Everyday white supremacy: fundamental rhetorical strategies in racist discourse

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This dissertation examines racism as discourse and works to explicate, through the examination of historical and contemporary texts, the ways in which racism is maintained and perpetuated in the United

This dissertation examines racism as discourse and works to explicate, through the examination of historical and contemporary texts, the ways in which racism is maintained and perpetuated in the United States. The project critiques the use of generalized categories, such as alt-right, as an anti-racist tactic and notes that these rigid categories are problematic because they cannot account for the dynamic and rapidly changing nature of racist discourse. The dissertation argues that racist discourse that is categorized as mainstream and fringe both rely upon a fundamental framework of rhetorical strategies that have long been ingrained into the social and political fabric of the United States and are based on the foundational system of white supremacy. The project discusses two of these strategies—projection and stasis diffusion—in case studies that examine their use in texts throughout American history and in mainstream and fringe media. “Everyday White Supremacy” contributes to important academic and societal conversations concerning the how the academy and the public use category to address racism, anti-racist practices, and rhetorical understandings of racist discourse. The project argues for shift away from the use of categorical naming to identify racist groups and people towards the practice of identifying racism as discourse, particularly through its rhetorical strategies. This paradigm shift would encourage scholars, and the general population, to identify racism via the processes by which it is propagated rather than its existence within a person or group