In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Christian Picciolini about his experience as a neo-Nazi skinhead. They discuss how Christian got out of the movement, the limits of shame and forgiveness, the cult-like dynamics of white supremacy, the alt-Right, Russian support for white supremacy in the US, “fake news”, the significance of Charlottesville, the SPLC, and many other topics.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Today, I'm presenting the audio from the event in Dallas, I did with Christian Picciolini
Christians written a wonderful book
Now it's his experience is a NEO Nazi
and leader of the
So we talk about how he got out of the movement.
And we talked
The cult like dynamics of, why
and just the state of things on the extreme right in the US and Europe. At the moment
Many related issues of a very long QA with the audience
it was a great event, so
not further delay. I give you Christian Piccioli.
Thank you very much. I have never been to Dallas before so it is a. I can only say that once so are we? You won't hear me use that line again.
Really it's an honor to be here and it's I'm so happy all of you came out.
I really think this is going to be a good one. I've been looking forward to this conversation for quite some time.
My guest tonight
became a white supremacist at the age of fourteen.
And yes well, he agrees with you
He became a leader in the hammerskin nation, which is one of the most violent hate groups in the world.
And after leading that he became a founded, a group called life after hate, which was a nonprofit dedicated to countering racism.
Giving a TED x talk he's won an Emmy for his role as a director and executive producer of an anti video campaign.
Is the author of a really wonderful book white american youth
I sent into America's most violent hate movement and how I got out
and he's been profiled on sixty minutes. He is a a guy
We should hear more from so please welcome Christian Picciolini.
I would have booed myself together. I think.
Yeah I mean like really well, I've just spent an hour was christian and
he is like the nicest guy in the world and when you read his book, which you
really must do,
you will be astonished at how
I mean you basically live like a violent psychopath for
Many years made for you in the long glass of water. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Like that, the level of violence described
It's quite intense, how I mean so you're, obviously not a psychopath.
How do you explain
that chapter of your life.
Well, I was recruited in one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven into America's first NEO Nazi skinhead group, when I was
Fourteen years old and
most people, I think think that people who do that come from broken homes and you know
really traumatic lives and they do.
But my life was pretty normal.
Parents were italian immigrants who came to the US in the 60s from Europe, and
and they were the victims of prejudice when they came so it wasn't. You know so the way I was raised, but I because
my parents were immigrants. They had to work
seven days a week fourteen hours a day to run a small business and I never saw them and at that age growing up. I wondered what I had done to
them away, so I felt very abandoned and it was
believe and didn't have any friends, so I was searching very
desperately for an identity, a community and a purpose.
Fourteen probably at my lowest point
a man drove
car in an alley when I was smoking, a joint,
and he got out of the car
and he pulled a joint for my mouth and he looked me in the eyes and he said that's what the communists in the Jews want you to do to keep you docile. I will
Cortina I didn't know what the hell a communist or a Jew or what the word docile meant true, but it was the first time that I felt like somebody, and he was
this is my age and he
like somebody accepted me like somebody was drawing me in because he would make me feel proud of who I was, and I certainly was proud-
but I was angry. I was angry at my parents and I was
is inadvertently the best pro marijuana commercial, every system. You should just have kept smoking that joint and none of this would have happened. Oh my god, so.
But I actually did this story even puts more of the onus on you, because you were not from a broken home, none right, so you're you're like a normal kid right who
just had one single conversation, one
the conversation but fourteen years of feeling very marginalized and- and you know very much on the fringes but but there's so many kids in that position and and yeah the thing
one doesn't often think about when one has no connection to
is this phenomenon of recruitment, and I think we will talk about this, because this is something that you're, not
the counter and it's
it is I mean it's easy to picture if you take five minutes to think about it. But it's the
these movements do
function very much like religious cults. Recruitment is a major feature of of what's happening and fear rhetoric
the idea that if you don't do something, you're, doomed,
and there was very much that you know it didn't start out that way at first, when I was recruited, it started out with instilling the sense of european pride that my ancestors were
great warriors and artists and composers- and you know I
grew up in an italian bubble. So I was very proud of,
being italian, but
then it would kind of morph into something a little bit. More sinister would morph into this idea that somebody now wanted to take that pride away from Maine,
and then it started to go into naming who those people were. You know, and of course you know in white supremacist movement, they will blame Jews, African Americans, immigrants Latinos. Basically anybody who's, not white, and they will even blame white people.
So what did you actually believe and how quickly did you
ramp up into believing those things?
Well, I literally went from trading baseball cards that week to shaving my head. Getting a pair of
probably tattooing a swastika on main, very
You know at first
I faked it. I didn't know what the hell anybody was talking about. I was not political at fourteen, like young people are today and
I just kind of nodded my head and went along. It was a group of people to hang out with, but the way I got, my most of my indoctrination was through music.
There, there's a brand of music out there that that at that time was very new to America. So we were listening to bands from Britain and from Germany of Racist music made by white supremacists. That was propaganda. It was education and that's how I got most of my education early on
until I took over leadership of that organization at sixteen years old, because the man who
recruited me, who was America's first NEO Nazi skinhead leader
prison for a series of violent crimes.
So he had again it's very difficult to exaggerate the level of violence you guys were involved in, so it really is kind of a miracle that you didn't go to prison for what you were doing. What are we talking about dozens or hundreds of assaults? I mean how much, I would say
hundreds of of altercations fights some of those were. You know our group against other groups that were there so who knew they want to get into a fight with you right yeah I mean we had our version of an anti for that you know they were called anti for a which is, you know who is
typically protesting. These white supremacist groups these days we had gangs of anti racist skin
is that we would fight. Quite often
in fact, we fought white people more than we fought anybody else,
but there were absolutely dozens of violent attacks against people solely for the color of their skin or who they prayed to or
or who they loved. I mean it was. We were pretty
but I can tell you something: I never met a white supremacist with positive self esteem
and also I never met a white supremacist that didn't hate themselves and then use that sell
clothing. To projected on to other people so that they didn't have to deal with their own pain they,
if they can make somebody feel worse than they felt that made them feel better, more superior
How much of this was analogous to just being an ordinary gang and getting off on the tribal component
of power and violence. Quite a bit of
I would say you know, for a during that mid 80s and early 90s. It was very much
like a gang. You know there were. There was an
an identity, an outfit that we wore. We had our colors, you know we were patches to identify us
and we operated in different cities and we were very organized, but then,
as the years progressed- and I think we're seeing a lot of this now is- it became much more organized.
It's start when it started to infect a little bit more of the mainstream with a more palatable message.
That's that's when I think it became much much more dangerous
and it did you have you gotten tattoos removed as that, but as a component of getting out of this life right, I am almost completely covered in tattoos, but I don't have any of my old Texas remaining I've. Never gotten removed of Hatem covered over her right.
I'm glad to know
that you're, not one of those geniuses who
swastika on his forehead, or
I can't tell you how many geniuses I've had to help remove swastikas from this seems, like a that says that the you have to be especially certain of your ideology, that the note you want on your forehead for the rest of your life. You know if you have to attach to a swastika on your forehead. You probably don't know very much about your ideology to begin with,.
I know a very prominent scientist who has the apple logo tattooed on his bicep and
set in case you forget yeah, I got, I gotta think he regrets that now, but
someday I'll. Have him on the podcast.
So, but you do
down play the role of ideology, at least in this context.
It is a lot about
male bonding and disaffection,
the rest of the world and
getting off on violence, and not that big of a clearly believes plays a part, because you wouldn't know who you hate. If you didn't have certain beliefs about white supremacy or the significance of of race or
the ideology is, is kind of the tie that binds them together. It's the license to be a.
Angry to be violent. It's the projection of purpose, but I don't believe that ideology or dogma are what drive most people into hate movements,
extremist movements. I really do think it's a broken search for identity, community and purpose, and those are three fundamental needs that every
being house. We all want to know who we are where we belong and what we're supposed to do with our lives and
I have this theory that I call the pothole theory. If in our lives, we hit potholes in the road of life
and we don't have the support or the guidance to navigate around them like a family structure or friends.
Sometimes we get stuck in those potholes. Are we get detoured down a really dark alley and those pot
it can be anything from trauma, could be, unemployment could be mental illness. It could be.
Seeing your father commit suicide at six years old and never dealing with that trauma? If we step enough, potholes
search for identity, community and purpose becomes very broken
we, you know, hurt people hurt people.
If we are broken people, we tend to
other broken people.
So how did you reform yourself? What was the path out of this
Well, I was involved for eight year so from the time I was fourteen until I was two thousand two hundred and forty four now so I've been out for almost twenty three years.
And uh? It wasn't one epiphany, it wasn't one you know match
moment where I you know I woke up. I went to sleep,
You know, sieg, heiling and then woke up saying I love everybody. It didn't work out that way.
It was a process of many of those moments, but ultimately, what it boils down to is. I began to receive compassion and empathy from the
people that at least deserved it from when I least deserve that
people that I thought I hated.
Who had never in my life had a meaningful interaction with or a conversation with
even though they knew who I was and what I had done began to approach me with compassion and they began to listen rather than talking me and tell me, I was wrong
and overtime. The demonization that I had in my head, the prejudice started,
we can replace with humanization, and I realized that we had connections that
we're more similar than they were different and that
culture and language and food from all over the world are things that add beauty.
The differences are actually what make us who we are, but it doesn't mean it makes us different in each other,
Do you remember a first moment when
doubt about your worldview became conscious.
There were a lot of those moments, but one of the more powerful moments for me more compelling moments for Maine.
Was when I was believe nineteen or twenty years old, and it was after a night of drinking there was always drinking involved.
Because we didn't really have the courage to do anything if we weren't drunk but.
I was at a Mcdonald's late one night with some friends after midnight,
And there were some black teenagers standing in line when we walked in.
And I remember walking into that Mcdonald's and screaming that it was my Mcdonald's and that they had to leave. Of course, my language wasn't that kind
and of course they were intimidated by us, so they ran out and we chased them and
as the teenagers black teenagers were walking across the street or running across the street, one
and pulled out a pistol and started to show
second round, the gun jams. When we caught
that individual, we beat him.
Almost to within an inch of his life.
And I remember looking down at him when I was kicking him and his
eyes were swollen
and his face was covered in blood, and I remember in one instant
his eyes opened and it connected with mine, and I felt empathy, I've
felt, like this person,
I didn't even think was a human being suddenly could be
my brother or my mother or my father, and I thought that it wasn't just about this purse.
Under this thing it was about affecting so men
people what I was doing to this person, and
I believe that that was the last time I was violent, even though I stayed in the movement after that.
With me, and there was a moment where you know
for years. I had kind of denied myself of empathy and compassion
and for whatever reason that moment, it came back to me and it had a very profound effect on me
and I wish I knew who that person was adult.
Did you subsequently
meet any of your victims or was there a kind of
and it came to clear its account with you
yes and it happened years ago about five years after I left the movement and it was you know
pretty serendipitous uhm.
When I left at ninety five, I went through a pretty dark depression, even though I had
internally denounced my beliefs.
