The “premier voice of the white resistance” and Klu Klux Klan affiliated newspaper, The Crusader, gave it’s endorsement to the Republican candidate, Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post, the endorsement states,
“While Trump wants to make America great again, we have to ask ourselves, ‘What made America great in the first place?...The short answer to that is simple. America was great not because of what our forefathers did – but because of who our forefathers were. America was founded as a White Christian Republic. And as a White Christian Republic it became great.”
More KKK rhetoric will be heard tonight during the Louisiana Senate debate. The former Klu Klux Klan leader was able to secure the polling percentages necessary to participate in a televised Senate debate at Dillard University – a historically black college located in New Orleans. While Trump’s support of Duke has wavered in the news, Duke reportedly told NPR earlier this year that “As a United States senator, nobody will be more supportive of his legislative agenda, his Supreme Court agenda, than I will.”
Last week, an armed right-wing militia group that took up arms against the federal government and seized Malhauer National Wildlife Refuge in the state of Oregon was acquitted of all charges in a federal court. The militant rebels, known as the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, held federal property by force for 41 days carrying with them over 30 guns and close to 20,000 round of ammunition. The leaders of the takeover, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, have a history of armed encounters with law enforcement over federal land disputes. One of which has already landed their father Cliven Bundy behind bars.
And with less than a week left in the 2016 presidential election, the armed forces of white power have begun publicizing their plans to “monitor” the elections. As Politico reports, Neo-Nazi leader Andrew Anglin and the white nationalists from the website “The Right Stuff” are organizing poll watchers nationwide. The Klu Klux Klan and the American Freedom Party are organizing similar efforts. And according to the report, “The Oath Keepers, a group of former law enforcement and military members that often shows up in public heavily armed, is advising members to go undercover and conduct “intelligence-gathering” at polling places, and Donald Trump ally Roger Stone is organizing his own exit polling, aiming to monitor thousands of precincts across the country.”
Finally, earlier this week, white nationalism and its candidate for president received the vote of the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. White nationalism has made massive strides at the local and state levels – and now the Neo-Confederacy is poised to take control of the White House.
This is not the first time. The Neo-Confederacy has learned from its history.
The struggle for the White House didn’t end with the Civil War. Military efforts may have ended in 1865, but Conservative efforts to “Redeem” the nation waged on. The formerly Confederate states strategically responded to the newly established federal authority by engaging in state efforts designed to undermine it. Localized militia style attacks replaced national takeover efforts, the political battlefield replaced the military battlefield, and white paramilitary organizations such as the Klu Klux Klan, the White League and the Red Shirts waged localized campaigns of violence and intimidation against black citizens and their political representatives. In 1868 alone there were over 1000 politically motivated of black citizens alone. It has also been reported that “At least 10 percent of the black legislators elected during the 1867-1868 constitutional conventions became victims of violence during Reconstruction, including seven who were killed.”
By 1870, the South regained control of their state and local governments and successfully passed a slew of policies geared at undermining federal authority and stopping black citizens from exercising their rights and freedoms. Hiding behind state and local rights, Black Codes and Jim Crow laws littered the political landscape. Prohibitions on reading and writing, literacy tests, and poll taxes were violently enforced to keep black citizens from exercising their right to vote. Efforts were taken to reinstitute slavery under different names. Vagrancy laws, for example, allowed poor black citizens to be arrested, fined and sent to labor camps – effectively reinstituting slavery under the guise of criminal justice.
These strategies were successful. By the time of the 1876 presidential election, only 3 states were considered unredeemed, and the south was poised to overthrow the White House – without a shot fired.
The 1876 presidential election resulted in the Confederate candidate winning the popular vote, while the Union Candidate won the electoral college. The outcome of the election was settled by the 1877 Compromise. This informal compromise allowed the Union to maintain control of the capitol, so long as all federal troops were pulled out of the Confederate States. As a result, Rutherford B. Hayes became president, Reconstruction came to a halt and federal efforts to protect black people from those seeking to re-enslave them ended.
The struggle for equality has waged on since.
Jim Crow laws are still on the books. Non-white and otherwise targeted communities such as people of color, people with disabilities, the LGBTQIA community and the poor are marginalized in the education system, the housing system, the labor market, the criminal justice system and by law enforcement. The Confederate flag still flies in the open throughout the United States. Those seeking to weaken the federal government, strengthen states’ rights, maintain racial exploitation and expand it are organized, active, armed and extremely successful. And the ghosts of the Confederacy threaten, once again, to overtake the White House. This time, through Donald Trump and the Republican party.
Confederate values lie at the heart of the Donald Trump campaign. He has threatened to dismantle, gut or repurpose all federal departments including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, the Federal Regulations Committee and even the Food and Drug Association should he assume the presidency. He has promised to make changes in legislation to ensure that civil rights are state’s rights issue, and that federal protections are removed. He has launched attacks on the black community, Muslims, immigrants, Mexican Americans, the LGBTQIA community, the disabled and women. Donald Trump has called for the incarceration of his political competitors, and his mouthpiece Sheriff David A. Clarkehas openly stated that it’s “pitchfork and torches time in America.”
While the alt-right Neo-Conservatives have begun calling for post-election warfare, they have also continued to secure the weaponry to carry it out. According to a recent report,“…130 million guns are owned by 3% of American adults, who each own 17 guns on average….Among this group, an estimated 7.7 million Americans make up the country’s “gun super-owners,” who own between eight and 140 guns…. On the whole, gun owners tended to be white, male, conservative and reside in rural areas, the survey found.”
The Confederacy has risen. They are militarized. They occupy every level of government. Their efforts to Make America Great Again include a neo-Confederate takeover of the political system, while his neo-Confederate soldiers prepare to take up arms if the political assault fails. And the neo-Confederate movement is just percentage points away from overthrowing the capital.
Should they fail at the polls in less than a week, they have four more years to organize for the next election – if they don’t violently resist the outcome of this one.