The Language of Hate: A Short Primer


File Picture, via Twitter

Analysis by Reporting San Diego

Editor’s note: This is hardly a comprehensive list of terms. We are giving you some that are in common usage, outside of the supremacist right., but they are white supremacy code.

August 21, 2017 (San Diego) At its heart language is important. You can speak the words of liberation, or the language of oppression. Knowing the language of hate is critical. Why? Some of the idioms of hate have slipped into common usage. With the adoption of the language of white supremacy by larger majorities, these groups get some middle class respectively and acceptance. This is a victory for the merchants of hate. It gives them cover.

While I am aware that language does evolve. There there are certain words and phrases that should raise alarms with you when you see them on Facebook walls or even newspaper articles. These words, these terms, have dark origins that are messaging gold for the merchants of hate.

There is Something else. This matters because this is not just about Immigrants and peoples of color. There is a core, a poison, to these ideologies and words that seek the overthrow of the government of the United States. They are also deeply antisemitic.

American White nationalism, which emerged in the wake of the 1960s civil rights struggle and descends from White supremacism, is a revolutionary social movement committed to building a Whites-only nation, and antisemitism forms its theoretical core.

So you want to fight back. The first step is to learn the code, and as silly as it sounds, not spreading the language of hate. Most of the time this is accidental. You hear your neighbors using it. You see it in news articles. It looks legitimate. Some of these terms have entered common usage because most people are not familiar with the code. But every time we unknowingly adopt these terms, the right does celebrate.   So first let’s address two terms that we see often, used by people who I hope have no idea that they are using white supremacist terms.

Alt. Left: it was created in the late 2014 early ’15 by the same people who brought you Alt. Right. It is a catch-all for all leftists on a good day. It specifically speaks to Black Lives Matter, Antifa, communist, Marxists, and socialists and it creates a false equivalency, where they are portrayed as a fringe, violent groups. The white supremacists that came up with that one also came up with Alt. Right to clean up the image of Nazis, Neo-Confederates, the Klan, and a sundry of other types, who are on the fringe. That marketing included khakis and white polo shirts, as well as suits and ties. The old skinhead wearing combat boots is out. The clean-cut white supremacist is in.  We covered this in depth here.

Political Correctness: this one started in Europe. It was part of the right-wing movement to define “cultural Marxism.” From their point of view, it decries another threat to the west: multiculturalism. It originally applied to the work of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Those behind that school, mostly Jewish intellectuals, are blamed for all kinds of anti-Western, meaning anti-White Christian Culture, cultural deviations. This ranges from women‘s liberation to LGBTQ rights, atheism, socialism, secularism, and yes, political correctness so when you speak of political correctness, you have embraced a term the far right approves off. This term has entered regular discourse, being repeated by many, including candidates for political office.

Cultural Marxism has a murkier origin, since it reemerged in the early 2000s, after some years of dormancy. However, it is at the heart of a lot of this ideology. According to Vice:

The “cultural Marxist” conspiracy has a slippery genealogy through the American right, beginning with its coinage by Lyndon Larouche in the early 1990s (although Hitler had warned of “cultural Bolshevism” during the 1920s). It passed through various esoteric journals and hard-right think tanks and was picked up by paleoconservatives such as Pat Buchanan (author of The Death of the West), William S. Lind, and Paul Weyrich, and over the last decade has spread feverishly through the murkier, more hyper-masculinist and libidinally challenged corners of the web. It has been rolled out everywhere from the Daily Mail (whose editor accuses the BBC of cultural Marxism) to the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer, from Milo fans to meninists, becoming a staple of permanently livid YouTube ranters. Ubiquitous and almost infinitely flexible, it’s the perfect scapegoat, yet betrays not only a mind numbingly ill-informed reading of the Frankfurt School’s output, but also a staggeringly stupid grasp of the historical process. (Spoiler: It’s the requirements of international capital, not the string-pulling of a few sociologists, that has provided history’s chief motor these last few decades.)

So in order to keep some order in this essay, let’s dispense with another one that has become common in particular in the left wing parlance, but also in the right. This one spans the political spectrum.

Zionism is the same as Nazism. This one is not just insulting to Jews, but it can be attributed to one person: Former Mexican President Luis Echeverría Alvarez, who started this false comparison during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly right after the Yom Kippur War of 1973. It is, like many of these tropes, ignorant of actual history. It is code and has spread like poison.

A close cousin is seeing all that the State of Israel does through the prism that they are literally Nazis. This includes comparing Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. This is not about Israel, but an antisemitic cudgel that has gained purchase. It has purchase not just in the far right. Many progressives, well-meaning as they are, use it.

It is also easier for actual antisemites to say they are anti-Zionist, and avoid the charge. It is a well-understood whistle.

