Title

Active Abeyance, Political Opportunity, and the "New" White Supremacy

Document Type

Book Section

Publication Date

7-8-2020

Publication Title

Racialized Protest and the State: Resistance and Repression in a Divided America

Publisher

Routledge

Edition

1

First page number:

1

Last page number:

25

Abstract

The “Alt-Right’s” rise to prominence raises questions about newness and persistence in white supremacy activism. Our chapter explains ebbs and flows in U.S. white supremacy over the last two decades. Specifically, we identify two main phases. Drawing on Verta Taylor’s (1989) concept social movement abeyance, we describe the longest phase as a period of “active abeyance.” For the past two decades, white supremacists responded to limited political opportunities and high-risk activism by strategically withdrawing from traditional public activism and recruitment in favor of more informal, private activism directed at sustaining their networks and beliefs. They also gradually reframed their rhetoric for broader appeal, amplified their online presence, and younger leaders with new groups emerged. Responding to shifting political opportunities in 2016, white supremacists moved toward a new phase defined by more open advocacy, recruitment, and violence. Led by younger leaders and new groups, the “Alt-Right” represents these recent efforts to shift racial and anti-Semitic extremism from the shadows into mainstream politics, culture, and discourse.

Keywords

Alt-Right; New white supremacy; Social movement abeyance; Active abeyance; Private activism; Racial and anti-Semitic extremism

Disciplines

Politics and Social Change | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology

Language

English


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