BIPOC Communities' Response to Rising White Nationalism
4:28PM Aug 4, 2022
conversation a little bit on, what are the groups doing and how is organizing happening on the ground. And we're gonna get more into that in a little bit. But Domingo, I'd love to bring you into the conversation. I know that you were on the ground in El Paso a day after the shooting, talking to families. You were recently in Uvalde. What are you seeing in terms of the trends that are impacting LULAC as well as impacting the communities that you work with and for,
you know, going back a little bit, one of the colleagues was talking about, you know, unfortunately, anti immigrant history in the United States has gone on since pretty much the founding of the country and whether it was anti Irish, anti Japanese, all the anti immigrant bills have always been part of American history, from the Know Nothing Party to the Ku Klux Klan to the segregation as we've seen this throughout the history, United States. But what we haven't seen has been sort of the Pandora's box that Donald Trump opened when he came down that escalator. He made it okay to say that they're all bringing the worst people, the rapist, the murderers. That was his opening line. And that opened it up so that now all across America, it's okay to be anti immigrant. The replacement theory that the far right has been pushing that brown people and black people are being brought across the United States to replace the white European group. That's now on Fox News. It's on right wing, talk radio. It's on all types of social media. And that's created an environment of hate. And when I went to a buzzer, this man who went over there, go from Allen, Texas to El Paso, Texas 600 miles, and in his manifesto, he decided I am going to stop the invasion. They are not going to replace us. If you remember the rally I believe it was in in Virginia, where you had all these white nationalists chanting, they will not replace us. The Jews will not replace us. Well, this man took it upon himself. He was radicalized and went to El Paso, Texas to a Walmart to kill Mexicans and to stop the invasion. And I was there the day after I saw all of these primarily were Mexican American or US citizens. One Coco Garcia was shot three times to back protecting a soccer team materials from the shooter. And that hate replays again in Gilroy. California where a man went to kill Mexicans at a garlic Festival, and one appealing for and wounded several others. And of course, this goes on and on. And that's my concern is that as become mainstream, especially the anti immigrant, build a wall, deport them all that's become mainstream. We can't pass immigration reform, because the Republicans have been so radicalized. And the issue of anti immigration has become a political pinata that they keep bashing on in order to get votes from their base, that it creates hate groups that take action. And that results in killing we've seen a rise in anti hate crimes against Latinos across the United States and immigrants. And I think that is the danger. Not so much the the militias that we've seen on the border, patrolling the border. It's the politicians using them and using that message to divide America and create almost civil war conditions in this country, that I am at CSIS, you know, on the 1860s when we had digital slavery.
Thank you, Domingo. And Marguerite, I'd love to bring you into the conversation here. We've talked a lot about the the levers of hate the drivers of hate. We've talked about hate groups ideology. We're also talking about systems and structures. Can you say more about the systems and the structures that are at play? And how anti racism education fits into dismantling white nationalism?
Thank you. First I I want to dovetail off of what Domingo had mentioned as far as like rooting us in the history of seeing both the polarization in this country and then also the global perspective, which I think is very important because that's like the foundation of the work that we do at Muslim anti racism collaborative. And when we the thing is for anti racism for us to understand how deeply rooted the violence has been against people who are like non like people who are not Euro American, and depending on where they are as Euro American. And it's, as we think about anti racism and we're looking at legislation which is banning critical race theory, anti racism, certain language to even understand the current systems that are at play, as we're talking about, like there's a lot of focus on the interpersonal violence individual actors, as opposed to looking at state actions which have targeted communities, whether that is the city of Philadelphia bombing a house, you know, or looking at how, you know, like within, you know, the last century that individual states like the states that are now doing incursions on women's rights like they argued those same, they argued in the same logic that they argued for segregation. And so we saw a tremendous amount of violence during the Civil Rights Movement. And what it does feel to me as an anti racism educator, as we look at those historical moments that there is an incredible amount of continuity. Once we made those civil rights gains. There was a concerted effort to bring about a strategy to restore that net like what they saw as the natural order of white supremacy. They just use more polite language. And so with anti racism education, it allows us to make visible right it makes the explicit the implicit or explicit, and understanding how those systems work between the ideologies that uphold white supremacy that upholds even multiracial white supremacy is which where people of color are buying into that system. It the ideologies that we're seeing, not just replacement theory, but you know, whether it's survival of the fittest, this social Darwinism that we're seeing at play that justifies anti immigrant policies, anti black policies, and so they're from the ideologies to whether people of color internalizing it or white folks internalizing superiority and and supporting candidates that uphold very vitriolic statements. So it goes from the individuals to how they may treat other other people and in their whether workplaces or institutions and so seeing this, go on and media and government, you know, like where you have elected officials are repeating replacement theory, and so that is deeply frightening, but it really goes really speaks to the structural issues that we have in this country, and that are our greatest weapon against that, that the adversaries of democracy and freedom they are. They want to get rid of this type of education so they have a concerted effort to do that. And I think it's very important for us to really fund and support those who are trying to make sure that we can continue to teach truth in our schools because we have chilled like our young people, and college age students are now you know, either there, they don't have, like, if they're robbed of their ability to understand who's benefiting from all of this, then you're not going to be able to organize against white supremacist white nationalists, violence. That's not just interpersonal, but it's also in the very laws that we experienced and that target our communities.
