Archive for the ‘White Supremacism’ Category

UK Columnist Compares White Supremacism to ‘Right-Wing’ Zionism – Algemeiner

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A screenshot from the Guardian.

GuardiancolumnistGiles Fraserhas compared white supremacism to right-wing Zionism.

Fraser, in his August 17column,faulted Israelileader Benjamin Netanyahufor his three-day delayincondemningtheantisemitisminCharlottesville.Frasercontextualized his claim by citing arecentinterviewon Israeli TV withRichard Spencer,a Charlottesville hate rally leader.During the interview,Spencer compared his white supremacist ideology to Jewish nationalism.

Fraser comments on it thusly:

Speaking on Israels Channel 2 News on Wednesday, the alt-rights Richard Spencer, one of the leaders of the Charlottesville rally, gave an astonishing example of this antisemites for Israel philosophy. Jews are vastly over-represented in what you would call the establishment and white people are being dispossessed from this country, he said of the US. Yet he continued: An Israeli citizen, someone who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me who has analogue feelings about whites. You could say I am a white Zionist in the sense that I care about my people, I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel.

Fraser then insinuates that Spencer may have a point:

This is staggering stuff. Richard Spencer is the man whochanted Heil Trumpduring a Washington rally. His followers responded with the Nazi salute.Praise from a man mired in the worst sort of antisemitism should prompt soul-searching on the right of Israels political establishment. These are not admirers that they should want.

This is beyond disingenuous.

First, imagine what the reaction of Fraser, whos anoutspokenJeremy Corbyn supporter, would be if he and others within the British far-left were asked to search their souls last year, when former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke (another white supremacist leader who spoke in Charlottesville)praisedthe Labour Party leader for his brave opposition to Zionism.

Moreover, the suggestion that Spencer, who has quoted Nazi propaganda andrefused to denounce Adolf Hitler for murdering six million Jews (1:46 of thisvideo), truly admires the Jewish state is absurd. Spencerwantsthe US to be a racially pure white European state, and has previouslysaidthat he doesnt consider Jews to be European. So, this support for Zionism if it exists is likely utilitarian: his goal of an all-white US would be advanced by non-racially pure American Jews fleeing en masse to Israel.

Fraser continues:

More shocking, some concede that Spencer and his like have reason to find common cause with some of Israels outer political fringes. As the former PM Ehud Barak said of Charlottesville: You cant say you dont see things here that bear a certain similarity when you look at the Lehava demonstrations or La Familia activity, or the ranting against journalists covering Netanyahu investigations.

Lehava is an acronym of the Hebrew for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land. It is especially against mixed marriages (like mine) between Israeli Jews and non-Jews. And it also wants to rid Israel ofChristianity. LaFamilia are fans of the Beitar Jerusalem football team. A few months ago I went to see them playing an Israeli Arab team from Galilee, Bnei Sakhnin though the Sakhnin fans were not allowed into the ground. Myremedial Hebrew was not enough to make out what they were singing to the rows of empty seats opposite. We are going to burn your village down, was how my friend translated it.

As you can see, Frasers evidence to support his suggestion of an overlap between right-wing Zionism and US-style white supremacism is practically non-existent. It consists of one quote from a former Israeli prime minister (desperate to stay politically relevant), citing some racist football fans and one marginal extremist group thathasbeencondemnedby political leaders from across the Israeli political spectrum.

Fraser concludes:

Barak is right, the parallels with Charlottesville are sometimes difficult to avoid. And the problem everywhere with these outer fringes is that they are getting less and less outer. Frightening, isnt it?

The only conclusion difficult to avoid is that Fraser seems to salivate at every opportunity todemonizeIsrael, even if he has to legitimize the sophistry of a white supremacist to do so.

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UK Columnist Compares White Supremacism to ‘Right-Wing’ Zionism – Algemeiner

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

The Alt-Right Is the Modern, Hideous Face of White Supremacy – AlterNet

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Followingthe first part of this series, where the historical origins of modern white supremacy were explored in depth, and asubsequent essaythatexamined the ways white supremacy has influenced mainstream American politics, here are three of the nations foremost scholars on white supremacy, discussing similar issues at length.

Jeffrey Kaplanis associate professor of religion at the University of WisconsinOshkosh. His books include Radical Religion in America: MillenarianMovements From the Far Right to theChildren of Noah; Nation and Race: The Developing Euro-American Racist Subculture(co-edited with Tore Bjrgo);and The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right(with Leonard Weinberg).

George J. Michaelis associate professor in the criminal justice faculty at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. He is the author of Confronting Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA; The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right; Willis Carto and the American Far Right; and Theology of Hate: A History of the World Church of the Creator.

Michael Barkunis professor emeritus of political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. His books include A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America; Religion and the Racist Right:The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement; and Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11.

1. What is thealt-right?

Is the contemporary alt-right a continuation of late 20th-century American white supremacist movements, or are there new components? Besides the new use of technology, are there ideological elements to the alt-right that we should take notice of? What happened to some of the exotic ideas floating around in the 1980s and 90s, such as occult Nazism and pagan religions? Did they become assimilated into the alt-right, or did those more esoteric veins fade out?

Jeffrey Kaplan:The so-called alt-right seemed to descend from the ether in the fading twilight of the Obama administration. The alt-right quickly seized the stage as the acceptable face of the radical right, which since the violence of the 1980s had been demonized and banished from the American public square. The process is common enough in American extremism. In 1963 the racist fringe was banished from the anti-communist fervor of theJohn Birch Society,just as the 19th-century Know Nothings came to be excluded from the politer society of American nativism. America, after all, is a vast smorgasbord in which individuals, religions and political movements may pick and choose among the tropes on offer.

The alt-right follows this pattern to a T. Picking and choosing from a variety of established conspiratorial, racist and outright paranoid ideas, leavened with a catchy jargon like deep state which is far more PC thanZOGor Zionist Occupation Government, which held primacy in the American radical right since the 1970s the alt-right was tailor-made for the discontented and dispossessed faithful of the far right.

Following British sociologist Colin Campbell in the 1960s, scholars have borrowed the term cultic milieu to describe the process by which oppositional individuals sample ideas, theories and wild suppositions that are the stuff of which movements are born, flourish and, most often, perish in anonymity, completely unknown to the dominant culture. This is the origin of the alt-right, and will most likely be its fate as well.

The occult and esoteric racist movements from the fringes of National Socialism to elements of explicit Satanism still exist in the wilderness of the cultic milieu, but their numbers are much diminished. The peregrinations ofDavid Myattare a case in point. Myatt, who drifted from Buddhist beliefs to National Socialism under the spell ofColin Jordanin Britain, went on to found theOrder of Nine Angles, the most successful racist esoteric organization combining Satanism and National Socialism in the 1980s and 90s. Tiring of the scene and despairing of the quality of the recruits, he took his shahadaand converted to radical Islam in the shadow of 9/11 and 7/7. In this he moved from the most distant fringes of the cultic milieu to a more potent global system of belief. Lately, however, he has taken on the cross, converting to Orthodox Christianity and embracing a message of universal love and reconciliation. Myatt is the cultic milieu personified and living proof that the esoteric white supremacist ideas of the 1980s live on, albeit on life support.

The alt-right is, however, different in significant ways from its predecessors. For one, it is not simply an American made-for-export idea, as was the racialism that American intellectuals marketed internationally in the 19th century as racist anthropology or that which the anti-communist zealots spread with much less success in the 1950s.

Rather, it mixed American nativist tropes with the growing fears of immigration and Islamization that have become acute in the European Union. More remarkable still, it fell easily under the spell of Vladimir Putins Russia, whose hybrid warfare campaign against the West and the world is simply a 21st-century update of the Soviet disinformation campaigns that were calledActive Measuresin the Cold War. Putins Russia now caters to the far right globally, and as the Trump scandals now unfolding in Washington indicate, found in the alt-right perfect rubes who, for a few dollars and a grand delusion of power and global glory, would gladly ignore logic and history in pursuit of a dream of an America relatively untroubled by such putative enemies as Black Lives Matter; immigrants bent on rape, rapine and terrorism; and the dread legions of the politically correct.

George J. Michael:There is some continuity between the alt-right and extreme-right groups from the late 20th century. David Duke, for example, has long been a prominent spokesman of the white nationalist movement. In fact, he in some ways spearheaded a change in the ideological direction away from a supremacist/hate orientation to a more identitarian orientation.

The exotic ideas, including occult Nazism and pagan religions, continue to inform the movement. Mostly, their influence can be found in the forms of iconography informing white nationalist websites and assorted insignia. Norse neo-paganism is often seen as a more suitable religion for white nationalists, insofar as contemporary Christianity is seen as philo-Semitic and pro-multiculturalism.

Michael Barkun:The sudden public emergence of the alt-right during the 2016 presidential campaign raises the question of whether it is simply the continuation of a long-standing white supremacist movement or constitutes a completely new development. That is not an easy question to answer, since the alt-right is not itself a cohesive movement. Rather, it is best understood as a set of groups and individuals that share a family resemblance, knit together by an intense hostility to immigration and a fear that the white population and what the alt-right conceives as Western culture will be submerged in a non-white sea. The alt-right is dominated by white nationalists and contains anti-Semites as well as some neo-Nazis, but also others of a less reprehensible stripe.

The more interesting and disturbing issue is the alt-rights rising visibility. Whatever people mean by the alt-right, it is an element of right-wing extremism that suddenly became a factor in Donald Trumps campaign. Its highly vocal support for Trump was widely covered by the media, the attitude of the campaign toward it was analyzed, and its possible electoral effect was discussed, even though its numbers appeared minuscule and no figure of any political stature was known to be associated with it. That so seemingly marginal a group of political actors should have attracted so much attention is itself odd indeed, in hindsight, now that the campaign is over, it seems stranger still.

Yet the public emergence of the alt-right is on reflection a manifestation of a larger transformation in American culture namely, the gradual penetration of the fringe into the mainstream. This is a development that transcends politics, although it has important political implications. It began in the early 1990s and has thus been underway for about a quarter of a century. Conspicuous examples have appeared in popular culture, includingDan Browns best-selling novels with occult and conspiracist themes, as well as The X-Filestelevision program, and it has been critically accelerated by the internet and such social media as Facebook and Twitter. Without the traditional barriers of editorial gatekeepers, fringe material could now access and command mass audiences. Just as fringe themes could penetrate popular culture, so fringe politics is no longer shut up in segregated subcultures.

We see this, too, in the avid popular consumption of conspiracy theories, and there has been no greater consumer of them than Donald Trump himself. Trump, after all, was the first high-visibility proponent of the Obama birther legend. During the campaign he gave a half-hour interview toAlex Jones, the countrys leading purveyor of conspiracy theories. Trumps constant campaign refrain of immigrant wrongdoing smacks of a plot by foreigners to destroy America.

It is scarcely surprising that against this background the alt-rights appearance acquired a certain quasi-legitimacy, despite its white supremacist credentials. It seemed to be simply a slightly more strident set of outsider anti-immigrant propagandists, in a campaign that already had an outsider candidate.

The role of the alt-right in the 2016 campaign, alongside the broader movement of fringe motifs into the mainstream, suggests a political future that once seemed inconceivable: the potential public re-emergence of a white supremacist organization, something not seen in America since the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s. While still unlikely, the 2016 trajectory of the alt-right may prefigure more extreme open white supremacist political forays in the future.

2. The strength and leadership of the white supremacist movement

How strong is white supremacy in this country? Is it getting stronger, is it a declining movement or has it remained stable from when you first began your research? Was the 1990s Patriot movement the heyday of white supremacy? Are there things people label white supremacy that we should more properly put outside that framework? Which white supremacist group(s) do you find most intriguing today from a scholarly viewpoint?

Kaplan:White supremacy, like the poor, will be with us always. It is the nagging voice in even the most racially enlightened among us when they find themselves walking at night in Hyde Park in Chicago or contemplating a trip to Detroit. Once, it was a mainstream idea as many of the most idealistic young American men, fired by the racial threat depicted in D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation, sent their money to the mail-order Klan in exchange for a newsletter, a bizarre lexicon and a copy of the Kloran. With the legislative victories of the civil rights movement and a concerted push from Hollywood, it faded from polite society and the movements that held true to the racist call were banished to the most distant fringes of the cultic milieu.

This is where I found them when I began my research among their number in the late 1980s. They were a battered and demoralized lot.Identity Christiansheld fast to their esoteric interpretations of the Bible; National Socialists treasured their SS-inspired regalia and propitiated the shade of Adolf Hitler as if the Second World War were merely on hiatus; andOdinistsdrank bloats, rode motorcycles and formed prison gangs. ThePatriot movementwas never really among their number. Like the Birch Society of the 1960s, race for them was a distraction from the more important work of decoding the manifold conspiracies which, in the words of the iconic (and African-American!)Last Poets, Keep the people asleep and the truth from being told.

Early in the new millennium, I left the world of participant/observer research into the radical right in search of new and more potent oppositional ideas. None of the white supremacist constellation were intriguing simply because no new ideas, fresh movements or visionary leaders were on the horizon. I would argue, perhaps alone in this forum, that white supremacy as we have known it remains for the moment moribund. What we see today, the red meat of the alt-right and the popular fears that led to the election of Donald Trump, speaks to broader dreads Islamophobia, immigration and the ever-present other rather than an appeal for White Power. Racism is a powerful ingredient in the stew, but it is no more the leitmotif of what we are seeing today than is traditional America First nativism.

Michael:That is really the $64,000 question. It is very difficult to quantify the size of the white nationalist movement in America. There is no viable political party that advocates for its interest, unlike far-right parties in Europe.

The movement seemed to have gone into decline during the 2000s. The movement suffered a number of casualties as several leaders died (e.g.,William L. Pierce,Sam Francis,Richard Girnt ButlerandWillis Carto) and a number of others were arrested and incarcerated (Matt Hale,Chester Doles,Kevin Alfred Strom).

The Patriot movement differed quite a bit from the white nationalist movement over ideology, to wit, on the issue of race. The Patriot movement began a steep decline not long after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing (as measured by the number of groups compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center). However, in recent years, the movement seems to have reinvented itself under the label of preppers and once again is gaining momentum.

The late 1990s seemed to be the heyday for the white nationalist movement in America. The movement had not suffered any major repression from the federal government since theFort Smith sedition trial of 1988. During the 1990s, the movement took advantage of the fledging medium of the internet to get its message out to a larger audience. But after 9/11, the movement experienced quite a few prosecutions from the federal government. Moreover, after 9/11, the American public did not seem receptive to the white nationalist movements message of white racial solidarity. After 9/11, there was an upsurge of American patriotism. Conservative-leaning Americans were not amenable to white separatism; instead, a new form of patriotism gained currency that viewed the country as under attack from anti-democratic, religious extremists in the form of militant Islam. The extreme rights critique of the U.S. governments pro-Israel foreign policy seemed unpatriotic. As a result, the extreme right languished for quite some time during the 2000s.

In recent years, however, issues involving race have gained great salience, including immigration, the ideology of multiculturalism and the prominence of language policing under the rubric of political correctness. The white nationalist movement was well-prepared to provide commentary on these issues. As a result, the movement seems to be gaining relevance once again.

Are there things people label white supremacy that we should more properly put outside that framework? Yes, for example, immigration. People who do not consider themselves to be white nationalists are nevertheless concerned about immigration because of its costs to taxpayers, as well as its impact on employment prospects for native-born Americans, the cost of health care, etc. Furthermore, many ordinary people are rejecting the restrictiveness of political correctness on the discourse in America.

Barkun:The present strength of the white supremacist movement has always been notoriously difficult to measure. The movement I use the word advisedly, as a term of art has always been riven by factionalism, and no group wants to divulge membership numbers except in the most grossly inflated forms. It is fair to say that right-wing extremism probably peaked in the early 1990s, when the Christian Identity movement was still vibrant and before paramilitary organizations had attracted the full attention of the federal government after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1993.

There are clearly still militia groups active, some with apparently aggressive agendas. TheHutaree Militiain the Midwest was one such case, although despite substantial evidence of an impending attack, its principal leaders were acquitted of the most serious charges in a 2012 trial. TheAryan Strikeforceleaders in the mid-Atlantic states were recently indicted before their plans could unfold. However, there is no evidence that these or other recent paramilitary activities have been linked or coordinated.

The conceptual difficulty lies in separating out the white supremacist element from other beliefs that are often associated with it. For example, virtually everyone on the extreme right is a conspiracist, buying into ideas about what is termed the New World Order the belief that there is an overarching conspiracy seeking to establish a global dictatorship. There are numerous variations on this theme: religious and secular, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-Masonic, anti-capitalist and so on. In some versions of the New World Order, there is also the claim that the aim of the conspirators is to enslave or destroy the white race. Some conspiracists, in other words, are racial supremacists, and some are not.

The same is true of another frequently overlapping theme, anti-immigration. As has been true during other periods when anti-immigrant sentiment has been strong the 1890s, for example, or the 1920s it can be more or less racist. Not everyone seeking to limit or even ban immigration is a white supremacist, although some are. The mere presence of opposition to immigration is not, without further inquiry, evidence of white supremacist beliefs.

In light of the increasing migration of fringe themes into the mainstream, mentioned above, the real danger is that forms of white supremacism will insinuate themselves into mainstream American culture. There have already been attempts to do this in the South in the form of the so-called neo-Confederate movement, with its disingenuous claim that it is simply celebrating history and heritage. Something similar may appear elsewhere using such labels as Western civilization, Christian civilization or even Judeo-Christian civilization. Thus white supremacy may begin using code words that seem on the surface to be innocuous or even positive but in the eyes of the knowing are read through a racist lens.

3. The leadership of the white supremacist movement

The founders of most of the leading white supremacist organizations have died in the last decade or two: William L. Pierce,Ben Klassen, Richard Girnt Butler, Willis Carto and others. Who are the new leaders we should know about? Is there a difference in leadership style between the deceased older generation and the newer generation? Is there a leadership vacuum? If leaderless resistance was the reigning philosophy in the 1990s, are we still operating under that or have we moved on to other forms of organization?

Kaplan:The leaders of the white supremacist organizations of the 1980s have passed from the scene. Their dysfunctional compounds likeAryan Nationsor theCovenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord(CSA) are gone too, victims of civil suits, government suppression or simple ennui. The mail-order faiths, KlassensCreativityor PiercesCosmotheism, are down to a small handful of true believers. Battle-scarred remnants of the time, such as National SocialistHarold Covington, struggle to adapt to new times with ideas like his idyllicNorthwest migration initiativeseeking a white homeland in America and really quite good apocalyptic literature in his Northwest Trilogy Hill of the Ravens(2003), A Distant Thunder(2004), A Mighty Fortress(2005) as well as The Brigade(2007).

What remains is more potent overseas than in the United States. White power music, pioneered in the late 1970s byIan Stuart DonaldsonsSkrewdriver, flourishes throughout the world, including such decidedly non-Aryan redoubts as Jakarta. The skinhead movement is perhaps stronger than ever, especially where it benefits from a measure of government support and protection in places like Russia.

Evolutionary change is most dynamic outside the confines of white supremacy. In Europe a new generation of leaders has emerged to mainstream formerly explicitly National Socialist, racist or primitively nativist political parties. Groups like theSweden Democrats, theTrue Finnsor the FrenchNational Fronthave gone from the wilderness to contenders for power, just as the alt-right has emerged in the U.S. But none are explicitly white supremacist, even as they borrow heavily from traditional white supremacist ideas.

Like the leaders of the far right, the humble leaderless resistance idea has given way to a more dynamic successor in lone-wolf attacks. Leaderless resistance as posited originally by Texas KlansmanLouis Beamwas an expression of helplessness and despair. It was the equivalent of tilting at windmills, which succeeded primarily in the incarceration of a generation of skinheads, would-bePhineas Priests, bikers and simple sociopaths. While William L. Pierce could lionize serial killerJoseph Paul Franklinfrom the safe remove of anom de guerrein his novel Hunter, the current generation of lone wolves serve terrorist groups who are more than the state of mind organizations of the white supremacist world, enjoying considerable material and other support in the process.

It is a new day in the world of self-propelled violence. There are successes on occasion abroad.Anders Breivikcertainly comes to mind. But in America?

Michael:In my estimation, the most important leader isMatthew Heimbach, the leader of theTraditionalist Youth Network. He first gained notoriety in 2012, when he founded a White Student Union at Towson University in Maryland. Although he is only in his mid-20s, he is already an accomplished orator. He is also a very effective interlocutor when he gives interviews to the media. He evinces the hallmarks of what Eric Hoffer once called the True Believer. Heimbach does not flinch from street activism, despite the strident opposition he faces from various antifa counterprotesters. Furthermore, he advances a leftish white nationalist ideology which could potentially resonate with many disaffected young people. Finally, he has established ties with like-minded activists overseas includingAlexander Duginfrom Russia which gives his organization the semblance of an international movement. He reaches out to separatists from all racial and ethnic groups. At the present time, this might all seem inconsequential, but separatism seems to slowly be creeping into the national discourse, as evidenced by the push for Calexit.

Barkun:The first and even the second generation of white supremacist leadership has now virtually all died out, figures like William L. Pierce of the National Alliance and Richard Girnt Butler of the Aryan Nations. Not surprisingly, their organizations, small to begin with, collapsed shortly after their deaths. Neither they nor others in their cohort were succeeded by figures of comparable strength. OnlyDavid Dukeremains, a strange relic of the past. Even in white supremacys heyday, none of its leaders could command more than small followings. Like the extreme left, those at the other end of the ideological spectrum often spent as much time fighting one another as combating their supposed enemies. Small points of ideology and tactics counted heavily in these duels. Those who had dreams of uniting racialists under a single banner quickly learned that such ambitions were destined to founder.

At the moment, three figures seem of more than passing importance, although given the movements history, they may pass quickly into obscurity:Richard B. Spencerof theNational Policy Institute, prominent on the alt-right; Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Youth Network; and Andrew Anglin of the onlineDaily Stormerwebsite. But there is no reason to believe that they will drive the white supremacist right over the longer term.

It is easy to concentrate on organizations, websites and the people associated with them, because they are visible and easy to identify. However, the danger of violence by individuals acting alone so-called lone wolf attacks remains and, in my view, is far more serious than the threat posed by organizations. The danger is high precisely because, absent unusually good intelligence, they normally become known only after the fact, as in the infamous 2011 attacks in Norway by Anders Breivik.

In that connection, attention needs to be paid to those known as sovereign citizens, who are potential lone wolves. Sovereign citizens do not constitute a movement. Rather, they represent a stream of anti-government thought and activity, built around the belief that traditional conceptions of American citizenship, law and institutions are invalid and that, consequently, no individual has any obligation to obey the law. This idea is based on a radically variant reading of the Constitution and the common law that makes each person, in effect, a law unto him- or herself. While the sovereign citizen idea is not in itself based on white supremacy, the two overlap. Some sovereign citizens have also been white supremacists, and the very nature of sovereign citizen thought deprives civil rights protections of any legitimacy. It follows, too, that the failure of sovereign citizens to accept any legal obligations inevitably involves them in conflicts with the government and, not infrequently, in violent and sometimes deadly incidents.

Next week: How do we deal with organized white supremacy? What do we get wrong about it?

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The Alt-Right Is the Modern, Hideous Face of White Supremacy – AlterNet

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June 12, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

Understanding contemporary white supremacy: Is the alt-right really something new? – Salon

Following the first part of this series, where the historical origins of modern white supremacy were explored in depth, and asubsequent essaythatexamined the ways white supremacy has influenced mainstream American politics, here are three of the nations foremost scholars on white supremacy, discussing similar issues at length.

Jeffrey Kaplan is associate professor of religion at the University of WisconsinOshkosh. His books include Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements From the Far Right to the Children of Noah; Nation and Race: The Developing Euro-American Racist Subculture (co-edited with Tore Bjrgo); and The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right (with Leonard Weinberg).

George J. Michael is associate professor in the criminal justice faculty at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. He is the author of Confronting Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA; The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right; Willis Carto and the American Far Right; and Theology of Hate: A History of the World Church of the Creator.

Michael Barkun is professor emeritus of political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. His books include A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America; Religion and the Racist Right:The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement; and Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11.

1. What is the alt-right?

Is the contemporary alt-right a continuation of late 20th-century American white supremacist movements, or are there new components? Besides the new use of technology, are there ideological elements to the alt-right that we should take notice of? What happened to some of the exotic ideas floating around in the 1980s and 90s, such as occult Nazism and pagan religions? Did they become assimilated into the alt-right, or did those more esoteric veins fade out?

Jeffrey Kaplan: The so-called alt-right seemed to descend from the ether in the fading twilight of the Obama administration. The alt-right quickly seized the stage as the acceptable face of the radical right, which since the violence of the 1980s had been demonized and banished from the American public square. The process is common enough in American extremism. In 1963 the racist fringe was banished from the anti-communist fervor of the John Birch Society, just as the 19th-century Know Nothings came to be excluded from the politer society of American nativism. America, after all, is a vast smorgasbord in which individuals, religions and political movements may pick and choose among the tropes on offer.

The alt-right follows this pattern to a T. Picking and choosing from a variety of established conspiratorial, racist and outright paranoid ideas, leavened with a catchy jargon like deep state which is far more PC than ZOG or Zionist Occupation Government, which held primacy in the American radical right since the 1970s the alt-right was tailor-made for the discontented and dispossessed faithful of the far right.

Following British sociologist Colin Campbell in the 1960s, scholars have borrowed the term cultic milieu to describe the process by which oppositional individuals sample ideas, theories and wild suppositions that are the stuff of which movements are born, flourish and, most often, perish in anonymity, completely unknown to the dominant culture. This is the origin of the alt-right, and will most likely be its fate as well.

The occult and esoteric racist movements from the fringes of National Socialism to elements of explicit Satanism still exist in the wilderness of the cultic milieu, but their numbers are much diminished. The peregrinations of David Myatt are a case in point. Myatt, who drifted from Buddhist beliefs to National Socialism under the spell of Colin Jordan in Britain, went on to found the Order of Nine Angles, the most successful racist esoteric organization combining Satanism and National Socialism in the 1980s and 90s. Tiring of the scene and despairing of the quality of the recruits, he took his shahada and converted to radical Islam in the shadow of 9/11 and 7/7. In this he moved from the most distant fringes of the cultic milieu to a more potent global system of belief. Lately, however, he has taken on the cross, converting to Orthodox Christianity and embracing a message of universal love and reconciliation. Myatt is the cultic milieu personified and living proof that the esoteric white supremacist ideas of the 1980s live on, albeit on life support.

The alt-right is, however, different in significant ways from its predecessors. For one, it is not simply an American made-for-export idea, as was the racialism that American intellectuals marketed internationally in the 19th century as racist anthropology or that which the anti-communist zealots spread with much less success in the 1950s.

Rather, it mixed American nativist tropes with the growing fears of immigration and Islamization that have become acute in the European Union. More remarkable still, it fell easily under the spell of Vladimir Putins Russia, whose hybrid warfare campaign against the West and the world is simply a 21st-century update of the Soviet disinformation campaigns that were called Active Measuresin the Cold War. Putins Russia now caters to the far right globally, and as the Trump scandals now unfolding in Washington indicate, found in the alt-right perfect rubes who, for a few dollars and a grand delusion of power and global glory, would gladly ignore logic and history in pursuit of a dream of an America relatively untroubled by such putative enemies as Black Lives Matter; immigrants bent on rape, rapine and terrorism; and the dread legions of the politically correct.

George J. Michael: There is some continuity between the alt-right and extreme-right groups from the late 20th century. David Duke, for example, has long been a prominent spokesman of the white nationalist movement. In fact, he in some ways spearheaded a change in the ideological direction away from a supremacist/hate orientation to a more identitarian orientation.

The exotic ideas, including occult Nazism and pagan religions, continue to inform the movement. Mostly, their influence can be found in the forms of iconography informing white nationalist websites and assorted insignia. Norse neo-paganism is often seen as a more suitable religion for white nationalists, insofar as contemporary Christianity is seen as philo-Semitic and pro-multiculturalism.

Michael Barkun: The sudden public emergence of the alt-right during the 2016 presidential campaign raises the question of whether it is simply the continuation of a long-standing white supremacist movement or constitutes a completely new development. That is not an easy question to answer, since the alt-right is not itself a cohesive movement. Rather, it is best understood as a set of groups and individuals that share a family resemblance, knit together by an intense hostility to immigration and a fear that the white population and what the alt-right conceives as Western culture will be submerged in a non-white sea. The alt-right is dominated by white nationalists and contains anti-Semites as well as some neo-Nazis, but also others of a less reprehensible stripe.

