The topic of this post will, and probably should, raise a number of eyebrows. Some will be raised due to the boldness of it, others due to anger at the accusation. To both those I will first state this: not all that belong to a conservative wing of politics are explicitly racist. That fact does not change the argument. So then to the question asked: how is it that conservative politics is structurally racist, or rather, how are conservative politics structurally prejudicial?
Conservative politics, economics, and ways of thinking, all share a similar world view that is the framework for how those that are conservative make judgments about the world around them. Namely, that world view, generally speaking, sees the world, society, etc., of the past, as being the preferential state of things. More simply put, conservatism wishes to maintain the status quo. Within the United States that status quo has a very particular look to it.
Before I move on I wish to address a simplistic argument, and misguided one, that many who hold conservative ideals make to attack progressives for their views. That being the statement, in one form or another, that goes something like this: “Well, it was the Democratic Party that fought for slavery, it was they that passed Jim Crow laws, it was they that did lynching,” and for those reasons Democrat’s are as guilty as anyone. What those that makes these statements forget, is that conservatives once resided within the Democratic Party, whereas now they reside within the Republican Party. It is, in sum, why I chose here to speak of conservative politics, rather than Republican politics.
Maintaining a status quo, on face value, and on paper, is not necessary a bad thing. Change for changes sake is not conducive to building a stable society. The status quo helps to create social equilibrium such that everyone knows the rules. The problem residing with conservatives politics is the risk that the status quo is either explicitly bias, or implicitly bias. Without breaking down bias, suffice to say when bias, and the status quo, becomes dogmatic, it can lead to deep prejudice.
While it is unarguable that those all along a political spectrum can hold deep bias and dogmatic beliefs, it is the dogmatism of the status quo that is the most dangerous. This bias, fed by dogmatism toward the status quo, is what leads to the general structural prejudice of conservative politics.
That prejudice is seated in conservative politics desires to retain power within a traditional power structure. That structure, rooted in the modes of government and economy, has been held by one particular group of people. That being white, wealth, men. Any policy, law, or social movement, that has the aim of changing that status quo, is a threat to conservative politics. Therefore, the policies, and social structure, that supporters of conservative politics propound are ones that target those that would threaten their power.
These policies target racial minorities, women, religious minorities, immigrants, and in general anyone that is not white, male, wealthy, and Christian. This means that conservative politics, at its core, is structurally prejudicial. Assuredly, if you were to ask any individual who labeled themselves as conservative they would not consider themselves prejudicial, racist, or sexist. Yet, when pressed on those policies of law and society that they hold dearest one will find they are, at some gradient level, highly prejudicial.
This fact has been made all the more clear since the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Conservatives have become all the more willing to openly support highly prejudicial policies. Hate groups are beginning to operate in the open, all while supporting conservative ideals (albeit in the extreme). If the United States is to survive these dark days, a progressive revolution must take hold and revolutionize the government and society.