I was running away from my past and I was miserable and even though
treating other people with respect, I wasn't treating myself with very much respect
and I remember in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, a friend of mine, a girl, came to me, and she said you know. I don't want
so you die because there were mornings where I would wake up. Wishing that I hadn't woken up, because I
know who I was anymore and
she encouraged me to go apply for a job where she just started. Working small company called IBM may never have heard of them,
and I told her she was, you know crazy. I said you know I'm covered and not see
Matthews. She knew I'm a former. You know Nazi. I went to see
different high schools. I got kicked out of all of them, one of them twice. I didn't go to college, I didn't even have a computer like what the hell would IBM. You know want to do with me and she said just go in
and tell them that you're good with people- and I was like ok sure you got it- it's not the first quality that comes to mind. Granted it was five years after I left. I was a better person, but I didn't believe I was a good person anyway,
I went in and I had a couple of interviews with IBM and I maraca
we got the job and I was so th so thrilled, because I was going to learn how to network computers and install computers at a large school district, and until I found out where I would be going for my first day of work it
who is my old high school? The same when I got kicked out of twice
IBM had no idea,
no idea about my past
and suddenly I felt like a nervous first grader, going to his first day of school, because I thought I'm going to walk in
somebody's, surely can recognize me. I mean I'd held protests. I had tried to form white student unions. I tried to do you know, are you sure, have Lyle into altercations with teachers, yeah security guards, teachers- everybody I mean it was. I was a terror at that school and then who
it's by me within the first hour of me, being there
Mister Johnny Holmes, the old black security guard, who I got in a fist fight with that got me kicked out for the second time and let out in handcuffs
and he didn't recognize me when you walked by. But I recognized him. I was kind of sculpting around dark.
Corridors trying to avoid people looking out
and I just knew that I had to do something at the moment. There was something inside me. I didn't know what that was going to be, but I decided I was going to follow him
to the parking lot,
probably not a small church, and when I saw him getting into its current tapped him on the shoulder and it's the I'm sorry
all I could think to say it's like all. I could muster
looked at me after taking a step back because he was afraid when he recognized who I was.
And he approached me with an extended hand, and I finally found some more words to explain to him what I had done and how I felt and
You know how sorry I was for for the terror that I caused him
and he hugged me and we cried, and he made me promise that I would tell my story- and
that was in nineteen. Ninety nine.
That's when I started writing my book, it just came out. It took me a long time to write that book, but he was the first person to to kind of pull the courage out of me
to one could front my pass, because I started talking about it
pretty immediately after that, but
for now, almost seventeen years
and he was the
this person. I think that recognize that this wasn't
the story of some messed up kid who joined a white supremacist group,
Who is the story of every young person who searching
identity, community and purpose that if we
Give them the right support. You know on our young people are most vulnerable, that they could
we deviated down this path, because there are people looking for vulnerable people like like, I was yeah.
How do you think about forgiveness in this
case and redemption? I meant both with respect to yourself and with respect to other people,
all the kinds of people who were trying to whose mind you're trying to change.
I have to think there are people who are
beyond the reach of empathy right. There must
people who you encounter.
Who don't have that they don't have the hand holds that you apparently had where you know the right look in the eye or the or the extended hand can be the bridge to a new life.
I there mean there are people who are genuine psychopaths who are in these movements
So what? How are you? How do you think about that?
that other question,
because if I were to deny empathy
anybody else, that means I would have denied it for myself or that I would
denied somebody else showing me that empathy so
so, and I've also worked. I've helped over one hundred people do
engage from NEO Nazi and white supremacist groups over the years,
and I've worked with some of the
artist scariest looking you know, people that nobody would give a chance to. You know people who were born in the clan families, who you know
Have that swastika tattooed on their forehead?
I wasn't kidding about saying I've taken many to have swastikas remove.
You know the whole world is given up on and
Many cases they've given up on themselves- and
I can tell you there's these people are some of the best. He
beings that I know now. They've committed their lives to helping other people
not go down the same path. That they've gone.
The hard question I mean trust me, I said I said across the table from NEO Nazis and white supremacists all the time,
and there are moments where I want to jump across the table, and I wanted you know, shake him and grab him and
but I know that I can't be,
that pushes them further away that the reasons that they
even gravitated towards a movement.
That is because they already felt marginalized.
But actually that brings me to a related question here. So what is the role
of shame versus empathy, because I I think I've heard you talk about this because it's natural to
want to shame? People who are-
and this movement is if it's revealed that you know so and so is a closet. Nazi on twitter everybody tries to get them fired. Yeah, it seems like it seems, like the sane response is to penalize
Some for at minimum communicate how reprehensible that is and how the rest of the world sees it for good reason, and then there should be some consequences
for having deviated from the norms of of tolerance that
fully. You you're very wary of you pulling the lever. I don't
ever pull the shame lever, but I do hold people accountable for their act
homes for their words. I make them, you know, go through.
Do a process of making amends. You know when I
with people they don't
they don't always want to work with me right.
Times it's a referral that I get from a parent or loved one. That says, I know my son.
Your daughter is really into this. Will you talk to them?
Just what are the logistics there? How does that you just sitting in the living room when the cape
Let me try and think of them. Now it's always volunteer, so I'm not deprogramming, I'm not doing interventions in a traditional sense for him, like you, know,
surprising them in a room full of their family and saying right. We need to talk and we're going off the treatment after this. It's not like that. You know I really. I try and build report right. I try.
We build trust.
The fact that I
stand their language
because I used to say it is helpful-
am I may be a little desensitized more than the average person to some of the things that they said. That doesn't mean it doesn't make me angry, but you know I. I can certainly be listen just a little bit longer, but that's
the key as I listened rather
and tell them that they are wrong rather than debate them or argue with them,
never solves anything nobody's ever. You know changed because of shouting match,
but uh. I listen and I listen for those potholes and then I become a pothole filler.
So when I hear you know chronic unemployment, I pair them up with a life coach
her job trainer. When I hear trauma or abuse it's mental health therapy or mental illness, it's mental health therapy and I'm
to make people more resilient and it's fascinating when use
working with somebody and they feel start to become more resilient.
Have more self esteem. They have less of a reason to blame the other, for,
I think they feel is taken away, because now they might be uh
but better equipped to deal with life. But I don't stop there 'cause. I do challenge the ideology
but I do that in a non aggressive way. I will introduce people to the people they think they hate.
Right. I spent hours with Holocaust deniers in Holocaust survivors, Islamophobes and
some families just to to uh
and to humanize, because nine one slash two times out of ten they've, never ever in their lives, met the people that they think that they hate. So
the demonization becomes replaced with the humanization and and works.
That's yeah works.
It's somewhat ironic that it always seems to be the Jews and none of,
People have ever met Jews and others like this fifteen Jews in the world. It's, I think, they're all. My friends though, and half of them are Buddhists. Now.
I want to talk about the status of of this movement now in the US and Europe, and so
maybe, let's start with the alt right, which is a phrase that I don't know when it was coined but
None of us knew it ago, yeah phrase or or the phrase
white nationalism, because I know that those are phrase
that they literally sat in a room and said: what can we call ourselves to make us seem a little less hateful and this is good to nail down.
Clearly, I think, there's that has that has to be is a spectrum of belief in a spectrum of of ideological commitment and there there must be people who are
we're happy to be apart of something, but they don't know what there a part of you- and I were talking backstage- is kind of an alley
to Scientology, where you
become a scientologist- and I mean
not so true. Now, after a S park and all of these outings of the actual doctrines, but
before S park and before going clear and some of these other books and movies.
Could have been a scientologist for a very long time without knowing just how crazy the doctrine was. So they
there are there analogous situations in the White Nationalist
White Power movement where you just you've, been indoctrinated into something: that's
like white identity, politics for lack of a better word, just like just pride in your whiteness and not not liking. Affirmative action say, and
you might not even be self consciously a racist
and you were among these people who,
point formed a conscious plan to be to go under the radar right. So well it's about,
at first it wasn't a conscious planned to go under the radar at first. It was very much
the cult where you detach yourself from everything
that was important in your life.
Friends, your family, your hobbies and you go down a rabbit, hole of information,
conspiracy. Theory that becomes your reality.
I can tell you that, thirty years ago we recognized exactly what you're saying that we
you know we were a small group that was too visible,
and we said you know these. These average american white racists who we want to recruit.
Are getting turned off by the fact that we have swastikas on our foreheads right or we
boots are shaved. Heads and we're talking. You know very much about foreign kind of politics. You know national socialism
So we've made a very concerted effort
thirty years ago?
to normalize. We said we're going to ditch the shaved heads in the Klan robes and that's still around, but for the most part not
and we're going to trade in our boots for suits were going to go to college campuses to recruit where people are
away from their families for the first time or forming new opinions may feel marginalized. We're going
get jobs in law enforcement, we're going to go to the military and get training and we're going to run for office and that's
the time that you know we see David, Duke kind of get rid of the robe and wear the suit, and here we are thirty years later and it's it's very much that is the
presentation of of the White Supremacist Movement that we're seeing today. You know the polls, the khakis and they're in the hair cuts and and we we decided to even take the language and make it more palatable right.
So, instead of saying you know the global jewish conspiracy that controls us all, we just started
and we started saying things like you know: the liberal media, instead of the jewish media terms, that now
some people are calling dog whistles to me there, a bullhorn. I hear these things and then context.
I know exactly what's being told when you know they're showing
picture of George Soros is face. Who was like enemy number one to the far right
but it's has seeped into mainstream society, where I think a lot of people are
done, a fine with some of the same things that that these white supremacists are but don't know that they're being let down that path, because it is ramping up process, you know a normalization and then,
damn once you're in
you've already got the stigma. They know you can't leave
They know that that you will get the threats that you will be outed. So what do you have to go back to like drug like a drug deal.
So so, let's talk about the gradations of commitment here may also, what is the landscape of white supremacy? Look like in the US now.
It's hard to say, because it's it's hard to see
people like Richard Spencer, yeah in the news and we have kind of the pseudo intellectual. You know Richard sponsors in the chair, tailors of the world who you know where the Brooks Brothers suits and look like
professors and- and you still have skinheads-
I used to be, but in between there's like this whole, you know,
I can't see the audience right now, but they probably look a whole lot. Like you, I mean there are dentists there.
Are police officers there. Certainly in our military there was a recent study
of active service
members that were pulled.
About the instances of white supremacy that they solid and I'm not just talking about racism but like organized white nationalism as we would think one, and
Four people in the military said that they see it on a regular basis. Twenty five percent
I mean there's so many people that I've worked with that were recruited in the military by people like me,
and I can't tell you how many people from my old organizations actually became police
officers and prison guards, and things like that, it's at
and did that not have.
Reform themselves that wasn't their way out. They were just ahead, the same beliefs and they were
They are still the same people just much older
how does Europe,
there's a kind of marriage between these movements in Europe, there's kind of a global phenomenon. What's happening there, it's very similar. I mean it's certainly
who has a longer history with this?
Obviously you know after World WAR two. You know there were
many years of kind of research
this of nationalism and kind of ten.
Breakdown of it, but now we're seeing a massive resurgence in populism and nationalism that
You know is using the refugee crisis and immigration as kind of the crux of their message.
And they know that it's an easy message to sprints and spread because
This is the minute you know a brown skinned person does something horrible
terrorism and we scream about it and every news is covering it for you know days on end.
But how often, if we ever heard you know, white, supremacist
killings being called terrorism, never right,
I'm not aware of any time or white,
stream as a maybe, except for the Timothy Mcveigh, Oklahoma City bombing, were white. Extremism has been called,
and most people don't know. But Timothy Mcveigh was very much
its premises hung around area nations and was found with a copy of the Turner Diaries and one of the vehicles.
Which is a Bible for white supremacist revolutionaries, but
just don't call it out is that we call it. You know mental illness, which many times it is, but
we don't call it terrorism. Even
what is ideologically based. It's meant to incite terror and
has all the same hallmarks of of ISIS
actor, is really no difference between ISIS and
Mark NEO Nazis, except for the fact that
white Supremacists in America kill.
Three times more people than
any kind of foreigner domestic terrorist group does on american soil. Seventy
Four percent of all extremist killings in America.
Nine hundred and eleven have been committed by white supremacists.
