Apartheid: white minority suppression of a non-white majority

[this post has updates below, including latest news out of Mississippi] I’ve written extensively in this space (here here and here) about Donald Trump and his cretins’ cartoonishly illegal behavior. But this post is about something broader and more significant: Republicans in America have been for decades—and are to present day—building a modern version of Apartheid eerily reminiscent of South Africa.

Jim Crow on steroids.

Evidence for my thesis is widespread and out in the open:

– Voter intimidation is Apartheid
– Voter suppression is Apartheid
– Election “integrity” is Apartheid
– Funding right-wing fundamentalists is Apartheid
– Jamming through illegitimate SCOTUS judges is Apartheid
– Attacking reproductive freedom is Apartheid
Perversion of America’s highest court is Apartheid
Exploding norms and procedures in the Senate is Apartheid
– Voter disenfranchisement is Apartheid
– Voter purges are Apartheid
Voter ID is Apartheid
– Lying about reasoning behind Voter ID is Apartheid
Election fraud is Apartheid
State media is Apartheid
Propaganda is Apartheid
– Billionaire manipulation of U.S. politics is Apartheid (Koch)
– Billionaire manipulation of U.S. politics is Apartheid (Thiel)
– Billionaire manipulation of U.S. politics is Apartheid (Mercers)
– Billionaire manipulation of U.S. politics is Apartheid (Friess)
– Billionaire manipulation of U.S. politics is Apartheid (Boone Pickens)
Weaponizing philanthropy is Apartheid
– Disproportional violence against unarmed people of color is Apartheid
Demonizing food-stamp recipients is Apartheid
Embracing white supremacy is Apartheid
Inviting white supremacists to press gaggles is Apartheid
– Personal profiteering by government officials is Apartheid
Migrant-children jails are Apartheid
State-sponsored torture is Apartheid
– Powerful leaders’ silence in the face of injustice is Apartheid
Tear gassing immigrants fleeing violence is Apartheid
Lying about immigration policy is Apartheid
Psychographic profiling is modern Apartheid
– LGBTQ+ marginalization is Apartheid
– Relying on support from a reconstituted Soviet Union is Apartheid
Disinformation is Apartheid
Gaslighting is Apartheid
– Installing a sycophantic attorney general as personal defense attorney is Apartheid
– Extra-judicial murder is Apartheid
– Threatening extra-judicial murder is Apartheid
– Creating two distinct legal systems for whites and people of color is Apartheid
– Right-wing radicals pushing for Constitutional Convention is Apartheid
– Anti-science racists masquerading as “thought leaders” is Apartheid
– Forcing polluted/toxic water on communities of color is Apartheid
– ‘Sacrifice Zones‘ is Apartheid
– No criminal consequences for diverting tainted water to Flint, Mich. is Apartheid
Threatening communities of color with weaponized law enforcement is Apartheid
Targeted hate-crimes and selective enforcement is Apartheid
Officials getting chummy with hate-crime perpetrators is Apartheid
– Allowing COVID19 to ravage communities of color unchecked is Apartheid
Weaponizing voting infrastructure to hurt communities-of-color is Apartheid
– Intentionally disenfranchising felons who served sentences is Apartheid
– Judges who collude with incarceration-industrial complex is Apartheid
– Instituting all-white policing and courts for black neighborhoods is Apartheid [New entry: 13 Feb 2023]
– Arresting black Americans for helping neighbors to vote is Apartheid


– what’d I miss? add yours in the comments below.

When Apartheid fell in South Africa, many external factors were at play—fall of Berlin Wall and crumbling of Soviet Union among them. But mostly it collapsed under the weight of its own injustice; no person or people can be oppressed for that long without consequences. 🔵

UPDATE: my high-school pal and (white) South African national had this reaction in a Facebook comment:

Police brutality, a militarized police force, arrest without access to legal representation (90 day rule) are apartheid. But also, very importantly: white privilege, white fragility, white supremacist social logic, white control of state, economy, religion, education, whiteness as the assumed apex of society too! Oh and arrogant, despotic egomaniacs in power (though that one applies to the current ANC government in SA too! Less about race and more about the intersections of patriarchy and capitalism).

UPDATE 2 (31 May 2020): VERY astute Twitter user LiberalPhenom pointed out that cutting off funds to a broken system—in this case, Apartheid in South Africa—helped hasten its demise. Since GOP is trying to emulate Apartheid in America with great success we should look at ways to deprive the system of its funding. If Billionaire class supporting open warfare in America was sued out of existence—some of which have broken federal law—we’d at least have a more level playing field.

UPDATE 3 (18 December 2021): ProPublica is out with a new long-read investigation that exposes “sacrifice zones”—areas predominantly populated by people-of-color who are being poisoned by industrial pollution.

UPDATE 4 (13 Feb 2023): The great state of Mississippi ticks a number of boxes in my list above, but most recently with news that a group of white gop politicians racist operatives are looking to institute minority rule in Jackson. From Mississippi Today (emphasis mine):

“The white chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court would appoint two judges to oversee a new district within the city—one that includes all of the city’s majority-white neighborhoods, among other areas. The white state attorney general would appoint four prosecutors, a court clerk, and four public defenders for the new district. The white state public safety commissioner would oversee an expanded Capitol Police force, run currently by a white chief.”

Read the whole recap from Esquire’s Charlie Pierce.


Will Pollocksideways is a perpetually crabby New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (the award-wining Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.

In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media and journalism ever since he graduated.

Obsessed with good storytelling and journalistic excellence, Will uses snark, humor and reason to distill dumb shit and make it fun. He is a seeker/maker of non-consensus news, and cures his crankies by finding the nut in every story.

As for-profit media continues to fail us, it’s more important than ever to find reliable sources. Authentic storytelling exists—you just have to look for it. On this blog you’ll get ideas, not ideology. Sass with class. Reporting with rapport. Evidence with a touch of evil. You get the idea.

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