Dr. William Horne Profile picture
Teacher & rabble-rouser. Postdoc, @clasvillanova; PhD, @GWHistoryDept. Co-Founder & Editor, @acthistreview. DEMAND THE IMPOSSIBLE, https://t.co/QIniMev50t. (he/him)
Ella Sanders Profile picture Scott Phillips Profile picture Madk98 Profile picture Denise Yarmlak Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
Jan 19 9 tweets 2 min read
This passage from Stokely Carmichael is essential reading right now:

"I maintain that every civil rights bill in this country was passed for white people, not for black people. For example, I am black. I know that. I also know that while I am black I am a human being... "Therefore I have the right to go into any public place. White people don’t know that. Every time I tried to go into a public place they stopped me. So some boys had to write a bill to tell that white man, 'He’s a human being; don’t stop him.' ...
Jan 15 12 tweets 4 min read
If Dems don't pass a voting rights bill, there will be no LEGAL way to make the government respond to the desires of the people. The U.S. is already *extremely bad* on this front. Wealthy elites buy the policies they want despite the needs or preferences of the rest of us. vox.com/2014/4/18/5624…
Jan 12 11 tweets 3 min read
One thing I tell my students is that although white backlashes are the defining feature of our government as it exists today, they don't have to be. Together, we can stop them & embrace equality. My latest: clioandthecontemporary.com/2022/01/12/tea… The piece 1) gives an overview of historical white backlashes 2) identifies historical tactics in the racist backlash of the GOP & 3) explains why teaching abt the impact of white supremacy is so important.
Jan 8 15 tweets 3 min read
Thinking a lot abt how those in power embrace the idea that poor, vulnerable, & racialized folks deserve to suffer & die in service of the wealthy & well-connected. This fundamentally eugenic-"meritocratic" idea lies at the heart of both racism & capitalism. This expropriative logic, which Cedric Robinson traces back to feudalism in Black Marxism, imagines a biological hierarchy w/the already-powerful always at the top, one which places the entire world at their disposal.
Jan 7 5 tweets 2 min read
After I tweeted a reflection from my white backlash grad seminar, quite a few folks asked for reading recs. Clio & the Contemporary graciously published the syllabus, including sample assignments for those interested in reading more. clioandthecontemporary.com/2022/01/06/whi… I'll be publishing a companion piece that gives a few key takeaways, but want to add here that I chose these texts in part bc they were available digitally through the @VillanovaU library, which means students could access them easily & for free.
Jan 6 6 tweets 2 min read
Since 1/6, Republicans have done everything they could to undermine American democracy. From voter suppression, gerrymandering, & election rigging to their "CRT" propaganda & anti-protest laws, GOP legislators have carried on the work of the coup in the wake of its failure. Unfortunately, that cooperation btwn white vigilante & state actors fits the pattern of historical backlash movements.
Jan 2 5 tweets 2 min read
While the apartheid regime of Jim Crow guaranteed white supremacist (& regional single-party rule) for 70 years, it continues to shape our lives. Think it's weird that a party w/millions fewer votes remains competitive in the House? You can thank Jim Crow. democracyjournal.org/magazine/55/wh… Think it's odd that a handful of senators can block voting rights legislation? You can thank Jim Crow. vox.com/policy-and-pol…
Dec 7, 2021 40 tweets 8 min read
Last week, during our last session of my White Backlash graduate course, my students asked me if I thought the U.S. would descend into a civil war during the next decade. I replied that the current situation is much more bleak than that. Here's why: 1) Nearly a year later, the state has still failed to meaningfully punish those who carried out the deadly 1/6 assault on the Capitol, much less punish its organizers in Trump, Bannon, Guiliani, Christopher Miller, Josh Hawley, etc.
Dec 6, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Wrapping up my Black Freedom Struggle course this week w/a look at local "investment" in policing & prisons as a torture-for-profit scheme. Can it be dystopian if it's real? Is that just topian? Civil asset forfeiture, btw, is where cops can just take your stuff & keep it forever. Not good.
Nov 25, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
When I was doing my dissertation research, I came across an account in the 1860s where local officials had ruled a brutal homicide of a Black farmer death by natural causes — heart failure. As so often happens, only mass Black protest & pressure revealed the crime. Without the risks & sacrifices made by those Black activists in the 1860s, we wouldn’t even know that a crime occurred.