Yeah, it's interesting as you were talking, I was looking at the tapestry being behind you and thinking about how all of these systems and structures and groups and ideologies are inter woven together in the fabric of of our of our country as well. And each of you have spoken to both the need for an inner intersectional response to white supremacy white nationalism, and you've also identified some of the ways in which modern day White Nationalism is also trickier and thornier in that it's become mainstream and in that it has become more diffuse as Arjun shared. And so, Domingo, you know, we're trying to wrap our hands around what what we do and what our organizations and our communities are doing. And so I'm wondering if you could talk about how immigrant communities Latin X communities are working to respond to the extremism that you've talked about. Domingo, you, you're on mute.
First of all, I want to, you know, I think it's important that we have any united front. I love the diversity of this board. I wish the diversity of the Congress and the Senate was as good because the reason for that is, look, what we've seen is that because the for lack of a better word, the oligarchy, the 1% control the media and control the source of communication in America. They're able to define and use race and ethnicity as wedge issues when President Trump banned Muslims from coming to the country, Latinos in Dallas and across the country. Join with our Muslim brothers and sisters to say this is wrong. When you target a group, you target all groups you can hate against one when we worked, for example, there used to be a commentator on CNN, Lou Dobbs, who always kept ranting about, you know, the brown people are coming in the brown people are coming, the invasion is happening. And so we went after him. We went after all his sponsors to try to get him off the air. And it took us about two years, but we were successful. And we were in the movie, Lou Dobbs and his program on CNN, he just went to Fox News. But we're also going after those poor folks can Fox News and their sponsors their enablers to get them off the air so that their message of hate doesn't continue to permeate the American public. Look, we all know that the big lie works. Okay. The big line has always worked. And if it's not confronted, both publicly and privately, it can get out of line and you know, what we saw in various stages whether it was Hitler in Germany with the Jews and the gypsies, or whether it was the Muslims in Bosnia, and the genocide that occurred there. We know that if hate is not confronted at all levels, whether it's media, the politics and at the local level, then it can get out of hand and it can cause much a much tragedy. And that's where I think we unite all of us. We fight back and we fight back at all levels, and we need to get the resources frankly, we lack the resources that they have to preach their hatred. And if we were able to get we don't have a news channel that really counters box, we don't have radio that really counters all the right wing analysis there. So you have a slice of American probably 35% that all they know is what they hear in that media bubble. And so the brown people are coming. They're coming to replace you. They're gonna make you eat tacos and margaritas. They can scare people sometimes, just like the anti Irish anti Italian, you know, all that pizza is gonna destroy New York as we know it. Was it was all bullshit back then is bullshit. Now we just gotta fight it.
Words To Live By Domingo, we've got to fight it. Arjun. I'd love to bring you in to the conversation and ask the same question. How are you seeing bipoc communities perhaps particularly the Mensa. Communities, fighting extremism through whether it's through solidarity or within their own communities to?
Sure. So a few thoughts. First, just acknowledging that tomorrow is the 10 year anniversary of the tragic Oak Creek Massacre. I still remember where I was when that happened. I remember the first conversation I had with my mom, I remember speaking to my dad. And so just solidarity with everyone who will be there in person remembering that tragic day. You know, the first community I wanted to sort of highlight are just survivors. And so there are 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of survivors of hate violence across this country. If you look at the FBI data, there's something like 7000 Hate Crimes a year which is a big number and something we should be concerned about. But if you look at the National Crime Victimization Survey which is self reporting, the FBI report relies on voluntary reporting by police, most police departments don't participate. And so if you juxtapose that with the National Crime Victimization Survey, the true number of hate crimes each year is closer to 750,000. And so it's a huge number. And so, you know, thinking about that, in the wake of a hate crime, survivors have immense needs. There are lots of direct services, right. So in some cases, there are language issues. There are cultural access issues, they need access to a lawyer, they need somebody to deal with immigration. Sometimes they're being hounded by the media. We live in an age where there is a war on truth. And so sometimes survivors have actually deleted their social media accounts. Because they sometimes get trolled so badly, that they feel like that's the only way they can move forward. And the example I always give, I don't know how many of you recall because there's been so many, you know, tragic incidents. In the summer of 2017, there was a terrible tragedy on the max train in Portland, Oregon. Where were two young girls I mean, they're now women, Destiny Mangum and Malia Muhammad are on the max train when a white nationalist who was known to police started menacing them harassing them on three upstanders intervene. Two of them were stabbed to death that day. But those two young girls had to delete their social media accounts because the ways in which they were being trolled and when you think of direct services, it's also not just immediate, it's enduring, right? Because we know that the recovery period after a hate crime is two to three times longer than it is for other crimes. Because being targeted on account of who you are and what you believe is that much more painful. And so another example I just recently spoke to shad Hashmi, who's the spokesperson for the Islamic center in Victoria, Texas. And so that mosque was burned to the ground in January 2017. On the very same day that Donald Trump signed the Muslim ban into law, they've rebuilt that mosque and yet if you want to enter that mosque, every family