2022 Wrap up: “While Trump Floundered in 2022, His Far Right Acolytes Built a Movement”

My annual wrap-up of the U.S. Far Right is out. It looks at the increasingly autonomous MAGA movement; the 1/6 committee and arrests; Trump & Musk’s shenanigans; Far Right massacres and other violence; antisemitic incidents; and new neo-Nazi groups.

“As in past years, the U.S. far right has continued to have a political impact far in excess of anything seen before Donald Trump’s presidential term. What was new in 2022 was that activists who emerged from his base have also achieved a level of autonomy from their leader which they had not seen before. However, this year’s most visible spotlight on the far right was the January 6 committee, which culminated in the recommendation that Trump be charged with federal crimes. Additionally, there have also been numerous arrests, trials and sentences related to the Capitol breach. While what’s now called the “MAGA Movement” has outlived its leader’s fall from power, it remains to be seen what effect his 2024 presidential campaign will have on it — especially after the disappointing midterms. The year has also been marked by the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. Alongside the boost to Christian nationalism this provided, far right groups have targeted LGBTQ+ events this year, focusing on drag shows. And extreme violence also reared its head again as two significant far right massacres marked the year.”

Read the full article at Truthout

Kyle Rittenhouse – Posterboy rechter Milizen

king of the scumbags, racist murderer Kyle Rittenhouse

For German readers, I have a new piece in Antifa Infoblatt #134 which has just been put online.

“2014, nachdem die Polizei einen schwarzen Teenager in Ferguson, Missouri ermordete, begann die erste Protestwelle der BLM Bewegung, die nach ein paar Jahren aber wieder abebbte. Die zweite Welle, die bis heute anhält, begann im Mai 2020, nachdem gefilmt wurde, wie der schwarze George Floyd von einem weißen Polizeibeamten zu Tode gewürgt wurde. Eine spontane, landesweite Protestwelle – die anfangs so heftig war, dass sie einer revolutionären Situation glich – brach aus und gewann eine breite Unterstützung in der Bevölkerung.

Drei Monate nach Floyds Tod entstanden Filmaufnahmen, die zeigten, wie dem schwarze Jacob Blake in der Kleinstadt Kenosha, Wisconsin von einem weißen Polizisten mehrfach in den Rücken geschossen wurde. Es folgten neuerliche BLM-Proteste. Von da an begannen bewaffnete rechte Gruppen zu den Demonstration zu kommen, um die Protestierenden einzuschüchtern (in einigen Situationen waren die BLM-Aktivisten ebenfalls bewaffnet). In Kenosha rief eine rechte Miliz dazu auf, sie bei ihrem Vorgehen gegen eine BLM Demo zu unterstützen. Zu jenen, die dem Aufruf folgten, gehörte der 17-jährige Kyle Ritten­house.”

Read the whole piece here: Kyle Rittenhouse – Posterboy rechter Milizen

5 Years After Charlottesville, We Can See Its Legacy in January 6 Violence

“On August 12, 2017, the largest fascist-led rally in the United States in many decades was held in Charlottesville, Virginia. What happened shocked the country out of its complacency about how right-wing politics were unfolding under then-President Donald Trump, and foretold the years of far right violence to come. Charlottesville’s effects still reverberate today, both on those who were present and in local and national politics. And there is a direct line from that rally to the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Tactically, there is obviously no shortage of examples of the kind of violence seen at Unite the Right in the country’s history. But militant movements don’t arise out of thin air, and they almost always build on previous actions as they motivate themselves and get everything into alignment. Charlottesville stood out because, for the first time since the turn of the century, this kind of violence was seen so brazenly at a large, far right public demonstration. What the SPLC’s Hannah Gais called “a disavowal of traditional politics and the democratic process, combined with decentralized violence” was the door that Charlottesville opened at the beginning of Trump’s administration. January 6 was what walked through at the end.”

Read the full article at Truthout (A Spanish-language version is available here as well.)

(For those interested, the article I wrote directly after Charlottesville can be found here.)

