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GU’s Hate Studies Institute to present lecture on American Nazis and the Pacific Northwest

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 Aryan Brotherhood tattoo/Department of Justice photo
Aryan Brotherhood tattoo/Department of Justice photo

American University Law Professor Robert L. Tsai will discuss American Nazis’ efforts to claim the Pacific Northwest as their white homeland in a lecture titled, “The Northwest American Republic: Dreams of White Forefathers” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30 in the Gonzaga University School of Law Barbieri Courtroom.

According to a press release, Tsai will Draw from his forthcoming book, “Defiant Designs: America’s Forgotten Constitutions,” Tsai will speak about how just a few years ago several leaders of the Aryan movement — some of whom are now in federal prison — participated in an e-convention. In the wake of the Aryan Nations collapse, these figures developed a draft constitution for a proposed Pacific Northwest white homeland in which they cast themselves as the “authentic heirs” of the American political tradition and interwove European history with American constitutionalism.

Their collective effort to adopt a constitutional framework and imagine a “Northwest American Republic” represents a new wrinkle in the movement’s tactics, which include more mainstream outreach and political organizing as well as appropriation of regionally popular ideas and images. Tsai argues the contemporary movement still seeks to “liberate America from multiculturalism and feminism” and challenges the authority of the Constitution and its sovereign proclamation, “We the People of the United States.”

The lecture is part of the Human Solidarity and Security Speaker Series and is co-sponsored by Gonzaga Law School and the Alliance for Social Justice.

The free lecture is open to the public and sponsored by the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies and the Journal of Hate Studies.

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.

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