E Tavares: Dr. Swain, we are honored to be speaking with you today. We would like to get your views on the current state of race relations in America. This has always been a difficult, sensitive topic, but we get the sense that they are at a low point in generations, despite all the technical progress and a relatively benign economy currently. What do you make of this?
C Swain: Many issues complicate race relations in America. Some of these issues I identified in 2002 in the publication of my book “The New White Nationalism In America: Its Challenge to Integration.” In that book, I warned about a set of conditions converging that would create a devil’s brew for race relations. These issues included white concerns about racial preferences in hiring and university admissions; minority crime, especially black-on-white violent crime; demographic changes that are transforming the nation into one without a racial majority; frustration at liberal immigration policies; and the ability to use the Internet and social media to organize.
What I believe we are seeing is the rise of white consciousness and a perception of a white interests that must be protected in the same manner racial and ethnic minorities seek protection. I believe the campaign to destroy Confederate symbols and monuments polarizes the nation and politicizes people who were previously indifferent.
Improved race relations will require a different approach than what we see today.