This piece is part of our 2022 Year in Review, a reflection on some of the most urgent issues and causes that mattered most this year that we’ll face in the next – and the tangible ways you can take action.
There is nothing I could do to make my existence less offensive to the white supremacist: no vote that I could cast or words I could deploy to make my body less representative of Oriental diseases or savage customs, either communist totalitarianism or hyper-capitalist sweatshop despotism. Because there is no action I can take that would make my servitude, deportation, or violent death less appealing to the fascist right, my anti-fascism does evaporate once a less offensive politician takes office. Militant white supremacist organizations now brandish rifles at children’s events, start running battles in city streets, and even storm the Capitol. To think of Nazism as an aberration in U.S. civic life, however, misunderstands history. Nazi eugenics policies were based on sterilization campaigns in California state hospitals and the racial classifications of the Jim Crow South. The fascist threat is not an un-American deviation but the most developed form of the sickness at the heart of the American project. And as a Spanish labor activist once said, “Fascism is not to be discussed. It is to be destroyed.”
• Confront disinformation and engage with people entertaining conspiracy theories, encouraging them to connect with significant causes like those featured in The ARD.
• Support anti-fascist organizations confronting white supremacists that profit from racist rhetoric.
Amid Rising Antisemitic Attacks, Holocaust Denial Spreads
In November, Donald Trump dined with Ye and Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist Holocaust denier (Forbes). But Holocaust denial and ignorance aren’t limited to the far right. In 2020, most U.S. residents were unaware that six million Jewish people were murdered. This year, Whoopi Goldberg claimed it was “not about race.” And though the United States government portrays the Second World War as a fight of American good against totalitarian evil, hundreds of thousands of people would have escaped the Holocaust had the U.S. not systematically rejected Jewish immigrants during the 1930s and 1940s (USHMM). Read More >>
Q-Anon: Fringe Beliefs, Fascism, and Real Conspiracies
The QAnon movement’s illusory battle against a global cabal of pedophilic cannibals would seem even more absurd if not for three things. First, QAnon conspiracy theories have millions of believers (Axios). Second, the movement has spawned even more outlandish sects, like the self-proclaimed Queen of Canada or the man prophesying JFK Jr.’s messianic return (The Guardian, The Hill). And finally, there’s the uncomfortable truth that while a Satanic child-trafficking ruling clique might be a fantasy, the undemocratic elite control of our nominally democratic societies is anything but. Read More >>
The Meaning Of “White Lives Matter”
Ye, formerly Kanye West, began his professional self-destruction in earnest with his Paris Fashion Week appearance in a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt alongside Candace Owens. The slogan is a provocation: object to it, and you seem to be claiming that the lives of white people are meaningless. In fact, “White Lives Matter” was developed by outright neo-Nazis before spreading to the broader nationalist far right that includes Owens. There is no symmetry between the defense of Black lives and the advocacy of white interests in a country built on white supremacy. Read More >>
Tools For Engagement: Have Tough Conversations
Those who truly committed themselves to fascist, pro-white politics are not one well-reasoned conversation away from changing their minds. But right-wing militancy depends on a larger pool of the half-convinced, the people “just asking questions,” and those still feeling out their comfort with neo-fascist creeds. We have a responsibility to have tough conversations with the people in that second group, providing them alternative models for making sense of a challenging world while draining the far right of their pool of support. Read More >>