Jim Crow Laws. This issue continues to linger, constantly revealing itself when fatal cases take place such as instances regarding modern racism displayed on the news, in commercials, in police brutality, and in the occurrence of mass shooters; each that have been released to the public by the news media. When it comes to the question “where did all of this come from?” we must review the U.S. history that involved racism, which led to slavery which both have been issues for the past few centuries, then subtilizing to policy brutality, and then mass shootings have been occurring for the past few decades.
Yet, these are issues that billions of people are aware of because of the media, and the known fact that almost everybody has a television and computer in their home, and a mobile camera phone in their possession. Therefore, when questioning the relationship between nationalism and mass shootings, and how the media plays a vital role in world awareness regarding these topics, they must understand that the answer has become crystal clear, as history has unfolded throughout the twentieth century and early twenty-first century, where there has been an evident link between nationalism, also known as white supremacy, and mass shootings, and how both problems are now known by most of the world because the people’s common use and consumption of the media and its benefits.
The relationship between white nationalism and mass shootings includes the fact that the United States has now become what some classify as “overly populated” with immigrants from all nations across the globe who made the conscious decision to move from their country and search for a better life in America where they can make more money and provide a better life for their children and grandchildren. Yet, the fact that are 197 million White Non-Hispanic Americans, compared to 44.5 million immigrants in the United States according to the Migrationpolicy.org, who have now taken on various occupations throughout the United States (Zong, 2019).
This ranges anywhere from a custodian to a lawyer, and working their way into pursuing jobs that were only accessible to Caucasian Americans in the early to mid 1900s, which is leading into the evident fact that “the moral issue of immigration requires special attention since it touches the roots of human existence: who has the right, by what criteria, to be at some particular place in this world, and what may be justification to restrict such right morally and judicially against the background of human rights as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?” (Krause, 1986).
It is also because of this problem that it has become clear that this has now led to a race war involving unreasonable and immoral immigration policies, police brutality, racism displayed from the most popular and loved brands brands through their commercials and advertising techniques. Not only that, but launched by companies who had the support of foreigners as well, including Hispanics, African Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Eastern Europeans. Along with this, white nationalists who have adopted the “responsibility” of eliminating the amount of foreigners in the world in defense of the current U.S. President, his views, and his immigration policies.
The Immigration Policy
In the beginning of McClintock’s reading “The Lay of the Land”, she states that “Knowledge of the unknown world was mapped as a metaphysics of gender violence – not as the expanded recognition of cultural difference – and was validated by the new enlightenment logic of private property and possessive individualism” (McClintock, 1995). This strongly relates to the immigration laws in the United States. In fact, when thinking of the current immigration laws in the United States, it is important to mention that there was an immigration regulation released by The Trump Administration “that could dramatically cut the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter and stay in the US by making it easier to reject green card and visa applications” according to CNN (Alvarez, 2019), meaning that the Trump Administration is working to place limits on legal immigratin and certain to reduce and prevent illegal immigration. The new rule means that many visa and green card holders have the possibility of being declined entrance into the nation if they have little education, low incomes, and utilized benefits varying from “Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers”, because of the fact that in the future they will be more likely to need government assistance to continue living a decent life in the future.
Mentioned in the book “The Many Colors of Crime” is that “American society has grown to be more diverse in interesting ways. We have witnessed an increasing representation of ethnic groups and increasing immigration from around the world, especially among Latinos” (Peterson, 2006) . So, although it is important to properly measure the constant increase of newly migrated or recent immigrants and how it can affect U.S. residents and born citizens, it is still unethical to deny people of seeking a better life in what they view as a nation of which they can benefit and thrive, and to deport those who have already crossed the border and are not causing any trouble.
In fact, one reason for these immigration laws, although they go so far as subtracting rights away from human beings is that “the impact of global immigrant from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America while the restructuring of industries like Fiat meant job loss and a shift to the service sector” (Knowles, 2007). This becomes a major epidemic, especially knowing that there are U.S. citizens whose parents and grandparents were born here, yet they are the ones inflicting harm on other U.S. citizens and residents.
