Video: Dinesh D'Souza Blames Black and Latino Nationalism for Rise of White Nationalism—'There's a Toxic Side to It'

Conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza appeared on Fox News Thursday and claimed that black and Latino Americans, along with the Democratic Party, are ultimately to blame for white nationalism in the U.S.

Speaking with host Laura Ingraham on her show, "The Ingraham Angle", D'Souza criticized comments from Democratic politician Stacy Abrams saying she was a supporter of "identity politics."

D'Souza claimed that the Democrats were building on "class division" promoted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt—the four-term presidential election winner and father of the New Deal—by using an "affirmation of race and gender sexual orientation."

But D'Souza—who in the past has mocked survivors of school shootings and dismissed American human rights abuses in Iraq—said Abrams is painting a "a very benign picture of what this identity politics."

He claimed that identity politics has a "toxic side" and can prompt backlash from other groups. "Let's remember for example that black nationalism came out of a came as a sort of retaliation against white nationalism," he said. The roots of black nationalism stretch back to abolitionist Martin Delaney, an early 19th century abolitionist who advocated who advocated the emigration of free blacks from the northern states to Africa.

D'Souza quoted civil rights firebrand Malcolm X who said he became a black nationalist to fight white nationalism, and suggested "the inverse is also true" with white communities, though not noting the gulf in size, influence and threat of historic white nationalism and institutionalized racism compared to more modern black nationalism.

"Black nationalism and Latino nationalism is likely to give rise to a revived form of white nationalism," he claimed. D'Souza did not specify what black or Latino nationalist groups or individuals he was referring to.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 284 active black nationalist groups in the U.S. There are a combined 410 groups labeled as white nationalist, racist skinhead, neo-Nazi, neo-Confederate or Klu Klux Klan. There are no listed Latino nationalist groups.

D'Souza was pardoned by President Donald Trump for campaign violations in 2018. The commentator suggested that the president—who has been accused of racism several times, is well-known for his xenephobic comments, has described himself as a nationalist and denied that white nationalism is a growing global threat—is approaching the identity politics debate successfully by rejecting it all together.

Instead, the president is developing a "decent American nationalism in which all groups are given an opportunity and a chance to move up." But the ideology of nationalism is an inherently exclusionary one, and history shows the ideology's follies despite the president's attempts to normalize it.

D'Souza claimed Trump's nationalism "was the nationalism of Lincoln, the nationalism of the American founders…This is the trump card, if I may say so, to beat identity politics."

Though D'Souza and many other Republicans insist the party does not engage in identity politics, experts and journalists have accused the GOP of increasingly running on a "white identity" platform. As author Michael Tessler told NPR in December, the "idea of white grievance and white identity, that whites are the ones who have it worst in society, was a really powerful resource for Trump to tap into in a way that other politicians haven't."

D'Souza then pivoted to a favored far-right talking point—that white nationalism was employed by the Democratic Party after the Civil War to shore up its support base in the southern states. "They created white nationalism, and in a sense they've also created black nationalism."

While the Democratic Party was indeed supportive of slavery and oversaw the disenfranchisement of southern blacks in the Reconstruction era, their historic pro-racial inequality stance had shifted by the mid-20th century. Indeed, it was Democratic President John F. Kennedy who proposed the landmark Civil Rights Act and President Lyndon Johnson who shephered it into law in 1964.

The bill is considered a powerful catalyst in the loss of southern support for the Democratic Party. Since then, many historians suggest the Republican "Southern Strategy" saw the GOP appeal to racism in the south in an effort to secure the allegiance of southern voters.

In a 1981 recording, Republican strategist Lee Atwater explained the evolution of the Southern Strategy. "You start out in 1954 by saying, 'N*****, n*****, n*****.' By 1968 you can't say 'n*****'—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites."

White nationalists Dinesh D'Souza black nationalism
Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK and members of the 'alt-right' hurl water bottles back and forth against counter demonstrators on the outskirts of Emancipation Park during the Unite the Right rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images