has to have their own individualized passcode. Right. They want to keep that mosque open to everyone. People who come through want to see it, they want to express solidarity, and that's common in Gurdwara, it's common in mosques for there to be open but they feel they can't do that because they are still so afraid and worried about being harmed. In addition to direct services, I just want to talk a little bit about the work that the Mensa communities are doing to build resilient communities. And so some of that really builds upon the sort of the work that all of the panelists have highlighted, in particular, Marguerite and just sort of the anti racism work, understanding the importance of solidarity, not just speaking out when your communities are being targeted, but speaking out when any and all communities are being targeted. And so lifting up right now some of the messaging that's been coming from the AAPI community, right, we've seen an uptick in violence, because of rhetoric about COVID against that community. And so we've seen a lot of commentary from them talking about how Yeah, there is this uptick. But it's nevertheless rooted in anti black racism. It's rooted in this immigration, you know, xenophobia. And again, even when you think about the Muslim ban, right, some of the first people to support Muslims at that time were Japanese Americans.
Thank you origin and I want to what a powerful example you shared about the mosque and the ways in which hate violence just ripples through communities and really forces us to change the way we operate with one another and in relationship and community with one another as well. And for those who are interested, the Sikh Coalition, Saul dive and revolutionary love project have come together and put together an incredible resource for remembrance for solidarity and for learning. Regarding the Oak Creek Massacre, and you can visit remember Oh creek.org To learn more, read more, including testimonials, as well as lesson plans. And to speaking about that, Arjun. I was at I was in a zoom yesterday where Valerie Carr was speaking about Oak Creek and she mentioned that one of the learnings since 911 for the Sikh community was that the community didn't need to just be known or understood, but the community needed to be loved. And I've heard that sentiment in many other communities of color as well. With the difference in my mind being to be known is about structure about system maybe legislation and to be loved is to be in relationship and with community. I'm wondering if you could tell us a little bit about ways in which the Mensa communities are are using alternative approaches beyond legislation like hate crimes, legislation or domestic terrorism charges, things like that. To address white nationalism.
So this is a really, really important point. And so given what we've spoken about today, you know, one may think that there are folks in our community organizations in our community that would want longer sentences that would want more carceral options that would want legislation talking about white supremacy and white nationalism being terrorism. But there is absolutely a consensus building that we want to build new structures. We want to build new alternatives. We want to be imaginative and how we move forward. And so let me break that down a little bit. domestic terrorism, right. You know, the belief there is it's a couple of things one, the moment that we invoke the term terrorism it inevitably leads to the diminishing of rights. And as individuals who care about civil and human rights we don't want to create or rely on a system that leads the diminishing of rights. Second, we've almost always seen that while it may be fashionable in this moment, to call white nationalist or white supremacist terrorist, those laws are almost always then used and repurposed to target our communities. And so for example, we saw in the Trump administration, the advent of black identity extremism, right, so people who came out to support black lives matter, all of a sudden, we're being characterized by the Trump administration as black identity extremists. So that's one thing too, there is a real, as folks know, a real movement towards thinking about what are our alternatives to incarceration and so you all know, right that the United States is the prison capital of the world we have 5% of the world's total population yet house 25% of the world's total prison population. And so what do those alternatives look like? Those alternatives include things like community defense, they include things like neighborhood watch programs, buddy checking systems, conversations, difficult, restorative justice conversations between people who've committed harm and people who've experienced harm. And so in this way, I'll just you know, I'll give you a very concrete example. So there are both there are two of the Mensa organizations, one in New York and one in San Diego. And so what they have found recently is there has been a rise in domestic violence amongst their communities, and rather than immediately calling police which would have been the knee jerk reaction, what they actually found is that elders could be brought in to actually have a conversation with the men who were committing the abuse. And what they found was that because the elders knew that man or the and because the man knew and respected those elders, because there was that pre existing relationship, it actually ended up being a meaningful deterrent. And so we've actually found that that abolition efforts tend to work when there is accountability. And often that accountability works when there is a pre existing relationship between a survivor and an assailant or an aggressor. So those are a couple of examples of of ways in which it's worked. And the only other point I'll make is, you know, CVE, countering violent extremism and so our communities, but mamsa communities for years have been targeted by these programs that try to identify Muslim Americans who were at risk of becoming violent extremists. And really, these programs are based on junk science, because there are no indicators that can predict who will become a violent extremist or what or when. And so our organizations and our communities have also resisted efforts to use CVE to target white supremacist. And so just think about that for a moment. It's an extraordinarily brave position to take, right? Because in a moment of pain in a moment of rising hate and aggression, the easy response is to double down on those systems is to double down on the language like domestic terrorism. It's a double down on CVE but we've really pushed back against that.
