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November 12, 2019 8:51 AM   Subscribe

“ Rousseau, a Boy Scout and high school journalist before he founded Patriot Front, has much the same profile as the accused gunman in El Paso, Patrick Crusius: both grew up in middle-class suburbs of Dallas — Crusius in Allen, Rousseau 35 miles away in Grapevine; both were seen as unremarkable teenagers before being inculcated in their racist ideology online; both talk of a desire to reclaim America for “true” or “pure” patriots; both regard immigrants as a poisonous and present danger.” They Are Racist; Some of Them Have Guns. Inside the White Supremacist Group Hiding in Plain Sight. (ProPublica) “ In the run-up to the 2016 election, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage, according to leaked emails reviewed by Hatewatch... Miller’s perspective on race and immigration across the emails is repetitious. When discussing crime, which he does scores of times, Miller focuses on offenses committed by nonwhites. On immigration, he touches solely on the perspective of severely limiting or ending nonwhite immigration to the United States.” (SPLC)
posted by The Whelk (40 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yep, seen a couple of Patriot Front stickers posted around town in the last few weeks. Tear them down every chance I get.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:00 AM on November 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


a public-relations debacle for the white nationalist brand that was sure to attract greater oversight by law enforcement.

Yeah and a bunch of law enforcement joining their ranks...
posted by The Toad at 9:09 AM on November 12, 2019 [8 favorites]


I'm a little confused about this post. The first article is about Patriot Front, a new white supremacist group. The second article is about Stephen Miller, a white supremacist working in the Trump administration. Is there any more specific connection there other than them both being white supremacists?

I don't mean to downplay the danger of white supremacy in the US, we're living a horrorshow right now. But there's a difference in public perception between the obviously violent and dangerous groups like Patriot Front vs the "respectable" form of white supremacy Miller and other Trump folks practice in government. (Miller takes pains to lie to try to distance himself from Richard Spencer, for example.) I was hoping these articles had some way to link Miller and other Trump people directly to a group like Patriot Front, but that's not what's here.
posted by Nelson at 9:16 AM on November 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


IMO, Stephen Miller is the poison hiding in plain sight in this administration. The horror is how 'normalized' his utterances have become.
posted by dbmcd at 9:26 AM on November 12, 2019 [15 favorites]


Is there any more specific connection there other than them both being white supremacists?

In the last week or two Dan Crenshaw and Donald Trump Jr. have been shouted down and humiliated at university events by barely-veiled nazis, mostly over support of Israel* and perceived lack of strong support for exterminationist mass deportations.

There's a resurgence in doctrinaire youth white supremacism like we haven't seen since Charlottesville, except this time they're doing it smarter. The "America First" crowd explicitly ascribes to to 1920s-era Judeo-Bolshevik mythology and it might well comprise the majority of ideological conservative youth now. And based on the eternally repeating pattern, they're going to win the battle against the more capital-maintaining mainstream to ratchet up the GOP's ambient genocidality.

Stephen Miller represents the ideological center of the party now.

*which to them just means "the Jews." The right's anti-zionist critique is built on antisemitism, not to be confused with the left's anti-imperialism/anti-ethnostate antizionism. Antisemitism, as they say, being the socialism of fools.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:35 AM on November 12, 2019 [18 favorites]


That's the thing -- Patriot Front, according to the article, at least pays lip service to engaging in intimidation, not assassination. It appears to be a haven where those sympathetic to violent action congregate, but their founder fears and speaks against mass shootings and targeted physical assaults. The road to power and prominence, he reasons, lies in recruitment and ideology and organizational management and managing public relations and image.

Or to put it another way, stochastic terrorism. Demonization of an 'other' and cheering when someone else gets their hands dirty for the cause. Let's You and Him Fight. Will no one rid America of this troublesome pestilence?

Which is almost precisely Miller's aim, as well. And Tucker Carlson's, and Laura Ingraham's, and so many others who cling to their prominent public soapboxes. A velvet hood over an iron asshole.
posted by delfin at 9:41 AM on November 12, 2019 [19 favorites]


”investigation reveals 69,550 migrant children were held in U.S. government custody over the past year, enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical NFL stadium.”

