WHITE CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM ANTHOLOGY
February 21, 2024
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and
What’s at Stake:
Dan Partland. God and Country: A Major New
Documentary Examines the Rise, Power--and Threat—of Christian Nationalism.
for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism—and What Comes
Lerone Martin. The
Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White
Jennifer Rubin. “Losing
Status, Wealth, and Privilege.
Why White Christian Nationalists are in such a panic.”
Teaching White Supremacy:
America’s Democratic Ordeal and the Forging of Our National Identity.
Not “A Nation of Immigrants”; Settler-Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a
History of Erasure and Exclusion.
Chris Hedges. “Curtis Wilkie looks Inside the Minds of White
Britt Halvorson and Joshua Reno. Imagining
Heartland: White Supremacy and the American Midwest.
Ajamu Baraka. “The new White supremacist consensus, Part 2:
shootings in Buffalo Solidify the Consensus.”
Cedric Robinson. “Births of a Nation, Redux: Surveying
Trumpland with Cedric Robinson.”
Danny Geary. "Toward a Global History of White
“God and Country: A Major New Documentary Examines
the Rise, Power--and Threat—of Christian Nationalism.” Church and State (Feb. 2024). An interview of the Director, Dan Partland,
by the Editor of C&S, Rob Boston. The film was produced by Rob Reiner
and is based on Katherine Stewart’s 2019 book The Power Worshippers: Inside
the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. The film explores a chief
source of the divisions fracturing our democracy.
The insurrection at the US Capitol on January
6, 2021, was not a blip or an aberration. It was the logical outcome of years
of a White evangelical subculture’s preparation for war. Religion scholar and former insider Bradley
Onishi maps the origins of White Christian nationalism and traces its offshoots
in Preparing for War. Combining his own experiences in the youth groups
and prayer meetings of the 1990s with an immersive look at the steady blending
of White grievance politics with evangelicalism, Onishi crafts an engrossing
account of the years-long campaign of White Christian nationalism that led to
January 6. How did the rise of what Onishi calls the New Religious Right,
between 1960 and 2015, give birth to violent White Christian nationalism during
the Trump presidency and beyond? What propelled some of the most conservative
religious communities in the country-communities of which Onishi was once a
part-to ignite a cold civil war? Through chapters on White supremacy and
segregationist theologies, conspiracy theories, the Christian-school
movement, purity culture, and the right-wing media ecosystem, Onishi pulls
back the curtain on a subculture that birthed a movement and has taken a
Lerone Martin. The
Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White
Christian Nationalism. Princeton UP,
Publisher’s description. On a Sunday morning in 1966, a group of white
evangelicals dedicated a stained glass window to J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI
director was not an evangelical, but his Christian admirers anointed him as
their political champion, believing he would lead America back to God. reveals how Hoover and his FBI teamed up
with leading white evangelicals and Catholics to bring about a white Christian
America by any means necessary.
Lerone Martin draws on thousands of newly declassified FBI documents and memos to describe how, under Hoover’s leadership, FBI agents attended spiritual retreats and worship services, creating an FBI religious culture that fashioned G-men into soldiers and ministers of Christian America. Martin shows how prominent figures such as Billy Graham, Fulton Sheen, and countless other ministers from across the country partnered with the FBI and laundered bureau intel in their sermons while the faithful crowned Hoover the adjudicator of true evangelical faith and allegiance. These partnerships not only solidified the political norms of modern white evangelicalism, they also contributed to the political rise of white Christian nationalism, establishing religion and race as the bedrock of the modern national security state, and setting the terms for today’s domestic terrorism debates.
Taking readers from the pulpits and pews of small-town America to the Oval Office, and from the grassroots to denominational boardrooms, completely transforms how we understand the FBI, white evangelicalism, and our nation’s entangled history of religion and politics.
Supremacy: Reckoning with the Roots of Antisemitism and Racism by Magda Teter.
