Author of _Bringing the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America_ to speak at the Center for Rightwing Studies

America has seen multiple wars in defense of white supremacy, from our bloodiest conflicts (Metacom’s War, the Civil War) to our longest lasting ones (the Apache Wars) to our most far-flung ones (the “Filipino Insurrection,” which is to say that the people of the Philippines did not prefer to be colonized by the US and so fought back). But war doesn’t just express our white nationalism: it also fuels it. The Viet Nam war figures prominently in the minds of white supremacists today, argues historian Katherine Belew.

She’ll be talking about her research at Berkely in October, for those in the area. For those who can’t come, I encourage you to check out Belew’s Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America

Thursday, October 4th
Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way, Berkeley

Kathleen Belew 
Assistant Professor of U.S. History
and the College, University of Chicago

Sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Department of Sociology

From the CRWS promotional materials:

The white power movement in America wants a revolution. It has declared all-out war against the federal government and its agents, and has carried out—with military precision—an escalating campaign of terror against the American public. Its soldiers are not lone wolves but are highly organized cadres motivated by a coherent and deeply troubling worldview of white supremacy, anticommunism, and apocalypse. In this talk, based on her new book, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, Kathleen Belew presents a history of the movement that consolidated in the 1970s and 1980s around a potent sense of betrayal in the Vietnam War and made tragic headlines in the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City.

Belew’s disturbing history reveals how, returning to an America ripped apart by a war which, in their view, they were not allowed to win, a small but driven group of veterans, active-duty personnel, and civilian supporters concluded that waging war on their own country was justified. They unified people from a variety of militant groups, including Klansmen, neo-Nazis, skinheads, radical tax protestors, and white separatists. Belew shows how the white power movement operated with discipline and clarity, undertaking assassinations, mercenary soldiering, armed robbery, counterfeiting, and weapons trafficking. Her analysis argues for awareness of the heightened potential for paramilitarism in a present defined by ongoing war.

“Not on Our Campus” training to combat hate on campus

The ADL is doing a training on Sept 12 at USC to help campuses address hate crimes. I’d love to hear from people who are able to attend. And if you want to support this project but can’t go, consider a donation to the ADL to support this important work.


Above, white supremacists meet to “unite the right” in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, in 2017. 

Details here.

A Review of _Paranoid Science_ now available

I recently got to review Antony Alumkal’s Paranoid Science: The Christian Right’s War on Reality for Contemporary Sociology. In this book, Alumkal, a professor of the sociology of religion at Iliff School of Theology, identifies patterns of paranoid thinking in conservative Christians’ engagement with four issues: evolution, LGBTQ+ rights, bioethics, and climate change. Readers interested in any of those topics will find that the chapters devoted to them stand alone well, while those of us interested in broader questions about science and religion will find the book an illuminating read about how conservative Christian organizations work.

Above, the cover of Alumkal’s Paranoid Science.

“When it comes to dealing with science,” he writes, “perhaps the key issue is that ease with which these individuals deny reality when they find it undesirable” (p. 193). That statement could be just as accurately applied, I fear, when it comes to history, economics, and politics.


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