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White Nationalists are Driving the CRT Conversation Online

White Nationalists are Driving the CRT Conversation Online
6th August 2021 Kesa White
In Insights

Critical race theory (CRT) has become an important topic of discussion, but parent activists and governments are not the only individuals worried about implementing CRT into the curriculum. As CRT argues, the importance of historical patterns of race is rooted in law and modern affairs, which creates systematic imbalances in our society. White nationalists have found a way to capitalise on the theory by adding it to their means of evidence to support their belief in a ‘white genocide’.  White nationalism involves the underlying theme of preserving one’s identity and culture based on promoting the ideals of the white race. White nationalists have become very vocal in sharing their opinions on CRT throughout social media platforms by calling it another mechanism for blacks to be placed in a ‘permanent’ victimised position. In addition, it takes a toll emotionally on white children by causing them to feel guilty about it being white.

While distinctive ideologies are categorised to devise the far-right, white nationalists have been the most vocal in the CRT conversation because of their primary focus on wanting to preserve the white race. Other factions of the far-right have taken a backseat to this cause by contributing to the conversation on encrypted networks but choosing not to add to the discussion on mainstream social media platforms. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see that white nationalists are driving the conversation because, after the insurrection, the spotlight was put on anti-militia groups and groups such as Proud Boys.

The far-right has learned that social media platforms and encrypted communication can work in their favour by mass distributing information across the globe. The rhetoric and level of trolling depend on the platform due to the targeted audience and level of accessibility. Encrypted communication platforms contained discussions and trolling on CRT because there is a high probability of those individuals being radicalised. On the other hand, mainstream media conversations on CRT involved terms such as ‘white genocide’, ‘white fragility’, ‘white guilt’, and ‘race war’. Associating those terms with CRT can cause panic amongst individuals who do not want their children to learn about the deep-rooted racism in the United States. Furthermore, much of the required literature and ideologies of far-right extremists are built on the white race being in danger and an inevitable race war.

Opposition on CRT has come from extremists and protesters across the ideological spectrum. Teaching the concept has been considered divisive and unpatriotic by forcing the curriculum onto students. The running theme amongst opposers is identical to the QAnon #SaveTheChildren conspiracy theory. While the QAnon theory caters to all demographics, CRT has primarily ignited a fire amongst the far-right. Across social media sites, extremists have utilised rhetoric that can inflame the white race into believing they are under attack, and they must somehow prevent all threats from pushing them into extinction. By implementing CRT into the school curriculum, extremists across the Internet believe it paints the white race in a negative light and could ultimately provoke a race war, especially as African American children in classrooms where CRT is being taught will have them grow up loathing the white race.

Due to the CRT debate being discussed frequently in mainstream media, extremists online have found mechanisms to contribute their ideology into the CRT discussions. Conversations have involved ((them)) or the Jews being the reasoning behind forcing CRT into school curriculums. Inserting white nationalist ideologies into the CRT conversation helps individuals that do not typically identify with extremist beliefs fall victim to their ideologies. The narrative can help fuel recruitment into far-right extremist groups, especially out of fear. The fear is primarily felt by parents and older adults that are worried about the future of children if the new curriculum is implemented. The theories white nationalists fabricated help parents dispute curriculum revisions on the mainstream, while extremists oppose the curriculum online with offensive themes. The far-right has gone so far as to misinterpret quotes from influential figures in the black community such as Malcolm X as further evidence to support their claims of the white race being in danger. Utilising examples and quotes from well-known leaders can provide legitimacy to their claims, mainly because Malcolm X was very vocal about his views on white people.

David Lane’s 14 words, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” is the primary underlying logic white nationalists are advocating for when opposing CRT. Protecting the white race in their eyes involves preventing white children from feeling guilty about their race and having other children blame them for incidents that occurred before their existence. The children are the primary concern for the far-right because they are the future of the organisations and must learn their history to carry on their organisation’s history. The far-right has radicalised younger generations at an exponentially alarming rate and leading entire organisations on their own. Ironically, white nationalism is built on the premise of preserving white heritage, but they want to remove certain parts of history by opposing the implementation of CRT into school curriculums. While the far-right drive the conversation on social media platforms, ill-informed protesters will continue to spread their message in-person. School districts across the nation are claiming that they are not teaching CRT, but they are attempting to implement equity programs into their school curriculums.

The conversations online will continue to be driven by white nationalists until adequate information is provided and misinformation surrounding the theory is removed from mainstream social media sites. CRT is not about the oppressors and the oppressed but about ensuring children have a well-rounded education regarding topics that continue to impact the world today. Despite evidence of the left and Jews pushing for the revised curriculum, extremists will continue to use them as scapegoats. Incidents involving racism in America deserve to be explored and taught to children because it will help them understand current events. As the country has seen with other events such as the insurrection, the far-right may turn to violence if they do not succeed.