White Nationalism on the Rise?
Over at ThinkProgress, in a post entitled "The Rise of White Nationalism in America, as Explained by Google," Jack Jenkins and Dylan Petrohilos "check Google trends to see how often people searched for terms and phrases commonly used by White Supremacists over the past few years." They find increasing interest for a lot of different queries: "White Genocide," "Pro-White," "Black On White Crime," "Alt-Right," and "European Nationalism."
I was surprised to see "white nationalism" itself left off the list. One reason is that Google doesn't seem to have good data on it:
But Google does have a new feature, still in beta, that measures interest in broad topics rather than specific queries — and interest in white nationalism is decidedly down:
So is interest in the specific term "white pride," but with a spike in June 2015, the month of Dylann Roof's massacre:
And "Aryan Nations":
And "Stormfront," the website that started as a bulletin board for David Duke's campaign in Louisiana — though there was an enormous spike the month of President Obama's election:
Not much going on with "KKK," at least until the hate group broke back into the news:
And finally, "Council of Conservative Citizens," again with a spike apparently driven by Roof:
So, the evidence here seems mixed. Some of these terms have rising interest, while others are steady or even declining.
Robert VerBruggen is editor of RealClearPolicy. Twitter: @RAVerBruggen