The views of patriot front are the views of the Government in power. They are being enacted into policy with the hopes of creating a white ethnic tate. There isn’t a risk of white nationalism and Neo-Nazi entering Goverment, they’re already here and already the dominant Ideaology of last makers and law enforcement.
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 AM on November 12, 2019 [26 favorites]


Important topic, but can I just say that "They are racist; some of them have guns" is a terrible headline.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:01 AM on November 12, 2019


The links between Miller and whites supremacists documented in the article are solid and need to be taken very, very seriously. This one person has been responsible for so much abuse and he needs to be removed.
posted by odinsdream at 12:29 PM on November 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Patriot Front stickered my alley about a month ago. On the windows of the private garage in which I rent a space.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:16 PM on November 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


I called the police to take down a giant banner this group had unfurled over the 405 freeway during rush hour just a few weeks ago. I had never heard of them, but I read their manifesto when I got home and was extremely disturbed by it. It really upsets me to think that these people are right here in my community— but then again, I live in a city that’s less than 50% white, so I suppose it makes sense we’d be targeted.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:32 PM on November 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


But there's a difference in public perception between the obviously violent and dangerous groups like Patriot Front vs the "respectable" form of white supremacy Miller and other Trump folks practice in government.

It's not as if this sort of thing doesn't have a well-established historical precedent. The mob may not be under direct control by Trump/Miller but the distinction is definitely an illusion.
posted by klanawa at 1:45 PM on November 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


I think I've mentioned around here before that I was a grad student at Duke when Richard Spencer and Stephen Miller ran the Duke Conservative club. They held affirmative action bake sales. They brought white supremacists to campus to speak. They were notorious on campus. When Trump appeared on the scene in 2015 with Miller at his side, I was only shocked that Spencer was lurking in the shadows instead of at his other side. I also have a friend who grew up with Miller in Santa Monica. He has always been this horrible. Now he gets to help Trump enact his Nazi plans into action.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:15 PM on November 12, 2019 [16 favorites]


It is insane to me that someone with at least one Jewish parent could be a white supremacist. The bargain is never a bargain. They will come for you no matter what you do.

I always return to his uncle’s devastating essay about their family history. Obviously it didn’t do any good.
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 3:19 PM on November 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


It is insane to me that someone with at least one Jewish parent could be a white supremacist.

Somewhere between a quarter and a third of American Jews openly support a white supremacist president. As Jews from other marginalized communities and the left are already aware, there is a strong strain of fascism and white supremacy underlying American Jewish culture. All Trump did is make it easier for them to be open about it.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:45 PM on November 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


Where’s the news media at on this Duke stuff? Have they finally found an “opposites attract” friendship story involving a Nazi that they don’t want to cover?
posted by Selena777 at 4:16 PM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Spencer was glad to tell Mother Jones all about it in 2016. Vanity Fair covered it pretty well in 2017. Essence did, too. And Counterpunch published a great column by one of his classmates in 2017 as well.

You can read Miller's terrible columns that he wrote for the Duke Chronicle. He even got to be on cable news back then whining about the Duke Lacrosse case (read the open letter for a much more accurate depiction of that story than the one you know). It was not a secret.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:31 PM on November 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


Democrats better grow a fucking spine and scream and shout about this so loud and so fervently and demand Miller's firing until it's the forefront of all mainstream news and national conciousness.

Shirley Sherrod was fired by Obama for absolutely fucking nothing. It was a media shitstorm because Republicans simply made it so. Enough of this "we go high" business, it's done, it's finished. It's over. These are actual Nazis. Get fucking angry.
posted by windbox at 4:59 PM on November 12, 2019 [16 favorites]


Herr Von Hindenburg Democrats better grow a fucking spine and scream...
posted by pompomtom at 7:42 PM on November 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


What is the center object of the Patriot Front logo supposed to be?
posted by mmascolino at 8:09 PM on November 12, 2019


What is the center object of the Patriot Front logo supposed to be?
Pretty sure it's a fasces.
posted by Condroidulations! at 8:23 PM on November 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


After reading both Miller's columns and the Patriot Front manifesto, it seems Patriot Front may actually be less awful than Miller. Sure, they both believe the only true American is a European-American. But only Stephen Miller is concerned about the insidious erosion of traditional values caused by TV shows like "Sex and the City", "The L Word", and "Will and Grace".
posted by warreng at 9:38 PM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Somewhere between a quarter and a third of American Jews openly support a white supremacist president.