It Thank you origin and I appreciate you calling that courageous. You know, I want to bring Marguerite and Scott back into the conversation. But I also know that Domingo, you have to sign off in about five minutes. So if I could just have you say a few final words on what do you think philanthropy and then speaking directly to philanthropy which you've you've touched on a little bit in your earlier comments. What can funders do differently in this moment to invest in the bipoc response to white nationalism?
I think it's very important that those who believe that standing up for word right, that it's always the right time to do so. And stand up against hate with messages of American values and what we stand for, I think are very, very important. And unfortunately, we don't have the megaphones that the hate groups do. That the those sectors that are preaching hate and division, anti immigration anti immigrant, anti, you know, the whole anti women, LGBT abortion. I mean, the list goes on and on. They have a dedicated channels, whether it's Fox or OAS, and all the ones that are there, and we don't have that and we could have that voice if we could counter that racism. And we can counter that messaging. If we have the funding to do that. Whether it's du Lac or any of the other other organizations that are on this call, then we would be able to blunt and rebut their their hate. I'll just give you one this last thing. We had a lady, my parents who went to a taco truck in Dallas, that was in front of her house, and she threatened to call ice on the women to Latino women there unless they left right away. And they started videotaping and long story short, they said you want ice and they pulled out ice from it. I thought it was a food truck. And then she started calling them names. So the video went viral and then we decided to have a taco party on her block and we invited the entire block. We brought four taco trucks. We bought mariachis, and everybody showed up except for her and then she sold her house a month later. We just bought it with love and happiness. Now, that's just one little story. It went viral had like 3 million hits. But post most of you probably don't know about that. If we had the funding and other organizations funding, we could fight back every attempt at hate. We recalled Russell piers will respond to them all the anti immigrant legislation in Arizona. I put $100,000 in my pocket, we call that guy. He was recalled he was defeated. And now you know, the Republicans are and the hate groups in Arizona are backtracking. We took out Sheriff our Pio who was the most racist sheriff in America at one time, who was you know, people stopping people for dragging them around. So we've had little victories, but with limited resources. If those people out there can make a difference, and stand up for the Statue of Liberty and what it stands for, and make sure that we say liberty and justice for all that becomes a reality. If you have people like that out there listening, then they need to stand up as patriotic Americans and help organizations like are here on the screen today. Thank you.
Thank you Domingo and talk about an alternative approach to standing up to hate. Thank you for that and I know that you have to go so really appreciate all of your insights and hope to be in touch soon. And so kind of shifting, shifting gears a bit would would, Marguerite I'd love to you know the origin talked about black identity extremism, domestic terrorism charges CVE. I'd love to hear from you. What are all additional alternative approaches that you're hearing about what you're seeing that you're currently engaged in? And how are an Argent shared some of this earlier, but how are you seeing these more mainstream pushes around systems and structures become harmful to our communities to them MC communities to bipoc communities.
Thank you Arjun for really bringing up CVE I had the unfortunate of moving to Southern California during the time when this was like the heated debate the counter violent extremism programs in Southern California. And I just landed right in one of the pilot cities in 2014. And so early on as I began to write about it from a from a personal capacity, where I found that these policies were deeply harmful. So I was one of the first people like just from my own to like write about it, and then worked with the Council of American Islamic Relations to do town hall like just do community political education, to make the linkages between these programs, and how destructive they were for just our community and just building rec fragmenting our community and instilling distrust amongst each other. Where social services were used to surveil vulnerable people like you could see that in the UK for students like sites like the same programs like the programs of CVE and La were very similar to the gang databases. They're very similar to what we saw in like in the UK of like really targeting Asian and African communities. And so what what we saw and doing this work, right, it was like we had made tremendous gains and really pushing back but there were some people who were promoting CVE and using white nationalism like these, you know, oh, well, here's an excuse we're using like we're, we're targeting some of the far right groups in San Bernardino, but yet the destructiveness of CVE of targeting high Muslim high school students in San Bernardino County, it still exists. And so that kind of response right of saying, using the same tactics that that have harmed Muslim communities, not only just in the US, but really like the CVE programs came out in the UK, where there's, you know, like, where they were just eroding and targeting eroding the civil liberties of UK citizens and non citizens. So, and now, okay, we could use that on white folks. But even if you saw, like what happened with Timothy McVeigh, and the Oklahoma bombing, those same strategies were used to really start to really erode our rights. As Muslims, pre 911. And then after 911 It continued. So you know, one of the things that in the in the responses are, are very organizations that are on the front lines of supporting like when whenever people are targeted, they need lawyers. We have to crowdfund to support them when they're out of work. So the same institutions that are supporting they have always been under attack by mainstream politicians, by mainstream media and vilified and these are some of the same institutions, that foundations don't want to go near and so our community is self funding these organizations where those representatives are continually vilified, the cost of, you know, at great cost some of our organizers who are doing that work, whether you have like if they're focusing on the Arab community, the Arab Muslim community or the South Asian Muslim community are all like, you know, from the Council of American Islamic Relations, which are always under constant attack, but yet they're on the front lines. Um, the