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Read "The New Age of Eliminationism in America: A Conversation with David Neiwert and Barry Mauer in Orlando, Florida, April 19, 2017" here.

On April 18, 2017, David Neiwert presented a talk to the University of Central Florida titled “The New Age of Eliminationism in America: How the Internet Feeds Radicalization and Dehumanization.” The next day, he sat down for a discussion with Dr. Barry Mauer, Interim Director of the Texts and Technology Doctoral Program and a co-director of the Citizen Curator Project, which is sponsoring exhibitions about Eliminationism and resilience on the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
Neiwert summarized his April 18th talk as follows: The politics of elimination — embodied in nativism, white supremacism, and similar authoritarian ideologies -have long been part of the American political fabric, but in recent years have come bubbling forward in the wave of hate-crime incidents associated with the 2016 election, as well as mass killings such as those in Charleston, S.C., and at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Historically fueled by dehumanizing rhetoric and belief systems, eliminationism has become a common theme in rising right-wing ideologies around the globe, spread especially through the phenomenon of online radicalization, both among Islamist radicals and alt-right white nationalists. Neiwert’s talk will explore this history, and suggest ways of countering the spread of this kind of hate.


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On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We may never know or understand what was in Mateen’s mind, but we can situate his attack within the history of eliminationism in America. Islamist terrorism is just part of a larger phenomenon: right wing eliminationism. But despite centuries of right wing eliminationist words and deeds in the U.S., there is little or no mainstream recognition of the phenomenon. Instead, we are treated to more denial, more distraction, more obfuscation. Until we look this problem squarely in the face, it will continue to metastasize. Unless we deal with right wing eliminationism, we will not transform the losses caused by Mateen’s attack on Pulse into lasting positive change.  This exhibit is intended for an audience of people sympathetic to the victims who were killed and injured during the Pulse shooting. I do not intend to convince those who feel otherwise; they are probably beyond reach. My hope…