Archive for White Nationalism/White Supremacy

Call for Abstracts: Greco-Roman Antiquity and White Supremacy

Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting, Jan 7–10, 2021

Curtis Dozier, director of Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics, invites the submission of abstracts on any aspect of the relationship of Greco-Roman Antiquity and White Supremacy. Selected abstracts will form a proposal for a panel on the topic to be held at the 2021 Society for Classical Studies annual meeting in Chicago, IL (Jan 7–10, 2021). If the SCS Program committee accepts our proposed panel, the Vassar College Department of Greek and Roman Studies will offer panelists who do not have tenured or tenure-track positions a $500 stipend toward the cost of attending the conference. Pharos is also offering a research service for those interested in preparing abstracts but who prefer not to visit White Supremacist websites (on which see below). Read More→

Report: White Supremacy and the Past and Future of Classics Roundtable

“The heartbeat of racism is denial. The heartbeat of anti-racism is confession.” -Ibram X. Kendi

Twenty classical scholars gathered at the 2020 Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting to brainstorm a list of ways that the discipline of Classics has been and continues to be complicit in white supremacy. Participants included graduate students, high school teachers, and college professors of all ranks. Nearly all were white.

As such, the function of the round table was something like a discipline-specific version (minus the expert facilitator) of the “White Fragility” workshop on the first day of the conference, where Robin DiAngelo invited participants to reflect on how our socialization into white supremacy “renders us racially illiterate” and to take “the first step” of “let[ting] go of our racial certitude and reach[ing] for humility.” One quote from that workshop that encapsulated the motivation and aims for this roundtable came from an essay by Ijeoma Oluo: “Your survival has never depended on your knowledge of white culture. In fact, it’s required your ignorance. The dominant culture does not have to see itself to survive because culture will shift to fit its needs.” Read More→

Racist Intimidation invokes Socrates and “Classical Education”

In September 2019, several faculty and administrators at Wake Forest University received racist and homophobic emails that, according to recipients, called for “our land to be ‘purged’ of people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.” More recently it has emerged that the hateful and intimidating rhetoric of these emails used references to Greco-Roman Antiquity to define the curriculum that the racists believe should be “restored.”

Read More→

A Champion for Classics…and Racism

Joseph Sobran was a prominent American journalist and anti-Semite who, according to one obituary, “shared many of the ideas of the European far right from the early 20th century, in particular the belief that Jews are an alien, nearly monolithic and subversive force whose main goal is to destroy Western Civilization.” He came to the attention of Pharos because a meme featuring one of his quotes has been posted several times in a Facebook group for Latin teachers, where it received many “likes” and some approving comments. The quote says: “In 100 years we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching Remedial English in college.” This nostalgia for an (imagined) time when the study of Classics enjoyed a central and respected position in American education may be superficially attractive to those of us devoted to that study. But Sobran’s hateful political views should make us think twice about our assumptions about the value and purpose of Classical education. We may discover that our self-image, and even self-respect, as educators rests on implicit arguments dear to those with abhorrent political views.

Read More→

Not just Sparta: White Supremacist Admiration of Athens

Thanks especially to the work of Sarah Bond and Myke Cole, the general public is increasingly familiar with white supremacists’ fetishization of Classical Sparta as a supposedly racially pure, hyper-masculine, hyper-militarized model for the totalitarian ethnostate they seek to bring about. Sparta is the ancient touchstone for hate groups that Pharos documents most frequently. What may surprise many people, however, is that Classical Athens, popularly understood to be the ancient world’s beacon of democracy, cultural and intellectual accomplishment, and the polar opposite of Sparta, is promoted by white supremacists as a model for emulation as well. This appropriation of Athens in support of hateful politics poses a different kind of challenge to historians than the appropriation of Sparta does. The Sparta invoked by hate groups has little in common with the way our society is currently structured, but in Athens the hate groups find a model for how our existing political system can serve the white nationalist project.

Read More→

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.
Read More→

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.”

Read More→

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.

Read More→

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.

Read More→

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.

Read More→

Follow

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Email address