Saturday, September 7, 2019

Alexandra Minna Stern's "Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate"

Alexandra Minna Stern is a Professor in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan. She also holds appointments in the Departments of History, Women's Studies, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, and directs the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab housed in the Department of American Culture.

Stern applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right Is Warping the American Imagination, and reported the following:
Page 99 is a revealing prism on to key ideas in my book, including the centrality of race realism to white nationalism, and how "diversity" functions as the bĂȘte noire for the alt-right. I show how extreme disdain for diversity, combined with anxieties over changing demographics in America, fuels assertions about impending white extinction. These ideas undergird the alt-right equation that "diversity equals white genocide" and sit at the core of emergent, reactionary "white identity politics."

This page also connects the alt-right anti-diversity mindset to a longer trajectory of eugenic thinking, that espouses that race and intelligence are fixed attributes, immutable to change. This fatalistic attitude is part and parcel of "race realism," which I examine in the context of sociology and behavioral genetics in subsequent pages.

Yet the test has limitations, as page 99 does not capture the gist of the chapter as a whole, which focuses on the depraved gender politics of the alt-right, and the alt-light, both of which engage in caricatured anti-feminism and explicitly or implicitly celebrate patriarchy and traditionalism.

Overall, I'd give the page 99 test a B+, at least for this book.
Visit Alexandra Minna Stern's website.

--Marshal Zeringue