Bucks County Progressive Book Club?, WHY(Y) Bucks County Is Lucky, Legal Fascism in the US, The New Social Justice, And More!
“We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose.” MLK Jr
The Western States Center just put out a reader’s guide for “Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right” by Cynthia Miller-Idriss. If enough of you are interested, I’d love to launch an online book club, with this being our first read. We can receive a 30 percent discount by entering the code MII30 when purchasing here: https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691222943/hate-in-the-homeland
Here is the synopsis:
“Hate crimes. Misinformation and conspiracy theories. Foiled white-supremacist plots. The signs of growing far-right extremism are all around us, and communities across America and around the globe are struggling to understand how so many people are being radicalized and why they are increasingly attracted to violent movements. Hate in the Homeland shows how tomorrow’s far-right nationalists are being recruited in surprising places, from college campuses and mixed martial arts gyms to clothing stores, online gaming chat rooms, and YouTube cooking channels.
Instead of focusing on the how and why of far-right radicalization, Cynthia Miller-Idriss seeks answers in the physical and virtual spaces where hate is cultivated. Where does the far right do its recruiting? When do young people encounter extremist messaging in their everyday lives? Miller-Idriss shows how far-right groups are swelling their ranks and developing their cultural, intellectual, and financial capacities in a variety of mainstream settings. She demonstrates how young people on the margins of our communities are targeted in these settings, and how the path to radicalization is a nuanced process of moving in and out of far-right scenes throughout adolescence and adulthood.
Hate in the Homeland is essential for understanding the tactics and underlying ideas of modern far-right extremism. This eye-opening book takes readers into the mainstream places and spaces where today’s far right is engaging and ensnaring young people, and reveals innovative strategies we can use to combat extremist radicalization.”
Who’s in? Send me a message!
Emily Rizzo is WHYY’s beat reporter for Bucks and Montgomery counties; we couldn’t have asked for a better journalist to cover the issues that matter most to us. Follow her on Twitter if you don’t already. Her reporting is putting Bucks County’s right-wing extremism and malfeasance not just under the local microscope, but the national one. For instance, her story “Don’t discuss the Jan. 6 insurrection with students, a Bucks school district tells teachers” about Pennridge School District’s right-wing school board’s attempt to erase one of the country’s major historical events — the failed January 6 insurrection and coup attempt — was picked up by places like The Hill and CNN’s Michael Smerconish. Rizzo’s reporting also includes how parents are pushing back:
[Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose.” Is education fulfilling its purpose in Bucks County, in school districts like Pennridge?]
I really enjoyed this recent article as well:
Read her work, share her work, and send her tips! (Just don’t forget about me! 😜)
“The history of racism in the US is fertile ground for fascism,” writes Jason Stanley in The Guardian. “Attacks on the courts, education, the right to vote and women’s rights are further steps on the path to toppling democracy.”
The author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, points out (among other things):
45 states have considered 230 bills criminalizing protests.
29 states have introduced bills to restrict teaching about racism and sexism in schools, and 13 states have enacted such bans.
9 states passed laws making access to the ballot more difficult, some with specific (and clearly intentional) disparate impact on minority communities (as in Texas).
There is much, much more. He spoke with Amanpour and Company about his article and provides more context about how the politics of fear and panic, mis- and disinformation, and cultural misogyny are being used to dismantle democracy:
Also, watch this 8 minute clip of Toni Morrison’s 1995 Racism and Fascism Speech at Howard University’s 128th convocation address which Stanley mentions in his article (and his book) for more context of what we are still dealing with: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4812102/user-clip-toni-morrison-racism-fascism
Speaking of fascism, Republican Christian Nationalist Doug Mastriano [Read: “A Pennsylvania Lawmaker and the Resurgence of Christian Nationalism” in The New Yorker], who may very well be Pennsylvania’s next governor, had a rally locally with his fellow “Christian soldiers” in PA. Watch this clip — it is horrifying: https://tinyurl.com/3p5dpvn7