It looks like the loonies that believe every conspiracy theory on the Internet were put back to work during my vacation.
White supremacy as a belief evolved out of the practice of people in power, who defined themselves as white as a way of differentiating themselves from those over whom they wielded that power. Of course, until the dismantling of Jim Crow in the South, white supremacy was a norm, and before the Civil War, slavery was a norm.
White supremacy was so normal in 1964 that after the defeat of Goldwater, the Republican Party adopted thinly veiled racist appeals to attract white voters who felt betrayed by the reluctant Democratic Party support for civil rights legislation. Openly racist public officials like Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and Trent Lott, even after their affiliations with white supremacist organizations were publicized, continued to be elected. The Republican appeals to white supremacy were cloaked as opposition to welfare, as “states rights,” and as concern about “crime.” As late as 1999 the Republican-controlled House of Representatives blocked a vote to condemn the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist organization with whom then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had close ties.