Valeria Cuervo: How white supremacists have appropriated Vikings and how we can take it back

My project is about why people misconstrue history and how we can protect legacies by looking at how people are trying to protect the Viking legacy from white supremacists. Through my research, I’ve learned that white supremacists created the image of the Viking and shaped it according to their will during the 19th century. Viking history has been claimed by successive white supremacist groups over the years continuing to the present day. Groups like the Wolves of Vinland or the Nordic resistance movement often sport nordic runes and appropriate Viking symbols to use in their iconography. As a result of this White supremacist groups have become so closely linked to the idea of “people who like Vikings” that they have effectively ruined it for non-white supremacists interested in Vikings. People who have a genuine interest in Vikings have to constantly deal with white supremacists trying to co-opt them as fellow white supremacists and are often associated with white supremacist ideas by outsiders despite what they may actually believe in. I will attend a Viking festival in the Summer Market Haithabu, and speak with members of Vikings against Racism, museum coordinators, & other activist groups to learn more about what they are doing to reclaim Viking culture from white supremacists. (I got the confirmation this morning, so I could not add this part in the video).

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