International Jew: this one comes in different forms. It implies that Jews, a very small proportion of the global, or American population, are in control of world affairs behind the scenes. It usually is spoken off in shorthand. George Soros, a survivor of the Holocaust, is often used as proof that Jews fund a project against the west. Meaning, by this, white western Christian culture.

The projects he has he donated to are pro-open democracy civil society organization in Europe and the United States. In other words, what the right perceives as multiculturalism and pro-Democratic organizations. Democracy is also an enemy of the far right since it has been used to expand the rights of others. The older term that stood for this was the Rotchslid, who were once the owners of one of the largest banks in England.

This leads to one conspiracy that is more common on the fringes of the right, but you can find it in other places as well, on the far fringes. The United States is under occupation by a hostile power. This is the Zionist Occupation Government, ZOG. It is not always this explicit, usually. Sometimes the term Deep State stands for this, implying that the government is in hostile hands and it has to be overthrown. When used by those on the right, deep state is equal to ZOG.

Globalist are also part of this conspiracy, seeking to destroy the West, and in some ways, the war of civilizations against Muslims is also against Jews. In the most toxic way, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are a very early version of this virus.

White Supremacy in a More American Way

There are some terms you heard last week that is central to white supremacy in the United States.

Culture is one full of baggage, with connections to the Nazi usage of kultur. This stands for white Christian culture, which is under attack by forces of multiculturalism, meaning anything that is not them. In extreme forms, this means Aryan culture. This word has a problem, since it can be, and it is used, in benign ways. So context matters. So read the full context before jumping.

Heritage: This is far clearer and is linked to the Lost Cause of the 1920s and the civil rights period. The former was a response to early civil rights and a flood of immigrants. The 1920s saw many cultural changes. One response was the sprouting of confederate documents across the United States, which was far from organic. In fact, they were mass produced. The Lost Cause also begins the teaching that the civil war was not about slavery, but states rights. It also portrayed slavery as a benign institution.  Since we have not confronted our past, more people than you think actually believe slavery was not that bad. We need to face it. Slavery was that bad, and actually worse than we imagine.

Pride: it can be shorthand for white pride. The context of usage, like culture, matters. The reason I write that is that you can show team pride, in the context of sports. Southern pride is part of the code.

Race War and Race Riot: Both betray the fear that people of color, not just blacks, will pick up arms and commit revenge for all that was done to them. As we become a more multicultural nation, you will see those fears rise, like foam in the ocean. .This fear, and it is fear, goes all the way to the almost successful Bacon’s revolt of 1676. This also is part of the slew of gun control laws directed at blacks and Latinos. These laws are meant to control the open display of firearms by these two groups. Though it is never that explicit. The prohibition in California against open carry came after the Assembly was taken over by Black Panthers. Laws prohibiting open carry were passed soon after and signed by then Governor Ronald Reagan.

The modern slew of open carry laws were enacted to partially help keep the proper social order. The feeling is that open carry and concealed carry are not protecting people of color. Here, from the Boston Globe:

Here’s what’s also unfortunate: More people of color with guns will likely result in more people of color dead or in prison. Minnesota’s open carry law did not save Philando Castile. He informed the officer who stopped his car that he was carrying a licensed gun, but was still shot to death in front of his girlfriend and her young daughter in July. In 2014, Ohio’s open-carry law did not spare the life of 12-year-old Tamir Rice , shot dead by a cop while playing with a toy gun. This past week, officials declined to charge a police officer in the shooting death of Keith Scott who may have had a gun in his possession but was not holding it when he was killed in Charlotte earlier this year. North Carolina is also an open-carry state.

Last week militias openly displayed AR-15s and other long arms in Charlottesville. The state has open carry laws, and their actions made defusing the situation orders of magnitude more complicated for police officers. People have questioned, rightfully so, what would have happened if that militia were mostly black or Latino? Suffice to say these two terms are not just white supremacy code, but a means of social control.

Other Terms

There are other terms that are at times common but laced with white supremacy undertones. They have emerged over the course of the last four decades, but are steeped in the ideology.

Welfare queen: This person is usually portrayed as fat, black or brown and poor. It. Is shorthand for a leech on the system this brings me to a common theme in white supremacy speech. Those who are seen as less than human are portrayed as lesser life forms, such as leeches, insects of many forms, and vermin. Rats is actually a favorite in the theme. Now, ask yourself this. What do you do with rats? You kill them. So the undertone of genocidal language is there, just under the surface.