So how is Oklahoma
to be viewed in the white
Supremacist community that
it was a good thing to have happened or is that going to farm is it I mean? I know they celebrated the celebrated and they've tried to copy cat it many times and have been stopped.
Coincidentally, it was on April 20th
19th, actually, the day before Hitler's birthday, which is a very special day for white Supremacists
school shootings happen on April 20th. I believe Columbine happen on April 20th.
It is a.
Those types of stories are what a lot of people who've been moved further down into. The movement have lost a lot kind of aspire to do
You know we were trained and we were training people to become these race war.
Revolutionaries. We were
stockpiling weapons. We were going into training camps to get paramilitary training.
You know there was even that one point
a group from Tripoli from Libya had come to contact Maine or so I thought to set up a meeting between me and more market ophie, because he wanted to funnel money to american groups who are fighting Jews in America.
So it's just a matter of time and I have been predicting this for years. I believe it's just a matter of time. Before we see white supremacist groups,
from Europe in the US starting to work with with extreme.
This is from the Middle EAST because,
if you think about it, while it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, you think they hate each other. They
common enemy that
greater than their hate for each other.
It gets better and better for the Jews. Doesn't it
to call? Some of my friends were going to have to turn up the pressure on that zionist banking conspiracy.
You know that doesn't exist right check. Your bank accounts people.
So so, what's the? What is the connection to Russia?
This is all your help, half of what you say here or or all of what you say may sound like a can
the theory anyone who's on the right wing here but yeah. What? What was that? What is your? What's been your experience, looking for a connection between flight
supremacy and Russia in the US. So I believe I may have been the first Kook
screaming about russian collusion way back before the words Russia and collusion were put together?
I was working with a seventeen year old girl. The parents had contacted me because they were concerned about this girl who was making their daughter who is making whites,
this: is propaganda, videos, recruitment, videos, issues becoming quite popular online,
so they called me in- and I said you know we're really worried. We just discovered this and we know that she's being influenced by this twenty three year old boy who lives in
she was in Florida and he was in Idaho.
And you know, supposedly he was a german american boy who you know, was a devout neo and had recruited her and with her boyfriend, and
it started to get compromising photos from her and he was not. I could tell you, after many hours and days of research, not a toy
the three year old, german american living in Eagle id. He
is a thirty five year old russian man living in the same Peters Burg,
and he was not only befriending, this girl as her boyfriend, but he was doing it it to at least a dozen other young girls as young as fourteen years old trading. You know
getting photos from them that were inappropriate
and then using it to blackmail them.
So I started to get really seriously into this because there was a crime being committed, and this is two thousand and sixteen this was October. I'm sorry. This was August of two thousand and sixteen so before, before the election,
an as I started to dig into this guy uh, I discovered that he was part of a ring of people that
very connected, and I
connections dating back to like two thousand and ten that prove this-
that it created 10s of thousands of fake social media profiles.
And you know they were all very NEO
not CNN pro Trump and I started to really just track them, I'm like what the hell is. This
Why are all these like trump voters, like all of a sudden, like you know, having maker, make
America, great again, hats with a swastika on it. You know having.
Names like Himmler and
so I started to track them. Anna,
wanted to see this group form, and then I
or to notice that their screen, names and pictures were changing from
and then some of them would change to black lives matter accounts, and then some of them would change the feminist accounts with, and I started to see that the intention was just to put as much hateful information against these other groups out there to create this discord.
And I started to pinpoint you actually found who the russian guy was. You made up
taken two thousand and nine, where he
to post using a screen name that he was still using, but
is attached to his real name. This was before. Apparently he went to go work for
the FSB in Russia Where-
I graduated in linguistics from the University of Moscow. So I went to the FBI in October of twenty sixteen, and I said you know, there's
some weird going on- I'm not quite sure what the hell is going on, but everything was pointing to Russia, because at that time I had presented this information to the parents into the girl, and I said first of all, this guy is not who you think he is he's a bad guy and he's this guy. His name is Mikhail, whatever his last name was
and she didn't believe me
so she leaked the information to her boyfriend with
in three hours of me, leaving that house
Seventy five domain names that I own that I run for my you know
profit for myself. My parents- and you know their restaurant- were all he.
My russian malware within three hours. Seventy five domain names and I went to the
Providers- and I said you know what what is going on and they said, we've never seen an attack like this
So at that point I went to the FBI this again still October, two thousand and sixteen- and I said you know- I've got thirty three gigs of screenshots videos
conversations you phone calls because now is starting
in tag and eyes these people try and get more information, and I handed it over to them and they said. Thank you very much were a busy reading. Hillarys emails right now will get will get to only get to it.
And then you know I said really should really look.
This before election day, because I think there's something going on here and I still haven't heard from them. So who knows, but now it's starting to come out that all that information that I found this actually you know.
Being validated so
Yeah, they love Russia. I don't know. Why is it that? What what is this connection with right, yeah- and so you know the White Nationalist rolled right movement that we see today has a very strong connection to Russia. They revere Putin need
the strong man. You know.
They see him as like this Ethno nationalist dictator,
and in fact many NEO Nazis from Europe are going to train in paramilitary style in Russia and then going to fight on the Ukraine border
Funny enough- and this you know- I don't- I can't substantiate it, but coincidentally, so many of the propagandists for the american Whites premises, movement are
really beautiful russian girls who speak perfect, English.
Who are now starting to be found out. There were. There was an article published today. There was another one yesterday about a teacher teaching grade school, who was teaching kids about white supremacy,
and then she had a double identity where she was bragging about the fact that in school she was teaching kids. She was found
to be have a third identity which was russian but yeah. I don't know what it is. I don't know if it's so much that Russia is supporting this ideology or
they're just trying to create this movement of discord
that they know is our weak spot
Currently, racism in America is something that we've never really dealt with. Every every society, that's faced genocide, let's say, like slaves
african Americans during slave times.
Have somehow dealt with it right, they've
acknowledged it and they've worked through it.
Never I don't believe, really acknowledge
that we have had that problem in our country, at least
from the top. I mean, I think we,
you know you go to South Lake here and tell me if I'm wrong, but I think we learn about
the civil war a little bit differently than we did in Chicago right.
In Chicago in the n,
Y'all were the bad guys right.
And to you down here it was northern aggression right
We learn about it differently
so even in our own country, where, like propagandizing our history, so I don't know that we've ever fully dealt with the issues that are countries had
But what do you think the solution is at the level of our public conversation at this point, and we take like social media and the fake news problem and the way in which this?
raise fake news has been weaponized against real news so that you can say fake news about anything that you don't like and it and it seems to be
an adequate retort to yeah, whatever is being expressed, I even hate using it, even though it's true it exists, but I Haiti, France, calling it what it is. Because of that you know, I think.
The biggest thing under attack right now is truth.
And once we lose it, it's gone.
What are we? What are benchmark and I'm terrified of that, because you know.
The truth has to exist. There has to be something that we can hold on to, but you know what's happening in America today. What I
just as you know, we're at a point where were screaming from the extremes right now, we're we're being made to choose a side really and
Screaming to try and get to the middle doesn't work
I think we need to start in the middle.
Big knowledge of things that we have in common. The fact that we're Americans, the fact that we love our children and want them to be healthy and have a good education that we want.
You know Phil America
used to have jobs and we want to have a good. Those are all things that we can agree on pretty much anywhere in the world where you go and you ask him, what's the most important thing to you, that
they'll say I want a job. I want my health,
my kids to be happy, but did you could
actually even start a conversation with a current whites of premises and get agreement on those values? Absolutely, and if we start there eventually will go off track, but we will
established that humanization that we can always go back to if we start
and the the extremes and try to get to the middle, we never get there
to find a way to start in the middle again. Let's acknowledge what we have in common, what we want America to be and then let's work, let's work from there
let's listen to each other. More than anything else, war, I'm increasingly worried that the left is fully capable of making a catastrophe of the,
oh yeah, because that the swing into identity politics in many cases seems to be all the justification. A
white supremacist would need to to
his or her own white identity politics. Absolutely when you know somebody on the left attacks. First of all, you know
we just stop calling Republicans Nazis
because they're not in office, please that word has a worry well one full day, hero gets cold enough to know better as an orthodox Jew and he gets cold enough to that said, I can't tell you how many parents email me
we're jewish, but my son is
it's involved in this, and I'm worried he's going to be the next Dylan Roof like I'm seeing signs of this, and that this is
it's a social movement focused. That's why I don't believe it's about ideology! It's about this identity community in purpose. Let's face it, our young people right now we're failing them. We, you know they can
can't afford college if they're lucky enough to even be able to attempt to go there. There's no
guarantee of a job after graduation are
country is in a state of you, know, division and turmoil right now, where you know people who
used to get along, can't even look at each other, and I'm talking about relatives even in some cases.
What is there to look forward to for them and I'm I'm confused
as an adult. I can't imagine what have fourteen one thousand five hundred and sixteen year old is going through.
I think we are failing our youngest people on, because they feel lossed
Any of them are gravitate ng to some of these very ideological movements.
Is there idealistic their passion it,
but they may have
regionalization issues and they may you know
something that resonates to them, and
scary time, because I am seeing a lot of young people who normally wouldn't be attracted to these types of
ideologies start to go there and- and
talking about you know, a young white girl from Middle America who flies to Syria to join ISIS and also the young. You know,
white boy who decides to walk into a church and murder. You know nine innocent people because of the color of their skin. What was the significance of Charlottesville is that Bin
because of our current political obsession or was it as significant as people who are worried about it seem to think
a week in Charlottesville just recently- and I and I spoke to really all the players that were involved
community members to Heather hires mother of the young woman who was killed,
to the white supremacist in town to the law enforcement too. I spoke to everybody and
very much what you said earlier. I don't think we touched on it where the left is maybe enabling some of us right now
now the fear from the community. Even though it's a progressive community is you know of the protesters and not the white supremacists.
I don't know that that's very
grounded in reality, but you know the left.
Shoots themselves in the foot when they adopt the same tactics, that of the people that they're that they're protesting.
So we see violence come from the left or when we see attacks of hate
come from the left or you know, their only mission is to destroy white supremacists lives
helping the situation. You know I tend to want to draw them in closer because they went,
that way, because they felt pushed away to begin with, pushing them away is not going to is not going to make them any happier. It's gonna make that actually in French the more into this ideology in this in this fear of of having lost something, and they use that as a narrative they spent at some
and their attacked. They become
victims and they use that. You know we
just there for free speech rally we
it is there for a unite. The right rally sees really innocuous terms that they like to put on rallies. It was not about free speech, it was not about confederate monuments. It was about going into a progressive place,
elicit a violent response,
because they knew the tension was there and they got it and then
but they were attacked. They became the vict
you see how our rights are being taken away. You see how white people are being treated in this country,
our intention, they go to progressive place on purpose. That's what we heard about the Berkeley rally why we heard about Charlottesville where to go to college campuses? That's why they want to Skokie in March to the jewish neighborhood, the nineteen seventies. You know the
American Nazi Party. They do that to provoked to prove
violence, two things that they love silence and violence when were silent, so
put under the rug they grow when were violent.
They use it as a narrative.
Yeah, there's another even more insidious aspect of this, which is it was something that Steve Pinker pointed
out recently actually is. This is amazingly
I compounding irony because his
working this out, so he was on a panel somewhere and he
the point that I'm about to make. But then it that got chopped up by some leftist imbecile to make him sound
like he was endorsing the alt right and you know,
and then there is this sort of
functionalist vilification of people that
the real virus here. But Steve's point was that
problem with silencing free speech,
on the on the left, which is whatever you know. If you hear that,
with some demonstration at the college
pampas tomorrow that forests
invited speaker to not give his or her speech and
people were spit on and the event couldn't happen.
