How White Supremacy Returned to Mainstream Politics


Simon Clark - Center for American Progress (CAP)

Release Date

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Washington, D.C. — As the United States moves through a moment of profound and positive change in attitudes toward race, a new report from the Center for American Progress offers a guide to identifying and calling out the white supremacist ideas that are infiltrating U.S. political discourse.

The report discusses how these ideas rehabilitate toxic political notions of racial superiority, stoke fear of immigrants and minorities to inflame grievances for political ends, and attempt to build a notion of an embattled white majority that has to defend its power.

Classic white supremacist concepts have been repackaged in language and forms that can more easily enter mainstream political discourse. These include fears of white genocide through immigration, race science and eugenics, glorification of the Confederate past, and the notion that immigrants will replace the old America with a new America.

The report finds that a way to discredit those who promote these ideologies is to emphasize the inherently violent, anti-democratic, and racist nature of white nationalist ideas.

“The challenge is to expose white nationalist ideologues—and the opportunistic politicians who are appropriating their language—to demonstrate that these ideas are fundamentally un-American and are all too often a cover for corruption, graft, and racism,” said Simon Clark, a senior fellow at CAP and author of the report.

Read the report: “How White Supremacy Returned to Mainstream Politics” by Simon Clark.

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