Not Racist, but... ID Canada and the Mainstream Marketing of Fringe Ideas

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Jordan Derkson


The following is a mixed methods case study of ID Canada, an outspoken anti-diversity, white nationalist, grassroots Canadian “Identitarian” group. It aims to answer the question “What strategies do groups with views outside of mainstream acceptability use to appeal to the public?” To this end, I performed a thematic analysis on their published web content and attempted to integrate these insights with the group’s history and relevant sociological theory. I extracted four main themes, representing the presence of “White Supremacist Beliefs”, the cultural “Struggle for History”, an insistence on “Victimhood”, and various direct attempts at “Distancing from White Supremacy”. I explore the connections between these strategies and fascism as described by Umberto Eco (1995), as well as the performative nature of ID Canada, and its place within different conceptions of the public sphere.