Jennifer Rubin. “Losing status, wealth,
Why white Christian
nationalists are in such a panic.” Washington
You might find it
strange that a large segment of the Republican base thinks Whites are the true
victims of racism and that Christians are under attack. After all, America’s
biggest racial group is still Whites; the most common religious affiliation
remains Christianity. Whites and Christians dominate elected office at all
levels, the judiciary and corporate America. What’s the problem?
Well, there is a
straightforward reason for the freak-out, and an explanation for why former
president Donald Trump developed such a close bond with white Christian
This group feels
besieged because they are losing ground. “The newly-released — based on over 40,000 interviews
conducted last year — confirms that the decline of white Christians (Americans
who identify as white, non-Hispanic and Christian of any kind) as a proportion
of the population continues unabated,” writes , president of the Public Religion Research Institute. “As
recently as 2008, when our first Black president was elected, the U.S. was a
majority (54%) white Christian country.” By 2014 the number had dropped to 47
percent, and in 2022 it stood at 42 percent.
The group that has
declined the most is at the core of the MAGA movement, the group most devoted
to Christian nationalism. “White evangelical Protestants have
experienced the steepest decline. As recently as 2006, white evangelical
Protestants comprised nearly one-quarter of Americans (23%). By the time of
Trump’s rise to power, their numbers had dipped to 16.8%,” Jones explains.
“Today, white evangelical Protestants comprise only 13.6% of Americans.”
evangelicals might look at former “customers” who are abandoning organized
religion in droves. “Nearly four in ten Americans ages 18-29 (38%) are
religiously unaffiliated, an increase from 34% in 2021," the PRRI census
said. "As the cohorts age, the growth in religiously unaffiliated
Americans has started to show up more in the 30-49 age category, which is up to
32% unaffiliated from 26% in 2016.”
In some sense, White
evangelicals’ desperate efforts to cling to political power and demand
adherence to a set of outdated cultural norms only make the problem worse. Not
many 20-year-olds (part of the most diverse, inclusive generation in history,
one steeped in climate science and tech) would leap at the prospect of living
in a state where abortion is unattainable, gays are ostracized and secularism
evangelicals really want to slow their decline, they might consider getting out
of the unpopular political ideas market (e.g., abortion bans) and stressing
values that could win back alienated young people (e.g., reverence for
conserving the planet, ministering to the poor and the weak). That might put
more seats in the pews, although it likely wouldn’t do much for the aging,
mostly White, reactionary GOP
The reality is that the
convergence of the declining population of White Christians with the rise of
Trump has been bad for both evangelicalism and American politics. Trump
came along, telling the shrinking band of white Christian nationalists that they
are victims. He reveled in nostalgia for a time when they dominated
(demographically and politically) and blamed immigrants, elites, and “wokeness”
for their ills. They were the group most susceptible to a message that
reinforces their feeling they have “lost” something or something has been
That “something” they
felt had been stolen may have been as concrete as the 2020 election, or as
all-encompassing as white Christian supremacy. However they define that sense
of loss, it fuels their anger and binds them to Trump. .
[Rubin argues next that the “MAGA crowd” has painted itself into the
corner. But how does the decline of the
MC explain the rising popularity of Trump?
forwarded to me by Bob Billig
Teaching White Supremacy:
America’s Democratic Ordeal and the Forging of Our National Identity.
