Racism Goes Mainstream On Campus

It’s hard to imagine professors at such distinguished institutes of higher learning like Vanderbilt University medical school openly endorsing and embracing a novel written by a former hate group leader that features, as a central plot line, the graphic assassination of a character based on a prominent Southern Poverty law Center figure.  But they have, and their comments and their presence in institutions designed to foster intellectual discourse show just how inculcated radical right-wing violence has become in our culture.

The novel, White Apocalypse, was written and self-published by Kyle Bristow, a former  hate group leader and current law student at the University of Toledo.  He’s the former campus director of the nationally recognized Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom where he associated himself with and promoted the ideas of the leader of the whites-only British Nationalist Party, Nick Griffin, among others.  Bristow eventually gained notoriety after advocating a video game in which players earned points by shooting Mexican migrants at the border.  He’s also appeared on Fox News Channel, including spots with Bill O’Reilley and Sean Hannity.

The novel not only focuses on the assassination of anti-hate group activists, but it elevates to the role of hero the conservative commentators that support the far-right characters in the book.  In fact, most of the references are so thinly veiled that it’s hard to see it as anything short of an homage to those forces mainstreaming hate, including Pat Buchanan (the protagonist Samuel Buchanan reads The Suicide of the West, authored by Pat Buchanan), Samuel Francis and Michael Savage.

Now, bad hate fiction has a long tradition in this country, so the existence of the novel shouldn’t shock anyone, nor should the fact that these diatribes often inspire horrific acts of violence.  For example, the race war fantasy novel The Turner Diaries, written by neo-Nazi William Pierce inspired both the Oklahoma City bombing and the domestic terrorist group the Order in the mid-1980s.  But even then mainstream academia stayed pretty far away from the material.

Contrast that with reviews that call the book “an emotionally compelling account of Whites as historical victims of non-Whites–just the sort of thing we need to motivate a renaissance among our people” as Kevin MacDonald, professor of psychology at  California State University at Long Beach wrote.  MacDonald, a member of the openly white supremacist group, the American Third Position, writes frequently that Jews are driven by a genetically programmed evolutionary strategy to undermine Western civilization.  Or how about a review that calls the book a “well-researched page-turner” by Virginia Abernethy, professor emerita at Vanberbilt University and another self-described white “separatist”.

So much for liberal academia, huh?

The story is disturbing enough, but given the visible increase in actual violence flowing from this elevated rhetoric of hate, these kinds of public positions at our nation’s universities should give us all great pause.  Open, critical discourse is key in any culture of learning.  But actively endorsing and embracing violent, racist and inherently uninformed positions cannot be allowed to masquerade as intellectual freedom.

photo courtesy of Image Editor via Flickr

141 comments

June Lacy
June Lacy4 years ago

I THINK RACISM IS DEMONICALLY INSPIRED

June Lacy
June Lacy4 years ago

I THINK RACISM IS DEMONICALLY INSPIRED

Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

@ Ana p. your use of the word retarded' is acceptable, even though it could be construed as being insulting to the retarded, other words you could use are; Dunce, stupid, feeble minded, intolerant, unintelligent, etc. You also can use time as the framework as in Neanderthals' Cavemen and even Troglodytes and Dinosaurs.
Be confident Ana, any insult is fitting. Make up some of your own! Those dim witted thick skulled 'Faeco-cerebrumic ethnoids'  see! I just called them shitheads'. Aaaah! Insulting racists is so easy, and so fun! Especially ones that don't know they are!

ana p.
ana p5 years ago

JO TASHA T., I'M SORRY IF I OFFENDED ANYONE. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.
I THINK IT'S MY POOR ENGLISH THAT'S TO BLAME! I DON'T FIND THE RIGHT WORD TO SAY WHAT I MEAN. IN MY LANGUAGE WE USE THE WORD IN BOTH SENSES DEPENDING ON THE CONTEXT - WE CAN BE TALKING ABOUT A PERSON WHO IS MENTALLY RETARDED OR WE CAN BE TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO'S WAY OF THINKING IS STILL ON THE " STONE AGE"!
IF SOMEONE TEACH ME THE RIGHT WORLD TO EXPRESS THIS IN ENGLISH I WOULD APPRECIATE. THANKS!

JoTasha T.
JoTasha T5 years ago

to Ana P., who said "RACISM IS SO RETARDED" Using the word "retarded" is prejudiced and shows how little those with good intentions really understand the problem.

Michele G.
Past Member 5 years ago

Well I won't be buying it!

ana p.
ana p5 years ago

RACISM IS SO RETARDED................

Sharon Balloch
Sharon Balloch5 years ago

Would not give one penny to anyone promoting hatred against any race.. racism is a sickness of the mind.

Adam G.
Adam G5 years ago

I've noticed that in areas known for inbreeding, aside from lower IQ levels, there is also a lot of racism. just connect the dots...

Deborah L.
Deborah Lashever5 years ago

Wow. Racism is alive and well in America! I'm shocked that people are not ashamed.

Still, if we hate the haters aren't we just haters too?
I resort to pity. Hope that's better......