News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Capitol Attack Rooted In History of White Supremacy And Fascism In U.S., Expert Says

Trump supporters stand outside.
Manuel Balce Ceneta
/
Associated Press
Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump, including Aaron Mostofsky, right, and Kevin Seefried, left, walk down the stairs outside the Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol, in Washington. Prosecutors say Seefried, photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag during a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol was arrested Thursday, Jan. 14, after authorities used the image to help identify him.

At the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week, rioters displayed Nazi paraphernalia and other racist propaganda. New investigations have found that some of those rioters are involved in far-right white supremacist organizations.

Louie Dean Valencia-García, a professor of digital history at Texas State University, said the violent mob is part of a history of home-grown fascism — a movement that promotes nationalism and racism.

He said it’s important to know what fascism is, so people can call it out:

"...to be a fascist you probably are in some way racist, you're xenophobic, ethnocentric, nationalist, misogynistic, queerphobic, all of these things..."

Valencia-García, who studies fascism, said the extremist violence displayed at the Capitol is part of a long history of white supremacy and racism in the United States.

He said Americans often think of Italian fascism or Nazism as separate from the U.S., when they're connected.

"For example, in Nazi Germany, one of the things that Hitler's regime did was they actually sent people to the United States to learn how the United States used Jim Crow laws to segregate Black people within the United States," he said.

Valencia-García said the Capitol attack is a reiteration of early 20th century fascism. Some scholars point to the Ku Klux Klan as one of the predecessors of modern fascism.

"Whether we call them the KKK, or skinheads, or the America First party of the 1930s, which was a fascist group, all of these things sort of have waves that continue today..."

Got a tip? Email Galilee Abdullah at Gabdullah@KERA.org.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.