It's like ninety nine percent, a leftist phenomenon. Now this is what the left is doing on college campuses and Steve's point was that
the problem with not letting conservative and even right wing views, get express on college campuses? Is that
don't and and and any taboo view, whether it's you know the intelligence and race- and you know the gender differences in the whatever is a concern- a third rail and in intellectual life, now
probably not letting these views get discussed honestly and at length is that people
First of all, there are certain, truths are, are being concealed and certain conversations are being deemed
off limits and people,
aren't, developing intellectual antibodies to the bad ideas that get
read it around these topics, and so, if for
first time in your life? Your hearings, what seems like perfectly honest talk about IQ, say,
but it's coming from someone like Jared Taylor right. Well, then you're on this grease slide into being indoctrinated into this kind of racist world, and and so it's the primacy
free speech has to be such an obvious value for the left and the fact that we're losing side of it is
really the most worrisome thing here.
It's disturbing to me that
many cases, the left is adopted. When I say the left, I mean that's a pretty vague term right, we're talking about like radical left for the most part
when they adopt the same tactics,
become any different than most people
in many cases. What what what you're seeing is the
door on the on the left
to anyone who makes any kind of sense on taboo topics: the Classic
is hi Missy to where the stress we should spend a moment on this, because there is. This is a sign.
Very troubling sign of the more
confusion that the left is capable of. So you take a group like the southern Poverty LAW center, which used to be
I'm sure they imagine. They still are this flag,
Organization, which is like the last bulwark against
you know white nationalism and christian identity, and all of this craziness we've been talking about
there. The people who sue the KKK Stan and destroy these the japanese chapters of the organization, but
now they have put people
magic. Now was who you know, and I on her cle on lists of anti muslim extremists and are they just put Christina Hoff, some
this slightly right of center academic philosopher on some list of bigotry. This is I mean this is
completely confused an when you challenge them
modulus, is suing them and it, but prior prior to anything about a lawsuit I mean suing them. First, we should acknowledge
this day is dangerous. To put muzzle
performers and ex Muslims on lists of any
but a list of anti muslim extremists? You know just put in a it's putting target on their backs and it's just incredibly furnish,
because journalists use that the Splc as a resource I mean like
just trying to figure out who's. Who you know is this is rich
Spencer really a nazi or not the first call. It goes to a group like that. So this
is not only objectionable, it is dangerous. Behavior and the problem is
No one admits errors here, like like the person who did this at the Splc, has been contacted.
Analysts say: may I tweeted this in mind? If we did this and I on tweeted this and it could, it continues, and people just double down people do not. If
it I mean you have to spend five minutes on Marge it before you real
this is not an anti muslim extremists. Right. First of all, he's a Muslim
crazy he's, not he's not even an next Muslim and we have the luxury of both knowing him. Personally,
didn't know that until tonight, but yeah-
I I would agree with that. I mean my is it safe? Is this store? Is a lot like mine? I mean he's a former. You know extremist,
not only a former, not only not an anti muslim extremist. He was a former muslim extremist right. You know he's
he has a long way to go, but before he becomes an anti muslim extremists
you know, I I think part of the problem. Let me just preface this uh, you know I've respected the sp
she's work because I do trust their work, but I think that the
the kind of the arena is gotten so blurred. Now that
it's easier to call somebody. You know a member of a hate group where to call you know an organization, a hate group. If they're taught
king about something that maybe is uncomfortable to talk about. I know measured, I know,
Is he doesn't hate? Anybody know he's not running a hate group,
it's unfortunate that he was added to that list. I really you know. I was very surprised. I even communicated to him when it happened that you know it was like astonishing to me that that could happen.
You know I don't know what to say about that other than it's a mistake that they made
might be added to the list of extreme dressers. He is a great dress wrestling, whoever wears a pockets where should be on some lists. The british colonial and I think that rubbed off is a sharp dresser.
But yeah. I know it's tough. I mean there. There are a lot of groups out there. The Anti defamation league, I think you know, is a pretty trusted source for monitoring hate groups and, and you know they make mistakes too. I mean they came out when the attack
back in parkland happened at first with Nicholas Cruz and
they were essentially fooled by far right trolls into believing that he was unknown.
Oxy, and then
came out that he really was a NEO Nazi, that you know there was a swastika carved on the cartridge of the magazine and that you know there were posts, an instagram.
Yes, that were so they
in that case they made a mistake that ended up being correct, but you know
it's hard to say you know what went into that decision or what goes into the
this is all I could look at history of what they've done. You know they've
managed to bankrupt white supremacist organizations like the white, aryan resistance, and
I've done amazing work to try and dismantle white supremacy in the country, but it's clear that
that there are also fallible
yeah well. On that note, I want to open it up to questions from all of you, because for
In my view, the reason to do these events is too
the proper conversation very are awesome.
Search is so there are two MIKE's there should be to MIKE's, left and right
Sorry to anybody who had a hangover and just had bright lights,.
And I should say so before we start.
I would encourage you to make your question actually a question, and this is not so much for board,
It's not so much for the way I feel up here, but at the but the way you feel when you feel the fire of all of your
fellow audience. Members raining down on. You
get my long tirade about vegetarianism, but you had mentioned the concept of dog whistles and how groups
becoming very sophisticated and how they align their language to kind of sneak it in.
So how do all of us get a tune to navigating that space of this is okay. This is kind of scary. This is really scary. Help us out thanks, develop, are critical for
making skills again it's hard, because their intention is to make it as normal as possible to use language that's hard to decipher. I mean that's their trick
and we weren't. We were good at it in the 80s, but we
porn is good at it, as they are now with the internet because
as you know, there's so much information out there. It's really hard to know what to believe what the trust but uh.
But sometimes the dog whistle isn't a dog whistle right so, for instance, there people who
are worried about globalism. Sure who don't know that something like this that you, your former self, was talking about globalism with this as like height as well: okay, for instance, exactly as he does that you just had to perform an exorcism on Megan Kelly yeah, I was I'm not. She didn't realize that that that statement had had found a home in her brain. I was on. It was on her show recently, and we were talking just about the specifically in dog whistles, and I said you know when we hear the.
These terms you know
you have to understand that many times
they're, not using them,
but the actual thing they're using it to drop people in and then spin it to turn it into kind of this white.
The side narrative and she said, but you know
I've been using terms like globalism and and- and you know, liberal media. Since I was a fox news- and I said a high- you see the power of the mainstreaming and the internet kind of went crazy over that. But it's true I mean they are intentionally fooling people with through fear rhetoric. So,
pick a side, global globalization and globalism and and liberal media, which you know I think have valid. You know
but when you start when you start to make
through misinformation that white culture is
is being destroyed. It's not
tell you that right, most
people in power are white, males right, not
secret. Jewish. You know, cabals of you know,
they're using fear rhetoric to feel like something is being taken away from people there. There screwing with statistics. I mean one of the reasons why Dylan Roof walked into that church and murdered. Those people is because he googled
through the Trayvon Martin incident. He Google
Black on white crime statistics and he landed on a website that had this really innocuous name. The council of
conservative Citizens right
organization, no they're, not there White Supreme
Cyst Organization that put up fake statistics about black on white crime,
time that inflated them tremendously and he felt compelled
become you know, to go in and punish people. Because of that,
we need to be very, very careful. I don't know specific,
What the right answer is what we should be looking for, except that we need to be better critical thinkers. We need to
just look at things better and and really acknowledge that we make mistakes like I tweeted retweeted things that that, were you know fake news before, and I felt like a fool doing that too. We just need to be more careful, not trust, everything that we hear.
This was it thanks so much for the conversation, I think the system you know like the Eric Feinstein term intellectual dark. With these types of long form conversations. I was really struck SAM when you said that I'm just struck by the news organizations there's all these labels thrown about and what you said about when you label something you're able to create an enemy, hello, Mister Han had these conversations and when I think of my friends, I don't think of them as labels, fried all right, anything I think, of individual beliefs, what we feel about abortion or whatever so separate topics, but here the bride most of the people there listening to the mainstream.
News CNN Fox, you're left to right. It doesn't matter these labels are tossed all over the place, so you know what I mean, and so, instead of, instead of it being a long phone conversation. This is why I love these things. This is my hero travel six hours to be here, listen to podcasts over time, because these long form conversations are where we actually get into the meat of this, where
we're not just creating enemies by tossing a labels. Interest charges item was allows people to question so quickly. Thank you for coming. How do we? How do we get to those people that aren't listening to the in life? What are.
You know what I mean how we reach out from the people that are here to get out to you more mainstream.
But I I think it's a the for side, this phrase- intellectual, dark web pages. You know it now
the phrase I I I have.
Imbued with much seriousness. I have Eric Weinstein used it on my podcast and
I titled the podcast I did with him and Ben Shapiro, but it
it was always a little tongue in cheek. Although now now there's a New York Times article being written about it and so that people are taking this seriously, it's
it's not a bad analogy. I mean what what it is is at least the justification
I would give it is that,
There are some of us who are some people who just don't, have any kind of mainstream media contact
who still have a lot of influence right, who have their own podcasts. It means someone like Dai,
Dave, Rubin or Joe Rogan, Joe Rogan reaches so many more people than
most television right. I mean you know he. He reaches ten fold the audience that CNN does it primetime right. So it's just
and the mainstream media doesn't really know about this. It seems so
in that sense, these converse
are already reaching millions and millions of people, and you know, I think, very much for the better, because
people having these conversations, at least in those contexts,
so guarded and not so worried about blowback that they that they're, not speaking on
planting anymore in there and and the format is relevant. The fact that
have a time limit right joke
go for four hours, and I you know I can go for three hours and the conversation can just me and or that dictates a different.
End Exchange of ideas- and so I think it's it is it's working-
way, and there are many of us who have a foot in both worlds and
You know I can publish an op ed in the New York Times.
I can have some truly mainstream person, who is probably worried about his reputation. Somebody like Fareed Zakaria on my podcast, and
You know lower him down the primrose path and into having a more unguarded conversation that he usually has and people
very happy. It seems at least at this point to do that, and so it's I think it's it is this happen, and it is working and yeah as we
fucking by virtue of the fact that people like yourself, are listening to the podcast and driving six hours to come to an event.
This name is Hunter.
I'll skip my long prologue about how grateful I am for you guys to come to Dallas and thank you so much for everything you do SAM.
Thank question that you actually christian, but I thought I would you your
So when thinking about how to
to criticize or address that ideas.
How do you view the roll of shame versus empathy or
or or other techniques to address that ideas in a way in and thinking about, your friend from the Dilbert cartoon in the
is compelling or or that is able to affect change.
Yeah, you know, honestly, it's not
recipe that I have found,
and I think it probably changes
I mean I, I don't actually know what I'm doing in many of these conversations. I don't know if you can tell, but I don't consider myself a professional, the interviewer and
can change in the middle of a conversation depending on you know what the topic is and what I feel like I'm getting out of it
Scott Adams case that you referenced
there. I felt like I aired,
on the side of being a kind of a gracious host. I got
so I let my impatience leak out.
Part of that was just me,
it would be more interesting if I expressed it rather than dampened it, but I
find there. There is something shocking about the worldview that he's advocating and I was not expressing my
my moral shock as much as like I might have there in the interest of keeping the conversation on the rails
It may seem. Like a paradox. I don't know it.
Is one I think interpersonally.
I would agree with you. The role for shame is me.
Maybe nonexistent you're, either
interested in somebody- and this is this is a point I've made before. Where is kind of
in Candy valley of more
opprobrium where, if, if someone is bad enough, you don't have
signal your disapproval at all. If I invited a Charles Manson yeah or the Unabomber, I thought you know would be amazing to have a podcast with the Unabomber right. I would
to spend not even thirty seconds
admonishing him? You know, you know it's bad to send bombs in the mail and blow peoples hands off right. You know, I don't approve of that at all in case my audiences confused.
