Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli SaslowThe first time I heard of Derek Black was on an episode of the podcast The Daily. I found his story fascinating even then, and when I had a chance to read this book, I was excited to learn more. Rising Out of Hatred tells Dereks story, but also that of his family. Though I will never truly understand let alone condone the movement(seems to positive a word somehow) of white supremacy, I found it disturbingly intriguing to learn their reasoning for such hateful ideology. Its incredible that Derek - through his experiences and influences in college - was able to understand that this was wrong and that he had to change his thinking and his actions. The fact that he did and that he is willing to be open about his experience gives me hope that people can change. I dont want to talk specifics about current politics in the US, but we all know how divisive the environment has become. We need to keep the hope alive that we can recover from this time of so much outward hatred and partisan division, and be open and willing to learn about the experiences and thoughts of others in the way Derek Black did. Its important to be willing not to dismiss those who think differently from us as ignorant idiots, but to try to understand why they think the way they do and how to approach that. I am not saying I am the paragon of this behavior by any means. I am angry, too, and disappointed with the mood of the time, but I want to be better than that. I want us all to be better than that. I am veering away from the book now, and maybe thats fine, because it provoked thoughts in me that go well beyond Dereks story and wrap around the problems of the world and society of today and of the past.
Thanks to Netgalley for supplying me with a copy of Rising Out of Hatred in exchange for an honest review.
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Rising Out of Hatred
Nick Oates didn't feel like digging his car out of a heap of snow on Cyber Monday That's why, as a blizzard barreled toward Kansas City, the Amazon associate decided to hunker down in the warehouse's parking lot. The storm ended up dumping more than a foot of snow on parts of Kansas, prompting the governor at the time, Jeff Colyer, to declare a state of emergency on November 25, asking people to stay off the roads. As other Kansans were stocking up on supplies and bracing for power outages, Oates and his fellow Amazonians were receiving the news that they'd still be required to report for their Cyber Monday shifts. The fulfillment center would forgive workers who clocked in late because of the storm, but everyone scheduled to work still had to show up. Oates was living in his car and working at the Kansas City fulfillment center at the time, a routine he'd maintained since June after taking medical leave from Amazon for depression.
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Americans love redemption stories. Since then, activists, politicians and businessmen have all borrowed the story line to lend legitimacy to their ambitions, but few have done so more powerfully than civil rights leaders: Martin Luther King Jr. Before launching Stormfront in , Don Black led the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and went to prison for plotting to overthrow the Caribbean island of Dominica in order to establish a white ethno-state there. Growing up in West Palm Beach, Fla. Seizing on a spike in interest in the site after Barack Obama became president, Derek persuaded his dad to ban racial slurs, Nazi imagery and threats of violence or lawbreaking, which helped the site grow from 30, users in to , in By that time, however, Derek had undergone a transformation. Derek Black.