Nativism, White Supremacy, and the 2021 Assault on the Capitol

February 2, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Picture of Trump supporters storming the capitol

On January 6, 2021, democracy in the US came under assault by white nationalist forces who stormed the U.S. Capitol. As many have pointed out, these events were not just the result of the president and the political division he promoted while in office. They were rooted in a long history reminiscent of the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. But they were also rooted in America's history of xenophobia, nativism, misogynistic violence, and white supremacy.

Historians Carly Goodman (Made by History and La Salle University) and Alexandra Minna Stern (University of Michigan) join IHRC Director Erika Lee to discuss how America's history of anti-immigration politics have shaped the alt-right, Proud Boys, and others who participated in the insurrection last month and how it, like Trumpism, will continue long after the Trump presidency is over.


Carly Goodman is a historian of immigration, a writer, and Visiting Assistant Professor at La Salle University, where she teaches courses on U.S., global, immigration, and African history. She is a co-editor at Made by History at the Washington Post, where she edits daily commentary and analysis from the nation's leading historians.

Alexandra Minna Stern, Ph.D. is the Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of American Culture, History, and Women's Studies and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan. She is the author of the award-winning books Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America, Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America, and the recently-published Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination (Beacon Press, 2019).


Image source: TapTheForwardAssist, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons