The Activist History Review invites article proposals for our October issue, “The Road to Charlottesville.”
America’s past is peppered with white supremacist figures and movements. These have often merged the language of equality with virulent racism to undermine equality in practice. From southern resistance to Reconstruction through the breakup of Jim Crow legal segregation, white supremacists have engaged in a multitude of tactics, violent or otherwise, to enforce racial hierarchy. Despite the Civil Rights legislation of the mid-1960s, white backlash to perceived “advantages” given to racial minorities crystallized in historical moments like Alabama Governor George Wallace’s nearly successful 1972 Democratic primary race, the busing riots that erupted throughout the north, and the growth of neo-Nazi “skinhead” hate crimes. The “Unite the Right” rally that took place in Charlottesville, as well as the equivocation of many white conservatives in response, fits this longstanding trend.
Since the 2016 election, white nationalists have been more vocal, more public, and more violent. Indeed, the term “alt-right,” though in use by ultra-conservative groups nearly a decade ago, was vaulted into the public lexicon because of its close association with the Trump campaign. Yet as participants in the “Unite the Right” rally passed statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jefferson, carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans, they placed themselves as part of a much longer historical narrative.
While President Donald Trump played no small role in stoking the type of racist nationalism that provoked the “Unite the Right” rally, the forces that gathered at Charlottesville were centuries in the making. TAHR seeks essays that explore the events surrounding Charlottesville with an historical lens. Accepted articles will consider how the environment that produced the rally developed and matured.
Potential topics include, but are certainly not limited to:
- The history of extremism.
- American fascism and anti-fascism.
- Lost Cause ideology.
- Conservative rhetoric and honoring the Confederacy.
- White backlash to equality.
- Civil rights movement(s) in the white mind.
- The history of violence in American politics.
- The links between fascism, Nazism, and neo-Confederate thought.
- Historical predecessors to the “alt-right.”
- Gender and Nationalism.
- False equivalency narratives in American conservatism.
Proposals should be no more than 250 words for articles from 1250-2000 words, and should be emailed to William Horne by Friday, September 15th at 11:59 PM. Please also include a short bio of no more than 100 words.