As America impatiently endures a white supremacist president; as hate crimes become more prevalent; as our government disappears the children of immigrants into the ether as if we have been teleported into some surreal anti-immigrant David Copperfield nightmare ...
NBC’s Today Show thought this might be the perfect time for their 4.29 million viewers to see a beautifully shot, sympathetic profile of one of the vilest, most hateful groups in America.
Identity Evropa is a white supremacist fraternity aimed at young, Caucasian men who like the ideology of the KKK but don’t quite have the time or the rudimentary carpentry skills to build a cross, only to set it on fire. They are best known for their Charlottesville, Va., coming-out probate show when they turned the tiki-torch into a symbol of hate as they screamed their infamous chant: “You will not replace us.”
The hate group’s end goal is to take over the GOP by injecting its racist, Islamophobic, white nationalist beliefs into young conservatives and by aligning themselves with the Republican Party. According to our previous reporting:
The organization is one of the new breeds of “alt-right” groups that are openly recruiting young people to the Identitarian movement. One of the group’s most brazen strategies is to go on college campuses and solicit white men to join.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, Identity Evropa distributed flyers and literature on 65 campuses in 2016, and its posters and flyers have already been spotted at more than a dozen colleges in the first few weeks of the 2017-2018 school year. Using catchphrases like “Our generation, our future, our last chance” and “Action. Leadership. Identity,” the group has streamlined a process called “#ProjectSiege” geared toward indoctrinating young people.
On Wednesday’s Today Show, NBC correspondent Peter Alexander profiled Identity Evropa’s leader Patrick Casey in a segment similar to that of a political candidate or celebrity.
Alexander did not refer to Identity Evropa as a hate group except when quoting the Southern Poverty Law Center. Instead, the reporter called them “clean cut” and “conservatively dressed,” and repeatedly referred to the white supremacist collective as a “pro-white” organization, allowing them to explain their racist stance with euphemisms such as “identitarian” and “nationalism.”
Alexander claimed he was telling Identity Evropa’s story to “pull back the curtain,” only tepidly challenging Casey, asking: “Why isn’t that racist? Wouldn’t most say that’s simply racist?”
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with NBC informing the public about the rise of white supremacist groups. Journalistic objectivity is important but responsibility demands that news organizations privy to publicly-funded airwaves present the information in a way that holds these factions accountable both for their dangerous ideas and repulsive actions.
NBC did neither.
In fact, when The Root set a stopwatch to the report, of the 5:27 runtime, 4:38 seconds was either neutral or positive, including NBC’s agreement to actively obscure Casey’s location while allowing him to microscopically parse his racist positions and whitewash his principles by positioning his group’s creed a “controversial” political philosophy.
This is peak whiteness.
White nationalism is not something on which NBC should objectively report as if it was free healthcare or a new fashion trend. This is a treacherous dogma spread by fascists who openly admit that their ultimate goal is to infiltrate the political mainstream.
Some stories don’t have two sides. Imagine the backlash if NBC news aired a sympathetic interview with someone from Al-Qaeda explaining their “Death to America” chant. Would the Today Show dare broadcast a breakfast-time interview with someone from the Islamic State rationalizing a beheading?
But hey, it’s just black people, so who cares?
NBC News will probably hide behind the bulletproof deflector shield of whiteness and explain how it is an objective news organization. It will likely whitesplain its Identity Evropa infomercial as a legitimate news story. Even though NBC’s own reporting revealed that white supremacists committed the majority of extremist-related murders last year, NBC knows what they were doing when they gave their platform to a hate.
Can someone please explain it to me?