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To educate yourself about the contemporary iterations of white supremacist groups in the United States, below is a cheat sheet of some basics about the terms “white supremacy,” “white nationalism,” and “neo-nazism.”

White supremacy is the belief that (Christian) people descended from Europe are inherently superior to the rest of the world’s people and are thus uniquely fit to rule over them. The ideology has existed at least as far back as the 15th century, though traces of it can be found in earlier texts as well.

Although European belief in the “civilizing mission” of Christianity was the ideology that underpinned the global systems of slavery and colonialism that spanned the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, white supremacy as an ideology took on a different register beginning in the late 19th century with the advent of something called scientific racism.

Scientific racism used “science” (which has now been debunked as pseudoscience) to provide “physical evidence” for the superiority of the white race. Scientific racism capitalized on the emerging findings of evolutionary theory to posit the existence of a hierarchy among different human races, with the “lower races” (Indigenous, African, and Asian people) being less evolved/developed (i.e. closer in kind to the animal kingdom and therefore less “human”), and white Europeans being the most highly evolved/developed/most “human” race. They used pseudoscientific methods like phrenology—the belief that the physical shape and size of someone’s skull had a direct correlation with their intelligence—to reinforce claims about the superiority of the white race.

Related: ANTI-FASCISM: A COMPREHENSIVE USER’S GUIDE

Below is a short user’s guide to anti-fascism that we’ve developed, based on our personal experiences in attending and disrupting white supremacist rallies.

[This piece includes Anonymous contributors]
As anti-racist organizers, we frequently talk with people who wonder why we who oppose fascism, white supremacy, and other forms of organized violence feel compelled to show up to their assemblies to organize an opposition. Often, people will say some version of: "Don't feed the trolls," or "Just ignore them." This attitude describes what most people have been doing for many decades now. Yet this strategy of “looking the other way” is exactly what has allowed fascism and white supremacy to fester and grow unchecked. Despite mainstream accusations that fascism and white supremacy were being overblown or exaggerated, these forces have been expanding and merging, particularly over the past decade, in groups such as the KKK, Aryan Nation, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, etc., as well as through newer groups such as Identity Evropa, the White Student Union, and the Alt-Right. Sadly, because many people haven't been keeping tabs on the rapid growth of white supremacist groups in the United States, they are now struggling to believe it's actually as bad as it is. But when fascist Nazis gather, they are recruiting and building an army and a movement that allows them to grow unchallenged. It is imperative that we do not allow them another inch of space to grow. It will only get harder if we don’t do the work now.
Related: PRACTICAL WAYS WHITE ALLIES CAN INFLUENCE THEIR COMMUNITIES

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