White supremacy is a concept that most people thought was buried in the past. If its remnants ever continue to exist in the current times, one would think that they would most be probably underground. Its membership probably made up of violent skinheads or older and conservative individuals.
Charlottesville is a turning point in modern US history – it proved that a seemingly decrepit mindset fueled by hate is still pulsating with life brought about by its young and active new blood. Gone were the days of robe and hood-wearing, cross-lighting Klan members. What we have now is a new generation of educated and well-dressed white nationalists.
Laurie Wood, the Director for Investigations for the Southern Poverty Law Center is the speaker for this webinar. Her rich experience dealing with radical right, anti-government and racist groups makes her the perfect resource person to provide insights and familiarize the attendees with the groups, leaders and terminologies used in the movement.
Some of the areas Laurie discussed in today’s Justice Clearinghouse webinar are:
- The number of active hate groups in the United States and its growth rate.
- The composition of the people who joined the rallies in Charlottesville.
- Defining concepts used in the movement such as alt-right, white nationalism, and identitarianism.
Identifying and understanding terms used within the movement and the context they are being used.
- Fash. A slang for Fascism/Fascist
- Echoes. A ‘marker’, triple parenthesis implying that a person/group is affiliated with or is Jewish.
- Ethnostate. An area populated and run in the interest of the ethnic group
- Blood and soil. An anti-Semitic slogan adopted from the German Blut and Boden
The major leaders of the groups, their claim to fame, their leadership strategies, and their contributions to the movement.
- Richard Spencer and his tactic of recruiting new blood from colleges and universities
- Michael Peinovich and his blog and podcast as the new digital means of getting the message across and reaching more people
- Nathan Damigo and his brand of white supremacy which he refers to as "identitarianism"
- Dillon Hopper’s street-level leadership and mobilization
- Thomas Rousseau’s charismatic leadership
The various groups/propaganda and the tactics that they employ to recruit new blood.
- The Right Stuff
- Identity Europa’s Project Siege of provocative flyering
- Vanguard America’s preppy members
- Patriot Front’s activist and mobilization-driven organization
Laurie shed light on questions raised by the audience on:
- Responding to the groups' propaganda and activities
- Where groups like Antifa, Sovereign Citizen Movement and the Oathkeepers fit in the ‘universe’ of hate groups
- The long history of Anti-Semitism
- If the separate white nationalist groups coordinate with each other
- Things to consider when coming in contact with members of these hate groups
- Instances when hate groups deliberately target law enforcement agencies and its members
- Which groups do racist prison gang members end up joining