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CNN Special Report; State Of Hate: The Explosion of White Supremacy. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 2, 2019 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:12] ANNOUNCER: The following is a CNN Special Report.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST (voice-over): America is at war with itself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Young people, openly racist, walking the streets of the United States.
ZAKARIA: Cities turned to battlegrounds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another beautiful life stolen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Horror in El Paso.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The intention to target Mexicans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open hate in Charlottesville.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my town!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Murdered because they were Jewish.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said he wanted to kill black people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are looking at your own backyard.
ZAKARIA: An army of hatred.
CROWD: Jews will not replace us!
ZAKARIA: Whose numbers are soaring. The country is changing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the (bleep) out of here!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My country!
ZAKARIA: The fear growing.
CROWD: Go home, go home!
ZAKARIA: And it's spreading across the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would you treat us like that?
ZAKARIA: A fire fed by politics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very fine people on both sides.
ZAKARIA: Haunted by the past.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adolf Hitler says we can learn from them.
ZAKARIA: The roots of the crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a boom and there was nothing left.
ZAKARIA: The flashpoint question.
All men are created equal. You don't believe that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course not.
ZAKARIA: The fabric of a country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White supremacy is not welcome here.
ZAKARIA: Demands a call for action.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have never done all that could be done.
ZAKARIA: Once upon a time in America, it looked like almost everyone was white.
RANDALL KENNEDY, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: The idea of America as a white man's country, very powerful idea.
ZAKARIA: In 1960 whites made up 89 percent of the country. Black people were decidedly second-class citizens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: : leave it to beaver!
ZAKARIA: The only African-American who played a role on "Leave It To Beaver" appeared as a maid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Care for some more punch, boys?
KENNEDY: White, white, white, white, white.
ZAKARIA: Then came the immigration act of 1965.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I now declare each of you to be a citizen of the United States. ZAKARIA: America's doors opened to immigrants from new countries.
Non-western lands. By the 1980s, the white percentage was down about 10 points. Immigrants kept coming, even as the white birth rate declined. By the 2000s, the census bureau had news for us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Minority groups will become the majority in the United States by the year 2043.
ZAKARIA: Many Americans celebrated the new diversity. But for one group, it was a five-alarm fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White power.
CROWD: White power!
KATHLEEN BELEW, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: We have to understand a sense of emergency as animating this movement. Because all of this is about an immediate and apocalyptic danger to the future.
JARED TAYLOR, WHITE NATIONALIST: There are still plenty of white people. They deserve a future, not to be simply melted away in this multiracial mishmash that they did not choose.
ZAKARIA: Jared Taylor is a white nationalist, quite literally. He does not advocate violence, but he does want to create a whites-only version of America.
TAYLOR: I'm not at all talking about the entire United States becoming white. I'm talking about simply a portion of it becoming white.
ZAKARIA: So the whites would secede?
TAYLOR: Perhaps. I can assure you that more and more white people agree with me all the time. They do not want to become a minority.
ZAKARIA: Would that secession mean creating maybe a new nation?
TAYLOR: Ideally, yes.
ZAKARIA: We will hear more from Taylor later. But repeatedly he voices the biggest fear of the white supremacy movement.
TAYLOR: Should I want my people to disappear? It is entirely, profoundly moral to resist that kind of replacement.
CROWD: Jews will not replace us!
CROWD: Jews will not replace us!
ZAKARIA: The word has become a call to arms.
CROWD: Jews will not replace us!
ZAKARIA: It was in August of 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, when we saw the new face of white supremacy.
ERIC FONER, HISTORIAN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Charlottesville did shock a lot of people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose street?
CROWD: Our street!
KENNEDY: Nazism. The United States of America fought a war against Nazi Germany.
ZAKARIA: But the marchers didn't look like Nazis or the Klan. Instead of hoods and swastikas, they wore khakis and golf shirts.
CROWD: Will not replace us!
ZAKARIA: Some of them called themselves the alt-right. Others, white nationalists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very, very clever rebranding.
BELEW: When people hear the phrase "white nationalism," I think they sort of think of overzealous patriotism. This isn't that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your America's gone, (bleep).
ZAKARIA: It soon became clear, they might have new names, but they were America's oldest nightmare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.
