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[flagged] Why I Left White Nationalism (nytimes.com)
89 points by diogofranco on Nov 28, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 116 comments



Through many talks with devoted and diverse people there — people who chose to invite me into their dorms and conversations rather than ostracize me — I began to realize the damage I had done.

I suppose this is the key. No group will be convinced by being publicly ostracised or relentlessly attacked; that's going to do nothing but further entrench division. But it's difficult to figure out steps that one can take as an individual to help.


This cannot be stressed enough.

There are plenty of behaviors that people, specially young people going through the "rebellious" phase of their lives, engage for the shock value, for the "I'm the only sane man among sheeps" feeling and that can usually be explained by the lack of maturity and contact with the real world.

The only result that comes with ostracizing these people is to throw them at the arms of the only groups that will accept them with open arms: people seriously sharing the same ideology and that will welcome this person with open arms.

The real solution to ignorance is not to cut the ignorant from the flock but to show them the errors on their ways.

People tend to grow out of these phases and helping them out in that path instead of cutting them and punishing them is a much better way to deal with this problem.


There's very little that makes me as sad as seeing extremist behaviour become the norm on both sides of the aisle. Seeing people not listen to each other and fighting empty devils.

I first saw it with gamergate a while back. As someone very close to the games industry, and in games media back then, I was very interested by the movement (which, at the time anyway, wanted to put a spotlight on corruption in games media)... then after it did some good, it turned into a "hunt all the SJWs" parody of itself and very much became an example of what the alt-right is today.

What happened there was simply people not listening... and instead of listening, sharing whatever story fell in line with the narrative. Twitter makes it easy to block dissenting opinions. Reddit naturally silences disagreement with downvotes. Facebook just natively doesn't show you the stuff you don't like. Social media is a fucking scourge, I swear.

As the movement becomes more and more extreme, it attracts more and more extreme people and the moderates naturally leave (or convert), as they have no way to fight the trend back on a platform that amplifies the majority.

And of course both "sides" in a fight become involved in a cherry-picking fight of who can find the worst of the other's community and showcase it as proof of how relentlessly EVIL the "other side" is. Because, you know, everybody's like that, right?

It's fucking impossible to be a moderate nowadays. This is probably the main reason why I enjoy commenting on HN, where discussion is possible (probably because of details such as upvote counts not showing and a really nice sorting algorithm). Though it has its own issues with community flagging - Take this post for example: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12977633 (A moderate article that looked at issues on the left, flagged out despite 100+ upvotes)


Actually, I think this is much more the key: "I never would have begun my own conversations without first experiencing clear and passionate outrage to what I believed from those I interacted with."

Outrage is the only reasonable first response to what happened and must come first. If that opens the doors of discussion like it did here, great. Most likely it won't as most people are not persuaded by argument, though they are susceptible to manipulation by sympathy.

When those people choose hate over everything else, however, they deserve to be ostracized and relentlessly attacked. Hate is NOT acceptable. I'm disgusted by those who suggest otherwise, especially in the name of "understanding" the other side. It not only shows an incredible lack of understanding about the human condition, it encourages the acceptance of that hate as a legitimate part of the political process, and brings into question the morals of the person making the suggestion to acquiesce to hate.


It's true, but it really has to start with an open mind on their end. In my experience, I find that people who have racist beliefs often see differing viewpoints as the enemy - the first breach being simple consideration of a new perspective. That's not a good place to be in terms of personal growth.

Unfortunately, any sort of hate group's views are damaging to society as a whole, and the larger community has to balance understanding and tolerance (with the aim of eventual conversion) with the need to immediately condemn it. I view it as a societal disease that must be curbed.

Sometimes I worry that too much understanding is as bad as none at all. Supremacy of one group of living things over another (including animals vs humans) simply cannot be legitimized to any extent.


    I find that people who have racist beliefs often see differing viewpoints as the enemy - the first breach being simple consideration of a new perspective.
True, but the problem is not limited to racists. I'm in the "moderate" part of the political spectrum, and I find that far too many people on both the left and right have the same behaviors.

I suggest to my left-leaning friends that government should be a "last resort" solution at best, and is frequently actually the problem; to my right-leaning friends I explain the crucial importance of privacy, civil liberties, and equal justice; and in either case the response is frequently incredulous disbelief and contempt for my naivete and/or obvious privilege yada yada yada.

The echo chambers are real, and they are a threat to our civil society.


> Through many talks with devoted and diverse people there — people who chose to invite me into their dorms and conversations rather than ostracize me — I began to realize the damage I had done.

> That kind of persuasion happens in person-to-person interactions and it requires a lot of honest listening on both sides. For me, the conversations that led me to change my views started because I couldn’t understand why anyone would fear me. I thought I was only doing what was right and defending those I loved.

These two quotes kinda resonate with me. I'm no longer on a college campus and can only take an impression from afar. But it seems like these two scenarios are more and more infrequent. It seems like now you must show that you have not been "tainted" by listening to someone with "reprehensible" opinions. This article states that people who didn't convulse at the mere thought of him, but sat down and talked to him are the reason why he drifted from his ideology. Now, it seems like you could be ostracized yourself for even visiting this person in their dorm room.


I think you're drawing too much from the author's experiences when it comes to changing people's minds. Engagement rarely, if ever, changes the opinions of people because people debate to hear how they're right and not how they're wrong. For years I've engaged my parents on the issue of my desire to transition (being that I'm transgender). And every time they respond with a cold shoulder or some mild rebuke. This has been the norm for sixteen years and they're not changing. So why should I engage them or anyone else like them?


Forgive me if I'm getting too personal, but are you looking for tolerance or acceptance?

Because "live and let live" is an old and honored American tradition, and taking this out of the domain of the family, not being able to refuse to bake a gay wedding cake is the antithesis of that tradition.

They're not directly comparable, because it's your parents, then again, you hardly have to go so far as to desire to transition to be given the cold shoulder or anything but a mild rebuke over something else that differs that's fundamental in your nature and that's different between you and your parents (in my case it pertained to simply going to college).


