This article examines the influence of the North Carolina novelist and filmmaker Thomas Dixon Jr. on twenty-first-century white nationalism and the discourse of white identity as employed by the current political Right. Dixon, an heir of Sir Walter Scott, whose romances gave white southerners a vocabulary for romanticizing their defeat in the Civil War, helped create a rhetoric of racism which survives to this day in various Fox News commentators, neo-Confederates, and others worried about non-whites “invading” America. Dixon’s depiction of Reconstruction as an attack on Anglo-Saxon hegemony inspired D. W. Griffiths to make his seminal film The Birth of a Nation, and was instrumental in the reboot of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915. Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, the far-flung reaches of the white Internet, and followers such as Dylann Roof, killer of nine congregants at a Charleston church, demonstrate that, a century on, Dixon’s voice is still powerful.


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pp. 133-155
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