By Teia Swan
Over the past several years, the world has witnessed what can best be described as a global shift towards far-right nationalism, characterized by the otherization of minority groups such as immigrants, women, and LGBTQ+ people. These ideologies have become prominent in nations such as the United States and Brazil, as well as several European states having severe consequences for minority groups. In the United States, for instance, far-right principles have been legitimized by the Trump Administration, contributing to both a political and social culture that actively harms minorities. Rhetoric vilifying immigrants as threats to American culture has become commonplace, and has translated into policies such as the ‘zero-tolerance’ family separation rule. It has also resulted in increased rates of anti-immigrant violence: mass shootings, such as the 2019 El Paso shooting, have been directly inspired by far-right rhetoric, while rates of anti-immigrant hate crimes have skyrocketed.
Similar trends are visible in European nations, where anti-immigration parties have become increasingly more popular; Alternative for Germany and Spain’s Vox parties, for example, are each one of the largest parties in their respective countries. Meanwhile, far-right ideology has also spelled out trouble for sexual and gender minorities. The Vox party in Spain, rapidly gaining popularity, poses an immense threat to LGBTQ+ rights, as leaders of the party have advocated to place restrictions on LGBTQ+ pride events and supported narratives comparing homosexuality to beastiality. Concurrently, the far-right governments of Hungary and Poland have received backlash over policies restricting the rights of LGBTQ+ people, as well as women. The Hungarian government has proposed a constitutional amendment that would prohibit LGBTQ+ people from adopting children and forbid transgender people from legally changing their name or gender. Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ activists in Poland have been targeted by the government while protesting ‘LGBT-Free Zones’ and the government frames “LGBT ideology” as a threat “more dangerous than communism.” Likewise, the Polish government has moved to implement a near-total ban on abortions, reducing women’s reproductive rights to almost nothing.
Ultimately, the rise of far-right ideologies prioritizing ‘Christian’ values and national homogeny have devastating consequences for minorities. Not only does the popularization of far-right principles result in increased violence, but it also results in policies that are deeply dehumanizing. Far-right leaders and advocates, then, pose a clear threat to human rights and ought to be opposed at all costs.