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In OtherWords: August 16, 2017

Republicans are condemning Trump’s coddling of white supremacists. Can they speak out against racist laws, too?

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This week in OtherWords, we look at the fallout from the white nationalist violence Charlottesville.

That march was a product of fear, says Olivia Alperstein — fear by a few white racists that the rights of others somehow diminish their own.

And it’s proof, Jessicah Pierre observes, that now is exactly the wrong time to start rolling back protections for Americans of color (up to and including affirmative action).

Meanwhile, the administration is looking pretty unpopular with an unexpected group: Republican politicians. Many Republicans are now coming out of the woodwork to condemn the White House’s tepid response to — and apparent coddling of — violent white supremacists. (Khalil Bendib likens it to fire on flame.)

I think those condemnations are good news. But, as I write this week, it’s one thing to condemn Nazis. If we’re serious about tackling white supremacy though, we have to understand that it often operates through policies that may not look racist on paper at all. If Republicans can condemn racism, will they also condemn racist laws?

By the way, what’s all this not about? It’s not about celebrating “European culture,” Jill Richardson writes. Because nobody carries Nazi flags at St. Patrick’s Day parades, Bastille Day celebrations, or Italian festivals.

Rounding out our package this week, Jim Hightower wonders what happened to all those foreclosed houses after the financial crash. Turns out Wall Street’s been buying them up and renting them out  at premium prices — to cash-strapped suburbanites.

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Khalil Bendib / OtherWords.org

  1. No, Affirmative Action Isn’t Keeping White Students Down / Jessicah Pierre
    Enrollment rates are still higher for whites than blacks or Latinos. Now is the worst time to roll back affirmative action.
  2. White Supremacy Carries More Than a Tiki Torch / Peter Certo
    Republicans are condemning Trump’s coddling of white supremacists. Can they speak out against racist laws, too?
  3. Racists Look Emboldened. They’re Actually Terrified. / Olivia Alperstein
    They act from the cowardly fear that valuing someone else’s life devalues their own.
  4. It’s Not About ‘White Culture’ / Jill Richardson
    There’s no way to march with KKK members and Nazi flags in a non-hateful way.
  5. What Happened to All Those Foreclosed Houses? / Jim Hightower
    Wall Street bought them — and is now leasing them out and driving up rents.
  6. Arsonist in Chief / Khalil Bendib
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Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of OtherWords.org.