The more interesting and disturbing issue is the alt-rights rising visibility. Whatever people mean by the alt-right, it is an element of right-wing extremism that suddenly became a factor in Donald Trumps campaign. Its highly vocal support for Trump was widely covered by the media, the attitude of the campaign toward it was analyzed, and its possible electoral effect was discussed, even though its numbers appeared minuscule and no figure of any political stature was known to be associated with it. That so seemingly marginal a group of political actors should have attracted so much attention is itself odd indeed, in hindsight, now that the campaign is over, it seems stranger still.

Yet the public emergence of the alt-right is on reflection a manifestation of a larger transformation in American culture namely, the gradual penetration of the fringe into the mainstream. This is a development that transcends politics, although it has important political implications. It began in the early 1990s and has thus been underway for about a quarter of a century. Conspicuous examples have appeared in popular culture, including Dan Browns best-selling novels with occult and conspiracist themes, as well as The X-Files television program, and it has been critically accelerated by the internet and such social media as Facebook and Twitter. Without the traditional barriers of editorial gatekeepers, fringe material could now access and command mass audiences. Just as fringe themes could penetrate popular culture, so fringe politics is no longer shut up in segregated subcultures.

We see this, too, in the avid popular consumption of conspiracy theories, and there has been no greater consumer of them than Donald Trump himself. Trump, after all, was the first high-visibility proponent of the Obama birther legend. During the campaign he gave a half-hour interview to Alex Jones, the countrys leading purveyor of conspiracy theories. Trumps constant campaign refrain of immigrant wrongdoing smacks of a plot by foreigners to destroy America.

It is scarcely surprising that against this background the alt-rights appearance acquired a certain quasi-legitimacy, despite its white supremacist credentials. It seemed to be simply a slightly more strident set of outsider anti-immigrant propagandists, in a campaign that already had an outsider candidate.

The role of the alt-right in the 2016 campaign, alongside the broader movement of fringe motifs into the mainstream, suggests a political future that once seemed inconceivable: the potential public re-emergence of a white supremacist organization, something not seen in America since the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s. While still unlikely, the 2016 trajectory of the alt-right may prefigure more extreme open white supremacist political forays in the future.

2. The strength and leadership of the white supremacist movement

How strong is white supremacy in this country? Is it getting stronger, is it a declining movement or has it remained stable from when you first began your research? Was the 1990s Patriot movement the heyday of white supremacy? Are there things people label white supremacy that we should more properly put outside that framework? Which white supremacist group(s) do you find most intriguing today from a scholarly viewpoint?

Kaplan: White supremacy, like the poor, will be with us always. It is the nagging voice in even the most racially enlightened among us when they find themselves walking at night in Hyde Park in Chicago or contemplating a trip to Detroit. Once, it was a mainstream idea as many of the most idealistic young American men, fired by the racial threat depicted in D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation, sent their money to the mail-order Klan in exchange for a newsletter, a bizarre lexicon and a copy of the Kloran. With the legislative victories of the civil rights movement and a concerted push from Hollywood, it faded from polite society and the movements that held true to the racist call were banished to the most distant fringes of the cultic milieu.

This is where I found them when I began my research among their number in the late 1980s. They were a battered and demoralized lot. Identity Christians held fast to their esoteric interpretations of the Bible; National Socialists treasured their SS-inspired regalia and propitiated the shade of Adolf Hitler as if the Second World War were merely on hiatus; and Odinists drank bloats, rode motorcycles and formed prison gangs. The Patriot movement was never really among their number. Like the Birch Society of the 1960s, race for them was a distraction from the more important work of decoding the manifold conspiracies which, in the words of the iconic (and African-American!) Last Poets, Keep the people asleep and the truth from being told.

Early in the new millennium, I left the world of participant/observer research into the radical right in search of new and more potent oppositional ideas. None of the white supremacist constellation were intriguing simply because no new ideas, fresh movements or visionary leaders were on the horizon. I would argue, perhaps alone in this forum, that white supremacy as we have known it remains for the moment moribund. What we see today, the red meat of the alt-right and the popular fears that led to the election of Donald Trump, speaks to broader dreads Islamophobia, immigration and the ever-present other rather than an appeal for White Power. Racism is a powerful ingredient in the stew, but it is no more the leitmotif of what we are seeing today than is traditional America First nativism.

Michael: That is really the $64,000 question. It is very difficult to quantify the size of the white nationalist movement in America. There is no viable political party that advocates for its interest, unlike far-right parties in Europe.

The movement seemed to have gone into decline during the 2000s. The movement suffered a number of casualties as several leaders died (e.g., William L. Pierce, Sam Francis, Richard Girnt Butlerand Willis Carto) and a number of others were arrested and incarcerated (Matt Hale, Chester Doles, Kevin Alfred Strom).

The Patriot movement differed quite a bit from the white nationalist movement over ideology, to wit, on the issue of race. The Patriot movement began a steep decline not long after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing (as measured by the number of groups compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center). However, in recent years, the movement seems to have reinvented itself under the label of preppers and once again is gaining momentum.

The late 1990s seemed to be the heyday for the white nationalist movement in America. The movement had not suffered any major repression from the federal government since the Fort Smith sedition trial of 1988. During the 1990s, the movement took advantage of the fledging medium of the internet to get its message out to a larger audience. But after 9/11, the movement experienced quite a few prosecutions from the federal government. Moreover, after 9/11, the American public did not seem receptive to the white nationalist movements message of white racial solidarity. After 9/11, there was an upsurge of American patriotism. Conservative-leaning Americans were not amenable to white separatism; instead, a new form of patriotism gained currency that viewed the country as under attack from anti-democratic, religious extremists in the form of militant Islam. The extreme rights critique of the U.S. governments pro-Israel foreign policy seemed unpatriotic. As a result, the extreme right languished for quite some time during the 2000s.

In recent years, however, issues involving race have gained great salience, including immigration, the ideology of multiculturalism and the prominence of language policing under the rubric of political correctness. The white nationalist movement was well-prepared to provide commentary on these issues. As a result, the movement seems to be gaining relevance once again.

Are there things people label white supremacy that we should more properly put outside that framework? Yes, for example, immigration. People who do not consider themselves to be white nationalists are nevertheless concerned about immigration because of its costs to taxpayers, as well as its impact on employment prospects for native-born Americans, the cost of health care, etc. Furthermore, many ordinary people are rejecting the restrictiveness of political correctness on the discourse in America.

Barkun:The present strength of the white supremacist movement has always been notoriously difficult to measure. The movement I use the word advisedly, as a term of art has always been riven by factionalism, and no group wants to divulge membership numbers except in the most grossly inflated forms. It is fair to say that right-wing extremism probably peaked in the early 1990s, when the Christian Identity movement was still vibrant and before paramilitary organizations had attracted the full attention of the federal government after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1993.

There are clearly still militia groups active, some with apparently aggressive agendas. The Hutaree Militia in the Midwest was one such case, although despite substantial evidence of an impending attack, its principal leaders were acquitted of the most serious charges in a 2012 trial. The Aryan Strikeforce leaders in the mid-Atlantic states were recently indicted before their plans could unfold. However, there is no evidence that these or other recent paramilitary activities have been linked or coordinated.

The conceptual difficulty lies in separating out the white supremacist element from other beliefs that are often associated with it. For example, virtually everyone on the extreme right is a conspiracist, buying into ideas about what is termed the New World Order the belief that there is an overarching conspiracy seeking to establish a global dictatorship. There are numerous variations on this theme: religious and secular, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-Masonic, anti-capitalist and so on. In some versions of the New World Order, there is also the claim that the aim of the conspirators is to enslave or destroy the white race. Some conspiracists, in other words, are racial supremacists, and some are not.

The same is true of another frequently overlapping theme, anti-immigration. As has been true during other periods when anti-immigrant sentiment has been strong the 1890s, for example, or the 1920s it can be more or less racist. Not everyone seeking to limit or even ban immigration is a white supremacist, although some are. The mere presence of opposition to immigration is not, without further inquiry, evidence of white supremacist beliefs.

In light of the increasing migration of fringe themes into the mainstream, mentioned above, the real danger is that forms of white supremacism will insinuate themselves into mainstream American culture. There have already been attempts to do this in the South in the form of the so-called neo-Confederate movement, with its disingenuous claim that it is simply celebrating history and heritage. Something similar may appear elsewhere using such labels as Western civilization, Christian civilization or even Judeo-Christian civilization. Thus white supremacy may begin using code words that seem on the surface to be innocuous or even positive but in the eyes of the knowing are read through a racist lens.

3. The leadership of the white supremacist movement

The founders of most of the leading white supremacist organizations have died in the last decade or two: William L. Pierce, Ben Klassen, Richard Girnt Butler, Willis Carto and others. Who are the new leaders we should know about? Is there a difference in leadership style between the deceased older generation and the newer generation? Is there a leadership vacuum? If leaderless resistance was the reigning philosophy in the 1990s, are we still operating under that or have we moved on to other forms of organization?

Kaplan: The leaders of the white supremacist organizations of the 1980s have passed from the scene. Their dysfunctional compounds like Aryan Nations or the Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord (CSA) are gone too, victims of civil suits, government suppression or simple ennui. The mail-order faiths, Klassens Creativity or Pierces Cosmotheism, are down to a small handful of true believers. Battle-scarred remnants of the time, such as National Socialist Harold Covington, struggle to adapt to new times with ideas like his idyllic Northwest migration initiative seeking a white homeland in America and really quite good apocalyptic literature in his Northwest Trilogy Hill of the Ravens (2003), A Distant Thunder (2004), A Mighty Fortress (2005) as well as The Brigade (2007).

What remains is more potent overseas than in the United States. White power music, pioneered in the late 1970s by Ian Stuart Donaldsons Skrewdriver, flourishes throughout the world, including such decidedly non-Aryan redoubts as Jakarta. The skinhead movement is perhaps stronger than ever, especially where it benefits from a measure of government support and protection in places like Russia.

Evolutionary change is most dynamic outside the confines of white supremacy. In Europe a new generation of leaders has emerged to mainstream formerly explicitly National Socialist, racist or primitively nativist political parties. Groups like the Sweden Democrats, the True Finns or the French National Front have gone from the wilderness to contenders for power, just as the alt-right has emerged in the U.S. But none are explicitly white supremacist, even as they borrow heavily from traditional white supremacist ideas.

Like the leaders of the far right, the humble leaderless resistance idea has given way to a more dynamic successor in lone-wolf attacks. Leaderless resistance as posited originally by Texas Klansman Louis Beam was an expression of helplessness and despair. It was the equivalent of tilting at windmills, which succeeded primarily in the incarceration of a generation of skinheads, would-be Phineas Priests, bikers and simple sociopaths. While William L. Pierce could lionize serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin from the safe remove of a nom de guerre in his novel Hunter, the current generation of lone wolves serve terrorist groups who are more than the state of mind organizations of the white supremacist world, enjoying considerable material and other support in the process.

It is a new day in the world of self-propelled violence. There are successes on occasion abroad. Anders Breivik certainly comes to mind. But in America?

Michael: In my estimation, the most important leader is Matthew Heimbach, the leader of the Traditionalist Youth Network. He first gained notoriety in 2012, when he founded a White Student Union at Towson University in Maryland. Although he is only in his mid-20s, he is already an accomplished orator. He is also a very effective interlocutor when he gives interviews to the media. He evinces the hallmarks of what Eric Hoffer once called the True Believer. Heimbach does not flinch from street activism, despite the strident opposition he faces from various antifa counterprotesters. Furthermore, he advances a leftish white nationalist ideology which could potentially resonate with many disaffected young people. Finally, he has established ties with like-minded activists overseas including Alexander Duginfrom Russia which gives his organization the semblance of an international movement. He reaches out to separatists from all racial and ethnic groups. At the present time, this might all seem inconsequential, but separatism seems to slowly be creeping into the national discourse, as evidenced by the push for Calexit.

Barkun: The first and even the second generation of white supremacist leadership has now virtually all died out, figures like William L. Pierce of the National Alliance and Richard Girnt Butler of the Aryan Nations. Not surprisingly, their organizations, small to begin with, collapsed shortly after their deaths. Neither they nor others in their cohort were succeeded by figures of comparable strength. Only David Duke remains, a strange relic of the past. Even in white supremacys heyday, none of its leaders could command more than small followings. Like the extreme left, those at the other end of the ideological spectrum often spent as much time fighting one another as combating their supposed enemies. Small points of ideology and tactics counted heavily in these duels. Those who had dreams of uniting racialists under a single banner quickly learned that such ambitions were destined to founder.

At the moment, three figures seem of more than passing importance, although given the movements history, they may pass quickly into obscurity: Richard B. Spencer of the National Policy Institute, prominent on the alt-right; Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Youth Network; and Andrew Anglin of the online Daily Stormer website. But there is no reason to believe that they will drive the white supremacist right over the longer term.

It is easy to concentrate on organizations, websites and the people associated with them, because they are visible and easy to identify. However, the danger of violence by individuals acting alone so-called lone wolf attacks remains and, in my view, is far more serious than the threat posed by organizations. The danger is high precisely because, absent unusually good intelligence, they normally become known only after the fact, as in the infamous 2011 attacks in Norway by Anders Breivik.

In that connection, attention needs to be paid to those known as sovereign citizens, who are potential lone wolves. Sovereign citizens do not constitute a movement. Rather, they represent a stream of anti-government thought and activity, built around the belief that traditional conceptions of American citizenship, law and institutions are invalid and that, consequently, no individual has any obligation to obey the law. This idea is based on a radically variant reading of the Constitution and the common law that makes each person, in effect, a law unto him- or herself. While the sovereign citizen idea is not in itself based on white supremacy, the two overlap. Some sovereign citizens have also been white supremacists, and the very nature of sovereign citizen thought deprives civil rights protections of any legitimacy. It follows, too, that the failure of sovereign citizens to accept any legal obligations inevitably involves them in conflicts with the government and, not infrequently, in violent and sometimes deadly incidents.

Next week: How do we deal with organized white supremacy? What do we get wrong about it?

Originally posted here:
Understanding contemporary white supremacy: Is the alt-right really something new? – Salon

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June 11, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

CUI BONO? by Professor Revilo P. Oliver (May 1992)

Americans who do not read German readily will be glad to know that the fine historical study by Ingrid Weckert, *Feuerzeichen, die “Reichskristallnacht”* (Tbingen, 1981), which was reviewed in *Liberty Bell* by Dr. Charles E. Weber, January 1989, pp. 15-20, and mentioned in the issue for April-May 1991, pp. 95-96, 104-105, has been translated into English and published by the Institute for Historical Review (1822 1/2 Newport Boulevard, Costa Mesa, California; 92627; paperback, $17.55 postpaid.)

The learned author contents herself with presenting facts attested by the extant records concerning the incident that occurred in 1938. She does not draw conclusions from them, for that would have brought upon her and her publisher punishment from the Sheenies who own the government that American idiots impose on that hapless and long-suffering German people. (Why do you suppose that you are taxed to maintain an idle army, composed largely of niggers and females, in Germany?)

I have often remarked on the Jews’ contempt for the stupid Aryan swine, (1) and the consequent carelessness with which they perpetrate their hoaxes, including their great Holohoax. There are some good examples of such *nonchalance* in this book.

When the Kikes forged a letter from Heydrich to Goering, gleefully attesting the destruction of 815 Jewish business establishments and the burning of 18 large department stores–secure in the confidence that Aryan boobs would not wonder how it happened that there were so many flourishing Jewish businesses in a country in which God’s Race was so vilely persecuted–they forged the letter on a letterhead that had been obsolete for a year and a half, with a telephone number of a type that no longer existed, forged a signature in a form that Heydrich had never used and which Goering would have regarded as insolent, and got the address of Goering wrong! (Weckert, pp. 65-67.)

That was only typical of many clumsy Yiddish forgeries and faked evidence to support their yelping about the horrible night on which Germans broke the sacred glass windows of Jewish stores, including some of the large and prosperous department stores which, in Germany at that time, were almost all owned by Yahweh’s godly parasites.

The *Kristallnacht* fitted perfectly into the Zionists’ strenuous efforts to provoke the Germans into harming sacred Sheenies for the dual purpose of 1) inciting a migration of Jews to Palestine in preparation for the mass invasion of Arab territory and the foundation of the bandit state called Israel; and 2) creating a basis for propaganda in preparation for the attack on Germany that was to be launched by Roosevelt, Stalin, and their half-English stooge, Churchill.

The Zionists’ scheme was described and documented with photographic excerpts from their own writings by what is almost a prodigy in our time, an honest and honorable Jew, (2) the late J.G. Burg (Ginsburg) in his *Schuld oder Schicksal?* (Munich, 1962), of which, so far as I known, there is no English translation.

(2. Mr. Burg thought of himself as a Jew and obviously had a Jewish father. I do not know the race of his mother, and hence cannot tell you whether or not he was considered a *real* Jew according to that race’s definition. He testified on behalf of Ernst Zndel in the recent trial in Canada, where Zndel is being persecuted by the Jews’ Canadian varlets for expressing disbelief in Jewish hoaxes that are used to intimidate and swindle Aryans in Germany and throughout the world.)

In the present book you now have in English a detailed description of one of the World Conquerors’ numerous efforts to incite in Germany the “Holocaust” they had to invent after their victory over our race and civilization in 1945. And the fiction about the *Kristallnacht*, which they imposed on gullible Aryans by their ownership of politicians and the press, is itself a good and typical example of the forgeries and hoaxes by which the predatory race has flourished ever since it appeared in history, a misfortune to mankind.

Since the hullabaloo in the poison-press in the United States excited some indignation among American simpletons at the time, the *Kristallnacht*, by the way, points to two neat lessons:

1) If Americans did not suffer from their morbid itch to meddle in other people’s business while neglecting their own, they would have responded to the accounts in the press, however exaggerated, with indifference, aware that what happened was none of their business, and that Germany had a right to manage her own affairs in her own interest.

2) Everyone who had a modicum of common sense and was willing to exercise it must have seen at once that the doctrine of *cui bono?* was applicable, because the reported outbreaks had occurred simultaneously in many parts of Germany, and therefore could not have been spontaneous expressions of local indignation against the despoilers, such as account for most of the so-called ‘pogroms’ in Czarist Russia. The outbreaks must therefore have been ordered by either a government or a formidable conspiracy against that government.

Since the small amount of damage and prompt governmental action to restore order prevented a substantial increase in the number of Jews persuaded to emigrate, the German government obviously derived no conceivable advantage from the window-breaking; it would have been ludicrous to imagine a conspiracy of glaziers; the incidents, therefore, were advantageous *only* to the race that was trying to excite animosity against a nation which was trying to recover full possession of its own country. Thus the double dative rule should have rendered further inquiry unnecessary, and a little rational thought in 1938 should have cautioned Americans to disregard thereafter all similar performances by the Masters of Deception.

This article originally appeared in Liberty Bell magazine.

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Anti-Defamation League, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism Lobby, Anti-Semitism News, White Racism, White Supremacism, Zionism  Comments Closed

Former Neo-Nazi Says It’s On White People To Fight White Supremacy – Huffington Post

As a 14-year-old in 1980s Chicago, Christian Picciolini was ripe for recruitment into a hate group: He was bullied, didnt have a lot of friends and felt abandoned by his Italian immigrant parents who worked long hours.

One day, when he was standing in an alley smoking a joint, a car pulled up, and a man with a shaved head came out, pulled the joint out of his mouth and said:

Dont you know thats what the Jews and the Communists want you to do to keep you docile?

That man was Clark Martell, a national leader of the white supremacist skinhead movement. Martells history of violence, according to a 1989 Chicago Tribune article, included targeting LGBTQ people and people of color. He once attempted to burn down the house of a Latino family.

Picciolini was recruited into Martells neo-Nazi skinhead group in 1987, and when Martell ended up in prison a couple of years later, Picciolini took the helm.

He made me feel powerful when I felt powerless, gave me family and a sense of purpose, Picciolini told HuffPost. I was a nobody kid people picked on for having a funny name and [a few years later] I was respected and powerful.

False power and false respect, Picciolini added.

After having children, which Picciolini says challenged his notions of identity, community and purpose,he left the hate group in 1995.

Over a decade later, in 2009, he co-foundedLife After Hate, a small nonprofit run entirely by former members of Americas radical far-right, dedicated to supporting those who have left, or are seeking to leave, hate groups in the U.S.

Its the only organization of its kind in the country and its up against a growing problem: The number of hate groups in the U.S. has doubled in the last 10 to 15 years, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and around 80 percent of those groups advocate white supremacist beliefs.

Christian Picciolini

Leaving a hate group isnt easy. When a woman left his neo-Nazi group in 1989, Martell viciously beat her, according to the Tribune. He reportedly kicked her in the face and drew a swastika on the wall of her home in her blood. He was later arrested and sent to prison.

Life After Hate helps those who have left or are trying to leave extremism behind by providing them with an array of support services. The main tool of the Chicago-based group is a private online network, set up by and for former extremists, to provide them with a new, supportive community.

People come to us because they know that we wont judge them, Picciolini told HuffPost. As someone who understands their past, we give them a helping hand not focused on yesterday, but focused on today and tomorrow.

Picciolini and his colleagues some of whom are social workers, all of whom are former extremists and have worked with psychologists to craft their nonprofits approach also travel the country to meet with members in person, to provide individualized support. Theyhelp connect members to local service providers, including therapy, job training and tattoo removal, to try to tackle the underlying drivers of their hate.

Picciolini says most people who come to them have experienced one of three things: trauma, unemployment or mental health issues.

I listen for potholes or what deviated them from their normal path and led them down this one and try to find them services to help, Picciolini said. When you make people more resilient, self-sufficient and self-confident, they dont have anyone to blame, and the us against them ideology goes away.

Privacy is paramount, so before they let anyone into their online group, they spend months chatting with them to make sure theyve truly left extremism.

We want to protect the people in the network, Picciolini said. Its a safe place, not for someone vulnerable to going back and taking names with them.

Life After Hates reach is relatively small: Its online group currently has 60 members. Some had already left extremism before they joined and were looking for community. Others are actively exiting hate groups.

For Picciolini, who recognizes their group is small compared with the problem of white supremacist hate, its all about helping people one by one.

We reach one person at a time we know we cant solve racism, he said. What I do know is I can affect the people closest to me. If everybody thinks that way with your coworkers, your friends it can change the world.

Christian Picciolini

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One key strategy the group uses to help people leave extremism behind is to facilitate in-person meetings between former extremists and members of groups they once discriminated against for instance, having a former Islamophobe meet an imam, or letting a onetime Holocaust denier talk with a survivor.

As former extremists from the far right, what changed us is when we received compassion from the people we least deserved it from, Picciolini said. Often times theyve never met a black person or had a meaningful conversation with a Muslim or Jewish person. I get them into a situation where they can sit and talk, and realize there are more things in common than differences.

The strategy derives from contact theory, or the well-researched idea that contact with groups from different backgrounds can increase tolerance. It seems to have worked for certain high-profile extremists, such asformer white nationalist Derek Black,whobegan leaving the movement after being invited to a series of Shabbat dinners by a Jewish fellow college student, and Life After Hate Deputy Director Angela King, who left the skinhead movement after being befriended by a group of Jamaican women in prison.

Thats how most people get out, expert Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center told HuffPost last month,adding thatthe work of reaching out to peoplefrom different backgrounds should not fall on people from marginalized groups.

It shouldnt be on the groups facing this, Beirich said. Its on the rest of us.

Pacific Press via Getty Images

Part of the reason there arent more groups like Life After Hate in the U.S. while other forms of organized violence, such asgangsandIslamist extremism,have long had programs and funding dedicated to tackling them is because Americans tend to ignorethe realities of white supremacist violence, according to Beirich.

There has been a general reluctance in this country to see white people as responsible for terrorism in some sort of organized way, Beirich told HuffPost last month. When people talk about white supremacist terrorism, they want to call it a one-off. Hes a crazy person. Its like white people cant handle the idea that there are devils in our midst.

Since September 11, 2001, there have been 85 deadly extremist attacks in the United States, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report 73 percent of the attacks were carried out by far-right extremist groups, compared to 27 percent by radical Islamist extremists.

Just a couple of months ago, Reuters reported that the Trump administration may alterthe governments counter-extremism program to focus solely on Islamist extremism. As a result,Life After Hate may lose $400,000 in funding that it had been awarded through the program in January under President Barack Obama, said Picciolini. The group hasnt received the funds yet and doesnt know if it will.

Were concerned about the policies of the new administration [indicating] that white extremism may not be an issue, Picciolini said. There really is no difference between what happened in Charleston with Dylann Roof and what happened in San Bernardino.Theyre both terror attacks based on ideologies of extremism yet we still dont call it terrorism when its white extremism.

Jason Miczek / Reuters

Picciolini says that the recent rise of theso-called alt-right movement a white supremacist movement with young leadership, branding meant to appeal to millennials and a large online presence makes Life After Hates job harder.

In the old days you could spot a skinhead a mile away now its harder in a virtual world. And they made the message more palatable, wear suits and ties, dont shave their heads.

The only difference between alt-right and what I was in then is packaging. Its a marketing strategy: They just soften the edges.

Since President Donald Trumps election, Picciolini says, the number of requests that have come in to Life After Hate for support have grown from one to three requests per week to one to three per day. Most of these come from friends or family concerned that a loved one might be involved in extremism.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

It is not clear how well exit programs like Life After Hate work. Older exit programs in Europe, such as those developed for white supremacists in Sweden in the 1990s, have been criticized at times for glorifying former extremists as experts and not eliminating participants racism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But experts who have weighed in on Life After Hate consider it a useful contribution to the larger fight against white supremacism.

Everything always has to be considered part of a larger toolbox, Pete Simi, an author and expert on far-right extremists, said in an interview last year. Theres never any program thats ever going to be your catchall. But I think it is an important tool.

SPLCs Beirich, who has been studying white supremacism since 1999, told HuffPost last month that she sees Life After Hate as a solution.

I dont have anywhere to send a white supremacist if they come to me and start questioning the movement theyre involved in, Beirich said. Once you become a hard-core white supremacist, you lose all links to family and friends,there isnt really a place for you to turn if you leave. Im not trying to give anyone a pass, but if someone wants to get out of something bad, I want to help.

A Life After Hate member echoed the need for more groups like it.

There were years I was looking for a way out, and I didnt have anywhere to turn, former skinhead Logan Stewart told HuffPost. Itsgreat support. Anything you need to talk about you can do that with them.

For Picciolini, if theres one thing that holds true when thinking of how to best tackle white supremacist hate, its this:The responsibility falls on white people.

White people need to solve the problem of white supremacy, Picciolini said. Its white peoples problem, we created it, and its a problem we need to fix.

Christian Picciolini

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Former Neo-Nazi Says It’s On White People To Fight White Supremacy – Huffington Post

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What Is ‘White Supremacy’? A Brief History of a Term, and a … – AlterNet

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We must secure the existence of our people and the future of White children. David Lanes14-word creed.

Hardly any concept is thrown around as carelessly these days as white supremacy. It has become the go-to term of condemnation, applied as loosely as fascism, with similar ramifications in terms of lack of clarity. Are all white supremacists separatists, and are all separatists supremacists? Is anti-Semitism (and, more recently, Islamophobia) always a part of white supremacy? Are white supremacists interested in combating government or taking it over for their own ends? Are all white supremacists violent, or do some value peaceful means of attaining their aims? Are all white supremacists even Christians? If theyre not, then how does religious diversity accommodate the overall principles of white supremacy?

Getting a grip on the real meaning of white supremacy allows us to be clear about essential questions of behavior and policy. To what extent has white supremacy infiltrated mainstream political parties and actors, and how might this back-and-forth influence be addressed? What is the general set of beliefs under which white supremacy operates, and have those beliefs changed over time or remained constant? What is the actual power and strength of white supremacy, and are groups of people entering or exiting the movement in ways we can measure and understand? Finally, if were clear about the meaning of white supremacy, we can then legitimately ask how white supremacy is or is not a product of the values we all share, regardless of our stated opposition to this ideology.

Short of these clarifications, white supremacy (like the term hate) simply becomes an abstraction that perpetuates the very dynamics of injustice and tyranny that progressives claim to abhor. If we define the concept too broadly, then the attack on all of our civil liberties is likely to be too great. If we define the concept too narrowly, then we absolve liberal institutions for their responsibility.

