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White Supremacy Before and After the Web

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How has the Internet changed the way white supremacy spreads? Has it made it more mainstream? This talk presents research from two studies, before and after the rise of the popular Internet. Findings suggest that the issue is not "recruitment" but a challenge to hard-won moral and legal victories, that turns the clock backward on civil rights.

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White Supremacy Before and After the Web

  1. 1. White Supremacy Before & After the Web Jessie Daniels, PhD Netroots Nation – July 16, 2016
  2. 2. Twitter: @JessieNYC
  3. 3. <my research>
  4. 4. Before & After the Internet
  5. 5. <1997>
  6. 6. qualitative content analysis
  7. 7. 369 pub’s from 5 WS organizations* *(COTC, KKK, NAAWP, NSRP, Christian Identity + WAR)
  8. 8. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
  9. 9. Two main arguments, first: WS is gendered…
  10. 10. race & masculinity
  11. 11. Second argument: WS is similar to mainstream rhetoric around race.
  12. 12. Access to Analog Documents Arduous
  13. 13. Started using technology in classes about ‘race’ in 1990s.
  14. 14. First student: typed in KKK.com into a search engine.
  15. 15. Second student: typed in Martin Luther King into a search engine.
  16. 16. Both searches led to white supremacist sites on first page of results.
  17. 17. were my students being “recruited”?
  18. 18. no, but something was going on
  19. 19. my question: how to study this?
  20. 20. <2009>
  21. 21. qualitative content analysis
  22. 22. Registered users: 129,000* *(November, 2008)
  23. 23. Registered users: 313,503* *(July, 2016)
  24. 24. qualitative content analysis and
  25. 25. qualitative content analysis and quasi-experimental with in-depth interviews
  26. 26. cloaked websites: intentionally disguising authorship in order to conceal a political agenda
  27. 27. consistently appears on first page of results
  28. 28. evaluate pairs of websites
  29. 29. evaluate pairs of websites
  30. 30. Graphic Design
  31. 31. “This site looks like someone, you know, just an individual created it. It doesn’t look very professional.” (study participant, age 17)
  32. 32. “I mean, I don’t think I would disagree with it. I’m sure there are some slaves that were treated well. So, I can understand their point of view. There’s always two sides to everything.” (study participant, age 17)
  33. 33. Several arguments, first: racism is changing because of digital technologies
  34. 34. WS rhetoric is easier to access, global and more participatory
  35. 35. The key issue is not “recruitment” but rather making hard-won moral & legal victories once again up for debate.
  36. 36. what about the First Amendment?
  37. 37. we largely misunderstand what it protects
  38. 38. As a result, the U.S. is “haven for hate speech.”
  39. 39. In fact, there is “no constitutional protection for a burning cross” (SCOTUS, Virginia v. Black, 2003).
  40. 40. what is a burning cross in the digital era?
  41. 41. <2016>
  42. 42. White Supremacy Still Mainstream Donald J. Trump, 2016White Aryan Resistance, 1997
  43. 43. Now, Easier to Share Donald J. Trump, 2016White Aryan Resistance, 1997
  44. 44. Twitter: @JessieNYC Thank You!

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