When small groups of older liberals discuss the problems presented by the Tea Party movement, the millennial generation is often cited as the answer: old white conservatives will die off and young liberal millennials will take their place. Millennials are friendlier than other generations towards gay people having the same civil rights as everyone else. They are connected by social media, more disconnected from established political and religious institutions, and optimistic about the future. Although they are more likely to be political independents, they have been more likely to vote for Democratic Party candidates in the last two elections, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. This cohort, aged 18 to 33, is more racially diverse than all previous generations, and only 57% consider themselves white people. (Of those being born today, less than half are white.)
Unemployment rates tell us some things about how the economy is doing. But aggregate rates, even if they go down a virtual eighth of an inch like they did in November, hide high levels of disparity by race. And they have told us next to nothing about any link between unemployment and violence by organized self-conscious racists.
The development of trans-national economies is connected to both changes in the structure of nation-states and the increased mobility of labor across borders. The human rights of immigrants demand our respect. Ultra-nationalism and nativism needs to be examined and opposed. The spark and the motor inside the anti-immigrant movement is the ideology of white nationalism. The birthright citizenship provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment need to be protected, and attempts to deny those rights--whether through legislation or vigilante violence--are attacks on the civil rights of all.
The United States government, with the active consent of the majority of the non-Native population, has usurped and denied the sovereign rights of Native American Indian nations. These sovereign rights remain under constant and sustained attack by state and federal governments, conservative and right-wing organizations, and by so-called liberals and progressives in some notable cases. As a matter of principle, IREHR speaks in defense of these rights. Where appropriate, IREHR will add to the efforts of Native American Indians, and educate the broader non-Native population.
The connection between white nationalism, on one side, and ordinary prejudice, institutional racism, and white privilege on the other, needs further examination. While white nationalists predicate their movement on the notion of "white dispossession," any frank conversation about race begins with the understanding that the commanding heights of the country's economy, political institutions and popular culture are still in the hands of white people. Long-term trends analysis remains a staple of IREHR reports on white nationalist activity, as well as commentary on short-term campaigns.
"Internationalism" is one of this institution's core values. At the same time, the trans-Atlantic trade in racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy requires a practical working partnership with like-minded organizations in Europe. Since IREHR's founding in 1983 it has maintained a relationship with the London-based monthly magazine, Searchlight. And in the years since, associations with organizations and publications in other European countries have been established.
Donald Warren, a sociologist who studied the constituency that supported Gov. George Wallace's independent presidential campaign in 1968, developed the notion of "Middle American Radicalism" as a useful analytical tool. MARs opposed both political, social and economic elites, as well as those they regarded as the "undeserving” poor. The MARs constituency has not gone away, but is still changing and developing. IREHR will analyze that strata of white Americans who are not themselves ideologically white nationalist, but might become the constituency for a white nationalism in the future as white people approach a "minority" status in the years to come.