“How did the South ‘win the narrative war’ about race equality, as Bryan Stevenson has so aptly put it, following the Civil War? In fascinating, if deeply troubling detail, the historian Donald Yacovone has charted the creation and systematic implementation of the pernicious myth of white supremacy in the very classrooms of America where our youngest and most impressionable citizens are shaped. Examining an astounding array of textbooks in the 19th and 20th centuries, Yacovone in compelling prose has captured the nation’s deliberate fashioning of ‘American identity’ as fundamentally, inevitably, and unalterably ‘white.’ The most profoundly original cultural history in recent memory, Teaching White Supremacy places the development and institutionalization of American racial ideology squarely where it belongs: not in the slave South, but in the ostensibly free North, assaulting common perceptions of Northern racial exceptionalism. If we want to understand the roots of our current culture wars and our current battles over the place of race in American history classes, this marvelous book is the place to start. Yacovone’s recovery of the long buried roots of racist discourse in our children’s textbooks, is crucial to the creation of a long-deferred narrative of America’s multi-racial past, and our multicultural present and future.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University
“Donald Yacovone has written a stunning, timely book about the history of our history wars. It is at once a history of American education through the lens of white supremacist ideas, a revealing study of K-12 history textbooks, and an analysis of both the complicity in and the overturning of the racist-progress narrative in historical scholarship. The book is an achievement in writing public history, and it should be read widely in our roiling debate over how to teach about race and slavery in classrooms. For those wondering how we got here with book bannings, politicized school boards, librarians in duress, and maddening ignorance about the American past, here is the long view and the immediate challenge.”—David W. Blight, Sterling Professor of American History, Yale University; author of the Pulitzer-prize-winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
“Teaching White Supremacy reveals in great detail the battle over historical memory in public schools and how the white elite has devoted extraordinary resources to perpetuating racist ideas in each generation through the K-12 curriculum . . . Yacovone documents the timeworn playbook guiding contemporary legislators in their campaign to censor teaching truthfully about racism and other forms of oppression in U.S. history . . . Those stories of resistance permeate the book and offer strategies and inspiration for those defending the right to teach outside the textbook today.”—Deborah Menkart, executive director of Teaching for Change and co-director of the Zinn Education Project
“[Yacovone] masterfully details how U.S. K–12 and college texts since the 1830s have inculcated whiteness as a national inheritance passed from generation to generation . . . accessible, thoroughly documented, and well-reasoned. . . essential reading for all interested in truly understanding America’s past and the systemic distortions to repress and restrict the historical narrative with an insidious ideology.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Outstanding.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“Monumental . . . expansive and eye-opening . . . This troubling and powerful history is essential reading.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[Gov. Sanders declared her educational “reform”
included reversing Critical Race Theory.
She seems not to know what CRT is about, for CRT is critical thinking: “For those wondering how
we got here with book bannings, politicized school boards, librarians in
duress, and maddening ignorance about the American past, here is the long view
and the immediate challenge.”—David W. Blight, This book should be widely publicized as a
corrective to Sanders’ authoritarian, racist educational program. –Dick]
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Not “A
Nation of Immigrants”; Settler-Colonialism,
White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion.
Whether in political debates
or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans,
regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of
immigrants. In this bold new book, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this
ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the
US’s history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and
structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today.
She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity—founded and built by immigrants—was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good—but inaccurate—story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception.
While some of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, others are descendants of white settlers who arrived as colonizers to displace those who were here since time immemorial, and still others are descendants of those who were kidnapped and forced here against their will. This paradigm shifting new book from the highly acclaimed author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States charges that we need to stop believing and perpetuating this simplistic and a historical idea and embrace the real (and often horrific) history of the United States.
“The Chris Hedges Report Podcast with Curtis Wilkie looks Inside the Minds of White Nationalists.” The Chris Hedges Report 8-17-22 .
“When Evil Lived in Laurel: The White Knights and the Murder
of Vernon Dahmer,” by Curtis Wilkie,
examines the motives and beliefs of white nationalists who engage in terrorism
On Jan. 9, 1966, the White Knights of the
Mississippi Ku Klux Klan murdered the Black civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer
in Hattiesburg, Mississippi after fire-bombing and shooting into his house. It
was one of thousands of hate crimes conducted in the south by whites who waged
a reign of terror against Blacks to frighten them from abandoning calls for
desegregation and voting rights. These attacks including threats, beatings,
shootings and arson attacks on Black churches, businesses, and homes. The few
men charged with these crimes, including murder, were often acquitted by white
juries. To this day over 150 murders, 56 in Mississippi, remain unresolved.
Terrorism by white vigilantes against religious and ethnic minorities is
ingrained into the DNA of American society going back to the slave patrols. Its
face was on display in 2015 when Dylan Roof gunned down nine members of a
Bible-study group in a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina. It was on
display three years later when eleven worshippers were murdered at a synagogue
in Pittsburg. It was on display when neo-Nazis marched in the streets of
Charlottesville, Virginia. It was on display when Ahmaud Arbery was murdered on
February 23, 2020, in Georgia. It was on display among neo-Confederates who
stormed the capital on January 6, 2021. The FBI recorded 8,263 reported hate
crimes in 2020, a 13 percent jump over 2019.
