White nationalism’s deep American roots became Hitler's bible


EXCERPT: . . . The seed of Nazism’s ultimate objective—the preservation of a pure white race, uncontaminated by foreign blood—was in fact sown with striking success in the United States. What is judged extremist today was once the consensus of a powerful cadre of the American elite, well-connected men who eagerly seized on a false doctrine of “race suicide” during the immigration scare of the early 20th century. They included wealthy patricians, intellectuals, lawmakers, even several presidents. Perhaps the most important among them was a blue blood with a very impressive mustache, Madison Grant. He was the author of a 1916 book called The Passing of the Great Race, which spread the doctrine of race purity all over the globe.

Grant’s purportedly scientific argument that the exalted “Nordic” race that had founded America was in peril, and all of modern society’s accomplishments along with it, helped catalyze nativist legislators in Congress to pass comprehensive restrictionist immigration policies in the early 1920s. His book went on to become Adolf Hitler’s “bible,” as the führer wrote to tell him. Grant’s doctrine has since been rejuvenated and rebranded by his ideological descendants as “white genocide” (the term genocide hadn’t yet been coined in Grant’s day). In an introduction to the 2013 edition of another of Grant’s works, the white nationalist Richard Spencer warns that “one possible outcome of the ongoing demographic transformation is a thoroughly miscegenated, and thus homogeneous and ‘assimilated,’ nation, which would have little resemblance to the White America that came before it.” This language is vintage Grant.

Most Americans, however, quickly forgot who Grant was—but not because the country had grappled with his vision’s dangerous appeal and implications. Reflexive recoil was more like it: When Nazism reflected back that vision in grotesque form, wartime denial set in. Jonathan Peter Spiro, a historian and the author of Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant (2009), described the backlash to me this way: “Even though the Germans had been directly influenced by Madison Grant and the American eugenics movement, when we fought Germany, because Germany was racist, racism became unacceptable in America. Our enemy was racist; therefore we adopted antiracism as our creed.” Ever since, a strange kind of historical amnesia has obscured the American lineage of this white-nationalist ideology.

[...] it was Grant who synthesized these separate strands of thought into one pseudo-scholarly work that changed the course of the nation’s history. In a nod to wartime politics, he referred to Ripley’s “Teutons” as “Nordics,” thereby denying America’s hated World War I rivals exclusive claim to descent from the world’s master race. He singled out Jews as a source of anxiety disproportionate to their numbers, subscribing to a belief that has proved durable. The historian Nell Irvin Painter sums up the race chauvinists’ view in The History of White People (2010): “Jews manipulate the ignorant working masses—whether Alpine, Under-Man, or colored.” In The Passing of the Great Race, the eugenic focus on winnowing out unfit individuals made way for a more sweeping crusade to defend against contagion by inferior races. By Grant’s logic, infection meant obliteration:

The cross between a white man and an Indian is an Indian; the cross between a white man and a Negro is a Negro; the cross between a white man and a Hindu is a Hindu; and the cross between any of the three European races and a Jew is a Jew.

What Grant’s work lacked in scientific rigor, it made up for in canny packaging. He blended Nordic boosterism with fearmongering, and supplied a scholarly veneer for notions many white citizens already wanted to believe. Americans’ gauzy idealism blinded them, he argued, to the reality that newcomers from the Mediterranean and eastern Europe—to say nothing of anyone from Asia or Africa—could never hope to possess the genetic potential innate in the nation’s original Nordic inhabitants, which was the source of the nation’s greatness. Grant gleefully challenged foundational ideas:

We Americans must realize that the altruistic ideals which have controlled our social development during the past century and the maudlin sentimentalism that has made America “an asylum for the oppressed,” are sweeping the nation toward a racial abyss. If the Melting Pot is allowed to boil without control and we continue to follow our national motto and deliberately blind ourselves to all “distinctions of race, creed or color,” the type of native American of Colonial descent will become as extinct as the Athenian of the age of Pericles, and the Viking of the days of Rollo.

His thesis found eager converts among the American elite, thanks in no small part to his extensive social connections. The New York Times and The Nation were among the many media outlets that echoed Grant’s reasoning. Teddy Roosevelt, by then out of office, told Grant in 1916 that his book showed “fine fearlessness in assailing the popular and mischievous sentimentalities and attractive and corroding falsehoods which few men dare assail.” In a major speech in Alabama in 1921, President Warren Harding publicly praised one of Grant’s disciples, Lothrop Stoddard, whose book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy offered similar warnings about the destruction of white society by invading dusky hordes. There is “a fundamental, eternal, inescapable difference” between the races, Harding told his audience. “Racial amalgamation there cannot be.”

Harding’s vice president and successor, Calvin Coolidge, found Grant’s thesis equally compelling....

MORE: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc...sm/583258/
There's a reason Teddy Roosevelt was a leader of the progressive wing of the Republican party. Progressivism has always been, and still is, the home of racism.

"It is worth noting that progressivism, whilst temporarily losing the political initiative, remained popular in many western states and made its presence felt in Washington during both the Harding and Coolidge presidencies." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressiv...of_the_Era

All the republican progressives seem to have been from the northern states, the populations of which eventually coming to vote Democrat, as freed slaves began moving north.
And remember, it was Woodrow Wilson who screened Birth of a Nation in the White House, news of which boosted theater ticket sales.

Eugenics was what passed for atheism in its day. A way for people to feel intellectual while really just exercising their bigotry.

And German nationalism long predated American eugenics.

Later German nationalists were able to define their nation more precisely, especially following the rise of Prussia and formation of the German Empire in 1871 which gave the majority of the German-speakers in Europe a common political, economic and educational framework. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, some German nationalist added elements of racial ideology, ultimately culminating in the Nuremberg Laws, sections of which sought to determine by law and genetics who was to be considered German.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_nat...man_nation


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