DUBAI: The words “hate preacher” are likely to conjure up images of an Eastern male sporting a luxuriant beard flecked with grey and delivering long speeches in an exotic language. But in real life, hate does not have a favored color, gender, religion, race or language.
For proof, one need look no further than the anti-immigrant, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric of American white supremacist Lana Lokteff.
“They want you, straight white guy, destitute, suffering and dead,” she says in one of her videos, alluding to non-white populations and whites “poisoned” by anti-white propaganda.
“They want your daughters brainwashed to disown you and your sons groveling at the feet of anti-whites. You know who ‘they’ is.”
Lokteff and her Swedish husband, Henrik Palmgren, founded the alt-right media outlet Red Ice TV, which features talk shows, radio shows and interviews with various likeminded individuals.
Their YouTube channel — which boasted 333,000 subscribers — was banned in October and their Facebook page was banned in November.
In one of the talk show episodes, Lokteff interviewed white nationalist Greg Johnson, the editor-in-chief of publisher Counter-Currents, about his “strange new respect” for Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik.
Breivik is a far-right terrorist who committed the 2011 Norway attacks, killing 77 people, 69 of whom he shot dead at a summer camp. His attacks were cited as an inspiration by the Christchurch terrorist, fellow Preacher of Hate Brenton Tarrant, the murderer of British MP Jo Cox and a US coast guard officer accused of plotting a white nationalist attack.
It might seem surprising that someone with such a hateful rhetoric was able to gain so many subscribers, but not to everyone.
Diversity is the end of the white race.
Alt-right activist Lana Lokteff
“She has a lot of followers because there (are) a lot of people who believe in her racist views… society tries to make it seem like they are outliers, to make it seem like they are degenerates, but basically they just articulate what a lot of people in the dominant society believes,” US film producer and media personality Tariq Nasheed told Arab News.
With the increased number of immigrants and refugees in the West, a revival of extreme right-wing movements has swept across the world.
Activists from this extreme side of politics, also known as the alt-right, recruit sympathizers by tugging at their fear of “the other” stealing jobs, raping women and destroying their culture.
Lokteff personifies the ideology these movements are built on. She believes that diversity was forced into communities as an act of hate and that the US “can never, ever, ever be too white.”
She preaches in her video about what she thinks European and Western countries should be like instead.
“This concept of a white ethno-state simply means a country of European people whose immigration policy ensures that their ethnicity remains the majority. Yes, folks. European people are ethnic too. It’s not just a term to describe non-white spiciness,” Lokteff said in her video.
She is even opposed to interracial relationships and marriages as she feels these families care more about receiving attention than each other. In fact, she believes the media promoting such relationships exposes an evil plot against the white race.
“When you get down to it, this dirty propaganda is trying to destroy, in whole or in part, a group of people and trying to prevent births within that group. That, folks, constitutes genocide. It’s more devious than blatant in-your-face mass murdering, but give it time,” Lokteff said in a video.
Although she is of Russian descent, she believes she is a “true refugee” as her family fled the Bolsheviks. Meanwhile, others are just fleeing poverty.
Jacobin magazine, a democratic socialist quarterly publication from New York, said Lokteff wrongly accused refugees in Europe of being responsible of the increased crime rates and described them as “lazy bums, packing the welfare offices, who flock in for the incentives.”
According to Jacobin, Lokteff described Muslim immigrants as invaders — using the same term used in French author and nationalist Jeap Respail’s novel “The Camp of the Saints” — and said that European countries must “remain for European people.” She also accused the immigrants of perpetrating violence against women.
“If the women who were raped got together and made their voices heard that they were raped by migrants, it could undo years of a massive cover-up in a matter of minutes,” Lokteff was quoted by Jacobin.
She was also quoted by numerous publications as a Holocaust denier with an anti-Semitic streak. Harper’s Magazine, a monthly general-interest publication in the US, said that Red Ice TV began to explore conspiracies about race and question the Holocaust in 2012. This is the same year in which Lokteff joined the team.
When Seyward Darby wrote “The Rise of the Valkyries” for Harper’s, she found an interview of Lokteff from 2016 describing Jews as “parasites.” In a follow-up email between the two, Lokteff clarified that she meant all the parasites who were taking advantage of US, including Israel.
Despite that, she continues to retweet anti-Semitic content and tweets of other people. For example, tweets mocking Seth Rogen being honored for promoting Jewish identity and Yiddish and Sacha Baron Cohen for speaking about Facebook allowing hate speech and anti-Semitism on their platform.
Lokteff is not shy about her ideology. If anything, she is proud of it. She has advised her audience to embrace the title of being a “far-right extremist.”
In one of her videos, she says: “The next time a leftist or anyone else charges you for being a far-right extremist, laugh in their face and say ‘thank you,’ because it means you are a healthy human being living in the real world. You don’t need to defend common sense, truth and mother nature.”
Her anti-“other” rhetoric — whether it’s blacks, Jews, Muslims or immigrants — largely relies on evoking fear among the white population by retweeting and commenting on posts where non-white people commit crimes or felonies.
A case in point is a story of a white boy being attacked by black children and Muslims being convicted of crimes in Europe. Lokteff takes these individual incidents to fuel and support her stories on how the white race is being attacked, masking her targeted hatred with “logical” protection.
“They say that, but it’s not about protection of white ethnicity, because nobody is threatening white ethnicity,” Nasheed, the US film producer, told Arab News.
“They have all the resources, all the military, they have all the police, they have all the protection, all the judicial systems looking out for them. Nobody is doing anything to them. They just use that as an excuse to pretend that they are being attacked by some unknown bogeyman.”