All Boards => Current Events => Topic started by: wvit1001 on 10 30, 18, 02:18:36:PM

Title: The fear behind the hate
Post by: wvit1001 on 10 30, 18, 02:18:36:PM
As a former leader of a white supremacist group in the late 1980s and early 1990s, seeing images of Jewish, black, Latino, Asian and Muslim children today make me ask myself how I could have been so deranged as to think that they were anything less than children.

The answer is: fear.

Fear has the capacity to destroy us. Everything I did back then was rooted in fear, as was every genocide in human history. And nationalism cannot exist without fear: fear of losing, fear of others, fear of change.

Thus, it's no surprise that nationalism and genocide often go hand in hand. As George Orwell wrote in his essay on nationalism, the spiritual sickness of it is by no means restricted to nations and geographic borders.

Throughout human history -- from our earliest tribal skirmishes through the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, Stalin's purges, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, the Rwandan genocide, the mass murders at the Oak Creek gurdwara and Emanuel AME and up to the most recent tragedy at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh -- nationalist thinking has led to unspeakable suffering.

Before the brutal mass murder of 11 Jews on Saturday morning, the shooter posted, "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."

HIAS is a Jewish nonprofit that helps immigrants and refugees resettle in the United States, in the same way a Christian agency helped my friend Heval Kelli and his family settle in the United States as refugees from Syria.

Note the intense fear in the shooter's statement. He had himself convinced that his people were being slaughtered.

Looking back at how my twisted mind operated when I was a white nationalist, I spun every shred of information to suit that same narrative of fear. They are coming for us. And nationalism was the context necessary to focus fear into an us/them binary.