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CSUSB political science professor discusses the meme of ‘Swole Trump’ that went viral
The Washington Post
Nov. 27, 2019
On the day before Thanksgiving, and image of President Trump’s head on Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa began making its rounds on Twitter.
Reported The Washington Post: “Welcome to the world of ‘Swole Trump,’ an obsession of the MAGA Internet where the president is regularly depicted as being extremely ripped.
“Trump, in reality, is not ripped, as far as we know, but ‘there are large online communities where people are constantly sharing their art/edits of Trump in this manner,’ Meredith Conroy, an associate professor of political science at California State University at San Bernardino, wrote in an email to The Washington Post. Conroy, who has studied depictions of masculinity in American presidents, added that ‘depictions of masculinity in presidents reflect insecurities and values of the time.’”
Later in the article: “And as much as Swole Trump is a pro-Trump Internet thing, the tendency to valorize leaders for their physical strength is often reinforced by the media broadly.
“‘This simplistic view of strength, or leadership, is why gender scholars are critical of news coverage that speaks about politics in athletic/sports metaphoric terms,’ Conroy says. ‘It signals that the competition is about something where women tend to be at a disadvantage.’”
Read the complete article at “A short journey into the MAGA Internet’s obsession with Swole Trump.”
CSUSB professor comments on neo-Nazi social media network that coordinates secretive paramilitary training for extremists
India Times Post
Dec. 6, 2019
Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was interviewed for an article about a neo-Nazi social media network called “The Base” that coordinates secretive paramilitary training for extremists hell-bent on committing acts of extremist right-wing terror. The Base is a group that unites white separatists who allegedly wish to carry out acts of violence against the government, Jews, people of color, and the LGBT community.
Levin said such “silos of radicalism, incubators of radicalism” were dangerous.
“Even just up to Charlottesville, there was an attempt to mainstream white supremacy,” Levin explained, referencing the bloody 2017 protest in Virginia.
“Now, we have a very splintered and fragmented neo-Nazi and white supremacy scene that includes more stealth groups which are often a bit smaller and more violent.”
Levin added that advocating a certain type of violence, accompanied by operational trainings “makes this type of group a more dangerous outfit than [others].”
Read the complete article at “Inside sinister neo-Nazi social network The Base that coordinates paramilitary training for ultra-violent US extremists.”