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In a recent interview with Rachel Maddow, Kathleen Belew, an expert in the white power movement in the United States, shed light on the seemingly incongruous relationship between being Latino and having neo-Nazi sympathies.

Belew emphasized that the concept of “whiteness” varies across countries and cultures, making it possible for individuals who identify as Latino to align themselves with white supremacist ideologies.

The discussion arose in the context of a shooter from Allen, Texas, who, despite being Latino, reportedly identified with the neo-Nazi movement and espoused white supremacist and anti-Semitic views.

Belew pointed out that this phenomenon is not unique to Allen but extends to other individuals, including members of the Proud Boys, who may not fit the stereotypical image of a white supremacist.

The connection between the shooter and the Proud Boys, although not confirmed, can be traced through the patches he was wearing, which are associated with the group.

Belew drew attention to the influence of right-wing death squads and the association of such movements with notions of “whiteness.” For instance, the shooter’s attire, which proudly displayed the phrase “he was right,” preceded the last round of presidential debates and the events of January 6th.

Understanding this complex dynamic requires an examination of the historical and cultural context surrounding ideas of whiteness.

Belew emphasized that the definition of whiteness and who is considered white can vary significantly from one country to another.

Notably, social media has showcased images of individuals in the United States who identify as Latino but embrace Nazi symbolism and attire, thereby embracing the ideology as their own.

Latin America, in particular, often exhibits a larger influence of Spanish heritage and a smaller representation of Indigenous or African heritage.

This distinction adds to the complexity of the situation.

However, the outcome is clear: targeted acts of anti-American violence against communities of color, Jewish communities, and other marginalized racial groups, as well as against democratic institutions.

Kathleen Belew, an Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University, concluded the interview by underscoring the importance of further research and understanding the intricate dynamics at play in these cases.

Note: The article is a condensed summary of the provided information, and some sentences have been rephrased for clarity.

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