other thing when we think about the response, it's it's very difficult, you know, and there's there's debates within the within the Muslim community because we are racially diverse. And so the black Muslim community typically doesn't go immediately to law enforcement, because we have that history and trauma because whatever happened in COINTELPRO, and the 60s continued through the 70s in the 80s, the 90s and now so when, you know like that kind of awareness of like, wow, there are like the, the non black people of color Muslims, like the South Asian and Middle Eastern Muslims are having this experience where like, Well, this has been happening to us, but what we find in in predominantly immigrant mosques, they may form tighter relationships with law enforcement, but these are the same law enforcement and fusion centers that are mapping our communities that are spying on our communities. And so while we may need certain types of like levels of security, that same equipment could be used to surveil and, you know, who's going to the masjid you can even see that in Ms. Marvel, right? So it's like in our popular media, that that, that is there. So, you know, when when the DHS came to Muslim Americans to say, what do we need like after? This was like a couple of months ago, many of us were saying, Hey, we would like social services and not for not for this to not be attached to the DHS, you know, so these are some of the most mainstream Muslim communities because all of our social services are attached to the Department of Homeland Security. There's something deeply wrong with that. And so for us to push back against that to say we need mental health services. We need to be able to respond to this because right now, like I'm this this is, I'm at a at a camp, you know, and I've taught like the classes of all ages of doing anti racism classes and looking at the world as is and when you have a 15 year old high school student that is saying like Islamophobia, surveillance, you know, and worried about, you know, their safety, but also how the government treats them. And they're deeply aware of that because of how people in the community like they've either been targeted, and they know when they go into the MSA, the Muslim Student Association. Is college students, but they will also be targeted not just by individual actors, but by our government. So the alternative solutions that what we try to focus on right is really, it's the crowdfunding, it is now getting more political education, looking at alternative ways of protection as opposed to the kind of ideas around security, but around how do we protect our communities from you know, from both individual and state actors?
I really appreciate Marguerite that you brought in you know, we've talked a lot about what white nationalism is. We've talked about the systems of white supremacy. We've talked about philanthropy, and we've talked even about the approaches from our community organizations. And I'd like to talk a little bit more in Scott bring you into the conversation. You know, this, this event today was called the bipoc response to rising white nationalism. What does it mean to respond to white nationalism through a racial justice lens from a bipoc perspective, and how is that different? And that grassroots approach, how is that different from what you see from Legacy brand or mainstream traditional organizations that are that are working on these issues?
Yeah, well, um, you know, the kind of more mainstream institutions that are trying to address white nationalism tend to address it through the lens of extremism, right, which suggests in some cases, a kind of false equivalency and that actually helps to popularize the idea of kind of state anti-terrorism interventions, which can be really damaging. You know, if you think of, for example, the kind of democratic ecosystem that we're trying to build, there are some good and bad elements in it anti democratic and pro democratic elements. You know, we need to be investing in the pro democratic element elements to shade out those anti democratic elements to create the kind of ecosystem in which they become dominant. The temptation come becomes to burn down the parts that are anti democratic, but when there's a forest fire in the forest, everyone is threatened. Right? And so we need to keep that in mind. In terms of just you know, the broader framework for this, we do need to protect, you know, people of color communities that is really critically important and particularly new immigrants, who are especially vulnerable, especially in rural areas. There is, you know, rapid movement, rapidly growing movement now to take over county sheriff's offices, especially in rural counties across the country. In my former home state of Oregon, the majority of county sheriff's offices are directly influenced by white nationalist factions. And so in those counties, immigrants are particularly vulnerable, right because of not having the same kinds of protections under law and then also being so incredibly targeted. So we need to look at that. And we need to counter what they're doing, by thinking about ways to both limit their ability to do what they're trying to accomplish through legal interventions and other means that have been described here. But beyond that, we also have to figure out how not just to be a countervailing power, but to become the prevailing power in order to defeat this toxic polarization that has been driven
which in turn creates the context in which political violence becomes logical to people, right? We need to become the countervailing, the prevailing power not just a countervailing power. And in order to do that, we need to think about what it takes to build power, right? The right is in the position it's in because it has made huge investments over time and philanthropic investments in particular, in developing the means to generate ideology. Ideas, narrative and organizing strategies and policies in order to be able to seize power. They have also created the distributive power through things like Fox News, OA and Newsmax and you know these dense networks that be evangelists for radio and television networks around the world to take those ideas and inserting them directly into the mainstream. It gives him distributed power. And now as the one of our two major parties, being nonpartisan here, adapts to white nationalism and actually, to the most violent factions of white nationalism. They have institutional power under that umbrella, Christian nationalists and white nationalists are now emerging, and that constitutes a much greater threat because it puts them much closer to the center, right? So for bipoc communities, we need to think about where we are, what the context is for what we're doing what we need in order to put together the super majorities to defeat White Nationalism is the center right left coalition. You know, I'm not about building the center right, but the center right is