The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters grapple with the 'right' way to cover the far right

Jim Goad is not your garden-variety redneck, though he, self-admittedly, exudes “eau de garbage blanc.”

In the early 2000s, the leather-booted writer was attacked three times by anti-racist skinheads in Portland, Ore., for wearing an Iron Cross – a “commonly used hate symbol,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. Today, he finds himself in high demand as both a columnist and source for reporters seeking to understand the growth in white supremacy in 21st century America – though Goad does not view himself as a white supremacist.

Now in his 50s, Mr. Goad, author of “The Redneck Manifesto,” has been called the “godfather of the new right.” His oeuvre is plumbing the murky depths of white resentment – and uncovering what he calls in a Monitor interview “the blind, cruel hypocrisy of … forced equality.”

Goad says he doesn’t consider himself part of the self-described “alt-right,” a coalition that espouses white nationalist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic beliefs. He calls himself, simply, a "lone wolf," an independent thinker not beholden to any group.

Since the election of Donald Trump, he is also part of a cadre of American thinkers and activists being pursued by journalists caught flat-footed by the wave of white resentment and emboldened white nationalists that helped put President Trump in the White House. Goad told the Willamette Week this fall that

Journalists' dilemmaImportance of fact-checking'More dangerous to ignore them''Politicized in ways that make you squirm'

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