"Because "live and let live" is an old and honored American tradition, and taking this out of the domain of the family, not being able to refuse to bake a gay wedding cake is the antithesis of that tradition."

The problem with that argument is that it means I can force Christians seeking employment to urinate on the Bible as a condition of that employment. So, the law as it stands prevents me from forcing Christians to denigrate themselves for a quick buck. Similarly, I can't deny Christians access to my services as a programmer. So why should a Christian baker be able to deny their services in kind?

Do you see the problem here? Basically, it would lead to an economic apartheid where the evangelical majority in the South can deny services to those who aren't them. These aren't just bakers either but medical doctors, EMTs, and police officers. Can you imagine a gay person dying from kidney cancer being told by the oncologist they're not going to treat them for their cancer until they repent? This has happened in the United States during the AIDS scare of the 80s. Hospices, hospitals, and individual medical staff refused to treat AIDS patients. Is that the kind of "tolerance" you want? Or do you want the law to say "keep your faith at home." Because even when I was an evangelical years ago I knew that the law was for my benefit too. If you think that a complex society like ours can live that way I'm just done with this conversation.

"They're not directly comparable, because it's your parents, then again, you hardly have to go so far as to desire to transition to be given the cold shoulder or anything but a mild rebuke over something else that differs that's fundamental in your nature and that's different between you and your parents (in my case it pertained to simply going to college)."

In college, you're not obliged to a conversation with your fellow students. If they're there to learn and it's not part of the credit requirement to debate you on a topic in the course then how about you take a hint and leave that person alone. I know that's mean of me but being that I went to college and grad school I found there was little time for chitchat and whenever there was any it wasn't about my gender identity. So, I guess I see college as something I didn't worry about challenging anything because my interest was getting a degree to get a good job and not to play faux activist. Because honestly, there's little virtue in trying to convince "the other side" of anything. I'd rather they just get their collective heads out of their butts and realize my humanity isn't conditional. If it's too hard for them to see me as human then well they're gonna have a bad time talking to me (as I might likely mock their dear Lord and Savior).


This has happened in the United States during the AIDS scare of the 80s. Hospices, hospitals, and individual medical staff refused to treat AIDS patients.

Were you, you know, actually around for this "scare"?

It wasn't a "scare", it was a debilitating and universally fatal infectious blood-born disease, which we'd gotten out of the habit of admitting was such a thing, And more than a few healthcare workers contracted it from their patients.

I'm going to call you on this claim of facts of refusal to treat AIDS patients, which I know happened at small scales, dentists included, for not everyone is Florence Nightingale brave, while also pointing out that prior to the development of effective treatments this didn't, you know, actually effect eventual outcomes. And was it widespread enough to be a major thing, enough that people were denied treatment altogether, as opposed to having to get it from someone else?

Going further, are we eventually going to regret according civil rights to a disease? Suppose Ebola had been much more transmissible than it turned out to be (helps when it kills so fast, it'll get really bad if/when it adapts and kills less, and less quickly).


First, you don't have to be alive during something to know about it's history. We have these things called books and there's plenty of people still alive from the early 1980s. In fact, if you want to know I was born in 1980 and I remember that the scare was still present even in my home state of Kansas where I was instructed by my own parents to use toilet covers in public restrooms because I might get AIDS. Yes, son, it was that bad where people were doing idiotic things.

Also, I have gay friends who were teenagers and adults from that time who told me the stories about how doctors refusing to even give antibiotics to infected friends. So, I don't want to hear your bullshit about it being a "blood-born disease" on such matters.

Furthermore, you're dishonest for trying to conflate the disease with the patient. AIDS doesn't mean a doctor shrinks away from treating their patients, nor does Ebola for that matter. If you became a doctor in a general hospital score some nurse tail then you're in the wrong business. Try consulting or taking patients on a per-invite basis (such clinics exist for a reason). On top of all that, you've just proven yourself to be the bigot I expect because you conflate the disease with the patient rather than address my principle points regarding why we have such laws in place for PUBLIC businesses.

So, if you want to address that point I'm game but if you can't admit that freedom of association is not unlimited then we can't discuss anything. So, do you think it's okay for me to force Christians to urinate on the Bible or a figure of Jesus as a requirement in a job interview. Or to pledge their souls to Satan (since I know some Satanists who are business owners believe it or not)? Let's see how far you wanna go down the rabbit hole of apartheid.


  When the most powerful demographic in the United States came together to assert that making America great again meant asserting their supremacy, they were asserting my supremacy.
I find this rhetoric troubling; I know many Trump supporters and none would explain their vote in terms of asserting "supremacy" for their demographic. Given the author's background, I see how he could reach that conclusion, but his assertion stands in opposition to other parts of his article in which he states that engagement is the key to changing minds. I'm not too sure why he thinks that smearing the millions of voters who supported Trump as white supremacists is a positive step toward engaging them in civil discussion.


Following that statement, the author spends the rest of the article explaining how the people asserting supremacy often do not see it as such.

It is an implicit and unwitting reality of the position they are taking. I used to be one of these folks; I couldn't see the harm and hate of my own positions, thanks to the fog of ethnocentrism.


So, the author was in one group and subscribed to the majority opinion there, and then adopted another majority opinion of a new social circle?


Every opinion is the majority opinion of some social circle. That is not the point of the article. The point is that the author has been exposed to both white supremacy and tolerance, is in a position where he can evaluate both of them from an insider's view, and clearly chose tolerance as the morally superior option.


> Every opinion is the majority opinion of some social circle.

But not every opinion is the majority opinion of the social circle that the person is immersed in right now.

> clearly chose tolerance as the morally superior option

Possibly. But also it's possible that the fact that this was a much more socially acceptable opinion played a significant role.


I constantly see this assumption from people who attack left-wing culture. It is a mistake to assume someone supports PC politics out of "virtue signaling" or a desire to be socially accepted. Maybe some people do that, but many don't. Most of the time you won't have proof either way. Don't assume.