In other words, way fewer American Jews are Republican voters than Americans as a whole. There are actual data on this:
In terms of ideology, 44% of American Jews are liberal, much higher than the overall 25% among the total population, making Jews the most liberal of any major religious group we identify. Another 36% of Jews are moderates, with 20% describing themselves as conservative -- compared with 37% of the total population.
American Jews, Politics and Israel - Gallup, Polling Matters, August 27, 2019
As Jews from other marginalized communities and the left are already aware, there is a strong strain of fascism and white supremacy underlying American Jewish culture.

This is only true in the sense that the same claim could be made about essentially every American community. In the context of a story about fascism in the USA, your allegation is both misleading and offensive: the FPP makes it clear that Jews specifically are both the targets and the victims of Patriot Front.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:03 PM on November 12, 2019 [10 favorites]


This is only true in the sense that the same claim could be made about essentially every American community. In the context of a story about fascism in the USA, your allegation is both misleading and offensive: the FPP makes it clear that Jews specifically are both the targets and the victims of Patriot Front.

So, first of all, I was responding to another commentor expressing shock that even a single person who had at least one Jewish parent could be a white supremacist. Second, the FPP (including the title itself) is also discussing a Jewish white supremacist who wields an immense amount of clout within a white supremacist government; a discussion of Jewish white supremacy that touches on its shockingly high level of support within the Jewish population is not off-topic, misleading, or offensive. Indeed, in the context of discussions about people like Miller, I'm of the opinion that it should be a necessary part of the conversation.

Third and finally: as an American Jew, I am allowed to be concerned specifically with the development of white supremacy within my Jewish communities. I am allowed to be angry that there are currently three million Jews here that endorse many of the same policies that ended up killed six million of us (and six million other marginalized people) in Europe 70 years ago. I am allowed to be sad that the prime architect of these policies is himself Jewish and is seen by his own family as some sort of proto-Himmler. I am allowed to be disturbed that people like Miller and Ben Shapiro and the Jewish right wing have already included leftist Jews among their targets while using the exact same dehumanizing rhetoric as Nazis.

I'm also tired. I'm tired of the complaints from so many in the Jewish community that we talk about this too much. I'm tired of the silence from the Jewish community when the blood of Jews (including children, the elderly, and the disabled) is spilled protesting a concentration camp. I'm tired of the continuous attempts to minimize the profoundly disturbing statistical evidence just because it's not always as high as other groups with lots of white supremacists. I'm tired of the resurgence of the "fake Jew" and "worse than kapo" accusations for those of us fighting for justice. But I will not take any of the hectoring or browbeating sitting down.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:23 AM on November 13, 2019 [23 favorites]


Anyway, for those who are looking for the perspectives of Jewish activists (many of whom are also JOC), including speaking out against Miller and other Jewish white supremacists, here's a few of the great voices out there:

Naftali Botwin (pseudonym of the editor at Jewish Worker )
Nylah Burton
Sophie Ellman-Golan
Ben Faulding aka The Hipster Rebbe
Lara Friedman
David Klion (editor at Jewish Currents)
Eli Valley

Check 'em out, they make all the right people mad!
posted by zombieflanders at 5:09 AM on November 13, 2019 [15 favorites]


Patriot Front, according to the article, at least pays lip service to engaging in intimidation, not assassination.

Doesn't every violent radical group develop a less-violent, more-acceptable wing that serves to offer them cover? Or every radical group splits off a violent wing that thinks they are not radical enough. It becomes difficult to separate the factions, and sometimes it's not worth doing. Sometimes it is. In this instance, I'm going with not.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:09 AM on November 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


And there it is: 'A White House official also provided us with this response on background: "This is clearly a form of anti-Semitism to levy these attacks against a Jewish staffer."'

More from David Klion on why Jewish white supremacy is not just dangerous, but an existential threat to Jews themselves:
The right’s shameless abuse of the concept of antisemitism in defense of white supremacy is a central feature of the Trump era, and one the Jewish right is deeply complicit in. If you understand antisemitism as a form of bigotry inextricably linked to other bigotries, and demanding solidarity among all oppressed peoples, it follows that Stephen Miller (and the Jewish right in general) is functionally an antisemite. He is a threat to Jewish safety.
And concurrence from David Walsh:
The extent to which the Trump administration has weaponized allegations of antisemitism as a cudgel to *protect* Nazis and white supremacists is truly astounding.

