Entgrenzter Rechtsextremismus?

26.3.2015

Betty A. Dobratz: Positionspapier "Right-wing Extremism in the USA"

zum Tandemvortrag "Rechtsextremismus in den USA und Russland" im Rahmen der Fachtagung "Entgrenzter Rechtsextremismus? Internationale Perspektiven und Gegenstrategien" der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung in München, 09.-10.02.2015.

In this presentation I focus on the strategies of selected racist hate groups that form the extremist right wing in the United States. These extreme groups believe that their race is superior to other races and often want a separate territory for their race. The Southern Party Law Center (SPLC) annually publishes information on these hate groups that include both white and black separatists. From 2000 to 2011 there was a steady increase in groups to 1018 and then the number dropped to 939 in 2013.

White separatist groups are now highly stigmatized and marginalized in American society. Their groups tend to be loosely structured. For black separatist groups I look at the Nation of Islam, a traditional black separatist group that SPLC refers to as one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America. Their beliefs are not part of traditional Islamic beliefs. Social movements are constantly framing or assigning meaning to what is going on. Many white separatists have attempted to shift the meaning and focus of their racism by the language they use. They argue they love their own race and are trying to preserve their heritage. They see themselves as victims of multiculturalism.

White separatists like David Duke have run for political office and developed contacts with mainstream politicians. Others have tried to influence the development of the conservative right-wing Tea Party Movement. This movement has been successful in numerous US elections in the US House of Representatives and the Senate under the label of the Republican Party. The electoral system in the US differs from that of much of Western Europe. There are only two major parties and the winner takes all in the US. There are no benefits for a party that comes in second.

Because some leader-led white separatist groups have lost civil suits that resulted in bankruptcy and have been frequently infiltrated, some in the movement have turned to a lone wolf or leaderless resistance strategy that has resulted in violence and killing especially of minorities. The Nation of Islam (NOI) has a very hierarchical rigid structure that emphasizes obedience, discipline, and commitment to the cause. Those who have been viewed as disrespecting leaders of NOI have been beaten up or killed quite possibly without direct orders from NOI leadership (Gardell 1996). The assassination of Malcolm X could possibly be an example of this as the only confessed killer was a member of that group. In 1995 Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, organized the Million Man March, the largest march and rally of African American protesters in the history of the US.

White separatist groups have used the internet to attract members, develop group identity, and build a better network of communication. However there are concerns about the level of commitment of people attracted over the internet, the lack of privacy, and security. Anonymous has hacked into several white power websites and in at least one situation revealed the names of members of the group. A further issue is the threat of censorship, especially given the French reaction to recent terrorist attacks.

A variety of strategies exist for both white and black separatists, but societal factors limit the success of their extremist views.

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radioThema - Bayerischer Rundfunk / Bayern 2

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In einem Radiofeature für den Bayerischen Rundfunk (BR) setzen sich Thies Marsen und Ralf Homann mit "Rechtsextremismus in Europa" auseinander. Dafür haben Sie mit Teilnehmenden und Referierenden der Tagung gesprochen.

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Rechtsextremismus

Das Auffliegen der Terrorgruppe "Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund" (NSU) hat gezeigt: In Deutschland sind Strukturen entstanden, die unsere freiheitlich-demokratische Grundordnung in Frage stellen. Aber nicht nur im Untergrund oder am Rand der Gesellschaft gibt es rechtsextreme Einstellungen wie Fremdenfeindlichkeit, Antisemitismus, Geschichtsrevisionismus und den Glauben an einen starken Führer.

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