Hello All! I hope this newsletter finds you active, alert, and safe. This month, links highlight a number of ways to build community around ongoing learning. In a few places, I reached into the archive for previously offered resources that are worth uplifting anew. Even if you are too busy to review everything offered in depth, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for important updates and new information regarding the threats we face from the extremist, fascist far right.
Please take a moment to look at my new post on Medium! The post (a 2-minute read) introduces a video series on YouTube that connects the dots between white nationalism, white supremacy, the alt-right and the alt-light. The series builds on the existing reporting about hate groups and their online recruitment tactics and makes important connections that empower adults to support the young people in their care. Please check it out and share widely!
Back by popular demand, close friends (and excellent facilitators) will offer a second round of the Witnessing Whiteness Discussion Series on Sundays (10 sessions), beginning August 23rd and ending October 25th. Two options are available: Discussion Series only ($150) or Discussion Series PLUS Facilitation Support ($250). The facilitation support portion is specifically for people who are planning to implement a Witnessing Whiteness series in their own community and want to hone their facilitation skills related to the information in the book. Click on the registration link for more details.
Join an ongoing, support dialogue for white anti-racists. There are multiple options.
The Sunday Dialogue (SD) that I run occurs on the 3rd Sunday of every month, 3-5PM Pacific via the Zoom online platform. We focus on connecting, sharing, and learning from one another. If you have not signed up for the interest list, please subscribe here: Sunday Dialogues Interest List Sign Up
AWARE-LA also has Saturday Dialogues that occur the first four weekends of each month at various times (all Pacific time zone). (All are great! Each has its own flavor due to the different facilitators’ personalities. Feel free to try them all! Due to COVID, they all meet via Zoom for the foreseeable future. The Saturday sessions include both a structured learning component as well as a personal sharing portion. Click here to review the options and register.
AWARE-LA members have taken an exercise from my Living in the Tension Workshop Series and have turned it into a standalone workshop to be offered this month by AWARE-LA. Check in out!
Date & Time: Thursdays in August, 6:00pm - 7:30pm (PST) Location: Zoom
Details: Are you committed to working toward a more just world by confronting racism and white privilege in your life? Are you also having trouble wrapping your head around the idea of police and prison abolition? This is the workshop for you! Engaging in racial justice work means expanding our worldviews beyond our currently held assumptions and beliefs. This workshop is not meant to judge anyone’s politics or be a measure of your commitment to racial justice. Instead, it is meant to challenge us to hone our listening skills so that we can find value in ideas that might not immediately resonate with us. And, if you are already on board with abolition, we still encourage you to attend. Even when we are deeply invested in racial justice, we still find ourselves challenged by perspectives that stretch our beliefs. We need to continue to develop our listening skills so that we can overcome our own internal resistance whenever it pops up.
If you missed it the first time around (like I did), the Seeing White podcast is a 14-episode series that provides a foundation in topics related to whiteness, white privilege, and racism. Each episode is about 30 minutes long. It is available via Scene on Radio if you want to subscribe (as I did). Or access the episodes (#31-45) here.
“Now more than ever, we need to celebrate Black boys in order to combat stereotypes and racial prejudice! This extensive list includes a huge variety of books featuring Black boys, from classics such as The Snowy Day to new releases, from books for babies to books for teenagers!”
A fantastic book by Jennifer Harvey! It combines helpful analysis with practical dialogue tips. Highly recommend.
Updates on Threats to Democracy
It is essential that we stay informed and take action. The Western States Center, with its decades of experiencing far-right, fascist movements and from its location in Portland, Oregon, has recently begun issuing Democracy Alerts. The third issue included the following:
“Western States Center has been active this week mobilizing a rapid response campaign against the federal targeting of Portland. We convened an emergency national briefing on Wednesday to help national groups in our network see this as a national fight, not just a Portland story, and to give organizers around the country concrete actions to raise the alarm and demonstrate solidarity with Portland. We hope you’ll take part in this campaign as well. We’ve launched a campaign microsite and set of digital actions at wedefenddemocracy.org. Please join us!
