Wednesday, February 21, 2024





February 21, 2024

Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology


What’s at Stake:


Dan Partland. God and Country: A Major New Documentary Examines the Rise, Power--and Threat—of Christian Nationalism.

 Bradley Onishi.  Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism—and What Comes Next.” 

Lerone Martin.  The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism. 

Jennifer Rubin.  “Losing Status, Wealth, and Privilege.

Why White Christian Nationalists are in such a panic.”   

Donald Yacovone.  Teaching White Supremacy: America’s Democratic Ordeal and the Forging of Our National Identity.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.   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 Nationalists.”


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.”

Gerald Horne.  The Dawning of the Apocalypse: Roots of Capitalism, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Slavery in 16th and 17th Colonial N. America, , (2020) and The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in Seventeenth Century North America and the Caribbean (2018).

Joseph Ramsey. “Cages of Whiteness in the Shadow of Haiti: Guy Endore’s ‘Babouk’ and the Critique of Race-Class Alienation

Nick Estes. Red Nation Rising: From Bordertown Violence to Native Liberation

Cedric Robinson. “Births of a Nation, Redux: Surveying Trumpland with Cedric Robinson.”

Danny Geary. "Toward a Global History of White Supremacy"

Barbara Smith. “The U.S. Functions with White Supremacy as Its Engine.  Here's How We Dismantle It.”



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.


 Bradley Onishi.  Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism—and What Comes Next.

, 2023.

A book cover with a red building

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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 dangerous turn.


Lerone Martin.  The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism.  Princeton UP, 2023.

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. The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover 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, The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover completely transforms how we understand the FBI, white evangelicalism, and our nation’s entangled history of religion and politics.

Related:  Christian Supremacy: Reckoning with the Roots of Antisemitism and Racism  by Magda Teter.


Jennifer Rubin.  “Losing status, wealth, and privilege.

Why white Christian nationalists are in such a panic.”   Washington Post 3/20/23.

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 nationalists.

This group feels besieged because they are losing ground. “The newly-released 2022 supplement to the PRRI Census of American Religion — 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 Robert P. Jones, 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.”

Instead, White 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 is bashed.

If Christian 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 “taken away.”

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?  --D]

forwarded to me by Bob Billig


Teaching White Supremacy by Donald Yacovone


Look Inside

Donald Yacovone.  Teaching White Supremacy: America’s Democratic Ordeal and the Forging of Our National Identity.
Publisher’s description:


A powerful exploration of the past and present arc of America’s white supremacy—from the country’s inception and Revolutionary years to its 19th century flashpoint of civil war; to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and today’s Black Lives Matter.
“The most profoundly original cultural history in recent memory.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University

“Stunning, timely . . . an achievement in writing public history . . . Teaching White Supremacy should be read widely in our roiling debate over how to teach about race and slavery in classrooms.” —David W. Blight, Sterling Professor of American History, Yale University; author of the Pulitzer-prize-winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Donald Yacovone shows us the clear and damning evidence of white supremacy’s deep-seated roots in our nation’s educational system through a fascinating, in-depth examination of America’s wide assortment of texts, from primary readers to college textbooks, from popular histories to the most influential academic scholarship. Sifting through a wealth of materials from the colonial era to today, Yacovone reveals the systematic ways in which this ideology has infiltrated all aspects of American culture and how it has been at the heart of our collective national identity.
Yacovone lays out the arc of America’s white supremacy from the country’s inception and Revolutionary War years to its nineteenth-century flashpoint of civil war to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today’s Black Lives Matter. In a stunning reappraisal, the author argues that it is the North, not the South, that bears the greater responsibility for creating the dominant strain of race theory, which has been inculcated throughout the culture and in school textbooks that restricted and repressed African Americans and other minorities, even as Northerners blamed the South for its legacy of slavery, segregation, and racial injustice.
A major assessment of how we got to where we are today, of how white supremacy has suffused every area of American learning, from literature and science to religion, medicine, and law, and why this kind of thinking has so insidiously endured for more than three centuries.


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 and murder.

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.”   Black Agenda Report .  May 18, 2022 . (5-20-22).   (Posted May 19, 2022). 

Empire, Ideology, Inequality, RaceAmericas, United StatesNewswireBuffalo, Neo-Nazi, New York, racism, White Settler State, White supremacy

 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.


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, The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century (Monthly Review Press, 2020).   He has published four other books by MRP, including The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in Seventeenth Century North America and the Caribbean (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.”

The Dawning of the Apocalypse 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
Joseph G. Ramsey.  Cages of Whiteness in the Shadow of Haiti: Guy Endore’s ‘Babouk’ and the Critique of Race-Class Alienation.” (10-9-21).  (Posted Oct 08, 2021). 
History, Imperialism, Inequality, Literature, Media, RaceAfrica, Americas, Europe, France, Haiti, United StatesMonthly Review Essays, ReviewFeatured, Whiteness

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.”


Red 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 States.


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 States.


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.




Consider choosing the donation reward option to get as many copies as possible into the hands of a new generation of Native freedom fighters. All donated copies will go to an Indigenous school, library, organization, infoshop, or community center chosen by the coauthors.



Robin D. G. Kelley and Gary B. Nash.  “Births of a Nation, Redux: Surveying Trumpland with Cedric Robinson
.”  Black Agenda Report,  November 18, 2020. (11-21-20).    (More by Black Agenda Report)  |  (Posted Nov 20, 2020).  Empire, Fascism, Imperialism, InequalityUnited StatesNewswire

What Robinson identified as “the rewhitening of America” a century ago is what we’re seeing play out today.  | more…

"Toward a Global History of White Supremacy"

By Daniel Geary, Camilla Schofield, and Jennifer Sutton. Boston Review, posted October 16, 2023.  From H-Pad 10-23-20.

"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 Now, 9-11-20.

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 →



Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)