Jason Kessler is attempting the appropriation of yet another era in history, a “New Byzantium,” he calls it. However, his call could not be more misplaced.
A call for a New Byzantium is thinly veiled as a “New Rome.” Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini enacted the same historical tactics. Mr. Kessler may have read that the Byzantine Empire was Greek or that it was “European”; neither assumption is correct. The heartland of the Byzantine Empire was always in the East: first, in Africa, Egypt, and Syria, and later in Anatolia. In a symbol of remarkable historical imagery, the capital city of Constantinople embraces both Asia and Europe, a microcosm of the empire itself. Byzantium was neither European nor Asian. Its people were not reducible to “Greek” or “white.” Simply put, protection of a white race is nowhere to be seen.
The slow disintegration of Byzantium is due as much to Crusader conquest, by those you may call “white,” as to Ottoman-Turk invasions.
I am afraid historical facts will be lost on Kessler and those who blindly follow a similar ideology. I am afraid his views may influence others to endorse (and share) these misplaced views.
Critical thinking is the key.
In the words of Michel Foucault, modernity is a “disciplinary society.” Therefore, perhaps, we do not always use the natural critical thinking skills of the human mind. Yet, what does a critical approach tell us? Behind the rhetoric, is the white supremacists’ very goal to cement the white race atop a pillar of political-social oppression? The answer, critically, is “yes.”
Historical appropriation by white nationalists has only strengthened the scholarly and local communities’ resolve to root out the dangerous and crypto-historical views that Mr. Kessler and similar adherents espouse.
What all should call for is a better America. An America without the fear, the racism, or the oppression, something the White House has failed miserably to do.
What Kessler and others really seek to do is carve out an “ancient world” in a New America. What is ironic is that the Byzantines would no doubt be confused about what exactly white nationalists are fighting to retain.
It is up to us, the decent American public, to assure the writers of future history books that this New America will not look like the year 1200.