being faced with a choice and how they make that choice will have serious consequences to the rest of us, in that behind that kind of bulwark. We need to start to make key investments and one of them is in what I call the factions best position to drive democratization, which are those groups in the community that have been most excluded and whose inclusion would do most to expand upon the democratic potential of the United States and invigorate democratic freedoms. And so we need to make key investments there. As we do so we need to think about what those groups need at the level where they have the most effective See, which is at the state and local level. majorities are losing that kind of effect see nationally because of gerrymandering and other things about migration patterns, but at the local level, we still have that kind of power in most states. And so that's where our investments need to could have the most impact. When we make those investments we need to take not just about capacity, but infrastructure right? If the good example of this is there's a tremendous especially since January 6 investment and message development in order to counter white nationalist authoritarian ideas, but at the grassroots level groups do not have the kind of infrastructure necessary to have the distributive power to take those messages to use them to expand their base and actually compete with white nationalists. So that's going to be critically important for communities of color you know, we need to address structural racism, which is the context in which white nationalism becomes logical to people. Because as long as that kind of inequality exists, it has to be explained and those explanations sub in for overt racism of past generations and actually have a very similar effect, right? And the kinds of outcomes that that produces are used by white nationalist factions as evidence that their theory of change is the one that should win, right? So those things need to take into account. But in order to do that, we need to create political space and opportunity for those factions and that's going to require us to also mobilize people to directly compete with them for base and to divide their base along lines of the contradictions between the top and the bottom of the movement among moisture are many key among which is what we've seen with these rejection of vaccines. And mats mask mandates, which is a powerful libertarian vein that runs through the base of the Right, right. It is very anti democratic and libertarian, and that kind of libertarianism is a contradiction with what right wing elites have in mind as they gain power.
Thank you for for that Scott. And I really appreciate you also starting the conversation on where investment needs to needs to go. And this is the perennial question whenever we come together as philanthropic institutions and funders. Where should what should philanthropy do in this space? How Can Philanthropy help? And you started that conversation, Scott by talking about funding those that are most vulnerable? Funding state based work funding infrastructure? Marguerite, I'm wondering if I could bring you into the conversation and ask you, what can funders do differently to invest in the bipoc response to white nationalism? And specifically, if you can what would be most helpful for philanthropy to stop doing that it is currently doing to continue doing if it's getting it right, and to start doing that it's not doing
Yeah, so I guess I'll start with a little bit of like, maybe what we can leave like to stop doing and I'm really sorry, I can't remember the name of the author but that is movement capture, right. We had a moment for the Muslim community. Right when when we were bit you know, Muslim immigration was basically banned Muslim and African immigration was banned. And you know, there was a number of proposals really around but building political power community organizing proposals for convening coming together, because it's very rare that I know as like a Muslim, or even like black folks who have not been either affected by by like violence. Engage with you know, like an especially with law enforcement, even in our area, like a lot like a lot of our law enforcement are Islamophobic and experiencing both right and seeing that kind of alignment but, but I think that it's it was in that time, right? The the focus of philanthropy was really like let's organize around the Supreme Court. Well, we know this, you know, the Supreme Court upheld the Muslim ban. And in fact, if we look at a lot of things, what the Supreme Court does, like historically, it really went for like the kind of like ruling class we just were very blessed during, you know, around the civil rights movement that we had a like a liberal Supreme Court that opened up ways for like individuals right to have have more rights than corporations. So I think like avoiding movement capture where there was so much funding to go towards, like, let's show popular opinion through protests around the Supreme Court, as opposed to teaching individuals to build political power on a local on a state and then the federal level. So I think it's really important that funders really help support like, when if we're coming up with solutions that we need to listen to us listen to those proposals, listen to people who are embedded in those communities. And hearing the Everyday Stories of people and saying this is what we need. It is so powerful, like the conversations that I'm having, I mean, even under these COVID protocols, what's like, you know, like that, and we haven't been able to convene in the past few years, but the investment that we put into the COVID protocols here at this camp and the stories that we're sharing with each other, and the planning that we're thinking about for this long term plan to ensure the protection of our community, the protection of our children. We do have members that are in isolated rural areas that were in the communities that a decade ago when we would have people protest at our mosque with an assault rifles and the especially like for the South Asian and Arab Muslims. They used to come out with flowers and be like, do you want to have tea? So if you get to know us, maybe you'll be nicer to us. And we finally you know, finally we were like this does not solve the problem. Right? But we're like Muslims are putting themselves on the front lines to try to educate people that hate us, but also the least that you could do like if we're trying to de radicalize white extremists that are coming with assault rifles at our schools because a lot of our schools are at the at the mosques and everything our children are experiencing that then at least you know, for the funders to really invest in us understanding that convening, not just organizers but everyday folks, people who have been who have faced hate crimes, and all of us come together to think of long term solutions. I think that will go a long way.
