Impact of depictions of Swastika and white power inside the culture
As most white Southerners struggled against the emerging abolitionist cause, white nationalism originated in the early 1880s. In the 1846 Dred Scout case decision, the rise of white supremacists can also be traced. A six-judge court bench found that slaves were not U.S. residents and that the federal court had no civil grounds to prosecute. They considered that they had no rights in the USA to be residents. The judges also held that “negro race” persons were a spate class of individuals who should not be considered as people. Although Dred’s decision was overruled by the 13th and 14th amendments, tacit racism and white racism have been based on it. In the case of Plessy V. Ferguson (1896), the US Sepreme Court ruled that segregation was legal (Williamson 4). The ruling laid the background for the civil rights movement that persisted from the 1890s to late 1960s. It made segregation, social injustices, and economic discrimination legal. People of African-American origin and former slaves were prejudiced and segregated for a long time. The ideologies of white supremacy have eventually evolved and metamorphosised into numerous forms, including religious ideologies. However, the core ideology of white supremacy is based on the beliefs that whites ought to be the dominant of all other races or backgrounds, whites should live in whites-only society, white culture is superior and the whites are genetically superior to all other races. Over the years, the ideologies of white supremacists have changed to reflect current political and social dynamics. For instance, they have modified their frame of reference from the struggle for white dominance to struggle to prevent the extinction of whites. They project the notion that whites under threat from Jews and the rising population of non-whites. In 1980s, David Lane coined the “14 words” slogan that has become the rallying call for white supremacists. The 14 word slogan states “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The number 14 has been embroiled in numerous internal acts of terrorism. For instance, in 2004, Sean Michael Gillespie firebombed a city synagogue in Oklahoma, which was intended to be the “first of the 14 acts of violence.”
In the USA, white power, neo-nazisim and other forms of right-wing extremes have intensified in the past decades. The rise of right-wing extremism has been fuelled by neoliberal austerity, economic crises, the election of the first African-American president (Barack Obama), and the rising Islamophobia. Additionally, the ongoing crisis regarding immigration and refugees, particularly immigrant from Mexico and Islamic countries, has increased extremist activities. Right-wing extremists rally around “cultural Marxism.” They view social justice movements as “destroying traditional Christian values and overthrow free enterprise.” They detest feminist, atheism, gay rights and multiculturalism.
Though long removed from its native Germany, Nazism has morphed and combined with American white supremacist culture and organizations like the Ku Klux Klan. Nazi symbolism, including Swastika, which was the main symbol that drove the final solution to exterminate all Jews, has been used by these extremist groups in USA. Prison networks, literature, and the Internet, are spreading the message of white racial supremacy across America and beyond. Thus, the U.S. is one of the most important, perhaps the most important, battlefield in the fight against the spread of contemporary racism.
Hate based ideologies area complex question. Many factors contribute to bringing someone to adopt these outlooks, and then to join organized groups based around them. Perhaps the most significant factor or set of factors, in helping to dispose persons to taking up such ideologies is economic disenfranchisement. There are many aspects to the experience of economic disenfranchisement, and each has specific kinds of consequences. In terms of predicting which individuals are most likely to join hate groups social scientists have routinely identified low income as a main driver.
In 2011, Aders Behring killed 8people by detonating a bobm in a government facility in Oslo. In his manifesto, he underscored the theme of cultural Marxism and the preservation of white privilege (McKittrick 943). According to a UN report published in 2015, youth extensions of these extremist groups have started to penetrate US colleges and universities. Some of these youth organization groups include the Traditional Youth Network (TYN), and the National Youth Front (NYF). The NYF seeks to “stop the ongoing defamation of our people.” In 2014, Professor Lee Bebout (Arizona State University) received threats from neo-Nazis and white supremacists. They were opposed to one of his courses “U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Whiteness,” which they viewed as racist. The extremists group seeks to build on conservative privileges, misogyny and racism. In another incident, in 2015, a video emerged online of members of a college fraternity of SAE, Oklahoma University chapter, ranting racist chants. They chanted “There will never be a nigger in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but can never sign with me.” The psychological causes of individual’s belief in racist including, neo Nazi, anti Semitic, Islamophobic, and other groups, are complex.