ZAKARIA: White supremacy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave the area now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get him off!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get him off of us! Get him off!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grief and shock in Charlottesville, Virginia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One person is dead.
ZAKARIA: The year after Charlottesville, the number of white nationalist groups soared. By one estimate, up almost 50 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty seconds to zero time.
ZAKARIA: Some have become especially violent.
CROWD: Make war now! ZAKARIA: This group is called Atomwaffen, German for atomic weapons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The things they were planning were horrible.
ZAKARIA: One former member warned the police about deadly plots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Planning to kill civilian life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were they specific in their plans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Power lines, nuclear reactors, synagogues.
ZAKARIA: Is the federal government fighting this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How come we don't have enough tools right now to pull these people in?
ZAKARIA: At a June hearing on white supremacy congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, a Muslim, read a letter she had gotten in the mail.
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): I was totally excited and pleased when I heard about 49 Muslims were killed and many -- many more were wounded in New Zealand. This is a great start. Let's hope and pray that it continues here in the good old USA. The only good Muslim is a dead one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, my empathy.
ZAKARIA: But listen to the way the money is spent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those agents in the field that work domestic terrorism, about 20 percent. And we have about 80 percent working international terrorism.
ZAKARIA: That's right. Four times as many agents on international terror, even though last year just one person died from an Islamic terror attack in America. Forty nine people were killed in domestic extremist attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a mindset that has to be dealt with.
ZAKARIA: In September for the first time the department of homeland security put white supremacist violence on its list of priority threats. And this is not just an American story. There is now a worldwide movement of white supremacists. Sharing their twisted ideas on the internet.
In March a gunman massacred 51 people at prayer in New Zealand. In his 87-page manifesto, the terrorist cited his inspiration -- white supremacists in America, Britain, Sweden, Norway. Then in a vicious circle of racial hate the El Paso shooter who murdered 22 people in August cited New Zealand as an inspiration. All of these people believe they are being replaced and must fight to resist it. And much of this discourse on white supremacy is centered in the United States of America. How did this happen? Where did it come from? After slavery, the
holocaust, the civil rights movement. The truth is race has been the central conflict in American life from the day the republic was born. We have witnessed extreme racism before in periods of upheaval and rapid social change, and now once again we are living in such a time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hail Trump. Hail our people. Hail victory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to make America great again.
RICHARD SPENCER, ALT-RIGHT LECTOR: Trump definitely energized the alt right. Because we have this connection with him, we can inflect his policies.
DAVID DUKE, FORMER GRAND WIZARD, KKK: We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.
ZAKARIA: Many people say Donald trump is himself a white supremacist. Whether he is or is not, there is no doubt he is a hero to many in the white supremacy movement. The current upsurge might have been triggered, however, because of another president.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Barack Obama's election was a moment of joy and unity for millions of Americans.
OBAMA: God bless the United States of America.
ZAKARIA: But some, perhaps many, were shocked by it.
KENNEDY: Clearly, the presence of a black family in the White House deranged many millions of Americans.
ZAKARIA: Once Obama was in the White House, the backlash grew and grew.
FONER: You remember some of the racist caricatures of Obama as a monkey, as a gorilla.
ZAKARIA: Overt and ugly displays of racism became common.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Afro-Leninism coming to you on a silver platter, Barack Hussein Obama!
TRUMP: Why doesn't he give us his birth certificate?
ZAKARIA: The incendiary charge that Obama was not born in this country.
FONER: No other American president was badgered to prove he was an American.
KENNEDY: The idea of whether he was born in the United States, I think that's a metaphor. Is he one of us? Answer, no.
ZAKARIA: Obama combined the two fires that feed white supremacy -- attitudes towards blacks and fears about immigration.
OBAMA: Whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic or the Pacific or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in.
ZAKARIA: Throughout the history of this country, immigration has reinvigorated the United States. But it has also awakened the darkest American impulses. One little-remembered chapter holds a frightening reminder of where those impulses can lead.
Ellis island, 100 years ago. Immigrants were pouring into the country at times 100,000 a month. Packed body to body on rickety boats, penniless, hungry, desperate to become Americans.
These newcomers were considered just inferior. Polish people or Jewish people or southern Italians.
ZAKARIA: At the time, many European immigrants were considered to be entirely different races.
