Why Some Nonwhite Americans Espouse Right-Wing Extremism

VOA - It is a growing trend that defies conventional wisdom: Some people of color are joining forces with groups that openly champion right-wing causes, including white supremacy and racism.

Spurred by shared resentments and hatreds, American Latinos, Blacks and other nonwhites are swelling the ranks of some of America’s right-wing groups in rising numbers.

The recent mass killing in Texas shone a light on the phenomenon, reigniting a debate about what draws nonwhites to far-right militancy and why extremist groups embrace them.

Mauricio Garcia, the 33-year-old gunman who killed eight people in Allen, Texas, on May 6, was a Latino who allegedly harbored white supremacist views.

Police killed Garcia, but he left behind a trove of social media posts that showed his affinity for neo-Nazism and white supremacy.

In one post, he showed pictures of Nazis and neo-Nazis with swastika flags, calling them “my type of people.” In another, he referred to himself as “a full-blown white supremacist.”

“We’re going to make America white again,” he bragged in yet another post.

What led a Latino to embrace white supremacist views? Garcia offered some clues: Referring to his “self-loathing phase,” he ranted against “loser Hispanics” and admitted he once wished he were white “because my own race treats me like [expletive].”

“This goes to the root of the power of white supremacy: the wish to identify with the racial category that you think is most powerful in the society that you live in,” said Heidi Beirich, a prominent extremism researcher and co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism.

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