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Rising Out of Hatred by Eli Saslow

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist

2018, Doubleday


Dear Readers, my New Year's Resolution is to post all my backlogged books and I hereby declare I will post one book per day until I'm caught up. To do this, I am on reading deprivation: no reading allowed until resolution complete. I hope your New Year's has started out well and your resolutions are being kept. Please resolve to read at least the book titles of my upcoming posts!


Summer 2021: This is the 3rd book found and left at the beach (whoever left it speak up or forever be forgotten), thereby meeting the same fate as the preceding ones of being posted rapidly at the airport. It's the true story of Derek Black's transformation from radical White nationalist to anti-racist activist.


The book gives a look into the workings of the White supremacy movement, directed by Derek's father, and his godfather David Duke. Derek, once seen as the group's future leader, helped implement strategies such as replacing the "White supremacist" label with the more palatable "White nationalist", in order to increase acceptance and popularity of the movement among Americans, who could then say, "I'm not racist, I'm just against the demise of the White race."


Derek's parents allowed him to attend a liberal arts university, where he made friends, and then lost most of them once it came out that he supported White nationalism. But, in the most notable part of the story, two of his Jewish friends decided they would not give up on him because of his views but instead listen to him and continue to be his friends. They decided that nothing would ever change by hating those we don't agree with. It is mainly due to the influence of these friends that Derek finally saw that his support of White nationalist views was hurting people, and changed his views.


Watch or read this PBS interview with Derek.



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