“November 13 marks the 29th anniversary of the murder of Mulugeta Seraw. Seraw, an Ethiopian immigrant, was killed in 1988 when a gang of Nazi skinheads crushed his head with a baseball bat on a small side street in Portland, Oregon. His death became the best known of dozens of murders that were part of the last popular wave of organized racist groups before the current resurgence of white supremacy driven by the “alt-right.”
A federally funded study says that almost 450 people have been killed by the far right since 1990 — and this is likely a conservative number. White supremacists don’t just desire a racist future in which people of color, Muslims, Jews and other historically oppressed groups are exterminated or expelled: They work actively to make it happen. And even without having the governmental power to do this explicitly, far-right activists have committed a continuous series of murders, bombings and assaults.
Seraw’s death was just one of at least 40 murders by Nazi skinheads between 1988 and 1996 — a number that doesn’t include murders by other racist factions, like the Ku Klux Klan.
However, for those of us who came of age in the punk rock scene or lived in Portland, it was Seraw’s senseless death that we recall the most. The city was shocked by the violence, even though it had come to be one of the centers of the Nazi skinhead scene, which in 1988 had exploded in a wave of popularity.”
I attended the MOAR rally on September 16 in Washington, DC. Here’s what I saw.
“The ‘Mother of All Rallies’ last Saturday (September 16) may have been the biggest far-right march since the deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia, but that doesn’t mean it was successful. Organizers claimed they would draw one million people to Washington, D.C., for what they called the ‘Woodstock of American Rallies.’ Despite months of organizing the rally, with its stated goal of protecting and preserving ‘American culture,’ 1,000 people at most came to hear over 50 speakers and bands. The organizers’ boastful branding and their reservation of a huge swath of the mall in front of the Washington Monument backfired. The internet mocked the tiny turnout with aerial photos. It seemed especially pathetic compared to a nearby march by Juggalos, a subculture of Insane Clown Posse fans who dress up like the Detroit-born rap-metal band. The Juggalos were protesting against the FBI designating them a ‘hybrid gang‘ in a 2011 report.
MOAR was an attempt to rekindle the pre-Charlottesville street marches held by what I dubbed in Colorlines in June as ‘Independent Trumpists.’ Since Donald Trump took office, this mixture of Republicans, members of the so-called alt-right, neo-Nazis and armed activists from the militia and Patriot movements have participated in a series of rallies in favor of ‘free speech’ and against Islam and the removal of Confederate monuments. And in this sense, MOAR succeeded in replicating this coalition, even as they tried unsuccessfully to dissuade Nazis from showing up.”
For some reason the media hasn’t picked up on the fact that Richard Spencer’s AltRight.com is openly calling for “leaderless resistance” after Charlottesville.
“A website co-founded by white supremacist Richard Spencer has published articles calling on the alt-right to begin organizing in small cells and prepare for war.
Vincent Law, a regular writer for Spencer’s AltRight.com, wrote the articles after August 12’s fascist-led gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one participant rammed his car into an anti-racist march, killing one and wounding 19.
The first essay, ‘The Alt Right is Finished Debating,’ was published ten days after Charlottesville. Using apocalyptic language, Law claimed that the Alt Right has ‘reached a point of no return,’ and there was no use in speaking to uncommitted fascists, seeking popular support nor recruiting new members.
‘There are no debates between foreign tribes, only war,’ Law wrote. ‘The debate happens on the battlefield.'”
My account of being at the counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia against the Unite the Right rally on August 12, 2017.
“Fascist violence is not an anomaly. The movement itself is based on violence—the glorification of violence, the use of violent tactics as organizing tools, and the end goals of ethnic cleansing and genocide. There is no such thing as “peaceful ethnic cleansing,” as alt-right leader Spencer has advocated. It is White supremacy and antisemitism first, with hatred of Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ people, feminists and leftists coming in at a close second.
The fascist Right and their allies united this weekend for what they hoped would be their big breakthrough. Before the march, AltRight.com, run by Spencer, posted, “People will talk about Charlottesville as a turning point. There will be a before Charlottesville and an after Charlottesville. Will you stand up for your history, your race and your way of life?”
For those opposed to fascism and far Right rhetoric and violence, there also needs to be a before and after. Just as fascists threaten so many groups, they provide us—Muslims, Jews, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, feminists and progressives—an opportunity. Our common enemy allows us an opportunity to come together across our differences and work together, not just to oppose and contain their movement, but to do so based on a commitment to a vision of a cosmopolitan future based on respect and equality. I hope we seize this opportunity.”
The video of my talk at Verso Books on June 28, 2017, “The Far Right Today in the U.S. and New York City,” is now online.
Apparently people attempted to pressure Verso to cancel the talk beforehand.
Afterward, Gavin McInnes seems to have ordered his keyboard kommandos to harass me. You can really tell what’s on the Alt Right’s mind by their comments: Jews, people’s body size, and violence. Pretty funny overall.
The talk is about 40 minutes long, and the Q&A goes on for an hour.
“Im Fahrwasser Donald Trumps erlebt die radikale Rechte in den USA derzeit eine gesellschaftliche Relevanz wie zuletzt in den neunziger Jahren des vergangenen Jahrhunderts. Der neuerliche Aufschwung begann 2015 zeitgleich mit Trumps Präsidentschaftskandidatur und seinem Versprechen, eine Grenzmauer zwischen den USA und Mexiko zu errichten. Die wichtigste Rolle spielt in diesem Zusammenhang das Erstarken der „Alt Right“-Bewegung, eines internetversierten Zusammenschlusses weißer Nationalist_innen, Antisemit_innen und Anti-Feminist_innen, der die amerikanische Rechte auf eine neue soziale Basis gestellt hat.
„Alt Right“ steht über den hochrangigen Berater Steve Bannon mit der Trump Administration in enger Verbindung. „Alt Right“ hat es als aufstrebendes Bündnis aus Faschisten_innen und anderen weißen Nationalist_innen geschafft, sich im Internet als einflussreiche Präsenz zu etablieren und versucht nun, sich auch außerhalb dessen zu organisieren. Dabei zeigt „Alt Right“, obwohl ursprünglich in einer explizit faschistisch und nationalistisch geprägten Szene zu verorten, keine Nazirhetorik. Innerhalb der Sozialen Medien haben sie es geschafft, ihre Botschaften erfolgreich zu verbreiten. Die Bewegung versteht sich dabei darauf, Anhänger_innen verschiedenster ideologischer Anschauungen zu vereinen. Darunter auch bekennende Neonazis wie Andrew Anglin von der nationalistischen Website „Daily Stormer“. Die wichtigste intellektuelle Figur ist Richard Spencer, ein Faschist, der große ideologische Schnittmengen mit der europäischen “Identitären Bewegung” (IB) aufweist. Folgerichtig lud dieser 2013, anlässlich der von ihm jährlich organisierten „National Policy Institute Conference“, den ultrarechten französischen Theoretiker und Vordenker der „Neuen Rechten“ Alain de Benoist ein.”