Homegrown Hate by Sara Kamali

Homegrown Hate by Sara Kamali

Author:Sara Kamali
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780520360020
Publisher: University of California Press


An important subgenre within the online worlds of White nationalists is the online manifesto, written to inspire others to commit acts of terror and to justify the writer’s own planned or impending violence. Despite the many parallels between White nationalists and militant Islamists examined throughout this book, American White nationalists are particularly likely to write manifestos citing other White nationalists as inspiration and leveraging social media to gain a global audience for their performative violence. American militant Islamists who have committed acts of terrorism have neither referenced other militants in the same way nor utilized social media to post their rationales for violence with the aim of motivating others to do the same.67 Undoubtedly, some texts written by Islamist ideologues, both militant and nonmilitant, which are now available online decades or even centuries after they were written, such as those discussed in chapter 2, have found collective resonance with militant Islamists around the world. Certainly, militant Islamists have exploited social media for communication, organization, and recruitment, as discussed earlier in this chapter. However, American militant Islamists have not deployed manifestos online in the same way as their White nationalist counterparts, especially those who are also American. The ones who wrote what are faintly congruous to White nationalist diatribes did not post them online. Nidal Malik Hasan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev both wrote out their explanations for their attacks—in Hasan’s case, in a letter, and in Tsarnaev’s case, in pencil on the boat he was hiding in before being captured.68

Recent American manifesto writers who perpetrated acts of terrorism include Dylann Roof, who posted his manifesto as a website called The Last Rhodesian (2015), in reference to colonial Africa; Robert Bowers, who shot and killed eleven worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018 and posted what is akin to a manifesto to Gab, a political far right social media forum that uses the same format as Twitter; John Earnest, who killed one worshipper and injured three people at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California, in 2019 and posted his manifesto, An Open Letter (2019), to 8chan, a message board that attracts people who align with the political far right; and Patrick Wood Crusius, the twenty-one-year-old who murdered twenty-three people and injured twenty-four at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 and posted his manifesto, The Inconvenient Truth (2019), to 8chan shortly before the attack.

Manifestos have long been a mainstay in the canon of White nationalist literature. Preaching the sanctity of Whiteness and the need for land, whether a physical nation-state or an idealized concept of soil, to be exclusively inhabited by the White race, the authors of these public declarations are often lauded as martyrs by adherents who subscribe to the notion of Whiteness as biologically and culturally superior. Manifestos can provide a lineage of thought as well as a reference guide, and because they often reach across group membership, they evidence the binding force of transnational White nationalism that stretches beyond the scope of religious affiliation.


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