"Economic Anxiety"

[Content Note: White supremacy.]

At the Guardian, Jason Wilson writes about American Renaissance's annual conference in Tennessee. American Renaissance is a white supremacist outlet founded by Jared Taylor, who advocates for "an all-white 'ethnostate,' carved out of US territory."

The audience was not just crusty old dinosaurs, as the white supremacist movement is often described by people who believe no effort is required to challenge white supremacy but instead we just have to wait for its ancient adherents to die.

To the contrary, the movement — empowered by the election of Donald Trump — is full of eager, and angry, young men:
When Taylor spoke, his audience was generationally diverse. Some, well into middle age or beyond, had heard it all before. But when he asked who was attending for the first time, the great majority raised their hands.

Many were millennials. Though all attendees wore conference dress code – jacket and tie – more than a few younger men sported the "fashy haircut," short back and sides with a severe parting, which has become a signature of the so-called alt-right.
Suffice it to say, people who show up to a conference to listen to a man speak about an all-white "ethnostate" aren't just economically anxious. I don't know how many times and in how many ways that dreadful narrative needs to be debunked, but here I am, debunking it once again.

Relatedly, although he's writing on the dirtbag left, I recommend this piece by Noah Berlatsky, "Maybe Taking the Arguments of Nazis At Face Value Is Bad," in which he observes: "The result [of unskeptically adopting the alt right's view of itself and of its enemies] is a left which centers Nazis, sneers at marginalized people, and generally abandons its moral bearings in order to chase an elusive and supposedly triumphant whiteness which it cannot distinguish from the working class."

The inability to distinguish whiteness from the working class is a problem across the political spectrum and persistent in political media.

And it's a very dangerous problem. We've seen precisely this mendacious conflation used to devastating effect before, and we must firmly resist replicating the obscene violence that so easily emerges from this messaging, over and over.

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