How To Decipher Cryptic White Nationalist Slogans Like ‘Jew Will Not Replace Us’ by the Forward

How To Decipher Cryptic White Nationalist Slogans Like ‘Jew Will Not Replace Us’

Image by Getty Images

In a useful new guide, experts from the Southern Poverty Law Center explain the meaning behind popular white supremacist slogans — from the perhaps obvious, like “White lives matter,” to the more cryptic, like “Harry Potter isn’t real.”

The slogan “You will not replace us” — which morphed into “Jew will not replace us” during the Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacist rally, is a phrase popularized by Nathan Damigo, founder of the white-nationalist group Identity Evropa. The phrase is a mocking response to an anti-Donald Trump campaign from actor Shia LeBeouf, called “He will not divide us.” The chant evokes the common white nationalist fear that white people are under attack from multiculturalism.

Another slogan that was heard at the Charlottesvillr rally is “Blood and Soil.” This is an explicit Nazi reference — a simply English translation of “Blut und Boden,” a phrase popularized by Nazi thinker Richard Walter Darre.

The phrase “White Lives Matter” needs little explanation — it’s a direct retort to the social justice movement Black Lives Matter.

But what about “Harry Potter Isn’t Real”? This “seemingly odd chant,” the SPLC writes, reflects how the alt-right is fluent in pop culture. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, which pick up the theme of combating prejudice in a fantasy world, are “frequently attacked at ‘alt-right’ online forums and castigated for ostensibly brainwashing schoolchildren” into embracing the series’ themes of inclusion. Rowling has also sparred with online “alt-right” trolls.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

Author

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum .

How To Decipher Cryptic White Nationalist Slogans Like ‘Jew Will Not Replace Us’

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

How To Decipher Cryptic White Nationalist Slogans Like ‘Jew Will Not Replace Us’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close