Personally, I really don’t care to hear anything a white supremacist has to say. So why they continue to be given interviews on TV bewilders me. They’re given interviews on VICE, MTV and other mainstream news networks. Not only does this validate their egos, but it furthers their cause. It gives them an audience, it gives them exposure and it gives them opportunities. In part, these interviews mean that these networks are content with white supremacists. They conduct these interviews under the guise of research and curiosity, but it is an insult to the people who have to deal with the effects of white supremacy.
Last weekend, white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to ‘unite the right’. This event was promoted for months on social media. Although they claimed they just wanted to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, their real agenda was to generate media attention, which they successfully did. In an interview with Variety, Keegan Hankes, a research analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center said, “The whole thing has been orchestrated around trying to get media attention,” Hankes told the magazine. “They used the controversy around the Lee statue as a peg but what you really have is all these little hate groups competing in the same space trying to make a name for themselves. They’ll use media coverage and strategically controlled images (from the gathering) to bring in new members.”
So basically, all networks that have been showing interviews with Neo-Nazi’s have only been furthering their causes. In an interview back in April 2017, Richard Spencer went viral. The remarks he made shocked the interviewer and people all over social media. But while it may have appalled me and you, to some people out there, it interested them and actually made them like Richard Spencer more. In the end, although the interviewer thought he was challenging Richard Spencer, he did nothing but promote him on TV. Richard Spencer’s popularity is due to the continuous media coverage he gets from being punched on camera to him saying overtly racist remarks. His notoriety has grown in the past year and has afforded him speaking engagements in schools nationwide.
“Not only does this validate their egos, but it furthers their cause. It gives them an audience, it gives them exposure and it gives them opportunities.”
At the root of these interviews comes curiosity, of course, people want to know why the hell people think like this in 2017, but why should it matter. You have websites like New York Magazine literally interviewing white supremacists about what they think of the world today. Honestly, we don’t care nor do we want to know.
Recently, an Afro-Latina journalist for Univision was threatened while interviewing with a member of the Ku Klux Klan, he threatens her so violently that she grew scared for her safety even calling her the N-word. The KKK member said he was going to burn her and 11 million immigrants. He said, “We killed 6 million Jews the last time. Eleven million is nothing.”
The more these people generate media coverage, the bigger their supporters grow. It’s naive to think that by showcasing their disgusting thoughts, we are exposing them. In this day and age, white supremacy has become the status quo and not many people are calling it out or refusing people because of it. The bottom line is, press coverages of white supremacy entice and attract many young people to an already growing toxic movement.