The History of White Supremacy and Racism in America Today

Steve Adubato is joined by a panel of leaders to discuss the history of white supremacy and racism in America and its prominence today. The panel examines how hate groups are influenced by divisive rhetoric and social media and how hate can manifest itself in extreme violence.

Panelists include:

Oren Segal, Director, Center on Extremism, Anti-Defamation League
Elise Boddie, Professor, Rutgers Law School & Civil Rights Expert
Linda Gordon, University Professor of History, NYU & Author, The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's & the American Political Tradition
Walter Fields, Executive Editor, & Chairman, Black Parents Workshop

11/30/19 #122






"Welcome to Think Tank. I'm Steve Adubato. One of the most important conversations I'm sure we will ever have on this program. On white supremacy. On the history of race. On racism. And what we need to do to begin to move things in our country in a more positive direction. You could not have a better panel to do this. Here they are. Oren Segal is Director of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League. Walter Fields, it's been a while since he's been with us, but he's a great friend. He's the executive editor of, and chairman of Black Parents Workshop. Elise Boddie is a professor at Rutgers Law School and a civil rights expert. And finally, Linda Gordon is University Professor of History at New York University, and the author of The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition. I want to thank you all for joining us on Think Tank. Walter, it's been a lot of years since you and I have talked about race in this country. Today, as we tape this program at the end of 2019, how bad is the racial divide in our country today, A? And B, how much of that has to do with the current climate in the White House? Well, I certainly think it's bad. I don't think it's the worst we've ever seen. But I think it's bad. And I think the occupant of the Oval Office has made things worse by stirring the pot a bit. How so? Well, I think his use of language, I think his use of stereotyping, characterizing certain groups in this country as illegitimate, as un-American has contributed to this climate of hate that we see across the country. Would it be there anyway? Oh, it would definitely be there anyway. But I think people feel more comfortable if they see people in positions of power articulating a view that they may have felt but never said themselves publicly. So let me flip this a little bit. If Hillary Clinton were, in fact, president, and she had won that election, in the Electoral College as well as the popular vote, but won it straight-up, would be where we are today in terms of the polarization, the divide, the intensity of what appears to be some pretty..."