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America is still hooked on the drug of white supremacy

The violence in Virginia shows that the nation is gripped by a deep malaise – and is writhing under its disastrous effects

  • Carol Anderson is the author of White Rage

‘It took more than 36 hours – and a killing believed to have been carried out by a Neo-Nazi – for the White House to denounce them. ’ Photograph: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The United States is in a tailspin. White supremacists are on the march – and have left a trail of blood and destruction in their wake. A march in Charlottesville, Virginia, filled with torches, Nazi flags and chants of “White Lives Matter,” culminated in violence that claimed at least one life, and left many more injured.

This is just what many feared the Trump presidency would unleash. David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, supported that view when he said on Saturday that the march “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back.”

The president was slow to disabuse people of that view. When the nation turned to the president on Friday to condemn the unrest provoked by the Unite The Right far-right rally, he instead blamed “many sides.” In other words: he lumped together anti-racist protesters with white supremacists.

This is just what many feared the Trump presidency would unleash

It took more than 36 hours – and a killing believed to have been carried out by a Neo-Nazi – for the White House to denounce them. Although the president prefers to communicate directly with the American people through Twitter, he didn’t do that this time. Instead, the delayed statement was attributed to an unnamed White House spokesperson.

None of this makes sense. Unless, that is, we come to grips with the reality that we are seeing the effects of far too many Americans strung out on the most pervasive, devastating, reality-warping drug to ever hit the United States: white supremacy.

Like all forms of substance abuse, it has destroyed families and communities and put…

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