If I had someone like Jared Taylor on the podcast, I would be just Hillary for giving him a platform,
and if I did if I was, if my interest was enough to get
it will pass that hurdle.
And invite him on. I would have to spend some sick
slamming him for his views and not and not playing the empathy, cart and not playing the the the anthropological interest card, but
Julie, signaling virtue, signaling to my audience that the I
talking to now is is reprehensible on some level right. It would be how that would work. For me, though, in the in the got a different job, you know you're you're trying to reach these people. I can also say, though I mean at eighteen,
eighteen, twenty twenty two years old had anybody shamed me. It would not have changed my mind. It would have made me angry or would have you know if somebody would have attacked me, I would have attacked back harder.
So, while I think that there are some people, you know, obviously you know nobody is going to sit here and say that poor kid Dylan Roof
right. I mean you have to be accountable for your actions regard,
but I'll tell you. I will question it gradually. Move on us boring, but but I'm I'm talking Trista's specifically through the lens of a bill
bar or John Oliver, who are there show, is about shame
so the other size, but it's rarely
person right there now is what we say about people when they're, not here
control for ridicule
have comedians making painfully.
Funny jokes about bigots, I think, are comedians right now seems to be our best news agencies as far as I'm concerned doesn't not entrench them. It is that an entrenched the opposition to their views,
We know that they know their audience. They know that their audiences sympathetic to what they're saying so I mean it. It still is entertainment,
I don't think they're trying to
not trying for social change. Necessarily I mean it's
an entertainment so well go back to this. Other point, though,
do you think I should do an event like this with Jerrod Taylor
there's another name that that keeps getting thrown at me. So since the farmall knows, and is a name that I know very well because a significant number of of parents that reach out to me, I've lost her children,
to his ideology? I would I would love to see own him if you're gonna, shame somebody who want to have a chance at the front row for but here's the thing. Where do you draw? So it's not an issue of the. Why give this person a platform yeah? The
yeah. I mean there is the possibility that some people in this auditorium you know, might listen to him and say well. What he's saying
that's so wrong
and that's the danger of that right. The danger of of somebody being me
predisposed to that kind of a message, because they've gone through their own trauma or whatever. So there's
danger to that. I don't I don't believe in God
people don't want to see Richard Spencer on CNN, you know every night
not talking about his ideologies. 'cause I've sat with Richard Spencer for two hours and
I see through all that I see through most most of the you know. The perform
in study has, I mean, he's a racist, don't give me wrong, but there's also
performance element to it and putting them on a stage and giving them a platform.
Things come out of their mouth that maybe they don't really normally say, but a bola. No, I mean he's a dangerous person. He is. He is somebody that is effectively
destroying families around the world
because he is latching on and and giving his you know his views to is really in
trouble. Young people who now are convinced that every problem in our life is because of their parents or their family, and now they need to you know, to force them and and never ever talk to them
again. I think that there is a limit to who we decide to give space to and who we don't.
Well, yeah yeah, so so, Charles Marie, so that's it I'm glad you restaurant mark there just jump in on this. Okay, there is a line to that person, there's a nor any other under the norm or trying to enforce here, and it's called a line. I just got back from Japan. Everything was very ordered or don't give me too much at all. Okay, well I'll I'll I'll comment on Charles Marie then I'll go to you, Sir
Charles Murray, I think, is
a straight up academic who has been
I had him. I had him on the podcast because
I mean I had always thought his book. The bell curve was radioactive and I never I didn't read it when it came out and it would
when he was attacked at Middlebury and I was see- and I was becoming increasingly
worried about the pathology on the left- the deep
informing and the obviously illegitimate, attacks on real academics and the closing down.
Discourse, I decided to have him on just to just to see what that conversation became.
I don't think Charles Murray has a racist bone in his body. Now I don't
I mean, I know him only on the basis of that conversation and having read his book, but the most
controversial paragraphs in the bell curve are
more amazingly innocuous. That
a full blown moral panic that reaction to the Bell curve and
when I saw what happened to me,
because I had Charles Murray
on the podcast, when I saw the VOX article that came out and my
a private correspondence with Ezra Klein trying to get him to. Can
the errors in that article as well
and is the editor in chief of box,
is just amazing to encounter the leftist
irrationality and demonization that awaits you. If you touch this topic so
yeah, I think Charles Murray has been unfairly treated,
really a problem that you can have
a website like VOX the brakes. Real
stories I mean they're, not as bad as salon or some other journals,
your sense of how bad this is, because you haven't seen this publicly
editor in chief of the Journal intelligence, who had just Chris Richard Hair, who just wrote a book published by K.
University press. The neurobiology of intelligence is the guy who's. Whole game is to talk about the brain basis of intelligence.
He unsolicited just seeing what VOX did to me in Murray after that podcast he unsolicited, wrote an opinion
Letter of correction completely
on our and and going after Richard Nisbett and the other author of that that box peace and
everline wouldn't publish it as though
they had run out of pixels on the website and
double down with Maura program directed it at me and Marie. So it sits. There is a kind of there's a taboo to all of us all of us yeah this phrase
in Walton. Now, yes, so you, Sir you've been very patient
SAM. I very much appreciated the conversations you had with Douglas Murray regarding the current immigration crisis in Europe,
open, canner or chew the very few countries in the world.
Anyone in this room would want to live in it.
Actress automatic berth raises citizenship, birthright citizenship is a Boston all of Europe car at least twenty thirty years ago, and you're hard pressed to find any country
is in the outside the western hemisphere,
in Canada in America. That practices. Do you
our position on birthright citizenship, and do you think it's possible in this current political environment to the post, birthright citizenship felt seem like the total racist
You know I don't have a position on that. I really haven't thought about it:
every kind of generic position on immigration, which is that I think you want
borders. You want to know who's coming into the country, and then you want a rational policy to bring uh
people into the country who you want in the country, and I
the one immigration there's no question: we want immigration, so immigration isn't a bad word.
Having no idea who's crossing your border seems like a bad thing in this day and age, but
given the status quo, given that we have what
is one thousand one hundred and twelve million people here
illegally, the vast
forty of whom are working
in jobs, that many of us don't want and need done and they're, just you know, peaceful honest people
trying to get by and living sort of outside the legal system. I do fail
some kind of amnesty some
just resetting of getting back to zero,
but that I think, should be coupled with actually knowing who's coming into the country. So
I think this is the position of the harmonized yeah. So as a person high school myself, so I think the idea of being shot coming, but I see many people at my school and sure there are holes in my school, but I think the majority of people who are considered to be like very ideal
are extremely liberal. So how?
How? How should be as a from a national perspective, try to address
the fact that many people in high school, and especially in college, are sort of becoming extreme
the ideological ideological leaning to the left, and so I had to put it in your car.
Calling all Republicans not season
making ridiculous claims about you, Mister,
there's another people like much and now once and other people that you mentioned. How would you
The address this increasing like
ideology, ideological basis that the left tries to instill in? I think young people, especially
comes down to having a fact based discussion, all the time
being, intellectually honest, being willing to take risks with
reputation by being honest on topics that are that you know are somewhat polarizing
I think it's we all have to do this, and we have to do this in our private lives. We have to do it on social media we have to. We have to become interested in what's true, and
in accurately representing a what we have every reason to believe it's true and I think,
that's when people are obviously failing to do that. There should be some social stigma.
Associated with the worst thing about Trump for me and I'm not going to get into a twenty hour trump rent.
You know what I think about Trump, but but but the worst thing for me has been this erosion of fact based
discussion and the fact that lying. The fact that the fact that lying has no penalty at this point or line is is, is now a method, and we have to
back to a world if, if we ever were firmly established in such a world, we have to get. We have to get to a world where there is. There is real brim
and reputational cost to be
caught in a lie.
I think mine is is the most corrosive thing that
We all do one or most people do on a regular basis, and that is, it is considered normal and we just we need to tune our our at the
around there. I think also also recognize that your
in a bubble and that there are other bubbles that are not like yours, that are not Lib
bubbles that are free, no ultra cancer.
The ultra nationalist bubble
Christian, this questions for you, I was just wondering uh. If just
is the sociology of these different groups that you've been a part of, if the belief that bad
police were just restricted to racist things or if these people were susceptible to other types of bad belief
like in quarts of like conspiracies from other things. Besides racism,
because they live in such
separated universe, '
'cause they've left everything else behind because they have adopted and swallowed this ideology. They
become now kind of the purveyors of conspiracy theory
and there you know the
there are things like
one woman who ran a podcast, a white supremacist podcast
was blaming the Jews for Hurricane Matthew.
You know all the jewish people in Florida suddenly stood in a parking lot and blue at the same time, and you know cause this hurricane. But let me
let me just take that step further, and I don't know if I mentioned this so correct me if I did seven out of the ten requests
get from help our people
who are diagnosed but untreated, with
mental illness, so Aspergers Autism,
so Frenyea, ADHD
and they're, specifically targeting these groups, who you know
and potentially latch on to something
and only focus on that and become
passionate about that one thing, because it makes them comfortable and Danes,
because you know, like I said earlier, truth is really under attack, and I really think that is the most important thing that needs to be defended. Right now is truth, because once
lose that it's gone, I mean what's our benchmark, where do we go back to? How do we know how to get back to thank you for me
you waited Dallas yeah, I appreciate it. I don't think the left is necessarily blameless, but there's a pole in the Miami Herald that allegedly shows that forty two percent of Republicans believe that any media report, their tax, their favorite beliefs or politicians, is fake news, whether true or not
This report also happens to perfectly encapsulate my entire family. How do we engage Thanksgiving was rough. Let me tell you, but how do we engage these people and lead them to accept truths and conflict in conflict with their fundamental identities and worldview
again. It is a fact base.
Conversation? The thing about is that.
They can be inconvenient, you know so that you can find facts. You can find true that
Put the lie to an idea:
Maji, that's not true, and you can never anticipate in advance how this is going to happen. You're just going
it's like if your, if your beliefs are wrong,
you're walking in the dark and you bump into something right
because you're not you're, not you don't actually have a map of the various obstacles there and
if conversations are allowed to go long enough, you can put
pull in positions where
but most people and their people fall outside this, but the
people no matter how deranged their belief system they do feel so,
burden to not be self contradictory
right. If you can show them the two closely held beliefs that they claim to cherish,
are in opposition or in conflict with one another. Then
something has to give, and it's rare that you get the person who just says. Who cares right? I believe both you know my hope,
for conversations of all kinds. Is that if you take them long enough, if there's any
semblance of an honest interlocutor on the other side,
no matter how to range there
actual views, you can find point
where they are there put in conflict with themselves, and that is the most effective challenge I think to a persons.
World, it was a win win that you can show them that they're being inconsistent even by their own lives. You know it's it's! It's a reductio ad absurdum
It doesn't happen often enough in real time I mean this is I'm in a weird position, because I'm off
often conversations where I'm challenging peoples believes I see
virtually no result.
Most conversations with the people, I'm talking too, but I see that I received 10s of thousands of emails from people whose beliefs have been changed by witnessing those converse,
Asians or reading relevant books, this idea that that no one ever gets reason down of their beliefs is untrue. Is the person
stage with you who you're debating tends not
it reasoned out of his or her beliefs? But that's that's not really the point of that particular conversation. It's it's for the rest of humanity that may stumble
conversation first, you thank you for what you do, I'm a mexican israeli Jew. So
It has a lot of yeah so
About some white nationalist talking to some reporter and she asked about her daughter what happens if she would marry a black guy should all I would never talk to her again.
And then they said, if you
did you, I would kill it.
