Some mornings are more surprising then others! I woke up today to find a digital cookie trail that led to a really great YouTube video based on a short piece I wrote at the height of the second “Antifa Panic,” after the brief love affair for antifa by liberals after Charlottesville had suddenly turned into hate. […]
“Republicans voting on Tuesday in Illinois’s 3rd congressional district primary will get to decide if they want Art Jones, a lifelong white supremacist, to be their candidate. The state’s GOP is actively campaigning against him. They are still embarrassed that Jones was their 2018 candidate, after the party had forgotten to field a primary opponent to ensure that he wasn’t their candidate in the general election in a strongly Democratic district. And later that year, despite ample publicity of his views, Jones received 57,000 votes (26 percent) in the general election.
But Jones, and his perennial campaigns, are not a random product of one man’s idiosyncratic commitment to bigotry. Rather, they are the direct result of neo-Nazi activity in Chicago, and Illinois more broadly, which goes back to the 1960s. These have included Nazi-led rallies which have drawn thousands, as well as electoral campaigns which have also produced unusually high outcomes.
The continuing influence of neo-Nazi organizing, a half-century after its heyday, should be a warning about the “alt-right.” Even though its influence is subsiding, we should be prepared for the thousands of young adults who’ve become white nationalists through the movement to remain politically active for decades. The alt-right has created a new generation of racist activists, breathing fresh life into what previously was a moribund movement.”
Read the full article at Truthout
JTA was very kind to give me a short op-ed on the new Richard Spencer leaks. I ask: Why do Americans go to such extraordinary lengths to deny that we have a White Supremacist movement? Especially since millions of American have belonged to organized racist groups, and they have killed thousands of people.
Read the op-ed at Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).
“A White supremacist was arrested in Florida in mid-September for making online threats against Black city council candidate in Charlottesville, Virginia. To casual observers this looked like a singular arrest in Trump’s America. But experts who watch the militant end of the fascist movement—including myself—are paying close attention to the fate of Daniel McMahon, 31. The arrest comes after the Department of Homeland Security finally affirmed the threat of “racially based violent extremism.”
McMahon, a self-proclaimed fascist whose online aliases include “Jack Corbin” and “Pale Horse,” harassed progressive activists for years. He specialized in terrorizing women and attacked people of color, LGBTQ people, feminists, Jews and antifascist activists.”
McMahon was a prolific poster on Gab, which is, essentially, a racist version of Twitter. There, concerning one woman of color, he said, “Fuck that wetback. Too bad the ICE Agent didn’t shove his fist up her cunt and rip out her womb.” On Discord, a chat platform designed for online gamers that White supremacists frequently use for internal communications, he said a “white girl with a ni**er” was “beastilaty” [sic]. On Gab he also wrote, “It’s impossible to rape a female Leftist, because they are so slutty they will sleep with everyone.” He has also been obsessed with me for years; in one of his less profane posts on Gab, he called me the “most evil Jew in the USA.””
Read the entire story at Colorlines
I have a piece in the new European publication, The Battleground, about the attempts by Senator Ted Cruz and Donald “Cheeto Mussolini” Trump to get the federal goverment treat antifa as a domestic terrorist organization. It also looks at how the German antifa movement influenced the evolution of their US cousins as Anti-Racist Action wound down, and a new generation of antifascist activists arose.
“The United States is having its third wave of “Antifa panic” in as many years. Donald Trump’s 27 July tweet called for Antifa—short for antifascist activists—to be declared “a major Organization of Terror”.
This produced a pushback, especially in Germany, sending #IchbinAntifa trending on social media.
Antifa is not an organisation at all, but a decentralised, leaderless movement that opposes fascism and the far-right. Although most of its work is legal and non-violent, the movement is best known for occasional street fights with extremists.
Recently in the US, Antifa has become a bogeyman among conservatives, like 1950s anti-Communism.”
Read the full article at The Battleground
I did a short interview with Its Going Down about the meaning of the Christchurch massacre and how we should respond.
“IGD: What are the main takeaways from the massacre in New Zealand?
Spencer Sunshine: Unfortunately these attacks are depressingly common, but here are some thoughts:
1) While our hearts go out to New Zealand’s Muslim community, we shouldn’t look at this as not just targeting them—just as we can’t look at the 2018 Pittsburgh massacre as just targeting Jews or 2015 Charleston massacre as only targeting the black community. Nazis and other White Nationalists target a huge range of people, including: black folks and all other people of color; religious minorities, including Muslims & Sikhs; both religious and secular Jews; feminists; immigrants and refugees; Communists, socialists, and anarchists; antifascists; LGBTQ people; interracial couples—as well as anyone who stands in their way or stands up to them, including white, Christian, cis-het men. They are at war with almost everybody in our communities. Here, truly, and injury to one is an injury to all.”
Read the entire interview at It’s Going Down
The good people at Splinter did an interview with me recently. We talk about how many white people hold Alt Right-style views, the different organizing strategies that the Alt Right and Alt Lite use, and what everyday people can do to counter white nationalism.
I’m back on the Last Born in the Wilderness podcast, talking with host Patrick Farnsworth about what the Alt Right is up to these days, the Proud Boys gang attack in NYC, and what kind of preparations we should be making as the U.S. continues to spiral into a racist delirium.
In the light of the bombings of liberal figures, racist murder of two black folks, and the massacre in the Tree of Life synagogue, I argue that we must pressure mainstream groups to cut off the oxygen to the Far Right. There are three approaches we should focus on:
“One, the mainstream must push back against the demonizing and conspiratorial language used by Trump and others. Mass media outlets must stop allowing themselves to be a conduit for Trump’s lies (and, in some cases, stop actively working to promote them), and cease allowing the spread of demonizing and bigoted ideas in general. For example: Twitter could remove Trump for violating its terms of service, but it simply lacks the will. USA Today had no obligation to print a recent Trump op-ed on Medicare that was filled with lies.
Two, we must push mainstream conservatives to break links with the more extreme members of their party. For example, on October 12, a Manhattan GOP club hosted “alt-right” figure Gavin McInnes. This bigot has had a long career of openly calling for violence, and afterwards, his followers (at least one of whom was at Charlottesville) engaged in a gang-style, 30-on-3 attack against counterprotesters. This powerful GOP club in a posh neighborhood should be held accountable for bringing in violent actors.
Three, we must pressure digital companies to remove content in order to burst the echo chambers where far right activists have their views reinforced and are egged on to violence. The many instances where content is removed after violence shows that outside pressure is effective in forcing platforms to do it.”
Read the entire article at Truthout
I have a short piece about the racist mob attacks in Chemnitz, Germany; the similarities between the Alt Lite and the German Islamophobic party AfD; and what this may mean for the U.S.
“A sudden surge of anti-immigrant mob attacks in eastern Germany has renewed fears of another wave of xenophobic violence like the one that swept the country in the early 1990s. The most recent spate of violence began on August 26, after the arrest of two men—one from Iraq and one from Syria—following a murder of a 35-year-old man during a street festival in the city of Chemnitz caused an angry right-wing mob of 1,000 to rampage through the city, hunting down and attacking foreigners. The next day, 6,000 people gathered for a second far-right march, giving Hitler salutes and chanting anti-immigrant slogans, and overwhelmed police.”
Read the full article at Truthout