[CONTENT WARNING: RACISM, HATE SPEECH]

Whether you consider yourself a white Christian nationalist or not, you may want to strap in because you’re about to have your eyes opened to a grim reality.

Many have discussed Project 2025–a project to force the country into more conservative ideals. The panic, however, seems to overlook that this plan was created and developed by Heritage Foundation founders in the early 1980s and gets updated every four years. Many also don’t know that former President Donald Trump enacted much of the 2016 version of the project while he was in office.

The Reagan administration implemented nearly half of the ideas included in the first edition by the end of his first year in office, while the Trump administration embraced nearly 64% of the 2016 edition’s policy solutions after one year.”–Heritage Foundation ‘Project 2025 Mandate for Leadership’ press release (2023)

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be concerned about it. The current version of the project began in 2022 and has enlisted many other far-right groups that have racist and bigoted views. Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA and former Trump Senior Advisor Stephen Miller’s America First Legal are among the biggest names joining the Heritage Foundation’s current project. These partnerships give them an advantage in messaging.

However, you should know that far-right conservatives have been at this Klan(ish) ‘Mandate for Leadership’ white Christian nationalism for decades. None of this is new, as many likely know. But it is arguably more popular than ever thanks in large part to amplification by influencers with large followings on social media. This has led to the normalization of bigotry by some of the richest people in the US who oftentimes own or control platforms

Let’s face it, white Christian nationalism is what whiteness in the U.S. is largely based on and the root of nearly all hateful white supremacist ideologies. In the U.S., the ideas date back to its very beginning. Many of the so-called ‘founders’ were also white Christian nationalists–they just went by a different moniker: White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS). The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) identifies whiteness in the same way. As do today’s white Christian nationalists.

And that’s just the beginning.

Anti-Immigrant

Preceding the Revolutionary War, the founders often referred to Germans. French, Italians, and Spaniards as not being white and having a swarmy complexion. In various letters written to one another, they often lamented the ‘Germanization’ of the colonies. They argued that since Germans didn’t speak the language they could not assimilate and therefore, were concerned with the coming end of the white Anglo-Saxon race.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

A Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them and will never adopt our Language or Customs any more than they can acquire our Complexion.”–Benjamin Franklin (1775)

That viewpoint wouldn’t change until the late 1800s and was later reflected in the Immigration Act of 1924 (Johnson-Reed Act). Influenced by the KKK, the law imposed limitations on immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. While the quota for German immigrants eventually grew to allow 51,000 per year, the limits for immigrants from places like Syria were as low as 100. The Act was used for decades against those seeking asylum in the U.S.

But before that and before the Klan, anti-immigrant policies were already a staple in the U.S. as were the justifications for them. The Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 is yet another example of how lies and misinformation lead to inhumanity. After welcoming Chinese people to the US during the Gold Rush and the building of the transatlantic railroad, anti-Chinese xenophobia became politicized. Despite doing the low-wage jobs most in the U.S. didn’t want at the time, like today’s migrants, they were accused of stealing jobs and depressing wages.

These cheap slaves fill every place. Their dress is scant and cheap. Their food is rice from China. They hedge twenty in a room, ten by ten. They are wipped curs, abject in docility, mean, contemptible and obedient in all things. They have no wives, children or dependents.”–Dennis Kearney, President, and H.L Knight, Secretary, Workingman’s Party of California (1878)

Aside from the similarities in today’s and yesterday’s rhetoric leading to inhuman legislation being passed, laws were also created throughout U.S. history to force assimilation and many are still in use today. Efforts to control the behaviors and living conditions of myriad immigrant populations have forever been justified using similar logic to that of Franklin in erasing cultures, languages, heritages, and more. 

Today, white Christian nationalists (and others) want stricter quotas and restrictions on immigration than those that are already in place. Meanwhile, most in the US never look to history to see the dire consequences created by such race-based policies nor does anyone take the time to understand how any of it works. This lack of understanding becomes a breeding ground for ideas that originally manifest in the underbellies of our communities and slowly become acceptable to broader society–inevitably leading to inhumane policies and laws.

Anti-LGBTQ

The Klan’s anti-LGBTQ history goes back nearly 100 years. In 1937 they raided La Paloma nightclub in the Miami, Florida area in a series of hate crimes. These attacks continue today in the same hateful spirit. Now, instead of wearing white hoods to terrorize people, they wear polo shirts, hide behind religion, and proclaim the United States as a Christian nation in their vision and their vision only. Nothing else is acceptable.

What was once terminology that surrounded phrases such as ‘moralism’ and a return to ‘clean living’ grew to become, ‘Stop Aids: Support Gay Bashing’ and now, ‘Homosexual men and their acts are disgusting and inhuman’ in the modern era. Meanwhile, they declare ‘our race is our nation’ throughout each decade, and nothing changes aside from their look. Once a dream of David Duke to make the Klan more mainstream–wearing suits and ties–is now a reality.