White supremacy is and always has been in a deep symbiotic relationship with our structures of government, and with our theoretical beliefs going back to the American Revolution and even before. Both sides the supremacists and their opponents seem to need each other in equal measure in order for the tense dynamic to continue playing out. If white supremacy is truly the threat its made out to be, if it really poses a revolutionary challenge to the foundations of the existing order, then we cannot at the same time pursue ambiguous or half-hearted measures, such as delegating surveillance functions to watchdog groups that may have their own private interests in mind. If white supremacy is as rampant as liberal analysis currently makes it out to be, then how is it that white supremacists continue to feel embattled and victimized, excluded from permitted discourse in the way of pariahs and outlaws? To what extent does liberalism itself turn white supremacists into heroes?

In future essays I will take on in detail some central issues, such as the extent to which mainstream American political parties have borrowed from and adapted to white supremacy and continue to do so, the degree to which stylistically and substantively the alt-right movement differs from the known content of white supremacy throughout its 20th-century struggle with modernity, and the most effective and ethical ways to handle white supremacy as a polity committed to tolerance and freedom of discourse. For now, Im interested in setting the stage for later discussion by highlighting what seem to me some of the least understood dimensions of white supremacy in America today.

The continuities go back to our very origins

White supremacy obviously means the belief that the white race is unambiguously superior, so we must be careful in leveling the charge because most people who are called that dont fit the definition. It is a difficult ideal to live up to. Once the protagonist defines what the white race is, then a set of inescapable dilemmas follow from that: What to do about the necessarily inferior races that the white race is set against? Should there be cohabitation or separation, and what degree of rights should be extended to nonwhites, both in the white homelands and in the native countries of nonwhites already living separately? Does the white race believe in a religion or political ideology that is universalistic, and if so how can the inferior races be accommodated while being philosophically consistent? Is the white race obligated to exterminate other races as the eventual goal?

Defining what is white is not so easy as it might seem at first glance. In the age of Enlightenment, as the American republic was being founded, there was a lot of struggle with the definition, as both racist ideologues and liberal universalists parried back and forth with different classifications. Races were categorized in both America and Europe with an eye to delineating Aryanism and its origins. What exactly were the differences between Teutons, Anglo-Saxons, Celts and other identifiably white people, and did they all originate in the Caucasus? What happens to the white race in the context of intermarriage? Does it become stronger, by assimilating the inferior race, or weaker, by diluting the gene pool?

One of the earliest manifestations of white supremacism in this country, to which all later manifestations harken back in some way, was theAnti-Masonic Movementof the early 19th century. The Illuminati (adopting the vehicle of the Masons) were seen to be instigating forms of elitism thatdeprived the common white people of economic power. This crisis of suspicion and anxiety was to end in the renewal and reshaping of the American party system, with Andrew Jackson as our first populist president, but the yearning to purge the body politic of polluting elements became a constant. The Anti-Masonic Movement wasnt just an economic struggle, it had an indispensable racial component as well (targeting Jews and Catholics), as has been true of supremacist movements since then.

White attitudes toward blacks, in terms of institutionalizing slavery, were not always as rigid as they became during the course of the 19th century in America. When the colonies were first being settled, blacks were closer in status to white indentured servants. However, as the Enlightenment went on in subsequent centuries, categorization of the races became a central taxonomic venture, and this in due course had its effect in sharpening racial attitudes. The discourse about the black race (and to a lesser extent Native Americans) hardened during the 19th century. At the onset of the last big wave of imperialism at the end of the 19th century, fantastic new theories about the Aryan race and its others started proliferating throughout Europe and America.

Just how special is the Aryan race, and why does it have to be so?

Imperialism is difficult to justify without assertions of racial supremacy. So whenever we encounter an upsurge of white supremacy, we are probably also dealing with the natural consequences of imperialism. In Germany in the late 19th century, all sorts of mythologies of Aryan superiority manifested in music, fiction, philosophy and the arts, often expressed in an occult manner. The music of Richard Wagner is said to have reflected this, just as in a debased waycontemporary Black Metalarticulates its own aesthetic of supremacy. German theorists in the early 20th century found a lot of affinity with the caste system in India, with its occupational stratification according to skin color, and many scholars suggested that the original colonizers of India were the same Aryan race that over time had become diluted to near-blackness. It was this tragic fate, following miscegenation, that German thinkers were keen to avoid for the present era.

In America too, with the onset of the Spanish-American War and other imperial ventures, a scientific racism, using and abusing Darwins ideas, began to flourish. The coming of Adolf Hitler, in the midst of the rising popularity of eugenics and other pseudo-sciences, could not have been more timely for American racists who saw him as the avatar to fight the dark age. Various Hitler-worshipping groups formed in the 1930s, such as the German American Bund, but under pressure of wartime censorship and patriotism they didnt last.

In Europe, meanwhile, with the coming to power of the Nazi regime, ever more fantastic interpretations ofAriosophyproliferated.Savitri Devi(real name Maximiani Portas) lived in India, married a famous Indian yogic teacher and synthesized, like so many esoteric scholars of her time, whatever myths of racial superiority she could find in the Orient with the homegrown Teutonic versions. Sometimes these myths posed the Hyperborean origin of Aryans, sometimes they suggested that the Aryans came from the three sunken continents (one being Atlantis), and sometimes they suggested the races extraterrestrial genesis. Later in the century, the Chilean diplomat and authorMiguel Serranocontinued Devis speculations in his many books, speculating that the Nazis continue living underneath Antarctica, and heavily implicating UFOs in the fate of the Aryan race.

When George W. Bush pronounced the inauguration of the New World Order in the wake of the first Gulf War in 1991, he kick-started the most prominent white supremacist group of the 1990s, the militia movement, with its links to various strains of American white supremacy, fromChristian IdentitytoPosse Comitatus although the militia movement (which is more aptly called thePatriot movement) cannot be reduced to any of these. Just as the founding of the various American Nazi movements in the 1950s was deeply connected to the onset of the national security state in the wake of the cold war, the various movements that burgeoned in the 1990s are inextricably linked to the forms of imperialism typical of the post-Cold War era. The gains that liberal humanism perceives are often insuperable losses for white supremacists.

Who are the founding fathers and do they still matter?

It was only after the end of World War II, when McCarthyism reigned strong and the world became sharply divided between the capitalist and communist camps, that the founders of the American white supremacist movement of the second half of the 20th century came into their own, among whom we may count the following luminaries.

Francis Parker Yockey, who worked as an attorney at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, grew disenchanted with American attitudes toward Europe, and wrote what supremacists to this day consider a magisterial tome. He wrote Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics, a 600-plus page Spenglerian analysis of race decline as caused by the culture-disrupters (the Jews), in 1947 in Ireland, allegedly in six months. Yockey committed suicide when he was arrested for passport violations in 1960, but not before meetingWillis Carto, founder of theLiberty Lobby(terminated 2001), in jail, and authorizing Carto to publish Imperium.

Carto was a central intellectual figure in the white supremacist movement, publishing the influential journalRightand thenSpotlight, and also founding theInstitute for Historical Review, which until 2002 published theJournal of Historical Review, the leading journal of Holocaust revisionism.

Carto was inspired byGeorge Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party and a strong presence in the early 1960s, who was mysteriously assassinated in 1967. He was seen as the next Fhrer, and articulated as much in his book White Power. Also in the early 1960s, theMinutemen, a forerunner of the 1990s militia movement, had their heyday underRobert Bolivar dePugh. Meanwhile, theJohn Birch Society(JBS) remained strong, although it had an increasingly antagonistic relationship with mainstream conservatism, withWilliam F. BuckleyofNational ReviewexcommunicatingRobert Welch, the JBSs founder, on charges of anti-Semitism. Unlike, say, theAmerican Nazi Party, the JBS did not seem invested in overt anti-Semitism, but Buckley and other conservatives found it too unsavory nonetheless.

Certainly, for establishment conservatives someone likeRichard Butler, founder ofAryan Nations, was entirely outside the pale, with a message of unabashed anti-Semitism and a strong desire to reclaim the American homeland for whites, with either repatriation or extermination awaiting nonwhites. The headquarters of Aryan Nations, the fabled Hayden, Idaho, compound, was a nexus for many strains of white supremacy during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Often at conclaves scattered around the Mountain West, different supremacist groups would come together to discuss strategy, particularly in the wake of government action leading to arrest or death. It was at one of these conferences that the idea of leaderless resistance took hold in the early 1990s, because it was felt that any central organization would be easily infiltrated and neutralized by government, as indeed was the case.

Finally, if anyone can be considered an imaginative inspiration to white supremacists, it would have to beWilliam L. Pierce, whose 1978 novel The Turner Diaries(and his later bookHunter), inspired many militants, such asTimothy McVeigh, to commit acts of violence against what they considered the illegitimate government. Not surprisingly, when the leading Black Metal record label was in trouble, because of government action, it was Pierce who took it over asResistance Records, which continues to this day despite Pierces death in 2002.

The social status of the founders and the followers

A number of these founders were well-educated, and worked in the industries associated with the rising military-industrial complex Richard Butler was an aerospace engineer and Ben Klassen, founder ofChurch of the Creator, was an electrical engineer and there was always a love-hate relationship with the conservative establishment. As mentioned, BuckleysNational Reviewtook issue with the JBS, and with others as well when particular groups were seen to have crossed the line.

Yet we may conceive of white supremacy, as it has always been practiced in this country, as merely the exaggerated form of our official creed, and think of all the meanings this implies for social status. Obviously the libertarian dimension is highly pronounced in the Posse Comitatus and Patriot movements, but this draws on the suspicion of government in all its larger manifestations, from the Federal Reserve Bank to the IRS, that is a staple of more acceptable conservative thinking. The John Birch movement arose in response to McCarthyism (calling Eisenhower himself a tool of the communists), just as thePatriot movementof the 1990s arose in a dynamic relationship with post-Cold War globalization and the new forms of war that went with it.

If war inspired by illegitimate government was a collective endeavor, then how was the patriotic American to preserve individual liberty? How could the true American patriots existing social status be leveraged? It is not always a question of perceived inferiority, or status anxiety, and it would be a mistake to reduce white supremacy to those terms.

The social status of white supremacists has always been subject to interpretation. The same has recently been asked of Trumps supporters: Were they dispossessed voters trying to reclaim lost economic and social rights, or were they privileged voters seeking to disbar others from gaining equality?

What we learn from history is that no easy generalizations are possible; white supremacism is pervasive to the extent that it cant be isolated as a phenomenon. Some of the most intellectually respectable among our founding fathers were supremacists, as were many establishment scientists and philosophers in the 19th century. Thesecond-era Ku Klux Klan, which at its peak in the 1920s could boast millions of adherents and real control over policy, had legions of followers in the middle and even aristocratic classes. The JBS attracted solid bourgeois citizens, with the stage set by McCarthyism, while the third-era KKK of the 1970s easily transformed, for the most part, into respectableWhite Citizens Councils(now theCouncil of Conservative Citizens) which bridged the gap with establishment Republicans in the wake of the George Wallace candidacy.

More recently, the Posse Comitatus, which believes in government at the county level and nothing beyond that, and which provoked great irritation during the farm crisis of the Reagan years by filing fictitious liens against IRS agents and other officials, drew sympathy from tax resisters and dissidents of every class. Even the Patriot movement of the 1990s drew from a wide mix of the population, from alienated veterans (such as Timothy McVeigh) to dispossessed workers in the industrial and agricultural heartland (theMichiganandMontana militiaswere among the strongest) to those with exaggerated fears of globalization. The differences in social status between followers of Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, William Pierce and now Donald Trump are simply not as clear-cut as we would like to believe.

Are they all Christians?

White supremacy is naturally attracted to versions of Christianity that reinforce the race narrative. The most extreme manifestation of this is the religion known asChristian Identity, which was popular among the different strains of extremists in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Likewise, various Nordic religions going by the names ofOdinism,AsatruandWotansvolkin America put the Aryan race at the center of the world, though they may often just be separatist and not inclined to violence.

Christian Identity grew fromBritish Israelism(or Anglo-Israelism) of the 19th and early 20th centuries. This theology posited more than one seed of humankind, which seems to be another constant of racist thinking throughout the ages seeing mankind as divided rather than a single species, the easier to set superior races against inferior ones. Adam and Eve are believed to be the forerunners of the white race, but Eve was seduced by the serpent to create the Jews hence, thetwo-seed theory, meaning that the so-called mud races are fundamentally different from the progeny of Adam and Eve.

Christian Identity believes that the lost tribes of Israel are in fact the settlers of Britain and the Nordic countries, from where they went to America. Jesus was not a Jew but an Aryan, and it is one of the great calumnies of the Jews to claim him as one of their own. In America,Wesley Swiftwas a leading originator of this theology in the mid-20th century, from whom, via theChurch of Jesus Christ, Christian, it was transmitted to Richard Butler of the Aryan Nations, turning Hayden, Idaho, into the center of this theology. As is usually the case with white supremacist circles, this led to close interchange and dissemination of Identity beliefs in various branches of the movement.

While it is true that Christian Identity despises Christianity for its weakness in allowing interracial mingling, and in cohabiting with the mud races whose only aim is to end the purity of the white race, the same disdain toward Christianity is also true of the neo-pagan Teuton religions, who look back to the Nazi regime for validation of the material success of their theology. The true religion of Aryans is said to be their ancestral one, rather than the imposition of enervating Christianity, and a plethora of mystical rites using runes and symbols reinforce separatist neo-pagan theology. There may be a question about the extent to which Odinists are supremacists some in theAsatru religionbelieve that not only northern Europeans but all white people can claim paganism as their true religion but there is little question about Odinisms separatism.

In both Christian Identity circles (influencing in turn the Patriot movement) and among Odinists, the Pacific Northwest is often seen as the starting point for a regained homeland where neo-paganism can be practiced freely. Again, this theology returns the ordinary white person to the center of the moral universe, endowing him with an ingrained and undefeatable aristocracy.DavidandKatja Lane, and later their friendRon McVan, ran the14 Words Pressto propagate Odinism. David continued his mission from jail, where he spent 22 years before his death in 2007 for his early 1980s militant role with theBrder Schweigen or Silent Order, or to insiders simply the Order.

Finally, it would be remiss not to return to the aforementionedBen Klassen, founder of theWorld Church of the Creator (COTC), or Creativity, which was taken over by Matt Hale after Klassens suicide in 1993. Klassens many writings propagate a religion that verges on the naturist, advocating a macrobiotic diet (true of many incarnations of white supremacy) and a relationship to the environment that borrows something from the leftist version of it that we know better.

The grand narrative of contemporary white supremacy

In the broadest sense, white supremacy is a populist movement. The conspiracy for leftists is an elite-driven globalization that creates inequality and makes minorities and poor people suffer inordinately, whereas the conspiracy for white supremacists today is the New World Order that operates through a centuries-old chain of international bankers and is determined to end the purity of the white race. The logic in each instance the conspiracy on the left and the right is parallel, and leads to similar resentment of elites, who have access to special knowledge not available to the ordinary person. On the extreme right it is a mythology of battle and leverage, of heroism and valor, of Robin Hoods and dark cabals, of theIlluminatiandFreemasons, of the heartland American values of liberty and individualism under assault by a globalist conspiracy to introduce monotony and conformism. In a way, the grand narrative is simply a much exaggerated version of yeoman values such as a founding father like Jefferson would have advocated.

As the reality of the industrialized economy throughout the 20th century eroded the possibility of independent freeholding such as was possible during 19th-century America and earlier, the grand narrative became more and more powerful in shaping imaginations. We can hardly claim that the emphasis on race is an innovation, because this was a constant throughout our history of oppression of Native Americans (were the Mathers and other New England luminaries of the 17th century any less racist than those we wish to condemn to perdition today?), African-American slaves, and then Catholic and Asian immigrants, except that each of Americas entanglements in foreign wars has provided increasing depth and circumstantial providence to the grand narrative.

I find it not coincidental that the KKKs great rebirth came in the 1920s, after we had won World War I, and that the peak of Bircherism occurred in the 1950s, soon after we claimed victory in World War II. Each major war is seen to have been brought about by international conspiracy, leading to the progressive diminishment of the rights of white Americans. It is perhaps easier to condemn a government that has been taken over by a secret cabal (as set out in the influential Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which were vigorously disseminated by Henry Ford, the leading founder of American industrialization, and which have in turn shaped the conspiratorial view of theZionist Occupation Government, or ZOG, followed by those caught up in industrial decline) than to condemn our whole system of government, because to do the latter is to leave no way out, whereas to believe in a conspiracy is to set oneself up as a hero with a shot at salvation.

Are they just patriots in a besieged homeland?

Gordon Kahl, a member of the Posse Comitatus, became one of the leading martyrs of the white supremacist movement in the late 20th century, when he was killed in a fiery shootout in 1983. The Posse Comitatus, as noted earlier, does not recognize any jurisdiction larger than the county, and wishes to disobey federal functions such as taxation, banking, currency and all forms of regulation. The Posse is separatist, but not necessarily supremacist. It was during thefarm crisisengendered by Ronald Reagans monetarist policies in the early 1980s that the Posse took off. Kahl refused to pay his taxes (for income of less than $10,000) time and time again, eventually leading to a bloody confrontation, despite the doubts of certain local officials in going after him. Its possible to think of the Posse as an extremist manifestation of tax-resistance.

Robert Jay Mathewsis probably the best-known martyr in the white supremacist pantheon. Allied with Aryan Nations, he decided to take matters to the next level by embarking on a revolutionary strategy of armed robberies and assassination of selected targets (such as Denver Nazi-baiting radio hostAlan Berg, whom Mathews and his allies succeeded in killing). Caught after a major robbery of an armored car, Mathews met the same fate as Kahl, dying in a fiery shootout. Later, in the 1990s, the two most famous heroes of martyrology wereRandy Weaverat Ruby Ridge, Idaho, andDavid Koreshat Waco, Texas, their families and supporters confronting extended standoffs ending in death.

I will take up the patterns of FBI dealings with white supremacists later, but we should note that the Posse Comitatus and the Patriot movement took hold in the midst of extreme economic crisis in the American Midwest. A sense of too much change (such as the urbanization and industrialization of the 1920s, or the reverse tendency of post-industrialization in the 1990s) brings out the white supremacist demons, but when there is an acute feeling of economic depression, as was the case during the 1980s and early 1990s, then the grand narrative becomes all the more important to explain why there arent enough jobs and why certain distant people seem to hold all the economic power. In this narrative, affirmative action is a form of reverse discrimination against whites, aimed at the core philosophy of individualism, and the economic crisis faced by white Americans is just a stepping stone to their extermination.

Concluding thoughts about problems of definition

Given the diversity of thought and strategy, is white supremacy still a useful term? Should we think about abandoning it altogether? Likewise, when it comes to hate (as in hate speech or hate crimes), is that even a valid concept, if we consider that the white supremacist grand narrative fundamentally rests on accusations of hate coming their own way? Does hate become a transmitter belt, in other words, where traffic between liberal opposition groups and white supremacist groups becomes increasingly abstract, strengthening both sides in equal measure?

More importantly, how can the various legacies of white supremacy be separated from populism, something to which liberals dont have as much aversion? If we claim to be principled opponents of white supremacy, then what about the liberal universalist manifestations of white supremacy well into the 21st century, by way of our continuing wars (of compassion and liberation)?

Could it be that white supremacy, as I have described its substance here, actually ended for the most part around the turn of the millennium? Was the 1990s Patriot movement its last gasp? We know that the KKK was already in severe decline from the 1970s to the 1990s, with quite anemic membership, and we also know that the number of adherents of the various white supremacist movements discussed here, from Aryan Nations to the American Nazi Party and its successors, was minuscule in comparison to the overall population. But could it be that, with the death of many of the founders of the postwar white supremacist movement in the 1990s and early 2000s, white supremacy, of the kind that was rooted in 20th-century philosophies, has actually ended?

Certainly, white supremacy in some form continues, otherwise we wouldnt have President Donald Trump. But is the heavily internet-reliant alt-right movement a continuation of the 20th centurys white supremacy movement, or a new thing altogether?

The intellectual leaders of white supremacy were very keen on computer technology and other means of mass communication. They were early users of computer bulletin boards in the 1980s. Their entire movement can be said to have been tract or pamphlet-based from the 1950s to the 1990s. They were good at getting the word out through videos, public-access cable shows and radio shows, and they were excited by the advent of the internet. But could it be that the internet has actually killed white supremacy?

Instead of separating themselves from society and dreaming of a white homeland in the Northwest, and eventually cleansing the rest of the country, and instead of mobilizing in discrete physical groups defined by leaderless resistance and coming up with creative strategies to fight the enemy ZOG tactics borrowed from the more extreme manifestations of the New Left that the white supremacists adapted to great ability in the 1970s, 1980s and on into the 1990s are white supremacists now irreparably fractured by living out a virtual fantasy life on the internet rather than adopting physical separation?

I suspect this is a strong possibility, and that a number of changes, particularly in the wake of 9/11, ended 20th-century white supremacy in fundamental ways, so that to continue to chase that particular enemy may be to fight a phantom war. Its also interesting to note what happened to the neo-paganists, who seemed to be the wave of the future about 20 years ago, but whose presence does not seem to be palpable in the culture to the extent we might expect, given their esoteric appeal. Recent fears of a worldwide neo-Nazi alliance likewise seem to me to be overblown.

Where white supremacy is helpful is in understanding systems of thought that otherwise seem random or incoherent. If we consider the white supremacy grand narrative, then someone likeRon Paulmakes a lot more sense as a white supremacist than a libertarian. This explains his animus against the Federal Reserve or the IRS, against globalization and immigration, and against various powers of the federal government that have become enshrined over the course of the 20th century. Paul, Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan throughout the 1990s, and Donald Trump today, articulate positions that foreign policy analysts describe as isolationist or protectionist but are more correctly understood as assertions of white supremacy, as ways to protect the purity of the white race against the encroachments of global multiculturalism (which dilutes the white gene pool) and against the entanglements of foreign adventures seen as emanating from the ZOG conspiracy.

Government isoccupied, in the grand sense, in all white supremacist thinking; many who come across as merely loving the white race, as the new protocol has it, and claim not to be supremacist in the sense of hating other races (former Louisiana KlansmanDavid Dukefollows this template), are bent on taking government back from the forces that are set on exterminating the white race. Many who believe in Aryans as the chosen race desire an imminent racial holy war (RaHoWa), a term first popularized by Ben Klassen, and in some of the people who have lately taken power at the highest levels we can detect this urge. And yet there are those who do not have political power and would be labeled as supremacists, who would claim their source of inspiration as the libertarian impulse in the American revolution.

Originally posted here:
What Is ‘White Supremacy’? A Brief History of a Term, and a … – AlterNet

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Inside the Underground Anti-Racist Movement That Brings the Fight to White Supremacists – Mother Jones

At lunchtime on May 19, 2012, 18 masked men and women shouldered through the front door of the Ashford House restaurant in Tinley Park, Illinois, a working-class suburb of Chicago. Some diners mistook the mob for armed robbers. Others thought they might be playing a practical joke. But Steven Speers, a stalactite-bearded 33-year-old who had just sat down for appetizers at a white nationalist meet and greet, had a hunch who they were. The gang filing in with baseball bats, police batons, hammers, and nunchucks were members of Anti-Racist Action (ARA) and the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement (HARM), two groups dedicated to violently confronting white supremacists.

“Hey, bitches!” one of the anti-racists shouted before charging Speers’ table. “ARA is going to fuck this place up!”

Speers stood up and warned his seven companions to prepare to fight. His girlfriend, Beckie Williams, who had organized the lunchtime gathering on the white supremacist website Stormfront, grabbed a butter knife. Francis Gilroy, a homeless man who had driven up from Florida to find “work for whites,” as an online ad for the meeting promised, tried to pull the attackers off his companions. Williams was clubbed on the arm. Speers was hit on the head so hard he vomited.

An 80-year-old woman celebrating her granddaughter’s high school graduation at a nearby table was also pushed to the floor. A retired cop who believed he was witnessing a terrorist attack used a chair to knock out one of the masked intruders. That’s when they ran off, dragging their dazed companion.

In less than two minutes, the anti-racists had unleashed a flurry of destruction. A mosaic of smashed glass covered the floor. Blood polka-dotted the ceiling. Three people required medical care.

One group of attackers raced away in a cherry red Dodge Neon. Jason Sutherlin, a 33-year-old with the words “TIME BOMB” tattooed across his knuckles, rode shotgun. His half-brother Dylan drove, and his half-brother Cody, along with their cousin John Tucker, squeezed into the backseat with 22-year-old Alex Stuck, who’d been decked in the restaurant. They sped toward Interstate 80, which would take them home to central Indiana.

An off-duty police sergeant who’d heard a radio call about the attack spotted the Neon and turned on her siren. When she looked inside the parked car, amid the sweaty men she saw a baton, a baseball cap that said “Anti-Racist,” and a black and red scarf spelling out “HARM.” The men were arrested and charged with felony mob action and aggravated battery, which together carried up to seven years behind bars. (Speers and Gilroy were also arrestedSpeers for a charge of possessing child pornography.)

Jason Sutherlin Andrew Spear

Sutherlin and his four compatriots would soon come to be known as the Tinley Park Five. Though they had launched the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement just six months earlier, the attack would make them the public faces of a small yet militant movement that had been waging war on right-wing extremists for decades. HARM was part of Anti-Racist Action, a national group that had spent more than 20 years trying to expose and combat radical right-wing activity with tactics that ranged from counseling kids in neo-Nazi gangs to harassment and physical violence. Most of their actions received little attention, though they occasionally made headlines, like after the 2002 Battle of York, where ARA members attacked a white supremacist march in a Pennsylvania town, or the time in 2009 when pepper-spray-wielding ARA members broke up a New York City speech by the British Holocaust denier David Irving. But mostly, this war was invisible beyond the predominantly white working-class youths caught up in it.

As the election of Donald Trump has ushered white supremacists and their ideas from the fringes to the mainstream, their most militant foes have also come out of the shadows. On Inauguration Day, Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who coined the term “alt-right,” was punched in the face on a Washington, DC, street corner. The blow was caught on video, spawning countless remixes and a debate over the ethics and efficacy of “Nazi punching.” That same night, a Trump supporter shot and wounded an anti-fascist, or “antifa,” who was protesting a speech by Breitbart provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Washington in Seattle. Less than two weeks later, “black bloc” protesters in Berkeley, California, helped force the cancellation of another Yiannopoulos speech, setting fires, smashing windows, and punching a Milo fan. Nationwide, new militant groups like Redneck Revolt are recruiting the next generation of activists who believe that white liberals are not up to the challenge of beating back right-wing extremists. The story of HARM’s rise and fall is a prequel to this moment, and a revealing tale about an underground war that’s been simmering for years and may now be poised to explode.

The seed for HARM was planted in People’s Park, a tangle of trees and footpaths in downtown Bloomington, Indiana, where in 1968 an African American graduate student named Clarence Turner opened a small store called the Black Market. In a state with a long history of white supremacism (in 1925, nearly one-third of all adult white males there belonged to the Ku Klux Klan, and the governor was a sympathizer), the shop celebrated African and African American culture by selling dashikis and Malcolm X speeches. A few months after it opened, two Klan members firebombed it on Christmas. “This will not be an open season on niggers,” Turner shouted during a rally in front of the ashen skeleton of his shop.

By the 1990s, People’s Park had become a hangout spot for punks, ravers, hippies, petty drug dealers, and college kids looking to score. It was there around 1996 that Jason Sutherlin met Telly, another teen from a nearby town. Telly introduced Sutherlin to Nomad, a hulking, half-Puerto Rican tattoo artist. (These names are aliases that they asked me to use to avoid being targeted by white supremacists; the investigation into the Tinley Park assaults is ongoing.) Long before they would become leaders of the local anti-racist movement, the three teens “chased the same cute punk girls,” Sutherlin recalls. “At first, they were my competition, but then we became pals.”

The trio shared a love of hip-hop and punk and a hatred for bullies. It was at house parties and concerts that they got their first introduction to Indiana’s numerous white supremacist gangsspecifically, the Hammerskins and the Vinlanders Social Club. Sutherlin recalls attending a show where a Hammerskin stabbed a Latino kid. At another show, concertgoers tried to kick out a group of neo-Nazis, one of whom fired a gun into the air. (More recently, three Vinlanders nearly beat a homeless black man to death in Indianapolis in 2007.) Sutherlin was shocked by the neo-Nazis’ boldness, but he was just as impressed by how the older punks stood up to them. “That culture of not taking any shit seeped into my consciousness.”