Let me address the term Ghetto again. In the US this has become an equivalent of urban, meant mostly black and poor, outside of academic usage. It has become a symbol, code, for why blacks cannot succeed in the minds of White Supremacists. They want no complications, like systemic racism. Ghettoes are an explanation onto itself and “proof.“

However, for especially older American Jews who came from Europe, it means the Jewish neighborhood. Outside the United States, this term going back to Renaissance Italy remains in this usage. Why has it evolved this way in the United States for the far-right? In Europe, Ghettoes had literal doors, that were closed at night. In the United States, Black inner city ghettoes have imaginary doors. Why white supremacists took on the term after academics started using it. This went from academic writing, where it probably should have never entered, to begin with into right wing code.

Thug: It means black and brown. It is invariably used to mean these two groups., whenever supremacists speak of Black Lives Matter or La Raza. The media does not help, as it repeats these words after every incident of social unrest. Whites can and do act in thuggish ways, but you will rarely see it used that way. Whites engage in a spirited celebration of their team’s victory, for example, while thugs destroyed buildings at Ferguson. Never mind that destroying property is destroying property. The same goes for scum and criminal.

The place to fight this in many ways is at the comment section at the local newspaper and tv station. Also, point this to editors. That you will not tolerate this usage by reporters. We sometimes get quotes in the field from witnesses and others. So bear that in mind. At times reporters deal with people who use those words regularly.

Rapist and criminal are used in white nationalist literature to represent those minorities who are killing the culture. Why when Donald Trump used the words “Mexican are rapists” this was received well by the far nationalist right. It was literally their code, not even in dog whistle form. It was direct.

This does not necessarily mean Mexicans are literally engaging in the rape of white women, and miscegenation, that is the mixing of the races. By their mere existence, these groups are destroying white culture. They are challenging white power. They are raping the culture. Why when the administration spoke of a database of crimes, many thought back to Nazi Germany.

Why are we seeing this aggressiveness from the White Supremacists? We are likely living at the cusp of dramatic change. For starters, the United States will be a majority-minority country by 2044. If you think they are going away? Well, not yet. Not only because the President of the United States agrees with them. But because they truly see their world ending.  They see this as a last stand. The video recording via Vice showing them saying “you will not replace us, Jews will not replace us” is precisely this fear. They tell themselves that if they do not fight back, there is a white genocide under way. We are linking to a site hosting the video, We recommend you watch it. 

Part of your job as a citizen  is to become familiar with the language of hate. Stop using their language and be aware, they will try to mainstream as much of it as they can. So you need to become very educated on the code. However, they are beyond using dog whistles at this point, since they perceive the Trump administration as one of theirs. After all, he has half-heartedly condemned them, and then pulled back, while cutting funds to effective means to fight white supremacy. He has been received as one of their own. This is not me saying it, but former white supremacists who understand the dynamic far better than I do. 

We have met people who literally want to fight Nazis in the streets. They are under the mistaken belief that none fought Nazis before the rise of the Third Reich. People did fight them. The battles were used to impose law and order.  So you not only have to become aware of the code but also what works.

What happened in Boston yesterday was far more effective in fighting white supremacists. I am not talking of the 20,000:100 ratio. That was impressive. I am talking of Black Lives Matter escorting white supremacists and keeping them safe. That will go a long way to changing minds and hearts.

There are now two sources for this, the first from a bystander. We are linking to the tweet thread.

The second from another witness, a reporter in this case, who highlighted the actions of one of the participants:

We are also highlighting Imani‘s words, the participant, as well:

“I know people are heated but I think it’s better to have them on that side of the fence,” Imani told Annear, who noted she guided “several Trump supporters through a swelling crowd where they were getting yelled at and in one case spit on.”

“It’s the right thing to do at the end of the day,” Imani continued. “We’re all part of the same country. It’s unfortunate what’s happening but the response we should have is to be nonviolent.”

“You know I don’t believe in this right wing narrative of ‘alt left’ and how we are crazed and looking to get violent. What better way to show them that they are wrong?” she asked. 

“I couldn’t get through a KKK rally with the same treatment,” the young woman said. “But we shouldn’t be like them.”

This is critical. What they did is show compassion and see the other side as essentially human. This will shake at least one of these people since it goes against everything they have been taught. Do not forget that yes, even white supremacists are human. In their case, very scared humans. Kindness does work, even if they would not extend this to you if the situation was reversed.

Become familiar with the code. Challenge people using the code. In many cases, people do not realize the terms they are using are white supremacist code. Educate them and do not tolerate that code around you. What I covered is just an introduction. There is a lot more information. These days white supremacists use the web to spread the message and recruit. You can use it to learn the message of hate, and fight the message.

You can start your own education at the Anti-Defamation League website and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Incidentally, after you finish reading this piece, go read this at Breitbart. I hope I have equipped you with enough tools to understand most of the code in what Limbaugh said on his show. Incidentally, this is also how you learn the code. You need to be willing to listen to these people from time to time. I prefer reading.  It is far easier to dissect. and I can keep emotions in check if need be. 


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  1. America First Rallies Cancelled – Reporting San Diego

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