It is God’s purpose that the white man should preserve purity of blood and white supremacy in this country. Those who would have it otherwise or show leniency toward the mixing of white and colored races do not deserve the respect of anyone, much less of those who are trying to preserve American institutions, ideals, and principles. A mongrel race and a mongrel civilization mean decay and ruin.”–The Kloran, The KKK members’ handbook

From 1937 to 1992 when Klansmen called for the LGBTQ community to receive the death penalty to today when groups target schools and events using the power of social media, people’s lives are still at stake despite the progress civil society has made. The issue that civil society can not protect people from is the harm that comes from hate groups and domestic terrorists who kill with impunity–until society stops looking away.

Homophobia has always been an inherently white supremacist viewpoint. For the Klansman or the white Christian nationalist, white supremacy is about them imagining what a nation should look like. Any person who doesn’t fit the cis-gendered male/female role or represent the nuclear family goes against the machismo that reflects the white supremacist’s viewpoint. Like racism, if someone isn’t a straight, white, Christian male, they’re valued less and therefore, expendable.

Anti-Black

Another issue that goes back to the founders and has carried on through generational teaching is anti-Blackness. Codified into Article One, Section Two of the Constitution was the idea that Black people were much less valuable than white people. So much so that the founders said Black people were 3/5 human and subject to enslavement, rape, torture, and death. This came with traditions that are carried on today in ways that are meant to dehumanize Black people, thus, justifying inhumanity toward them.

It’s the same subjugation that led to the commoditization of Black people, the lynchings of thousands, and the mass incarceration of millions. It led to the destruction of Black communities from 1865 until today. The mentality that led to burning down entire cities and towns, redlining, and gentrification is a problem that still exists throughout the country. Today, prisons, property taxes, and pricing Black people out of communities have become tools to continue repressing a large share of U.S. citizens who represent the foundation on which this nation was built.

WE, the Order of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, reverentially acknowledge the majesty and supremacy of the Divine Being, and recognize the goodness and providence of the same.

WE recognize our relation to the government of the United States of America, the supremacy of its Constitution, the Union of States there-under, and the Constitutional Laws thereof, and we shall be ever devoted to the sublime principles of a pure Americanism, and valiant in the defense of its ideals and institutions.

“WE avow the distinction between the races of mankind as same has been decreed by the Creator, and we shall ever be true in the faithful maintenance of White Supremacy and will strenuously oppose any compromise thereof in any and all things.

WE appreciate the intrinsic value of a real practical fraternal relationship among men of kindred thought, purpose and ideals and the infinite benefits accruable therefrom, and we shall faithfully devote ourselves to the practice of an honorable Clanishness that the life and living of each may be a constant blessing to others.”–The Ku Klux Kreed

With the advent of social media and podcasts, the popularity of hateful language like what’s found in the Ku Klux Kreed is bigger than ever. While many espouse hateful language behind nameless and faceless accounts online, it’s their actions in the real world that are of concern to many. And despite covering the hate directed at all various communities mentioned here, Black people are still the victims of most hate crimes.

White supremacy has always been centered on anti-Blackness and that hateful logic toward Black people has been used throughout history against various marginalized communities. Rarely spoken about are the byproducts of anti-Black hate. Xenophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, and attacks on women’s rights are all part of white supremacy in the West. Western societies have been historically run by people who use their power and tactics on other groups that they deem inferior to whiteness.

The Obvious

The similarities between today’s white Christian nationalists and yesterday’s Klansmen are too many to ignore. The idea of white male superiority is something that is ingrained into the United States’ DNA. Despite all the progress we make as a society, it is increasingly more difficult to repudiate this whether you’re a white Christian nationalist or not. For every step forward, bigots get louder in their disapproval of progress toward equality and racial justice.

Civil society sees that.

Women’s rights are another issue that cannot be separated from the centuries of white male dominion over society. And while we didn’t cover it here, it is most certainly noted. Especially in the white Christian nationalist movement. As are the attacks on democracy, voting rights, civil rights, free speech, and so much more. These are issues that racists and bigots have had in their pockets since day one and they continue to attack them just as the generations before them did using identical tactics and speech.

In some cases, it’s simply the targets that have changed.

In the U.S., bigots tackle things they don’t like through murder, oppression, and the destruction of entire communities–another set of elements rooted in the country’s genetics. Considering its history, it’s no wonder mass murder is something the U.S. does so well. While most Americans point to guns as the problem, we cannot overlook the culture of dehumanization used to justify the horrors we see on our news broadcasts every single day.

From the founders to today, there is no difference between yesterday’s white supremacist and today’s white Christian nationalist. The demonization of nonwhite people is part of this nation’s hereditary makeup and until that is addressed on a societal level, nothing can change. While we as a society move forward seemingly leaving bigots behind, the truth is, the longer we ignore them the longer they will be a part of our collective identity as a country.

That’s the shame in all of this.


The Antagonist Magazine is a project made up of journalists, activists, and writers focused on amplifying the stories of marginalized communities. The goal is to educate the public by sharing narratives focused on independent voices. Born of an online community in 2019, our platform operates independently; free of corporate influence. Please consider supporting the work of dozens of writers from various communities.

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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