Profile picture
Seth Cotlar @SethCotlar
, 20 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
1. Short thread unpacking this odd, "promoted" tweet I saw upon opening up Twitter this morning. This tweet is a window into an international movement that draws together white Christian nationalism, Islamophobia, anti-semitism, militarism, the alt-right, and Mel Gibson. Phew.
2. The organization wch sponsored this tweet (the Polish National Foundation) is the gov't-funded, cultural arm of the ruling Polish Law and Justice party. This is one of Europe's far-right parties that has risen to power by promising to thwart the "immigrant, Muslim invasion."
3. In an era of rising nationalism, Poland is in the vanguard. Many in the American alt-right admire the ruling Law and Justice party because it has unapologetically committed to making Poland great again by preserving its "racial and religious integrity."…
4. Today in Paris Emmanuel Macron succinctly explained why the countries in the NATO alliance have been wary of nationalist movements like the ones currently governing Poland & the US. The morality of nationalism is usually selfish & angry...its foreign policy tends toward war.
5. Nationalism isn't some innate, timeless impulse that politicians tap into, it's an emotionally-charged identity that requires activation and constant feeding. And nothing fuels nationalism more than resentment of some "other." And that's where our friend Mel Gibson comes in.
6. I mean seriously...what on earth is the relationship between Mel Freaking Gibson and Polish Independence?
A partial answer: Anti-semitic hatred of "globalists," a religiously-inflected ethnic nationalism, and the film industry...that's the relationship.
7. Remember that Mel is probably most famous for starring in two of the most jingoistic & selectively accurate films celebrating violent nationalism--Braveheart & The Patriot. [Don't @ me if you love The Patriot. It's a terrible film that whitewashes the history of slavery.]
8. It just so happens that the Polish National Foundation has recently given $70 million to American filmmakers to produce some high-quality films about the glories of Polish history.…
9. Their brief is to use pop culture tools to promote Polish nationalism, just like The Patriot did. Not my words...that's the explicit intent behind this project.
10. As this Variety article also notes, Polish nationalism has taken on a decidedly anti-Semitic cast lately. Like all forms of exclusionary nationalism, Polish nationalism seeks to enforce a sanitized version of history that is all about "our glory" or "our noble suffering."
11. You'll probably remember that one of the key initiatives of the Law and Justice Party was to pass a law criminalizing the discussion of Polish complicity with the Holocaust.…
12. We should also recall Mel Gibson's anti-semitic rant in 2006, the fact that he has only tepidly distanced himself from his Holocaust denying father, and many other racist and misogynist things Mel has said and done. Mel's a real ball of resentments.…
13. But Mel's been working at rewriting history, much like Poland has. Anti-semitism is a thing of the past, they say, no need to talk about it anymore. Neither Mel nor the Polish are haters, they're just "nationalists, persecuted for loving our people."…
14. Nationalism is always about "the people," drawing borders (literal and figurative) around who counts as an insider and who is an outsider. All nations do this boundary drawing, but over time those boundaries can soften or sharpen depending on the political context.
15. We are currently in a moment when the boundaries of nationalism around the world are sharpening, often to the point of drawing blood. And this is where the odd link between Poland's independence and American Veterans Day becomes relevant.
16. Why would Polish nationalists be reaching out to American veterans? This article might take us some of the way toward answering that question. American white nationalism and Polish nationalism are not unlike or unrelated to each other.…
17. As a recent book by historian Kathleen Belew shows, the recent resurgence of white nationalism in the US has roots which stretch back to the Vietnam War. A number of white men returned from that war & channeled their resentments into white nationalism.…
18. Just to be clear, this thread isn't criticizing veterans or Poland, it's criticizing white nationalism. Half of my ancestors came from Poland in the late 19th century. My grandpas were veterans. And plenty of Polish people revile the Law & Justice party.
19. There is nothing inherently white nationalist about being proud of one's Polish heritage or being a proud veteran. But a bunch of racist, nationalist politicians and organizations are trying to foster such a connection. It's worked pretty well in Poland so far.
20. Here's hoping that the right-wing nationalist project, of which this seemingly innocuous tweet is a part, ultimately fails both there and here.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Seth Cotlar
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!