A rampaging neo-Nazi shot Won Joon Yoon outside the Korean United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1999. Andrew Spear

Sutherlin had grown up in a diverse, working-class family that moved frequently between Indiana, Texas, and Florida. “We were crazy white trash, but my mom ran a very multicultural household,” he said. He had a gay Latino babysitter and his younger sister’s dad is black. Sutherlin recalled walking down the street with her near their home outside Bloomington when she was four. “Look,” a man shouted from the window of his pickup. “He’s got his own little nigger!” When the 14-year-old Sutherlin launched a bottle of Snapple at the truck, the man jumped out and beat him up. “In that moment, I realized that if there’s anything in life worth throwing down over,” he said, “that was it.”

In July 1999, a 21-year-old Indiana University student who had fallen under the sway of a neo-Nazi cult called the World Church of the Creator went on a two-state, three-day shooting spree, wounding nine people and killing two, including a Korean graduate student in Bloomington. Still, Sutherlin and his friends weren’t overtly interested in politics yetthey just liked hanging out in the park, going to shows, drinking, and getting into fights. Sutherlin describes himself during his teens and early 20s as a “hoodrat.” One night in 1999, after he’d dropped out of school, he burglarized a house, stealing several computers to get money to buy cocaine. He was sentenced to two years. An acquaintance who was also an inmate at the same facility later joined the prison branch of the Vinlanders Social Club. “He wasn’t even racist,” Sutherlin said, “but I think the power of the group appealed to him. If you’re a disaffected young man, any strong masculine identity will hold sway over you.”

Sutherlin became active in politics after getting out of prison and having a child. “Bringing a son into this world made me feel like I had to make things better for him,” he said. Punk, rap lyrics, and his family’s diversity had fostered his interest in left-wing ideas, but now he read voraciously about slavery, capitalism, and sexism. Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, which documents the link between race and mass incarceration, “blew my mind.” He became fascinated by the militant 19th-century abolitionist John Brown. He went on a diet and lost nearly 150 pounds.

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Sutherlin took it as a sign that America might finally be reckoning with its racist past. “He was the first president I ever believed in,” he says. “Like, I was telling my family to vote for him.” But after Obama’s election, the political climate seemed to sour and the racial progress Sutherlin had hoped for never materialized. “America just would not accept a black man as its leader. It enraged me to fully realize that.”

Fanning the flames of Sutherlin’s anger was the emergence of the tea party and birtherism, and the “failure of mainstream Democratic or Republican politicians to aggressively challenge” these movements’ racist and nativist messages. This frustration led him to People’s Park, where a small crowd gathered at the former site of the Black Market one night in October 2011. Just three weeks after Occupy Wall Street took over New York’s Zuccotti Park, Occupy Bloomington was born. Sutherlin helped build a kitchen and cook communal meals, and he didn’t sleep for two days. He was thrilled to be involved in activism of some kind, even if it wasn’t directly addressing racism.

Toward the end of the year, Thomas Buhls, a former Marine and organizer for the Knights, the public wing of the Ku Klux Klan, showed up around People’s Park handing out recruitment pamphlets and talking about “white genocide.” Buhls was part of a new wave of young white supremacists who pioneered the recruitment approach since adopted by the so-called alt-right: rebranding white nationalism not as a philosophy of racial superiority, but as a common-sense extension of identity politics in which the white working class is portrayed as victims of immigration, affirmative action, and multiculturalism. In this world-view, white anti-racists were an especially loathsome threat to racial solidarity. “If I tell the obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews,” wrote Robert Whitaker, a former Reagan administration aide, in his “Mantra,” a mini-manifesto that appeared online in 2006 and has served as a touchstone for white nationalists. “They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white. ‘Anti-racist’ is a code word for anti-white.”

“Buhls was telling people the recession happened because of the Jew bankers, because the Latinos were stealing jobs,” Sutherlin remembers. He and Telly would confront Buhls when they got the chance, and Sutherlin told him not to bother people in the park. “His audacity, man, of showing up at the spot where the Black Market had been firebombed.”

“I wasn’t sure if I was racist or anti-racist,” recalls Alex Stuck. “I just knew I was pissed off.” A high school dropout from Terre Haute, Indiana, who also participated in Occupy Bloomington, Stuck worked at a pizza shop beneath the pub where Sutherlin was a bartender and bouncer. Stuck had a cockatiel Mohawk, a teardrop inked beneath his right eye, and an underbite reminiscent of a French bulldog. “I was your average dumb kid,” he says. “I’d tell a racist joke or use a racist slur.” But Sutherlin began to school him about white privilege, sexism, and structural racism. “Before that, I was a muggle,” Stuck says, referring to the term for Harry Potter characters without magical powers.

The magic Sutherlin introduced him to was the history of the secret war between anti-racists and white supremacists. Like most wars, this one had its own martyrs and heroes. There was the tragedy of Greensboro, North Carolina, where in 1979 Klansmen and neo-Nazis opened fire on a “Death to the Klan” rally, killing five participants. There were the Baldies, a 1980s Minneapolis street crew, whose shaved heads, bomber jackets, boots, and braces mirrored the attire of the racist skinheads they booted out of town. And then there was Anti-Racist Action, which merged the moralism of America’s abolitionist tradition with the nihilism of punk rock and viewed the culture war as a literal war on racists, sexists, and homophobes, whom they denounced as fascists. “Racism is an idea,” an anonymous ARA member said in the 2000 documentary Invisible Revolution, but “fascism is an idea mixed with action. It took fascism to establish Jim Crow and before that, slaveryAnti-Semitism has been around a long time, but it took fascism to [make] the HolocaustWhen you cross that threshold, you negate your rights to a calm, collective conversation.”

If ARA was the brawn of the anti-racist movement, its most prominent brain was Noel Ignatiev, a Marxist, an ex-steelworker, and a former lecturer for Harvard University’s African American studies department. He founded a journal, Race Traitor, as a vehicle for his theories about how to attack and erode white privilege. Anti-racist whites must commit “treason to whiteness” by rejecting the benefits skin color confers upon them, Ignatiev argued. “Be reverse Oreos,” he told the New York Times in 1997. “Defy the rules of whitenessflagrantly, publicly. When someone makes a racial slur in your presence, say, ‘You probably think I’m white because I look white.'” He added that “challenging people on their whiteness can lead to harsh confrontations, even blows.” Breitbart described him as the “Harvard professor [who] calls for the ‘destruction’ of the ‘white race.'”

Sutherlin, Telly, and Nomad cited this legacy as inspiration for the group they formed in the winter of 2011, just before Occupy Bloomington was evicted from People’s Park. “The feeling was that Occupy had been too moderate and unfocused,” says Sutherlin’s cousin John Tucker, who worked with Sutherlin as a bouncer. He credits his interest in HARM to teenage run-ins with neo-Nazis and to the times he heard his mother, who has a dark complexion, being called “wetback” and “squaw” by strangers in Bloomington. “This was going to be something more effective,” Tucker said. “Protesting and camping is nice, but this was going to have results.”

At HARM’s first official meeting, a few dozen people showed up at Sutherlin’s apartment with potluck dishes and beer. Telly stood before the crowd and announced the new group’s name and mission. Adopting Anti-Racist Action’s four-point platform, HARM promised to fight racists with direct action, eschewing protests or legislative efforts in favor of, say, hacking neo-Nazis’ email accounts, providing security at gay pride parades, and exposing the shady pasts of bigoted candidates. “This is a war,” Telly said, “and we intend to win.”

That’s when all but about 10 people left. “Some of them were hipster liberals,” said Stuck. “Once it came down to the nitty-gritty and we started discussing tactics, they were like, ‘We don’t wanna be a part of this.'”

Those who stayed included Tucker, who’d never been involved in politics before, and Sutherlin’s affable 23-year-old half-brother, Cody. Nomad arrived later that night. Stuck recalls seeing himmuscular as a middleweight, his head Bic-razored, his throat adorned with a tattoo of a switchbladeand thinking, “That’s who I want to be.” “I was a disenfranchised white youth,” Stuck says, “and thank God that [HARM] got to me first. I could have easily went the opposite direction.”

Nomad had that exact fear about his 14-year-old son, who had recently come home with a neo-Nazi recruitment flyer. White supremacists had even shown up at the tattoo parlor where Nomad worked and tried to recruit him, not realizing he was a militant anti-racistand half Puerto Rican. “They are poisoning these kids,” Nomad said.

Telly was particularly alarmed by the growing acceptance of extreme right-wing ideas and figures. “It was terrifying,” he said. The birther movement and Arizona’s 2010 anti-immigrant law were “barely veiled racist sentiments that sounded like stuff white supremacists would advocate, not what members of the Republican Party would typically find acceptable.” Telly recalled J.T. Ready, an Arizona Republican committeeman and a former member of the National Socialist Movement who killed his family and himself after the FBI began investigating his border militia group for the murder of undocumented immigrants. There was also Jack Hunter, who had worked as an aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) until it came out that he’d made pro-Confederate statements and written that “John Wilkes Booth’s heart was in the right place.” These people didn’t have much influence, Telly acknowledged, but “it was fucking insane that they had any influence whatsoever. Things had gone so far to the right, and we wanted to pull them back to the left.”

With its core members assembled, HARM planned an action: It would confront Buhls, who was holding a “European Heritage” rally in downtown Bloomington. In preparation, the activists lifted weights in Sutherlin’s garage “to beef up so we could break bones better,” says Stuck, half-seriously. On the day of the rally, in April 2012, more than 100 people came out to protest Buhls, who showed up with just one friend. The HARM members didn’t have a concrete plan to challenge Buhls, and before they could do anything two protesters ran up and punched him. His “Celebrate White Heritage” sign capsized into a sea of counterprotesters. Police whisked him away in a patrol car for his own safety.

A few weeks later, HARM stormed the restaurant in Illinois. While Sutherlin and the rest of the Tinley Park Five sat in jail, their comrades found their next target: the newly formed White Student Union at Indiana University. Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist leader from Maryland, had pioneered the first White Student Union at Towson University outside Baltimore before helping spread the concept to other schools. Bloomington’s White Student Union announced its presence on campus by planning an “American White History Month.”

But less than a week after the White Student Union made its debut, a disturbing notice was posted on the group’s Facebook page by its founder, an IU undergrad:

I just spent all night in the hospital.

While walking down 10tha blue van pulled up and four figures poured out of the vehicleAll of them wore all black clothing and had either ski masks or bandanas covering their faces

What’s up? That’s the only thing they said. I got hit in the head with something from behind. I fell down and told them that was enough. At this point allof them proceeded to kick me for what felt like hours. At some point I passed out. I didn’t think I would ever wake up again.

None of it was trueit was an elaborate psyops scheme. HARM had plastered flyers all over Bloomington denouncing the White Student Union’s founder as a racist and then promised to stop only if he handed over access to the group’s Facebook page. Amazingly, he did. Then HARM invented the story of the beating to elicit notes of sympathy from other white supremacists. Once the post was up, they “doxed” those who replied, posting their real names and email addresses online.

“Though we support direct action against white supremacy,” an anonymous HARM member gloated on the group’s website after revealing the hoax, “we also believe in proportional responses and it is our belief that this fictitious action would have been overkill.” In other words, actually beating up the college kid who started the White Student Union would have been a step too far, but harassing him and outing his sympathizers was not. Heimbach “found a young naive conservative kid and turned him into the next battle in the war against racial supremacy,” the HARM member wrote, adding that the student had agreed to disband the White Student Union as a result of the hacking. “White supremacists are like rabid dogsJust like rabid dogs, putting them down is always the most humane approach.”

I met Telly and Nomad in Columbus, Ohio, several months after the Tinley Park attack. Sutherlin and his brothers, his cousin, and Stuck were in Chicago awaiting trial, and Telly and Nomad were participating in a fundraiser to pay bail. They led me to a carriage house behind a “big-ass, beautiful mansion,” as Nomad described it, where a crowd of about 50 people greeted us. Many were HARM and ARA members, and I wondered if any of the remaining 13 fugitives were among them. (I never found out.) They were dressed in Mad Max-style punk garbblack jeans, black hoodies, bomber jackets, and combat boots, with neck and face tattoos, septum piercings, and rainbow-colored bandannas. They included a few African Americans and a dozen women. As Bob Fitrakis, a political-science professor and voting rights activist who hosted the event, wrote, they “exuded an aura that made the Weathermen look like the Brady Bunch.”

Fitrakis, a paunchy man with a ducktail mullet, was running for Congress as the candidate of the Green Party, which had co-sponsored the evening with ARA. His supporters, who had paid $25 to attend, mingled awkwardly with the radicals. Circulating among them was the Green Party’s then-vice presidential candidate, an anti-poverty activist named Cheri Honkala. “Dude,” Nomad said to me after a woman wearing a pearl brooch offered him a glass of zinfandel on a silver tray. The switchblade tattooed across his throat wiggled as he spoke. “This is a little out of my league.”

“These kids are the future,” said a sweaty, elderly man who asked that I not use his name because he was a “prominent professor.” He wore a black blazer over a T-shirt with a peace sign. “This is what the left needsworking-class, radical youth who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and scare the bejesus out of the teabaggers!”

“I guess there’s a time and a place for everything, even electoral politics,” Nomad said as he handed me a PBR, glaring at the clean-cut and middle-aged partygoers around us. He took a swig from a bottle of Southern Comfort he’d stashed in his back pocket. “Butand I hate to use gendered language like thisliberals are fucking pussies, man. Sometimes you’ve got to put on the big-boy boots and stomp through some mud.”

After Honkala made a speech about her work as a housing activist in Philadelphia, Telly and two other ARA members sat at the front of the room and described what had happened at the Ashford House. Nomad, standing beside me, snorted tearfully into a red handkerchief when Telly read a letter Jason Sutherlin had sent from jail. “People might think our actions are extreme,” Telly told the crowd, “but these guys”neo-Nazis”are often so far beyond the law that they don’t respond to legal appeals. They don’t care if hate crime legislation is enacted; it makes no difference to them. The situation in America has reached a critical tipping point, and we need to fight back with whatever tactics are effective at sending these guys back into the caves they crawled out of.”

“Right on, brother,” a snowy-haired man said.

Other Green Party members golf-clapped. The professor in the black blazer raised his champagne glass.

A hand suddenly shot up in the crowd. “Am I hearing you right?” asked an elegant African American woman with a bundle of silver-streaked hair and a “No War in Iraq” button on her straw purse. “You guys advocate violence?” She’d never heard of HARM or ARA and had been attracted by their names, she explained, but weren’t they just as bad as the people they were fighting? “Doesn’t your approach make you just like the Nazis?”

“Bullshit,” an ARA activist fake-sneezed, flashing a shit-eating smile. The questioner stormed out of the room. Telly ran a hand over his shaved head and sighed. “We’re not remotely the same,” he told the remaining crowd. “We support a diversity of tactics.” He reminded listeners that most of ARA’s actions were nonviolentremoving swastika tattoos from ex-convicts, counseling juvenile offenders, providing security at protests. “Violence is never our default response, and it’s a tiny fraction of what we do,” he said. “But it is one weapon in our tool kit. We’re not afraid to acknowledge when nonviolence is obviously not working. What you’re doing, what the liberal left is doing, frankly isn’t working.”

Five months later, I met Jason Sutherlin at East Moline Correctional Center, a turreted fortress circled by razor wire rising out of the cornfields of western Illinois, where he’d been sentenced to six years following a plea deal. His brothers, his cousin, and Stuck were sent elsewhere in the state to serve terms ranging from three and a half to six years. (A sixth Ashford House attacker, 28-year-old Jason Hammond, was later arrested and sentenced to three and a half years. His twin brother, Jeremy, is serving a 10-year sentence for hacking the security company Stratfor.) The rest of the Tinley Park attackers remain at large and are unknown.

Sutherlin shook my hand, the T-I-M-E on his knuckles interlacing through mine, as he sheepishly slipped the B-O-M-B hand into the pocket of his prison denims. “That guy acts tougher than he is,” he said, nodding toward a beefy prisoner sitting near us in the visitation room, bouncing his son on a leg adorned with a large swastika tattoo. Sutherlin’s eyes are cottonseed blue and heavily lidded, and his slightly upturned nose gives him a wary, porcine appearance. On his bicep is a tattoo that says “Fools Rush In,” and he has the physique of a dead lifter, a huge torso held up by a pair of tiny sawhorse legs. “My best friend in here is a queer black dude,” he told me, grinning. “But the Nazis don’t mess with us.”

White supremacist gangs have an active presence in some Illinois prisons, and Sutherlin told me a story about a white guard who had approached him one day and said, menacingly, “I know why you’re in here.” Later, Sutherlin found himself alone with the same guard. The guard walked up to Sutherlin and flashed a photo of his wife, who is African American. “I think you’ll be all right in this prison,” the guard said. “I totally misread the dude,” Sutherlin told me. “He was congratulating me.”

Why risk so much to fight racism? I asked. Is this even his fight?

“My sister is black,” he said, “and that gave me a different experience of growing up in Indiana. Today, racism has reached a whole other level. It literally makes me sick to my stomach.”

“But why is violence necessary?” I pressed him. “You seem awfully preoccupied with moralityisn’t violence wrong?”

“Part of me feels bad for the whole attack,” he said. “Some central part of me thinks that all violence is oppression, and it’s never, ever right to oppress another person for their beliefs, identity, sexuality, or any other reason, no matter how heinous. But another part of me thinks that these guys aren’t worth that considerationthey’re such scumbags. All you can do is stop them from influencing others at this point.”

“Is it a danger to dehumanize them?”

“Yeah, man, it is. I think about that every day. I don’t want to dehumanize anybody.”

I later spoke with Brandon Spiller, whom Sutherlin had hit in the head with a steel baton at Tinley Park. He told me that being attacked had strengthened his conviction that whites are under siege in America. In the months after the assault, he said he’d received dozens of threatening phone calls from ARA members at his home in Wisconsin. “It’s definitely made me more likely to use my gun next time,” he said.

This is one of the paradoxes of militant anti-racist tactics: Attempting to stop hate crimes by policing thought crimes may reinforce the narrative of victimization that radicalizes some extremists in the first place. Research also suggests that violent protest may drive would-be allies toward more reactionary positions. Even Ignatiev, the anti-racist intellectual, doubts the efficacy of attacks like the one at the Ashford House. Activists should focus on dismantling the institutions and social structure that perpetuate racism, he has written. “Race is not the work of racists.”

Heimbach, now the head of the white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party, told me that groups like ARA help his cause. (Heimbach was filmed shoving a protester at a Trump campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, in April 2016.) “They help reinforce our narrative of white victimization and make recruitment easier.”

Beckie Williams, however, wrote two weeks after the attack that the incident had caused her to abandon the white power movement. “Because of the relentless harassment by the ARA TERRORISTS,” she posted on Stormfront, “my already tenuous health is being impacted in a extremely severe way. My only recourse is to step away from activism for the sake of my continued survival.” (The other targets of the Tinley Park attack could not be reached for comment.)

After buying Sutherlin another microwave cheeseburger, I suggested that, while his actions might be appropriate in a society like Nazi Germany, in a democracy like ours, maybe they’re not. But he didn’t buy that; he believes it’s the responsibility of groups like HARM to police the boundary between democracy and fascism, keeping right-wing extremists in check, disorganized and unable to spread their ideas in public or harass people. “We’re not living in a fascist society,” Sutherlin said. “I know that. But it’s happening all around us, in fits and starts.”

As Sutherlin scarfed down a third vending-machine cheeseburger, I asked him about Tony Horwitz’s book Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War, which I’d mailed him. “I feel like that book found me at just the right moment,” he said, a bead of grease dribbling down his chin. We’d been discussing the lesser-known details of Brown’s life, like his murder of slavery advocates at Pottawatomie Creek in Kansas in 1856, and the fact that his raid on Harpers Ferry was widely denounced as fanatical violence, even by President Abraham Lincoln. “I don’t know if we’re headed for a similar moment in American politics,” Sutherlin continued. “But if we are, I want to be someone who did something to stop it, not someone who played it safe and stood by.”

Ten feet away, the guy with the swastika tattoo kissed his son goodbye, and a guard led him away. The brawny, bearded Nazi could have been mistaken for one of Sutherlin’s brothers, the resemblance was so strong.

In January, just before Trump’s inauguration, I spoke with Sutherlin and Telly. All six of the Tinley Park attackers had been released from prison and HARM had gone dormant. Telly lives on the East Coast and has helped create a new group, the Torch Network, which combines several of the most radical ARA chapters, including those in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Central Texas. It promises to be just as militant as ARA, if not more. “New groups call me up and ask for advice,” Telly said. He cited the emergence of anti-fascist groups like the John Brown Militia, Redneck Revolt, and the Bastards Motorcycle Club as reasons to be optimistic, but otherwise he was gloomy. “I don’t know what to tell them,” he said. “We lost. Someone like Trump is what we were trying to prevent from happening.”

“I thought we were being alarmist,” Sutherlin said with a chuckle when I called him at his home outside Bloomington, “but it turns out things were way worse than even we imagined.” He’s no longer on parole and has been lying low, taking care of his six-year-old son and going to anti-Trump rallies but avoiding more militant activism. Since the election, he said, he’d also heard from people who were inspired by his example and seeking his advice. One was a childhood friend, a “gun-loving backwoods survivalist” who had never been political until Trump was elected but recently bought more weapons and talked about defending himself against the radical right wing. “I think a lot of people are now realizing that you can’t be neutral,” Sutherlin said. “A lot of people are suddenly realizing you have to pick a side and go to war.”

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Inside the Underground Anti-Racist Movement That Brings the Fight to White Supremacists – Mother Jones

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April 18, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

White supremacists don’t know what to make of Jared Kushner – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Jared Kushner arriving at the presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 20, 2017. (Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) White supremacists have a problem, and his name is Jared Kushner.

While many on the far right are hoping that President Donald Trump will help advance their separatist, racist agendas, figures like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin are asking what to do about his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law with the ever-expanding White House profile.

Kushner, 36, became a senior adviser to Trump after helping manage his presidential campaign. A real estate mogul by trade, he is now handling a growing list of administration priorities. He has a hand in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, addressing the opioid epidemic and reforming criminal justice. He is the point person on U.S.-China relations. He just traveled to Iraq on government business. And he is heading an initiative to streamline the executive branch.

For white supremacists who feel Trump is, intentionally or not, speaking their language, this religious Jew who attends a Chabad synagogue is an unwelcome twist. And they dont really know how to react.

Goddamn it, wrote Anglin, editor of the hate website The Daily Stormer, on Jan. 9, when Kushners White House appointment was announced. I would be a whole lot happier if this was not happening, I can tell you that.

I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House, Duke said Mondayon his daily podcast.

Anglin and other white supremacists have posted confused responses to Kushners ascent that reflect three theories:

1. Kushner is just a ruse to hide Trumps white supremacism.

2. Kushner shows Trump isnt actually the white supremacists guy.

3. Kushner is using Jewish nefariousness to manipulate Trump.

Some white supremacists take comfort in thinking Kushner is either a Trump frontman or an adviser with little actual influence compared to, say, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, a darling of the far right. Anglin in the January article suggested that Kushner serves Trump by obscuring his white supremacism until Trump wants to expose it, calling Kushner a human shield, because Trump cant immediately go all out against the Jews.

But others, particularly on the white supremacist site Stormfront, point to Kushner as proof that Trump was never a white supremacist after all. They note that Kushner is far from Trumps only Jewish adviser. The Trump White House also includes Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump aide Stephen Miller and chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt.

It is hard to believe that anyone with any knowledge of Jewish behavior and strategy really thinks that the Jews are so nave and trusting that they would let themselves be used by someone whom they consider to be a loudmouth goy from New York no matter how rich he is, Stormfront blogger James Harting wrote on Dec. 12. Or perhaps each side thinks that it is using the other. If that is true, Trump is in for a rude awakening, for the Jews are past masters at behind-the-scenes infighting and maneuvering.

Jewish media and social networks are often quick to note the presence of Jews in high places, out of ethnic pride, and sometimes a sense that such figures can be advocates for Jewish communal issues. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, in particular are objects of fascination among many Jews: Kushner was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey, Ivanka converted to Judaism under the auspices of an Orthodox rabbi, and the family attends an Orthodox synagogue in Washington, D.C.

But Jews sometimes play into anti-Semitic rhetoric by expecting Jews in power to serve parochial Jewish interests, said former Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman. While Foxman said there is nothing wrong with Jews feeling especially proud of powerful Jews, they and outsiders shouldnt see them as their emissaries.

Weve always been proud of Jews in positions of influence, he said. The next step, [that] they should do so-and-so on behalf of Jewish values, is asking too much and setting them up for possible failure.

Presidential historian Gil Troy, a professor at McGill University,also said ethnic pride can go too far.

Jared Kushner is supposed to bejudged not as a Jew but as Jared Kushner, Troy said. We should be proud enough, comfortable enough, American enough to say these guys have been appointed not because theyre Jewish, but because theyre tied to Donald Trump.

Anti-Semites, of course, dont make such distinctions. Some have remained Trump fans despite Kushners rising profile, and see him as a threat to the white nationalist hopes they hold forthe administration. Duke, the former KKK grand wizard, spent much of his daily podcast Monday discussing why he sees Kushner as a huge threat to the Trump revolution. Repeating the anti-Semitic smears that are his stock and trade, Duke called Kushner a Jewish supremacist who seeks to nefariously steer Trump toward Jewish interests.

Were going to talk about Jewish radicalism, which Kushner absolutely represents, Duke said in the podcast. I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House, and one totally dedicated to Jewish supremacism. Its a real danger to the president.

He added: As soon as Trump was elected, Kushner decided to move to the White House and decided to have a very, very powerful role.

On Tuesday, in an interview withthe the far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone accusedKushner of leaking talking points to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and thus undermining Trump. While Stone did not mention or allude to Kushners religion, visitors to Jones InfoWars website did.

Kushner was converted by the orthodox cult invented in the 1800s, one wrote.

WORLD JEWERY IS ALIVE AND WELL! wrote another, using the name Follow the Shekels.

Kushner seems to take a much smaller part in the rhetoric of another white supremacist leader, alt-right founder Richard Spencer. While Duke has dedicated two of his podcast episodes to Kushner, Kushner is all but absent from Spencers commentary on the Trump administration. In December, before Trump took office, Spencer told Haaretz that he isnt bothered by Trumps choices of advisers.

I dont have a strong position on this, that is his business, he told Haaretz. Trump has been a positive thing. It is what it is. He can pick his own advisers and listen to whoever he chooses, that is his prerogative.

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White supremacists don’t know what to make of Jared Kushner – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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White supremacists don’t know what to make of Jared Kushner – Jerusalem Post Israel News

White supremacists have a problem, and his name is Jared Kushner.

While many on the far right are hoping that President Donald Trump will help advance their separatist, racist agendas, figures like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin are asking what to do about his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law with the ever-expanding White House profile.

Kushner, 36, became a senior adviser to Trump after helping manage his presidential campaign. A real estate mogul by trade, he is now handling a growing list of administration priorities. He has a hand in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, addressing the opioid epidemic and reforming criminal justice. He is the point person on US-China relations. He just traveled to Iraq on government business. And he is heading an initiative to streamline the executive branch.

For white supremacists who feel Trump is, intentionally or not, speaking their language, this religious Jew who attends a Chabad synagogue is an unwelcome twist. And they dont really know how to react.

Goddamn it, wrote Anglin, editor of the hate website The Daily Stormer, on Jan. 9, when Kushners White House appointment was announced. I would be a whole lot happier if this was not happening, I can tell you that.

I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House, Duke said Monday on his daily podcast.

Anglin and other white supremacists have posted confused responses to Kushners ascent that reflect three theories:

1. Kushner is just a ruse to hide Trumps white supremacism.

2. Kushner shows Trump isnt actually the white supremacists guy.

3. Kushner is using Jewish nefariousness to manipulate Trump.

Some white supremacists take comfort in thinking Kushner is either a Trump frontman or an adviser with little actual influence compared to, say, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, a darling of the far right.

Anglin in the January article suggested that Kushner serves Trump by obscuring his white supremacism until Trump wants to expose it, calling Kushner a human shield, because Trump cant immediately go all out against the Jews.

But others, particularly on the white supremacist site Stormfront, point to Kushner as proof that Trump was never a white supremacist after all. They note that Kushner is far from Trumps only Jewish adviser.

The Trump White House also includes Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump aide Stephen Miller and chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt.

It is hard to believe that anyone with any knowledge of Jewish behavior and strategy really thinks that the Jews are so nave and trusting that they would let themselves be used by someone whom they consider to be a loudmouth goy from New York no matter how rich he is, Stormfront blogger James Harting wrote on Dec. 12.

Or perhaps each side thinks that it is using the other. If that is true, Trump is in for a rude awakening, for the Jews are past masters at behind-the-scenes infighting and maneuvering.