KENNEDY: People referred to people from Ireland as a race. People from Hungary as a race. The Jews as a race.
ZAKARIA: With new enemies to hate, membership in the Klan soared. Some of America's most prominent men were under those hoods.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hugo Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
ZAKARIA: Until 1925. He went on to serve as a Supreme Court justice until 1971. Back then, white supremacy was an elite movement led by some of America's richest and most powerful. They came up with a solution. A pseudo-science called eugenics, based on the belief that many Americans were mentally defective, among them immigrants.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America is degenerating.
ZAKARIA: Eugenicists believed so-called defectives should not be allowed to reproduce.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sterilize women who were thought not capable of having the right kind of children.
ZAKARIA: Thousands of women were sterilized as the fake science became a national craze. The eugenics movement decided it was time to bring its research to Capitol Hill.
GARLAND ALLEN, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Charts of data purporting to show that people from Italy, from Poland, from the Slavic countries were genetically inferior to the northern European, to the Nordic, the Aryan, the Anglo-Saxon.
ZAKARIA: After months of debate, a new immigration act was passed in 1924 with draconian cuts and quotas for supposed undesirables.
THOMAS LEONARD, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: They shut the door. And reduced immigration to the United States by 97 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hitler, sieg heil!
ZAKARIA: Meanwhile, something even more disturbing was happening in Europe. An ambitious young German leader was watching America closely.
KENNEDY: Adolf Hitler had some real praise for the United States.
ZAKARIA: Hitler was even meeting with the leaders of the eugenics movement.
KENNEDY: Adolf Hitler said, the United States is really on the money, we can learn from them.
ZAKARIA: As Hitler's power grew and his ambitions became clear, Americans saw the terrifying consequences of white supremacy. Most pulled back from the edge. Eugenics died out in America. Of course, Hitler's plans did not.
FONER: That idea of improving the human race, which is what eugenics is all about, definitely had echoes in Nazi policy of the 1930s, and the holocaust is one horrific consequence of that.
CROWD: White lives matter!
ZAKARIA: The white supremacy of today has not reached the level it did a century ago. But some of its deeply troubling ideas are returning.
You don't think all races are equal?
TAYLOR: No, I do not. And I don't see why anyone would.
ZAKARIA: The white nationalist Jared Taylor is a learned man, a graduate of Yale, like myself. But we don't see eye to eye, to say the least.
TAYLOR: I want the people of Africa to make Africa the best continent they can for Africans. And Africans, I believe, will be happiest not living in a society like ours.
ZAKARIA: I think that you place so much weight on the fact that a certain group of people's ancestors spent a lot more time in the sun than another group's and so their skin is darker.
TAYLOR: Do you really think, do you really think that blacks and whites are basically identical twins separated at birth, that they are really indistinguishable and replaceable?
ZAKARIA: Taylor believes that non-whites have made America worse. Why are Hispanics not OK? They are European. TAYLOR: Spaniards are Europeans, but the people who qualify as
Hispanic, and they can come from Honduras or Guatemala or Mexico. They are genetically and visually and physically different from Europeans.
ZAKARIA: So in the 19th century people thought of Jews as a separate race. Are Jews the same race?
TAYLOR: Jews are a subrace of whites, as far as I can tell. Eastern European Jews who came from the shtetl, they dressed in odd ways. They behaved in odd ways. They were clearly alien.
ZAKARIA: Apparently, Taylor says, some Jews are white.
TAYLOR: There are many Ashkenazi Jews that do not look Jewish at all. And Ashkenazi Jews have lived among Europeans for a long time.
ZAKARIA: Racism can become confusing. I want to know who is we and who is they?
TAYLOR: Mr. Zakaria, almost never is there any confusion as to what race someone is. Almost never.
ZAKARIA: Well, let's try one case. Mine. I think scholars would agree I have as good a claim on being Caucasian as you do. Caucasian meant people who come out of central Asia, out of the caucuses. In fact, the term "Aryan," which is another one that is often used, comes specifically out of India, which is where I grew up. So why am I not a Caucasian? If you are advocating policies based on racial categories, I just want to understand where I fit in.
TAYLOR: I think most people would not consider you white.
ZAKARIA: It's not a popularity contest. Either this is a scientific fact or it isn't.
