“Spaniards” in the Alt-Right: The Uneasy Place of Latino/as in White Supremacy in the 21st Century

Saturday, January 5, 2019: 9:10 AM
Salon 6 (Palmer House Hilton)
Cecilia Márquez, New York University
This paper analyzes the participation of Latino/as on the white nationalist forum, Stormfront (a white supremacist online forum). In addition to a Spanish and Portuguese language forum on the website, there are several discussion spaces for “Spaniards in the US.” In the United States many of those users would be categorized as ethnically “Latino/a” or “Hispanic,” however, through Stormfront they attempt to recast themselves as “Spanish” or “Latin.” While there has been a great deal of scholarship on Latino/as and whiteness, there is little scholarship on Latino/as and their participation in extremist white supremacist politics. Rather than simply making a claim to whiteness, Latino/as on Stormfront are also disavowing any claims to Latinidad. The political formation of these Alt-Right Latino/as marks a departure from other forms of Latino/a conservatism that do not require the renunciation of one’s Latinonness.

The forum’s most frequent users claim the pan-European white supremacy of organizations like Stormfront, the KKK, and the Proud Boys. They argue that, despite sometimes multi-generational lineage in Latin American countries, they maintained “pure” Spanish blood. Claims to Spanishness, of course, are not new in the history of Latino/a racial formations. Stretching back into the early twentieth-century, Latino/as have had a vexed relationship with whiteness, Spanishness, and ethnic identity. This paper will explore the racial claims of Latino/a Stormfront participants within the long history of Latino/as identifying as “Spanish” as a way to eschew both blackness and indigeneity. By contextualizing the activities of these Stormfront participants within the history of Latino/a claims to Europeanness this paper will offer an analysis of the history of Latino/as and white supremacy.

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