People across the globe are so angry. There was a stabbing in Lyon, France. Another shooting in Texas. Knife crimes in Britain. There is something every day. Shouldn’t we be trying to figure out why?

We all have our theories of why. It is layered, complicated and does not have one answer but starting to see the other side of the table might be a start. Flaming anger from the top officials across the globe is probably not a good idea either.

I just finished reading Rising Out of Hatred, The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter. It is the story of Derek Black, the son of Don Black, an American white supremacist and god-son of David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. Derek grew up in an isolated world of hatred and anger.

During his years in college, he begins to question the tenets he grew up with. He is incredibly smart and curious. Through Jewish, Latino, Gay and Mexican friends and a lot of reading he denounces everything he stood for and the path he was supposed to take. His girlfriend is his hero.

The book, like Educated, shows one again that given the tools to think for yourself, you can become something different even though you grew up in an echo chamber of something else.

We can all agree to disagree on political subjects but to have that kind of anger is something we all need to do a better job of understanding. Read Rising Out of Hatred. There is a reason that certain young white men are attracted to this anger. We need to understand that along side a new set of gun laws. The problem is multi-dimensional.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Thanks for this.Will check out the book.Know the storyline from The Daily interview with him that I posted on here:The Derek Black interview via The Daily podcast

    1. Gotham Gal

      It’s really good

      1. awaldstein

        thanks.have a long flight coming up soon so need a read.

  2. LE

    This is an interesting.I looked at the book review and saw this:Other students found the courage to reach out to him, including an Orthodox Jew who invited Derek to attend weekly Shabbat dinners. It was because of those dinners–and the wide-ranging relationships formed at that tableSo behaviorally he transitioned from the acceptance given to him by one ‘cult’ to the actual love given to him by another. After all Orthodox judaism at least in many forms is more or less a cult. Just an organized and accepted one. One of my cousins (jewish) while he was in college found his way with ‘jews for jesus’. They took him in and gave him the love that he thought his family didn’t give him.My point is not that he became an orthodox jew. But the acceptance they gave him made him feel good and maybe better than he did with the people who showed him attention prior to that.This is not that surprising. If you took criminals anywhere and invited them into your life, your circle of friends and accepted them they might not be as eager to hang out where they are now doing what they do.

  3. LE

    There is also a great deal of anger as a result of the media always talking up ‘privileged America’ (my term). Or ‘privileged education’.For example this NY Post story about 2 kids lost on a dive boat. The lead and the headline is ‘2 students from elite high school were on doomed dive boat’.…Isn’t it absurd that that fact is in a story like this? Just like IVY League is a brand and always repeated and has led to unintended consequences with education (I graduated from an IVY what so I am not speaking from jealousy honestly it’s great how it’s always talked about and the value it has well after you get the diploma and what you actually learn..)You see people want to thinks it’s just about the privilege of an actor trying to get their child into Stanford. But it’s more than that. Everywhere people are bombarded by examples (in the media) of what it’s like to have something that someone else doesn’t have but was born into. And that really bothers them. If it wasn’t in their face as much (it wasn’t when I was growing up we had the Rockefellers and Howard Hughes and maybe a neighbor with a Cadillac).And it’s not just tabloid headlines [1] Read the wedding engagements in the NY Times in the social section. What do you see? You see colleges, jobs and people many times with abilities but also people who had some advantage. Not to mention NYT luxury good ads and real estate section and ads (see ‘big ticket’ sales of the week which they recently expanded). Full page ads with multi million dollar condos.[1] Gotta love the Post, the NY Media and even SNL – you know without them we would not have Trump as President.

  4. lisa hickey

    On a personal level, I discovered that I always got angry when there was a problem I couldn’t solve. Once I realized that—then, anytime I found myself getting angry I’d just ask “what problem is it I cannot solve?” And then I would get to work solving it instead of getting angry.I almost never get angry anymore.People are angry because they are feeling overwhelmed and hopeless and out of control. Because they don’t know how to solve the problems affecting lives.Getting together with people of diverse backgrounds gives you different points of views and more and different ways to solve problems. At the same time, it increases your empathy.More empathy + problem solving skills would make the world a better place for most people, IMO.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Totally agree

  5. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Very very much related is the emerging realization that YouTube is playing a huge role in the radicalization of young white men. I’ve watched the targeting happening to my own son. We’ve had to talk about it *a lot*.For those who are deeply interested in this topic, there’s a recently published study that will, as they say, blow your hair back (linked here).…The age of the disinformation epidemic is upon us. It’s going to take structural and cultural change to combat it.As I first learned from @lisa_hickey:disqus , in fact, the radicalization path often starts with—you guessed it—anti-feminism.There was a good Twitter thread a few weeks back that recommended steps to take if your son is being seduced by this crap. I can’t find the thread now, but, one approach that I remember and have used very successfully is to introduce your kid to truly funny vloggers who are progressive (humor is a seriously powerful tool used by the alt-right). Randy Rainbow, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, etc. are good ones. I showed my son Randy Rainbow the other day, and he loved it (which in turn threw a curveball at YouTube’s algorithm and put better stuff in his suggestions).Ben Collins is a talented reporter on this beat… Totally recommend following him. He’s out ahead of things.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Woah. Will follow

    2. SFG

      Grew up in SV and have worked here my entire life. Never a whiff of white privilege. Never a whiff of white supremacy. Never a whiff of any of this. And if I’m so supreme, I just don’t get it how I’m not with the program? Must be a laggard. Throughout the decades, we have all just lived our lives and worked in a racially diverse environment — which is the norm.My daughter does not get it either.Every young guy I know is just digging for his young life to better himself.And isn’t throwing an entire racial group into a category, racist?

      1. Gotham Gal

        You are privileged to live there and not see what else is out there

        1. SFG

          Fine, but don’t label me.

          1. Gotham Gal

            I won’t. Nobody should be labeled.

        2. SFG

          And vast swaths of San Jose are very poor. This is not the Goldilocks zone for so very many millions.