But this was pretty clearly where this was all heading when they went after Ilhan Omar. I'd add that [Klion] is absolutely right, and the administration and its enablers have been very strategic in exploiting political divisions among American Jews. The response of the @jdforward to Bernie Sanders' article in @JewishCurrents on fighting antisemitism -- by publishing an article essentially arguing that Sanders bears responsiblity for Soviet antisemitism -- shows just how deep and exploitable these divisions are.

I don't know what more there is to say beyond that the major architect of American immigration policy here in 2019 is *explicitly* a fascist.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:00 AM on November 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


Hey, Stephen Miller is getting married!

His new life partner is the press secretary for Mike Pence. She is quoted as saying that border family separations are necessary because asylum seekers are "a violent mob of migrants." A match made in heaven.

Imagine working for Mike Pence and that being the second worst decision you made in your life.
posted by JackFlash at 8:19 AM on November 13, 2019 [9 favorites]






Maybe I shouldn’t have said “insane” - I’m aware of the right-wing Jewish population, and I didn’t mean that I was “shocked.” It’s hard to be shocked in 2019 by terrible people. I meant something closer to “vehemently, grossly malicious and damaging to vulnerable others and, ultimately, himself, which is something he seems to choose to ignore while attempting to curry favor with people who want him dead.”

Thanks for the links!
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 9:03 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


More from David Klion on why Jewish white supremacy is not just dangerous, but an existential threat to Jews themselves

Yet another FPP dealing with antisemitism has been diverted into the usual "you know who the real Nazis are? Jews, amirite?" White nationalism is essentially and fundamentally antisemitic, but after reading Zombieflanders' links you would wonder whether antisemitism even exists.

Jews are the victims and targets of white nationalism. Surely nobody missed the Charlottesville marchers chanting "Jews will not replace us"? Or the Poway shooter blaming Jews for the "meticulously planned genocide of the European race"? The FPP leads with an article specifically talking about an actual white nationalist group that actually targets Jews. Anyone concerned about threats to Jewish welfare might start but not end there: although (almost?) every white nationalist is an antisemite, most antisemites aren't white nationalists.

According to the FBI, Jews - who are around 2% of the US population - were the victims of nearly 60% of religiously-motivated bias crimes. Those statistics are badly sourced, but still - 60%! Antisemitic attacks in Brooklyn have risen by 50% over last year, with several attacks just this week; nobody seems to know why, but I promise you it's not because of white nationalism: antisemitism cuts across racial, economic, and cultural lines. This is why (according to a recent poll by the AJC) a quarter of US Jews "avoid certain places, events, or situations out of concern for [their] safety or comfort as a Jew", while nearly a third have "avoided publicly wearing, carrying, or displaying things that might help people identify [them] as a Jew".

Tl;dr: white nationalism is real; antisemitism is real; they're scary and on the rise. In contrast, "Jewish white nationalism" is mostly not real, which is why the execrable Miller has attracted so much attention. If you want to learn about the actual prevalence of antisemitism and the people responsible for it you should read personal accounts and official and institutional reports, not a bunch of contrarian OpEd writers on Twitter.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:45 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Yet another FPP dealing with antisemitism has been diverted into the usual "you know who the real Nazis are? Jews, amirite?"

This is very explicitly not an FPP dealing strictly with anti-Semitism. Indeed, it's largely focused on anti-immigrant and anti-POC violence, with one of the links never even touching on it.

White nationalism is essentially and fundamentally antisemitic, but after reading Zombieflanders' links you would wonder whether antisemitism even exists.

This is ridiculous. One of the links I provided was explicitly about violence against Jews! Another was about anti-Semitism from within powerful people and organizations within the Jewish community. I also find it extremely disturbing that you took one comment of mine discussing white supremacy and both made it into an insinuation that I'm somehow an anti-Semite (and it's not the first time it's happened, either to me or other Jewish MeFites), and have now decided the discussion about violence against all marginalized people is now only about anti-Semitism.