It is intellectually lazy to discount the possibility that someone could assess pro-diversity ideas with an open mind and simply find them superior. Regardless of your politics, that's just giving an opposing ideology the respect it deserves.

You don't know if this guy drifted left because of social pressure, and frankly that's a silly and disrespectful thing to assume.


I would make the same point if he migrated from left to right in the similar circumstances. My logic is not based on the nature of the beliefs he expressed; only on a correlation between peer pressure and what he believes in.


Do you believe anyone ever actually takes any position out of genuine conscience?


Absolutes don't exist, and the world isn't black and white - which doesn't mean that everything is the same shade of 50% gray.


he seems to be overly prone to ideology.


"For every woke dude, there are 10 burned out feminists."

I don't know who said this, but it's true for many things.

Ten or hundred people telling someone they're wrong, isn't enough to change what year long indoctrination has done.

Even if you think "I talked to thousands of racists in my life and I just don't want to waste my time to change their minds" you should still do it, because it has an effect, just not for all of the thousand people you talked to.


The reality is that half of the voters chose white supremacy, though saying that makes me a hypocrite.

Wut? People who voted for Obama voted for Trump! Seems like when people, like this guy, get emotional over election results, they throw all logic out of the window.


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It isn't brainwashing, it is just exposure. The author does not state that it was anything being taught, anything being forced on him. Rather, it was the exposure to individuals who were being hurt by the politics he favored. Previously, he had been in exactly the sort of echo chamber that you are describing, and afterward, he had conversations with people outside of that bubble.

It is the same way that many people will be strongly against gay rights, until one of their relatives comes out. Knowing somebody who is personally hurt by an ideology gives somebody the kick that they need to reconsider the ideology as a whole.


Rather, it was the exposure to individuals who were being hurt by the politics he favored.

And whites, especially male and/or heterosexuals, aren't "being hurt" by the Left's campaign against them, that says we're uniquely guilty, uniquely unable to absolve ourselves of this guilt, or as Hillary put it, "irredeemable"?

Just what is the Left's end game for us? Should we take a clue from its crowing about how soon we'll be a minority in the US?

Any particular reason we shouldn't join the game of identity politics that every other group is playing? Any particular reason we must commit suicide (which is by no means an entirely figurative thing in the US)?


The loss of a privileged position is not the same as being hurt. I, as a cisgender heterosexual white male, am still able to walk down the street without being catcalled. I can go to a public restroom without fear of physical assault. I can marry whomever I choose. I can apply for a job without having my application thrown out on account of my name. Why does it hurt me if those basic human decencies are given to other people as well?

As to the "irredeemable" comment, I don't believe that has ever applied to all white males. It doesn't apply to those who give basic human decency to others. On the other hand, if you claim special rights by virtue of skin color, gender, or religion, and if you would deny human rights to others based on these factors, then yes, I would call you part of the basket of deplorables.


The Alt Right's position on your first paragraph is that all those are fine, but those "basic human decencies" should be accorded to others in their own lands ("diversity + proximity = war), ignoring the minor detail that simple facts always put women at a disadvantage in physical combat unless they effectively arm themselves. You are, I assume, in favor of legal concealed carry? Or have noted that women, and minority women, are doing it at ever greater rates, enough to significantly change gun design and production patterns?

But some of what you say in it is ludicrous on its face:

I can go to a public restroom without fear of physical assault.

Really? You must live some place special where no crime occurs in such venues.

I can apply for a job without having my application thrown out on account of my name.

But your race, sex or sexual orientation? Haven't you noticed you're at a disadvantage here more and more? I mean, this was the theme of an episode of Archie Bunker which aired in the 1970s, the iconic scene was "Meathead" slamming a door so hard it broke the glass in it, very memorable.

Moving on:

On the other hand, if you claim special rights by virtue of skin color, gender, or religion

You're claiming a full on assault is "[t]he loss of a privileged position"; I guess at best we'll just have to agree to disagree, since it appears that simply asking for equal rights in the identity politics game, heck, even being allowed to play it, is beyond the pale for you, puts me in the basket of deplorables. But correct me if I'm wrong about that summation of your position.


> [...] simple facts always put women at a disadvantage in physical combat unless they effectively arm themselves. You are, I assume, in favor of legal concealed carry? Or have noted that women, and minority women, are doing it at ever greater rates, enough to significantly change gun design and production patterns?

As an aside, as someone who considers firearms ownership and possession basic human rights, I'm extremely happy about this development and have been doing everything in my power to assist - to the point that I've offered a standing invitation on my city's subreddit to take anyone who would like to learn about firearms and self-defense to the range at my own expense. It's "anecdata", but the people who have taken me up on this offer have been about as far from the "rural white male conservative" stereotype as one could imagine.

>> I can apply for a job without having my application thrown out on account of my name. >But your race, sex or sexual orientation?

This is an interesting point for me as well - I'm a 32-year-old white male named "Lyndsy". I've had a couple of hiring processes stop cold on me the moment the hiring manager saw me in person or on Skype. I have no doubt that it was because I'm a man, and they were hoping to hire a woman. I actually don't blame them for this - my own political views allow for discrimination based on any factor - but it has been interesting.


"Really? You must live some place special where no crime occurs in such venues."

Transgender people like me (those of us who can't pass for jack squat even if we had our own platoon of makeup artists) are targeted on a regular basis when we use public restrooms and changing rooms.

As for the Alt Right, their ideologies are old as hell and quite frankly idiotic. It's like debating orthodox Marxist-Leninists. They just trot out the same old arguments without regard to the history of their implementation (and failure). So, until the Alt Right comes up with something fresh (i.e. not a mere criticism of liberalism which every has done since the ideology sprang up) I'm not going to entertain their nonsense either.


About my only reply can be http://www.pinkpistols.org/

Although, just because an argument is old, doesn't mean it's wrong.... Can you really say "diversity + proximity = war" is wrong? With the very concrete example you give above???


