In an interview with the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart, the son of the founder of Stormfront and the godson of former KKK leader David Duke attempted to explain the undercurrent of white supremacy that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6th.
With columnist Capehart asking if it was "too wide of a brush" to paint the pro-Trump extremists as white supremacists, Derek Black said the crowd reminded him of the neo-Nazi "Unite the Right" uprising in Charlottesville in 2017.
"There were definitely plenty of people in that crowd who were white supremacists. There were people in that crowd who were present at Charlottesville. You could see them livestreaming from the House Chamber, and if you go back through the old Charlottesville videos, you'll see a lot of the same faces," he explained, adding that organizing after Charlottesville became more difficult but that didn't stop them.
According to Black, the movement is not going away and more can be expected of followers of the extremist ideology despite arrests.
"After a few years, we're going to see them popping up again. And that's something we should expect. And those are people we can say they are part of the white-nationalist movement. They have the ideology, they have the world view of a social movement that goes back for decades and has a lot of imagery and common cause and a lot of the same ideas and figures over and over again," Black stated while clarifying that the storming of the Capitol as lawmakers were attempting to certify the 2020 presidential election was not necessarily a "white-nationalist rally in the same way that Charlottesville was, but it was fused with white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and this ideology of white supremacy."
With Capehart suggesting that Trump tapped into white supremacist's grievances to not only get elected but to build his loyal following, Black concurred.
"There was a back-and-forth between Trump and a lot of the far-right white-supremacist organizers who have benefited from him is that his organizing made it easier to rally people to the cause of white power because a lot of the things he said were exact mirrors of what people within white nationalism say, and that makes it safer," he explained. "I think it's probably more accurate to say that he identified the power of it, and he leaned into it. And not everybody who supported him is a white-nationalist sympathizer, even, obviously, but the way this works is that the ideas that they spread are very potent and do cater to a much, much larger group in America than people who are actually white nationalists. Their whole agenda is to create talking points, to create messages that will then appeal to people who have more latent, almost like common racist ideas, and tell them to make that more extreme, more a part of their identity, more explicit."
As for the insurrectionists being defended as "regular everyday people" concerned about the government as opposed to hardcore militia members, Black stated that, just because people don't belong to militias, that doesn't mean they aren't hardcore white supremacists at heart.
"I grew up really familiar with the white-nationalist movement, and its membership is broadly made up of people who are heads of their own small business, who run a car dealership, who are lawyers, who are doctors, who have advanced degrees, and that level of education and income making you a middle-class American does not insulate you from fully believing the ideology of white supremacy, that I think we kind of fall into that, saying that there are white nationalists and neo-Nazis, and then there are like normal Americans who are getting caught up in it," he told Capehart, before adding, "I would not be surprised as we get more into the backgrounds of people who are being outed and arrested now, if we realize that they're both a surgeon and a longtime contributor to white nationalism."
You can listen to the interview here.
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