I have a new article (my first in English since April!) up at Colorlines about the future of U.S. Far Right street demonstrations on the even of the anniversary of Charlottesville:
“After retreating into relative silence, the so-called alt-right and its allies returned to organized street protesting this past weekend. The August 4 and 5 rallies in Arizona, California, Oregon and Rhode Island are set to culminate in Unite the Right 2, an August 12 gathering in Washington D.C. The rally will mark the one-year anniversary of the White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that claimed the life of White anti-racist activist Heather Heyer.”
“Twenty-three years ago, on April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a powerful homemade truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The death toll reached 168, and about 850 were injured. McVeigh’s act was retribution against the federal government for its attacks on the paramilitary Far Right. Looking back, the bombing apparently forced changes in how armed Far Right insurgents are treated by the federal government—a change which may have led to the hands-off policy against armed encampments led by the Bundy family in Nevada in 2014, and Oregon in 2016. Today, the Bundys walk free. One of them, Ryan Bundy, has announced he will run for Nevada governor. But do they owe their freedom, celebrity, and success to McVeigh’s murderous attack?”
“In the small Oregon town of Cottage Grove, just south of Eugene, a sign on an empty storefront that used to house a local museum announces a new business: Wolfclan Armory. While most towns would welcome the new blood, instead protests have already begun. The store, which sells knives and survivalist gear, is owned by the Laskey family and wants to move from the smaller Creswell, Oregon so they can grow their business. But there’s a hitch: the Laskey clan which runs the shop includes Jacob “Jake” Laskey, who is said to lead the American Front, a long-standing neonazi skinhead gang. Over several decades, members of the American Front have been involved in assaults, murders, drive-by shootings, and synagogue attacks. Laskey himself served a long federal prison sentence for a synagogue attack and soliciting murder, and is currently in jail awaiting new charges.”
Two leading figures in so-called alt-right have met with a series of recent setbacks. Richard Spencer’s 15 minutes as White nationalism’s preppy it-boy seem to be up. And Matthew Heimbach’s Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) has melted down in a sex scandal worthy of a daytime soap. But do these blows spell an end for the overt White nationalism linked to the ascent of Trump?
Donald Trump did not invent nativism or right-wing populism, but he did provide those ideologies a more prominent platform than it has enjoyed in many decades. And, as scholar Cas Mudde warns in his new book The Far Right in America, its claws in American society will ensure that it outlives his presidency. But will a revitalized White nationalist movement do the same?
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.