The rise in the public profile of “alt-right” and “white nationalist” groups in recent years is often described as a rise in “hate groups.” The presumption in this nomenclature is that these sorts of groups are defined essentially in terms of their shared hatred for some or all nonwhite individuals and groups. However, the rhetoric of such groups is couched not as hatred, but rather in terms of “self-love”—they do not hate other groups, they are just looking out for themselves. The author's argument in this article is that, even if we assume the sincerity of white nationalists' claims to be only interested in sustaining and defending whites and whiteness, the kind of “self-love” this exhibits is morally and politically pernicious precisely because it is constitutively linked to a foundational contempt for nonwhites.

You do not currently have access to this content.