Iowa professor explains why alt-right racists are history’s losers: ‘The United States fought a war about this’
Richard Spencer, seconds before being punched in the face. (Photo: Screen capture)

An Iowa history professor warned students that white nationalists try to exploit the fundamental principles of campus life to promote their twisted views.

Jeremy Best, an assistant professor of history at Iowa State University, told students at Des Moines Area Community College that racist groups target colleges because they promote free speech, tolerance and social justice, reported the Daily Times Herald.

“They say they are for the dignity of white or European Americans,” Best said. “They say they are for restoration of America’s economic, intellectual and cultural greatness. They say they're for the defense of western civilization.”

The professor was invited to speak at the community college during Diversity Week, and he compared the current political climate to Germany during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Best said today's white nationalists, like their Nazi forebears, complained that whites faced a mortal threat from Jews and other minority groups -- and he warned students not to fall for their deceitful claims to patriotism.

"White nationalists are not American, at least not American in the most hopeful and idealized sense of the word,” Best said. “White nationalist movements reject the inherent equality of all people, it rejects the justice of represented democracy."

The professor said the Nazi ideology had already been defeated and rejected before.

"The United States fought a war about this -- you may have heard of it," Best said. "It was called World War II. White nationalists said they care about America, but I’m here to tell you I don’t think they do.”