06.20.2015 04:46 PM

The haters, who they are, and how to beat them

I’ve written a couple of books about extremists on the Left and the Right. Along the way, I’ve noticed a few shared characteristics of the extremists – the terrorists, really – on both sides of the ideological spectrum. 

The manifesto of the Charleston killer – I refuse to use his name – is here. It is standard neo-Nazi fare. Reading it, however, reminded me again of the demographics of hate, whether it is ISIS or the Aryan Nations. 

The ones who commit violence in the name of hate are almost always this:

• Young men, between late teens and late thirties. 

• Failures in relationships with girls, and failures in school and in finding work. 

• From families that aren’t always broken – but from families where the parents almost always have little involvement in the young man’s life. 

• Angry at everything, because they felt they were owed something more. 

• Looking for a new “family” to which they can belong. 

And, along come older men, practiced in the ideology of hate. These older men offer the angry young men a family – along with a uniform, and an ideology, and a secret society, one to which only a chosen few can belong. These older men rarely get their hands dirty. But they teach the younger ones to terrorize, and maim, and kill. Happens everywhere, all the time. 

Want to stop it? Give these young men hope. Give them work. Give them a way forward. Give them a future. 

The haters won’t know what hit them. 

12 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Not claiming any expertise here but in finding work for all kinds of societies ‘losers’ I have discovered that many of them won’t keep a job when you give them one. No I don’t mean they get fired I mean they just don’t show up to work. I concluded that they are not haters because they are unemployed or without hope. They are unemployed and without work because they are haters. The same demon that drives their hatred is the same demon that keeps them hopeless and unemployed.

  2. Pipes says:

    And then sometimes, there are people who are simply evil.

  3. Greg from Calgary says:

    Warren that was very insightful. Thank you.

  4. gyor says:

    I agree with some of that, but its not exclusively male thier are female terrorists and female recruiters who commit acts of proxy violence, bullying or humiliating men into commiting acts of violence, women can be really messed up too.

  5. “Give these young men hope.”

    -I’d scratch ‘hope’ and insert ‘belonging’. It is precisely because these young men don’t feel they belong to the larger community that they even consider attacking it in the first place. Personally I blame individualism taken too far for this. We tell everyone to be their own person, to not care what others think, and to value personal achievement. All of which are good in their own way. However, without any communal values to ground individualism the above values are about a quarter of the way to creating a killer.

    “Give them work.”

    -I think by the time they are working age the problem has already been festering too long. School shootings have much the same causes as those you listed. We need to start earlier.

    “Give them a way forward. Give them a future.”

    -Give them a ‘now’ and giving them a future is relatively easy.

    I really think Canada’s school systems need a major overhaul. Not so much in curriculum but in fostering a sense of belonging. In this regard I think the Japanese school system might serve as a useful model (not that is without its own faults).

  6. Brammer says:

    The gun control side of the equation needs to be addressed too.

    This Aussie comedian nails it brilliantly.

  7. King Prick says:

    Marcus Garvey did the same thing with his African Corps, way back in the day. The difference of course is that Garvey was a young man himself when he initiated the African Corps. And the reason Garvey wanted all of the corps to be in uniform when they went to church on Sundays or when they gathered at a community outing was for the very reason you mentioned above: It gave these young men hope. Gave them work. Gave them a way forward. Gave them a future.”

    Now Garvey was a bit of a charlatan. Okay a huge charlatan if you ask me, but no more than Elijia Mohammad was, Malcolm X was perceived as or Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela could be painted as.

    I don’t think there’s anything that can be typical for a racist/terrorist type. My god, there are country clubs in the city that would still rather not accept people of the Jewish faith. Are the Rosedale Golf and Country Club or the Granite Club bastions of hate filled with Nazi’s? We gonna call them terrorists and racists for how they conduct themselves and their business? Is every member an anti-semite just for belonging? What’s really amusing is this: If you look at your description…

    “The ones who commit violence in the name of hate are almost always this:

    • Young men, between late teens and late thirties.
    • Failures in relationships with girls, and failures in school and in finding work.
    • From families that aren’t always broken – but from families where the parents almost always have little involvement in the young man’s life.
    • Angry at everything, because they felt they were owed something more.
    • Looking for a new “family” to which they can belong.”

    This describes every frat house, country club, political party, corporate charity and banking institution on the planet.

    People weak of mind and character become racists and terrorists. Others, have an opinion and right or wrong; as long as nobody gets hurt, they’re entitled to it and they’re entitled to speak about it.

  8. Peter says:

    Banking institutions? Did you just get turned down for a loan or something?

  9. cynical says:

    I seem to remember from some ancient psychology class that “People act themselves into a way of thinking more than they think themselves into a way of acting.”
    In other words, behaviour can precede attitude.
    For that reason I sometimes wonder about the value of free speech in the context of racism. If you want to eradicate racism, maybe you could suppress (by social contract if not by law) racist expression to a greater degree.

    Right-whingers denounce political correctness, but I think it has a value in suppressing the expression of certain ideas that are destructive to society, or worse, other people.

    Racism is alive and well in Canada. As an individual, I work like hell to suppress it by there’s enough free-floating antipathy to that it is easy to fall into it, even if it is politely nodding your head when someone tells a racist joke rather than telling them to fuck off.

  10. Priyesh says:

    But… but… but… what if they’re just born evil and we create jobs for no reason?

    WARREN KINSELLA WANTS JOBS FOR TERRORISTS.

    (Honestly, Warren… the amount of partisanship and blind ideology on this board fills me with a complete lack of hope. What you said seems so common sense to me, but people want to spin, spin, spin…)

    • Joe says:

      Nice Pollyanna approach there Priyesh. All we need are a few good jobs and all the evils of this world will disappear. Maybe if you took off the rose coloured glasses you would see things a bit more realistically. As one wise Man once observed “Man does not live by bread alone”. There are far more factors than we can imagine that go into determining if we shoot up a church or not than if we have a job.

  11. Chris Haines says:

    Brilliant analogy and I think it’s bang on. Terrorism isn’t about religion. It’s about bad people using religion/views to manipulate the weak into doing horrible things. The solution is to strengthen the weak. And education and opportunity are the ways to do that.

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