From the Cold War to the Culture War and White Supremacy

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The first Black First Family--they just couldn't stand this. Photo: Wikipedia

Rep. Steven King (R-Iowa) opined March 12. 2017 that “…culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.”

The very next day to make sure people didn't mistake his position he added: “Individuals will contribute differently, not equally to this civilization and society. Certain groups of people will do more from a productive side than other groups of people will.”

Recently I had a conversation with the brilliant, insightful, activist and human rights soldier Ms. Ruby Sales during which she said, “My son, White supremacy has moved us from the Cold War to the culture war. I want you to write about that.”  Being the good “son” that I am, when Ms. Sales tells me to do something I try my best to follow her directions.

It is as though she saw this coming.  Ms. Sales was able to synthesize her lifetime of commitment to the struggle of Black people, Dr. King’s “Where Do We go From Here Chaos or Community?”, Dr. Ronald Walter’s “White Nationalism Black Interests”, the election of our 45th President and predict Congressman King’s clear articulation of his xenophobic, racist and White supremacist world view. Ms. Sales has seen it all and while disappointed, is not surprised (we had our discussion before King made his indefensible remarks).

At the end of WWII the relationship between former allies, the United States and Soviet Union reverted back to the clash of ideologies that had existed before the war. Differing economic, political and social structures based upon Capitalism vs. Communism brought the two military powers into a state of political hostility called the Cold War. It lasted from 1945 until the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Many of the international conflicts such as the battle over Cuba, Vietnam, and the struggle for independence of many countries in Africa were proxy cultural wars being fought by white colonial/imperialist powers in countries inhabited by people of color.

On the domestic front, the fear of Communism led the American government into periods of panic such as the Red Scare during the 1920’s and the Second Red Scare of the 1950’s.  During the Second Red Scare, Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) engaged in the politics of “Red-Baiting”, a witch-hunt designed to identify and ferret out any suspected Communist or Communist sympathizer within the US government and American society. It’s interesting to note at this juncture Trump’s mentor, Roy Cohn was a top-aide and henchman for McCarthy. At the age of 23 Cohn was chief counsel to McCarthy during the infamous McCarthy Hearings.

Taking his cue from the Second Red Scare FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover used “Red-Baiting” to undermine and subvert the Civil Rights Movement and its leaders. Hoover created the Counter Intelligence Program or COINTELPRO to “prevent the rise of a Black Messiah” that could “unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement.”  Hoover used the fear of the “Red-Menace” and alleged Communist influence to attack Malcolm X, The Black Panther’s, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, SCLC, SNCC, Dr. King and his advisors such as Bayard Rustin and Hunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell.

Now that the Soviet Union has collapsed and the Cold War has ended, America, the sole remaining superpower faces a new foe. That foe is the “browning of America”. According to the Milken Institute, “Between 2015 and 2030 there will be an absolute decline in the size of the white population under age 65. And even among seniors, racial minorities will begin to gain.”

As Dr. Ron Walters wrote in White Nationalism Black Interests, “…a dominant sector of the White majority seems to have lost confidence in the promise of America as a liberal democratic state and has been recoiling from this vision…the White majority is proceeding to concentrate economic and social power within its own group, using its control over the political institutions of the state to punish presumptive enemies. The targets of this punishment have been Black, Hispanic, and other non-White communities.”

It’s not a coincidence that Congressman King tried to justify or rationalize his White nationalist comments by saying  on CNN, “I've been to Europe and spoken on this issue and I've said the same thing as far as ten years ago to the German people and any population of people that is a declining population that isn't willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves.”

The concept of nationalism finds its genesis in Western Europe.  Again Walters, “…the idea that the racial/ethnic majority would dominate the state was an integral part of the context from which European ethnicities emerged to establish control over America.” Once in America, these White ethnicities coalesced and “established a privileged social status which has expressed its dominance over non-White groups and over the major institutions of American society.”  This Trump and King White nationalist politics is also playing itself out with Deerk Wilders in Denmark, Marine Le Pen in France, Dirk Driesang in Germany to name a few.

It’s also important to note here the reluctance if not inability of modern-day Black Republicans to call Congressman King out for the White Supremacist that he is.  Their collective silence is deafening.  This is in no way intended to question their “blackness”; that’s ridiculous. There’s another point that needs to be made. There are two controlling principles in Republican ideology; smaller government and individual freedom, liberty and self-actualization.  Any success in the struggle of Black people to be recognized as human and to be afforded human rights has always been based on the success and hard work of the collective, not the individual.

Furthermore, the defense and validation of those rights has always required the three branches of the government to legislate, validate and defend those rights. Most Black Republicans are not going to risk alienating themselves from their benefactors and placing their personal positions in jeopardy by advocating positions that benefit the collective. Asking those who subscribe to a small government individualistic ideology to defend the collective, for as nice as it would be and should be, is asking a bit much.

So, from Trent Lott (R-MS) waxing nostalgic about Dixiecrat and late Senator Strom Thurmon, ''I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it…” to Trump’s "You have people come in and I'm not just saying Mexicans, I'm talking about people that are from all over, that are killers and rapists and they're coming to this country," …to Congressman King’s “You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies…” we see what Dr.’s King and Walters warned us about, “White Backlash” or the “politics of resentment”.

It is exactly what Ms. Ruby Sales asked me to write about, a shift in focus, ideology and rhetoric away from the Cold War to the White Supremacist, xenophobic culture war.


Dr. Wilmer Leon is the author of Politics Another Perspective, Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon,” on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to or email: [email protected]. and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at

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