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Two Americas: The Rise of the Radical Right and What It Means Today

 

Two Americas

Park Plaza, 13111 N. Central Expy., 3rd Floor, Dallas, TX 75243

Mark Potok will explore the stunning expansion of the American radical right and its historical context, including a close look at the 1920s, another period of social and economic ferment.

The ideology of white supremacy has deep roots in American history and has been part of our culture since the nation’s founding. But many Americans believed that in the aftermath of World War II, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia had at least begun to die — that out of the ashes of Auschwitz, a better nation, informed by the subsequent victories of the civil rights and feminist movements, would arise. Instead, Americans today find themselves in a place where white nationalist ideas have returned to the very heart of the political mainstream; where the president of the United States says without shame that violent neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us” included “some very fine people”; and where a United States congressman, Steve King (R-Iowa), asks with incredulity, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization —
how did that language become offensive?”

As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, where 168 men, women and children were slaughtered by a man with white nationalist ideas, the toll of white supremacist violence continues to escalate. The mass murders of African-American churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., Jewish worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue, and Latino shoppers at an El Paso Walmart, are only a few recent examples. What brought us to this place? How is that in an increasingly multicultural society, hate groups, hate crimes, and white supremacist terrorism have become commonplace?

And what are the prospects for the future?


Mark Potok for 20 years helped lead the Southern Poverty Law Center’s premier operation monitoring the extreme right in the United States. Potok served as director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project and, later, Senior Fellow at SPLC and Editor in Chief of its award-winning Intelligence Report investigative magazine,until 2017. In 2018, he joined the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right as a Senior Fellow.

Sponsored By:

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Dallas Peace & Justice Center
CAIR-DFW
SMU Human Rights Program

 
 
Park Plaza Tower
13111 North Central Expressway
Dallas, Texas 75243
 
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