Jewish media and social networks are often quick to note the presence of Jews in high places, out of ethnic pride, and sometimes a sense that such figures can be advocates for Jewish communal issues.

Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, in particular are objects of fascination among many Jews: Kushner was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey, Ivanka converted to Judaism under the auspices of an Orthodox rabbi, and the family attends an Orthodox synagogue in Washington, D.C.

But Jews sometimes play into antisemitic rhetoric by expecting Jews in power to serve parochial Jewish interests, said former Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman. While Foxman said there is nothing wrong with Jews feeling especially proud of powerful Jews, they and outsiders shouldnt see them as their emissaries.

Weve always been proud of Jews in positions of influence, he said. The next step, [that] they should do so-and-so on behalf of Jewish values, is asking too much and setting them up for possible failure.

Presidential historian Gil Troy, a professor at McGill University, also said ethnic pride can go too far.

Jared Kushner is supposed to be judged not as a Jew but as Jared Kushner, Troy said.

We should be proud enough, comfortable enough, American enough to say these guys have been appointed not because theyre Jewish, but because theyre tied to Donald Trump.

Antisemites, of course, dont make such distinctions. Some have remained Trump fans despite Kushners rising profile, and see him as a threat to the white nationalist hopes they hold for the administration.

Duke, the former KKK grand wizard, spent much of his daily podcast Monday discussing why he sees Kushner as a huge threat to the Trump revolution. Repeating the antisemitic smears that are his stock and trade, Duke called Kushner a Jewish supremacist who seeks to nefariously steer Trump toward Jewish interests.

Were going to talk about Jewish radicalism, which Kushner absolutely represents, Duke said in the podcast. I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House, and one totally dedicated to Jewish supremacism. Its a real danger to the president.

He added: As soon as Trump was elected, Kushner decided to move to the White House and decided to have a very, very powerful role.

On Tuesday, in an interview with the the far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone accused Kushner of leaking talking points to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and thus undermining Trump. While Stone did not mention or allude to Kushners religion, visitors to Jones InfoWars website did.

Kushner was converted by the orthodox cult invented in the 1800s, one wrote.

WORLD JEWERY IS ALIVE AND WELL! wrote another, using the name Follow the Shekels.

Kushner seems to take a much smaller part in the rhetoric of another white supremacist leader, alt-right founder Richard Spencer.

While Duke has dedicated two of his podcast episodes to Kushner, Kushner is all but absent from Spencers commentary on the Trump administration. In December, before Trump took office, Spencer told Haaretz that he isnt bothered by Trumps choices of advisers.

I dont have a strong position on this, that is his business, he told Haaretz. Trump has been a positive thing. It is what it is. He can pick his own advisers and listen to whoever he chooses, that is his prerogative.

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White supremacists don’t know what to make of Jared Kushner – Jerusalem Post Israel News

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UK Columnist Compares White Supremacism to ‘Right-Wing’ Zionism – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “UK Columnist Compares White Supremacism to Right-Wing Zionism” to a friend A screenshot from the Guardian. GuardiancolumnistGiles Fraserhas compared white supremacism to right-wing Zionism. Fraser, in his August 17column,faulted Israelileader Benjamin Netanyahufor his three-day delayincondemningtheantisemitisminCharlottesville.Frasercontextualized his claim by citing arecentinterviewon Israeli TV withRichard Spencer,a Charlottesville hate rally leader.During the interview,Spencer compared his white supremacist ideology to Jewish nationalism. Fraser comments on it thusly: Speaking on Israels Channel 2 News on Wednesday, the alt-rights Richard Spencer, one of the leaders of the Charlottesville rally, gave an astonishing example of this antisemites for Israel philosophy. Jews are vastly over-represented in what you would call the establishment and white people are being dispossessed from this country, he said of the US. Yet he continued: An Israeli citizen, someone who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me who has analogue feelings about whites. You could say I am a white Zionist in the sense that I care about my people, I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel. Fraser then insinuates that Spencer may have a point: This is staggering stuff. Richard Spencer is the man whochanted Heil Trumpduring a Washington rally. His followers responded with the Nazi salute.Praise from a man mired in the worst sort of antisemitism should prompt soul-searching on the right of Israels political establishment. These are not admirers that they should want. This is beyond disingenuous. First, imagine what the reaction of Fraser, whos anoutspokenJeremy Corbyn supporter, would be if he and others within the British far-left were asked to search their souls last year, when former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke (another white supremacist leader who spoke in Charlottesville)praisedthe Labour Party leader for his brave opposition to Zionism. Moreover, the suggestion that Spencer, who has quoted Nazi propaganda andrefused to denounce Adolf Hitler for murdering six million Jews (1:46 of thisvideo), truly admires the Jewish state is absurd. Spencerwantsthe US to be a racially pure white European state, and has previouslysaidthat he doesnt consider Jews to be European. So, this support for Zionism if it exists is likely utilitarian: his goal of an all-white US would be advanced by non-racially pure American Jews fleeing en masse to Israel. Fraser continues: More shocking, some concede that Spencer and his like have reason to find common cause with some of Israels outer political fringes. As the former PM Ehud Barak said of Charlottesville: You cant say you dont see things here that bear a certain similarity when you look at the Lehava demonstrations or La Familia activity, or the ranting against journalists covering Netanyahu investigations. Lehava is an acronym of the Hebrew for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land. It is especially against mixed marriages (like mine) between Israeli Jews and non-Jews. And it also wants to rid Israel ofChristianity. LaFamilia are fans of the Beitar Jerusalem football team. A few months ago I went to see them playing an Israeli Arab team from Galilee, Bnei Sakhnin though the Sakhnin fans were not allowed into the ground. Myremedial Hebrew was not enough to make out what they were singing to the rows of empty seats opposite. We are going to burn your village down, was how my friend translated it. As you can see, Frasers evidence to support his suggestion of an overlap between right-wing Zionism and US-style white supremacism is practically non-existent. It consists of one quote from a former Israeli prime minister (desperate to stay politically relevant), citing some racist football fans and one marginal extremist group thathasbeencondemnedby political leaders from across the Israeli political spectrum. Fraser concludes: Barak is right, the parallels with Charlottesville are sometimes difficult to avoid. And the problem everywhere with these outer fringes is that they are getting less and less outer. Frightening, isnt it? The only conclusion difficult to avoid is that Fraser seems to salivate at every opportunity todemonizeIsrael, even if he has to legitimize the sophistry of a white supremacist to do so.

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The Alt-Right Is the Modern, Hideous Face of White Supremacy – AlterNet

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Followingthe first part of this series, where the historical origins of modern white supremacy were explored in depth, and asubsequent essaythatexamined the ways white supremacy has influenced mainstream American politics, here are three of the nations foremost scholars on white supremacy, discussing similar issues at length. Jeffrey Kaplanis associate professor of religion at the University of WisconsinOshkosh. His books include Radical Religion in America: MillenarianMovements From the Far Right to theChildren of Noah; Nation and Race: The Developing Euro-American Racist Subculture(co-edited with Tore Bjrgo);and The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right(with Leonard Weinberg). George J. Michaelis associate professor in the criminal justice faculty at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. He is the author of Confronting Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA; The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right; Willis Carto and the American Far Right; and Theology of Hate: A History of the World Church of the Creator. Michael Barkunis professor emeritus of political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. His books include A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America; Religion and the Racist Right:The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement; and Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11. 1. What is thealt-right? Is the contemporary alt-right a continuation of late 20th-century American white supremacist movements, or are there new components? Besides the new use of technology, are there ideological elements to the alt-right that we should take notice of? What happened to some of the exotic ideas floating around in the 1980s and 90s, such as occult Nazism and pagan religions? Did they become assimilated into the alt-right, or did those more esoteric veins fade out? Jeffrey Kaplan:The so-called alt-right seemed to descend from the ether in the fading twilight of the Obama administration. The alt-right quickly seized the stage as the acceptable face of the radical right, which since the violence of the 1980s had been demonized and banished from the American public square. The process is common enough in American extremism. In 1963 the racist fringe was banished from the anti-communist fervor of theJohn Birch Society,just as the 19th-century Know Nothings came to be excluded from the politer society of American nativism. America, after all, is a vast smorgasbord in which individuals, religions and political movements may pick and choose among the tropes on offer. The alt-right follows this pattern to a T. Picking and choosing from a variety of established conspiratorial, racist and outright paranoid ideas, leavened with a catchy jargon like deep state which is far more PC thanZOGor Zionist Occupation Government, which held primacy in the American radical right since the 1970s the alt-right was tailor-made for the discontented and dispossessed faithful of the far right. Following British sociologist Colin Campbell in the 1960s, scholars have borrowed the term cultic milieu to describe the process by which oppositional individuals sample ideas, theories and wild suppositions that are the stuff of which movements are born, flourish and, most often, perish in anonymity, completely unknown to the dominant culture. This is the origin of the alt-right, and will most likely be its fate as well. The occult and esoteric racist movements from the fringes of National Socialism to elements of explicit Satanism still exist in the wilderness of the cultic milieu, but their numbers are much diminished. The peregrinations ofDavid Myattare a case in point. Myatt, who drifted from Buddhist beliefs to National Socialism under the spell ofColin Jordanin Britain, went on to found theOrder of Nine Angles, the most successful racist esoteric organization combining Satanism and National Socialism in the 1980s and 90s. Tiring of the scene and despairing of the quality of the recruits, he took his shahadaand converted to radical Islam in the shadow of 9/11 and 7/7. In this he moved from the most distant fringes of the cultic milieu to a more potent global system of belief. Lately, however, he has taken on the cross, converting to Orthodox Christianity and embracing a message of universal love and reconciliation. Myatt is the cultic milieu personified and living proof that the esoteric white supremacist ideas of the 1980s live on, albeit on life support. The alt-right is, however, different in significant ways from its predecessors. For one, it is not simply an American made-for-export idea, as was the racialism that American intellectuals marketed internationally in the 19th century as racist anthropology or that which the anti-communist zealots spread with much less success in the 1950s. Rather, it mixed American nativist tropes with the growing fears of immigration and Islamization that have become acute in the European Union. More remarkable still, it fell easily under the spell of Vladimir Putins Russia, whose hybrid warfare campaign against the West and the world is simply a 21st-century update of the Soviet disinformation campaigns that were calledActive Measuresin the Cold War. Putins Russia now caters to the far right globally, and as the Trump scandals now unfolding in Washington indicate, found in the alt-right perfect rubes who, for a few dollars and a grand delusion of power and global glory, would gladly ignore logic and history in pursuit of a dream of an America relatively untroubled by such putative enemies as Black Lives Matter; immigrants bent on rape, rapine and terrorism; and the dread legions of the politically correct. George J. Michael:There is some continuity between the alt-right and extreme-right groups from the late 20th century. David Duke, for example, has long been a prominent spokesman of the white nationalist movement. In fact, he in some ways spearheaded a change in the ideological direction away from a supremacist/hate orientation to a more identitarian orientation. The exotic ideas, including occult Nazism and pagan religions, continue to inform the movement. Mostly, their influence can be found in the forms of iconography informing white nationalist websites and assorted insignia. Norse neo-paganism is often seen as a more suitable religion for white nationalists, insofar as contemporary Christianity is seen as philo-Semitic and pro-multiculturalism. Michael Barkun:The sudden public emergence of the alt-right during the 2016 presidential campaign raises the question of whether it is simply the continuation of a long-standing white supremacist movement or constitutes a completely new development. That is not an easy question to answer, since the alt-right is not itself a cohesive movement. Rather, it is best understood as a set of groups and individuals that share a family resemblance, knit together by an intense hostility to immigration and a fear that the white population and what the alt-right conceives as Western culture will be submerged in a non-white sea. The alt-right is dominated by white nationalists and contains anti-Semites as well as some neo-Nazis, but also others of a less reprehensible stripe. The more interesting and disturbing issue is the alt-rights rising visibility. Whatever people mean by the alt-right, it is an element of right-wing extremism that suddenly became a factor in Donald Trumps campaign. Its highly vocal support for Trump was widely covered by the media, the attitude of the campaign toward it was analyzed, and its possible electoral effect was discussed, even though its numbers appeared minuscule and no figure of any political stature was known to be associated with it. That so seemingly marginal a group of political actors should have attracted so much attention is itself odd indeed, in hindsight, now that the campaign is over, it seems stranger still. Yet the public emergence of the alt-right is on reflection a manifestation of a larger transformation in American culture namely, the gradual penetration of the fringe into the mainstream. This is a development that transcends politics, although it has important political implications. It began in the early 1990s and has thus been underway for about a quarter of a century. Conspicuous examples have appeared in popular culture, includingDan Browns best-selling novels with occult and conspiracist themes, as well as The X-Filestelevision program, and it has been critically accelerated by the internet and such social media as Facebook and Twitter. Without the traditional barriers of editorial gatekeepers, fringe material could now access and command mass audiences. Just as fringe themes could penetrate popular culture, so fringe politics is no longer shut up in segregated subcultures. We see this, too, in the avid popular consumption of conspiracy theories, and there has been no greater consumer of them than Donald Trump himself. Trump, after all, was the first high-visibility proponent of the Obama birther legend. During the campaign he gave a half-hour interview toAlex Jones, the countrys leading purveyor of conspiracy theories. Trumps constant campaign refrain of immigrant wrongdoing smacks of a plot by foreigners to destroy America. It is scarcely surprising that against this background the alt-rights appearance acquired a certain quasi-legitimacy, despite its white supremacist credentials. It seemed to be simply a slightly more strident set of outsider anti-immigrant propagandists, in a campaign that already had an outsider candidate. The role of the alt-right in the 2016 campaign, alongside the broader movement of fringe motifs into the mainstream, suggests a political future that once seemed inconceivable: the potential public re-emergence of a white supremacist organization, something not seen in America since the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s. While still unlikely, the 2016 trajectory of the alt-right may prefigure more extreme open white supremacist political forays in the future. 2. The strength and leadership of the white supremacist movement How strong is white supremacy in this country? Is it getting stronger, is it a declining movement or has it remained stable from when you first began your research? Was the 1990s Patriot movement the heyday of white supremacy? Are there things people label white supremacy that we should more properly put outside that framework? Which white supremacist group(s) do you find most intriguing today from a scholarly viewpoint? Kaplan:White supremacy, like the poor, will be with us always. It is the nagging voice in even the most racially enlightened among us when they find themselves walking at night in Hyde Park in Chicago or contemplating a trip to Detroit. Once, it was a mainstream idea as many of the most idealistic young American men, fired by the racial threat depicted in D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation, sent their money to the mail-order Klan in exchange for a newsletter, a bizarre lexicon and a copy of the Kloran. With the legislative victories of the civil rights movement and a concerted push from Hollywood, it faded from polite society and the movements that held true to the racist call were banished to the most distant fringes of the cultic milieu. This is where I found them when I began my research among their number in the late 1980s. They were a battered and demoralized lot.Identity Christiansheld fast to their esoteric interpretations of the Bible; National Socialists treasured their SS-inspired regalia and propitiated the shade of Adolf Hitler as if the Second World War were merely on hiatus; andOdinistsdrank bloats, rode motorcycles and formed prison gangs. ThePatriot movementwas never really among their number. Like the Birch Society of the 1960s, race for them was a distraction from the more important work of decoding the manifold conspiracies which, in the words of the iconic (and African-American!)Last Poets, Keep the people asleep and the truth from being told. Early in the new millennium, I left the world of participant/observer research into the radical right in search of new and more potent oppositional ideas. None of the white supremacist constellation were intriguing simply because no new ideas, fresh movements or visionary leaders were on the horizon. I would argue, perhaps alone in this forum, that white supremacy as we have known it remains for the moment moribund. What we see today, the red meat of the alt-right and the popular fears that led to the election of Donald Trump, speaks to broader dreads Islamophobia, immigration and the ever-present other rather than an appeal for White Power. Racism is a powerful ingredient in the stew, but it is no more the leitmotif of what we are seeing today than is traditional America First nativism. Michael:That is really the $64,000 question. It is very difficult to quantify the size of the white nationalist movement in America. There is no viable political party that advocates for its interest, unlike far-right parties in Europe. The movement seemed to have gone into decline during the 2000s. The movement suffered a number of casualties as several leaders died (e.g.,William L. Pierce,Sam Francis,Richard Girnt ButlerandWillis Carto) and a number of others were arrested and incarcerated (Matt Hale,Chester Doles,Kevin Alfred Strom). The Patriot movement differed quite a bit from the white nationalist movement over ideology, to wit, on the issue of race. The Patriot movement began a steep decline not long after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing (as measured by the number of groups compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center). However, in recent years, the movement seems to have reinvented itself under the label of preppers and once again is gaining momentum. The late 1990s seemed to be the heyday for the white nationalist movement in America. The movement had not suffered any major repression from the federal government since theFort Smith sedition trial of 1988. During the 1990s, the movement took advantage of the fledging medium of the internet to get its message out to a larger audience. But after 9/11, the movement experienced quite a few prosecutions from the federal government. Moreover, after 9/11, the American public did not seem receptive to the white nationalist movements message of white racial solidarity. After 9/11, there was an upsurge of American patriotism. Conservative-leaning Americans were not amenable to white separatism; instead, a new form of patriotism gained currency that viewed the country as under attack from anti-democratic, religious extremists in the form of militant Islam. The extreme rights critique of the U.S. governments pro-Israel foreign policy seemed unpatriotic. As a result, the extreme right languished for quite some time during the 2000s. In recent years, however, issues involving race have gained great salience, including immigration, the ideology of multiculturalism and the prominence of language policing under the rubric of political correctness. The white nationalist movement was well-prepared to provide commentary on these issues. As a result, the movement seems to be gaining relevance once again. Are there things people label white supremacy that we should more properly put outside that framework? Yes, for example, immigration. People who do not consider themselves to be white nationalists are nevertheless concerned about immigration because of its costs to taxpayers, as well as its impact on employment prospects for native-born Americans, the cost of health care, etc. Furthermore, many ordinary people are rejecting the restrictiveness of political correctness on the discourse in America. Barkun:The present strength of the white supremacist movement has always been notoriously difficult to measure. The movement I use the word advisedly, as a term of art has always been riven by factionalism, and no group wants to divulge membership numbers except in the most grossly inflated forms. It is fair to say that right-wing extremism probably peaked in the early 1990s, when the Christian Identity movement was still vibrant and before paramilitary organizations had attracted the full attention of the federal government after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1993. There are clearly still militia groups active, some with apparently aggressive agendas. TheHutaree Militiain the Midwest was one such case, although despite substantial evidence of an impending attack, its principal leaders were acquitted of the most serious charges in a 2012 trial. TheAryan Strikeforceleaders in the mid-Atlantic states were recently indicted before their plans could unfold. However, there is no evidence that these or other recent paramilitary activities have been linked or coordinated. The conceptual difficulty lies in separating out the white supremacist element from other beliefs that are often associated with it. For example, virtually everyone on the extreme right is a conspiracist, buying into ideas about what is termed the New World Order the belief that there is an overarching conspiracy seeking to establish a global dictatorship. There are numerous variations on this theme: religious and secular, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-Masonic, anti-capitalist and so on. In some versions of the New World Order, there is also the claim that the aim of the conspirators is to enslave or destroy the white race. Some conspiracists, in other words, are racial supremacists, and some are not. The same is true of another frequently overlapping theme, anti-immigration. As has been true during other periods when anti-immigrant sentiment has been strong the 1890s, for example, or the 1920s it can be more or less racist. Not everyone seeking to limit or even ban immigration is a white supremacist, although some are. The mere presence of opposition to immigration is not, without further inquiry, evidence of white supremacist beliefs. In light of the increasing migration of fringe themes into the mainstream, mentioned above, the real danger is that forms of white supremacism will insinuate themselves into mainstream American culture. There have already been attempts to do this in the South in the form of the so-called neo-Confederate movement, with its disingenuous claim that it is simply celebrating history and heritage. Something similar may appear elsewhere using such labels as Western civilization, Christian civilization or even Judeo-Christian civilization. Thus white supremacy may begin using code words that seem on the surface to be innocuous or even positive but in the eyes of the knowing are read through a racist lens. 3. The leadership of the white supremacist movement The founders of most of the leading white supremacist organizations have died in the last decade or two: William L. Pierce,Ben Klassen, Richard Girnt Butler, Willis Carto and others. Who are the new leaders we should know about? Is there a difference in leadership style between the deceased older generation and the newer generation? Is there a leadership vacuum? If leaderless resistance was the reigning philosophy in the 1990s, are we still operating under that or have we moved on to other forms of organization? Kaplan:The leaders of the white supremacist organizations of the 1980s have passed from the scene. Their dysfunctional compounds likeAryan Nationsor theCovenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord(CSA) are gone too, victims of civil suits, government suppression or simple ennui. The mail-order faiths, KlassensCreativityor PiercesCosmotheism, are down to a small handful of true believers. Battle-scarred remnants of the time, such as National SocialistHarold Covington, struggle to adapt to new times with ideas like his idyllicNorthwest migration initiativeseeking a white homeland in America and really quite good apocalyptic literature in his Northwest Trilogy Hill of the Ravens(2003), A Distant Thunder(2004), A Mighty Fortress(2005) as well as The Brigade(2007). What remains is more potent overseas than in the United States. White power music, pioneered in the late 1970s byIan Stuart DonaldsonsSkrewdriver, flourishes throughout the world, including such decidedly non-Aryan redoubts as Jakarta. The skinhead movement is perhaps stronger than ever, especially where it benefits from a measure of government support and protection in places like Russia. Evolutionary change is most dynamic outside the confines of white supremacy. In Europe a new generation of leaders has emerged to mainstream formerly explicitly National Socialist, racist or primitively nativist political parties. Groups like theSweden Democrats, theTrue Finnsor the FrenchNational Fronthave gone from the wilderness to contenders for power, just as the alt-right has emerged in the U.S. But none are explicitly white supremacist, even as they borrow heavily from traditional white supremacist ideas. Like the leaders of the far right, the humble leaderless resistance idea has given way to a more dynamic successor in lone-wolf attacks. Leaderless resistance as posited originally by Texas KlansmanLouis Beamwas an expression of helplessness and despair. It was the equivalent of tilting at windmills, which succeeded primarily in the incarceration of a generation of skinheads, would-bePhineas Priests, bikers and simple sociopaths. While William L. Pierce could lionize serial killerJoseph Paul Franklinfrom the safe remove of anom de guerrein his novel Hunter, the current generation of lone wolves serve terrorist groups who are more than the state of mind organizations of the white supremacist world, enjoying considerable material and other support in the process. It is a new day in the world of self-propelled violence. There are successes on occasion abroad.Anders Breivikcertainly comes to mind. But in America? Michael:In my estimation, the most important leader isMatthew Heimbach, the leader of theTraditionalist Youth Network. He first gained notoriety in 2012, when he founded a White Student Union at Towson University in Maryland. Although he is only in his mid-20s, he is already an accomplished orator. He is also a very effective interlocutor when he gives interviews to the media. He evinces the hallmarks of what Eric Hoffer once called the True Believer. Heimbach does not flinch from street activism, despite the strident opposition he faces from various antifa counterprotesters. Furthermore, he advances a leftish white nationalist ideology which could potentially resonate with many disaffected young people. Finally, he has established ties with like-minded activists overseas includingAlexander Duginfrom Russia which gives his organization the semblance of an international movement. He reaches out to separatists from all racial and ethnic groups. At the present time, this might all seem inconsequential, but separatism seems to slowly be creeping into the national discourse, as evidenced by the push for Calexit. Barkun:The first and even the second generation of white supremacist leadership has now virtually all died out, figures like William L. Pierce of the National Alliance and Richard Girnt Butler of the Aryan Nations. Not surprisingly, their organizations, small to begin with, collapsed shortly after their deaths. Neither they nor others in their cohort were succeeded by figures of comparable strength. OnlyDavid Dukeremains, a strange relic of the past. Even in white supremacys heyday, none of its leaders could command more than small followings. Like the extreme left, those at the other end of the ideological spectrum often spent as much time fighting one another as combating their supposed enemies. Small points of ideology and tactics counted heavily in these duels. Those who had dreams of uniting racialists under a single banner quickly learned that such ambitions were destined to founder. At the moment, three figures seem of more than passing importance, although given the movements history, they may pass quickly into obscurity:Richard B. Spencerof theNational Policy Institute, prominent on the alt-right; Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Youth Network; and Andrew Anglin of the onlineDaily Stormerwebsite. But there is no reason to believe that they will drive the white supremacist right over the longer term. It is easy to concentrate on organizations, websites and the people associated with them, because they are visible and easy to identify. However, the danger of violence by individuals acting alone so-called lone wolf attacks remains and, in my view, is far more serious than the threat posed by organizations. The danger is high precisely because, absent unusually good intelligence, they normally become known only after the fact, as in the infamous 2011 attacks in Norway by Anders Breivik. In that connection, attention needs to be paid to those known as sovereign citizens, who are potential lone wolves. Sovereign citizens do not constitute a movement. Rather, they represent a stream of anti-government thought and activity, built around the belief that traditional conceptions of American citizenship, law and institutions are invalid and that, consequently, no individual has any obligation to obey the law. This idea is based on a radically variant reading of the Constitution and the common law that makes each person, in effect, a law unto him- or herself. While the sovereign citizen idea is not in itself based on white supremacy, the two overlap. Some sovereign citizens have also been white supremacists, and the very nature of sovereign citizen thought deprives civil rights protections of any legitimacy. It follows, too, that the failure of sovereign citizens to accept any legal obligations inevitably involves them in conflicts with the government and, not infrequently, in violent and sometimes deadly incidents. Next week: How do we deal with organized white supremacy? What do we get wrong about it?

