Going Medieval On White Supremacists | 1A

The Middle Ages spanned roughly a thousand years – and encompassed all seven continents.

But when most Americans think about Medieval times (not the restaurant), our brains go straight to an all-white version of Medieval Europe that never really existed.

The myth is so pernicious, white supremacists have used it to draw people to their cause for more than a hundred years.

Last month, it was even alluded to in a memo calling on Republicans to form a caucus driven by “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

So, while we still hear a lot about the Vikings, the Celts, and the supposed “Anglo-Saxons,” what were those groups really like? And what does our misunderstanding of the Middle Ages mean for how we view our world today?


Matthew Gabriele

professor of Medieval Studies and chair of the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech. His upcoming book is called, “The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe”

Eleanor Janega

guest teacher in women’s history at the London School of Economics and Political Science; host of the series “Going Medieval;” author, “The Middle Ages: A Graphic History”

Cord Whitaker

associate professor of English at Wellesley College; author, “Black Metaphors: How Modern Racism Emerged From Medieval Race Thinking”

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