Where does this hierarchy of hate come from.
You know I think it comes down to who they believe have more control,
So I would say.
Probably hate. You know Jews, the most because they think that
those fifteen Jews are running the whole world, like you said.
You know it's. It's really just it's laziness under its intellectual laziness on their part, they just really hate everybody. I mean it's not to hit them selves, which is why they hate other people in other project thing, but
It's hard to say, but I mean they really. I would say that
they're pretty equal opportunity, Haters
That's right, that's right! I, but no
Judaism, is, is definitely their number one target for whatever reason.
And I can't explain it, and I was one of those people and I don't know why I just think it's because they are smaller community they may have like
this air of mystery about them. You know those fifteen
people do a lot of work and somehow things get done. No, I don't know, but it's uh.
It's it's a fear of who they believe is pulling the strings, which is certainly not the case,
I know your mother was, is jewish,
secular. Whatever do you think any of
traditions or any of those beliefs actually carried through to the way? You think, because I was growing up, I was raised
to you, know criticize, and things like that, based on my jewish faith.
I'm curious! If any of those values you think that you carried over even till today,
Well, culturally, I'm very at home
home in secular, Jew,
Is it because I mean there's very few Jews, it's like what is it
one one slash two percent or two percent of the country, but if I think of all
people, I grew up with its. It has to be at least half
of the people I knew were jewish and I think I would just be guessing, but it's just it's completely out of register with what is true in the country.
But I mean that there was zero religion. So it's just it's just all the cultural references
yeah exactly right. So that's the only this is what so misleading by talking about Judaism, religious debate, because you know I've been on stage
conservative rabbis, who didn't believe anything right,
and they're, not reform rabbis their conservative and they. When push comes to shove. They basically just believe that the universe
has a positive energy in it, and you know: that's it right. So
Judaism is in general, is far more secular, but apart from just getting most of the jokes,
Woody Allen, movies
I'm not very jewish, but it's it's a it's a cultural background that I certainly share. Thanks for coming,
both you guys are in the business of.
Changing minds and changing lives, and I just wondering if each of you had an example from you change your mind that you'd like to share
People people have changed our minds: no, no, no.
Somebody would help. Oh I've got a story.
So there was a thirty one year old Guy named Darrell from Buffalo NY that somebody had given him a copy of my book
and he emailed me because he was not happy with the ending. You know I left the move
and he was still in it. He was not happy about that. So we wanted to make sure I knew about it.
And I talked to him for several weeks, and you know just three mail and over the phone and and one day,
He had been discharged from the military have been Woon did during training.
Was recruited in the military, bye bye
and he was really angry, that he couldn't be deployed to Afghanistan, to kill Muslims,
I am one of the things that he said to me on the phone one day was that you know he was.
Thing in the park with his daughter and his dog, and he saw you know muscle
men praying on the ground and he wanted to just kick him in the face.
I don't know what you're doing tomorrow, but you're taking a day off work and I'm flying to Buffalo 'cause. We need to sit down and talk and
After talking to him, you know
pretty obvious that he had like the seething hatred. So I asked him. I said: have you ever met? You know Muslim per,
and he said no. Why would I want to do that? You know they're evil or the devil they want to kill me blah blah blah,
and so okay, so I guess
use myself and I went to the bathroom and I got my phone out and very quietly, Google, the local mosque.
And I got on the phone with the e mom- and I said he Mama, I have a christian man here who would really love to learn more about your religion. Do you mind if we stop by,
If you wasn't religious, I wouldn't have done this, but you know you was already pretty devout christian.
So after some hemming and hying and if you know first, I told
we were going to get food and then I said we have to make a pit stop. Anyway. We knock on the door and the imam answer, and he said I've only got fifteen minutes to talk to you, because we had kind of been arguing.
In the car about going in and
women spent two and a half hours there talking across the table,
and you know they realize they have a lot of similarities between the religions and they really really bonded over Chuck Norris. For some reason-
apparently Chuck can do anything
and you know there was hugging and crying- and you know it was the first time I had ever- really met a muslim person before and and
There's not a Friday that you can drive down the street and not see those two together, Darrell Enima meeting Falafel at their favorite mediterranean place. Now,
please tell me the punchline isn't that they both hate the Jews.
With no, I did not amplify. There was very little talk about religion. It was really just about. You know, understanding how people grew up right and you know they it was about creating the humanization. Really, I'm really not that cynical. I just over here
SAM. I was listening to your conversation with Charles Murray on the way up here, I'm in Edgecator at a predominantly black low, socio
school. Thank you christian. I think a lot of my students would play resonate with the way that you felt when you were when you were young, they feel disenfranchised, they feel angry, and you also mentioned how we're we're doing a disservice to our youth. You mentioned that that was
my question to you to both of you is as parents as US citizens as as
thinkers. What what would you
is he done with education
in the US and what role do you think that plays in fighting that erosion of fact based conversation and
this era of mass misinformation.
Good question: well, just briefly, I think we should recognize that education is as
higher priority is, can be named me apart from
not dying in you know, and and not
fighting a nuclear war. We should want to educate our children to the best of our abilities. So I think the job of teaching
should be a much higher prestige job than it is. I think we should.
The economics of this should be flipped. It should be a very competitive space and very well
constipated, and it's just
we need to rethink how we approach education. I think we need to teach the truth. I think we need to
talk about the fact that for two hundred and fifty years this has been primarily a white supremacist country
fact that that
this is not to say
this is a nation of immigrants is a very privileged statement. We are in a
of immigrants, natives and ex slaves, and we
need to recognize that, because when we call it a nation of immigrants, we are completely omitting large.
A significant part of american society. What would you advice be two to one thousand, seven hundred and eighteen year old, black kids that feel disenfranchised? What would be your message to them,
My message to them is that I would help them
show them that opportunity exists because in the neighborhood I come from Chicago and Chicago is still
the most segregated cities in the country. There isn't
public transportation that goes to many of these urban neighborhoods. There are, there, isn't
oppurtunity there in central
their prisons without walls and people like me who
centrify the neighborhoods are the wardens an
I. I hate.
That we do that, and I
I think that we need to change the educational system. We need to change lawn, we need to change the justice system and we need to change all of our institutions.
I've been based on a way of doing things for two hundred and fifty years that is complete.
He ignored and in many in most cases, almost decimated part of our population. So
we need to fix. Thank you both. Thank you. Sam for sharing your conversation with Russell Brand,
on IRAN more while I was not as painful as it sounds, which is really cool to be part of, but one point that stood out where you seem to both reach an impasse. Despite your good intentions, I want to focus on. He comes from a posture, I think of humility, which is sorely missing in our public discourse, but it's concerning that. He couldn't answered definitively about the life that his daughter would have in Afghanistan and the reality of that and I, how do you have this conversation
When someone you're talking to won't even acknowledge the reality for their own daughter, much less for any other woman on the planet, that's one question and then separately. So much of your work sounds so incredibly meaningful and impactful. How can we help or how we? How can we support you
briefly? I think there there are points that.
just white guy, like me, just can't make affectively to certain audiences. So now I haven't stopped trying. So I I still, I still make those points,
but it takes someone like
Serra Hater, Hanna an Ex Muslim who can just speak from direct experience.
So if you just imagined Sarah hater at that table talking to Russell about the right
of women in the muslim world, if he would try to
make those same points to her,
I think it would be very quickly revealed to be intellectually dishonest and even disreputable thing to do.
It is the key. I don't. I can't imagine him even trying it. I made a it. Doesn't stop people like Sarah purposes so Serra Hater gets the platform at colleges right, she's been of as an objectionable person, as any of that has ever were
like the earth, but the fact that she's saying anything critical of Islam is taboo
and you know you must know what happened Ion Hersey Ali in that vein,
The same reason why the government stop fireman for talks after the selection. They don't like the they don't like me to be critical of some.
Perhaps their own ideologies?
I I didn't know anything about that. I used to do a lot of speaking around the world for State Department and R.
Yeah come November. Twenty there sorry January twenty election day, I got
No more of those talks because of what I was talking about. Some
like Ion Hersey Ali
Political Right, open wide, because she's saying things that are critical about Islam and
christian fundamentalists come out of the woodwork to support her, but she's
secular atheist truly live
little person, I mean she's, not she's, not right wing, I mean maybe she's slightly
criterium economically, but there is
pathology on the left that anyone on the left. Anyone who really care
about liberal values, has to figure out how to exercise and
Russell really does connect a lot of those
he's a really
guy, I mean he's just he's, he's massively confused about
a lot of these points. Indeed, he ask you how your work can be supported that
one of the best things that anybody could do and you're all equipped to do this is go find somebody that you feel is undeserving of your compassion and empathy and give it to them, because we guarantee you, I guarantee you they're, the ones who need it. The most. You should also read by my book. Yes, I sandra thanks for coming yeah
little nervous trying to be mindful of it. You know
well, people brought up Jared Taylor and Stefan Molyneux earlier and Taylors really good example. I
if you're a young, rightly
person a lot of what he says, there's no curb
sort of reason in there, but it can be real seductive to people like that. Do you think?
did and not giving guys like him a platform, you
sometimes run the risk of letting that stuff going checked? Do you feel any responsibility as a public intellectual to to publicly
check guys like him, like you asked the room earlier, you know how many people like to see you.
So? How do you draw the line between not giving someone a platform
or giving them one so that you can kind of public
yeah? I showed him.
I mean I I'm cautious about this,
because again it's hard to debate, someone so effectively
that even their fans recognize that you destroyed there
it's not it's it's hard to think these things
and there are, as you say, their kernels of truth- that
and through many of these viewpoints and it
true that even right wing people, even even obnoxiously,
right wing people, even races. In addition to
nothing happens to them, they also get treated unfairly right. I mean there are unfair criticisms of a person who holds terrible ideas.
I mean if I, if I knew that
Having someone like Jared on my podcast would result in a very clear
sure, delineation of everything that's wrong with his worldview
and a massive
pain of unsubscription from it will, then
then it would seem like a straight up public good, and I would I would do it, but
conversations are harder than that and
I'm worried about wasting my time. I'm worried about it. 'cause I've done a few of these, where I feel like.
Okay, in the end, that probably wasn't good for anybody and it was it wasn't. It wasn't a good listening experience for podcast listeners and
yeah Peter, and I'm going to close to Peterson's initially case because of what I I think he's. I don't think
performance artist. I think he's honestly trying to help people. I think he's wrong about certain things, but right about many other things and he is
he's kind of unmask a need
for a meaning based conversation in the secular community, and I think it will be in
to try to straighten that out in real time in front of many of his fans,
so that's a conversation I'm willing to to as an experiment in commerce
I'm going to have as a we're going to do some events together, but
I don't know, what's going to happen there I mean that could go completely haywire and seem like a waste of time in the end, because our first podcast, as you know, was brutal
liked it a lot actually yeah. I mean some people find again. Some people find is very painful, podcasts valuable.
You know there, there is massacres in the world and you know so. If you want to practice self harm, you can go back and listen to the
the best podcast ever, which is in my catalog. It's horrific.
SAM. My name is Jordan. I'm from Dallas some, probably your biggest black fan you'll ever meet. I'm sorry, I'm not sure what your name is. I didn't catch. Your name address you're, getting better as a Christian, I do have a two part question, sir.
You christian you've been in
opinion unnecessarily hard on the right
wall, ignoring the ills of the left basic
things that Sargon of a card talks about intersection.
Politics do not see why people may have
inherent distrust of the far left and made lean towards the right or maybe's interests, not defend
the alt right. I don't think anyone in this audience would defend alright just being here for that, so I don't think anyone would, but I do think that people leaned towards the right because of a natural distrust of the far left. So I think that's one
part, so I would like to hear an answer of why you're.
