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Jul 22 2013

White Nationalist Recants Views

Derek Black, son of a former KKK grand wizard and long a racist himself, has recanted his views in an email to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Derek Black had gained some notoriety himself for his own racist activities.

Derek Black, son of the former Alabama Klan leader who now runs the largest racist Web forum in the world, has renounced white nationalism, saying that he had been through “a gradual awakening process” and apologizing for his past activism.

In an E-mail (pdf) to the editor of this blog earlier this week, Black, 24, wrote that he had come to see the arguments of white nationalism as “principally flawed,” adding that he had realized that American society is marked by an “overwhelming disparity between white power and that of everyone else” and that white nationalism was really about “an entrenched desire to preserve white power at the expense of others.”

“Advocating for white nationalism means that we are opposed to minority attempts to elevate themselves to a position equal to our own,” wrote Black, who recently finished his third year at the elite New College of Florida. “It is an advocacy that I cannot support, having grown past my bubble, talked to the people I affected, read more widely, and realized the necessary impact my actions had on people I never wanted to harm.”

It was a remarkable statement for Black, whose father, Don Black, once served time in prison for plotting a racist invasion of a small Caribbean nation and founded and still runs Stormfront, a white supremacist Web forum. The younger Black was raised in the racist movement, had by age 12 created a racist children’s page on his father’s website, and until recently hosted a radio show featuring racist guests.

But apparently his views had already been liberalizing. SPLC notes that a few months ago he came out in favor of marriage equality and legal abortion. Good for him.

20 comments

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  1. 1
    otrame

    Good for him indeed. It has to be hard to accept that your entire view of the world was just plain wrong. Amazing what an education can do for a kid who has even the tiniest bit of intellectual honesty anywhere in him.

  2. 2
    brucegee1962

    At last the true evil liberal plot has been revealed. Deep down, we really want to round up everyone who disagrees with us and ….. give them a quality education at a first-class school.

    It’s insidious, I tell you!

  3. 3
    aaronbaker

    I third it: good for him.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    Derek Black, son of a former KKK grand wizard

    There’s a certain irony in that family name.

  5. 5
    badgersdaughter

    There’s a certain irony in that family name

    I’m such a nerd that “Black, son of a wizard” immediately made me wonder if he was a Slytherin.

    No, really, I’m thrilled he had the nerve to actually follow his thinking where it led. Bravo, Derek.

  6. 6
    MikeMa

    I too applaud his ability to reason his way out from under the rock his father crawled under. One version of this story I read over the last weekend had a quite a few comments hoping the conversion was real and had staying power.

  7. 7
    John Pieret

    brucegee @ 2:

    Exactly! The whole Liberal plot to educate people about science, law, education and the meaning of equality is intended to do away with igorance, bigotry and “common sense” imitating actual knowledge.

    The bastards!

  8. 8
    slc1

    OT but I’m sure that MH, as a member in good standing of the Al Sharpton led lynch mob will be totally uninterested in the following story.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/george-zimmerman-rescues-victims-florida-car-crash-article-1.1405783?localLinksEnabled=false

  9. 9
    No One

    Welcome to humanity Mr. Black.

  10. 10
    baryogenesis

    Yes, bravo. Leaving the family nest (of vipers). Wonder what daddy thinks?

  11. 11
    sundoga

    A real piece of good news. My great admiration for the strength of character you’ve shown.

  12. 12
    Pierce R. Butler

    New College (created by the Florida legislature in the ’60s explicitly to draw radicals away from other state campuses) produces a lot of hardcore progressive activists (and a lot of successful professionals – for all the sexndrugsnrocknroll, NC students have to pass stringent admissions standards and work very hard).

    Particularly since Black, apparently an Alabaman, probably has to pay egregious out-of-state tuition rates, he and his family must have wanted very much for him to matriculate there. How could they not have known that this school would challenge his (father’s) politics at every level?

  13. 13
    matty1

    I think it is time for a research effort into people who change their views like this, what exactly triggers it. Yes education and familiarity with ‘the other’ are surely important but they are general categories, if we can work out details it may be possible to improve the conversion rate.

  14. 14
    grumpyoldfart

    One press statement and we’re supposed to forgive him.

    Let’s watch for a few years and see how he goes.

  15. 15
    Artor

    Yay! It’s nice to see that people, even ones raised in the worst pits of racism and hatred, can learn and grow out of that shit. I hope Black can use his knowledge of the movement to help open the eyes of others and show them to be decent human beings.

  16. 16
    left0ver1under

    grumpy (#14) -

    There’s nothing wrong with skepticism. But as with drug addicts, support is needed to stop him from falling back into old habits if he really has changed.

    While Black’s statement is not an apology per se, it does sound as a proper apology would: accepting responsibility for himself, not blame shifting, and only speaking externally about things imposed upon him by his father. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say “Glad to hear it”, but time will tell.

  17. 17
    left0ver1under

    One cannot raise oneself by putting others down.

    One can only raise oneself by raising everyone together, oneself along with others.

  18. 18
    Nick Gotts

    I wonder if slc1 will ever have a similar awakening from his genocidal racist fantasies. Can’t say I’m optimistic.

  19. 19
    democommie

    @8:

    And Jeffrey Dahmer used to have a beer with a neighbor–a nice black lady whom he did not, subsequently kill and eat. Zimmerman’s still a murdering* piece-of-shit.

    * Not intended to be taken in its most stringent legal sense.

  20. 20
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    OT but I’m sure that MH, as a member in good standing of the Al Sharpton led lynch mob will be totally uninterested in the following story.

    Doesn’t Ed ever take out the trash?

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