What motivates these people? How do they look
at the world? How do they justify to themselves and others these acts of
terror? These questions are explored in the new book When Evil Lived in
Laurel: The White Knights and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer by the former Boston
Globe reporter Curtis Wilkie. Wilkie, relying on interviews with
participants and meticulous records kept by Tom Landrum who for four years
worked as an FBI informant inside the Klan, provides a rare look into the inner
workings of white hate, how its extensive network of law enforcement officials,
politicians, state and city officials, journalists, preachers and business
leaders colluded in what became a decade of unrelenting terrorism in the south.
Joining me to discuss his book, “When Evil Lived in Laurel: The White Knights
and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer” is Curtis Wilkie.
Britt Halvorson and Joshua Reno. Imagining
Heartland: White Supremacy and the American Midwest. UCP, 2022.
Publisher’s description. An overdue examination of the Midwest's long influence on nationalism and white supremacy.
Though many associate racism with the regional legacy of the South, it is the Midwest that has upheld some of the nation’s most deep-seated convictions about the value of whiteness. From Jefferson’s noble farmer to The Wizard of Oz, imagining the Midwest has quietly gone hand-in-hand with imagining whiteness as desirable and virtuous. Since at least the U.S. Civil War, the imagined Midwest has served as a screen or canvas, projecting and absorbing tropes and values of virtuous whiteness and its opposite, white deplorability, with national and global significance. Imagining the Heartland provides a poignant and timely answer to how and why the Midwest has played this role in the American imagination.
In Imagining the Heartland, anthropologists Britt Halvorson and Josh Reno argue that there is an unexamined affinity between whiteness, Midwestness, and Americanness, anchored in their shared ordinary and homogenized qualities. These seemingly unremarkable qualities of the Midwest take work; they do not happen by default. Instead, creating successful representations of ordinary Midwestness, in both positive and negative senses, has required cultural expression through media ranging from Henry Ford’s assembly line to Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic.” Far from being just another region among others, the Midwest is a political and affective logic in racial projects of global white supremacy. Neglecting the Midwest means neglecting the production of white supremacist imaginings at their most banal and at their most influential, their most locally situated and their most globally dispersed.
Ajamu Baraka . “The
new White supremacist consensus, Part 2: shootings in Buffalo solidify the
consensus.” . . Mronline.org (5-20-22). (Posted May
The latest mass shooter in Buffalo, New York
was clearly a racist, and identified with Ukrainian and other neo-Nazis. But
white supremacy has a stronger hold on European and U.S. society than is
commonly acknowledged. The avowed racist is not the only problem.
Gerald Horne. The Dawning of the Apocalypse: ROOTS
OF CAPITALISM, WHITE SUPREMACY, SETTLER COLONIALISM, AND SLAVERY IN 16TH
AND 17TH COLONIAL N. AMERICA. Monthly Review P, 2023.
Publisher’s description [abbreviated by DB].
In August 2021, acclaimed
historian Gerald Horne was awarded the American Book Award by the Before Columbus
Foundation for his book, (Monthly Review Press, 2020). He has published four other books by MRP,
including (2018). Since 1978, the Before
Columbus Foundation, which is dedicated to recognizing the full multicultural
diversity of U.S. literature, has given out the American Book Award to authors
who in the judgment of a panel of editors, authors, and publishers have provided
an “outstanding contribution to American literature.”