Harder on the right and the left
one thing and then
can I say I don't know that. Let me tell you a secret I've. I've seen the intricate workings of both sites, which I think most people don't have
both the curse in the luxury of having
don't think I was unfairly I mean.
I definitely talked about the left having its problems
acknowledge they do. I think, just
Right and left is divisive in itself because really we're all kind of in the middle floating around from side to side right
answer your question without the problem with the right. Is that
and I'm talking about the far I am talking about the alt right and White NASH
the problem that I see is that they are taking their message. They've understood how to make it more palatable to attract people through fear rhetoric
and I see that happening with
very innocent, well, meaning conservative people who are now because of the idea that there are two parallel truths happening
are: are choosing one track over the other, because it's closer.
It's not the same, but it's closer to what they believe that the other
anywhere in the society where we're being chose to to choose a side.
I have a lot of conservative friends. I have a lot of black friends. I have a lot of. I have friends everywhere,
So I do have the luxury of being able to listen to both sides.
And what I'm seeing happening on the right is is that these people on the far right or
taking advantage of well meaning people on the right, and I'm not ok with that. But don't you think the same could be said about the left. Oh absolutely! So why
and say that my experience is being an x NEO Serra. That's my expertise, that's what I'm talking about, but to answer your question. But to answer your question, I do call it out on the left. When I see it because I I you know, it enables the right.
Just like the right enables the far left
and we need to stop that, because this is a this: isn't a game that's going to end up with a winner if we keep playing it, we're both gonna lose
thanks for the question center coming out. Yeah, my name is Sasha. I I'm from Dallas here and get a lot of interaction with people in the south. And my question is: how do you
you respond to many of the voters? Trump voters that aren't most probably aren't racist or anything like that, but they have this white
at any politics underlying some of their motivation. Where you know they'll say see like black Panther comes out, and you know black people celebrate all over and that's okay, but anytime, any white thing happens on their not allowed to celebrate our there's women's marches and that's okay.
Men's marches can happen, and that would be something that's because every day in our history has been a celebration towards white males and it's okay. Let other people celebrate when when something happens that they're prod of well there it's it's, they say: that's the year, twenty eighteen!
everyone's got. You know equal rights now and you know we're all humans
Well, I I think I think the ground truth has to be that identity. Politics is a dead end,
it's understandable, understandable why you would want to have black identity politics or gay identity politics or be if, if there's just pick,
you're, most beleaguered minority. They
we certainly are the most justified in playing the identity, Paula,
this game, but there are diminishing returns there an
ultimately, we have to outgrow this fascination with the color of our
orientation or any other difference.
That really shouldn't matter right and this
like. We have to get to a place where we recognize that these things don't matter, and so what is the path to them? Not mattering? It can't be
care more and more about these differences.
That can't be the algorithm. You know this is
most important thing in my life, the color of my skin. That can't be the end game.
Yeah. I worry more and more that the identity politics we see on the left. In response to Trump
It's understandable! That is, that it's
drawing a lot of energy from Trump, and certainly from things like Charlottesville, that that will just amplified mirror image on the right. Can you say the same thing about like racial pride or cultural pride? Just being proud of you know,.
Look, pride is also just a weird thing. I mean it's a pride. Even even self pride is weird with pride about your race is. Is you know how much credit do you want to take for being the race? Your
it's a it's a nightmare, that's the kind of an odd schema, but you know how culture celebrating cold differences of culture. That's right! Great me, like you know,
celebrating indian culture or or
culture or whatever the culture I mean we're talking about food and music and architecture. I mean that's all amplifying the beauty of the world, but that doesn't
If that's conveying this message of important differences between
people, you know in different ideologies are different moral norms. Writers had like how people should be treated, you know it and when to use violence, and all of that, that's that's where it gets a dicey summer. I think pride stops when it
the means other people, so I mean we should all be proud of positive accomplishments are so we're we're down to our last ten minutes, unfortunately, so that that
should we are going to try to do four more questions so sorry to each side. I'm very sorry.
I'm going to be out a break. I'm going to break all my rules. I see women in the third positions. Can we get? We get at least
women on each side as well. You can call that virtue signalling, but I actually just want to hear from women it is
They kind of pathology of my life. That's there so few women in in situations like this
We just want to be representative
so everybody is sure yeah my I'll be stored as them completely off topic. What's your favorite,
moment or memory of Christopher Hitchens from the time you've been able
in case it isn't
obvious. He is
more than ever. Moments like this, just the
yeah that that there's so many people who think that he would have voted for Trump because of how much he hated the Clintons. With that. It would be so delicious to see that dulu
deflated in real time, but what he
he was a so he came out for a debate that we did
with two rabbis. Actually the conservative rabbis I mentioned before, and he flew out to California
their way past. The point where I thought he would
want to travel, and he was obviously obviously- and you can see that debate on Youtube he's
through chemo and we've had dinner before the debate.
And I realize I think I wrote about this after he died.
Does with a shark is just like. That was the first time. We'd ever had dinner together alone, and this is
almost certainly our last dinner together, and that was.
That was obvious and it was Valentine's day actually yeah. It was
of this because we were at a bar at the hotel where he was staying and they had some very formal like Valentine's day. Stick they were doing and we both looked at each other, and so this is the
So we found a better one, but that that
I got from him in moments like that was
much he loved and he was very different
from me in many respects and he loved
more than anything and he loves getting on a plane and making it to the next event. You know I'm here he just does it was not.
I work for him right and I'm I mean I'm. You know I'm I'm now that I'm here I I love this, but if you know, if you meet me in the airport or you know
in all the transitional moments,
You know I don't live for that kind of moving around and I remember actually we were at. We did this debate together in Mexico and
this is another instance where his his love of this kind of thing was palpable. We did our event.
It was later that night in the bars midnight and he was eating a club sandwich
drinking scotch and he had to. He had a car picking up
in two hours to take him for three or four hours to
Mexico City to get on a plane, the red eye, to go to DC.
And he had another debate to do that night in DC right. So there was no transit. There's no sleep involved,
is having his scac in a club sandwich at midnight, and I just
looked at him and realized they hit this. I was looking at a different species of person
so yeah he was. He was incredibly generous, gracious, wonderful person, and I knew him far too briefly.
Well, thank you, Sir ok. So the topic of my question just got a lot more interesting. Actually I wanted to talk about masculinity here. I've notice that masculinity has been kind of coupled with the alt right sort of
Ignore this a kind of Gnosis trend and also on the other side I spent a week in the Lake House with you, could try calling hardcore feminist, really strong in the convictions will, and they were talking about something called
toxic masculinity. I've only heard this term before so just to play devil's advocate. I took the pro male stance and I kind of got like ousted as a leper afterwards. I want to know that if you'll notice, this trend
and if so like, why well yeah, I I've noticed it in there if there is a demonization of man. That's happening online yeah and it is.
Part of the pathology on the left. That's giving the right so much energy now, but if you
think. There's any such thing as toxic masculinity. You haven't been paying attention. I mean there there is. The army retreated caught three, the first half of this book. The experience of you know there's no
better to do in life and to get twenty guys together and go kick the shit out of ten other guys right that that's toxic masculinity
you know, that's it, but it does not lot of women doing that. Well, and- and that's true- that's true- I I'm in it would you say, there's like a a positive sort of masculinity,
of course. Of course, it seems like like, like Trump, is kind of the
encapsulation of what's wrong with masculinity. That's
I mean that's what I've I've noticed, I'm not going toward that one. But do you see an actual positive of course, mass of course? Well yeah it'll be like my
Jocko Willink right he's like the most yes he's like the most masculine guy. You could
find within a thousand mile radius,
came over to my house once to do to do the podcast and
when he wanted the door, my two daughters looked at him and it was just like
a polar bear, walk to the front door,
credibly, positive version of a kind of a
paper mail orientation I mean he's just you know he's as masculine as it gets he's kind of a caricature of himself in some sense,
but he's an absolute sweetheart and, and you know very ethical and interesting and thoughtful person. So it's like he's a he's got none of the the problems. As far as I can tell and
yeah he's going to he's a hyper masculine signal. You know so his podcast is the theater
benign masculinity. If you want to want to listen to
the only thing I would add to that, just real quick is that
groups tend to latch on whatever flavor of the moment is kind of in the site, Geist right. If women are being elevated because they deserve to be suddenly,
it becomes an attack on men. When
you know black lives matter is getting attention, then they.
Spinner to black lives matter or terrorists, and they always take the flavor of the moment. Whatever everybody is talking about and spin it around
I can tell you from experience that toxic.
Masculinity exists in the White Supremacist movement or maybe in every extremist movement like nowhere,
It is the most misogynistic
Awful environment for women, but they draw them in initially as being like
goddesses. Who are you know, procreating and and build
in future white warriors and they put him on a pedestal and the moment they step on that pedestal, and
I've got him. They knock him down and it's give me a beer and you're getting pregnant because that's what you do
so you know it's but to that. Yet they are using that now, because you know-
and I even made a tweet and sorry I'm
another time but will still get to your questions, but I
fairly recently, that said you know hey. Maybe we should stop thinking about demonizing all
white males, because when we do that, something like what you said, it's pushing people towards this movement because towards the far right,
so there are. There are good guys out there. There are
the bad guys out there too, we should
ever generalize anybody, but we also
We should admit our fragility. You know you know. Is it really masculine to be all offended by the fact that you know a woman is, is getting attention or is eight
to March on Washington DC like get over it dude. Thank you. Thank you, SAM two, very random questions. Christian. Do you think, there's any anything valuable about white guilt as an idea and then SAM? Are you going to speak with
yes Russell in your podcast. I don't have any plans to I mean I I like I've, never heard him say anything.
About me that made any sense and he he seems to think it makes
it's a sense of it. I I don't predict a good good podcast. I think it would be fascinating. Okay,
well I'll, put that in in the plus column.
I vote yes, I I think that white guilt is basically a white persons
creation right this whole idea?
We have a lot to be to feel guilty about right.
The white people have created this idea of people are making us feel white guilt. No, we
our people through our privilege
and acknowledge the fact that we have privilege, because there are peep
who are Americans, who are fellow citizens that have no access to opportunity. Okay, so.
Oh I'm so angry right now I don't know I want to say something: no, we
should feel guilty for some of the things that we've done, but again
we cannot generalize and say
everything that white people have done to contribute to history is bad, not true. I mean we just like other cultures of control.
But the thing with white guilt as we thought
that were the only ones that have contributed to society into history, and that is not true. We have
we feel that guilt, because we deny other people the right to feel proud of what they've accomplished in life.
So. Firstly, I'm christian. I wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed your perspective, especially just how empathetic and compassionate that stance that you come from. I very much so identify with that, and so I appreciate that thoroughly but MIKE
synonyms for SAM, because it's something I've wanted to pick your brain about for a really long time, and it seemed very
appropriate tonight based on the conversation I wrote it down so that I wouldn't go on a tangent.
With regard to Islam and muslim extremism. I've heard you say on your podcast that when you've experienced backlash for your outspoken approach, that in ax
quality you have received testimonials from people who have converted from Islam because of the educated viewpoint that you have made available MIKE,
question is, do you acknowledge the possibility that your platform plays a role in having success with converting people? With that specific approach, because peep
can access it at their own will and on their own
it would maybe be less successful in a one on one situation, I ask
because I have a strong passion for educating people about what they can do as it like on an individual
level. I took three
change in the world, and I feel as though I think you would agree Christian. I think that compassion, an com
station, are also important to acknowledge as viable means of invoking change on a personal level, so
just wanted to ask if you agree, or if you don't, could
advice to people in general who don't have a platform to access a massive amount of people, because I think that it is so important for people to feel like they can make a change:
people get easily overwhelmed by like trying to think that they can
make rolled Janesville. Where do I start? What is your advice for people on a personal level yeah? Why? I think the
ethics, the and the politics? I'm just practicalities change when you're
just talking one on one in a social situation so, like someone hasn't
certainly invited you to come in and change their worldview, and you hear them say something that you disagree with or and then the conversation starts. So you know I feel like
What I should say from you know a stage like this, or you know, article or on
podcast is, in some cases different.
