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White supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance of whites.White supremacy, as with racial supremacism in general, is rooted in ethnocentrism and a desire for hegemony. White supremacy has frequently resulted in anti-black and antisemitic violence. Different forms of white supremacy have different conceptions of who is considered white, and not all white supremacist organizations agree on who is their greatest enemy.

White supremacist groups can be found in most countries and regions with a significant white population, including North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealandmarker, South Africa, Latin America, and Russiamarker. Some represent the view of the minority of the population to the majority. The militant approach taken by white supremacist groups has caused them to be watched closely by law enforcement officials. Some European countries have laws forbidding hate speech, as well as other laws that ban or restrict some white supremacist organizations.

Systemic white supremacy

White supremacy was dominant in the United Statesmarker before the American Civil War and for decades after Reconstruction. In large areas of the United States this including the holding of non-whites (specifically African Americans) in chattel slavery. The outbreak of the Civil War saw the desire to uphold white supremacy cited as a cause for state secession and the formation of the Confederate States of America. White supremacy was also dominant in Apartheid-era South Africa and parts of Europe at various time periods; most notably under Nazi Germany's Third Reich.

In some parts of the United States, many people who were considered non-white were disenfranchised, barred from government office, and prevented from holding most government jobs well into the second half of the twentieth century. White leaders often viewed Native Americans (known as First Nations in Canadamarker) and Australian Aborigines as obstacles to economic and political progress, rather than as settlers in their own right. Many European-settled countries bordering the Pacific Oceanmarker limited immigration and naturalization from the Asian Pacific countries, usually on a cultural basis. Many U.S. states banned interracial marriage through anti-miscegenation laws until 1967, when these laws were declared unconstitutional. South Africa maintained its white supremacist-like Apartheid system until the early 1990s.

Movements and ideologies

Supporters of Nordicism and Germanism consider Nordic people (Scandinavians, Germans, British, and Dutch) to be superior, shunning those of Southern and Eastern Europe (who may have darker features and different cultures) along with anyone whose ethnic heritage is not European. In Madison Grant's 1916 book, The Passing of the Great Race, Europeans who were not of Germanic origin, but who had Nordic characteristics such as blonde/red hair and blue/green/gray eyes were considered to be a Nordic admixture and suitable for Aryanization.

In the United States, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), is the group most associated with the white supremacist movement. Many white supremacist groups are based on the concept of preserving genetic purity, and do not focus solely on discrimination by skin color. The KKK's reasons for supporting racial segregation are not primarily based on religious ideals, but some Klan groups are openly Protestant. The KKK and other white supremacist groups like Aryan Nations, the Order and the White Patriot Party are considered Anti-Semitic.

Christian Identity is another movement closely tied to white supremacy. Some white supremacists identify themselves as Odinists, although some Odinists reject white supremacy, and white supremacists are only one faction of those who support Odinism. Some white supremacist groups, such as the South African Boeremag, conflate elements of Christianity and Odinism. The World Church of the Creator (now called the Creativity Movement), believed that a person's race is his religion. Aside from this, its ideology is similar to many Christian Identity groups, in their belief that there is a Jewish conspiracy in control of the United Statesmarker government, international banking, and the media. They claim that a Racial Holy War is destined to happen, which would eliminate Jews and "mud races" from the planet. Matt Hale, founder of the World Church of the Creator has published articles claiming that all races other than white are “mud races”.

The white supremacist ideology has become associated with a racist faction of the skinhead subculture, despite the fact that when the skinhead scene first developed in the United Kingdommarker in the late 1960s, it was heavily influenced by Jamaicanmarker rude boys and British mods. By the 1980s, a sizeable and vocal white power skinhead faction had formed.

Recruitment tactics are primarily on a grassroots level and on the Internet. The availability of access of the Internet has led to a dramatic increase in white supremacist websites.Adams, Josh, and Vincent J. Roscigno "White Supremacists, Oppositional Culture and the World Wide Web." University on North Carolina Press 84 (2005): 759-788. JSTOR. Web. 20 Nov. 2009./>. The Internet provides a venue to openly express white supremacy ideology at little Social cost because the people who post the information are able to remain anonymous.

See also


  1. Mistry, Reena (1999). Can Gramsci's theory of hegemony help us to understand the representation of ethnic minorities in western television and cinema? Institute of Communications Studies, Leeds University
  2. A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union: "We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states."
  3. The "Cornerstone Speech", Alexander H. Stephens (Vice President of the Confederate States), March 21, 1861, Savannah, Georgia: "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery--subordination to the superior race--is his natural and normal condition."
  4. Grant, Madison (1916). The Passing of the Great Race. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.
  5. White Supremacy Groups
  6. White Supremacy Groups
  7. White Supremacy Groups
  8. Smiling Smash: An Interview with Cathal Smyth, a.k.a Chas Smash, of Madness
  9. Special Articles

Further reading

  • Dobratz, Betty A. and Shanks-Meile, Stephanie. "White power, white pride!": The white separatist movement in the United States (JHU Press, 2000) ISBN 978-0801865374
  • Lincoln Rockwell, George. White Power (John McLaughlin, 1996)
  • MacCann, Ronnarae. White Supremacy in Children's Literature (Routledge, 2000)

External links

' Heart of whiteness' documentary film about what it means to be white in South Africa

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