A progressive liberal who grew up in a conservative household allowed his curiosity to open him up to new ideas. Instead of sticking to liberal dogma he started reading and watching things that exposed him to another way of viewing what was happening in America.The fact-based arguments were changing his attitudes but they made him feel uncomfortable. He didn’t like viewing the world that way and thought that he had become an ” arsehole. ” He didn’t want to be an ” arsehole, ” so he put his rose tinted glasses back on so that he could feel like a good person.
He retreated to a world dominated by feelings. The only way he could live with his regression was to view the facts and the logical persuasive arguments in a negative light. Amazingly in his article about his 180 degree turnaround he chose to label the other side ” indoctrination” and “online radicalisation.”
He reminds me of someone I knew who was constantly used as a doormat by others. I told her what she had to do to protect herself but she wasn’t prepared to do it because she would feel like a bad person. It is amazing how much people will put up with and ignore in order to preserve their image of themselves as a good person.
I am a happily married, young white man. I grew up in a happy, Conservative household. I’ve spent my entire life – save the last four months – as a progressive liberal.
…The thought of racism in any form has always been abhorrent to me.
I was curious as to the motives of leave voters. Surely they were not all racist, bigoted or hateful? I watched some debates on YouTube. Obvious points of concern about terrorism were brought up. A leaver cited Sam Harris as a source. I looked him up: this “intellectual, free-thinker” was very critical of Islam. Naturally my liberal kneejerk reaction was to be shocked, but I listened to his concerns and some of his debates.
…Moving on from Harris, I unlocked the Pandora’s box of “It’s not racist to criticise Islam!” content. Eventually I was introduced… to Milo Yiannopoulos and various “anti-SJW” videos …They were shocking at first, but always presented as innocuous criticism
…“Not Muslims,” they would usually say, “individual Muslims are fine.” But Islam was presented as a “threat to western civilisation”. Fear-mongering content was presented in a compelling way by charismatic people…
At the same time, the anti-SJW stuff also moved on to anti-feminism, men’s rights activists…
I… never shared any of it. I just passively consumed it, because, deep down, I knew I was ashamed of what I was doing. I’d started to roll my eyes when my friends talked about liberal, progressive things. What was wrong with them? Did they not understand what being a real liberal was? All my friends were just SJWs. They didn’t know that free speech was under threat and that politically correct culture and censorship were the true problem.
On one occasion I even, I am ashamed to admit, very diplomatically expressed negative sentiments on Islam to my wife. Nothing “overtly racist”, just some of the “innocuous” type of things the YouTubers had presented: “Islam isn’t compatible with western civilisation.”
She was taken aback: “Isn’t that a bit … rightwing?”
I justified it: “Well, I’m more a left-leaning centrist. PC culture has gone too far, we should be able to discuss these things without shutting down the conversation by calling people racist, or bigots.”
The indoctrination was complete.
…I heard one of these YouTubers use the phrase “red-pilled” – a term from the film The Matrix – in reference to people being awakened to the truth about the world and SJWs. Suddenly I thought: “This is exactly like a cult. What am I doing? I’m turning into an arsehole.”
I unsubscribed and unfollowed from everything, and told myself outright: “You’re becoming a racist. What you’re doing is turning you into a terrible, hateful person.”
… I’ve spent every day since feeling shameful for being so blind and so easily coerced.
…Although I never shared any of this rubbish with anybody, I feel partly responsible. It’s clear this terrible ideology has now gone mainstream.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. Online radicalisation of young white men.
…It seemed so subtle – at no point did I think my casual and growing Islamophobia was genuine racism. The good news for me is that my journey toward the alt-right was mercifully brief: I never wanted to harm or abuse anybody verbally, it was all very low level – a creeping fear and bigotry that I won’t let infest me again.
The above article is interesting for a number of reasons. Essentially he has rejected the reality of online radicalisation of Muslims that leads to death and destruction and has instead accused the people WARNING about the dangers of Islamic radicalisation of being radicalised themselves. How can he seriously equate the two? Even the very worst of the Alt-right are not involved in terrorism.They are not trying to kill anyone for not sharing their worldview.
People like Milo (who is not alt-right despite being smeared as such by the MSM) fights his battles with humour and satire. His focus is on protecting gays and protecting women and protecting countries like America from an ideology that prefers brutal and barbaric Sharia Law to democracy. The writer has got it wrong. Those who bury their heads in the sand are NOT the good guys. People like Milo who stand up and point at the elephant in the room are the real heroes. Unlike the writer of this article people like Milo risk assassination for their views while all the writer risks is suffocation from too many hugs from his fellow Liberals for having a politically correct world view.