New Series: Asking “Five Questions”

I am running a new series on my Patreon called “Five Questions.” Each month, I ask these to a variety of people who have knowledge of, experience with, and insights into the Far Right. The interviews are exclusive for supporters at first, but after a month I de-paywall them. So here are what’s open access so far.


February: Dakota Adams
What’s it like to be the son of one of the most notorious militia leaders?

March: Kelly Weill
What did you learn about Flat Earthers by writing a book about them?

April: Shannon Foley Martinez
What is it like to help racists and fascists get away from those politics?

May: Daryle Lamont Jenkins

June: Ana Bochicchio

White Supremacist Massacre in Buffalo Shows “Alt-Right” Ideology Leads to Murder

On Saturday, a white supremacist walked into a supermarket in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, and opened fire. He killed ten people and wounded three others; eleven of his victims were Black. The horrific attack showed the influence of other massacres by the terrorist wing of the “alt-right” that took place during the Trump presidency. The conspiratorial ideology of these attacks, once fringe, now can be found in the mainstream right wing. They also fit within the much longer history of anti-Black lynchings and white supremacist violence that have been occurring for centuries.

Six similar far right attacks killed 86 people in 2018 and 2019. Their intended targets were Muslims (51 killed in Christchurch, New Zealand), Latino immigrants (23 in El Paso) and Jews (including 11 in Pittsburgh). The Christchurch massacre set up a template that other white supremacists have followed: writing a lengthy manifesto and placing it on an online platform associated with the alt-right before the violence, and then livestreaming the attack.

read the complete article at Truthout

From the Archives: “Dark Days Ahead” (2016)

I wrote this on the morning after the 2016 election, November 9. I had just finished a 10+ city speaking tour of Germany, got on a plane to London on election day, landed and took a train to Brighton, and then fell asleep as results were coming in—figuring that finding out in the late evening or the next morning was all the same. It was not a good morning. The German paper Jungle World asked me for my reflections, and I quickly dashed this off over coffee.

At some point it disappeared from the interwebs, but i was always curious if it held up, and I finally found the original in my Sent folder. In retrospect, it’s just creepy.

Dark Days Ahead

The election of racist demagogue Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency—in the face of  all of pre-election polls—has sent a shock wave through the left-leaning parts of the country. Coupled with what looks like A Republican domination of the Congress, which will allow Trump to appoint the empty Supreme Court seat , dark days are indeed ahead for the U.S. Left.

Trump was able to channel the social anxieties of his largely white base by deploying techniques of demonization and scapegoating against a number of minority groups (especially Muslims and undocumented immigrants), coupled with his support for protectionist trade policies and vague promises to revive industrial production and national glory. The fact that he may lose the total national popular vote—possible because of the U.S. electoral system’s state-by-state, winner-take-all structure—is a poor consolation. Trump has shown that, in these uncertain times, a rich man with a gift for improvisation, a certain kind of charisma, and a complete lack of ethics can indeed talk his way into leading a global superpower. Lacking a coherent political outlook and with a poor grasp of international politics, Trump will undoubtedly appoint conservative advisors, some of whom may be tied to the white nationalist movement, to craft his administration.

The U.S. Left, from militant anti-fascists to Democrats, has made no plans for this outcome. Whether Trump attempts  to implement his more outlandish promises—to register Muslims and build a wall on the Mexican border—will probably be seen in his first 100 days. With a Republican federal government, it also remains to be seen if the judiciary will be able to uphold the rule of law in the face of a president who has called to jail his opponent and has expressed only contempt for civil rights, democracy, and common decency. If that fails, we see shortly if Trump will merely be a figurehead for an especially racist conservative government, or if he truly will make moves towards establishing authoritarian state power, as many on the Left have claimed is his intention.