"About my only reply can be http://www.pinkpistols.org/"

That doesn't work when it comes to states with even SYG laws. Especially if the judge sees the act of the use of force as endangerment of the public.

"Although, just because an argument is old, doesn't mean it's wrong.... Can you really say "diversity + proximity = war" is wrong? With the very concrete example you give above???"

Have you even studied the history of war? Like at all? Cause no one believes that mere differences in culture is the primary cassus belli for war in terms of history. The fact is it's majoratively been about resource acquisition; be it land or people. All other CBs for wars are purely subordinate to the acquisition of resources (ideologies don't fill bellies). And to say otherwise is firmly put your own head of your arse when it comes to the matter. So I'm not inclined to listen to the Alt Right jerks who think Crusader Kings 2 is an accurate portrayal of the Medieval Real Politik.


That doesn't work when it comes to states with even SYG laws.

Really??? Evidence, please, for I'm not aware of this being a serious problem, and this is one of my domains of semi-expertise. As in, nowadays with the changes in state laws I carry concealed almost every time I walk out the door, my state was not a SYG one, and wouldn't bother if that was futile. This of course includes when I go to public bathrooms.

As for "endangerment of the public", I've never heard of it being an issue when a gun was used responsibly and none but the perpetrators were seriously injured. But I have heard of the deaths of innocents being charged as felony murder, by the surviving perpetrators (it can, of course, go the other way, see that bit about responsibly).

Do you have any facts, any incidents to back these claims up, or do you have another reason to claim that effective self-defense is futile, even to the point where it's better to be carried by six instead of judged by twelve, to reverse the normal formulation of that saying?

And we're just going to have to agree to disagree on your last point, for I have been seriously studying war since the 1970s, and there are plenty of examples of ideological wars. Heck, on Hitler's part, WWII was not a war of necessity; yeah, he wanted more resources, but Germany was doing rather well as it was, and e.g. being cut off from British coal directly led to the invasion of the Soviet Union (let's invade Russia during the winter to take their food, what could possibly go wrong?; see The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy for the detail, if you can stomach them https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0670038261/ Not finished, and not (yet) replaced after it was damaged by a tornado)). Nor, for that matter, was WWI primarily about that, although the resources of Alsace-Loraine were certainly an additional motivator. The French wanted revenge after they got skunked in the Franco-Prussian War, and they sure got their fill of it.

Heck, was Bush the son's 2nd Iraq War one of those? We didn't, you know, take their oil....


Your entire post has Dunning-Kruger all over it.

1. Google SYG cases and see how each state defers to judges. In Florida it's always up to a judge once a DA offers the case for examination. They can shoot it down on their own terms (heh). Other state SYGs are similar. Plus, many LGBT people don't live in SYG states. Minnesota has duty to retreat like the rest of us.

2. Again your examples are one driven by human desire for resources. Ideologies are the AAR of wars, not their progenitors. And to say otherwise is to be basically a complete moron.

And if you don't like my opinion, you can kindly go chat up someone else. :)


The Left in America is hardly left of anyone. What you should be calling the modern Democratic party is neoliberal because their policies reflect this ideology perfectly. And there's plenty to criticize on neoliberalism but when it comes to civil rights that's not one of them. Plus, what hurts white men isn't social but rather economic which is the principle issue I have with Democrats who've ignored the economy (it was Democrats who held Obama's stimulus hostage and not the Republicans as they already voiced their opposition). So until the Democrats cleans out the neoliberal garbage I expect them to keep crowing about id politics without regard to the larger econ politics which affects us all.


My reply is the Instapundit's, embrace the power of "and", it can be both ideology, although that's really now becoming more identity politics, and economics.

Sometimes they go hand in hand, like the importation of vast numbers of low skilled workers as eventual citizens, displacing native low skilled workers. and "dissolving the people and electing another" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_L%C3%B6sung forgive my paraphrasing of the German I don't know). See all the crowing about how whites will soon become a minority in the US.

Sometimes it's purely economic, like US citizens and permanent residents being forced to train their H-1B indentured servant replacements.

(Then we could e.g. get to the more complicated things like why manufacturing has become so expensive here, lots of that is ideology and the like, but the above serves to illustrate my point.)


The funny thing about the H1B program is that the majority of people who voted for Trump or vote for the Republicans rarely ever talk about it. It's always fear of some Mexican teenager trying to "steal" some low wage agriculture job. It never seems to enter the minds of the conservatives that the facts of immigration aren't what they make it out to be. Specifically, that illegal immigrants are the least significant factor in depressed wages. H1B is a larger factor in this regard. So, it's funny that Trump's the only candidate in a long time to raise this issue. Too bad he's utter crap on the rest of his politics.


He's hardly the only one, see e.g. Sessions, his pick for AG, which will allow them to crack down on the white line illegal uses of H-1B visas without any need for new legislation.

You're mistaking talking about it with the press being unable to ignore Trump like they'd done with the previous politicians who'd made a fuss about it, modulo the symbol laden example of Disney pulling this stunt, which, you'll note, they never made a "campaign" about. To take one of the most ludicrous and iconic example of this, the NYT had much more important things to do, like get women membership in the Augusta National Golf Club.

It's also the case that H-1Bs only seriously affect our domain of "IT", and unless you're in that, it's not in your face like Latin Americans e.g. transforming your neighborhood. Something I witnessed in the dozen years I spent in central Arlington, VA (although these, at least, made good neighbors. Heh, in the D.C. Metro area Arlington was by a good measure the most "diverse" of the municipalities/counties).


First, H1Bs aren't illegal. The companies are following the rules to the letter of the law. It's the H1B program that's the problem. Second, no politician in the years H1B was enacted sought its suspension. It's been in existence for a long time (seems decades by my reading of the Migration and Nationality Act of 1965), so what took them so long to notice? I think the fact that FWD.us was exposed for what it was got the ball rolling, among other factors such as the depressed wages of professors in universities across the country.


