As a follow-up to Josh Rothman’s article about the KKK in the 1920s, this came out in the New York Times yesterday:
Apparently, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement is seeking more mainstream appeal by dropping the swastika as its official symbol and replacing it with a more obscure pre-Roman symbol the Nazis also used. This sounds eerily like the broad appeal the KKK gained in the 1920s when it highlighted traditional (white-only) values through civic events like parades and picnics.
According to the Times article, what unites the disparate organizations now called the “Alt-right” is an assertion of European identity, and the fundamental divisions between races. Groups may be divided on “the vexing ‘J.Q.’ — the ‘Jewish Question,'” but Nazi salutes are nevertheless common at gatherings such as the one in Washington last month.
These movements have been on the fringe, but are now finding more pathways into the public sphere. So what comes next?