I had a front-row seat to hate and was physically assaulted: The liberal-washing of white nationalism - 2019-04-01
I have long been examining the question of what fuels white nationalist hatred by documenting and mapping the "Islamophobia industry" in Canada. The industry is a constellation of individuals, media outlets, think tanks, politicians and organizations that purvey racism and Islamophobia. These include white nationalist and "alt-right" groups that are proliferating and expanding their reach in Canada from upward of 100 groups in 2015 to nearly 300 by 2018.
While the alt-right, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups are the foot soldiers of the movement, there are other, more covert players that form the soft power of this widespread industry. These power brokers use cultural, political and economic ideas to influence, shape and inform white nationalist views. They help circulate bigotry by dressing it up as patriotism and purveying it through "respectable" channels.
I refer to this as the "liberal washing" of white nationalism, where politically camouflaged xenophobic, Islamophobic and racist notions are disguised under the veneer of liberal discourse such as "protecting democracy," "freedom" and the "rule of law" from what are regarded as illiberal, anti-modern and anti-democratic minorities.
I had a front-row seat to liberal-washed hate messaging at the conference held by Canadians for the Rule of Law, a registered charity that seeks to challenge "political tribes" and "disruptors" who question the rule of law in Canada.