Nov 22, 2021 19 tweets 5 min read
The “woke jokes” are the flip side of the Rittenhouse murder coin in that these seek to isolate & delegitimize antiracist & antifascist white politics as “the real” threat as opposed to, you know, actual racism & fascism. This genre is adjacent to the racist joke phenomenon in that the underlying goal is to reinforce white supremacy by ridiculing & dehumanizing those who oppose it.
Nov 20, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
One thing I emphasize with my students is that we see the deadliest white backlash mvmnts in response to instances of interracial solidarity. The state endorsement of the Rittenhouse murders in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests fits that historical trajectory. From Elijah Lovejoy, Charles Sumner, & Anthony Dostie to James Reeb & Viola Liuzzo, white supremacists targeted white activists who dared to challenge the color line. White paramilitaries likes the Proud Boys *literally* embraced Rittenhouse for precisely this reason.
Nov 19, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read
White vigilantism remains a defining feature of the American state & a key engine of white suprematist backlash. That it remains in essence legal for white vigilantes to murder civil rights protestors & activists, just as Byron Beckwith’s assassination of Medgar Evers was sanctioned by the state, is meant to signal that white America will not permit the BLM protests of 2020 in 2021.
Nov 19, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
Thinking this morning abt how white American perceptions of proximity to racialized groups lead white supremacists to initiate an expansion of the racial state. We see this form of backlash quite clearly in the 1910s-20s, when the northward Great Migration of Black Southerners & immigration of racialized southern Europeans inspired a white hysteria campaign that led to a truly national 2nd Klan & a tidal wave of apartheid legislation.
Nov 17, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
A good portion so-called liberal academics want nothing more than to simply *describe* the oppression of others. Once you understand this as a particular form of extractive labor done at the expense of marginalized communities, its white supremacist nature becomes unavoidable. This is why I spend a good chunk of time talking praxis with my graduate students, bc critiquing systems of oppression w/o actively addressing them means practicing a different form of exploitation.
Nov 9, 2021 26 tweets 5 min read
That the vast majority of American media is either owned & operated by the super-wealthy or algorithmically manipulated by them doesn’t bode well for multiracial democracy in this moment of white backlash. This white elite stranglehold on public knowledge corresponds to white paramilitarism. Sharing a few political cartoons from Andrea Meryl Kirshenbaum's "The Vampire That Hovers Over North Carolina" on the Wilmington Massacre to illustrate.
Nov 3, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read
For the confused kids in the room, white Americans refused to desegregate after Brown & resorted to redistricting, privatizing, rioting, beating, & lynching rather than accept integration. Their multifaceted subversion campaign eventually negated Brown. I know this probs isn't what you learned in school & I'm sorry abt that, but there's LOTS of research on this. Read Mothers of Massive Resistance for a lovely presentation of this despicable white bipartisan post-Brown segregationist campaign.
Nov 1, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
Astonishing that news orgs continue to uncritically transcribe the claims of white reactionaries to such an extent that we seemingly have two parallel, contradictory "crises" in "cancel culture" & "CRT." On the one hand, they claim, Dems blacklist conservatives—something that has historically only happened to white leftists & marginalized folks, btw—for racist statements. Worth noting too that Dems generally don't employ the racists & thus can't blacklist, but I digress.
Sep 22, 2021 8 tweets 2 min read
Historically, advocates of democracy & equality have almost never prevailed against large-scale white supremacist movements like the one we see in today's GOP. Doesn't mean we should accept an unlivable & oppressive future, but we must see 1/6 as an existential & ongoing threat. 1/6 actually illustrates the historical tactics/dangers of supremacist organizing quite well as operatives within the racial state—in this case the Republicans who endorsed the Big Lie in Congress—tend to work in tandem with white vigilantes—in this case the mob they cheered on.
Aug 20, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
Again, the GOP response to COVID is about killing political opponents more than anything. That response is rooted in a eugenic, white suprematist ideology & shaped GOP ideas about the pandemic since the first reports that Black & Brown folks might be more susceptible. It was at that precise moment that they reversed course, protesting masks & closures.
Aug 19, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
I feel like a broken record here, but this will continue to get worse until we address the elephant in the democracy—increasingly fascist Republicans who denounce as "illegitimate" any outcome that limits their power. nytimes.com/2021/08/19/us/… The historical pattern, unfortunately, is that white militants have literally gotten away with murder time & again, using it to rig the political system to their advantage.