The Atlantic

White Terrorists Give Political Cover to Other Americans’ Prejudices

The racial fears motivating white-nationalist killers are more widely shared than mainstream Americans would prefer to admit.
Source: Vincent Thian / AP

How many people do white terrorists have to kill before America treats them as more dangerous than people of color? When asked after the recent massacre of Muslims in New Zealand whether he saw a growing threat from white nationalists, Donald Trump replied, “I don’t, really.” This from a man who frequently portrays people like me as a growing threat.

I have been threatening so many times—including one morning in November 2011, when I pulled into a CVS parking lot in North Philadelphia. To avoid the chill, I was wearing a black hoodie, much as Trayvon Martin wore a gray hoodie when he ambled to a convenience store a few months later. The peekaboo hole in my worn gray sweatpants revealed part of my ashy right knee. Nothing covered my brown skin or my long locks. In retrospect, I was a bull’s-eye for bigots.

Walking toward the front entrance,

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