“Blaming it on Antifa: Trump’s Crisis Scapegoats”

Here’s my analysis of the protests and who Trump’s scapegoating of antifa plays into it. The U.S. Right is deeply afraid of is the growing, multi-racial rebellion against the white supremacist system. As the revolt spreads into small towns and even conservative areas, politicians and police chiefs are worried not just of losing control of the streets – but of their political legitimacy altogether.

The year 2020 has been filled with wild plot twists, from the Coronavirus pandemic to a national uprising against white supremacy in the United States.

One of the strangest twists has been the anti-fascist movement being thrust back into the spotlight.

This is because President Donald Trump has scapegoated Antifa and anarchists for fomenting what is, in reality, a spontaneous-but-African American-led rebellion against white supremacist policing, the likes of which the country has not seen in decades.Screen Shot 2020-06-05 at 8.21.08 AM

The rebellion is so powerful it is approaching the riots that rocked American cities in the 1960s.

In the last week, Trump has taken to blaming Antifa” and anarchists” for the violence and looting. This is actually occurring, albeit on a much smaller scale than the right-wing media portrays.

While activists from both movements are involved in the protests, overall they are rather minor players. If these activists were removed from the streets, the protests would look essentially the same.”

Read the full article at The Battleground.eu

“The Anti-Black and Anti-Semitic History of ‘Outside Agitators'”

Today I did an interview with It’s Going Down about the Right’s history of scapegoating Jews and radical Left groups as the puppet-masters behind black liberation struggles.

With everyone from Trump, to media pundits, to fake “ANTIFA” accounts run by the far-Right, to state Governors repeating conspiracy theories and false information about “who is behind” the recent rebellion in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd, we thought it would be a good time to discuss the history associated with the trope of the “outside agitator.”Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 11.23.27 PM

While this term in itself comes from police and KKK members who attacked participants in the civil rights movement, the racist ideology behind black freedom struggles being associated with “communism” and being led by “Jews,” goes back even farther. Wanting to know more, we reached out to Spencer Sunshine, a long-time researcher of far-Right movements.

IGD: Why does the far-Right spread ideas that Black people have no agency over their own struggles and somehow need be guided and directed by outside forces? What do they gain by advancing such a narrative?

Even when these ideas are laundered by more mainstream conservatives like FOX News or espoused by right-wingers who are Jewish and/or people of color, they emerge originally from anti-Semitic white supremacist narratives. This is important because these claims fundamentally reflect those assumptions.

Read the full interview at It’s Going Down

March 10, NYC: “Why the Far Right Kills” with Chip Berlet and Talia Lavin

Mar 10 copy.jpgWhy 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.

“Far Right Movements Suffered Big Losses in 2019. But They Are Far From Defeated.”

As in past years, I did a year-end wrap-up of of the US Far Right. From massacres to lawsuits, this year – like past ones – had it all.

“The U.S. far right continued to be very active in 2019. The good news is that, surveying their actions for the year, those far rightists outside of the GOP have had less growth and street presence than in 2018. Doxxing, lawsuits, a loss in interest from conservatives and state repression have all taken their toll. The far right’s boom years of 2016 and 2017 are starting to fade away, but it remains an energized movement. The white nationalist wing was still far more active in 2019 than it was for almost two decades, since its last boom period in the 1990s until its recent revival. Meanwhile, the most militant part of it has crystallized into a neo-Nazi, pro-terrorism faction.”

Read the complete article at Truthout.

“Anti-Semitic and Anti-Muslim Murders Are Latest in String of Fascist Attacks”

“Last week’s attack on a synagogue and kebab shop was only a blip in the news in the United States. On the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, a fascist tried to storm a synagogue in Halle, Germany. Failing to get through the synagogue’s security door, he murdered a bystander on the street and then another in a nearby kebab shop.

For many people, this is yet another racist and anti-Semitic attack among innumerable others. But looking at the details, it is the latest in a sequence of six attacks in less than a year. And there are likely to be more to come.

Every year, the far right murders dozens of people in the United States. The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks these numbers closely, says 413 have been murdered by the U.S. right between 2007 and 2018, including 49 last year.

Right now, there are two overlapping linked sequences of far-right massacres. The first is a series of misogynistic killings intended to spur an “incel rebellion.” …

Read the entire article at Truthout

“Ted Cruz’s ‘Antifa Are Terrorists’ Resolution Seeks to Stifle the Left”

“The non-binding Senate resolution introduced this week in an effort to label “antifa” as “a domestic terrorist organization” is the product of years of well-publicized lies about antifa propagated by the right-wing press.

Senate Resolution 279 (S.Res. 279) which Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) introduced on July 18, and which was co-sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), is the most serious attempt so far by the right to capitalize on a panic it has manufactured about antifa. Short for “antifascist,” antifa is a highly decentralized movement made of differing groups and individuals who counter-organize against fascist and other far-right organizing. It has exploded in popularity since 2016 but has no leadership, no national decision-making structure and no organized funding base.

But for two years now, a number of the more conservative media outlets have been erroneously portraying antifa as a highly disciplined organization that functions as the underground, paramilitary wing of the Democratic Party. They claim it is funded and controlled by liberal financier George Soros, who is portrayed as the movement’s “puppet master” — and who, just coincidentally, happens to be Jewish.”

Read the entire op-ed at Truthout

New Patreon & e-newsletter now up!

I have a couple new projects that have launched.

The first is that I have set up a Patreon. If you enjoy my work, I strongly encourage you to make a monthly financial contribution to help make this work possible. Patrons will get exclusive monthly content, as well as freebies!

 

 

 

 

 

Second,  I also have an e-newsletter, the Sonnenschein Update. This will come over every month to notify you about important new publications, as well as urgent activist appeals for mutual aid.

“Will Decentralization of Neo-Nazism Spur More Right-Wing Terrorism?”

What will happen to the U.S. neo-Nazi movement if its largest party collapses?

“For the first time in decades, it is possible that there will be no U.S. neo-Nazi party large enough to hold public rallies. In a story worthy of a plot-twisting HBO special, Black civil rights activist James Stern convinced the leader of the largest U.S. neo-Nazi party, the National Socialist Movement (NSM), to officially make him their president in order to help protect the party from a lawsuit. Afterward, he said, ‘As a Black man, I took over a neo-Nazi group and outsmarted them,’ and that he intends to dismantle the group from within.

The NSM is important for opponents of the far right to watch because it is the largest open neo-Nazi group in the United States. As such, it is the furthest stop for a public, organized group on the right wing of the political spectrum. And after the 2018 collapse of the Traditionalist Worker Party, another large fascist party, the NSM has been the only neo-Nazi group able to hold public demonstrations of even a moderate size.”

Read the entire article at Truthout

“Steve Bannon’s ‘Washed Out’ Antisemitism”

bannon.jpg
Bannon at CPAC. (P: Gage Skidmore)

I have a new piece that analyzes claims of antisemitism against Steve Bannon, a former member of the  Trump White House and Breitbart CEO. The include Bannon’s promotion of the Alt Right, his and Breitbart‘s use of antisemitic narrative structures and code words, a Trump campaign speech and ad, his prejudiced personal expressions, proto-fascist intellectual influences (inc. Maurras and Guénon), his relationship with European Far Right parties, endorsements by antisemites, the Breitbart comments section and the website’s singling out of Jews as such.

Read the article at Political Research Associates.