Hate in America: Video Chat With Experts on Rise of Neo-Nazi Groups in America
It’s not that often that you get to go up to a skinhead and ask him what it is that draws him into the maelstrom of anger, intimidation and sometimes violence that is today’s white supremacy movement. But that’s just what David Lazarus, host of the Los Angeles Times’ Google hangout on Hate in America, did with TJ Leyden, longtime white supremacist activist and recruiter.
Leyden has renounced the white power movement and now lectures young people on what can seem like its dangerous allure, but Lazarus wanted to know what it was that attracted him to a world in which non-whites are not only detested, but often subjected to violence.
Leyden at first gave an easy response about recruiting on the Internet, but Lazarus wouldn’t let go. “Everyone gets exposed at different points in their life to violence, to hate, to conflict, and yet not everybody chooses to act on it,” he said. “And yet you at at least one point in your life chose to be that person. This was going to be your identity, you were going to hate people. Why? What did they ever do to you?”