Direct replacement of a citizen or permanent resident employee with an H-1B visa holder is technically illegal. Weasel word because up to now, the DoJ has not seen fit to prosecute such cases.

Per Wikipedia, it started in 1990, thanks to G. H. W. Bush and the Democratic Congress (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa). Which would have followed the NSF's et. al. 1980's campaign to reduce the cost of scientific labor by claiming there was a grave skills shortage.

As for "suspending it", Sessions at least took the "Intel yes, Infosys no" approach with his 2015 bill, but I agree the whole program is a problem. But I'll take his and Trump's position, which I think will take legislation, as a good first step.


It's not a weasel word. It's a fact. Law isn't about what's right, it's about what works. H1B worked for a while, but now it doesn't. So take it to Congress and stop trying to support an overt xenophobe like Jeff Sessions who also is a garbage fire when it comes to LGBT rights. It's just not gonna happen.


As a kinda-technically-white male heterosexual myself, I think you've been reading too many conspiracy websites, or possibly idiotic Twitter feeds, if you think anyone is asking us to "commit suicide", or claiming we're "guilty". Also, as a Jew, welcome to being a minority: you'll live.


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> You're welcome to square Hillary calling me "irredeemable" with the Left's treatment of such people, the National Socialist German Workers' Party providing just one particularly relevant example to your and my discussion here.

The NSDAP isn't an example of the "left" (they copied the name of an earlier Austrian political party, whose basic platform they adapted as their public platform, removing all the remotely leftist planks and adding new exclusionary nationalist ones.)

Also, it's kind of odd that you'd bring them up as a negative example, since the same kind of exclusionary deportationist policy you advocate for Jews is what they publicly advocated and practiced, I initially focusing on excluding, before progressing to the other branch of the "exclude or eliminate" that you have endorsed.

You may not identify as a neo-Nazi or White Nationalist and may have a deep aversion to that label, but the policies you enthusiastically embrace are the definitive core of White Nationalism and very hard to distinguish from the substance of neo-Nazi belief.


Clinton's remarks did not reflect well upon her and were revealing about her attitude towards a large number of people.

That said, her meaning was not "Trump Supporter"->"irredeemable", it was "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic"->"irredeemable".

It's weird to claim "irredeemable" as a badge if you aren't also claiming one of those other things as a badge.


As the Left defines them, I am every one of "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic".

Although you would think more would realize by now "The Race Card is Maxed Out": http://www.cc.com/video-clips/m0pvy5/the-daily-show-with-jon...


Could you maybe spell out what you believe the left believes then?


At the base, in the perfectibility of man, as I discussed elsewhere in this subthread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13055322 Pretty much everything flows from that.


No, I mean the specific belief the left would use to decide on each label.


No, I can't really tell you, it's all in my view at this point just whatever comes handy to declare your enemy as being doubleplusungood and beyond the pale.

To take the best personal example I have, in my lifetime, since I became politically and socially aware in the very early '70s, "racist" meant something, something effectively concrete, something real and observable. Now can mean something as anodyne as disagreeing with an opinion or position of Obama's.


No, I can't really tell you, it's all in my view at this point just whatever comes handy to declare your enemy as being doubleplusungood and beyond the pale.

This is not an accurate understanding.

But it is a useful point for the conversation to reach. If you are not willing to evaluate the accuracy of that belief, you also won't give consideration to other arguments that contradict it.


>To finish, with you being a Jew, "What you mean 'we,' kemosabe?" You're very much correct to weasel word "kinda-technically-white".

I like how you try to blame the Holocaust on the Left, and then admit that you're an alt-right neo-Nazi who fully intends that Jews be excluded if not eliminated from society.


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These threads are toxic waste dumps, and you did more than anyone else to make this one so. But you also did something that goes beyond merely pouring toxic waste into threads (which plenty of other people have been doing as well).

> You've [Jews] got your own homeland now, which we of the Alt West fully support, relocate yourself there.

It makes me sick to read that here. My first instinct is usually to let users off with a warning, especially when they've been here a long time and post good comments in other contexts. But we've already given you countless warnings, way more than we give most users who repeatedly flout our requests to use this site as intended. And then I recall that you just told Jews to "relocate themselves" on HN, and I want to throw up. Therefore I've banned your account.


Thank you, Dan.


Yeah, if you want to convince people you aren't an anti-Semite and neo-nazi, calling the ADL a "fever swamp" without some substantial supporting argument probably isn't the best place to start.

Of course, following that up with calling for the mass exclusion of Jews from all societies other than that of the State of Israel is not helpful, either.

And there'd be more consistency to your argument there if you argued that non-Jewish Whites should be, similarly, excluded from all societies other than those of the European continent.


[flagged]


Well, I agree with your last paragraph, which is why is draw the line before even starting the ridiculous line of argument. But since you started it with Jews, if you don't want to be seen as an anti-Semite, you probably shouldn't endorse such an exclusionist position for the Jews and no one else.

Or if, as you say, you Just Don't Care how you are seen, then stop complaining when your overt and blatant anti-Semitism is rightly called out as such. I mean, for someone who doesn't care, you seem pretty darned sensitive on that point.


How does a neo-Nazi end up with more karma than me on Hacker news?

You should be banned from here. Seriously. Advocating that Jews be "excluded if not eliminated from society" is hate speech.

It greatly disappoints me that the HN moderators apparently think it's okay to leave virulent anti-semitism unchecked.

I am Jewish. I have never been to Israel. America is my home. Why do you want to tear that away from me?


> It greatly disappoints me that the HN moderators apparently think it's okay to leave virulent anti-semitism unchecked.

We don't come close to seeing all the comments here, so that's not a valid conclusion to draw. The likeliest explanation in such cases is that we haven't seen the post yet.


You're right.

I apologize for assuming that you had seen the comment and for believing hga's assertion that you had reviewed his comments and determined that the good made up for the bad. This was entirely my mistake, and is probably a testament to the effectiveness of a veneer of respectability over cold-blooded hatred.

