Nazis marching in America


The describe the characteristics of white supremacy, just substitute those for white supremacy as a catchall if it makes you feel better.


Too many people believe “racism” against white people is the real problem. That bigotry against men is the real problem. That oppression of Christians in America is the real problem. They hear “racism and bigotry is bad” and they hear “BLM is bad”, “feminism is bad”, “~forced~ multiculturalism is bad”. I’ll feel better when they’re explicit.

Also, they believe that BDS is anti-Semitism. So there’s that too.


Fair enough :one::five:


One of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is call out conservative relatives on social media when they spread backwards, ignorant rhetoric, religious, and Trump-supporting propaganda. So far the net result seems to be that I get pissed, they get pissed, and the rest of the conservative-leaning distant family audience doubles down on their party lines and becomes more convinced that moving to California has simply turned me into a one of those crazy, hate-mongering militant liberals.

As well, family members closer to the center politically (and even slightly left in some cases) claim to be hurt and dismayed by my “hateful” talk damaging the family fabric.

Do I just disown and walk away from their echo chamber? Do I keep yelling ineffectually into the darkness? Or are there ways I can address the more ignorant / harmful posts that would might actually get people to rethink their current dogma?


Telling a family member that you are effectively disowning them over their vile political views is a good barometer (if you have the freedom to safely do so).

If they want to talk, try to negotiate, etc… Maybe you can save them. The sever blow of “I literally don’t want to consider you family because of this” will get anyone who’s even remotely salvageable to at least come to the table for shock alone. It sends a real signal.

If they’re all WHATEVER NERD MAGA!, then you know they were a lost cause and estrangement is possibly your best option.


Yeah. You’ll never own them with logic, especially over social media. If they’re in your immediate vicinity, face to face time with someone who they love is their best chance. There’s a podcast called You Are Not So Smart that did a 3 part series about the Backfire Effect (that’s pt. 1) that was all about the resilience of bad information in the face of proof to the contrary that you might find interesting.


Apparently dear leader is sad we’re tearing down confederate statues.


As a relatively affluent, successful adult who lives far from any family, I am freely able to disown with no negative consequences (aside from emotional ones).

Weirdly, the more aggressive/provocative a stance I take, the more on-topic discussion it does seem to get, even if it comes hand-in-hand with an onslaught of condescending rhetoric about how bad of a person I’ve supposedly become, huge disappointment, etc. So at some level, provoking an emotional response does seem to be effective at getting people to the table.

However, I worry that the extreme right crazies are the only ones coming to the table, and that in addition to failing to change their minds, I’m also burning good will and losing face with the majority of the family circle, who claim at various levels to want “objectivity” or “reasoned discussion”, or to “avoid discussions of politics” entirely. Those are the people I feel actually might be capable of being convinced.


That looks like an interesting jumping off point for further research, thanks! It seems worth some effort to figure out styles of rhetoric that have the power to counter such biases and be more thoughtful about employing those styles rather than engaging in fits of raw emotion.

It might also be worth thinking about ways the alt-right has seemingly built up a framework and language around how they use rhetoric to recruit (e.g. the phrase “red-pilling normies”). In terms of harnessing raw emotion to spread their ideology they seem to be light years ahead of us.


Countering shitty beliefs is theater. The shitty believer is the foil for your argument, to the audience of the remaining family. I try to use the value set of the other person, and personal accounts from people who formerly espoused those beliefs, e.g. post-christian bloggers, former right-wing spin doctors, etc.

That said, tone policing and respectability politics are insidious enablers of shitty believers, IMO. I’m pretty terrible at arguing against it because I am a blunt object of a person. But I am certain googling those terms might give you some pointers.

some links that might give you some frameworks, or keywords for further research


That’s an interesting way to look at it. Thus far I had been trying to split my energy between speaking in direct response to the shitty believers and also trying to say something that might be convincing to the rest of the audience, and failing at both. Next time I have a run at this I’ll try focusing only on saying things that might be compelling to the true audience and ignore the doomed enterprise of actually convincing the shitty believers.


The backfire effect does have a limit. There hasn’t been a huge amount of research on it yet but when it comes to rational arguments essentially repeated exposure does actually correlate with people changing their minds. Also in more extreme situations it helps just to be the thing that is being demonized. It’s harder to call a group evil if you know a person that’s part of that group.


Anyone else planning to counterprotest in Boston this weekend? It looks like there are a bunch of groups and I’m trying to pick.


Local ACLU chapters have broken with the national org, won’t represent white supremacists.


Yeah, I’m looking at fight supremacy.


I’m probably going.


After last weekend I’m splitting my donations between the SPLC and the ACLU. I need to give serious thought to whether I’m going to leave it that way or shift it all to the SPLC.


My countryman with a very well worded and great massage:


Oh yeah, and here is also an excellent thread about the whole “is it right to punch Nazis” question.


That was beautiful. It’s call to action towards the end is very effective. Really do get this out there.