And what I should say it over dinner with someone who just holds a different view, an because you say
might not be useful in some of those one on one encounters and it just it just becomes kind of a lack
have civility or you a different message is communicated because of the framing of the situation
because of the fact that, on a podcast, as you say or or on a you tube video people, can they they discover it. You know and
they can think about it in private
and they don't have the imperative to change their mind in real time under pressure when you're telling them that their full of shit
yeah, and that's why you know that's why some of these conversations go haywire, but they can still be useful,
other people to listen to and so yeah. I think, there's a different
approach warranted there or can often be
can often be a different approach. But, yes, I've heard from many many people who have been.
In surprisingly isolated and devout circumstance
is about you. I was actually speaking,
Australia with Maajid, and someone came up to Maine who
just had been living in, I think, was Peshawar, Pakistan and just
surrounded by jihadist, Spotify his description
and we, it was virtually one himself and got completely d pro
ram from watching Youtube videos and had come to our talk and just wanted to shake
and- and I've had many that's like the most extreme version, but many encounter.
Like that. Where somebody who, when I'm putting stuff out there, I'm not even thinking of reaching that demographic, you know I'm the same.
I think that's wonderful, that you have been able to access people all over the world. You know- and I did want to ask Christian if you wouldn't mind, giving any thoughts for expansion on kind of what I
Saying you know I, when I started telling my story, I was really
scared to do that, because I was afraid of being judged the same way that I judge other people, but I was really surprised that
by me telling my story and other people hearing it allowed people to come forward with their own stories. So
Is that part of healing or
conversation? I hope
seven powered more people to be comfortable with their own past that and then finally admit their mistakes and be proactive to fix it. But I know the feeling of of feeling overwhelmed trust me. I know that
when I get a hundred emails a week from terrified parents, you know not all of them who were afraid that their son or daughter is going to be the next being a lone Wolf shooter, but some of those. If
you know I feel a lot of pressure '
'cause. I know that this happens because of ideas that I put into the world.
I discovered for just just a couple months ago, four months before Dylan Roof committed his attack. You know the tragic murder of of nine innocent people in Charleston,
four months before, that he had posted on a white supremacist website asking about lyrics from a specific band that he had heard in a documentary,
and somebody showed me this post and they didn't know-
and I didn't know it when I started to read it. But when I finished reading it, I recognize that those were my lyrics that I wrote thirty years ago that
maybe partially inspired him to do that. So I planted a lot of seeds of hate, of which I'm still pulling out now and I know feeling overwhelmed, but you have to understand that you are connected so
many people, your friends, your family, coworkers. You have
the ability to use whatever tools you have and your tools may not be the same tools that I have. But
I have the ability to affect the people closest to you. Who then can in turn go out and effect
people say don't ever feel, because I tried that my personal life, but I feel like it's very important to us and we have to walk the walk.
I mean we can't be
profess, believing in social justice and less were willing to do something about it ourselves. So
I'm talking and let's ask and and more more I would just add that I think it's important what we do on social media. I think the beans civil
and not joining in a
flavor or another is only going to become more important. Alright, so my name is Kristin Paget. I ran for the tech
legislature as a Democrat, an openly atheist. This is in twenty sixteen and
you talked earlier so first off, I had to be very artful when I spoke about it right about being openly atheist on the podcast on NPR and all that great stuff spoke about globalism. A lot and I spent about freedom of religion and freedom from religion right and so one of the things you spoke about earlier was the concerted
by the NEO Nazis.
To normalize the ideology coming up with new names, nationalism all right. So my question, which
I think I already know the answer too, but it's for the sake of the
is I'd like to know if you believe in white privilege and or systemic racism.
And then, if you do believe,
we believe that labeling the advantages given to myself and other white people as a result of hundreds of years of slavery and racism, white privilege, divisive or polarizing. And if we should re brand
that and how, in order to get that message across
to not make it so devices or make it so polarizing and to get the message that this is something that does exist and needs to be mitigated.
I absolutely believe in white privilege that it exists in many forms
When we talk about white privilege, we're not just talking about the idea that.
You know I have.
If I were standing next to an african American, that I would get the job before that person because there's a bias,
Whether it's conscious or unconscious,
but I'm talking about having access through history and even into
modern society, to things that some people
who are living two blocks away from us may not have. That is inherent privilege.
The fact that I'm up here able to talk
about my story without being terribly judged for it is, is privilege
there were you know if Majeed were up here, maybe in from another, he may not get that same kind of you know:
some kind of ability to do that. I'll answer that part of the question you want to take this up after that
why. I certainly believe in privilege that I believe in
good luck and bad luck and there are many variables and
It has moral significance. I think we should care about people
or unlucky for whatever reason- and I think
white privilege is-
I have a thing then the far left is making it out to be, but that doesn't mean that it's not a thing still and it shouldn't be a thing. So what about system.
Racism, I think that again, that is something that is being exaggerated on the far left but being
On the far right, and we just have to talk about racism in so far as it is still a problem.
No, I think it is a problem there, obviously racists right there
Obviously racial bias, but
it also just class difference right, which is worth
ragnal Therese. I mean there are white people who are poor and uneducated
and who don't and and the the prospects of upward mobility for being white Porn educated are pretty
rim having white skin.
Get you a lot. If you don't have other advantages again,
identity, politics is a dead end
right. We we, we can't, we can't in our you know, if you're in the new age of identity, politics, that's fair. Do you believe that the history of racism in this country has provided a certain advantage?
to the people that have, I guess that got lucky quote unquote, right like, for example, redlining
Dallas is actually one of the most decorated one of the most segregated country as cities in this country highly segregated. So people that were born in certain areas of this town are much more quote. Unquote. Privilege sit
yeah. I think that that's part of that on the middle, the man, the meat of the issue right, is that there is a historical significance to some of the advantages that certain people in this country have had. That is not the you know. This left his idea right. It's did that there is a
somewhere in the middle that their. This is an issue. It is an issue and it, but I'm not quite sure how we get back to zero. They,
So what is the remedy
if you ask someone like Tanahashi, it's coats to view.
Solutely every social and political question through the lens of race and to pay rapper
oceans for slavery and to make race
to acknowledge that race is the most important thing, an will always be the most important thing and to anchor every.
Little conversation to it. I think that's a disaster right so
Is there something between
Taylor and Tanahashi coats? That's gotta be
right and it's been
it's pretty clear to me, that neither of them have the recipe for progress for us, and I don't I mean it's a kind of a flippant. Compare
a much more serious person and Jared Taylor, but
he's concerned about race, as any member of the KKK race is
nuclear bomb that went off in his brain and it
to be that way, we're
in a time where we had our. We already had our first black president. We haven't had our first atheist president right,
I'm trying, ironically around, who probably have our first if it's present right now anyway. Thank you for your question. Thank you. So I'm gonna goods
just the last two, I'm sorry for everyone in line, but we we have to leave the theater
there seems to be some tension between having a fact based conversation and
calling out dog whistles and in
invariably whenever people attack,
SAM Samwer, ion or module
do so using this rhetoric of dog whistles that what you're
Jane, isn't actually what you really mean. What you really need is this much more sinister thing and that just so
very similar to the rhetoric that we heard from Christian earlier, and I just wanted to explore the tension there.
Yeah, that's a good question. I I'm not a fan of
people's minds and I
I believe that most people will tell you what they actually think if you continue that
station long enough or you'll find out some other way, and I mean that is not to say that that always work, some people lie and they have been in on it. You know, Chris, you can speak to this at the
can be campaigns of this information. Most of
in that vein, where people are being accused of
I think it's, it's usually not true,
it's usually, I usually depraved people are quite proud to be depraved and they and they're. You know they're putting the swastikas if
not on their forehead somewhere. If they really care about this ideology or whatever it is so
yeah, I mean just as one whom
done to a lot right. Where someone
pretending to know what I think more than I do, and
their reading into my every utterance, some tortured interpretation. We have to extend
principle of charity to people if we want to really find out what they think and counter bad ideas and promote good ones, and so I think That'S-
I'm slow to pretend to read somebody's mind, the matter how much I I think I disagree with them. Hi I white want them to put their actual views on the table. I certainly think that there are a lot of people that don't know or very innocently using terms, and
meaning ways that they have no idea that there is that they've adopted these terms for people who've intentionally put them out there so yeah. I I'm not gonna paint with a broad brush and say that everybody who's, you know saying what people are calling dog whistles is. It is
meaning that, because globalization is a real turn, some people are just worried about globalization, where they think it is
it's about who says it what their background is, what their track record is and ultimately what their meaning ends up being.
Well, first, I wanted to uh
October March five years of atheism, and I have you in large part thanks with that. So thank you very much
the question I'm about to ask you would have made absolutely no sense ten years ago and
it may sound like I'm playing dumb, but I promise you I'm not
concise Lee Ann. Precisely as you can
and this is how to open a Christian into two
what is a NEO nazi.
Because here's me library on that. Just just one little bit, I've heard people call Ben Shapiro, and I see that's obviously ridiculous
Miley Annapolis, I've heard and not seen still ridiculous.
And then there's Taylor and and people have an argument of whether or not he's qualifies he's qualifies NEO Nazi, but I'll put it this way. I'm highly suspect that Jerry Taylor has any swastika tattoos.
Well, he might not, but I'm going to defer to Christmas. What is in the latter? Thank you,
so under this umbrella of white supremacy, there are different factions. You've got the clan, who was you know, kind of a bastardized, the christian religion even further and has made it their own. You've got skinheads, which
typically not very religious at all, and there are all these different factions underneath. So if we were, you know, the term NEO Nazi today
has a different meaning to most people than it does to me because to most people today, it's just a slur against anybody who is a racist, which I think
absolutely takes the power away from the word Nazi, which has this very powerful, distinct, meaning,
and it carries a lot of weight with negative weight.
You know NEO Nazi is just like you know it's term, it's a new national socialist somebody who believes in national socialism
as a political ideology. But as NEO is New Newt's new, it's the new version of it.
So would you or would you not consider Darren Taylor NEO Nazi,
would consider him a white supremacist like I would consider all of them white supremacists that fall under this
or whether we're talking about all right white Nationalist, KKK, skinheads.
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me
because there's so much nuanced between all of those but the the common
steam is white supremacy to even break it down, and- and you know why,
micro target, you know, but I'm at target because of the whole punch Nazis thing right, because.
When you when we get and they give us as to exactly what is a and at the same time we have a parallel. I think that says it's okay to punch in. I see you your team to open up the danger store where we we should have that ethic. Anyway, yeah, no, no! No, it's just I. I agree completely, but it's just way too common and it's it's a very dangerous storm. I think we are really in yes, it is I
Richard Spencer in an auditorium just like this man
me and him I could have destroyed him and I did not.
That is not. That is not how we change the world. I've never seen any positive action come out of violence.
I agree, however, well. Thank you very much. Thank you on that note. I want to I think Christian for coming. Thank you. Can we just put in all of the wonderful people up in the balcony that error who did get a chance to come down as force, that is America, yeah, you're, all America, and that, thank you all for coming it really. I can't say this enough: it's an incredible privilege to be able to do this, and I can do it
because you guys listen to the podcast and you come out to events like this. It's really an honor to speak with you. So thank you.
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-05.