Race and Ethnic Conflict: Contending Views on Prejudice, Discrimination, and Ethnoviolence

By Fred L. Pincus; Howard J. Ehrlich | Go to book overview

many ways white supremacist discourse rearticulates traditional American racial ideology. After all, it was not until 1967 that laws forbidding interracial marriage were declared unconstitutional, and throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American scientists argued that racial intermixture with "inferior stock" would lead to the degeneration of the white race. In fact, it was American eugenicists who developed the ideas that Hitler appropriated to justify his goal of racial "purity."

The white supremacist movement is able to successfully attract new recruits whose ideas about race have been cultivated by what we consider "mainstream" society. For example, the baseless assumption that people can be classified into biological racial categories and that race and gender identity are immutable and rooted in nature are widespread, yet these assumptions provide the foundation for white supremacist views about race and gender.

As the Anti-Defamation League points out in its report on the skinhead problem, "in those instances where the Skins have had a major impact, it is largely because their views were shared by a broader segment of the population" ( Anti- Defamation League 1996). It is crucial, then, that we explore the ways in which white supremacist ideology is similar to mainstream racial ideologies. I believe that if we are to combat white supremacist activity, the only way to begin is by attacking our own racist assumptions. These may be less overt, but they are far more dangerous.


REFERENCES

Aho, James A. 1990. The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. 1988. Hate Groups in America: A Record of Bigotry and Violence. New York.

_____. 1995. The Skinhead International: A Worldwide Survey of Neo-Nazi Skinheads. New York.

_____. 1996. Danger: Extremism, the Major Vehicles and Voices on America's Far-Right Fringe. New York.

Blee, Kathleen. 1996. "Becoming a Racist: Women in Contemporary Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi Groups." Gender and Society 10 ( 6): 680-702.

Crawford, Robert, and Devin Burghart. 1997. "Guns and Gavels: Common Law Courts, Militias, and White Supremacy." In The Second Revolution: States Rights, Sovereignty, and Power of the County, ed. Eric Ward. Seattle: Peanut Butter Publishing.

Daniels, Jessie. 1997. White Lies: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in White Supremacist Discourse. New York: Routledge.

Ezekiel, Raphael S. 1995. The Racist Mind: Portraits of American Neo-Nazis and Klansmen. New York: Viking.

Ferber, Abby. 1995. "'Shame of White Men': Interracial Sexuality and the Construction of White Masculinity in Contemporary White Supremacist Discourse." Masculinities 3 ( 2): 1-24.

_____. 1998. "Constructing Whiteness: The Intersections of Race and Gender in U.S. White Supremacist Discourse." Ethnic and Racial Studies 21 ( 1): 48-63.

Ridgeway, James. 1990. Blood in the Face. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press.

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