White Nationalists spread hate into the digital age

World Today

In an upscale suburb outside Washington D.C. Jared Taylor runs the American Renaissance website. The site specializes in what many consider racist hate.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.

White Nationalists spread hate into the digital age

In an upscale suburb outside Washington D.C. Jared Taylor runs the American Renaissance website. The site specializes in what many consider racist hate. CGTN's Jim Spellman reports.

“American Renaissance is a website devoted to the legitimate interest of whites as a racial group,” Taylor said. “What we ultimately want is a space on the North American continent where we are the unquestioned majority.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit U.S. organization that tracks hate groups, American Renaissance is an extremist group — “a self-styled think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites”

“It is a group that likes to consider itself intellectual racists,” Ryan Lenz, Senior Writer at the SPLC said. “They have this idea that African Americans are a ‘retrograde species of humanity’. It’s an ugly ideology they espouse.”

Jared Taylor, 65, has the air of an academic and is in many ways a contradiction. As the son of Christian missionaries he grew up in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese and French. His home is decorated with Japanese art, but he is firmly against mixing of races and cultures. He was educated at Yale and worked as a journalist in the 1970s and 80s.  

Jared-Taylor

Jared Taylor runs the American Renaissance website.

In 1990 Taylor began American Renaissance as a print newsletter. It later morphed into a website. The site is run by Taylor and two staffers, plus freelance writers. The internet gives this small operation a big reach.

“It has been a complete transformation. As a print publication we never had more than 4 or 5 thousand readers, but online we get 400,000 individual computers coming to our site every month, so it has expanded our reach tremendously,” Taylor said.

White Nationalist groups like American Renaissance and the newer Alt-Right movement rely on the internet to spread their message. They use articles, videos and podcasts posted online and spread through social media.

“The internet is a prime recruiting tool for radical right groups across the country. It’s a way for them to tap into pools of possible recruits,” Ryan Lenz of the SPLC said. “It’s also a place where people can adopt and radicalize themselves without having to come out of the shadows of anonymity.”

You won’t find swastikas or Ku Klux Klan hoods on the American Renaissance website. It’s wrapped in a buttoned down veneer of respectability, all designed to draw people in. Taylor said it is working.

“It’s people more like me,” Taylor said.

The SPLC said Taylor’s approach— dressed up hate—doesn’t change the underlying ugliness of the American Renaissance message.

“Nazis don’t come anymore with an arm-band and a swastika; they come with a suit and a tie,” Lenz said.

According to the SPLC, internet extremism has been on the rise for the last two years. Taylor said the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President has breathed new life into his movement. Trump’s plans for a border wall and an immigration crackdown have been widely supported by hate groups.