That a long-time commentator could call for ethnic cleansing of myself and my family upset me greatly and I apologize for letting that emotional reaction extend to the moderators.

If you would like to remove this subthread, feel free. I don't want people incorrectly assuming that HN mods don't care.


I 100% know you are working in good faith and I thank you for what you do--the profusion of straight-up white supremacy (notable over the usual stew of MRA nonsense and generally reprehensible race politics) over the last few months has started to make me wonder if this phenomenon on HN is important enough to y'all for you to be paying it the attention it deserves in order to effectively combat it. I started using my favorite-comments list as a hall of shame, and mostly gave up after, like, two days because there were way, way too many of them to actually pick up on 'cause it really is all over the place.

I appreciate what you're saying in this subthread, but from below, the infection has to this point seemed to largely pass by the proprietorship. And it's some bad shit, so that's pretty worrying! Of course, I am a very biased observer, and I'm certainly not suggesting you take what I'm saying as Gospel but merely anecdotal experience...but I know I'm not the only one in this subtree who's getting this vibe, 'cause we've talked about it off-HN.


I banned two accounts in this thread as soon as I saw what they had posted, so I think your impression is probably a mix of us interpreting some of these comments differently (though probably not the worst ones, such as here) and simply not seeing the same comments.

When it comes to interpreting, we try (hard) to give users the benefit of the doubt. That does leaves room for comments that suck, but the alternatives that I'm aware of would suck worse.

Two things that override the benefit of the doubt are (a) when someone is using HN primarily for politics or ideology, and (b) when we warn someone or ask them to use the site as intended and they still don't change. If you notice cases of that, or cases where we need to be warning someone and haven't yet, those are what we most appreciate having brought to our attention. I skimmed through both your 'favorite' comments and flagged comments lists and didn't see any clear cases of these.


Please try to at least crack down on the most consistently hateful users.


Do you email the mods about the worst comments?

EDIT: (I didn't downvote you, btw)


I emailed the mods about this comment thread. In retrospect, that should have been my first action (instead of commenting under the assumption that they had seen it).


Your question was most likely rhetorical, but here goes: hga has had a lot of non-political comments on the site as well, and been on the site over twice as long as you have. That's a lot of time to gather karma.

They've been recently called out by the HN mods: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12994342


Yea, my question was more rhetorical.

For the record, I think it is a problem that someone can consistently drop hateful political rhetoric (I looked through hga's history) essentially without repercussions. It looks like he has some perfectly fine technical contributions, but that shouldn't be an excuse to regularly derail threads with hateful commentary.

Any new account which displayed hga's history of political commentary would be summarily banned. I'm skeptical that HN should allow such commentary to continue just because it comes from the same account that has technically good content.


I was purely providing a speculative explanation, not a justification. Nor do I think some calculus balancing good posts versus bad posts is being done by the mods. If you read me as implying either, that wasn't in any way my intent nor my position.


Sorry, I didn't think you were arguing that at all. I'm mostly just venting about the level of hate which so many humans are seemingly capable of (and how few resources the rest of us have to combat it).


Nor do I think some calculus balancing good posts versus bad posts is being done by the mods.

It is, though, based on ... dang's comments I think, in a previous incident.

They to date don't appear to believe that I "consistently drop hateful political rhetoric" nor to I believe I do, and I certainly try to avoid "regularly derail[ing] threads". Take this discussion, for example, what I've had to say is pretty much by definition on topic in a topic about "White Nationalism"


Please don't confuse our not seeing all the comments with endorsements of what we don't see.


[flagged]


That your biggest objection to the Nazis is their supposed socialism is a pretty big red flag.

Your "alt right" position on Jews is precisely that of anti-Semites and Nazis. They too called for the "exclusion if not elimination" of my people.

You should be banned from HN. I will say that in no uncertain terms. You are a hateful person calling for the mass deportation of citizens and threatening "much worse selections on the menu" if that isn't fast enough for you.

Nobody is suggesting that you should be forced out of the country and/or into gas chambers. Get a reality check. Your racist ideology is totally non-sensical: if I didn't tell you, you would have no idea that I wasn't yet another of your favored Aryan whites, yet you still want to deport and/or murder me.

The one thing I'll commend you for is that you post these comments under your real name. That way I can be sure I never work with you.


This is the worst comment I have ever read on Hacker News.

One of the things that keeps me coming back to HN is the Pavlovian feed of new information. I never know when I'm going to learn something new here.

So, I didn't think the worst comment on HN would come from you, nor did I think it would be so calmly written, or so superficially civil. But I've learned something new. It turns out that a calm, carefully written appeal for direct ethnic violence by an adult is more horrible than any unhinged edgy "alt-right" rant by a teenager.


Suicide rates among older men rose from 6/100,000 to 10/100,000.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm

This increase is a public health issue. It isn't a particularly significant cause of death. See page 27:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_04.pdf

On the younger end (~40), the death rate is 200/100,000. By age 60 it is 1200/100,000.


However, is not the tend worrisome? One of the reasons we do "public health" is to nip things in the bud. In the domain of infectious diseases, to prevent epi- and pandemics....

The other notable thing I've been told is that this is a unique in the US phenomena, which suggests a whole lot.


No, the trend is not worrisome in a general sense. It does not represent an existential crisis, not even for aging conservative men.

I mean, it is small enough that it could largely be the result of some particular book becoming popular.


you need to stop identifying with left/right or "us" as a colour of skin. You do that you'll just get shafted by someone claiming to represent you against "them" (a la Trump).

Don't identify either way, realise that most politicians are acting against "us" and pick and choose each election on the basis of what policies politicians are putting forward and try to ignore their rhetoric.


It's perhaps a little late to tell someone who's about to turn 56 to stop doing this ^_^!

Seriously, the "Right" and "Left" are abstractions for two general philosophies about human nature, the Right believing that human nature is basically fixed, or as a favorite history teacher put it, "Original Sin is an empirical observation!", and the Left believes in the perfectibility of man. And historically, at least since the French Revolution which created the modern versions of these two, has gotten downright murderously violent when their attempts to "perfect" men failed, as we on the right believe is inevitable.

