Archive for White Nationalism/White Supremacy

Revilo Oliver: The White Supremacist Within

Since 2017, Pharos has documented many examples of hate groups appropriating ancient Greece and Rome in support of their politics. Our articles may give the impression that it is only outsiders to the discipline of Classics who enlist that history in support of hate. But today we turn to a Classics professor who actively promoted anti-Semitism and became an influential figure to an entire generation of white supremacists in the United States: Revilo Oliver, who spent thirty years as a professor of Classics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and who, besides lending his prestige as a professor of Classics to white nationalist causes, often invoked Classical antiquity to legitimize his views. Oliver died in 1994 but remains a respected figure in anti-Semitic circles and a warning against assuming that white supremacy is only to be found “outside” of the professional field of Classics.
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A New Roman Empire for White People

Richard Spencer is one of the most prominent white supremacists in the United States, whose various media platforms have published numerous articles that invoke Greco-Roman antiquity in support of racism and anti-Semitism. But Spencer himself has also made ancient Rome a model for his hateful vision: in a speech at the 2013 American Renaissance conference (a group that Pharos has also documented) Spencer described his dream of a “White Ethno-State on the North American continent” that would be, in his words, “a reconstitution of the Roman Empire.”

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Militia Group Warns of the Roman “Path to Ruin”

In May 2019, Pennsylvania state representative Stephanie Borowicz drew criticism for posing for a photograph with a member of the militia group “American Guard” at a rally. Such reports of elected officials having ties to white supremacy or granting influence to members of hate groups seem to be increasingly common. When the report of Rep. Borowicz’s selfie came across our desk Pharos looked into American Guard and found not only hateful politics, but references to classical antiquity as well.

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Classical Shirts Mask Hate with Humor

“Culture Wars” is a store on the custom apparel website TeePublic.com that advertises itself as “designs in support of European culture and civilization.” Like another online apparel store that Pharos has documented, “Culture Wars” offers many shirts with classical images and themes that promote both coded and explicit racism, homophobia, and misogyny. But whereas the previously documented site promoted a violent and hyper-masculine vision of the classical past, “Culture Wars” takes the approach of attempting to mask much of its hatred with humor.

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Classical Antiquity and the fear of “White Extinction”

As has been widely reported, the alleged shooter in the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand subscribed to a racist conspiracy theory that national and world governments are trying to eliminate white people by encouraging immigration of non-white people, intermarriage between white people and non-white people, abortion, and, in the more paranoid versions of the theory, violence against white people. This theory fuels racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia and can inspire violence like that seen in Christchurch: the shooter killed fifty Muslim worshippers and injured fifty more. He titled his manifesto “The Great Replacement” after a version of this theory articulated in France; in the U.S. this theory has often been known as “white genocide” or “white extinction.” The Christchurch shooting brought this theory widespread attention but it has a long history among hate groups and, more recently, in more mainstream circles. And as with other hateful ideologies, Greco-Roman antiquity is frequently invoked in support of it, by giving legitimacy to the idea that white people are somehow endangered.

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Greco-Roman Antiquity in the Pseudo-Academic Journal of White Supremacy

The Occidental Quarterly is a white supremacist publication designed to look and feel like a peer-reviewed journal in order to give itself credibility as a platform for racists and anti-Semites. Its articles are available only to paid subscribers (except for those also published on its sister platform, The Occidental Observer, which Pharos has also documented) but the titles of articles published in the journal make clear both its hateful politics and the assumption of many of its contributors that Greco-Roman antiquity can be used to authorize those politics.

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White Supremacist takes Inspiration from Ancient Eugenics

Guillaume Durocher has contributed articles that invoke classical antiquity to several white supremacist sites that Pharos has documented, including American Renaissance and Counter-CurrentsHe has also written more than one hundred pieces for The Occidental Observer, a site focused on “themes of white identity, white interests, and the culture of the West.” One of these, entitled “Biopolitics, Racialism, and Nationalism in Ancient Greece: A Summary View”, argues that we should imitate ancient eugenic practices so that “our race and civilization may forever flourish” and “Civil War II” may be avoided in the United States. Like many historically-minded racists who enlist the classical past in support of their politics, Durocher cloaks this hateful message beneath a superficially attractive but ultimately uncritical message that we should be “inspired by the Hellenic experience.”

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An Anti-Semitic interpretation of the Saturnalia

Radix Journal is a website founded by Richard Spencer, editor of Altright.com and president of the white supremacist think tank “National Policy Institute,” both of which Pharos has documented. In January 2019 Radix Journal published an article about the Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival that is popularly but probably erroneously believed to be the origin of Christmas. The article, entitled “Christmas, the Saturnalia and the Jewish Saturn”, makes the anti-Semitic argument that the Roman festival, and Christmas itself, commemorates a pre-historic time when “Jews or proto-Jews ruled” before “the restoration of an Aryan hegemony.”

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Classical Antiquity the Go-to Trope for White Supremacist “Politician”

Augustus Sol Invictus is a white supremacist and former U.S. Senate candidate. As Pharos has documented, he admires Greco-Roman antiquity so much that he legally changed his name to one that invokes ancient Roman imperial and religious associations. Although the SPLC notes that Invictus has “faded from the scene” since he was the headline speaker at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, nevertheless his website, The Revolutionary Conservative, continues to feature new content written by Invictus himself and other contributors, and also maintains an active presence on social media. A look at the material he has published lately reveals that both his commitment to racist politics and his belief that Classical Antiquity supports his views remain strong.

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Degrading Murals “Civilize” Native Americans with Latin Textbook

In the fall of 2018 Dartmouth College decided to remove from campus a set of murals depicting Eleazer Wheelock meeting the Native Americans living in New Hampshire, where he founded the college in 1769. The murals have drawn protests since the 1970s for their racist depiction of Native Americans and the room in which they were displayed — a dining room for faculty — was closed in 1979. Since then the murals have been accessible only by special arrangement but were still located in a central location on campus that implicitly endorsed their representation of Native Americans as unsophisticated people who need to be “civilized.” The murals explicitly make Classical education part of this “civilizing” project.

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