The Rise of White Supremacy

Stewart Black is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Violent bigots were quick to take advantage of the shortcomings of mainstream politics.

When President Donald Trump was asked about his views on white nationalism after the horrific New Zealand mosque attacks, he dismissed the notion of the movement being an increasing threat all over the world. The U.S. President described the attackers as individual small groups comprised of people with serious problems.

Experts disagree. They point out many factors which suggest the rise of white supremacy and white nationalism. Violence is just the symptom of such an ascendancy. This is true not only in the United States but all over the world. Erroll Southers, a homeland security scholar at the University of Southern California and a former FBI agent, said white supremacy has broken through the fringe barrier and is now a global phenomenon whose influence is rapidly expanding its footprints all over the world. Gary LaFree, a professor at the University of Maryland, agrees with this assessment. LaFree, who has to his credit the establishment of the Global Terrorism Database, said that such terrorism had wounded a rising number of countries.

The statistics are all there to see. A dramatic rise in the number of American white nationalist groups has been reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The numbers say it all: in 2017, there were 100 chapters of white nationalist groups. In 2018, the number increased to 148. A 182 percent jump in white supremacy propaganda distribution was recorded along with a rise in the number of demonstrations and rallies held by white supremacy groups. In 2017, it was 76. The numbers went up to 91 by the end of 2018. Detailed surveys conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CISS) discovered a four-fold rise in the United States during the 2016 to 2017 intervening period. The same time slice witnessed a 43 percent upswing in Europe when it came to far-right attacks. The CISS stated that the increase of white supremacist attacks is of particular concern. It was noted these groups follow an anti-government line.

As per research conducted by Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, and similar organizations like the SPLC and CISS, it is apparent that violent bigots took advantage of the political polarization, both offline and online. Extremists have packaged themselves to be a viable choice at a time when people tend to distrust mainstream political options. White nationalism, it was pointed out, mirrors a coarsening of standard politics bigotry and fear are injected into immigration and national security.

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