TAYLOR: Most of the time it's not all that difficult to tell.
TAYLOR: Even just from visual inspection.
ZAKARIA: You look at people and figure out how white they are? Even though you don't quite know what white means?
TAYLOR: I know very well what white means. You don't but I do.
ZAKARIA: Later in this hour, a deep dive. How is race determined?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, good question. Who is white?
FONER: If you walk down the street, you say that person is white. That person doesn't seem white. I like being white. It's OK to be white. (END VIDEOTAPE)
ZAKARIA: Oklahoma City, 1995.
CROWD: Get back! Get them back. Get them back!
ZAKARIA: A truck bomb rips through a federal building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a boom and there was nothing left. Seemed like the whole world ended.
ZAKARIA: One hundred sixty eight are dead, including 19 children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are not watching some scene of international catastrophe. You are looking at your own backyard.
ZAKARIA: At the time it was the deadliest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. The terrorist, a young man named Timothy McVeigh. He has been thought of as a lone wolf. But in reality, he was part of a movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?
CROWD: White power!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do we want it?
ZAKARIA: He had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He had contacts with other white supremacists across the country. And the inspiration for his attack was a book that's been called the bible of American white supremacists. It gave birth to a little-known armed white rebellion that continues to this day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is cold-blooded murder, any way you put it.
ZAKARIA: To understand Oklahoma city the violence in El Paso and all of the bloodshed that came before it --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Contact, shots fired, shots fired!
ZAKARIA: -- we need to Understand McVeigh's favorite book. It's called "the turner diaries."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nationalism really is the wave of the future.
ZAKARIA: It was written in the 1970s by William Pierce.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did admire many things that Hitler wrote.
[22:25:00] ZAKARIA: He was a one-time physics professor who became a leading figure in the white supremacist movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Villainous, traitorous!
ZAKARIA: In the 1960s, Pierce saw his cause in disarray.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I for one will die before I yield one inch.
ZAKARIA: For years, the all-powerful Ku Klux Klan had led the charge.
KENNEDY: Threats, beatings, rapings and, of course, murder.
ZAKARIA: Then came the civil rights movement. A crushing blow to the Klan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Free at last. Free at last. Thank god almighty, we are free at last!
ZAKARIA: In its wake, Klan membership declined. And white supremacists were divided.
CROWD: White revolution!
ZAKARIA: Among competing ideologies. Pierce wrote "the Turner Diaries" hoping to unite the movement behind a story.
HEIDI BERICH, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: Pierce knew fiction would be more powerful than facts.
ZAKARIA: It was the tale of earl turner, a soldier in a white rebellion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in a war to the death with the Jew.
ZAKARIA: Against the evil Jewish-controlled American government. Turner bombs FBI headquarters and other targets, joining an elite terrorist group called the order. The group kills millions of blacks, Jews and their allies on the road to victory.
BELEW: Spoiler alert, the book ends with Turner flying a megaton bomb into the Pentagon.
ZAKARIA: Pierce's race war fantasy struck a chord.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got so many requests for the self-published paperback, they started to stock it.
ZAKARIA: Selling half a million copies in the years that followed.
BERICH: It's to this point the most influential piece of white supremacist writing that exists.
ZAKARIA: And what began as fiction became a real-life rebellion.
CROWD: White power!
ZAKARIA: Powerful new white supremacist armies sprung up in the 1980s, boasting tens of thousands of hardcore members.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could say we're the front line soldiers for the movement.
ZAKARIA: One group actually took its name from the book, the order.
BELEW: There was a sea change in the kind of activity carried out by the white power movement.
ZAKARIA: The groups adopted the book's terrorist tactics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They stole $4 million.
ZAKARIA: Including armed robberies to get funding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allen Burr was murdered.
ZAKARIA: And assassinations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten defendants were charged with conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government.
The federal government tried to bring the movement down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you plan to overthrow the government?
ZAKARIA: Indicting several of its ringleaders on seditious conspiracy and other charges. But they were all acquitted by an all-white jury.
BERICH: The trial is really important because when it collapsed, the government got paranoid and really backed away from treating white supremacy as a coherent movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it our young people who are going to reclaim America!
CROWD: Sieg heil!
ZAKARIA: Emboldened, these white power groups gained even more momentum in the 1990s, collaborating with other anti-government militias.
