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Fueled by almost unrestricted social media access, US white nationalism on the rise

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THE CONVERSATION via AP — White nationalists keep showing up in the hearings of the US House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

Evidence is mounting that white nationalist groups who want to establish an all-white state played a significant role in the violent attack on the US Capitol that left five dead and dozens wounded.

Thus far, the hearings “have documented how the Proud Boys helped lead the insurrectionist mob into the US Capitol building in Washington, DC,” journalist James Risen wrote in the Intercept.

Based on July 12, 2022, testimony from a former Oath Keepers member, the white nationalist group coordinated with the Three Percenters, another group of white nationalists, and the Proud Boys in mobilizing their extremist groups to rally in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, as asked by US President Trump in his Dec. 16, 2020, tweet.

As a cultural anthropologist who has studied these movements for over a decade, I know that membership in these organizations is not limited to the attempted violent overthrow of the government and poses an ongoing threat, as seen in massacres carried out by young men radicalized by this movement.

In 2020, for instance, the Department of Homeland Security described domestic violent extremists as “presenting the most persistent and lethal threat” to the people of the United States and the nation’s government.

In March 2021, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress that the number of arrests of white supremacists and other racially motivated extremists has almost tripled since he took office in 2017.

“Jan. 6 was not an isolated event,” Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country for a long time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights group, tracked 733 active hate groups across the United States in 2021.

Based on my research, the internet and social media have made the problem of white supremacist hate far worse and more visible; it’s both more accessible and, ultimately, more violent, as seen on Jan. 6 at the US Capitol and the shooting deaths of 10 Black people at a Buffalo grocery store, among other examples.

In the 1990s, former KKK leaders including David Duke rebranded white supremacy for the digital age.

They switched KKK robes for business........

© The Times of Israel

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