‘White Nationalism,’ Explained
A question has been posed in a puzzled whisper in many of the nation’s living rooms and newsrooms ever since Donald Trump’s triumph in this month’s presidential election: What, exactly, is white nationalism?
Self-proclaimed white nationalists have happily embraced Trump’s victory and, particularly, his choice of Stephen K. Bannon as chief strategist, as a win for their agenda. A barrage of groups that fight discrimination and hate speech have, in turn, criticized Bannon’s appointment, warning that his embrace of the “alt-right” movement was little more than an attempt to rebrand racism and white nationalism into something palatable enough for mass consumption.
自称白人民族主义者的人开心地把特朗普的胜利，尤其是他选择史蒂芬·K·班农(Stephen K. Bannon)担任首席策略师的做法当成是他们议程的胜利。反过来，大量反对歧视和仇恨言论的团体指责任命班农的决定，警告称他对“另类右翼”(alt-right)运动的大力支持无异于试图把种族主义和白人民族主义重新塑造成能够让人接受，可供大众消费的概念。
And much of the rest of the country has been left to wonder what this unfamiliar term actually means.
While white nationalism certainly overlaps with white supremacy and racism, many political scientists say it is a distinct phenomenon — one that was a powerful but often-unseen force during the presidential election and will most likely remain a potent factor in U.S. and European politics in coming years.
Eric Kaufmann, a professor of politics at Birkbeck University in London, has spent years studying the ways that ethnicity intersects with politics. While most researchers in that field focus on ethnic minorities, Kaufmann does the opposite: He studies the behavior of ethnic majorities, particularly whites in the United States and Britain.
White nationalism, he said, is the belief that national identity should be built around white ethnicity, and that white people should therefore maintain both a demographic majority and dominance of the nation’s culture and public life.
So, like white supremacy, white nationalism places the interests of white people over those of other racial groups. White supremacists and white nationalists both believe that racial discrimination should be incorporated into law and policy.
Some will see the distinction between white nationalism and white supremacy as a semantic sleight of hand. But although many white supremacists are also white nationalists, and vice versa, Kaufmann says the terms are not synonyms: White supremacy is based on a racist belief that white people are innately superior to people of other races; white nationalism is about maintaining political and economic dominance, not just a numerical majority or cultural hegemony.
For a long time, he said, white nationalism was less an ideology than the default presumption of American life. Until quite recently, white Americans could easily see the nation as essentially an extension of their own ethnic group.
But the country’s changing demographics, the civil rights movement and a push for multiculturalism in many quarters mean that white Americans are now confronting the prospect of a nation that is no longer built solely around their own identity.
For many white people, of course, the growing diversity is something to celebrate. But for others it is a source of stress. The white nationalist movement has drawn support from that latter group. Its supporters argue that the United States should protect its white majority by sharply limiting immigration and perhaps even by compelling nonwhite citizens to leave.
Trump’s appointment of Bannon as his senior counselor and chief West Wing strategist has, more than anything, brought white nationalism to the forefront of conversation. He is the former editor of Breitbart News, a site he described in August to Mother Jones as “the platform of the alt-right.” Although the alt-right is ideologically broader than white nationalism — it also includes neoreactionaries, monarchists and meme-loving internet trolls — white nationalism makes up a significant part of its appeal.
特朗普任命班农担任自己的高级顾问和西配楼首席策略师的做法尤其把白人民族主义者推上了风口浪尖。班农曾是布莱巴特新闻(Breitbart News)的主编，并曾在8月对《琼斯母亲》(Mother Jones)称该网站是“‘另类右翼’的平台”。尽管“另类右翼”在意识形态方面比白人民族主义更广泛——它还包括新反动派、君主主义者和钟爱米姆的网络挑衅者——但白人民族主义构成了其吸引力中重要的组成部分。
For instance, Richard Spencer, who runs the website AlternativeRight.com, is also the director of the National Policy Institute, an organization that says it is devoted to protecting the “heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.”
比如，理查德·斯潘塞(Richard Spencer)既是网站AlternativeRight.com的负责人，也是全国政策研究所(National Policy Institute)的所长。该机构自称致力于保护“美国和全世界有欧洲血统者的文化遗产、身份认同和未来”。
Spencer argues that immigration and multiculturalism are threats to America’s white population and has said his ideal is a white “ethno-state.” He has avoided discussing the details of how this might be achieved, saying it is still just a “dream,” but has called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to remove nonwhite people from U.S. soil.
Bannon, the Trump adviser, told The Times upon his appointment that he does not share those ethno-nationalist views. But under his leadership, Breitbart News has gone to considerable lengths to cater to an audience that does. And in a 2015 radio interview that was resurfaced last week by The Washington Post, Bannon opposed even highly skilled immigration, implying he believed it was a threat to American culture.
身为特朗普的顾问，班农在就自己的任命接受时报采访时表示，他不赞成那些种族民族主义观点。但在他的领导下，布莱巴特新闻不遗余力地迎合认同相关观点的读者。在2015年的一次电台采访中，班农甚至反对技术移民，暗示他们是对美国文化的威胁。上周，《华盛顿邮报》(The Washington Post)让那次采访再次浮出水面。
“When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think ...” he said, trailing off midsentence before continuing a moment later, “a country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”
White nationalists, including Spencer, have rejoiced at Bannon’s appointment to such a senior position in the Trump White House. But focusing on high-profile figures like Bannon may obscure the more significant way that white nationalist ideas are affecting politics — and fueling the rise of politicians like Trump in the United States as well as anti-immigrant populist movements in Britain and continental Europe.
Kaufmann argues that anxiety over white identity and anti-immigrant populist politicians can have a symbiotic relationship, each strengthening the other. When populist politicians gain mainstream success, that can make white nationalist ideas more socially acceptable.
“It’s not just a question of ethnic change and people being alarmed over it,” he said. “It’s also a question of what people see as the boundaries of acceptable opposition. It’s about what counts as racism, and whether it’s racist to vote for a far-right party.”
“This is all about the anti-racist norm,” Kaufmann continued. “If it’s weakening or eroding because people think the boundaries have shifted.”