El Paso massacre upends white nationalists’ normalization strategy

Cindy Claveau

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[Reuters] El Paso massacre upends white nationalists’ normalization strategy

Two years ago, America’s white nationalist movement stunned the country. Neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, had turned deadly when a far-right protester drove a car through a crowd, killing one and injuring dozens. Some movement leaders regrouped. Instead of stoking outrage, they set out to build support with another tack: Looking normal.

The larger goal was what many white nationalists call “Phase 2” — gaining mainstream acceptance for far-right ideas widely rejected as repugnant and getting white nationalists into positions of influence. The normalization effort included softened rhetoric and social gatherings that, for many groups, would increasingly replace confrontational rallies.
“We haven’t seen many rallies since Charlottesville,” she said. The combination of bad press, prosecutions and lost access to social media, has “depressed people in the movement” and created a sense that “maybe the softer approach is the way to go.”

The shootings, and Trump’s repudiation, leave the normalizers in a difficult, perhaps impossible spot. Their gambit was always a stretch.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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Yeah note to nazis: having a bunch of murderous jackasses on your team really throws a wrench into that whole "avoiding bad press, prosecutions, and lost access to social media" thing, just in case you're all wondering what went wrong.
 

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Note to Nazis. lol
 

Clara D.

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They've co-opted the "okay" hand sign? o_O
 

Kara Spengler

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Yeah note to nazis: having a bunch of murderous jackasses on your team really throws a wrench into that whole "avoiding bad press, prosecutions, and lost access to social media" thing, just in case you're all wondering what went wrong.
Their next 'big' thing after C'ville was a huge facepalm: announcing a demonstration in DC. They were outnumbered by cops protecting them as counter-protesters outnumbered both groups combined.

As if they had not already they HUGELY lost the PR battle that day. It kicked off plenty of stories of how much it cost to protect them and give them their own train into the city.
 
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Kara Spengler

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They've co-opted the "okay" hand sign? o_O
Not if you use American sign language, where it uses the manual alphabet signs for 'o' and 'k'.
 

Pamela

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He hasn’t really repudiated anything — he made it clear when he woodenly mouthed the words from a TelePrompTer that he was speaking as a hostage. Certainly he has not taken responsibility or apologized for his white supremacist leadership.
 
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Argent Stonecutter

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They've co-opted the "okay" hand sign? o_O
Yeh, it's one of those weird things. Someone on a nutjob site decided to start a fake story that the OK sign was really spelling out "white power" to convince "snowflakes" that it was a secret white supremacist sign. And the white supremacists quickly pivoted from using it sarcastically to using it seriously, and now it's actually a "white power" sign.