Culture Wars/Current Controversies

With the rise of the alt-right, Latino white supremacy may not be a contradiction in terms

Soon there will be articles in the press discussing the serious and imminent dangers posed by African-American white supremacists. “Clayton Bigsby is not just a fictional character!”

By Gabriela Resto-Montero


With the rise of the alt-right, Latino white supremacy may not be a contradiction in terms


White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right exchange insults with counterprotesters as they enter Emancipation Park during the “Unite the Right” rally Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The footage from Aug. 12 is shocking.

Five white men surround a young black man curled in the fetal position and beat him with sticks. Some of them back off when another unidentified man in a white tank top and red hat jumps in to continue attacking 20-year-old DeAndre Harris, who is writhing on the ground in the entrance to a Charlottesville, Virginia, parking lot.

Along with footage and images of a car plowing into a crowd of demonstrators and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, the video of Harris’ beating defined the violence that gripped the nation that day when white nationalists descended on the college town. Harris, who had been counterprotesting the “Unite the Right” rally, was left with a broken wrist and eight stitches in his head.

The clashes in Charlottesville catalyzed the American public’s reckoning with the budding white nationalist movement, which had accelerated after Donald Trump’s election. Afterward, the wave of public shaming of the violence in Charlottesville led at least one “Unite the Right” marcher to insist his participation in the rally was misinterpreted as racist. Others who attended quickly lost their jobs after online campaigns exposed them.

But the eventual identification of the man in the white tank top and red hat shook many: He was revealed to be a 33-year-old Puerto Rican resident of Georgia, originally from the Bronx. “I’m the only brown Klans member I ever met,” Alex Michael Ramos joked in a Facebook Live video before he turned himself into police Aug. 28. The Facebook post has since been taken down.

But Ramos wasn’t the only “Unite the Right” marcher with a Hispanic background.


3 replies »

    • Latin American racial history is actually very similar to North America’s in the sense that elites tend to be of European ancestry (Spanish and Portuguese) while persons of mixed ancestry, like mestizos and mulattos, tend to be in the working to middle classes, while blacks and indigenous people tend to be the poorest and most marginalized.

      • Although I do think that as society becomes more diverse there will be more political diversity as well in the sense that political dividing lines will not necessarily break down along conventional fault lines like race, age, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. In recent years, I have seen an increased number of ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities participating in “right-wing” groups, for example. And present political divisions transcend class boundaries and vice versa as well. In the future, I suspect it will be increasingly impossible to identify singular determinants that are causes of social conflict. Instead, there will be many, many determinants. Remember that there has been violence between vegans and vegetarians, and between Star Trek and Star Wars fans.

Leave a Reply