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June 12, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

Understanding contemporary white supremacy: Is the alt-right really something new? – Salon

Following the first part of this series, where the historical origins of modern white supremacy were explored in depth, and asubsequent essaythatexamined the ways white supremacy has influenced mainstream American politics, here are three of the nations foremost scholars on white supremacy, discussing similar issues at length. Jeffrey Kaplan is associate professor of religion at the University of WisconsinOshkosh. His books include Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements From the Far Right to the Children of Noah; Nation and Race: The Developing Euro-American Racist Subculture (co-edited with Tore Bjrgo); and The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right (with Leonard Weinberg). George J. Michael is associate professor in the criminal justice faculty at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. He is the author of Confronting Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA; The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right; Willis Carto and the American Far Right; and Theology of Hate: A History of the World Church of the Creator. Michael Barkun is professor emeritus of political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. His books include A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America; Religion and the Racist Right:The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement; and Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11. 1. What is the alt-right? Is the contemporary alt-right a continuation of late 20th-century American white supremacist movements, or are there new components? Besides the new use of technology, are there ideological elements to the alt-right that we should take notice of? What happened to some of the exotic ideas floating around in the 1980s and 90s, such as occult Nazism and pagan religions? Did they become assimilated into the alt-right, or did those more esoteric veins fade out? Jeffrey Kaplan: The so-called alt-right seemed to descend from the ether in the fading twilight of the Obama administration. The alt-right quickly seized the stage as the acceptable face of the radical right, which since the violence of the 1980s had been demonized and banished from the American public square. The process is common enough in American extremism. In 1963 the racist fringe was banished from the anti-communist fervor of the John Birch Society, just as the 19th-century Know Nothings came to be excluded from the politer society of American nativism. America, after all, is a vast smorgasbord in which individuals, religions and political movements may pick and choose among the tropes on offer. The alt-right follows this pattern to a T. Picking and choosing from a variety of established conspiratorial, racist and outright paranoid ideas, leavened with a catchy jargon like deep state which is far more PC than ZOG or Zionist Occupation Government, which held primacy in the American radical right since the 1970s the alt-right was tailor-made for the discontented and dispossessed faithful of the far right. Following British sociologist Colin Campbell in the 1960s, scholars have borrowed the term cultic milieu to describe the process by which oppositional individuals sample ideas, theories and wild suppositions that are the stuff of which movements are born, flourish and, most often, perish in anonymity, completely unknown to the dominant culture. This is the origin of the alt-right, and will most likely be its fate as well. The occult and esoteric racist movements from the fringes of National Socialism to elements of explicit Satanism still exist in the wilderness of the cultic milieu, but their numbers are much diminished. The peregrinations of David Myatt are a case in point. Myatt, who drifted from Buddhist beliefs to National Socialism under the spell of Colin Jordan in Britain, went on to found the Order of Nine Angles, the most successful racist esoteric organization combining Satanism and National Socialism in the 1980s and 90s. Tiring of the scene and despairing of the quality of the recruits, he took his shahada and converted to radical Islam in the shadow of 9/11 and 7/7. In this he moved from the most distant fringes of the cultic milieu to a more potent global system of belief. Lately, however, he has taken on the cross, converting to Orthodox Christianity and embracing a message of universal love and reconciliation. Myatt is the cultic milieu personified and living proof that the esoteric white supremacist ideas of the 1980s live on, albeit on life support. The alt-right is, however, different in significant ways from its predecessors. For one, it is not simply an American made-for-export idea, as was the racialism that American intellectuals marketed internationally in the 19th century as racist anthropology or that which the anti-communist zealots spread with much less success in the 1950s. Rather, it mixed American nativist tropes with the growing fears of immigration and Islamization that have become acute in the European Union. More remarkable still, it fell easily under the spell of Vladimir Putins Russia, whose hybrid warfare campaign against the West and the world is simply a 21st-century update of the Soviet disinformation campaigns that were called Active Measuresin the Cold War. Putins Russia now caters to the far right globally, and as the Trump scandals now unfolding in Washington indicate, found in the alt-right perfect rubes who, for a few dollars and a grand delusion of power and global glory, would gladly ignore logic and history in pursuit of a dream of an America relatively untroubled by such putative enemies as Black Lives Matter; immigrants bent on rape, rapine and terrorism; and the dread legions of the politically correct. George J. Michael: There is some continuity between the alt-right and extreme-right groups from the late 20th century. David Duke, for example, has long been a prominent spokesman of the white nationalist movement. In fact, he in some ways spearheaded a change in the ideological direction away from a supremacist/hate orientation to a more identitarian orientation. The exotic ideas, including occult Nazism and pagan religions, continue to inform the movement. Mostly, their influence can be found in the forms of iconography informing white nationalist websites and assorted insignia. Norse neo-paganism is often seen as a more suitable religion for white nationalists, insofar as contemporary Christianity is seen as philo-Semitic and pro-multiculturalism. Michael Barkun: The sudden public emergence of the alt-right during the 2016 presidential campaign raises the question of whether it is simply the continuation of a long-standing white supremacist movement or constitutes a completely new development. That is not an easy question to answer, since the alt-right is not itself a cohesive movement. Rather, it is best understood as a set of groups and individuals that share a family resemblance, knit together by an intense hostility to immigration and a fear that the white population and what the alt-right conceives as Western culture will be submerged in a non-white sea. The alt-right is dominated by white nationalists and contains anti-Semites as well as some neo-Nazis, but also others of a less reprehensible stripe. The more interesting and disturbing issue is the alt-rights rising visibility. Whatever people mean by the alt-right, it is an element of right-wing extremism that suddenly became a factor in Donald Trumps campaign. Its highly vocal support for Trump was widely covered by the media, the attitude of the campaign toward it was analyzed, and its possible electoral effect was discussed, even though its numbers appeared minuscule and no figure of any political stature was known to be associated with it. That so seemingly marginal a group of political actors should have attracted so much attention is itself odd indeed, in hindsight, now that the campaign is over, it seems stranger still. Yet the public emergence of the alt-right is on reflection a manifestation of a larger transformation in American culture namely, the gradual penetration of the fringe into the mainstream. This is a development that transcends politics, although it has important political implications. It began in the early 1990s and has thus been underway for about a quarter of a century. Conspicuous examples have appeared in popular culture, including Dan Browns best-selling novels with occult and conspiracist themes, as well as The X-Files television program, and it has been critically accelerated by the internet and such social media as Facebook and Twitter. Without the traditional barriers of editorial gatekeepers, fringe material could now access and command mass audiences. Just as fringe themes could penetrate popular culture, so fringe politics is no longer shut up in segregated subcultures. We see this, too, in the avid popular consumption of conspiracy theories, and there has been no greater consumer of them than Donald Trump himself. Trump, after all, was the first high-visibility proponent of the Obama birther legend. During the campaign he gave a half-hour interview to Alex Jones, the countrys leading purveyor of conspiracy theories. Trumps constant campaign refrain of immigrant wrongdoing smacks of a plot by foreigners to destroy America. It is scarcely surprising that against this background the alt-rights appearance acquired a certain quasi-legitimacy, despite its white supremacist credentials. It seemed to be simply a slightly more strident set of outsider anti-immigrant propagandists, in a campaign that already had an outsider candidate. The role of the alt-right in the 2016 campaign, alongside the broader movement of fringe motifs into the mainstream, suggests a political future that once seemed inconceivable: the potential public re-emergence of a white supremacist organization, something not seen in America since the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s. While still unlikely, the 2016 trajectory of the alt-right may prefigure more extreme open white supremacist political forays in the future. 2. The strength and leadership of the white supremacist movement How strong is white supremacy in this country? Is it getting stronger, is it a declining movement or has it remained stable from when you first began your research? Was the 1990s Patriot movement the heyday of white supremacy? Are there things people label white supremacy that we should more properly put outside that framework? Which white supremacist group(s) do you find most intriguing today from a scholarly viewpoint? Kaplan: White supremacy, like the poor, will be with us always. It is the nagging voice in even the most racially enlightened among us when they find themselves walking at night in Hyde Park in Chicago or contemplating a trip to Detroit. Once, it was a mainstream idea as many of the most idealistic young American men, fired by the racial threat depicted in D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation, sent their money to the mail-order Klan in exchange for a newsletter, a bizarre lexicon and a copy of the Kloran. With the legislative victories of the civil rights movement and a concerted push from Hollywood, it faded from polite society and the movements that held true to the racist call were banished to the most distant fringes of the cultic milieu. This is where I found them when I began my research among their number in the late 1980s. They were a battered and demoralized lot. Identity Christians held fast to their esoteric interpretations of the Bible; National Socialists treasured their SS-inspired regalia and propitiated the shade of Adolf Hitler as if the Second World War were merely on hiatus; and Odinists drank bloats, rode motorcycles and formed prison gangs. The Patriot movement was never really among their number. Like the Birch Society of the 1960s, race for them was a distraction from the more important work of decoding the manifold conspiracies which, in the words of the iconic (and African-American!) Last Poets, Keep the people asleep and the truth from being told. Early in the new millennium, I left the world of participant/observer research into the radical right in search of new and more potent oppositional ideas. None of the white supremacist constellation were intriguing simply because no new ideas, fresh movements or visionary leaders were on the horizon. I would argue, perhaps alone in this forum, that white supremacy as we have known it remains for the moment moribund. What we see today, the red meat of the alt-right and the popular fears that led to the election of Donald Trump, speaks to broader dreads Islamophobia, immigration and the ever-present other rather than an appeal for White Power. Racism is a powerful ingredient in the stew, but it is no more the leitmotif of what we are seeing today than is traditional America First nativism. Michael: That is really the $64,000 question. It is very difficult to quantify the size of the white nationalist movement in America. There is no viable political party that advocates for its interest, unlike far-right parties in Europe. The movement seemed to have gone into decline during the 2000s. The movement suffered a number of casualties as several leaders died (e.g., William L. Pierce, Sam Francis, Richard Girnt Butlerand Willis Carto) and a number of others were arrested and incarcerated (Matt Hale, Chester Doles, Kevin Alfred Strom). The Patriot movement differed quite a bit from the white nationalist movement over ideology, to wit, on the issue of race. The Patriot movement began a steep decline not long after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing (as measured by the number of groups compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center). However, in recent years, the movement seems to have reinvented itself under the label of preppers and once again is gaining momentum. The late 1990s seemed to be the heyday for the white nationalist movement in America. The movement had not suffered any major repression from the federal government since the Fort Smith sedition trial of 1988. During the 1990s, the movement took advantage of the fledging medium of the internet to get its message out to a larger audience. But after 9/11, the movement experienced quite a few prosecutions from the federal government. Moreover, after 9/11, the American public did not seem receptive to the white nationalist movements message of white racial solidarity. After 9/11, there was an upsurge of American patriotism. Conservative-leaning Americans were not amenable to white separatism; instead, a new form of patriotism gained currency that viewed the country as under attack from anti-democratic, religious extremists in the form of militant Islam. The extreme rights critique of the U.S. governments pro-Israel foreign policy seemed unpatriotic. As a result, the extreme right languished for quite some time during the 2000s. In recent years, however, issues involving race have gained great salience, including immigration, the ideology of multiculturalism and the prominence of language policing under the rubric of political correctness. The white nationalist movement was well-prepared to provide commentary on these issues. As a result, the movement seems to be gaining relevance once again. Are there things people label white supremacy that we should more properly put outside that framework? Yes, for example, immigration. People who do not consider themselves to be white nationalists are nevertheless concerned about immigration because of its costs to taxpayers, as well as its impact on employment prospects for native-born Americans, the cost of health care, etc. Furthermore, many ordinary people are rejecting the restrictiveness of political correctness on the discourse in America. Barkun:The present strength of the white supremacist movement has always been notoriously difficult to measure. The movement I use the word advisedly, as a term of art has always been riven by factionalism, and no group wants to divulge membership numbers except in the most grossly inflated forms. It is fair to say that right-wing extremism probably peaked in the early 1990s, when the Christian Identity movement was still vibrant and before paramilitary organizations had attracted the full attention of the federal government after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1993. There are clearly still militia groups active, some with apparently aggressive agendas. The Hutaree Militia in the Midwest was one such case, although despite substantial evidence of an impending attack, its principal leaders were acquitted of the most serious charges in a 2012 trial. The Aryan Strikeforce leaders in the mid-Atlantic states were recently indicted before their plans could unfold. However, there is no evidence that these or other recent paramilitary activities have been linked or coordinated. The conceptual difficulty lies in separating out the white supremacist element from other beliefs that are often associated with it. For example, virtually everyone on the extreme right is a conspiracist, buying into ideas about what is termed the New World Order the belief that there is an overarching conspiracy seeking to establish a global dictatorship. There are numerous variations on this theme: religious and secular, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-Masonic, anti-capitalist and so on. In some versions of the New World Order, there is also the claim that the aim of the conspirators is to enslave or destroy the white race. Some conspiracists, in other words, are racial supremacists, and some are not. The same is true of another frequently overlapping theme, anti-immigration. As has been true during other periods when anti-immigrant sentiment has been strong the 1890s, for example, or the 1920s it can be more or less racist. Not everyone seeking to limit or even ban immigration is a white supremacist, although some are. The mere presence of opposition to immigration is not, without further inquiry, evidence of white supremacist beliefs. In light of the increasing migration of fringe themes into the mainstream, mentioned above, the real danger is that forms of white supremacism will insinuate themselves into mainstream American culture. There have already been attempts to do this in the South in the form of the so-called neo-Confederate movement, with its disingenuous claim that it is simply celebrating history and heritage. Something similar may appear elsewhere using such labels as Western civilization, Christian civilization or even Judeo-Christian civilization. Thus white supremacy may begin using code words that seem on the surface to be innocuous or even positive but in the eyes of the knowing are read through a racist lens. 3. The leadership of the white supremacist movement The founders of most of the leading white supremacist organizations have died in the last decade or two: William L. Pierce, Ben Klassen, Richard Girnt Butler, Willis Carto and others. Who are the new leaders we should know about? Is there a difference in leadership style between the deceased older generation and the newer generation? Is there a leadership vacuum? If leaderless resistance was the reigning philosophy in the 1990s, are we still operating under that or have we moved on to other forms of organization? Kaplan: The leaders of the white supremacist organizations of the 1980s have passed from the scene. Their dysfunctional compounds like Aryan Nations or the Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord (CSA) are gone too, victims of civil suits, government suppression or simple ennui. The mail-order faiths, Klassens Creativity or Pierces Cosmotheism, are down to a small handful of true believers. Battle-scarred remnants of the time, such as National Socialist Harold Covington, struggle to adapt to new times with ideas like his idyllic Northwest migration initiative seeking a white homeland in America and really quite good apocalyptic literature in his Northwest Trilogy Hill of the Ravens (2003), A Distant Thunder (2004), A Mighty Fortress (2005) as well as The Brigade (2007). What remains is more potent overseas than in the United States. White power music, pioneered in the late 1970s by Ian Stuart Donaldsons Skrewdriver, flourishes throughout the world, including such decidedly non-Aryan redoubts as Jakarta. The skinhead movement is perhaps stronger than ever, especially where it benefits from a measure of government support and protection in places like Russia. Evolutionary change is most dynamic outside the confines of white supremacy. In Europe a new generation of leaders has emerged to mainstream formerly explicitly National Socialist, racist or primitively nativist political parties. Groups like the Sweden Democrats, the True Finns or the French National Front have gone from the wilderness to contenders for power, just as the alt-right has emerged in the U.S. But none are explicitly white supremacist, even as they borrow heavily from traditional white supremacist ideas. Like the leaders of the far right, the humble leaderless resistance idea has given way to a more dynamic successor in lone-wolf attacks. Leaderless resistance as posited originally by Texas Klansman Louis Beam was an expression of helplessness and despair. It was the equivalent of tilting at windmills, which succeeded primarily in the incarceration of a generation of skinheads, would-be Phineas Priests, bikers and simple sociopaths. While William L. Pierce could lionize serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin from the safe remove of a nom de guerre in his novel Hunter, the current generation of lone wolves serve terrorist groups who are more than the state of mind organizations of the white supremacist world, enjoying considerable material and other support in the process. It is a new day in the world of self-propelled violence. There are successes on occasion abroad. Anders Breivik certainly comes to mind. But in America? Michael: In my estimation, the most important leader is Matthew Heimbach, the leader of the Traditionalist Youth Network. He first gained notoriety in 2012, when he founded a White Student Union at Towson University in Maryland. Although he is only in his mid-20s, he is already an accomplished orator. He is also a very effective interlocutor when he gives interviews to the media. He evinces the hallmarks of what Eric Hoffer once called the True Believer. Heimbach does not flinch from street activism, despite the strident opposition he faces from various antifa counterprotesters. Furthermore, he advances a leftish white nationalist ideology which could potentially resonate with many disaffected young people. Finally, he has established ties with like-minded activists overseas including Alexander Duginfrom Russia which gives his organization the semblance of an international movement. He reaches out to separatists from all racial and ethnic groups. At the present time, this might all seem inconsequential, but separatism seems to slowly be creeping into the national discourse, as evidenced by the push for Calexit. Barkun: The first and even the second generation of white supremacist leadership has now virtually all died out, figures like William L. Pierce of the National Alliance and Richard Girnt Butler of the Aryan Nations. Not surprisingly, their organizations, small to begin with, collapsed shortly after their deaths. Neither they nor others in their cohort were succeeded by figures of comparable strength. Only David Duke remains, a strange relic of the past. Even in white supremacys heyday, none of its leaders could command more than small followings. Like the extreme left, those at the other end of the ideological spectrum often spent as much time fighting one another as combating their supposed enemies. Small points of ideology and tactics counted heavily in these duels. Those who had dreams of uniting racialists under a single banner quickly learned that such ambitions were destined to founder. At the moment, three figures seem of more than passing importance, although given the movements history, they may pass quickly into obscurity: Richard B. Spencer of the National Policy Institute, prominent on the alt-right; Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Youth Network; and Andrew Anglin of the online Daily Stormer website. But there is no reason to believe that they will drive the white supremacist right over the longer term. It is easy to concentrate on organizations, websites and the people associated with them, because they are visible and easy to identify. However, the danger of violence by individuals acting alone so-called lone wolf attacks remains and, in my view, is far more serious than the threat posed by organizations. The danger is high precisely because, absent unusually good intelligence, they normally become known only after the fact, as in the infamous 2011 attacks in Norway by Anders Breivik. In that connection, attention needs to be paid to those known as sovereign citizens, who are potential lone wolves. Sovereign citizens do not constitute a movement. Rather, they represent a stream of anti-government thought and activity, built around the belief that traditional conceptions of American citizenship, law and institutions are invalid and that, consequently, no individual has any obligation to obey the law. This idea is based on a radically variant reading of the Constitution and the common law that makes each person, in effect, a law unto him- or herself. While the sovereign citizen idea is not in itself based on white supremacy, the two overlap. Some sovereign citizens have also been white supremacists, and the very nature of sovereign citizen thought deprives civil rights protections of any legitimacy. It follows, too, that the failure of sovereign citizens to accept any legal obligations inevitably involves them in conflicts with the government and, not infrequently, in violent and sometimes deadly incidents. Next week: How do we deal with organized white supremacy? What do we get wrong about it?

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June 11, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

CUI BONO? by Professor Revilo P. Oliver (May 1992)

Americans who do not read German readily will be glad to know that the fine historical study by Ingrid Weckert, *Feuerzeichen, die “Reichskristallnacht”* (Tbingen, 1981), which was reviewed in *Liberty Bell* by Dr. Charles E. Weber, January 1989, pp. 15-20, and mentioned in the issue for April-May 1991, pp. 95-96, 104-105, has been translated into […]

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Anti-Defamation League, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism Lobby, Anti-Semitism News, White Racism, White Supremacism, Zionism  Comments Closed

Former Neo-Nazi Says It’s On White People To Fight White Supremacy – Huffington Post

As a 14-year-old in 1980s Chicago, Christian Picciolini was ripe for recruitment into a hate group: He was bullied, didnt have a lot of friends and felt abandoned by his Italian immigrant parents who worked long hours. One day, when he was standing in an alley smoking a joint, a car pulled up, and a man with a shaved head came out, pulled the joint out of his mouth and said: Dont you know thats what the Jews and the Communists want you to do to keep you docile? That man was Clark Martell, a national leader of the white supremacist skinhead movement. Martells history of violence, according to a 1989 Chicago Tribune article, included targeting LGBTQ people and people of color. He once attempted to burn down the house of a Latino family. Picciolini was recruited into Martells neo-Nazi skinhead group in 1987, and when Martell ended up in prison a couple of years later, Picciolini took the helm. He made me feel powerful when I felt powerless, gave me family and a sense of purpose, Picciolini told HuffPost. I was a nobody kid people picked on for having a funny name and [a few years later] I was respected and powerful. False power and false respect, Picciolini added. After having children, which Picciolini says challenged his notions of identity, community and purpose,he left the hate group in 1995. Over a decade later, in 2009, he co-foundedLife After Hate, a small nonprofit run entirely by former members of Americas radical far-right, dedicated to supporting those who have left, or are seeking to leave, hate groups in the U.S. Its the only organization of its kind in the country and its up against a growing problem: The number of hate groups in the U.S. has doubled in the last 10 to 15 years, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and around 80 percent of those groups advocate white supremacist beliefs. Christian Picciolini Leaving a hate group isnt easy. When a woman left his neo-Nazi group in 1989, Martell viciously beat her, according to the Tribune. He reportedly kicked her in the face and drew a swastika on the wall of her home in her blood. He was later arrested and sent to prison. Life After Hate helps those who have left or are trying to leave extremism behind by providing them with an array of support services. The main tool of the Chicago-based group is a private online network, set up by and for former extremists, to provide them with a new, supportive community. People come to us because they know that we wont judge them, Picciolini told HuffPost. As someone who understands their past, we give them a helping hand not focused on yesterday, but focused on today and tomorrow. Picciolini and his colleagues some of whom are social workers, all of whom are former extremists and have worked with psychologists to craft their nonprofits approach also travel the country to meet with members in person, to provide individualized support. Theyhelp connect members to local service providers, including therapy, job training and tattoo removal, to try to tackle the underlying drivers of their hate. Picciolini says most people who come to them have experienced one of three things: trauma, unemployment or mental health issues. I listen for potholes or what deviated them from their normal path and led them down this one and try to find them services to help, Picciolini said. When you make people more resilient, self-sufficient and self-confident, they dont have anyone to blame, and the us against them ideology goes away. Privacy is paramount, so before they let anyone into their online group, they spend months chatting with them to make sure theyve truly left extremism. We want to protect the people in the network, Picciolini said. Its a safe place, not for someone vulnerable to going back and taking names with them. Life After Hates reach is relatively small: Its online group currently has 60 members. Some had already left extremism before they joined and were looking for community. Others are actively exiting hate groups. For Picciolini, who recognizes their group is small compared with the problem of white supremacist hate, its all about helping people one by one. We reach one person at a time we know we cant solve racism, he said. What I do know is I can affect the people closest to me. If everybody thinks that way with your coworkers, your friends it can change the world. Christian Picciolini The internet’s best stories, and interviews with the people who tell them. Learn more One key strategy the group uses to help people leave extremism behind is to facilitate in-person meetings between former extremists and members of groups they once discriminated against for instance, having a former Islamophobe meet an imam, or letting a onetime Holocaust denier talk with a survivor. As former extremists from the far right, what changed us is when we received compassion from the people we least deserved it from, Picciolini said. Often times theyve never met a black person or had a meaningful conversation with a Muslim or Jewish person. I get them into a situation where they can sit and talk, and realize there are more things in common than differences. The strategy derives from contact theory, or the well-researched idea that contact with groups from different backgrounds can increase tolerance. It seems to have worked for certain high-profile extremists, such asformer white nationalist Derek Black,whobegan leaving the movement after being invited to a series of Shabbat dinners by a Jewish fellow college student, and Life After Hate Deputy Director Angela King, who left the skinhead movement after being befriended by a group of Jamaican women in prison. Thats how most people get out, expert Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center told HuffPost last month,adding thatthe work of reaching out to peoplefrom different backgrounds should not fall on people from marginalized groups. It shouldnt be on the groups facing this, Beirich said. Its on the rest of us. Pacific Press via Getty Images Part of the reason there arent more groups like Life After Hate in the U.S. while other forms of organized violence, such asgangsandIslamist extremism,have long had programs and funding dedicated to tackling them is because Americans tend to ignorethe realities of white supremacist violence, according to Beirich. There has been a general reluctance in this country to see white people as responsible for terrorism in some sort of organized way, Beirich told HuffPost last month. When people talk about white supremacist terrorism, they want to call it a one-off. Hes a crazy person. Its like white people cant handle the idea that there are devils in our midst. Since September 11, 2001, there have been 85 deadly extremist attacks in the United States, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report 73 percent of the attacks were carried out by far-right extremist groups, compared to 27 percent by radical Islamist extremists. Just a couple of months ago, Reuters reported that the Trump administration may alterthe governments counter-extremism program to focus solely on Islamist extremism. As a result,Life After Hate may lose $400,000 in funding that it had been awarded through the program in January under President Barack Obama, said Picciolini. The group hasnt received the funds yet and doesnt know if it will. Were concerned about the policies of the new administration [indicating] that white extremism may not be an issue, Picciolini said. There really is no difference between what happened in Charleston with Dylann Roof and what happened in San Bernardino.Theyre both terror attacks based on ideologies of extremism yet we still dont call it terrorism when its white extremism. Jason Miczek / Reuters Picciolini says that the recent rise of theso-called alt-right movement a white supremacist movement with young leadership, branding meant to appeal to millennials and a large online presence makes Life After Hates job harder. In the old days you could spot a skinhead a mile away now its harder in a virtual world. And they made the message more palatable, wear suits and ties, dont shave their heads. The only difference between alt-right and what I was in then is packaging. Its a marketing strategy: They just soften the edges. Since President Donald Trumps election, Picciolini says, the number of requests that have come in to Life After Hate for support have grown from one to three requests per week to one to three per day. Most of these come from friends or family concerned that a loved one might be involved in extremism. Joshua Roberts/Reuters It is not clear how well exit programs like Life After Hate work. Older exit programs in Europe, such as those developed for white supremacists in Sweden in the 1990s, have been criticized at times for glorifying former extremists as experts and not eliminating participants racism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. But experts who have weighed in on Life After Hate consider it a useful contribution to the larger fight against white supremacism. Everything always has to be considered part of a larger toolbox, Pete Simi, an author and expert on far-right extremists, said in an interview last year. Theres never any program thats ever going to be your catchall. But I think it is an important tool. SPLCs Beirich, who has been studying white supremacism since 1999, told HuffPost last month that she sees Life After Hate as a solution. I dont have anywhere to send a white supremacist if they come to me and start questioning the movement theyre involved in, Beirich said. Once you become a hard-core white supremacist, you lose all links to family and friends,there isnt really a place for you to turn if you leave. Im not trying to give anyone a pass, but if someone wants to get out of something bad, I want to help. A Life After Hate member echoed the need for more groups like it. There were years I was looking for a way out, and I didnt have anywhere to turn, former skinhead Logan Stewart told HuffPost. Itsgreat support. Anything you need to talk about you can do that with them. For Picciolini, if theres one thing that holds true when thinking of how to best tackle white supremacist hate, its this:The responsibility falls on white people. White people need to solve the problem of white supremacy, Picciolini said. Its white peoples problem, we created it, and its a problem we need to fix. Christian Picciolini

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April 24, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

