The United States is at war with itself. It is actually a function of the nation’s heritage—the past contesting specific aspects of a modern present. This results in traditions in flux. Some examples of this are the racism, the pseudo-frontier mentality, and the religious fundamentalism that persist into the present moment. These are traditions that characterized the first half of the nation’s history, and while some of these may have retreated into latency over the past fifty years, they are back with us now. As a result, Americans are in the midst of an ongoing culture war that in many ways is as old as the nation itself.
Let’s take look at the issue of racism, the latest display of which is the infamous Roseanne Barr tweet. Roseanne’s racist opinions are nothing new. Nor, since the advent of Donald Trump, is their public display. Here is how I contextualize the nation’s growing racist revival based on an updated earlier analysis entitled Civil Rights Takes a Hit, posted 5 March 2013 on the occasion of the Supreme Court’s ill-advised weakening of the 1965 Civil Rights Act.
(1) A culture of racism shaped the American way of life since before the founding of the United States. This culture became particularly deep-rooted in the southern colonies/states, where slavery became not only a foundational economic institution but one that shaped the South’s self-image. In the North, a racist culture was also pervasive and society was segregated. The significant difference here was that the North’s labor system was not based on slavery.
(2) In the South, this deeply embedded culture of racism was briefly interrupted when, following the Civil War, a short period of
Source: The US is at War With Itself : Counter Punch