Skinheads, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK

For months, I’ve been reading every non-fiction book the library has about neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, and the Ku Klux Klan.

Damn! You must be about ready to join-up.

Sure, who wouldn’t be? I mean isn’t it obvious it that the Jews were the sole orchestrators and the sole beneficiaries of both world wars; that Satan had sex with Eve who gave birth to the father of the black race; that the scummiest white criminal is superior to the best person of color; that practically every problem that any white person has is the fault of “the Jewish conspiracy;” and that, despite the fact that the Jews are able to run nearly the entire world from behind the scenes for their own profit, they are nonetheless rather dim-witted?

So why do you read this stuff?

I don’t self-analyze about what I read. It’s not that I’m uninterested; it’s just that I wouldn’t know where to begin. Once I learn about some things, they leave my system forever, whereas I cycle back through other things again and again—for example, botany, geology, knot tying, and the Hardy Boys series. If I were to tell you what it is that I learn from reading about hate groups, it’s an understanding of why people think that way.

Okay, why?

It gives them someone to blame for their failures. It also gives them a tight-knit community which values them and tells them that they’re better than everyone who belongs to an inferior group or has fallen for the “Jewish lie.” It even offers them a vision of how wonderful the world could be if those who think like they do were in charge. You don’t have to have an IQ of 85 to believe this stuff, you just have to regard yourself as an outsider and a failure who wants to be an insider and a success, but you can’t figure out how to make that happen in the current scheme of things. It also helps if you’re a minority white kid who is surrounded by black kids in a ghetto—or if you’re a nerdy white kid who is bullied by jocks and preppies in a suburb—and it’s the skinheads who protect you. People are just naturally attracted to groups that promote their survival, and this makes them more susceptible to beliefs that would otherwise seem ridiculous.

I would say that my study of these groups has done two things for me. One is that it has made me hate what these people believe—and what they do—even more than I already did, and it has given me a measure of sympathy for them. They’re not all irredeemable, and, when they are redeemed, they are in a far better position to work with their former supporters and, at times, their former victim groups, than you or I. For us, it’s a mindset that we can only imagine, but, for them, it’s something they’ve lived, and every time I’ve read about one who was redeemed, that redemption was made possible by people who kept their hearts open. In many cases, those people were black or Jewish. If that doesn’t make you shed a tear, I don’t know what will.