So I'm getting ready to go to a wedding in Kenilworth (one of Chicago's closest 'sundown' towns, incidentally) when I read this article in my FB feed: Arizona public school is being forced to change little black and brown kids in a mural white because some assholes are offended by the mere visual reminder that not everyone is white.
So far reaction has been "Wow, those Arizonans are freaking crazy, with their racist thoughts and all." Well, yes and no.
Yes, they are freaking crazy but this isn't racism. This is white supremacy.
When a state, by large unspoken agreement of its people, decides to ellide the very presence of the racial Other then we're beyond 'race bigotry' + power = Racism. We're into the land of: You are not white so therefore you are not worthy of citizenship (SB1070), a place in our history (see ethnic studies bans and textbook revisionism) or even artistic or public representation. When the black and brown people are told their presence isn't wanted in public that's a strong statement of who IS welcomed: whites only.
To me, that means Jim Crow. And if we're all students of history, we all should recognize Jim Crow, or bullshit 'separate but equal' segregation, as a tool of white supremacy.
Disenfranchisement is more than just being treated differently - it means one has no public, legal or civil recourse to wrongs done to you. It means you have no right to participate in civic life - voting, for instance. When applied to ONLY people of color, it is a white supremacist method of social control.
So let's start calling the racists what they really are: Jim Crow apologists and white supremacists. Because now we know what we're dealing with.