is a wide-ranging
and at the same time detailed analysis of the long seventeenth century (in
Horne’s case stretching from Columbus’s encounter with the Americas in 1492 to
the massive importation of Black enslaved people into what is now the United
States in 1607), centering on how slavery and racism constituted the basis of
capitalism in Britain and its colonial spawn in the United States. It is
concerned with a four-cornered struggle between Europe, Africa, and North and
South America. However, the story centers on the rivalry for world power
between London and Madrid, and particularly on how this affected the struggles
over the Caribbean, Florida, and the early British colonialism in Virginia and
elsewhere. Both Madrid and London were engaged in the colonial-capitalist
enslavement and genocide of Native Americans, and the slave trade that brought
Africans over in ships. Horne’s argument, however, demolishes the already
tattered mythology that London’s settler colonialism was somehow more benign
than that of Madrid. His central thesis in this regard, which structures much
of his book, was that Spain tried to rule in the Americas on the basis of
religion, dividing Christians off from heathens, but was unable to stave off
the revolts that such a non-essentialist religion-based strategy of domination
in some ways reinforced. In contrast, London relied primarily on the
essentialist ideology of racism and white supremacy, including the permanent
and absolute enslavement and/or extirpation of other “races,” building its
world capitalist empire and the Industrial Revolution on that basis.
Haiti, Empire, Slavery, Whiteness, Resistance
“Cages of Whiteness in the Shadow of Haiti: Guy
Endore’s ‘Babouk’ and the Critique of Race-Class Alienation.” Mronline.org (10-9-21). (Posted Oct 08, 2021).
Re-reading Guy Endore’s
“forgotten masterpiece” it is striking how this novel from 1934, long-noted for
its shocking and sophisticated account of slavery and resistance in the lead-up
to the Haitian Revolution, is also a penetrating account of the ethical and
political deformity and alienation perpetuated by the ideology of “whiteness.”
Nation Rising: From Bordertown Violence to Native Liberation by Nick Estes, Melanie Yazzie, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, and David
Correia with a Foreword by Radmilla Cody and Brandon Benallie. See Kickstarter.
Red Nation Rising is the first book ever to investigate
and explain the violent dynamics of bordertowns. Bordertowns are
white-dominated towns and cities that operate according to the
same political and spatial logics as all other American towns and cities.
The difference is that these settlements get their name from their
location at the borders of current-day reservation boundaries, which separates
the territory of sovereign Native nations from lands claimed by the United
Bordertowns came into existence when the first
US military forts and trading posts were strategically placed along expanding
imperial frontiers to extinguish indigenous resistance and incorporate captured
indigenous territories into the burgeoning nation-state. To this day, the US
settler state continues to wage violence on Native life and land in these
spaces out of desperation to eliminate the threat of Native presence and
complete its vision of national consolidation “from sea to shining sea.”
This explains why some of the most important Native-led rebellions in US
history originated in bordertowns and why they are zones of ongoing
confrontation between Native nations and their colonial occupier, the United
Despite this rich and important history of
political and material struggle, little has been written about
bordertowns. Red Nation Rising marks the first effort to tell
these entangled histories and inspire a new generation of Native freedom
fighters to return to bordertowns as key front lines in the long struggle
for Native liberation from US colonial control. This book is a manual for
navigating the extreme violence that Native people experience in reservation
bordertowns and a manifesto for indigenous liberation that builds on long
traditions of Native resistance to bordertown violence.
Robin D. G. Kelley and Gary B. Nash. “Births of a Nation, Redux: Surveying Trumpland with Cedric Robinson.” Mronline.org (11-21-20). (More by ) | (Posted Nov 20, 2020).
What Robinson identified as
“the rewhitening of America” a century ago is what we’re seeing play out today.
Geary, Camilla Schofield, and Jennifer Sutton. Boston Review, posted
October 16, 2023. From
"The simultaneous success of Trump and
Brexit was no coincidence: white supremacist politics are international in
scope and often share entwined histories." Daniel Geary and Camilla
Schofield teach history at Trinity College Dublin and the University of East
Anglia, respectively; Jennifer Sutton is an independent scholar with a PhD in
history from Washington University.
Barbara Smith: “The
U.S. Functions with White Supremacy as Its Engine. Here's How We Dismantle It.” Democracy
Since the police killing of George Floyd in
May sparked a nationwide uprising against police brutality, armed white
supremacists have taken to the streets of U.S. cities in ... Read More →
END WHITE CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM ANTHOLOGY #1