So you're asking me to drop a perfectly usable and useful abstraction that helps to make more sense of the world because of the danger I'll be disappointing by any particular politician. Seeing that my first great disappointment was Nixon in his second term, I've got to tell you I've got other tools for that, like "best is the enemy of good enough", "the lessor of two evils", and so on. And you shouldn't assume I didn't look at the actual policies both put forward, and could make a choice on those alone.

And how to you characterize a rhetorical policy against political correctness? Or an attack on a common enemy like the MSM that's more carried out by rhetoric than actions?

Or the simple fact that many if not most people simply cannot be reached by dialectical arguments, it's rhetoric or nothing (or I'm told, see Aristotle's book on the subject, this is said to be a good translation: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195064879/ ).

As for your point "'us' as a colour of skin", the best reply is the one attributed to Trotsky, "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you". I'd prefer to be left alone to code up neat stuff, but that's not an option today in the US.


>Seriously, the "Right" and "Left" are abstractions for two general philosophies about human nature, the Right believing that human nature is basically fixed, or as a favorite history teacher put it, "Original Sin is an empirical observation!", and the Left believes in the perfectibility of man. And historically, at least since the French Revolution which created the modern versions of these two, has gotten downright murderously violent when their attempts to "perfect" men failed, as we on the right believe is inevitable.

This is a uniquely right-wing view of what "left" and "right" mean. On the Left, we view it as your preferring hierarchy over equality, and our preferring equality over hierarchy. We also think of our politics as materialist and class-based, while yours are idealist (in the continental philosophy sense) and identity-based.

So you probably should drop an abstraction that isn't informative about anything except your own ideology.


My abstraction claims there are two different takes on fundamental human nature.

To shift the domain to things like hierarchy, equality, materialism, class, and idealism is Not Even Wrong, especially since you're not denying my side's take is actually, you know, wrong. Or that your side's issues don't directly flow from what I claim is your side's take on human nature.

E.g. we don't believe in "equality" as the Left defines it because we don't believe such a thing exists. We on the Alt Right are even moving past the concept of equality before the law based on this (!).


I'm only saying its crap because its a really lossy abstraction. As soon as you start saying "there are two types of people" you _know_ you're chatting nonsense because humans are damn complex beasts and to make them binary is a ridiculous generalisation. I don't care about US politics what I care about is people trying to turn the world into a boolean when it is rich and complex. All these people have unique experiences and stories, don't just jpeg all that cool stuff out.

Also don't use your age as an excuse to be stubborn, we're never too old to look at things in new ways.


[flagged]


Since you've flouted our requests to follow the rules when commenting here, we've banned your account.


This has nothing to do with objective rules. It has to do with the leftist censorship - exactly what I talked about. You are preaching dogma. "If you don't subject and do what we tell you, you are wrong. If you talk, we will ignore you. If we can, we will isolate and mute you".

Perhaps my previous ban was deserved. This is surely not. Hackernews and Ycombinator have made it very clear that they are a conduit for leftist ideas and there is no place for differing opinions.

Now I understand how so many people hate you so much that they had to turn to Trump, LePen, Farage.


Although your comment is false, I'm unkilling it so as to explain (to the community) why it's false.

Posting things like "you don't know jack shit" will get you banned on HN. Obviously that isn't political censorship.

It's the first resort of every banned ideologue on HN to claim that they're being repressed (favorite word, 'silenced') because of politics X, but we actually try hard not to do that, for nearly any value of X. I say 'nearly' because there are no absolute rules of moderation, but it's as true as we can reasonably make it.


I mean like the world is a bit more complex than right and left and them and us. The abstractions are too lossy, let them go, they get us riled up and allow frauds to pull the wool over our eyes. Often people on other sides of such divides have more in common than the people trying to rile up people against the people on the other side of the divide.


Initial statements of the Muslim ban were not particularly nuanced.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-...

Good luck explaining how the media twisted the words on the campaign website.


"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States"

Thank you for your attempt at gaslighting, but his speech in December of last year was fairly concise.


In response to all the downvotes you are getting. Direct quote from his campaign on Dec 7, 2015: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/07/politics/donald-trump-muslim-b...


That seems quite a bit different from parent's quote. One is anti-Muslim, the other is pro-security.


Yes, clearly the quote was taken out of context.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viDffWUjcBA

I particularly liked the moment where the crowd thoughtfully refrained from cheering at the most polarizing point of that statement. Class act all around.


What do you mean by "parent's quote"?

The thing people are responding to is "No, Trump did no call for ban on all muslims."

He did. Whether he should be held to his ham-fisted early rhetoric and whether it is pro-security or anti-Muslim are entirely different discussions than the one about what words actually came out of his mouth.


Campaign press release source with those exact words: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-...


I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The criticism that has been directed towards Trump is not about him thinking all Mexicans are rapists, nor that he calls for a ban on Islam. Rather, it's directed towards his rhetoric being strongly hostile towards both groups, based partly on the quotes you are referring to. Do you think that interpretation is incorrect?


>>It is the new Catholic Church, taking on only the worst of the qualities of its predecessor.

This. I am a liberal but I do agree with your characterization of the "liberals". The mainstream liberals/leftists have polluted the societal atmosphere so much by ascribing malice to even slightest criticism of their dogma and its ill effects.

For example, to accommodate minority (e.g. homosexuals) is a good thing for the progress of society. But the mainstream liberals apply double standards: they will never criticize Islam which is the most oppressive and vicious ideology out their oppressing all those who don't follow its dogma (e.g. homosexuals).

This podcast by Sam Harris is worth contemplating.

"Sam Harris - President Trump and the Failure of the Left" [1]

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f27qaDQ1uG8


We on the Left criticize Islam all the damn time. We just don't like invading Middle Eastern countries for no palpable benefit.


Please provide some examples of mainstream left and liberal criticizing Islam. Genuinely interested.