On June 15, 2015, a white supremacist, Storm Roof attacked an African-Americans dominated church in Charleston (South Carolina). In the domestic terrorism act driven by hate, Roof shoot and killed nine people. Roof was a self-radicalized supremacist. The Charleston shooting, which is one of the worst acts of domestic extremism in the past five decades, was followed by another white supremacist shooting in 2014. In 2014, a former Klan member Frazier Glenn Miller attacked a Jewish institutions in Overland Park (Kansas), killing three Jews. Wade Michael Page, in 2012, executed a deadly massacre at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek (Wisconsin) kill six people and injuring nine. These recent attacks by white supremacists indicate changing tactics targeting soft targets such as churches and temples indicate the enormous threats white supremacists in the USA (Rolph 650).
In addition to these acts of violence, White supremacists often organize events such as parties, and hate music concerts. For instance in 2015, white supremacists (Skinheads and Golden State Skinheads)in central California organized a Camp Camradery where they played white power music and other white power activities such as axe throwing. Such activities and events have also been organized by other supremacists such as supreme white alliance (Tennessee), the Southern Brotherhood (Alabama), Confederate White Knights and Kentucky White Knights and National Socialist Movement. Although these events may be mere protests, they also engage in violent activities, including crime of hate. They are the largest source of extremist-related violence. According to the Anti-defamation League that store records of extremist violence, there have been 279 murders associated with extremism. 93% of the murders were executed by white supremacists. The white supremacists commit ideological and non-ideological killings. Additionally, it attracts people with violent inclinations. They try to spend their ideologies and messages to recruit more followers. Although traditionally their recruitments were based on events, the online platform provided by the internet provides an ideal opportunity to increase their recruitments. For instance, the website www.stormfront.org provides a platform where recruits and followers can download neo-nazi graphics and communicate propaganda. The website also attempts to unite all supremacists regardless of geographic constrains (Wong, Meghan A., et al. 50).
The activities of the Ku Klux Klan have also been reported to have been increasing. In 2016, a Ku Klax Klan gathering in California ended in violence. Three protesters and several klan members were injured as protesters protested against the gathering. There have also been suspected cases of KKK lynching. Additionally, individual or small group members have been involved in separate criminal activities. For instance, in 2016, Joseph Harper, a former member of KKK was killed in a shout out with law enforcement (Anti-Defamation League 9). In 2015, 3 members of Traditionalist American Knights were arrested by the FBI for planning to kill a black inmate. In an article published in the Guardian (2017), the author noted that there has been a spike in hate crimes associated with the election of President Trump. The author noted that social media have reported numerous incidents of hate crimes targeting Muslims, African Americans and Latinos. This follows after a Ku Klux Klan newspaper endorsed President Trump election and the former KKK wizard David Duke endorsed him. Although the numbers of KKK members have been declining, there are approximately 3,000 KK members throughout the USA (Anti-Defamation League 5). KKK groups such as the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knight have been relatively active. They promote historical KK ideology combined with neo-Nazi beliefs. For instance, the Elders Blood-N-Blood Out Knights (EBBOK), which is based in Kentucky declare itself as “We are a Christian hate group. We are a group unlike other groups. We accept all Nazis and Skin heads because we have the same beliefs.” Although KKK uses different tactics, their main tactic is to spread fliers and other materials to propagate their racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and islamophobic rhetoric. In 2015, the Anti-Defamation League reported 86 incidents of KKK flyers on doorsteps and driveways of various neighbourhoods. The extremist groups spread swastikas that contain graffiti which are disparaging to specific group of people such as the Islamic community. They are often indicated through the use of epithets or hate group symbols or slogans.
Marvin Nathan., Greenblatt Jonathan., Jacobson Kenneth., Lauter Deborah and Lewy Glen (2015). The state of the Ku Klux Klan in the United states. Anti-Defamation League. Web.
McKittrick, Katherine. “On Plantations, Prisons, and a Black Sense of Place.” Social & Cultural Geography, vol. 12, no. 8, Dec. 2011, pp. 947-963.
ROLPH, STEPHANIE R. “The Citizens’ Council and Africa: White Supremacy in Global Perspective.” Journal of Southern History, vol. 82, no. 3, Aug. 2016, pp. 617-650
Williamson, J. G. (1975). Political Violence Under the Swastika (Book Review). LJ: Library Journal, 100(13), 1320.
Wong, Meghan A., et al. “The Supremacy of Online White Supremacists – an Analysis of Online Discussions by White Supremacists.” Information & Communications Technology Law, vol. 24, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 41-73.