Thank you for that. Marguerite. Really appreciate your insights. It never fails those who are closest to the problem or closest to the solution. Origin just want to bring you in in a minute or less. What other what other things could philanthropy do be doing differently stop, start or continue doing
to thoughts and I will do it in one minute one just to lift up a conversation I had with you and Allison right and so a lot of what's happening in our movement in space is that you have ecosystems and so you have ecosystems that do messaging that do comps that do direct services, that do organizing that do local policy, work, national policy work to do anti racism work. And so sometimes I feel like philanthropy is a bit too siloed. And so if they took a more ecosystemic approach, it would probably be a lot more meaningful in terms of how it translates into actually supporting the broader movement. And second, I really just want to lift up the attacks that organizations are experiencing. And so places like Atlanta and Phoenix just in the last six months, you've had instances of organised white nationalist elements showing up at the offices of organizations, streaming it at online organizations, putting on events and all of the RSVPs being completed by white nationalists elements and then then trying to assert these events. And so these are very dangerous, hostile situations. And so we just need to make sure we're also protecting leadership movement in organizations.
I couldn't agree more and just so everybody knows Arjun is working on a research project or the rise together fund, about the ways in which the members of communities specifically are responding to hate hate incidents, hate violence and hate crimes. And so, will will will be able to say more about that in the coming months. So thank you, Arjun. for sharing all of that with us. It's, it's that time turning it over to all the participants if you have a question. I see a lot of love in the chat for various things that have been that have been stated, but what questions are coming up for you? Feel free to either include it in the chat, or raise your hand or stack? And so that Scott Marguerite and Arjun are able to answer your questions.
I think that's an indication that you all including Domingo did just such a wonderful job of talking through this very difficult, difficult subject. And so one question I had is because this is so difficult, this is such difficult work. What brings you hope? What keeps you going?
Once it, Marguerite, since you're not on mute, I took myself off mute, but there wasn't another question but I can after after we do our round of like hopefulness, which, which is really important. For me, like i i what gives me hope is what Tana he see Coates talked about, right? And abolition and for us to really understand like the black freedom struggle, right. So so it took it took 130 years like so there were people that were in that struggle right to abolish slavery and and they never lived to see that day when it was was gone. But it did happen. And so like I'm able to benefit, right like my ancestors, it was illegal for them to learn to read and here I am. So like their prayers, right, like for me to be able to do what I do. That's an answer to their prayers. So, so for what gives me hope. Is that there are people that are going to benefit from us being here together and working to make a better place. And so I mean, I just, I'm inspired what gives me hope, are whenever I'm together with people and I just see the love and care that they have for others, right and then and I do see that people do change that, that we can, you know, work to continually repair our world that is broken.
Afterwards Scott Origen will give you hope.
Um, you know, I am always hopeful and optimistic in spite of all the doom and gloom I bring. Because I believe that in order to win this fight, we have to look for the opportunity. You know, we constantly you know, like parse out all of the threats, but in those even with those threats, there is real opportunity. You know, the, basically, you know, the center is collapsing, and in that kind of chaos, it can be very scary, but that also means that we might be able to move, you know, changes that we've never been able to even imagine it other times, and we need to stay focused on that because that's inspiration people need and to keep going forward to simply identify threats all the time scares people, basically. Right. And you know, one of the trends that we need to be looking out for when the dominant ethnic group in a multiracial democracy such as we sort of have goes in an ethnic nationalist direction is that one of the things that causes that tip over to authoritarianism to happen is that minority groups become more particular Ristic and one of the drivers of that kind of particularism is fear, right? And so we need to keep framing opportunity for people. And I would say, you know, one of the exciting things here is that, you know, what we've learned now is that we've been trying approximately the same tactics to counter the kind of radical right for a very long time now across decades, we've been trying and trying, and we keep making adjustments and improvements and changes, but they're relatively small changes, right? When you are in that kind of process and you're not getting satisfying results over time. You might want to contemplate the possibility that you're in the wrong paradigm, and that a paradigm shift is necessary. A really big reframe of these issues, then start to look at what are the economic drivers of this moment? How did we get here? How did the shift for example, from industrial capitalism to an information based economy create some of the kind of rage that is rising among the former industrial elites who now for whom this drop is especially steep and are being exploited by the right in order to mobilize them toward their agenda? And to you know, just parse out those things and start to see where's the opportunity here for us to move forward and to find specifically at the intersection of prevail a countervailing power and prevailing power so that we win even while we're losing?
Thank you for that Scott. And Arjun, what brings you hope?