Amazon’s Still Selling Lots of Nazi Books

Amazon will bring almost anything to your door in a day. Despite numerous exposés, that still includes Nazi books running the gauntlet from “classic” tomes of Hitler-era Germany to standard post-war white supremacist texts up through alt-right writers. … Many classics of Nazi Germany are available, not from scholarly presses with appropriate framing but from racist publishers. Neo-Nazis can enjoy A New Nobility of Blood and Soil by Walther Darré, the Nazi regime’s agriculture minister, or the works of the Nazi economist Gottfried Feder. Those who prefer what’s described as “one of the most highly prized books of the Aryan home” can order The Yearly Celebrations and Life in the SS Family. It has a five-star rating and free shipping with Prime.

Read the fill article at the Daily Beast

Subpoenas Could Show Trump Admin’s Link to Openly White Supremacist ‘Groypers’

The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol takeover have subpoenaed a wide variety of people, from Trump officials to grassroots activists. And on January 19, 2022, two more were called: Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, the leaders of the “Groyper” movement, a white supremacist outgrowth of the “alt-right.” Fuentes believes that “genocide” is being committed against white people, and rails against immigration, the “LGBTQ agenda” and feminism. While relatively minor characters on the national stage, Fuentes and Casey are important to know about for three reasons.

The first is that the Groypers are one of the more successful groups among the openly white supremacist wing of the alt-right, and they have been able to attract mainstream support. The second is if Fuentes and Casey “were involved in the planning and coordination of the January 6 attack … it would show tight collaboration between true white supremacists and the former administration,” according to Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. Third, the committee specifically pointed out that Fuentes and Casey had “received tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin from a French computer programmer.” Calling for — and then cheering on — the takeover of the Capitol after receiving foreign funding would put them in a different category than many of the other involved groups which seem to lack foreign financial connections.

Read the full article at Truthout

U.S. Far Right Wrap-up for 2021

Every year I do a year-end wrap-up of the U.S. Far Right. So here’s what’s happened in 2021 and let’s all hope for a lot less from them in 2022! (Links below for past years)

“Even With Trump Out of Office, the Far Right Continued to Mobilize in 2021”

Although Donald Trump has been out of power for nearly a year, the far right in the United States is still going strong. The January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol was easily the year’s most important event, and its fallout has, in many ways, defined 2021. Arrests, lawsuits and congressional hearings are still ongoing.

Even without Trump’s tweets to guide them, the far right failed to collapse, as many had hoped. Excepting a gruesome mass murder in Denver, Colorado, at the year’s end, the bulk of right-wing violence has been committed by the politically moderate Trumpists, as opposed to open white supremacists — its traditional perpetrators. The Proud Boys have continued their campaign of violence. A split in the Republican Party between the moderates and the Trumpists has likewise failed to emerge. In fact, the latter have arguably only increased their grip on the party. Right-wing conspiracy theories also continue to mutate and gain popularity, especially those about COVID-19.

Read the full article at Truthout.

Past Years
2020 Wrap-up
2019 Wrap-up
2018 Wrap-up
2017 Wrap-up

Online panel: “Nazism, Neo-Nazism and Music”

On November 17, 2021 I hosted my last online panel for a while at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. It’s now available online, so if you missed it here’s your opportunity to check it out at your leisure.

All political movements use music, and National Socialism is no exception. Both Hitler’s Nazis and postwar neo-Nazis have used different kinds of music in various ways. This panel will explore how German Nazis used music to help facilitate mass murder during the Holocaust, as well as how neo-Nazism became entangled with various music-based subcultural scenes and their connections with political organizations. From the NSDAP to the American Nazi Party’s record label, to the Nazi skinhead movement, to NSBM (National Socialist Black Metal) and even fascist reggae, this panel will document and reflect on how, why, and in what ways National Socialism has come to be tied to various musical forms.

This panel is moderated by researcher, writer, and activist Spencer Sunshine and features Luca Signorelli (author of L’Estetica Del Metallaro), Shannon Foley Martinez (consultant for American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab), Kirsten Dyck (author of Reichsrock: The International Web of White-Power and Neo-Nazi Hate Music), and Edward B. Westermann (author of Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany).