“Why the Far Right Kills”
Tuesday, March 10, 7PM
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 15 West 16th Street, NYC
Free, but please register online.
Co-sponsored by LaGuardia Community College Social Science Department and Routledge
The October 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, committed by a Far Right activist, was the most lethal assault on Jews on U.S. soil in history. It was followed by attacks on synagogues in Poway, California and Halle, Germany. The Far Right has also massacred Latinos in El Paso, Texas, as well as Muslims and Arabs in Christchurch, New Zealand and Hanau, Germany. In fact, the postwar Far Right has killed thousands of people. Why is this political faction, compared to others, so violent—and what drives them to kill again and again?
Researcher Chip Berlet, who has investigated the Far Right for forty years, will explain how the movement’s internal dynamic drives its participants into homicidal outbursts. Berlet will discuss the Far Right’s themes of demonization, scapegoating, conspiracism and apocalypticism with journalist Talia Lavin, and they will offer their perspectives on how to deal with this toxic social current.
About the Speakers
Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist and independent scholar who has studied Far Right movements and conspiracy theories for over forty years, including three decades as senior analyst at the think tank Political Research Associates. Berlet is the co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort (Guilford, 2000), and his new book is Trumping Democracy From Reagan to the Alt-Right (Routledge, 2019). He is also the co-author of the “Neo-Nazism” entry in the Encyclopaedia Judaica, and has written for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, and many other publications.
Talia Lavin is a freelance writer and researcher based in Brooklyn with bylines in GQ, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and the New Republic. Her forthcoming book about the Far Right online, Culture Warlords: Dispatches from the Dark Web of White Supremacy, will come out on Hachette Books in October 2020.