BELEW: The white power movement grows into the militia movement.
ZAKARIA: Then a bloody standoff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weaver's son, his wife and a United States marshal were killed.
ZAKARIA: Between white separatists and federal agents in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. And the demise of the branch Davidian cult, battling the feds near Waco, Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are a disgrace to the white race! ZAKARIA: Brought the movement to a fever pitch.
BERICH: While these incidents are happening, the number of militia groups in the United States is skyrocketing. The number of white supremacist groups is leaping in tandem with that.
ZAKARIA: Among those angry young men was a gulf war veteran named Timothy McVeigh. He had been very interested in "the Turner Diaries" while he was in the army.
DAVE DILLY, MCVEIGH ARMY ROOMMATE: When he first got it, he read it, I mean, constantly, for three or four weeks. And he kept wanting me to read it, you got to read this book, you got to read this book.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If my chute don't open up --
ZAKARIA: After McVeigh left the military, he radicalized even more, getting involved with a militia in Michigan. He met with white supremacists across the nation while on the gun show circuit where he also sold his favorite book.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just arrived today.
ZAKARIA: He was outraged by Waco.
[22:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody told me a lot of people would be scared.
ZAKARIA: Which he visited in person during the standoff. The fiery inferno there drove him to action.
BERICH: He finally decides that this government is so dangerous to its own citizens that it needs to be destroyed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holy cow.
ZAKARIA: On April 19th, 1995, the two-year anniversary of Waco --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blown away.
ZAKARIA: McVeigh carried out what he considered to be his masterpiece. The attack was eerily similar to earl turner's attack on the FBI in "the Turner Diaries." It was the same kind of target, a federal building. A similar kind of bomb. Detonated at the same time of day, just after 9:00 a.m. McVeigh had become Earl Turner, his white supremacist hero.
BERICH: When he was arrested a few days after the bombing, he had pages of "the Turner Diaries" in his car, and that's how people were able to connect the dots on these things.
ZAKARIA: Today there are tributes to McVeigh and to "the Turner Diaries" all over the internet.
Remember Atomwaffen, the deadly group said to be planning attacks on nuclear plants? Authorities discovered they had explosives, radioactive material and a framed photograph of Timothy McVeigh, along with a copy of "the Turner Diaries."
[22:35:12] ZAKARIA: For white supremacy to exist, there has to be some standard for whiteness.
FONER: People think they know what white is. And if you walk down the street, you'll say hey, that person is white. That person doesn't seem white. But as a scientific concept, it's completely murky.
ZAKARIA: Experts say visible differences among races are mostly a result of how much time their ancestors spent in the sun.
FONER: There are differences in color between different peoples. But those do not go along with inner characteristics of intelligence or self-control or anything like that. There are no racial qualities that some people have and other people don't have.
CROWD: You will not replace us!
ZAKARIA: In other words, racial hierarchy is a social construction. And who is considered white at the top of the heap has always been determined by those in power. The case of Bhagat Singh Thind tells the story.
FONER: The Thind case in the 1920s shows the absurdity of these racial classifications.
ZAKARIA: Thind was an immigrant from India who had served in the U.S. army in world war I and later married an American woman.
FONER: At that time Thind was not allowed to become an American citizen because he was non-white.
KENNEDY: Well, question, who is white?
ZAKARIA: Thind argued that he was white, because his people from the state of Punjab in India were descended from Aryans, the original Caucasians. The term "Aryan" of course finds its origins in Asia, referring to the people from central Asia who are believed to have later migrated to India. And remember that Caucasians refers to people from the Caucasus mountains.
KENNEDY: What the court says is, would most white Americans view you as white? If the answer to that is no, I'm sorry, no.
FONER: Well, what kind of concept is that?
ZAKARIA: The judges made the case that the purity of the Aryan blood in India had been destroyed when Aryans intermarried with the local population there. Implying that Thind was therefore not a pure Aryan. Ironically, Nazi racial policies were based on similar ideas, that the Germans were the only pure Aryans because the original ones in Asia had intermarried. America's racial distinctions were closely studied by the Nazis.
KENNEDY: And that learning leaves its imprint, at least in part, on Hitler's Nuremberg (ph) laws.
