From Belfast to Bob Jones
Ian Paisley, Protestant fundamentalism, and the transatlantic right
in Global white nationalism
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Fundamentalist preacher Ian Paisley was the leading opponent of extending full civil rights to Catholics in Northern Ireland. Daniel Geary explores the meaning of the transatlantic connections that Paisley and other Ulster Unionists made with American white supremacists. Such connections can be partly understood as a response to efforts by civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland to analogize themselves to African Americans, an identification that cast Unionists in the role of Klansmen. However, Paisley’s connections were rooted in long-standing ties with religious fundamentalists who were also white supremacists. For example, in 1966 Paisley received an honorary doctorate from Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist South Carolina university that fought legal battles to remain racially segregated. The chapter argues that such connections reveal that Paisley’s Unionism, a tradition with deep roots in British settler imperialism, had strong affinities with US white nationalism.

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