Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
American Ethnological Society
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
Abstract: Hate is on the rise in the U.S., part of a changing climate catalyzed in part by the 2016 election of Donald Trump and highlighted by events ranging from Charlottesville to the rise in hate crimes. Hate speech is now widespread, in public discourse and social media, and white supremacy and xenophobia have roared back in the political mainstream. The current President cultivates the politics of exclusion on a daily basis, whether it is advocating the building of a wall on the Southern border, excluding refugees from the Middle East, or opposing NFL players who kneel in protest at the shooting of African-Americans by the police. This panel assesses how anthropologists have documented and analyzed this recent upsurge in the politics of hatred and exclusion in the past three years. What intellectual tools does anthropology possess, both theoretically and empirically, to understand and explain this resurgence in nativism and chauvinism? How do previous anthropological studies of race, ethnicity and nationalism help us to understand the present context, and in what ways are they inadequate and in need of revision?