Some links they sent out that relate to issues I have been following for the past couple of years include the following:
“The nature of fascism is to separate us and pit us against each other until there is no one left to resist. Like the antifascist resistance movements of the early- to mid-20th century, antifa exists to make certain that wherever there is hate, oppression, state corruption and human rights abuses, there will be resistance. If you ever thought about Nazi Germany and thought, “I will never let that happen here,” you’re an antifascist.”
Voting is not enough. Each of us must actively mobilize, and mobilize others, to ensure that Trump loses by a landslide. A decisive election result is necessary to ensure the U.S. institutions that remain uncorrupted will stand firm and ensure a transition of power in January 2021. Join me in adopting a battleground state. Let’s get started together, learning how to reach out and amplify our voice.
The journalist behind The Informant, Nick Martin, needs support to keep working on investigating the far-right full time. I am now a financial supporter. Will you join me? His work is essential because too few are fully aware of the details regarding these extremists. Join and get access to all of his reporting.
A new angle on the far right. Wow! This reveals a very important dynamic and burgeoning movement. I assumed anyone called an eco-fascist would be from the radical fringe of the far left, someone I might not totally align with, but whose aims I might respect. Far from it! Read this to learn about how far-right environmentalism overlaps with accelerationists (seeking society’s destruction), white supremacy, and white nationalism.
Here are a few excerpted quotes for those of you who don’t have time to read the full analysis:
“The rise of ethnonationalist movements and groups—inflamed by xenophobia, expressed through violence, and increasingly claiming the mantle of environmentalism—cannot be separated from the challenge of the climate crisis itself.”
“ The devaluing of human life—particularly of populations seen as inferior—in order to protect the environment viewed as essential to White identity is at the core of Far Right environmentalism and ecofascist thought. The ecofascist dream is a not just a White ethnostate but a “green” one too.”
“…environmental activism doesn’t always align with liberatory politics, as conventional wisdom would have it. In fact, environmental advocacy has deep roots on the Right as well, which many contemporary White nationalist thinkers have sought to reclaim. Importantly, mainstream environmentalism has shown itself to be vulnerable to “fascist creep,” where far-right concepts and approaches to ecological crisis have been adopted by otherwise left-leaning environmentalists.”
“The coming climate crisis, which promises to scramble all politics, provides ecofascists an opening. So too does the generational drift of younger people of all political persuasions ditching the climate change denialism of older generations. Debates about who is responsible for, and who should bear the burden of the coming crisis, combined with an ascendant populist Right anchored in White identity, may well open the door to ever more authoritarian solutions.”
The overlay between what is typically thought of as leftist thinking and the descent into far-right, white nationalist ideology is striking:
…“From the biocentric perspective…“follows an organic, hierarchical view of society, the rejection of egalitarianism, the rejection of modern technology and capitalism.” Both deep ecologists like Næss and ecofascists like Johnson associate the anthropocentric view with the Judeo-Christian tradition. Ecofascists, including original Nazi theorists like Alfred Rosenberg, often emphasize this fact by embracing paganism and extending antisemitic conspiracy theories to blame Jews for capitalism and industrial society’s destruction of the environment.”
“Alongside the heroics of doctors, nurses, and everyday workers, there’s been a Far Right striving to exploit the crisis in myriad ways. The Left-leaning environmental movement must recognize that the ground will continue to shift beneath them and remain vigilant against what this threat portends for the larger crisis to come.
They must recognize the insight of author and activist Daniel Denvir—that nationalism “poses a greater threat to addressing global warming than climate denialism.” The rise of ethnonationalist movements and groups—inflamed by xenophobia, expressed through violence, and increasingly claiming the mantle of environmentalism—cannot be separated from the challenge of the climate crisis itself. They are—all of them—the same fight.”