White Nationalism

  • What is white nationalism?

  • What is the alt right?

  • What are their ideologies?

  • Who is included in their universe of obligation? Who is excluded? 

  • What danger do they pose?


We will explore these questions through some readings, videos, case studies and discussions.


  • White Nationalism Explainer

  • Videos: "Voices from the Far Right in Europe" and "Wish You Weren't Here"

  • Case Studies: Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting,  New Zeland Mosque Attack

  • Document-based Questions on the Alt Right and White Nationalism​


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Extremist alt-right violence

On Saturday, October 27th, 2018, eleven people were murdered at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue by a gunman who shouted “All Jews must die” as he opened fire. Clearly antisemitic, the gunman was also motivated by anti-immigrant animus, according to reports of his internet postings. 


The tragedy came at the end of an anxious, tumultuous week in the United States. Beginning Monday, October 22, 2018,  pipe bombs were sent to over a dozen prominent Democratic figures, including former President Barack Obama, and to the CNN newsroom in New York City. The suspect, a right-wing extremist, is now in custody. On Wednesday, in Louisville, Kentucky, two elderly African Americans were killed at a grocery store by a white shooter who had first attempted to enter a black church.


This week felt extraordinary, yet Americans have been living through a time of increasingly visible, public bigotry and violence, including the 2015 killing of nine worshippers at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church by a white supremacist; the 2017 bombing of a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota; and the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that same year, when marchers chanted neo-Nazi slogans and a counter-protester was murdered. The rise in hate, in these incidents and others, has been well-documented.


Americans must consider what these troubling events suggest about the current state of the country and the future of this diverse democracy. Such incidents are also on the rise around the world, including growing antisemitism in Europe, making hate an issue of global concern. 


In this activity, you will read about one example of recent extremist violence. Select a case study from below.