About the Integrated Learning Series
Integrated Learning at St. Catherine University is a multidimensional expression of an active liberal arts pedagogy. Located at the intersection of creative energy and critical reflection, the Integrated Learning Series is one way we partner academics with activism, the paper with the performance, and the campus with the community. It is the array of courses, activities, speakers, events, performances, and exhibitions that coalesce into our ways of knowing. The Integrated Learning Series is the web that binds our learning experiences together and the narratives that connect our collective community.
The Integrated Learning Series Committee invites you to our fall series. We will continue our discussion of systemic racism and the ways a liberal arts pedagogy helps to dismantle and reimagine those systems.
Beyond the Hate Frame: Recognizing and Responding to the White Supremacist Right
September 24, 2020
Presented by Kay Whitlock and Nancy A. Heitzeg, PhD
This session will explore the existence, proliferation, and legitimation of right-wing ideology and practices through the use of language, symbols, rhetoric, and popular culture. Much of this imagery relies on evoking historically resonant representations of strength and domination, secret symbols understood only by the “enlightened,” the cooptation/reworking of popular symbols, and, in the age of the internet, memes. The messages, whether overt or coded, are intended to further ideas associated with white supremacy, white nationalism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and misogyny. And in all cases, they are intended to convey a sense of an unstoppable amassing of force and influence.
The prevailing approach to addressing this issue in the United States is to decry such content as “hate speech” and link the imagery to designated “hate groups” and potentially ‘hate crimes.” This is what is called “the hate frame.” A frame is a conceptual, often rhetorical, path that shapes how people think about an issue. It always suggests a particular direction we ought to go in order to address the situation. Here, the use of “hate” as a frame posits the problem as one of aberrant actions by isolated extremists, acting entirely outside of respectable public norms, whose psychological bigotry and prejudice has run amok. Yet for decades, researchers and scholars have documented the steady (if often stealth) political and social dialogue between those characterized as “extremists” (e.g. white supremacists, white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and the alt-right) and mainstream libertarian/conservative/right-wing actors. Over decades, this dialogue, and the scholarship and policy activism that accompany it, have ensured an increasing shift of the political center to the right. The “hate” frame does not accurately account for this complexity or produce individual and institutional responses that can counter it.
This session will explore both the public expansion of right-wing ideology and the limits to/unintended consequences of the “hate” frame. It will suggest alternatives that consider the structural underpinnings of ideologies of violence and inequality. Topics to be covered include:
- An overview of key themes in right-wing symbols as documented by the Anti-Defamation league (ADL) and others
- An overview of hate groups designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
- A brief history of the hate frame and hate crime legislation
- The proximity of right-wing extremist groups to the center right
- Limits of a hate frame analysis
- Alternatives to addressing structural violence and inequality
Kay Whitlock is a longtime organizer, researcher, and writer whose work focuses on dismantling structural violence and inequality. She is co-author (with Joey L. Mogul and Andrea J. Ritchie) of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon Press, 2011) and (with Michael Bronski) of Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics (Beacon Press, 2015). Whitlock’s groundbreaking work presenting a progressive challenge to “hate” as a framework for vigilante violence directed at Black and other people of color, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities, is widely known. She authored In a Time of Broken Bones: A Call for National Dialogue on Hate Violence and the Limitations of Hate Crime Legislation, the first substantive progressive public analysis and critique of hate crime laws (American Friends Service Committee, 2001) and “Reconsidering Hate: Policy and Politics at the Intersection” (Political Research Associates, 2012). She has written and presented widely on the hate frame and issues of structural inequality and violence, particularly with regard to the violence of the US criminal legal system. She has published frequently on these and related matters for In These Times, Truthout, Philadelphia Inquirer, Political Research Associates, American Friends Service Committee, Queers for Economic Justice, and Beacon Broadside. Her work appears in various anthologies, including The Routledge History of Queer America (Routledge, 2018) and Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States (University of California Press, 2010). She is also co-author of the forthcoming book, Prison Break: The Deceptive Terrain of Criminal Justice Reform (University of California Press, 2021).
Nancy A. Heitzeg, PhD, is a Professor of Sociology and Director of the interdisciplinary Critical Studies of Race/Ethnicity Program at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN. She currently is the Endowed Chair in the Sciences, engaged in a three-year action research project, Challenging Criminalization: Beyond Policing and Punishment. Professor Heitzeg has written and presented widely on issues of race, class, gender, and social control with particular attention to the school to prison pipeline and the prison industrial complex. Recent and forthcoming publications include: The School to Prison Pipeline: Education, Discipline and Racialized Double-Standards, (Praeger, 2016), and Prison Break: The Deceptive Terrain of Criminal Justice Reform, with Kay J. Whitlock, (University of California Press, 2021)
Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Hate on Display™ Hate Symbols Database
American Sociological Association (ASA) Understanding Race After Charlottesville, September 24, 2017
American Sociological Association (ASA), “After Charlottesville: A Contexts Symposium Part One”, Contexts Magazine. August 9, 2018
American Sociological Association (ASA), “ After Charlottesville: A Contexts Symposium Part Two”, Contexts Magazine, August 10, 2018
Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons, Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort (The Guilford Press, 2000)
Chip Berlet, “Heroes Know Which Villains to Kill: How Coded Rhetoric Incites Scripted Violence,” chapter in Matthew Feldman and Paul Jackson (eds), Doublespeak: Rhetoric of the Far-Right Since 1945 (ibidem Press, 2014)
Chip Berlet, Trumping Democracy: From Reagan to the Alt-Right (Routledge, 2019)
Chip Berlet and Spencer Sunshine, “Rural Rage: The Roots of Right-Wing Populism in the United States,” The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 46, Issue 3, 2018
Lindsay Beyerstein, “Beyond the Hate Frame: An Interview with Kay Whitlock & Michael Bronski,” Political Research Associates, July 27, 2015
Kathleen M. Blee, Inside Organized Racism: Women in the Hate Movement (University of California Press, 2002)
Maurice Chammah and Cary Aspinwall, “The Short, Fraught History of the ‘Thin-blue line’ American Flag”, The Marshall Project, June 8, 2020
Matthew Lyons, Insurgent Supremacies: The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State and Empire, (PM Press, 2018)
Joey L. Mogul, Andrea J. Ritchie, and Kay Whitlock, Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBTQ People in the United States (Beacon Press, 2011)
Southern Poverty Law Center, Frequently Asked Questions about Hate Groups, March 18, 2020
Katherine Whitlock, In a Time of Broken Bones: A Call to Dialogue on Hate Violence and the Limitations of Hate Crime Legislation, American Friends Service Committee, 2001
Kay Whitlock, “Reconsidering Hate: Policy and Politics at the Intersection,” Political Research Associates, June 1, 2012
Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski, Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics (Beacon Press, 2015)
Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski, “White Supremacy, the Hate Frame, and Disruptive Imagination,” Beacon Broadside, July 2, 2015
Kay Whitlock, “One Nation Under Siege: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Lives Security State,” Beacon Broadside, February 22, 2017
A Focus on Suffrage: October 2020 Integrated Learning Series Events
Suffrage is not only a victory. Rather, it initiates and extends a larger conversation about the ways in which political activism intersects with art, our perceptions of history, our experiences of systemic inequality, and our engagement in activism/democracy.
Each week will feature two to three panelists engaging with suffrage from a different perspective. A moderator will facilitate the conversation.
Additional information will be shared throughout the month related to student work, voter engagement and external resources.