What Is ‘White Supremacy’? A Brief History of a Term, and a … – AlterNet

Photo Credit: Martin / Flickr We must secure the existence of our people and the future of White children. David Lanes14-word creed. Hardly any concept is thrown around as carelessly these days as white supremacy. It has become the go-to term of condemnation, applied as loosely as fascism, with similar ramifications in terms of lack of clarity. Are all white supremacists separatists, and are all separatists supremacists? Is anti-Semitism (and, more recently, Islamophobia) always a part of white supremacy? Are white supremacists interested in combating government or taking it over for their own ends? Are all white supremacists violent, or do some value peaceful means of attaining their aims? Are all white supremacists even Christians? If theyre not, then how does religious diversity accommodate the overall principles of white supremacy? Getting a grip on the real meaning of white supremacy allows us to be clear about essential questions of behavior and policy. To what extent has white supremacy infiltrated mainstream political parties and actors, and how might this back-and-forth influence be addressed? What is the general set of beliefs under which white supremacy operates, and have those beliefs changed over time or remained constant? What is the actual power and strength of white supremacy, and are groups of people entering or exiting the movement in ways we can measure and understand? Finally, if were clear about the meaning of white supremacy, we can then legitimately ask how white supremacy is or is not a product of the values we all share, regardless of our stated opposition to this ideology. Short of these clarifications, white supremacy (like the term hate) simply becomes an abstraction that perpetuates the very dynamics of injustice and tyranny that progressives claim to abhor. If we define the concept too broadly, then the attack on all of our civil liberties is likely to be too great. If we define the concept too narrowly, then we absolve liberal institutions for their responsibility. White supremacy is and always has been in a deep symbiotic relationship with our structures of government, and with our theoretical beliefs going back to the American Revolution and even before. Both sides the supremacists and their opponents seem to need each other in equal measure in order for the tense dynamic to continue playing out. If white supremacy is truly the threat its made out to be, if it really poses a revolutionary challenge to the foundations of the existing order, then we cannot at the same time pursue ambiguous or half-hearted measures, such as delegating surveillance functions to watchdog groups that may have their own private interests in mind. If white supremacy is as rampant as liberal analysis currently makes it out to be, then how is it that white supremacists continue to feel embattled and victimized, excluded from permitted discourse in the way of pariahs and outlaws? To what extent does liberalism itself turn white supremacists into heroes? In future essays I will take on in detail some central issues, such as the extent to which mainstream American political parties have borrowed from and adapted to white supremacy and continue to do so, the degree to which stylistically and substantively the alt-right movement differs from the known content of white supremacy throughout its 20th-century struggle with modernity, and the most effective and ethical ways to handle white supremacy as a polity committed to tolerance and freedom of discourse. For now, Im interested in setting the stage for later discussion by highlighting what seem to me some of the least understood dimensions of white supremacy in America today. The continuities go back to our very origins White supremacy obviously means the belief that the white race is unambiguously superior, so we must be careful in leveling the charge because most people who are called that dont fit the definition. It is a difficult ideal to live up to. Once the protagonist defines what the white race is, then a set of inescapable dilemmas follow from that: What to do about the necessarily inferior races that the white race is set against? Should there be cohabitation or separation, and what degree of rights should be extended to nonwhites, both in the white homelands and in the native countries of nonwhites already living separately? Does the white race believe in a religion or political ideology that is universalistic, and if so how can the inferior races be accommodated while being philosophically consistent? Is the white race obligated to exterminate other races as the eventual goal? Defining what is white is not so easy as it might seem at first glance. In the age of Enlightenment, as the American republic was being founded, there was a lot of struggle with the definition, as both racist ideologues and liberal universalists parried back and forth with different classifications. Races were categorized in both America and Europe with an eye to delineating Aryanism and its origins. What exactly were the differences between Teutons, Anglo-Saxons, Celts and other identifiably white people, and did they all originate in the Caucasus? What happens to the white race in the context of intermarriage? Does it become stronger, by assimilating the inferior race, or weaker, by diluting the gene pool? One of the earliest manifestations of white supremacism in this country, to which all later manifestations harken back in some way, was theAnti-Masonic Movementof the early 19th century. The Illuminati (adopting the vehicle of the Masons) were seen to be instigating forms of elitism thatdeprived the common white people of economic power. This crisis of suspicion and anxiety was to end in the renewal and reshaping of the American party system, with Andrew Jackson as our first populist president, but the yearning to purge the body politic of polluting elements became a constant. The Anti-Masonic Movement wasnt just an economic struggle, it had an indispensable racial component as well (targeting Jews and Catholics), as has been true of supremacist movements since then. White attitudes toward blacks, in terms of institutionalizing slavery, were not always as rigid as they became during the course of the 19th century in America. When the colonies were first being settled, blacks were closer in status to white indentured servants. However, as the Enlightenment went on in subsequent centuries, categorization of the races became a central taxonomic venture, and this in due course had its effect in sharpening racial attitudes. The discourse about the black race (and to a lesser extent Native Americans) hardened during the 19th century. At the onset of the last big wave of imperialism at the end of the 19th century, fantastic new theories about the Aryan race and its others started proliferating throughout Europe and America. Just how special is the Aryan race, and why does it have to be so? Imperialism is difficult to justify without assertions of racial supremacy. So whenever we encounter an upsurge of white supremacy, we are probably also dealing with the natural consequences of imperialism. In Germany in the late 19th century, all sorts of mythologies of Aryan superiority manifested in music, fiction, philosophy and the arts, often expressed in an occult manner. The music of Richard Wagner is said to have reflected this, just as in a debased waycontemporary Black Metalarticulates its own aesthetic of supremacy. German theorists in the early 20th century found a lot of affinity with the caste system in India, with its occupational stratification according to skin color, and many scholars suggested that the original colonizers of India were the same Aryan race that over time had become diluted to near-blackness. It was this tragic fate, following miscegenation, that German thinkers were keen to avoid for the present era. In America too, with the onset of the Spanish-American War and other imperial ventures, a scientific racism, using and abusing Darwins ideas, began to flourish. The coming of Adolf Hitler, in the midst of the rising popularity of eugenics and other pseudo-sciences, could not have been more timely for American racists who saw him as the avatar to fight the dark age. Various Hitler-worshipping groups formed in the 1930s, such as the German American Bund, but under pressure of wartime censorship and patriotism they didnt last. In Europe, meanwhile, with the coming to power of the Nazi regime, ever more fantastic interpretations ofAriosophyproliferated.Savitri Devi(real name Maximiani Portas) lived in India, married a famous Indian yogic teacher and synthesized, like so many esoteric scholars of her time, whatever myths of racial superiority she could find in the Orient with the homegrown Teutonic versions. Sometimes these myths posed the Hyperborean origin of Aryans, sometimes they suggested that the Aryans came from the three sunken continents (one being Atlantis), and sometimes they suggested the races extraterrestrial genesis. Later in the century, the Chilean diplomat and authorMiguel Serranocontinued Devis speculations in his many books, speculating that the Nazis continue living underneath Antarctica, and heavily implicating UFOs in the fate of the Aryan race. When George W. Bush pronounced the inauguration of the New World Order in the wake of the first Gulf War in 1991, he kick-started the most prominent white supremacist group of the 1990s, the militia movement, with its links to various strains of American white supremacy, fromChristian IdentitytoPosse Comitatus although the militia movement (which is more aptly called thePatriot movement) cannot be reduced to any of these. Just as the founding of the various American Nazi movements in the 1950s was deeply connected to the onset of the national security state in the wake of the cold war, the various movements that burgeoned in the 1990s are inextricably linked to the forms of imperialism typical of the post-Cold War era. The gains that liberal humanism perceives are often insuperable losses for white supremacists. Who are the founding fathers and do they still matter? It was only after the end of World War II, when McCarthyism reigned strong and the world became sharply divided between the capitalist and communist camps, that the founders of the American white supremacist movement of the second half of the 20th century came into their own, among whom we may count the following luminaries. Francis Parker Yockey, who worked as an attorney at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, grew disenchanted with American attitudes toward Europe, and wrote what supremacists to this day consider a magisterial tome. He wrote Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics, a 600-plus page Spenglerian analysis of race decline as caused by the culture-disrupters (the Jews), in 1947 in Ireland, allegedly in six months. Yockey committed suicide when he was arrested for passport violations in 1960, but not before meetingWillis Carto, founder of theLiberty Lobby(terminated 2001), in jail, and authorizing Carto to publish Imperium. Carto was a central intellectual figure in the white supremacist movement, publishing the influential journalRightand thenSpotlight, and also founding theInstitute for Historical Review, which until 2002 published theJournal of Historical Review, the leading journal of Holocaust revisionism. Carto was inspired byGeorge Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party and a strong presence in the early 1960s, who was mysteriously assassinated in 1967. He was seen as the next Fhrer, and articulated as much in his book White Power. Also in the early 1960s, theMinutemen, a forerunner of the 1990s militia movement, had their heyday underRobert Bolivar dePugh. Meanwhile, theJohn Birch Society(JBS) remained strong, although it had an increasingly antagonistic relationship with mainstream conservatism, withWilliam F. BuckleyofNational ReviewexcommunicatingRobert Welch, the JBSs founder, on charges of anti-Semitism. Unlike, say, theAmerican Nazi Party, the JBS did not seem invested in overt anti-Semitism, but Buckley and other conservatives found it too unsavory nonetheless. Certainly, for establishment conservatives someone likeRichard Butler, founder ofAryan Nations, was entirely outside the pale, with a message of unabashed anti-Semitism and a strong desire to reclaim the American homeland for whites, with either repatriation or extermination awaiting nonwhites. The headquarters of Aryan Nations, the fabled Hayden, Idaho, compound, was a nexus for many strains of white supremacy during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Often at conclaves scattered around the Mountain West, different supremacist groups would come together to discuss strategy, particularly in the wake of government action leading to arrest or death. It was at one of these conferences that the idea of leaderless resistance took hold in the early 1990s, because it was felt that any central organization would be easily infiltrated and neutralized by government, as indeed was the case. Finally, if anyone can be considered an imaginative inspiration to white supremacists, it would have to beWilliam L. Pierce, whose 1978 novel The Turner Diaries(and his later bookHunter), inspired many militants, such asTimothy McVeigh, to commit acts of violence against what they considered the illegitimate government. Not surprisingly, when the leading Black Metal record label was in trouble, because of government action, it was Pierce who took it over asResistance Records, which continues to this day despite Pierces death in 2002. The social status of the founders and the followers A number of these founders were well-educated, and worked in the industries associated with the rising military-industrial complex Richard Butler was an aerospace engineer and Ben Klassen, founder ofChurch of the Creator, was an electrical engineer and there was always a love-hate relationship with the conservative establishment. As mentioned, BuckleysNational Reviewtook issue with the JBS, and with others as well when particular groups were seen to have crossed the line. Yet we may conceive of white supremacy, as it has always been practiced in this country, as merely the exaggerated form of our official creed, and think of all the meanings this implies for social status. Obviously the libertarian dimension is highly pronounced in the Posse Comitatus and Patriot movements, but this draws on the suspicion of government in all its larger manifestations, from the Federal Reserve Bank to the IRS, that is a staple of more acceptable conservative thinking. The John Birch movement arose in response to McCarthyism (calling Eisenhower himself a tool of the communists), just as thePatriot movementof the 1990s arose in a dynamic relationship with post-Cold War globalization and the new forms of war that went with it. If war inspired by illegitimate government was a collective endeavor, then how was the patriotic American to preserve individual liberty? How could the true American patriots existing social status be leveraged? It is not always a question of perceived inferiority, or status anxiety, and it would be a mistake to reduce white supremacy to those terms. The social status of white supremacists has always been subject to interpretation. The same has recently been asked of Trumps supporters: Were they dispossessed voters trying to reclaim lost economic and social rights, or were they privileged voters seeking to disbar others from gaining equality? What we learn from history is that no easy generalizations are possible; white supremacism is pervasive to the extent that it cant be isolated as a phenomenon. Some of the most intellectually respectable among our founding fathers were supremacists, as were many establishment scientists and philosophers in the 19th century. Thesecond-era Ku Klux Klan, which at its peak in the 1920s could boast millions of adherents and real control over policy, had legions of followers in the middle and even aristocratic classes. The JBS attracted solid bourgeois citizens, with the stage set by McCarthyism, while the third-era KKK of the 1970s easily transformed, for the most part, into respectableWhite Citizens Councils(now theCouncil of Conservative Citizens) which bridged the gap with establishment Republicans in the wake of the George Wallace candidacy. More recently, the Posse Comitatus, which believes in government at the county level and nothing beyond that, and which provoked great irritation during the farm crisis of the Reagan years by filing fictitious liens against IRS agents and other officials, drew sympathy from tax resisters and dissidents of every class. Even the Patriot movement of the 1990s drew from a wide mix of the population, from alienated veterans (such as Timothy McVeigh) to dispossessed workers in the industrial and agricultural heartland (theMichiganandMontana militiaswere among the strongest) to those with exaggerated fears of globalization. The differences in social status between followers of Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, William Pierce and now Donald Trump are simply not as clear-cut as we would like to believe. Are they all Christians? White supremacy is naturally attracted to versions of Christianity that reinforce the race narrative. The most extreme manifestation of this is the religion known asChristian Identity, which was popular among the different strains of extremists in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Likewise, various Nordic religions going by the names ofOdinism,AsatruandWotansvolkin America put the Aryan race at the center of the world, though they may often just be separatist and not inclined to violence. Christian Identity grew fromBritish Israelism(or Anglo-Israelism) of the 19th and early 20th centuries. This theology posited more than one seed of humankind, which seems to be another constant of racist thinking throughout the ages seeing mankind as divided rather than a single species, the easier to set superior races against inferior ones. Adam and Eve are believed to be the forerunners of the white race, but Eve was seduced by the serpent to create the Jews hence, thetwo-seed theory, meaning that the so-called mud races are fundamentally different from the progeny of Adam and Eve. Christian Identity believes that the lost tribes of Israel are in fact the settlers of Britain and the Nordic countries, from where they went to America. Jesus was not a Jew but an Aryan, and it is one of the great calumnies of the Jews to claim him as one of their own. In America,Wesley Swiftwas a leading originator of this theology in the mid-20th century, from whom, via theChurch of Jesus Christ, Christian, it was transmitted to Richard Butler of the Aryan Nations, turning Hayden, Idaho, into the center of this theology. As is usually the case with white supremacist circles, this led to close interchange and dissemination of Identity beliefs in various branches of the movement. While it is true that Christian Identity despises Christianity for its weakness in allowing interracial mingling, and in cohabiting with the mud races whose only aim is to end the purity of the white race, the same disdain toward Christianity is also true of the neo-pagan Teuton religions, who look back to the Nazi regime for validation of the material success of their theology. The true religion of Aryans is said to be their ancestral one, rather than the imposition of enervating Christianity, and a plethora of mystical rites using runes and symbols reinforce separatist neo-pagan theology. There may be a question about the extent to which Odinists are supremacists some in theAsatru religionbelieve that not only northern Europeans but all white people can claim paganism as their true religion but there is little question about Odinisms separatism. In both Christian Identity circles (influencing in turn the Patriot movement) and among Odinists, the Pacific Northwest is often seen as the starting point for a regained homeland where neo-paganism can be practiced freely. Again, this theology returns the ordinary white person to the center of the moral universe, endowing him with an ingrained and undefeatable aristocracy.DavidandKatja Lane, and later their friendRon McVan, ran the14 Words Pressto propagate Odinism. David continued his mission from jail, where he spent 22 years before his death in 2007 for his early 1980s militant role with theBrder Schweigen or Silent Order, or to insiders simply the Order. Finally, it would be remiss not to return to the aforementionedBen Klassen, founder of theWorld Church of the Creator (COTC), or Creativity, which was taken over by Matt Hale after Klassens suicide in 1993. Klassens many writings propagate a religion that verges on the naturist, advocating a macrobiotic diet (true of many incarnations of white supremacy) and a relationship to the environment that borrows something from the leftist version of it that we know better. The grand narrative of contemporary white supremacy In the broadest sense, white supremacy is a populist movement. The conspiracy for leftists is an elite-driven globalization that creates inequality and makes minorities and poor people suffer inordinately, whereas the conspiracy for white supremacists today is the New World Order that operates through a centuries-old chain of international bankers and is determined to end the purity of the white race. The logic in each instance the conspiracy on the left and the right is parallel, and leads to similar resentment of elites, who have access to special knowledge not available to the ordinary person. On the extreme right it is a mythology of battle and leverage, of heroism and valor, of Robin Hoods and dark cabals, of theIlluminatiandFreemasons, of the heartland American values of liberty and individualism under assault by a globalist conspiracy to introduce monotony and conformism. In a way, the grand narrative is simply a much exaggerated version of yeoman values such as a founding father like Jefferson would have advocated. As the reality of the industrialized economy throughout the 20th century eroded the possibility of independent freeholding such as was possible during 19th-century America and earlier, the grand narrative became more and more powerful in shaping imaginations. We can hardly claim that the emphasis on race is an innovation, because this was a constant throughout our history of oppression of Native Americans (were the Mathers and other New England luminaries of the 17th century any less racist than those we wish to condemn to perdition today?), African-American slaves, and then Catholic and Asian immigrants, except that each of Americas entanglements in foreign wars has provided increasing depth and circumstantial providence to the grand narrative. I find it not coincidental that the KKKs great rebirth came in the 1920s, after we had won World War I, and that the peak of Bircherism occurred in the 1950s, soon after we claimed victory in World War II. Each major war is seen to have been brought about by international conspiracy, leading to the progressive diminishment of the rights of white Americans. It is perhaps easier to condemn a government that has been taken over by a secret cabal (as set out in the influential Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which were vigorously disseminated by Henry Ford, the leading founder of American industrialization, and which have in turn shaped the conspiratorial view of theZionist Occupation Government, or ZOG, followed by those caught up in industrial decline) than to condemn our whole system of government, because to do the latter is to leave no way out, whereas to believe in a conspiracy is to set oneself up as a hero with a shot at salvation. Are they just patriots in a besieged homeland? Gordon Kahl, a member of the Posse Comitatus, became one of the leading martyrs of the white supremacist movement in the late 20th century, when he was killed in a fiery shootout in 1983. The Posse Comitatus, as noted earlier, does not recognize any jurisdiction larger than the county, and wishes to disobey federal functions such as taxation, banking, currency and all forms of regulation. The Posse is separatist, but not necessarily supremacist. It was during thefarm crisisengendered by Ronald Reagans monetarist policies in the early 1980s that the Posse took off. Kahl refused to pay his taxes (for income of less than $10,000) time and time again, eventually leading to a bloody confrontation, despite the doubts of certain local officials in going after him. Its possible to think of the Posse as an extremist manifestation of tax-resistance. Robert Jay Mathewsis probably the best-known martyr in the white supremacist pantheon. Allied with Aryan Nations, he decided to take matters to the next level by embarking on a revolutionary strategy of armed robberies and assassination of selected targets (such as Denver Nazi-baiting radio hostAlan Berg, whom Mathews and his allies succeeded in killing). Caught after a major robbery of an armored car, Mathews met the same fate as Kahl, dying in a fiery shootout. Later, in the 1990s, the two most famous heroes of martyrology wereRandy Weaverat Ruby Ridge, Idaho, andDavid Koreshat Waco, Texas, their families and supporters confronting extended standoffs ending in death. I will take up the patterns of FBI dealings with white supremacists later, but we should note that the Posse Comitatus and the Patriot movement took hold in the midst of extreme economic crisis in the American Midwest. A sense of too much change (such as the urbanization and industrialization of the 1920s, or the reverse tendency of post-industrialization in the 1990s) brings out the white supremacist demons, but when there is an acute feeling of economic depression, as was the case during the 1980s and early 1990s, then the grand narrative becomes all the more important to explain why there arent enough jobs and why certain distant people seem to hold all the economic power. In this narrative, affirmative action is a form of reverse discrimination against whites, aimed at the core philosophy of individualism, and the economic crisis faced by white Americans is just a stepping stone to their extermination. Concluding thoughts about problems of definition Given the diversity of thought and strategy, is white supremacy still a useful term? Should we think about abandoning it altogether? Likewise, when it comes to hate (as in hate speech or hate crimes), is that even a valid concept, if we consider that the white supremacist grand narrative fundamentally rests on accusations of hate coming their own way? Does hate become a transmitter belt, in other words, where traffic between liberal opposition groups and white supremacist groups becomes increasingly abstract, strengthening both sides in equal measure? More importantly, how can the various legacies of white supremacy be separated from populism, something to which liberals dont have as much aversion? If we claim to be principled opponents of white supremacy, then what about the liberal universalist manifestations of white supremacy well into the 21st century, by way of our continuing wars (of compassion and liberation)? Could it be that white supremacy, as I have described its substance here, actually ended for the most part around the turn of the millennium? Was the 1990s Patriot movement its last gasp? We know that the KKK was already in severe decline from the 1970s to the 1990s, with quite anemic membership, and we also know that the number of adherents of the various white supremacist movements discussed here, from Aryan Nations to the American Nazi Party and its successors, was minuscule in comparison to the overall population. But could it be that, with the death of many of the founders of the postwar white supremacist movement in the 1990s and early 2000s, white supremacy, of the kind that was rooted in 20th-century philosophies, has actually ended? Certainly, white supremacy in some form continues, otherwise we wouldnt have President Donald Trump. But is the heavily internet-reliant alt-right movement a continuation of the 20th centurys white supremacy movement, or a new thing altogether? The intellectual leaders of white supremacy were very keen on computer technology and other means of mass communication. They were early users of computer bulletin boards in the 1980s. Their entire movement can be said to have been tract or pamphlet-based from the 1950s to the 1990s. They were good at getting the word out through videos, public-access cable shows and radio shows, and they were excited by the advent of the internet. But could it be that the internet has actually killed white supremacy? Instead of separating themselves from society and dreaming of a white homeland in the Northwest, and eventually cleansing the rest of the country, and instead of mobilizing in discrete physical groups defined by leaderless resistance and coming up with creative strategies to fight the enemy ZOG tactics borrowed from the more extreme manifestations of the New Left that the white supremacists adapted to great ability in the 1970s, 1980s and on into the 1990s are white supremacists now irreparably fractured by living out a virtual fantasy life on the internet rather than adopting physical separation? I suspect this is a strong possibility, and that a number of changes, particularly in the wake of 9/11, ended 20th-century white supremacy in fundamental ways, so that to continue to chase that particular enemy may be to fight a phantom war. Its also interesting to note what happened to the neo-paganists, who seemed to be the wave of the future about 20 years ago, but whose presence does not seem to be palpable in the culture to the extent we might expect, given their esoteric appeal. Recent fears of a worldwide neo-Nazi alliance likewise seem to me to be overblown. Where white supremacy is helpful is in understanding systems of thought that otherwise seem random or incoherent. If we consider the white supremacy grand narrative, then someone likeRon Paulmakes a lot more sense as a white supremacist than a libertarian. This explains his animus against the Federal Reserve or the IRS, against globalization and immigration, and against various powers of the federal government that have become enshrined over the course of the 20th century. Paul, Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan throughout the 1990s, and Donald Trump today, articulate positions that foreign policy analysts describe as isolationist or protectionist but are more correctly understood as assertions of white supremacy, as ways to protect the purity of the white race against the encroachments of global multiculturalism (which dilutes the white gene pool) and against the entanglements of foreign adventures seen as emanating from the ZOG conspiracy. Government isoccupied, in the grand sense, in all white supremacist thinking; many who come across as merely loving the white race, as the new protocol has it, and claim not to be supremacist in the sense of hating other races (former Louisiana KlansmanDavid Dukefollows this template), are bent on taking government back from the forces that are set on exterminating the white race. Many who believe in Aryans as the chosen race desire an imminent racial holy war (RaHoWa), a term first popularized by Ben Klassen, and in some of the people who have lately taken power at the highest levels we can detect this urge. And yet there are those who do not have political power and would be labeled as supremacists, who would claim their source of inspiration as the libertarian impulse in the American revolution.

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April 24, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

Inside the Underground Anti-Racist Movement That Brings the Fight to White Supremacists – Mother Jones