ZAKARIA: But using dubious pseudoscience to prop up racism happens even in 2019. Remember Jared Taylor?
TAYLOR: I think most people would not consider you white.
ZAKARIA: You believe that whites are superior in terms of intelligence?
TAYLOR: Oh, the evidence seems to suggest that the smartest people in the world are Ashkenazi Jews, then east Asians, then whites, then Hispanics are a very heterogenous population, but then black Africans and Australian aborigines come up near the bottom.
ZAKARIA: While genetic variations among human populations clearly exist, human beings are in fact 99.9 percent identical in their genetic makeup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We sequenced the first genome in history.
ZAKARIA: No less than one of the geneticists who mapped the human genome, Craig Venter, put it simply. There is no basis in scientific fact or in the human genetic code for the notion that skin color will be predictive of intelligence. Nevertheless, efforts to categorize people into a racial hierarchy go back hundreds of years.
FONER: Whether it's five races, three races, Africans and mongoloids as they Are called and Caucasians as whites were called, there is always this pseudo-racial science which tries to give a supposedly objective grounding to what is ultimately a system of prejudice.
[22:42:58] ZAKARIA: One horrific day last March in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, an Australian man entered a mosque and started shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just don't understand why someone would hurt us like this. Just like an animal. Like why would you treat us like that?
ZAKARIA: Fifty one people murdered during Friday evening prayers by a white supremacist.
JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you. ZAKARIA: The killer's weapons were inscribed with names, racist
messages and Nazi symbols. One of the names was Ebba Akerlund, a young Swedish girl killed in a terror attack in April of 2017. The New Zealand terrorist mentioned her many times in his manifesto.
To take revenge for Ebba Akerlund, he wrote.
The inspiration for his gruesome attack came from another white supremacist. Anders Breivik committed the worst massacre in Norway's history in 2011.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An assassin dressed as a police officer opens fire at a summer camp.
ZAKARIA: He murdered 77 people, most of them teenagers at a summer youth camp run by the labor party. Breivik's manifesto was a warning about Muslim colonization and multiculturism and a call to arms for other white supremacists. Like the New Zealand terrorist, who echoed many of the same themes in his own online rant. He called it the great replacement.
CROWD: You will not replace us!
ZAKARIA: Remember, that was one of the chants from the Charlottesville rally. It was also in part the inspiration for the horrific shootings in El Paso.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are shooting. He is shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just took off running because I didn't want to get hit.
ZAKARIA: The gunman who killed 22 people at a Walmart talked about the great replacement in his own manifesto. The belief held by so many white supremacists that they are being replaced by immigrants. In fact, the idea doesn't come from America. It comes from a French group of intellectuals called the nouvelle droite, or the European new right, that first emerged in the late 1960s as a reaction to the loss of France's colony Algeria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many colonists who oppose any moderate settlement with Muslim rebels --
ZAKARIA: The new right did not want Muslim colonists or any foreigners living in France. But by the 1970s most Europeans publicly rejected that kind of racist talk.
ANNE APPLEBAUM, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: The decolonization movement made Europeans very wary about using the language of white supremacy or cultural supremacy as people began to understand where some of those ideas had led.
ZAKARIA: Colonization was seen as a shameful chapter in Europe's history in which Europeans often had treated their foreign subjects brutally. For instance, at the end of the 19th century Belgians massacred millions in their territory of the Congo. And in the 1950s the British tortured and killed thousands in detention camps in Kenya.
The backlash to post-colonial guilt, the new right, remained on the intellectual fringes for decades. Soon a new movement turned the ideas of the nouvelle droite into action. They call themselves Identarians. The internet gave the Identarians the ability to build an interconnected movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our culture is dying.
ZAKARIA: It included racist groups around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our movement is growing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nationalism. Population replacement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The great replacement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They tweet and repost one another's comments and statements. They watch one another's videos. They're very much part of the same culture now.
ZAKARIA: Then in 2015 the movement found its moment. The migrant crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day, every hour, ships packed with illegal immigrants are flooding the European border. An invasion is taking place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Genuinely large numbers of people began arriving in Europe in very dramatic ways.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please! Please!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel heavy, heavy.
ZAKARIA: As Europe argued over who would take the migrants, Sweden set an example and welcomed them in. In my Europe, said Sweden's prime minister, we don't build walls, we help each other out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are people!
