Read time: 5 minutes

White Nationalism, Born In The USA, Is Now A Global Terror Threat

Despite President Donald Trump’s suggestion that white nationalist terrorism is not a major problem, recent data from the United Nations, University of Chicago and other sources show the opposite.
White Nationalism, Born In The USA, Is Now A Global Terror Threat
Image from: Reuters/Jim Urquhart

, and ,

The recent massacre of in Christchurch, New Zealand is the latest confirmation that white supremacy is a .

Despite President Donald Trump’s suggestion that , recent data from the , and other sources show the .

As more people , it is fueling hostility and violence toward those deemed “outsiders” – whether because of their religion, skin color or national origin.

Transnational violence

– from Switzerland and Germany to the United States, and – has witnessed a infecting society in recent years.

Driven by fear over the loss of white primacy, believe that white identity should be the organizing principle of Western society.

“Every people in the world can have their own country except white people,” the told the Chicago Sun Times after the New Zealand attack. “We should have white ethno-states.”

In researching our upcoming book on – our joint area of – we found that hate crimes have risen alongside the global spread of white nationalism. Racist attacks on are increasing worldwide at an alarming rate.

Scholars studying the internationalization of hate crimes call this dangerous phenomenon “.”

In Europe, white violence appears to have been by the sudden increase, in 2015, of refugees fleeing war in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Ultra-nationalists across the continent – including at the – used the influx as of the imminent “” of white people.

White nationalism is a US export

This disturbing international trend, in its modern incarnation, was born in the United States.

Since the 1970s, a small, vocal cadre of American white supremacists have sought to . Avowed racists like , Aryan Nations founder and extremist author believe the white race is by a cultural invasion of immigrants and people of color.

↓ Story continues below ↓

The United States is diversifying, but it remains . White supremacists, however, have long contended that the country’s will .

The “” – an umbrella term describing modern online white supremacist movement – uses the same language. And it has expanded this 20th-century xenophobic worldview to portray refugees, Muslims and progressives as a threat, too.

Alt-right leaders like Richard Spencer, and the Neo-Nazi Daily Stormer editor also to across borders.

They have found of white supremacists who, in turn, have also to share their ideas, encourage violence and .

“The hatred that led to violence in Pittsburgh and Charlottesville is finding new adherents around the world,” of the Anti-Defamation League, a civil liberties watchdog, told USA Today after the New Zealand attack.

“Indeed, it appears that this attack was not just focused on New Zealand; it was intended to have a global impact.”

Rising racist violence

We know the alleged New Zealand mosque shooter’s hatred of Muslims was inspired by American white nationalism – he .

His online “manifesto” includes references to cultural conflicts that the author believed would eventually lead the United States to separate along ethnic, political and racial lines.

The alleged attacker also wrote that “as a symbol of renewed white identity.”

Trump and other right-wing politicians like French and have the very real problems of modern life – growing economic instability, rising inequality and – on immigrants and people of color.

That narrative has added further hostility into the existing undercurrent of intolerance in increasingly multicultural societies like the United States.

Hate crimes against Muslims, immigrants and people of color have been .

In 2015, the . The next year, it counted 917 hate crimes. In 2017 – the year Trump took office stoking nationalist sentiment with promises – the U.S. saw 954 white supremacist attacks.

One of them was a violent clash between counterprotesters and white nationalists over the removal of a , Virginia. The 2017 “Unite the Right” rally, which killed one person and injured dozens, amplified the ideas of modern white nationalists .

Last year, white nationalists killed at least 50 people in the United States. Their victims included , in Kentucky and .

The years 2015, 2016 and 2018 were the United States’ deadliest years for , according to the Anti-Defamation League.

All perpetrators of deadly had links to white nationalist groups. That made 2018 “a particularly active year for right-wing extremist murders,” the Anti-Defamation League says.

Nationalist terror is a danger to the domestic security of the United States and, evidence shows, a global terror threat that endangers the very nature of global democratic society.

The Conversation

, Associate Professor of Sociology, and , Associate Professor of Sociology,

This article is republished from under a Creative Commons license. Read the .

More C&L Coverage


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.