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Who created this website?
Individuals who monitor white supremacist organizing in New England. See you in the streets!
Why do you focus on public demonstrations?
We focus on public demonstrations because public events are moments when white supremacists and their ilk come into the open, seek to recruit new followers, strengthen working relationships, and claim public space and sanction. These demonstrations expose both who is organizing and regularly expose their true ideologies, regardless of messaging around “free speech” or similar buzzwords.
Why do you focus on individuals?
Historically thru the present, exposing and naming white supremacists directly and unequivocally in our communities is one of the most effective ways to demoralize them and decrease public support for their activities.
Does exposing white supremacists give them more power?
No, while there may be a temporary media flurry that puts their names in lights, ultimately white supremacy and related ideologies thrive when they are considered harmless, marginal, or fringe. When we understand and expose them for who they are, the weak cover stories evaporate and they are less able to organize effectively.
What about other forms of white supremacy?
White supremacy (as part of racial capitalism) forms the fabric of US social, economic, and political life. It shows up institutionally in the form of prisons and police, gentrification and displacement, genocide and land theft, hunger and poverty, educational disparities, and so much more.
It is important to understand how state and non-state forms of white supremacy interact and support each other: while Patriot Front openly says they want to push out immigrants, housing developers enact that vision by building luxury apartments in immigrant neighborhoods.
What about people of color in these groups?
Black, brown, and/or Latinx people – primarily men – make up a visible minority in some white supremacist organizations, including the Proud Boys. These people of color may be attracted to the Christian traditionalism, misogyny, anti-communism, or nationalism of these organizations – individual and collective reasons will vary. We observe that in general, people of color within white supremacist organizations are pushed to the front to shield the organization from critique, diverting the public from the ideology and relationships these groups hold.
Check out these for a more in depth look at this topic:
- Culture and Belonging in the USA: Multiracial Organizing on the Contemporary Far Right by Cloee Cooper and Daryle Lamont Jenkins
- Multiracial Organizing in Right-Wing Circles: A Conversation with Daryle Lamont Jenkins a video conversation organized by Boston Democratic Socialists of America (2 hours)
- Why Young Men of Color Are Joining White-Supremacist Groups by Arun Gupta
Irony poisoning is a tactic of using the often ironic detachment of internet meme culture to introduce bigoted ideologies in a socially “acceptable” way. This takes a variety of forms, for example, “ironically” saying “Heil Hitler” in an online chatroom, making misogynist or racist jokes, and so on frequently enough the participant ceases to notice the offensive statements. Then, more developed ideological statements are introduced slowly until the participant is drawn in to the ideology and eventually adopts it.
- “Hiding in plain sight: how the ‘alt-right’ is weaponizing irony to spread fascism. Experts say the ‘alt-right’ have stormed mainstream consciousness by using ‘humor’ and ambiguity as tactics to wrong-foot their opponents”, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, May 23rd 2017
White supremacist organizations use a variety of dog whistles to divert attention from the overtly racist parts of their ideologies and agendas. We list two of the most frequent dog whistles below – “free speech” and “pride.”
“Dog whistles use language which appears normal to the majority, but which communicate specific things to intended audiences. They are generally used to convey messages on issues likely to provoke controversy without attracting negative attention.” (Wikipedia, Dog Whistle Politics)
White supremacists organizations regularly invoke and enjoy “free speech” as a protection for their incitement toward genocide. Flat or absolutist understandings of free speech necessarily pave the way to complicity with bigotry.
“The strategy of free speech absolutism has seemed to suffice over the last fifty years, but that is not because it works per se. Rather, in a post-World War II, post-civil rights world, most (albeit not all) Americans collectively decided not to tolerate blatant unabashed bigotry — that is what kept nefarious ideologies like white nationalism at bay. But cracks are now showing in this shared public commitment. And free speech absolutism will not save us from this — if anything, it will only make matters worse by allowing intolerance to fester, to proliferate, and to garner momentum. In this sense, free speech absolutism is akin to laissez-faire approaches to economic policy: Both seem to promote unadulterated freedom (after all, what could possibly be more free than a completely hands off approach?). But any system that entirely forgoes standards or regulations will ultimately result in atrocities, infringements on other people’s rights, and the consolidation of power in the hands of a few.” -Julia Serano
- Free Speech and the Paradox of Tolerance, Julia Serano, Medium, February 6, 2020
- “Exclusive: Leaks show how Boston ‘free speech’ group acts as a front for far-right organizing”, Luke Barnes, ThinkProgress, May 18, 2018
Pride – straight, white, civic/national
White supremacists frequently invoke various ideas of “pride” to defend their agendas, ideologies, and actions against people of color, women, disabled people, poor people, LGBTQ+ people, and leftists. However, their imagined society necessarily puts straight, white, cisgender, abled, and rich men at the top – either without oppressed groups or with oppressed peoples locked into their location of service.
“I have learned from making art about human frailty that white pride, and our acceptance of even mild versions of it as generalized pride in our country, is the greatest enemy of our ability as a nation to survive this latest inflection point in America’s democratic experiment.” -Gerard Bush
- “Pride in America cannot only be certain brand of white man’s pride or else it’s a lie,” Gerard Bush, NBC News, Oct 11, 2020
- “Homophobic Stunts in Boston Part of Long-Term Far-Right Pattern”, Dan Feidt & Jenn Schreiter, Unicorn Riot, February 21, 2020
- “The organizers behind Boston’s Straight Pride Parade should concern you,” Casey Quinlan, ThinkProgress, July 6, 2019
- “‘Straight pride’ parade organizer has held and attended far-right events Rallies and protests organized by Mark Sahady have often been small, with attendees vastly outnumbered by opposing groups”, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, June 8, 2019
- “Far-Right Street Brawlers Just Can’t Escape Their Violent, Hateful, and Bigoted Roots”, David Neiwert, Daily Kos, May 27, 2019
- “Massachusetts has a white supremacy problem. Pride Month is just the latest victim”, Amaad Rivera, Commonwealth Journal, June 14th 2019
- No Fascist USA! The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today’s Movements, Hilary Moore and James Tracy, City Lights Open Media, 2020
- City Lights Books’ No Fascist USA! author discussion series, Youtube, August 2020
- “Hidden in Plain Sight: Racism, White Supremacy, and Far-Right Militancy in Law Enforcement,” Michael German, Brennan Center for Justice, August 27, 2020
- “A fairly devout group of Neo-Nazis.’ Local white supremacist group has been active in recent weeks”, Danny McDonald, Boston Globe, July 14 2020
- “A Timeline of Fascist Activity in Boston, 2017-Present”, CORINNAJK, Solidarity Against Hate – Boston, July 2 2019
- “Far Right Group Behind Boston’s “Straight Pride” Also Organized ‘Reopen’ Protest”, William Rivers Pitt, Truthout, May 5th 2020