Here's where we are today: African American children and adults are killed with impunity, callously injured and incarcerated at rates that make the United States a world pariah. Conservative presidential candidates are getting explicit support from white supremacist organizations that have crawled out of the woodwork, drawn by hateful rhetoric against African Americans, immigrants and Muslims.
While white supremacy is by no means new, this is a new moment of accelerated marketing of fear and hate packaged as a promise that if you are a white person you can get a sense of control over your life. Never mind the real reason why you feel out of control is because your job went to China and your company executives spent your retirement. White supremacists, like the carnival barker in Bradbury's novel, know the secret desire for power in the human heart, and the buried fears that give rise to those desires, and they exploit them.
Across a vast and diverse faith community, we have to recognize this desire and its powerful emotional lure: feeling superior as a white person over those of other races, especially over African Americans, is formative for many, taken in sometimes with mother's milk and continuously fed through culture, law, politics, economics and religion.