Cities across the country are on alert today following police warnings of an uptick in "domestic violent extremist messaging" from emboldened neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups who are organizing a "National Day of Hate."
Hate groups have been instructed to drop banners, place stickers and flyers, and spread racist and antisemitic graffiti in cities across North America during the last Saturday of Black History Month. The very public displays of hate are being encouraged just as incidents targeting Jewish Americans for harassment and violence have escalated. According to the Jewish media outlet Forward, "A man charged with shooting two Jewish men as they left morning services in an Orthodox area of Los Angeles on consecutive days last week attached a photo of a Goyim Defense League flyer in an email to classmates about two months before the attack." Members of that same group, the Goyim Defense League, were recently spotted harassing attendants of the Chabad of South Orlando.
The neo-Nazi groups' plans come at the end of a monthlong campaign of racist and anti-Black media coverage by the right-wing's main media outlet, Fox News. As watchdog group Media Matters charted, the network — which was also recently revealed to have knowingly lied to viewers in the lead-up to a Confederate-flag-waving mob attacking the Capitol on January 6 —has published or aired a new story that advances anti-Black narratives every day during Black History Month.
"Although Fox has aired a few Black history month segments," Media Matters noted, "more airtime was spent pushing racist rhetoric...Fox figures have spread anti-Black narratives, accusing President Joe Biden's administration of anti-white racism; fear-mongering about critical race theory being taught in K-12 schools as a part of a so-called "woke" liberal agenda; and undermining the existence of and harm done by systemic racism."
The stories almost always follow the same formula: If a person of color decries an act of racism, a member of the Fox commentariat or guest labels that person of color a racist.
On Friday, Fox gave the Missouri Attorney General air-time to accuse a Black St. Louis prosecutor of "injecting race" into a dispute after the prosecutor suggested the attorney general's push to have her removed from office may be racially motivated. On Thursday, Fox's Brian Kilmeade gave North Korean defector and racism denialist Yeonmi Park free reign to talk about how getting mugged by a Black woman in Chicago was "crazier than North Korea." On Wednesday, Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden took to Fox to suggest California Democratic Rep. Judy Chu — the US' first Chinese American Congresswoman — is a Chinese spy "playing the race card."
Here are 7 other things that can get you called a racist by the network:
Feb. 5: According to Mark Levin, who hosts a weekly Fox News program, "anti-white racism" is what a sweeping range of Americans participate in when they call for reform against injustice. On his show "Life, Liberty & Levin" — which has all the thrill of a basement-filmed public access TV spot but sadly none of the glamour —Levin opened the floor to his guest, the Hoover Institution's Victor Davis Hanson, who lamented the number of ways white men have suffered now that Disney, American Airlines, and Stanford University have diversity and inclusion initiatives. Hanson's plaintive comments extended to the Pentagon's recent attempts to increase recruitment and diversity in the military -- specifically by clamping down on previously documented hotbeds of racist behavior, and "hunting out supposed white rage and white supremacy in the ranks."
What, you might ask, prompted this remark from the paling former personality? Buttigieg noted that the creation of the U.S. interstate highways system disproportionately displaced Black residents during its construction, and even cleaved in half Black neighborhoods.
Feb. 20: Calling out racism isn't racist. In fact, when a group composed exclusively of people of color are discussing racist remarks made by another person of color, that's about the least amount of racism you can get in a soundbite. And yet, the Fox News commentariat repeatedly demonstrates that those moments are where it thinks white opinions are most necessary. When Daily Beast contributor Wajahat Ali was asked whether sharing an ethnic heritage with Nikki Haley compels him to support her, Ali replied with a devastating roast of Haley's politics.
"To quote Zora Neale Hurston, 'Not all skinfolk are kinfolk.' Nikki Haley instead is the Dinesh D'Souza of Candace Owens. She's the alpha Karen of brown skin. And for white supremacists and racists, she's the perfect Manchurian candidate. And instead of applauding her, I am just disgusted by people like Nikki Haley who know better -- whose parents were the beneficiaries, as Asha said, of the 1965 immigration and nationality act -- which passed thanks to those original BLM protesters and the Civil Rights Act," Ali said.
Ali's made the comments during an appearance with MSNBC Mehdi Hasan and fellow guest Asha Rangappa of the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs.
Fox' Lisa Kennedy Montgomery called the comments "disgusting" and "overt racism."
Fox News' habit of policing black and brown people's intra-group racism conversations isn't new. In April of 2021, it used the same bit to accuse Black Twitter users of racism when many criticized South Carolina's Republican Sen. Tim Scott. The network's latest use of this tactic comes after Haley, in her Feb. 15 campaign kickoff speech, falsely accused President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris of calling America racist.
"Every day we're told America is flawed, rotten, and full of hate. Joe and Kamala even say America is racist. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Biden and Harris have, in prior remarks, discussed the impact of -- and the need to uproot -- long-embedded systemic racism still left within US institutions even after post-Jim Crow reforms.