Sputnik discussed this with Daniel Martinez HoSang, associate professor at Yale University, co-author of the upcoming novel 'Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity'.
Sputnik: How surprising is it that men of color were joining the white supremacist movement?
Daniel Martinez HoSang: We refer to this actually as a multiracial far-right, so they're a little distinct from white supremacist in that ultimately their vision isn't of a white ethnostate, but they're far, far on the right in terms of their beliefs, their embrace of hierarchy, their embrace of violence, their understanding that some forms of authority and state authority, almost fascist authority, are inevitable.
So that's the idea that's attracting a growing number of men of color in particular, and a set of white adherents, which is happy to be in a multiracial space that's animated by those ideas.
Daniel Martinez HoSang: Obviously the more recent upsurge related to the kind of rightward turn of the Republican Party, in particular, is important, but multiculturalism itself has really penetrated mass consumer culture in the US in the last 25 years; it's certainly shaped electoral politics.
So the idea that politics on the far-right are incompatible with a certain version of multiculturalism is what these groups are challenging, they're saying, in the fact, that: we can stand for these ideas of the unapologetic militarism, patriotism, a belief in hierarchy, wanting to shrink the state, and claim a multiracial base at the same time.
Sputnik: Some experts have been noting that some of the young men joining these groups were more patriotic if you like; many liberals don't like America, what's your opinion with regard to that?
At the same time, you do see some surprising politics from the group, so one man that we interviewed for our book, Joey Gibson, who is the leader of a patriot organization in the North-West called Patriot Prayer that's lead a lot of these protests, he'll openly talk about figures like Dr. Martin Luther King and the inspiration he draws from him, he'll criticize mass incarceration and its effects on the black community.
So in other ways, their politics have increasingly drawn from a kind of traditional civil rights or racial justice narrative to help expand their influence and political vision.
Sputnik: Now with other races joining the movement, it's likely that the movement that was previously perceived as 'whites only' will have an impact on racism and the civil rights process. Do you agree with that statement, is there going to be an evolving change now?
So in the US now the head of the Heritage Foundation which is the most influential and prominent far-right conservative think tank is led by a black woman. Breitbart radio — a far-right media organization — has a number of African-American hosts.
There's Tea party groups that are led by African-Americans and Latinos, so I think that shift in the leadership and who stands for conservative politics is absolutely likely to shift and pluralize.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.