The New White Nationalism in Politics and Higher Education analyzes a new form of white nationalism that seeks to recruit mainstream citizens to achieve its goals. This New White Nationalism sees higher education, which imparts fact-based knowledge and interrogates history, social structures, and power, often from antiracist and multicultural lenses, as a threat. Michael H. Gavin reveals the tactics of The New White Nationalism and provides a tool called The Nostalgia Spectrum to examine American racism. In the process, the author demonstrates that what many scholars are calling a crisis in higher education is really a crisis of political and social imagination. Reimagining a socially just nation and leveraging higher education institutions that provide low-cost, accessible education to minorities as the first choice for middle class America could have transformative effects on the nation itself.
Michael H. Gavin is high-level administrator in community colleges.
Introduction: The Insurrection: The First Battle in a New War
Chapter 1: Nostalgia Matters
Chapter 2: The Cartography of the New White Nation
Chapter 3: Close the Borders: Constructing Higher Education as Liberal
Chapter 4: Rationalizing Innovation Vacuum
Chapter 5: Contain the Minorities: Policies to Ensure Isolation of Minorities
Chapter 6: Trust in the Age of Compliance
Chapter 7: The Attempted Coup, Black Lives Matter, and COVID-19
Conclusion: Context and for Examining Discourses of Higher Education in Relation to American and Racial Theories
Gavin posits that many contemporary social issues are rooted in racist ideology, a reality that many well-intentioned people across US institutions often seem unaware of. When left unquestioned, such ideology is perpetuated (both overtly and covertly) through white nationalism’s exclusionary tactics. Often born into privilege, white nationalists who assume leadership of social institutions remain guided by their privileged point of view, so solutions to social justice problems fall short of addressing root causes. Higher education, charged with advancing democratic ideals, is critical for social transformation, though it also bears the historical baggage of white supremacy and racial discrimination. Gavin presents the “nostalgia spectrum” to help readers comprehend the systemic nature of US social phenomena and their effects, focusing on racism and ways to identify and remove obstacles for students pursuing their dreams. The book includes bulleted lists, figures, metaphors, analogies, and historical narratives to present abstract concepts, which are supported by chapter notes for further reference. This volume is critically relevant to current events in US politics, society, and education and fits among other works on critical race theory, institutional racism, white supremacy, and higher education. Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
The New White Nationalism in Politics and Higher Education is a clarion call for higher ed leaders to recognize and respond to the rise and ongoing threat of White nationalism. Brilliantly written, Michael H. Gavin provides a historical narrative for why colleges and universities have not always prioritized equity and social justice issues. Gavin details the ongoing challenges—including COVID-19—that have exacerbated widening disparities. The good news is that he challenges readers to reimagine what our nation, and indeed our institutions, might look like, if we have the moral courage to address this alarming threat head-on.