Paul Berman has written at least two books on the subject.


Well, apparently the leftist intellectuals need a history lesson. This is why the US intervenes in the Middle East.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet%E2%80%93Afghan_War


I cant tell if this comment is trolling or serious. My gut says its trolling but the comment history of the poster has me confused.


How are we supposed to have a conversation when facts no longer matter? Should I start spewing out delusions also?


[flagged]


This gives a paywall if I go direct from HN, but if I hit the 'web' button on the top of the comment page (this one!), I can click on the google link to read it.


just open in incognito mode


[flagged]


This thread has been killed by user flags, but if it hadn't, we would've killed it on the grounds that it introduces a race war. Please see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13007847.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13055011 and marked it off-topic.


(I'll try to use groups and traits at random to protect myself from cherry-picked quotes).

Suppose we discovered that gay people have a tendency to be better at sport, and black people a tendency to be smarter. That white people have better reflexes, and asians can remember things really well. All the "discoveries" about physical attributes have a pretty good chance of being tolerated by society, all the ones about mental attributes are likely to cause a massive public outcry.

For the scientific/analytical thinkers, this taboo of researching certain things is a bit weird. There is essentially the potential for knowledge that we're not allowed to discover. The steps to gaining that knowledge can be perfectly ethical, but the knowledge itself is toxic.

This generally troubles me. This idea that I can't talk about certain things, even if it's just to try to get people to point out the flaws in my reasoning... It's like a kind of self-imposed censorship.


I think it is considered problematic because ability in the modern world (at the very least) is largely correlated with "mental attributes", and, in a meritocratic society, a group which was less able would be afforded less power. That unequal distribution of power would be in direct conflict with the democratic ideal of equal representation, leading to the tension.

If it was generally believed that the democratic will represents everyone's interests roughly equally, then this wouldn't of itself present a problem. Unfortunately, the failure of nominally inclusive establishments to address the political concerns of large sections of their societies strains the credibility of this belief, to the point of breaking, in some cases.

Beyond the political consequences, meritocratic societies have a tendency to draw a relationship between economic value and social value. Telling a group of people that they are less socially valuable just isn't very nice. Of course, these relationships aren't facts of the world - they are simply choices made be societies.

So, it would be possible to have a society where such things as you mention could be discussed openly without drawing criticism, but it would be necessary for the labelling that you were engaging in to not make implicit claims about people's social value.


And to the extent you believe e.g. the remnants of movement conservatism is on the right, this is not even a Right/Left thing, as Kevin Williamson put it, "The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale [white, working class] communities is that they deserve to die.": http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432876/donald-trump-wh...

An opinion that as far as I can tell, especially based on deeds, is shared by most of the GOPe(stablishment).


What is it specifically that you believe, and why do you believe it?


That 200,000 years of generally-isolated evolution of human population groups has resulted in distinct physical, behavioral, and cognitive traits - trait differences that a mere 3000 years of seafaring, 110 years of skyfaring, have been insufficient to eliminate.

Jayman has a decent collection of references to the relevant research on his FAQ: https://jaymans.wordpress.com/jaymans-race-inheritance-and-i...


I don't think we have a consensus as to which most behavioral and cognitive traits are related to "natural" or genetic factors or behaviors, nutrition, education, etc relating to our lives path.

The 19th century version of someone with your thought pattern would no doubt see my ancestors in Ireland as a group of simple peasant bumpkins living with livestock and not capable of basic activities, much less advanced cognitive skills. Yet my grandparents managed to get out of there in the 1940s and move to New York City. Their grandchildren are doctors, attorneys, engineers, detectives, teachers and business leaders.

So when you tell me that someone from Nigeria or Sierra Leone is statistically likely to be fundamentally dumber than myself or my family, I'm skeptical.


Ok, stipulated. What does that mean for you in your life? What do you differently because you believe this?


> My "racist" beliefs originate from the inevitable conclusions reached by the voluminous research done on racial g-factor correlates, behavioral genetics, and SES-controlled twin adoption studies in the last half century. Specifically those studies which are both controlled for, and devoid of, those biases which Gould often lamented about physiognomy papers of old.

What are your racist beliefs? It sounds like you are describing racial beliefs, which might be a different matter. A scientific documentation of biological facts about race would be, I imagine, perfectly acceptable even to liberals (although my poorly informed understanding is that, despite your claim, there is no consensus that scientific evidence of this is available—since 'race' is a cultural, not a scientific (or at best only informally scientific), notion anyway). Rather, it is the misuse of scientific evidence to promote ideas of racial superiority, or to misinform other public-policy decisions, to which a liberal (or hopefully anyone …) would object.

EDIT: Or, a longer version of what aristus (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13055137) said.


> What are your racist beliefs? It sounds like you are describing racial beliefs, which might be a different matter.

I'm not sure that most of those who would be concerned about the former would be willing or able to make a distinction about the latter.


So what the original article is talking about is believing in things like stopping interracial marriage by force (ie law)

I think you are being off topic or not linking your reasons why the science supports this?


[flagged]


No, it's a real problem, examples of the lefts "special brand of science denialism":

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/687863?jour...

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/should-rese...


And using "flat earth beliefs" as a comparison is telling, seeing as how that conceit is a 19th Century propaganda campaign (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth#Myth_of_the_flat_Ea... and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_flat_Earth), conjuring up a belief that hadn't been widely held since the High and Late Middle Ages (see the first link).


"Don't you see? Science has objectively proved that blacks are terrible and the left denies it."


To you PEOPLE how constantly claim to be so "diverse",why are you so intolerant with divergent opinions? We do respect your right to be stupid! When are you'll leaving?


When those opinions support denying civil rights from minorities like LGBT people then those opinions are inherently wrong. Whether it's civil marriage or respecting trans people when it comes to non-discrimination in the various spheres of public life (employment & public accommodations), these rights shouldn't be a matter of debate but rather the baseline for any discussion. It's not like these rights impede free association in the private sphere.




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