Faculty in the news: CSUSB professor comments on tweet that ‘prompted fierce backlash’ against Trump
CSUSB professor comments on tweet that ‘prompted fierce backlash’ against Trump
The Washington Post
Aug. 23, 2018
Brian Levin, Cal State San Bernardino criminal justice professor and director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, is quoted in an article about President Trump’s promotion of a white-nationalist conspiracy theory involving South Africa that prompted fierce backlash there on Aug. 23 and fresh criticism in the United States that he is compromising American foreign policy to stoke his far-right political base.
Levin, who studies hate groups, said the narrative of “white genocide” has been central to the white-nationalist movement across the globe.
“Now we have an American leader parroting these talking points once they’ve been transmitted through cable news. It’s astounding,” Levin said. “Cumulatively, these messages — and particularly the bluntness and adherence to inaccurate information or conspiracy theories — are taken like rocket fuel within this fragmented, but still very significant, white-nationalist community.”
Former U.S. diplomats and South African leaders denounced Trump’s declaration in a tweet late Wednesday that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to monitor the “large scale killing” of white farmers and the government’s expropriations of their land.
White-nationalist groups have for years spread false claims about the murder rates, assertions that have been widely debunked. Local police data shows the number of people murdered on farms has dropped by half over the past two decades — from 140 in 2001-2002 to 74 in 2016-2017, according to the Associated Press.
Trump’s tweet appeared to come in response to a segment on Fox News in which host Tucker Carlson railed against a plan by South Africa’s governing party to pursue constitutional changes allowing the government to redistribute land without compensating the owners. The measure is designed to redress racial inequalities that have persisted for nearly a quarter-century after the end of apartheid in 1994.
Read the complete article at “‘Dangerous and poisoned’: Critics blast Trump for endorsing white-nationalist conspiracy theory on South Africa.”