"So Much for Darwin" - An Analysis of Stormfront Discussions on Race
Stephen F. Austin State University, US
Dianne Dentice is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Beginning in January, 2005 she conducted extensive field research among white supremacist groups in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. She came out of the field in December, 2012 having spent two years researching a Christian Identity Sect in Arkansas.
Even though people who actively participate in the white nationalist movement appear to be a relatively small percentage of the global population, it appears that racist and anti-Semitic attitudes continue to inform a new generation of white nationalists, many of whom populate discussion forums on Stormfront, online since 1995 and billed as the first Internet site in the hate genre. Membership in extremist groups and support for sites like Stormfront embody specific attitudes about race, the importance of the existence of biological races, intellectual superiority of whites, and justification for these beliefs that is sometimes framed with a religious perspective such as Christian Identity. This project is based on a content analysis of Stormfront discussion forums posted online between the years 2010 and 2017. The findings indicate that some discussants are willing to admit the existence of small percentages of mixed DNA without giving up their white identity. They understand the concept of mass migration and human breeding patterns. Others stand ready to argue these points and discredit DNA testing whenever possible. Hatred of Jews is a recurrent theme throughout Stormfront forums, no matter the topic of discussion and both William Pierce and Wesley Swift are gaining currency with younger discussants on the site. Additionally and maybe most importantly, a mentoring system is in place where more mature and seasoned white racialists share race science anecdotes and articles from J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur Jensen, among others. They also provide information and answer questions about Christian Identity ideology in an effort to build bridges from one generation of racists to the next.