At lunchtime on May 19, 2012, 18 masked men and women shouldered through the front door of the Ashford House restaurant in Tinley Park, Illinois, a working-class suburb of Chicago. Some diners mistook the mob for armed robbers. Others thought they might be playing a practical joke. But Steven Speers, a stalactite-bearded 33-year-old who had just sat down for appetizers at a white nationalist meet and greet, had a hunch who they were. The gang filing in with baseball bats, police batons, hammers, and nunchucks were members of Anti-Racist Action (ARA) and the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement (HARM), two groups dedicated to violently confronting white supremacists. “Hey, bitches!” one of the anti-racists shouted before charging Speers’ table. “ARA is going to fuck this place up!” Speers stood up and warned his seven companions to prepare to fight. His girlfriend, Beckie Williams, who had organized the lunchtime gathering on the white supremacist website Stormfront, grabbed a butter knife. Francis Gilroy, a homeless man who had driven up from Florida to find “work for whites,” as an online ad for the meeting promised, tried to pull the attackers off his companions. Williams was clubbed on the arm. Speers was hit on the head so hard he vomited. An 80-year-old woman celebrating her granddaughter’s high school graduation at a nearby table was also pushed to the floor. A retired cop who believed he was witnessing a terrorist attack used a chair to knock out one of the masked intruders. That’s when they ran off, dragging their dazed companion. In less than two minutes, the anti-racists had unleashed a flurry of destruction. A mosaic of smashed glass covered the floor. Blood polka-dotted the ceiling. Three people required medical care. One group of attackers raced away in a cherry red Dodge Neon. Jason Sutherlin, a 33-year-old with the words “TIME BOMB” tattooed across his knuckles, rode shotgun. His half-brother Dylan drove, and his half-brother Cody, along with their cousin John Tucker, squeezed into the backseat with 22-year-old Alex Stuck, who’d been decked in the restaurant. They sped toward Interstate 80, which would take them home to central Indiana. An off-duty police sergeant who’d heard a radio call about the attack spotted the Neon and turned on her siren. When she looked inside the parked car, amid the sweaty men she saw a baton, a baseball cap that said “Anti-Racist,” and a black and red scarf spelling out “HARM.” The men were arrested and charged with felony mob action and aggravated battery, which together carried up to seven years behind bars. (Speers and Gilroy were also arrestedSpeers for a charge of possessing child pornography.) Jason Sutherlin Andrew Spear Sutherlin and his four compatriots would soon come to be known as the Tinley Park Five. Though they had launched the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement just six months earlier, the attack would make them the public faces of a small yet militant movement that had been waging war on right-wing extremists for decades. HARM was part of Anti-Racist Action, a national group that had spent more than 20 years trying to expose and combat radical right-wing activity with tactics that ranged from counseling kids in neo-Nazi gangs to harassment and physical violence. Most of their actions received little attention, though they occasionally made headlines, like after the 2002 Battle of York, where ARA members attacked a white supremacist march in a Pennsylvania town, or the time in 2009 when pepper-spray-wielding ARA members broke up a New York City speech by the British Holocaust denier David Irving. But mostly, this war was invisible beyond the predominantly white working-class youths caught up in it. As the election of Donald Trump has ushered white supremacists and their ideas from the fringes to the mainstream, their most militant foes have also come out of the shadows. On Inauguration Day, Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who coined the term “alt-right,” was punched in the face on a Washington, DC, street corner. The blow was caught on video, spawning countless remixes and a debate over the ethics and efficacy of “Nazi punching.” That same night, a Trump supporter shot and wounded an anti-fascist, or “antifa,” who was protesting a speech by Breitbart provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Washington in Seattle. Less than two weeks later, “black bloc” protesters in Berkeley, California, helped force the cancellation of another Yiannopoulos speech, setting fires, smashing windows, and punching a Milo fan. Nationwide, new militant groups like Redneck Revolt are recruiting the next generation of activists who believe that white liberals are not up to the challenge of beating back right-wing extremists. The story of HARM’s rise and fall is a prequel to this moment, and a revealing tale about an underground war that’s been simmering for years and may now be poised to explode. The seed for HARM was planted in People’s Park, a tangle of trees and footpaths in downtown Bloomington, Indiana, where in 1968 an African American graduate student named Clarence Turner opened a small store called the Black Market. In a state with a long history of white supremacism (in 1925, nearly one-third of all adult white males there belonged to the Ku Klux Klan, and the governor was a sympathizer), the shop celebrated African and African American culture by selling dashikis and Malcolm X speeches. A few months after it opened, two Klan members firebombed it on Christmas. “This will not be an open season on niggers,” Turner shouted during a rally in front of the ashen skeleton of his shop. By the 1990s, People’s Park had become a hangout spot for punks, ravers, hippies, petty drug dealers, and college kids looking to score. It was there around 1996 that Jason Sutherlin met Telly, another teen from a nearby town. Telly introduced Sutherlin to Nomad, a hulking, half-Puerto Rican tattoo artist. (These names are aliases that they asked me to use to avoid being targeted by white supremacists; the investigation into the Tinley Park assaults is ongoing.) Long before they would become leaders of the local anti-racist movement, the three teens “chased the same cute punk girls,” Sutherlin recalls. “At first, they were my competition, but then we became pals.” The trio shared a love of hip-hop and punk and a hatred for bullies. It was at house parties and concerts that they got their first introduction to Indiana’s numerous white supremacist gangsspecifically, the Hammerskins and the Vinlanders Social Club. Sutherlin recalls attending a show where a Hammerskin stabbed a Latino kid. At another show, concertgoers tried to kick out a group of neo-Nazis, one of whom fired a gun into the air. (More recently, three Vinlanders nearly beat a homeless black man to death in Indianapolis in 2007.) Sutherlin was shocked by the neo-Nazis’ boldness, but he was just as impressed by how the older punks stood up to them. “That culture of not taking any shit seeped into my consciousness.” A rampaging neo-Nazi shot Won Joon Yoon outside the Korean United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1999. Andrew Spear Sutherlin had grown up in a diverse, working-class family that moved frequently between Indiana, Texas, and Florida. “We were crazy white trash, but my mom ran a very multicultural household,” he said. He had a gay Latino babysitter and his younger sister’s dad is black. Sutherlin recalled walking down the street with her near their home outside Bloomington when she was four. “Look,” a man shouted from the window of his pickup. “He’s got his own little nigger!” When the 14-year-old Sutherlin launched a bottle of Snapple at the truck, the man jumped out and beat him up. “In that moment, I realized that if there’s anything in life worth throwing down over,” he said, “that was it.” In July 1999, a 21-year-old Indiana University student who had fallen under the sway of a neo-Nazi cult called the World Church of the Creator went on a two-state, three-day shooting spree, wounding nine people and killing two, including a Korean graduate student in Bloomington. Still, Sutherlin and his friends weren’t overtly interested in politics yetthey just liked hanging out in the park, going to shows, drinking, and getting into fights. Sutherlin describes himself during his teens and early 20s as a “hoodrat.” One night in 1999, after he’d dropped out of school, he burglarized a house, stealing several computers to get money to buy cocaine. He was sentenced to two years. An acquaintance who was also an inmate at the same facility later joined the prison branch of the Vinlanders Social Club. “He wasn’t even racist,” Sutherlin said, “but I think the power of the group appealed to him. If you’re a disaffected young man, any strong masculine identity will hold sway over you.” Sutherlin became active in politics after getting out of prison and having a child. “Bringing a son into this world made me feel like I had to make things better for him,” he said. Punk, rap lyrics, and his family’s diversity had fostered his interest in left-wing ideas, but now he read voraciously about slavery, capitalism, and sexism. Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, which documents the link between race and mass incarceration, “blew my mind.” He became fascinated by the militant 19th-century abolitionist John Brown. He went on a diet and lost nearly 150 pounds. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Sutherlin took it as a sign that America might finally be reckoning with its racist past. “He was the first president I ever believed in,” he says. “Like, I was telling my family to vote for him.” But after Obama’s election, the political climate seemed to sour and the racial progress Sutherlin had hoped for never materialized. “America just would not accept a black man as its leader. It enraged me to fully realize that.” Fanning the flames of Sutherlin’s anger was the emergence of the tea party and birtherism, and the “failure of mainstream Democratic or Republican politicians to aggressively challenge” these movements’ racist and nativist messages. This frustration led him to People’s Park, where a small crowd gathered at the former site of the Black Market one night in October 2011. Just three weeks after Occupy Wall Street took over New York’s Zuccotti Park, Occupy Bloomington was born. Sutherlin helped build a kitchen and cook communal meals, and he didn’t sleep for two days. He was thrilled to be involved in activism of some kind, even if it wasn’t directly addressing racism. Toward the end of the year, Thomas Buhls, a former Marine and organizer for the Knights, the public wing of the Ku Klux Klan, showed up around People’s Park handing out recruitment pamphlets and talking about “white genocide.” Buhls was part of a new wave of young white supremacists who pioneered the recruitment approach since adopted by the so-called alt-right: rebranding white nationalism not as a philosophy of racial superiority, but as a common-sense extension of identity politics in which the white working class is portrayed as victims of immigration, affirmative action, and multiculturalism. In this world-view, white anti-racists were an especially loathsome threat to racial solidarity. “If I tell the obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews,” wrote Robert Whitaker, a former Reagan administration aide, in his “Mantra,” a mini-manifesto that appeared online in 2006 and has served as a touchstone for white nationalists. “They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white. ‘Anti-racist’ is a code word for anti-white.” “Buhls was telling people the recession happened because of the Jew bankers, because the Latinos were stealing jobs,” Sutherlin remembers. He and Telly would confront Buhls when they got the chance, and Sutherlin told him not to bother people in the park. “His audacity, man, of showing up at the spot where the Black Market had been firebombed.” “I wasn’t sure if I was racist or anti-racist,” recalls Alex Stuck. “I just knew I was pissed off.” A high school dropout from Terre Haute, Indiana, who also participated in Occupy Bloomington, Stuck worked at a pizza shop beneath the pub where Sutherlin was a bartender and bouncer. Stuck had a cockatiel Mohawk, a teardrop inked beneath his right eye, and an underbite reminiscent of a French bulldog. “I was your average dumb kid,” he says. “I’d tell a racist joke or use a racist slur.” But Sutherlin began to school him about white privilege, sexism, and structural racism. “Before that, I was a muggle,” Stuck says, referring to the term for Harry Potter characters without magical powers. The magic Sutherlin introduced him to was the history of the secret war between anti-racists and white supremacists. Like most wars, this one had its own martyrs and heroes. There was the tragedy of Greensboro, North Carolina, where in 1979 Klansmen and neo-Nazis opened fire on a “Death to the Klan” rally, killing five participants. There were the Baldies, a 1980s Minneapolis street crew, whose shaved heads, bomber jackets, boots, and braces mirrored the attire of the racist skinheads they booted out of town. And then there was Anti-Racist Action, which merged the moralism of America’s abolitionist tradition with the nihilism of punk rock and viewed the culture war as a literal war on racists, sexists, and homophobes, whom they denounced as fascists. “Racism is an idea,” an anonymous ARA member said in the 2000 documentary Invisible Revolution, but “fascism is an idea mixed with action. It took fascism to establish Jim Crow and before that, slaveryAnti-Semitism has been around a long time, but it took fascism to [make] the HolocaustWhen you cross that threshold, you negate your rights to a calm, collective conversation.” If ARA was the brawn of the anti-racist movement, its most prominent brain was Noel Ignatiev, a Marxist, an ex-steelworker, and a former lecturer for Harvard University’s African American studies department. He founded a journal, Race Traitor, as a vehicle for his theories about how to attack and erode white privilege. Anti-racist whites must commit “treason to whiteness” by rejecting the benefits skin color confers upon them, Ignatiev argued. “Be reverse Oreos,” he told the New York Times in 1997. “Defy the rules of whitenessflagrantly, publicly. When someone makes a racial slur in your presence, say, ‘You probably think I’m white because I look white.'” He added that “challenging people on their whiteness can lead to harsh confrontations, even blows.” Breitbart described him as the “Harvard professor [who] calls for the ‘destruction’ of the ‘white race.'” Sutherlin, Telly, and Nomad cited this legacy as inspiration for the group they formed in the winter of 2011, just before Occupy Bloomington was evicted from People’s Park. “The feeling was that Occupy had been too moderate and unfocused,” says Sutherlin’s cousin John Tucker, who worked with Sutherlin as a bouncer. He credits his interest in HARM to teenage run-ins with neo-Nazis and to the times he heard his mother, who has a dark complexion, being called “wetback” and “squaw” by strangers in Bloomington. “This was going to be something more effective,” Tucker said. “Protesting and camping is nice, but this was going to have results.” At HARM’s first official meeting, a few dozen people showed up at Sutherlin’s apartment with potluck dishes and beer. Telly stood before the crowd and announced the new group’s name and mission. Adopting Anti-Racist Action’s four-point platform, HARM promised to fight racists with direct action, eschewing protests or legislative efforts in favor of, say, hacking neo-Nazis’ email accounts, providing security at gay pride parades, and exposing the shady pasts of bigoted candidates. “This is a war,” Telly said, “and we intend to win.” That’s when all but about 10 people left. “Some of them were hipster liberals,” said Stuck. “Once it came down to the nitty-gritty and we started discussing tactics, they were like, ‘We don’t wanna be a part of this.'” Those who stayed included Tucker, who’d never been involved in politics before, and Sutherlin’s affable 23-year-old half-brother, Cody. Nomad arrived later that night. Stuck recalls seeing himmuscular as a middleweight, his head Bic-razored, his throat adorned with a tattoo of a switchbladeand thinking, “That’s who I want to be.” “I was a disenfranchised white youth,” Stuck says, “and thank God that [HARM] got to me first. I could have easily went the opposite direction.” Nomad had that exact fear about his 14-year-old son, who had recently come home with a neo-Nazi recruitment flyer. White supremacists had even shown up at the tattoo parlor where Nomad worked and tried to recruit him, not realizing he was a militant anti-racistand half Puerto Rican. “They are poisoning these kids,” Nomad said. Telly was particularly alarmed by the growing acceptance of extreme right-wing ideas and figures. “It was terrifying,” he said. The birther movement and Arizona’s 2010 anti-immigrant law were “barely veiled racist sentiments that sounded like stuff white supremacists would advocate, not what members of the Republican Party would typically find acceptable.” Telly recalled J.T. Ready, an Arizona Republican committeeman and a former member of the National Socialist Movement who killed his family and himself after the FBI began investigating his border militia group for the murder of undocumented immigrants. There was also Jack Hunter, who had worked as an aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) until it came out that he’d made pro-Confederate statements and written that “John Wilkes Booth’s heart was in the right place.” These people didn’t have much influence, Telly acknowledged, but “it was fucking insane that they had any influence whatsoever. Things had gone so far to the right, and we wanted to pull them back to the left.” With its core members assembled, HARM planned an action: It would confront Buhls, who was holding a “European Heritage” rally in downtown Bloomington. In preparation, the activists lifted weights in Sutherlin’s garage “to beef up so we could break bones better,” says Stuck, half-seriously. On the day of the rally, in April 2012, more than 100 people came out to protest Buhls, who showed up with just one friend. The HARM members didn’t have a concrete plan to challenge Buhls, and before they could do anything two protesters ran up and punched him. His “Celebrate White Heritage” sign capsized into a sea of counterprotesters. Police whisked him away in a patrol car for his own safety. A few weeks later, HARM stormed the restaurant in Illinois. While Sutherlin and the rest of the Tinley Park Five sat in jail, their comrades found their next target: the newly formed White Student Union at Indiana University. Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist leader from Maryland, had pioneered the first White Student Union at Towson University outside Baltimore before helping spread the concept to other schools. Bloomington’s White Student Union announced its presence on campus by planning an “American White History Month.” But less than a week after the White Student Union made its debut, a disturbing notice was posted on the group’s Facebook page by its founder, an IU undergrad: I just spent all night in the hospital. While walking down 10tha blue van pulled up and four figures poured out of the vehicleAll of them wore all black clothing and had either ski masks or bandanas covering their faces What’s up? That’s the only thing they said. I got hit in the head with something from behind. I fell down and told them that was enough. At this point allof them proceeded to kick me for what felt like hours. At some point I passed out. I didn’t think I would ever wake up again. None of it was trueit was an elaborate psyops scheme. HARM had plastered flyers all over Bloomington denouncing the White Student Union’s founder as a racist and then promised to stop only if he handed over access to the group’s Facebook page. Amazingly, he did. Then HARM invented the story of the beating to elicit notes of sympathy from other white supremacists. Once the post was up, they “doxed” those who replied, posting their real names and email addresses online. “Though we support direct action against white supremacy,” an anonymous HARM member gloated on the group’s website after revealing the hoax, “we also believe in proportional responses and it is our belief that this fictitious action would have been overkill.” In other words, actually beating up the college kid who started the White Student Union would have been a step too far, but harassing him and outing his sympathizers was not. Heimbach “found a young naive conservative kid and turned him into the next battle in the war against racial supremacy,” the HARM member wrote, adding that the student had agreed to disband the White Student Union as a result of the hacking. “White supremacists are like rabid dogsJust like rabid dogs, putting them down is always the most humane approach.” I met Telly and Nomad in Columbus, Ohio, several months after the Tinley Park attack. Sutherlin and his brothers, his cousin, and Stuck were in Chicago awaiting trial, and Telly and Nomad were participating in a fundraiser to pay bail. They led me to a carriage house behind a “big-ass, beautiful mansion,” as Nomad described it, where a crowd of about 50 people greeted us. Many were HARM and ARA members, and I wondered if any of the remaining 13 fugitives were among them. (I never found out.) They were dressed in Mad Max-style punk garbblack jeans, black hoodies, bomber jackets, and combat boots, with neck and face tattoos, septum piercings, and rainbow-colored bandannas. They included a few African Americans and a dozen women. As Bob Fitrakis, a political-science professor and voting rights activist who hosted the event, wrote, they “exuded an aura that made the Weathermen look like the Brady Bunch.” Fitrakis, a paunchy man with a ducktail mullet, was running for Congress as the candidate of the Green Party, which had co-sponsored the evening with ARA. His supporters, who had paid $25 to attend, mingled awkwardly with the radicals. Circulating among them was the Green Party’s then-vice presidential candidate, an anti-poverty activist named Cheri Honkala. “Dude,” Nomad said to me after a woman wearing a pearl brooch offered him a glass of zinfandel on a silver tray. The switchblade tattooed across his throat wiggled as he spoke. “This is a little out of my league.” “These kids are the future,” said a sweaty, elderly man who asked that I not use his name because he was a “prominent professor.” He wore a black blazer over a T-shirt with a peace sign. “This is what the left needsworking-class, radical youth who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and scare the bejesus out of the teabaggers!” “I guess there’s a time and a place for everything, even electoral politics,” Nomad said as he handed me a PBR, glaring at the clean-cut and middle-aged partygoers around us. He took a swig from a bottle of Southern Comfort he’d stashed in his back pocket. “Butand I hate to use gendered language like thisliberals are fucking pussies, man. Sometimes you’ve got to put on the big-boy boots and stomp through some mud.” After Honkala made a speech about her work as a housing activist in Philadelphia, Telly and two other ARA members sat at the front of the room and described what had happened at the Ashford House. Nomad, standing beside me, snorted tearfully into a red handkerchief when Telly read a letter Jason Sutherlin had sent from jail. “People might think our actions are extreme,” Telly told the crowd, “but these guys”neo-Nazis”are often so far beyond the law that they don’t respond to legal appeals. They don’t care if hate crime legislation is enacted; it makes no difference to them. The situation in America has reached a critical tipping point, and we need to fight back with whatever tactics are effective at sending these guys back into the caves they crawled out of.” “Right on, brother,” a snowy-haired man said. Other Green Party members golf-clapped. The professor in the black blazer raised his champagne glass. A hand suddenly shot up in the crowd. “Am I hearing you right?” asked an elegant African American woman with a bundle of silver-streaked hair and a “No War in Iraq” button on her straw purse. “You guys advocate violence?” She’d never heard of HARM or ARA and had been attracted by their names, she explained, but weren’t they just as bad as the people they were fighting? “Doesn’t your approach make you just like the Nazis?” “Bullshit,” an ARA activist fake-sneezed, flashing a shit-eating smile. The questioner stormed out of the room. Telly ran a hand over his shaved head and sighed. “We’re not remotely the same,” he told the remaining crowd. “We support a diversity of tactics.” He reminded listeners that most of ARA’s actions were nonviolentremoving swastika tattoos from ex-convicts, counseling juvenile offenders, providing security at protests. “Violence is never our default response, and it’s a tiny fraction of what we do,” he said. “But it is one weapon in our tool kit. We’re not afraid to acknowledge when nonviolence is obviously not working. What you’re doing, what the liberal left is doing, frankly isn’t working.” Five months later, I met Jason Sutherlin at East Moline Correctional Center, a turreted fortress circled by razor wire rising out of the cornfields of western Illinois, where he’d been sentenced to six years following a plea deal. His brothers, his cousin, and Stuck were sent elsewhere in the state to serve terms ranging from three and a half to six years. (A sixth Ashford House attacker, 28-year-old Jason Hammond, was later arrested and sentenced to three and a half years. His twin brother, Jeremy, is serving a 10-year sentence for hacking the security company Stratfor.) The rest of the Tinley Park attackers remain at large and are unknown. Sutherlin shook my hand, the T-I-M-E on his knuckles interlacing through mine, as he sheepishly slipped the B-O-M-B hand into the pocket of his prison denims. “That guy acts tougher than he is,” he said, nodding toward a beefy prisoner sitting near us in the visitation room, bouncing his son on a leg adorned with a large swastika tattoo. Sutherlin’s eyes are cottonseed blue and heavily lidded, and his slightly upturned nose gives him a wary, porcine appearance. On his bicep is a tattoo that says “Fools Rush In,” and he has the physique of a dead lifter, a huge torso held up by a pair of tiny sawhorse legs. “My best friend in here is a queer black dude,” he told me, grinning. “But the Nazis don’t mess with us.” White supremacist gangs have an active presence in some Illinois prisons, and Sutherlin told me a story about a white guard who had approached him one day and said, menacingly, “I know why you’re in here.” Later, Sutherlin found himself alone with the same guard. The guard walked up to Sutherlin and flashed a photo of his wife, who is African American. “I think you’ll be all right in this prison,” the guard said. “I totally misread the dude,” Sutherlin told me. “He was congratulating me.” Why risk so much to fight racism? I asked. Is this even his fight? “My sister is black,” he said, “and that gave me a different experience of growing up in Indiana. Today, racism has reached a whole other level. It literally makes me sick to my stomach.” “But why is violence necessary?” I pressed him. “You seem awfully preoccupied with moralityisn’t violence wrong?” “Part of me feels bad for the whole attack,” he said. “Some central part of me thinks that all violence is oppression, and it’s never, ever right to oppress another person for their beliefs, identity, sexuality, or any other reason, no matter how heinous. But another part of me thinks that these guys aren’t worth that considerationthey’re such scumbags. All you can do is stop them from influencing others at this point.” “Is it a danger to dehumanize them?” “Yeah, man, it is. I think about that every day. I don’t want to dehumanize anybody.” I later spoke with Brandon Spiller, whom Sutherlin had hit in the head with a steel baton at Tinley Park. He told me that being attacked had strengthened his conviction that whites are under siege in America. In the months after the assault, he said he’d received dozens of threatening phone calls from ARA members at his home in Wisconsin. “It’s definitely made me more likely to use my gun next time,” he said. This is one of the paradoxes of militant anti-racist tactics: Attempting to stop hate crimes by policing thought crimes may reinforce the narrative of victimization that radicalizes some extremists in the first place. Research also suggests that violent protest may drive would-be allies toward more reactionary positions. Even Ignatiev, the anti-racist intellectual, doubts the efficacy of attacks like the one at the Ashford House. Activists should focus on dismantling the institutions and social structure that perpetuate racism, he has written. “Race is not the work of racists.” Heimbach, now the head of the white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party, told me that groups like ARA help his cause. (Heimbach was filmed shoving a protester at a Trump campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, in April 2016.) “They help reinforce our narrative of white victimization and make recruitment easier.” Beckie Williams, however, wrote two weeks after the attack that the incident had caused her to abandon the white power movement. “Because of the relentless harassment by the ARA TERRORISTS,” she posted on Stormfront, “my already tenuous health is being impacted in a extremely severe way. My only recourse is to step away from activism for the sake of my continued survival.” (The other targets of the Tinley Park attack could not be reached for comment.) After buying Sutherlin another microwave cheeseburger, I suggested that, while his actions might be appropriate in a society like Nazi Germany, in a democracy like ours, maybe they’re not. But he didn’t buy that; he believes it’s the responsibility of groups like HARM to police the boundary between democracy and fascism, keeping right-wing extremists in check, disorganized and unable to spread their ideas in public or harass people. “We’re not living in a fascist society,” Sutherlin said. “I know that. But it’s happening all around us, in fits and starts.” As Sutherlin scarfed down a third vending-machine cheeseburger, I asked him about Tony Horwitz’s book Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War, which I’d mailed him. “I feel like that book found me at just the right moment,” he said, a bead of grease dribbling down his chin. We’d been discussing the lesser-known details of Brown’s life, like his murder of slavery advocates at Pottawatomie Creek in Kansas in 1856, and the fact that his raid on Harpers Ferry was widely denounced as fanatical violence, even by President Abraham Lincoln. “I don’t know if we’re headed for a similar moment in American politics,” Sutherlin continued. “But if we are, I want to be someone who did something to stop it, not someone who played it safe and stood by.” Ten feet away, the guy with the swastika tattoo kissed his son goodbye, and a guard led him away. The brawny, bearded Nazi could have been mistaken for one of Sutherlin’s brothers, the resemblance was so strong. In January, just before Trump’s inauguration, I spoke with Sutherlin and Telly. All six of the Tinley Park attackers had been released from prison and HARM had gone dormant. Telly lives on the East Coast and has helped create a new group, the Torch Network, which combines several of the most radical ARA chapters, including those in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Central Texas. It promises to be just as militant as ARA, if not more. “New groups call me up and ask for advice,” Telly said. He cited the emergence of anti-fascist groups like the John Brown Militia, Redneck Revolt, and the Bastards Motorcycle Club as reasons to be optimistic, but otherwise he was gloomy. “I don’t know what to tell them,” he said. “We lost. Someone like Trump is what we were trying to prevent from happening.” “I thought we were being alarmist,” Sutherlin said with a chuckle when I called him at his home outside Bloomington, “but it turns out things were way worse than even we imagined.” He’s no longer on parole and has been lying low, taking care of his six-year-old son and going to anti-Trump rallies but avoiding more militant activism. Since the election, he said, he’d also heard from people who were inspired by his example and seeking his advice. One was a childhood friend, a “gun-loving backwoods survivalist” who had never been political until Trump was elected but recently bought more weapons and talked about defending himself against the radical right wing. “I think a lot of people are now realizing that you can’t be neutral,” Sutherlin said. “A lot of people are suddenly realizing you have to pick a side and go to war.”

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April 18, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

White supremacists don’t know what to make of Jared Kushner – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Jared Kushner arriving at the presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 20, 2017. (Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images) NEW YORK (JTA) White supremacists have a problem, and his name is Jared Kushner. While many on the far right are hoping that President Donald Trump will help advance their separatist, racist agendas, figures like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin are asking what to do about his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law with the ever-expanding White House profile. Kushner, 36, became a senior adviser to Trump after helping manage his presidential campaign. A real estate mogul by trade, he is now handling a growing list of administration priorities. He has a hand in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, addressing the opioid epidemic and reforming criminal justice. He is the point person on U.S.-China relations. He just traveled to Iraq on government business. And he is heading an initiative to streamline the executive branch. For white supremacists who feel Trump is, intentionally or not, speaking their language, this religious Jew who attends a Chabad synagogue is an unwelcome twist. And they dont really know how to react. Goddamn it, wrote Anglin, editor of the hate website The Daily Stormer, on Jan. 9, when Kushners White House appointment was announced. I would be a whole lot happier if this was not happening, I can tell you that. I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House, Duke said Mondayon his daily podcast. Anglin and other white supremacists have posted confused responses to Kushners ascent that reflect three theories: 1. Kushner is just a ruse to hide Trumps white supremacism. 2. Kushner shows Trump isnt actually the white supremacists guy. 3. Kushner is using Jewish nefariousness to manipulate Trump. Some white supremacists take comfort in thinking Kushner is either a Trump frontman or an adviser with little actual influence compared to, say, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, a darling of the far right. Anglin in the January article suggested that Kushner serves Trump by obscuring his white supremacism until Trump wants to expose it, calling Kushner a human shield, because Trump cant immediately go all out against the Jews. But others, particularly on the white supremacist site Stormfront, point to Kushner as proof that Trump was never a white supremacist after all. They note that Kushner is far from Trumps only Jewish adviser. The Trump White House also includes Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump aide Stephen Miller and chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt. It is hard to believe that anyone with any knowledge of Jewish behavior and strategy really thinks that the Jews are so nave and trusting that they would let themselves be used by someone whom they consider to be a loudmouth goy from New York no matter how rich he is, Stormfront blogger James Harting wrote on Dec. 12. Or perhaps each side thinks that it is using the other. If that is true, Trump is in for a rude awakening, for the Jews are past masters at behind-the-scenes infighting and maneuvering. Jewish media and social networks are often quick to note the presence of Jews in high places, out of ethnic pride, and sometimes a sense that such figures can be advocates for Jewish communal issues. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, in particular are objects of fascination among many Jews: Kushner was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey, Ivanka converted to Judaism under the auspices of an Orthodox rabbi, and the family attends an Orthodox synagogue in Washington, D.C. But Jews sometimes play into anti-Semitic rhetoric by expecting Jews in power to serve parochial Jewish interests, said former Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman. While Foxman said there is nothing wrong with Jews feeling especially proud of powerful Jews, they and outsiders shouldnt see them as their emissaries. Weve always been proud of Jews in positions of influence, he said. The next step, [that] they should do so-and-so on behalf of Jewish values, is asking too much and setting them up for possible failure. Presidential historian Gil Troy, a professor at McGill University,also said ethnic pride can go too far. Jared Kushner is supposed to bejudged not as a Jew but as Jared Kushner, Troy said. We should be proud enough, comfortable enough, American enough to say these guys have been appointed not because theyre Jewish, but because theyre tied to Donald Trump. Anti-Semites, of course, dont make such distinctions. Some have remained Trump fans despite Kushners rising profile, and see him as a threat to the white nationalist hopes they hold forthe administration. Duke, the former KKK grand wizard, spent much of his daily podcast Monday discussing why he sees Kushner as a huge threat to the Trump revolution. Repeating the anti-Semitic smears that are his stock and trade, Duke called Kushner a Jewish supremacist who seeks to nefariously steer Trump toward Jewish interests. Were going to talk about Jewish radicalism, which Kushner absolutely represents, Duke said in the podcast. I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House, and one totally dedicated to Jewish supremacism. Its a real danger to the president. He added: As soon as Trump was elected, Kushner decided to move to the White House and decided to have a very, very powerful role. On Tuesday, in an interview withthe the far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone accusedKushner of leaking talking points to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and thus undermining Trump. While Stone did not mention or allude to Kushners religion, visitors to Jones InfoWars website did. Kushner was converted by the orthodox cult invented in the 1800s, one wrote. WORLD JEWERY IS ALIVE AND WELL! wrote another, using the name Follow the Shekels. Kushner seems to take a much smaller part in the rhetoric of another white supremacist leader, alt-right founder Richard Spencer. While Duke has dedicated two of his podcast episodes to Kushner, Kushner is all but absent from Spencers commentary on the Trump administration. In December, before Trump took office, Spencer told Haaretz that he isnt bothered by Trumps choices of advisers. I dont have a strong position on this, that is his business, he told Haaretz. Trump has been a positive thing. It is what it is. He can pick his own advisers and listen to whoever he chooses, that is his prerogative.

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April 6, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed

White supremacists don’t know what to make of Jared Kushner – Jerusalem Post Israel News

White supremacists have a problem, and his name is Jared Kushner. While many on the far right are hoping that President Donald Trump will help advance their separatist, racist agendas, figures like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin are asking what to do about his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law with the ever-expanding White House profile. Kushner, 36, became a senior adviser to Trump after helping manage his presidential campaign. A real estate mogul by trade, he is now handling a growing list of administration priorities. He has a hand in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, addressing the opioid epidemic and reforming criminal justice. He is the point person on US-China relations. He just traveled to Iraq on government business. And he is heading an initiative to streamline the executive branch. For white supremacists who feel Trump is, intentionally or not, speaking their language, this religious Jew who attends a Chabad synagogue is an unwelcome twist. And they dont really know how to react. Goddamn it, wrote Anglin, editor of the hate website The Daily Stormer, on Jan. 9, when Kushners White House appointment was announced. I would be a whole lot happier if this was not happening, I can tell you that. I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House, Duke said Monday on his daily podcast. Anglin and other white supremacists have posted confused responses to Kushners ascent that reflect three theories: 1. Kushner is just a ruse to hide Trumps white supremacism. 2. Kushner shows Trump isnt actually the white supremacists guy. 3. Kushner is using Jewish nefariousness to manipulate Trump. Some white supremacists take comfort in thinking Kushner is either a Trump frontman or an adviser with little actual influence compared to, say, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, a darling of the far right. Anglin in the January article suggested that Kushner serves Trump by obscuring his white supremacism until Trump wants to expose it, calling Kushner a human shield, because Trump cant immediately go all out against the Jews. But others, particularly on the white supremacist site Stormfront, point to Kushner as proof that Trump was never a white supremacist after all. They note that Kushner is far from Trumps only Jewish adviser. The Trump White House also includes Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump aide Stephen Miller and chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt. It is hard to believe that anyone with any knowledge of Jewish behavior and strategy really thinks that the Jews are so nave and trusting that they would let themselves be used by someone whom they consider to be a loudmouth goy from New York no matter how rich he is, Stormfront blogger James Harting wrote on Dec. 12. Or perhaps each side thinks that it is using the other. If that is true, Trump is in for a rude awakening, for the Jews are past masters at behind-the-scenes infighting and maneuvering. Jewish media and social networks are often quick to note the presence of Jews in high places, out of ethnic pride, and sometimes a sense that such figures can be advocates for Jewish communal issues. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, in particular are objects of fascination among many Jews: Kushner was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey, Ivanka converted to Judaism under the auspices of an Orthodox rabbi, and the family attends an Orthodox synagogue in Washington, D.C. But Jews sometimes play into antisemitic rhetoric by expecting Jews in power to serve parochial Jewish interests, said former Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman. While Foxman said there is nothing wrong with Jews feeling especially proud of powerful Jews, they and outsiders shouldnt see them as their emissaries. Weve always been proud of Jews in positions of influence, he said. The next step, [that] they should do so-and-so on behalf of Jewish values, is asking too much and setting them up for possible failure. Presidential historian Gil Troy, a professor at McGill University, also said ethnic pride can go too far. Jared Kushner is supposed to be judged not as a Jew but as Jared Kushner, Troy said. We should be proud enough, comfortable enough, American enough to say these guys have been appointed not because theyre Jewish, but because theyre tied to Donald Trump. Antisemites, of course, dont make such distinctions. Some have remained Trump fans despite Kushners rising profile, and see him as a threat to the white nationalist hopes they hold for the administration. Duke, the former KKK grand wizard, spent much of his daily podcast Monday discussing why he sees Kushner as a huge threat to the Trump revolution. Repeating the antisemitic smears that are his stock and trade, Duke called Kushner a Jewish supremacist who seeks to nefariously steer Trump toward Jewish interests. Were going to talk about Jewish radicalism, which Kushner absolutely represents, Duke said in the podcast. I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House, and one totally dedicated to Jewish supremacism. Its a real danger to the president. He added: As soon as Trump was elected, Kushner decided to move to the White House and decided to have a very, very powerful role. On Tuesday, in an interview with the the far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone accused Kushner of leaking talking points to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and thus undermining Trump. While Stone did not mention or allude to Kushners religion, visitors to Jones InfoWars website did. Kushner was converted by the orthodox cult invented in the 1800s, one wrote. WORLD JEWERY IS ALIVE AND WELL! wrote another, using the name Follow the Shekels. Kushner seems to take a much smaller part in the rhetoric of another white supremacist leader, alt-right founder Richard Spencer. While Duke has dedicated two of his podcast episodes to Kushner, Kushner is all but absent from Spencers commentary on the Trump administration. In December, before Trump took office, Spencer told Haaretz that he isnt bothered by Trumps choices of advisers. I dont have a strong position on this, that is his business, he told Haaretz. Trump has been a positive thing. It is what it is. He can pick his own advisers and listen to whoever he chooses, that is his prerogative. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

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April 5, 2017   Posted in: White Supremacism  Comments Closed


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