The Washington Post, on Sunday, published an article “The Road to Hate” about six Nazis who participated in the Charlottesville riot. Some thoughts below:
- Personal status, which is partially defined by economics, is important. Both in terms of gaining access to an upper-middle class life, and not having a ‘bad’ job.
- If certain jobs are perceived as non-white, and thus undesirable and low status, it will be hard to fix this. If whites require certain jobs, not just a job, but jobs that do not code as non-white, economic remedies become much harder. That said, higher wages across the board along with reduced income inequality can help take the bite out of this, as this will improve the status of (supposed) non-white jobs.
- If you’re truly serious about intersectionality, and not just using it as tribal signaling or a rhetorical bludgeon, then you have to realize there is an economic role in all of this, though it is not a simple one, nor is the solution solely reducible to economics. Natural history, including human history, is complicated.
- What I don’t get is this:
For Connor Perrin, 29, of Austin, who grew up upper-middle class, it was during college when he felt campus liberals were ostracizing his fraternity because it was white. “If only people would stop attacking us,” he said. “I can’t say anything just because I’m white. I can’t talk about race, and I can’t talk about the Jews because I’ll be called an anti-Semite, and I can’t say I want to date my own race.”
Take it from a former campus liberal, if they were ostracizing your frat, it’s probably because they don’t like frats at all; also, the reality at most universities is that frats are de facto segregated.
But the key thing is why does he feel the need to talk about race–or Jews? I can understand racial issues arising, but Jews? We’re really not central to U.S. life, unless you’re already a biogted conspiracist who believes we control everything. But I find it hard to believe that an inability to “talk about the Jews” was a defining point in his life (aside: “the Jews” is a tell. Bigly). Given that one of the subjects claims everyone back home agrees with him, it’s pretty clear that some of them were raised in racist environments. Even if they weren’t around white supremacists, it would seem run-of-the-mill racism (and misogyny) were ‘gateway drugs.’
- One of the men was radicalized while in jail. To the extent we can intervene earlier and keep people out of jail, we can reduce the recruiting pool.
- That none of them were discouraged by the murder of Heather Heyer, except as it weakened their movement, is reprehensible. Contrast that with the reaction when a Sanders supporter attacked several Congressmen and their staff.
This doesn’t excuse their Nazism at all, but to the extent there are structural remedies (as opposed to hoping people somehow magically learn how to not hate), a better and more equitable economy would help. It would also help the people they purport to hate–which is to say, the rest of us–and there’s no downside in that at all.