You know, I would just say the strength and resilience of so many survivors, as I think was shared in introduction, several years ago, I wrote a book American hate survivor, speak out and so I met people who were targeted in various ways. And I just never anticipated people and everyone's on the spectrum. Everyone is sort of in a different place, depending on their situation. But the ways in which survivors are rebuilding, the ways in which survivors are giving back are just extraordinary. One of the examples I give is, you know, Khalid Jabara Arab American who was murdered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His family helped create the Khun olam college Ibarra Memorial Library to Khun olam and Hebrew means repair the world. So this is a place in Tulsa, where young people can just come together at a really, really, you know, tender age, to learn about anti racism work to learn about inclusivity. And so that's something that gives me hope.
Thanks. Thanks. And thank you all for that and we do have a couple of questions that have come in. I'm just going to maybe identify all of the questions, read all of the questions and then whoever wants to take it just jump in just for time. So Alex shares any advice for tools, tactics to broaden those within the field of philanthropy to understand the intersection of these issues with other issue areas where it may be harder to see the connections, and going beyond that to doing something to help fight hate and white nationalism. We also have someone who's interested in knowing more about what it looks like to fund the infrastructure to build narrative power that could resist against white nationalism. And finally, question is going beyond philanthropy. How can we push individuals and institutions to align their financial assets with their values, particularly in support a bipoc founded lead and serving institutions? So I'll let I'll let you all jump into whichever question you'd like to answer.
So I saw one question come up from from Alison Casey. And I think it really speaks to the kind of proactive approach to like really, you know, like, there there was a resistance and I've and I've talked to a number of people, whether they're working on reproductive rights, but especially I mean, at Muslim anti racism collaborative. We had there was deep resistance to funding curriculum building. And so even though when schools are saying that they need it, it was just you know, that time in that space to really fund coming together to have an intersectional curriculum for anti like for, for anti oppression and racial justice and being proactive, as many of us saw this on that. I mean, we saw this on the pipeline, right, but and then also the spaces where we could like, rapidly organize our people and develop curriculum for effective community organizing and power building and so so I think that really it really hurt us that we haven't utilized the time ahead, and that we're just always reacting and there tends to be an expectation on these small underfunded groups to have immediate gains. And then, you know, like so like, we're very conservative. In our funding. And there's a lot of studies that have shown that and reactive and so one year, they're like, Okay, we're going to fund the Muslims. And then all of a sudden, it's like, well, now two years later, it's racial justice. Now we're going to do that and then they stopped funding the Muslims. And then there's another thing like now it's only reproductive rights because they've attacked that when all of us saw like the these are all connected. Marya had mentioned, you know, like, how do we see that connection, right. It's like, well, it's all connected the attack on reproductive rights is it is is an obsession with producing more white babies. For replacement theory and, and to curbing non reproductive sex. So like the idea of like queer community existing, even though they do have children, right, but they want to have these like very conservative white children, and you know, and see all of us as a threat to that. But if we're not able to come together if we're not able to develop an anti racism, anti oppression analysis, and form strong networks, then like what they've been doing for the past 50 years, like they've been planning, they've been developing, they've been funding research on this and their messaging. So we definitely need more more support in that area. We need to be able to think strategically and to do that, you have to move beyond the obviously we need to address like the current crisis, but we have to stop being so trendy and moving to the next shiny thing and expecting underfunded organizations. To produce results in one to two years. And then you know, why, you know, washing our hands of them if they don't like the outputs that are expected are really unreasonable. So long term investment in us as a community and avoiding that movement capture, but also just you know, like coming together and really encouraging us to build that shared analysis around these issues.
Thank you, Marguerite. And those are all really great reminders, and I hope we all heed your call to action there. Um, Scott and origin we have just about, we're actually just about at time, just want to give you 15 seconds for any closing remarks.
I'll say something really specific about communications infrastructure, we need to think about subverting existing infrastructure, and then building new infrastructure, right, because one of the things that's happening is the collapse of traditional media is driving people online. And those online spaces have become opportunities for for, you know, basically, business to radicalize people, because radicalization actually drives page views and keeps people on line and therefore UPS profits, right. That's what's happening in those spaces. That's going to require mapping. I'm working with the narrative initiative, which is positioning itself in a very critically important place in thinking about these issues and trying to develop narrative interventions. I would strongly suggest looking at them but you know, one of the things we need to do is start to figure out what are the existing assets and where are the gaps and we don't really have that knowledge at a national scale at this point. So that's something very specific I think people could start to look at
I don't have anything to add. Sorry, we didn't get to all the questions. I really enjoyed the conversation. Thank you all for being here. And you know, hopefully, you'll continue to support this really important work.
And we'll leave it at that with origins. Gratitude, please, know that we jisa rise together fund and all of our co sponsors are just grateful for our speakers today. Scott, Marguerite Domingo Argent, and all of you for joining in this conversation. I hope that this isn't the last time we talk about these issues. Feel free to reach out to any one of us if you'd like to continue the conversation. Thank you again.