Why the Mainstream Media Misses The Most Dangerous White Nationalists

The Women

According To Writer Seyward Darby

The most memorable images of white nationalism in America have typically been men, from the torch-carrying neo-Nazis and others who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 to the armed, camouflage-wearing militia members who have flooded American cities in response to protests over racial injustice.

But writer Seyward Darby says the “the people who are most frightening” in the white nationalist movement are those who avoid the cameras—the movement’s women leaders.

“They have always been savvy about communicating with each other—and potential recruits—outside the eyes of mainstream media,” Darby says, noting that the women who have risen to positions of great influence in hate groups are often completely unknown to most Americans. And it is their reluctance to do interviews with mainstream media or to stand shouting into bullhorns during public protests that makes them dangerous.

In her book Sisters in Hate: American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism, Darby that “mainstream media response to the far right has centered on male figures like Richard Spencer, who is college educated and telegenic, partial to dapper suits and hair gel.”

Spencer, like David Duke before him, has seemed focused on being seen by the news media, ever eager to make his case in live interviews on CNN or by talking to reporters for The New York Times, “The journalistic coverage of these men,” Darby writes in the book, “has been, by turns, fair, glib, or naive.”

But the women she profiles in the book have taken an entirely different approach, steering clear of cable news and traditional media and bringing their message to social media, where their YouTube channels and podcast shows attract a wide audience—one where the discussion of race is far more subtle. “There’s a thin line separating the mainstream from the extreme,” Darby says, “and history bears that out again and again.”

The white nationalists know that to expand their movement, they cannot be seen as merely confrontational and threatening. To reach beyond the fringes, they need to appear reasonable. “Racist women understand that groups of women who seem innocuous can attract people to racist politics,” she writes. The women, as women leaders of racist movements in America have done in generations before them, also benefit from the ability to accuse those who criticize them of being sexist, turning the criticism right back on their detractors.

Armed with “the expanding reach of the alternative media,” Darby writes, these women are poised to recruit a new generation to white nationalism, where they control their own media—and where they fly under the radar of news media distracted by the easier-to-cover world of racist men. “They are ready,” Darby told me. “This is what they’ve been working toward forever—this kind of media environment.”

ΠΗΓΗ: Forbes | by Mark Joyella