The FPP leads with an article specifically talking about an actual white nationalist group that actually targets Jews.

And immigrants, and POC, and many other marginalized groups. This sounds like you just searched one article for "Jews" or "anti-Semitism" and decided that that's really what the article and FPP is about when you found a match.

According to the FBI, Jews - who are around 2% of the US population - were the victims of nearly 60% of religiously-motivated bias crimes. Those statistics are badly sourced, but still - 60%!

And according to the same link POC were the targets of over 80% of race-motivated bias crimes, which themselves make up 60% of hate crimes. LGBTQ people were the targets of 98% (and I expect that number is off by, like 1.99999999999%) of sexuality-based hate crimes.

In contrast, "Jewish white nationalism" is mostly not real, which is why the execrable Miller has attracted so much attention.

This is just wildly untrue. Even setting aside Miller's simultaneous embracing of his Jewishness for literally no other reason than to protect him from accusations white supremacy, it's bad and getting worse. It's also not just the percentage among all of us, it's that it seems even higher among powerful Jewish people both within and outside of Jewish organizations. In just the last several months, we've seen the opinion sections of several major Jewish publications continuously explicitly defend or even engage in some combination of fascism and/or white nationalism. The Jewish DC bureau chief of the goddamn New York Times publicly out himself as a racist piece of shit, and a number of well-known Jewish bigots like Dov Hikind and Mort Klein throw explicitly racist and Islamophobic rallies.

If you want to learn about the actual prevalence of antisemitism and the people responsible for it you should read personal accounts and official and institutional reports, not a bunch of contrarian OpEd writers on Twitter.

And finally we have it laid out plain: the voices of leftist Jews and marginalized Jews targeted by white supremacists (both Jewish and gentile) just don't count. These aren't just "contrarian OpEd writers on Twitter," they are people who have been directly affected by and/or are attempting to fight back against white supremacy. Many of them were published in popular Jewish publications until it became clear that white supremacists in the editorial offices started ignoring them or making their lives difficult for basically being too uppity. Several are members of vitally important Jewish social justice movements that have been far more effective at fighting bigotry than much larger Jewish civil rights groups. Hell, just a couple months ago, you even mentioned Burton specifically as writing an important piece about Whiteness and Judaism, which I followed up with detailing the intra-Jewish responses that could very much be characterized as white supremacy. For whatever reason, none of what I said then--which, again, was in the context of the discussion of many marginalized groups--was at all controversial or deserving of yet another accusation that I'm some sort of self-hating Jew. Why it's such a big deal now is beyond me.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:05 AM on November 14, 2019 [5 favorites]


“I have some more Miller emails if anyone is interested”
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Another bunch of contrarian OpEd writers on Twitter who you definitely shouldn't read:

Edo Konrad
Joshua Leifer
Talia Levin
Elad Nehorai
Rebecca Pierce
Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Adam Serwer
Rafael Shimunov
Mairav Zonszein

If you do decide to read them, just bear in mind when you're reading that apparently their personal accounts of bigotry and violence aren't in any way valid and you should be good to go!
posted by zombieflanders at 2:40 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


"Sickening" And "Proof" Of Racism: DHS Officials Say Stephen Miller Must Go After Emails Released
“Not that it wasn’t clear before — these emails just confirm what we all know," a DHS official said. "I’m disgusted that my venerable agency has turned into his personal tool for hate.”
posted by The Whelk at 3:52 PM on November 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


In just the last several months, we've seen the opinion sections of several major Jewish publications continuously explicitly defend or even engage in some combination of fascism and/or white nationalism. The Jewish DC bureau chief of the goddamn New York Times publicly out himself as a racist piece of shit, and a number of well-known Jewish bigots like Dov Hikind and Mort Klein throw explicitly racist and Islamophobic rallies.

Don't forget Ron Unz and his shitsite.
posted by non canadian guy at 10:17 PM on November 15, 2019


So that’s how Pat Buchanan is spending his dotage...
posted by Selena777 at 6:28 AM on November 17, 2019


Elizabeth Warren has published her plans for Fighting Back Against White Nationalist Violence. On a cursory reading it looks pretty good.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:42 PM on November 19, 2019 [2 favorites]




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