Salon: ‘Hate Clothing’ is Gateway to Far-Right Extremism

There are so many possible fronts in the PC war against whiteness. Salon now warns us that ‘hate clothing’ is a gateway to far-right extremism through an article titled “The rise of fascist fashion: Clothing helps the far right sell their violent message”, written by Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a Professor of Education and Sociology at American University:

The idea that the humble cotton T-shirt — long deployed as a walking billboard to advertise anything from the local auto shop to children’s summer camps — could be used to market extremism may seem absurd. But it turns out the T-shirt is an ideal channel for racist and nationalist messaging. What I’ve learned through nearly two decades of research in Germany, where clothing brands marketing far-right ideology are carefully monitored by authorities and educators, suggests that ignoring this clothing here in the United States would be a mistake. Fashion has increasingly become part and parcel of the far right’s outreach…

Let me be clear: Free speech is an important American value, protected by the First Amendment. I would not recommend government monitoring or legal censorship of clothing. But in the face of ever-more retail that traffics in far-right ideology, there are steps we can take…

These types of articles always have the big ‘but’.

Can a T-shirt cause extremist violence? Of course not. But like other gateways to far-right extremism — secret Facebook groups, racist music lyrics, alt-right conferences and campus speaker confrontations — clothing should be taken seriously as an entry point. If we are going to find ways to disrupt radicalization toward hate, we need to identify — and intervene in — as many of these gateways as we can.

Clearly, we need to ban white t-shirts, white polo shirts, references to milk, white ceramic cereal bowls, and… well, it’s a mighty long list. But racism!

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