The Term ‘White Supremacy’ Is No Longer Reserved for Overt Racism
The phrase has seeped into the ‘nation’s rhetorical bloodstream’ as a clearer way to describe many aspects of American life
In a recent New York Times piece, writer Michael Powell examines how the phrase “white supremacy” went from being reserved for overt racism — think the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis — to being an “accurate way to describe today’s racial realities.” There’s even evidence that the phrase has seen a resurgence with the Times has used the term 700 times in 2020 alone. That’s close to 10x more than it was used by the paper a mere decade ago.
“In a time of plague and protest, two words — ‘white supremacy’ — have poured into the rhetorical bloodstream with force and power. With President Donald Trump’s overt use of racist rhetoric, a spate of police killings of Black people and the rise of far-right extremist groups, many see the phrase as a more accurate way to describe today’s racial realities, with older descriptions like ‘bigotry’ or ‘prejudice’ considered too tame for such a raw moment,” Powell explains.