Hate Speech and Political Violence: Far-Right Rhetoric from the Tea Party to the Insurrection, Robert Y. Shapiro, Brigitte L. Nacos and Yaeli Bloch-Elkon

Reviewed by Curd Benjamin Knüpfer

What are the links between hate speech and politically motivated violence? This question has unfolded a pressing urgency due to two main factors: the rise of digitally connected informational networks, which spread hateful messages, and the political far-right’s increasing willingness to embrace extremist tactics. Recent events, like the 6 January 2021 insurrection in the United States, have demonstrated how widely circulated conspiracy narratives and fierce partisanship co-created conditions that were ripe for inciting violent acts.

In Hate Speech and Political Violence: Far-Right Rhetoric from the Tea Party to the Insurrection, Brigitte L. Nacos, Yaeli Bloch-Elkon, and Robert Y. Shapiro depict the 6 January 2021 events as the culmination of years of agitation by ideological-movement actors and a radicalized Republican Party led by Donald Trump. The main argument, however, does not center on individual political actors but wider media ecologies and an “interconnectivity of political communication” (153) via old and new media formats. These not only failed to rein in far-right extremism but further amplified it.

The book comprises six chapters, the first two of which shine a light on the role of on- and offline media in the rise of the Tea Party and amplification of “anti-Obama” conspiracy theories. According to

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