“Not Who We Are”: The January 6 Insurrection and the Post-Truth Politics of Denial

Event description

  • Academic events
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Free
  • Open to the public

Many Americans who witnessed the events of January 6, 2021 voiced a reaction that quickly took hold across a political spectrum: “This is not who we are.” But such a view ignores the long history of racist vigilante violence that has shaped America since its founding. Historian Kathleen Belew examines January 6 in the context of the organized white power movement that began percolating into mainstream American politics well before the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump. Knowing and understanding our history, Belew contends, is the only path to a more democratic future.

The Recovering Truth: Religion, Journalism and Democracy in a Post-Truth Era project is supported by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Program in Theology.

About the speaker

Kathleen Belew, Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University

Kathleen Belew specializes in the recent history of the United States, examining the long aftermath of warfare. She focuses on the broad themes of the history of the present, looking at conservatism, race, gender, violence, and the meaning of war. Her book “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America” explores how white power activists wrought a cohesive social movement through a common story about warfare and its weapons, uniforms, and technologies. Her latest book, “A Field Guide to White Supremacy,” connects the dots between current events and the deep, violent roots of white supremacy in this country.


This event is hosted by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and will take place on the ASU Tempe campus in the Pima Auditorium (Room 230) of the Memorial Union, and will be live streamed but will not be recorded for later viewing. Registration is required for both live stream viewing and in-person attendance. Your confirmation email will provide detailed directions to the venue including parking information and key live-stream details. The lecture will be followed by a brief moderated discussion with Center professors, audience Q&A, and a reception offering light refreshments.

Note: Photography and recording of any kind are prohibited at this event.

Registration details:

  • Free and open to all.
  • Register to guarantee your seat.
  • Classes and groups are welcomed to attend! Please contact us directly with your request.

Additional information

Event contact

Alex Brooks

Tuesday, March 26, 2024


4:30 pm5:45 pm (MST)


Pima Auditorium (Memorial Union, Room 230)