In his book, Society Must Be Defended, Michael Foucault wrote, “Racist discourse was really no more than an episode, a phase, the reversal, or at least the reworking, at the end of the nineteenth century, of the discourse of race war. It was a reworking of that old discourse, which at that point was already hundreds of years old, in sociobiological terms, and it was reworked for purposes of social conservatism and, at least in a certain number of cases, colonial domination” (Foucault, 2003). Society related world issues such as mass shootings have derived not only from the very liberal, rather than conservative gun laws that have overtaken our nation allowing people to purchase rifles with ease in some states, enabling them to take lives people as they please, but also has a lot to do with the person who is shooting innocent people.
The shooting that happened at Walmart in El Paso, Texas where initially twenty people were killed and twenty-two were wounded that later turned into thirty-one people, was all held to the responsibility of the shooter known as Patrick Crusius. Crusius shot and killed twenty victims of which at least 50% of them were hispanic descent with a few of them being African Americans (Keneally, 2019). With this being known it is clear that Crusius was a white supremacist who more than likely was targetting hispanics. despised immigrants, and owned several rifles.
In addition to that, there was a mass shooter known as Dylann Roof who was responsible for the homicide that transpired during a bible study session at the “Historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church”, killing nine people who were all African American, “eight died at the scene; a ninth died at a hospital” (Payne, 2019) After the incident, it was reported that after being begged to stop, the shooter, Roof declined the request further stating that he was there to take the lives of African Americans because as he put it: “you are taking over the country … I have to do what I have to do” implying that he was going to shoot himself as well, although h did not do that. (Payne, 2019)
Racism and Colorism
Other issues regarding skin tone have also arisen, for instance like the issue of colorism and how being a fairer tone has been more admired as opposed to being a darker shade. An example of this was shown in the Dove advertisement that we had to review at the start of this course. I remember referring to that commercial stating that it began with an African American woman wearing a brown and removing it, then switching to a white woman who was wearing a white shirt, then switching to a Meditteranean women wearing a beige shirt. Now, I understand that the advertisement concluded with the Meditteranean woman who is considered a foreigner and not the white woman who would not be considered a foreigner. In addition to that, a more detailed example of this would be having on a shirt that is evidently dirty, meaning it is extremely noticeable, then moving it to reveal a cleaner and brighter version of the same shirt.
In McClintock’s reading “Soft Soaping Empire”, she stated “Soap flourished not only because it created and filled a spectacular gap in the domestic market but also because, as a cheap and portable domestic commodity, it could persuasively mediate the Victorian poetics of racial hygiene and imperial progress” (McClintock, 1995). Therefore, in relation to McClintock’s point of view, if they really wanted to show one woman at a time instead of all three women next to each other, then they could have had each woman wearing a shirt even if the color shirts on each woman differ, that were evidently dirty, and taking that shirt off to reveal a cleaner version of that same shirt. That would be an excellent way of demonstrating the satisfaction that comes with using Dove products, a smooth and clean feel.”
A very similar situation happened with Gucci when they had a white woman modeling a black extended turtleneck sweater that did not just reach the top of her neckline like most turtlenecks do, but reached the bridge of her nose, meaning that this was able to cover from the bridge of her nose down, which is about ½ too ⅔ rds of her face. Not only that, but Gucci also had an open portion for her mouth to appear while being surrounded by big red lips, imitating backface. Although Gucci apologized profusely, this mishap will not be forgotten and has turned many of their most supported customers away because they feel that the brand was being racist.
The overall issue here is that white nationalists in America have started this issue from a few centuries back, back in the days of slavery, which after it was abolished turned into a more subtle form of racial and ethnic discrimination with the Jim Craw Laws in effect. Once those days ended, those who continued in their lives with racist viewpoints carried racism into police brutality and once it became noticeable that America went from having a moderate amount of immigrants into the country into an influx of immigrants as well as white nationalists taking authority in those parts of America, the rules of immigration became overly strict and in various cases, unreasonable. These are each issues that have affected America to the extent of dividing our country instead of uniting it as it should be. Thankfully more people have been able to get involved to try and stop the divide and violence that has occurred in the United States because of the advancement of technology and the news media.