Let’s be very clear what this is: Far-right propaganda, entirely indistinguishable from what you’ll read on white supremacist blogs and on rightwing extremist websites. That it was published by the @washingtonpost is outrageous - but, unfortunately, not an accident.
There is absolutely no journalistic justification for publishing what @lionel_trolling rightfully calls “illiterate nonsense.” It’s becoming very hard not to conclude that a significant portion of the mainstream media is deliberately pushing the reactionary counter-mobilization.
If you’re wondering whether @lionel_trolling’s verdict was too harsh: “Illiterate nonsense” is the most generous reading for the reactionary toxic waste the WaPo decided to present to its audience as serious analysis, “right wing big brain word salad,” as @SethCotlar calls it.
The WaPo’s decision to publish this is a disaster not just because it’s such utter nonsense, but because - as @RottenInDenmark outlines - it’s dangerous: It’s lending legitimacy to the intellectual (using the term very loosely) justification for cracking down on the “enemy.”
We need to read this in conjunction with how the Right sees Kyle Rittenhouse as a hero: If this totalitarian ideology is spreading rapidly, threatening everything we hold dear about America, is it not every patriot’s duty to rise and fight back against those dangerous enemies?
And how does America’s preeminent newspaper react? With a level of normalization of white nationalist militancy, a maximally generous framing of extremist violence: Shouldn’t we at least be sympathetic to a young idealist who thought he was answering the call?
Both of these pieces are well outside the boundaries of what @washingtonpost and @nytimes should even consider publishing, well below what anybody should be willing to accept as the minimum standard for serious news and opinion journalism.
I know that both the NYT and the WaPo are complex ecosystems, and I greatly admire the reporting and analysis of many people who work there. But on the institutional level, this is a remarkable failure, at best, and a decision to further the reactionary cause at worst.
History doesn’t offer easy lessons. But as an empirical observation, it is fair to say that unless the Center was willing to make common cause with them, far-right extremists have not been able to rise to power. Unfortunately, in America today, the Center is not holding the line.
Far-right extremists are unlikely to bring democracy down unless the Center is helping them. Unfortunately, America is the latest example for the fact that the reverse is also true: If the Center goes along with them, it is very hard to stop the rise of radical reactionaries.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Thomas Zimmer

Thomas Zimmer Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @tzimmer_history

13 Nov
Whether you want to call this white nationalist extremism, or a specifically American, twenty-first century version of fascism - the answer is to raise the alarm. Don’t get bogged down in a debate over semantics and concepts.

Pay attention. Because this is what’s coming.
I maintain that we should be judicious in our use of the term “fascism” - not because what’s happening isn’t bad / dangerous enough to merit the label (it absolutely is!), but because it sometimes comes with the implication that Trumpism is an aberration in U.S. history.
In the thread below, I outlined the reasons why I think we need to be careful not to let the term fascism distract us from the fact that Trumpism is deeply rooted in longstanding American traditions and continuities of racism and white Christian nationalism.
Read 5 tweets
10 Nov
This captures the narrative that is animating the moderate / liberal turn against “wokeism,” but doesn’t hold up empirically: It is based on an implausible analysis of the political situation and a misleading perspective on racial conflict in American history. Some thoughts: 1/
Let’s start with the category error that is shared by lots of moderates and liberals: The assumption is that all the *talk about racism* is what irks many White people – when it’s actually the attempt to *dismantle racist structures and narratives* to which they object. 2/
The difference matters greatly: If it were just the supposedly incessant *talk* about racism, we could plausibly devise a strategy of appeasing White / reactionary sensibilities by *not talking* about it while still pursuing the project of realizing multiracial democracy. 3/
Read 19 tweets
8 Nov
From the reactions we’ve witnessed since the VA election, it’s clear that there are a lot of White folks out there who consider themselves Democrats/Liberals and are all too willing to go along with scapegoating and demonizing Black intellectuals if it promises electoral success.
I want to reflect in detail on a reaction that I have personally gotten to the tweet below. I believe it is emblematic of a widespread - and rapidly spreading - attitude among White Liberals and seems to be quickly gaining the upper hand (again) within the Democratic Party.
Here is the reply I would like to dissect. It is from someone with a fairly big Twitter following, someone I’m sure won’t be happy about being called out (I have purposefully blacked out all individual information as I want neither abuse nor attention coming their way).
Read 26 tweets
8 Nov
A look back at the “political correctness” hysteria of the early 90s really reveals so much about what these recurring rightwing moral panics are all about, and why we need to look past whatever the reactionary outrage du jour is and focus on the underlying political conflict.
I tried to get into that in this thread here, outlining that what these debates are actually about is power, status, and respect (who gets / deserves it, and who doesn’t).
I specifically made the comparison to the “pc” crusade of the early 90s, trying to situate the current “wokeism” and “CRT” moral panics within that longer-term context. Calling something “pc” was an attempt to discredit the claims of traditionally marginalized groups for respect.
Read 5 tweets
7 Nov
This is what a free speech crisis on campus actually looks like: A Black scholar being targeted by a coordinated online harassment campaign because of his immensely important work and public voice, and @Stanford just standing by. @hakeemjefferson deserves so much better.
Allow me to add something personal: I received some pretty disturbing online abuse this week - someone fantasizing about “silencing” me, and someone else gleefully suggesting “the Khashoggi method.” Stuff of that quality is rare for me - but it certainly is draining.
I’m only mentioning it because I know the abuse I’m getting is absolutely nothing, either in kind or in quantity, compared to what others who are not shielded by the fact that they are white men have to deal with on a regular basis, just because they insist on not being silenced.
Read 6 tweets
6 Nov
Aren’t we all glad that all these concerned parents are standing up to these mean Critical Race Theorists and their Un-American liberal enablers who want to taint and destroy that beautiful history.
In case anyone thinks this type of “history” is passé: At a reception at the German Historical Institute in DC in November 2018, a middle-aged man from Virginia explained to me that slavery couldn’t have been so bad, seeing that people d always take care of their property.
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

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

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

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

Donate via Paypal

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!