Reflections on racialism and white supremacy in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre
The following article has been published on ABC Religion & Ethics.
On the fringes of society, beyond the gaze of mainstream politics, there is a network of people propagating and planning an insidious, totalitarian goal: ethnic cleansing and genocide, under the rubric of their catch-cry, “Race War Now.” This is not only occurring in Australia, but is part of an international racialist movement, and one that is gaining ground. This racialist camp is composed of ultra-nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis. I use the term “racialists” rather than “racists” to indicate that an ideology is the base of their racist views, rather than sheer bigotry. In short, racialists are hostile to all people they consider to be non-Europeans, but Jews are seen as the primary enemy.
The ideas behind the push for a ‘Race War Now’ can be traced back to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a completely fabricated document concocted by the Czarist secret police in the early 1900s which antisemites claim “proves” that “the Jews” are plotting to control the world. The updated and modernised version of this racialist conspiracy theory has become concretised around the twin ideas of ‘Cultural Marxism’ and ‘White Genocide’.
The ‘Cultural Marxism’ thesis is a conspiracy theory concerning an alleged plot supposedly conceived for the most part by Jewish academics of the Frankfurt School of social theory and philosophy who seek to undermine and destroy European Western culture. This plot is said to be achieved through the promotion of equality, human rights, civil rights, feminism, homosexual rights, abortion, multiculturalism, secularism and internationalism. In this way, ‘Cultural Marxism’ is portrayed as the ideological weapon by which “traditional” Western societal values are being undermined, and the resilience of “white people” to stand up for their own traditional culture is being diminished.
In similar fashion, the related concept of “White Genocide” is an allegation of a Jewish plot to “destroy” the European races. The mythology is that the Jews ― along with their lackeys, in the form of other non-whites and leftists ― are plotting a form of racial dilution cum extinction through mass immigration of people of non-European background into “white majority” countries. Those who subscribe to the theory of “White Genocide” believe that in this way, people of ethnic European background will become a minority group, outnumbered and dominated in the countries of Europe, North America and Australasia where once they were a majority of the population. This is the kind of feared replacement that the marchers at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, North Carolina, in August 2017 were evoking when they chanted, “Jews will not replace us!”
A crude expression of this idea takes the form of a poster produced by the Australian neo-Nazi group, Antipodean Resistance. Its slogan is “Stop the Hordes” ― with the “hordes” being identified in grossly racist terms as immigrants of Arab, Indian, African and Chinese background, and it is “the Jews” symbolised by the Jewish Star of David, who are portrayed as the hidden hand behind non-white immigration into Australia, and other countries with ethnic European majorities. The response to “White Genocide”, as espoused by many neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, is White Revolution.
The slogan “White Genocide” is not, however, simply a theory. It is incitement to murder. On 27 October in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Robert Bowers, armed with an AR-15 rifle and three handguns, entered a synagogue shouting at one point, “All Jews must die!” He shot and killed eleven Jews at prayer and wounded six others (including four police officers). Bowers was linked to neo-Nazi activity online. He was not an admirer of U.S. President Donald Trump (writing in one social media post, “I did not vote for him nor have I owned, worn or even touched a Maga [Make American Great Again] hat”), but he did subscribe to the “White Genocide” theory and often wrote about it on his Gab account. He posted on Gab that Jews were “bringing in invaders that kill our people.” On the morning of the attack, Bowers wrote “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in” ― he then proceeded to murder Jews in a synagogue.
Those racialists and white supremacists who subscribe to the ideas of an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world, including the ideas of “Cultural Marxism” and “White Genocide” ― have formulated their response: GTKRWN, an acronym standing for “Gas The Kikes, Race War Now” (“Kike” is a grossly derogatory term for “Jew”). The acronym GTKRWN is increasingly being used on thousands of websites, social media pages, memes, images and hashtags.
There is a plethora of calls online urging people to kill Jews, and of images of Jews being hung, stabbed and shot, posted as joyful and inspirational expressions of what individuals and groups desire. The provocative and murderous propaganda posters by the Australian neo-Nazi group, Antipodean Resistance, calling to “Legalise the Execution of Jews” provides a chilling example of the genocidal mindset of racialists and their willingness to publicly display and promote their views.
So that is what the “Race War Now” narrative espouses. But what do its adherents actually plan to do?
In general, these racialists have a three-step plan: stop all non-white immigration, deport all non-whites (people of African, Asian, Arab and other non-European background) and kill all Jews. Some include Muslims in the deportation plan, others do not: once the Jews are eliminated, then any problem with “the Muslims” will be considered either manageable or at an end, because these racialists see “the Muslim problem” as being orchestrated by the Jews as part of the “Jewish plot” to destroy the West. How such a plan would actually be implemented is not readily known, although there is an abundance of literature from which the racialists draw their inspiration.
One major influence is The Turner Diaries by William Pierce, published in 1978. It is a novel consisting of the diary of the central fictional character, Earl Turner, set in 1991-1993. The diary covers the revolution by ‘The Organization’, a neo-Nazi and white supremacist group, who wage military war against ‘The System’ – that is, the U.S. government. The book advocates the violent overthrow of democratic governments by military actions, weaponry and bombs, mayhem and murder, and embraces an anti-Jewish and anti-black ideology. When the victorious neo-Nazis establish their first state in a part of California, the Jews are rounded up and killed, the blacks and other non-whites are expelled, and the so-called “race-traitors” are hanged from lamp-posts in the streets in an event known as the “Day of the Rope.”
Another increasingly popular inspiration is Siege by James Mason. Siege is a series of short essays written in the 1980s compiled into a 457-page book. According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, “Mason and his writings preach the praxis of leaderless, cell-structured terrorism and white revolution.” According to ProPublica, Siege commands that: “Now was the time for true believers to go underground and launch a clandestine guerrilla war aimed at bringing down ‘The System’.”
Clearly, these “Race War Now” individuals and groups have no illusions that they could win power by means of a popular vote in a democratic election. Their only chance at power is through violence, murder, terrorism and guerrilla warfare. But first, they need to lay the groundwork and plant the seeds for “White Revolution.” The unfolding of this plan is in its early stages in Australia, but it is occurring, albeit on the fringes of society. Racialists are crawling out from their dark crevices and openly seeking a pathway towards ethnic cleansing and genocide.
The “Race War Now” ideology and its adherents are not on the conventional political radar. But given their existence and the murderous threat they pose to people and to freedom and democracy, they should not be ignored. They need to be exposed to the clear light of day, and the full force of the law should be brought to bear upon them whenever they incite or carry out acts of violence.
Julie Nathan is the Research Officer for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.