ZAKARIA: But instead, 2015 became the year walls and borders were back on the global agenda.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hungary has declared a state of emergency and has totally closed its borders to anyone.
ZAKARIA: It was also the year of a series of deadly terrorist attacks that began to hit the heart of Europe. It was ten days after the attack at the Bataclan theater in Paris that Sweden suddenly reversed course. It was painful for Sweden's leaders to announce the country was restricting its borders, but Sweden had quickly become overwhelmed. Percentage-wise it had taken in more than any other country in Europe. Meanwhile, white supremacy groups seized on and exaggerated Sweden's problems.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New level of criminality.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The far right deliberately made Sweden into kind of symbol of chaos and destruction of western culture.
ZAKARIA: Even America's president jumped on the bandwagon.
TRUMP: Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they hear Donald Trump using language that they know comes from their ideology --
TRUMP: They're having problems like they never thought possible.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They feel energized and they feel they have succeeded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's wonderful that he is addressing this. He's bringing this to the attention of the people.
ZAKARIA: In fact, Sweden has had a long history of successful immigration. In the most recent parliamentary elections, far right parties saw success, including in Sweden. But overall didn't perform as well as predicted. Now there are signs that the political terrain is shifting. Liberal and green parties across the continent saw an astonishing and unexpected surge of support. And that happened after this.
CROWD: Refugees are welcome here!
ZAKARIA: Tens of thousands took to the streets across Europe with an entirely different message. One Europe for everyone.
ZAKARIA: If there is a great American novel, one that is thought to define the American sensibility, it is "The Great Gatsby." F Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece. In its opening pages, one of the characters, Tom Buchanan talks about a fine book titled "the rise of the colored empires" by a man named Goddard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you read "the rise of the colored empires"? Everybody ought to read it.
ZAKARIA: The idea tom explains is if we don't look out, the white race will be utterly submerged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea is up to us. The dominant race to watch out or these other races -- ZAKARIA: It's scientific stuff. It's been proved, he says.
Fitzgerald might not have been endorsing these sentiments, the character who mouths them, Tom Buchanan, is one of the least admirable ones in the book, representing a certain kind of unthinking, vulgar rich man. And yet in 1921, just a few years before he wrote the book, Fitzgerald wrote a letter to a critic, Edmond Wilson, explaining his own views.
The Nereids sneak creeps northward to de-file (INAUDIBLE) he wrote. Raise the bars of immigrations, and permit only (INAUDIBLE) to enter.
Now Fitzgerald seems aware his views were not politically correct. He adds in the letter, my reactions were reactions were all (INAUDIBLE), anti-socialist, provincial and racially snobbish.
But he persisted in his view of racial hierarchy. We are as far above the modern Frenchman as he is above the negro.
The reason I begin with this literary reference is to remind us all how deeply embedded is the idea of racial hierarchy in western civilization. In fact, in some ways it's in the DNA of the modern west because from the 16th and 17th centuries, as Europe grew richer and stronger, it began to assume that its material success must be a result of its superiority, religious or ethnic or racial. This view built on centuries of western success, has taken deep wound. And not just among white, people across Asia and Africa prefer light skin to dark.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I realize an obstacle to obtain my job was my skin.
ZAKARIA: And spent billions of dollars on creams that promise to make them whiter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Discover fair and lovely vitamin for total fairness.
ZAKARIA: In the black community in the United States, there's a preference for lighter skin. And ironically, this all persists despite the fact that we are now living this an age where the fastest growing economies in the world are Asian. Where China and South Korea and India are demonstrating powerfully that they can be as materially successful as the whitest and most Nordic people.
The fact that these views are so deep seeded, subconsciously part of the modern psyche, is why we are unable to see the growing danger in our midst.
The number of white militants has grown sharply. They have attacked more often and with greater brutality. And yet the authorities have always seemed to be surprised and unprepared. Perhaps unable to fully internalize the nature of this ideology and its violent ambitions. It's important to understand as America and the Western world become
more mixed, multicultural, the backlash will grow. White supremacists want to do more than just protest. They make this clear in their internal communications. They are planning for it every day. Let's hope we can all recognize this danger before they succeed.
I'm Fareed Zakaria. Thank you for watching.