Breaking Hate by Christian Picciolini
After reading Breaking Hate (220 pages) in one day (it was that compelling), I found a far wider understanding of this white supremacy movement going on in America. I really didn’t fully see that the MAGA (Make America Great Again) campaign was, at its core, an effort to make American white again, essentially to make America hate again. Picciolini says that “America was primed for the fires of violent extremism to ignite—and Donald Trump’s incendiary “America First” platform lit the fuse.” It’s easy now to see how true this is. “Trump’s polemics against undocumented immigrants and minority groups fanned the flames of racist vitriol.”
Picciolini points out that extremists “feast on frenzy and polarization,” with fear acting as the primary sustenance. Extremists use deceptive online marketing tactics, fake crime data, false news/information, and conspiracy theories to lure fresh recruits into their ideology. Hyperbole, paranoia, fear, personal wounds, and the need to fulfill an Identity, belong to a Community, and dedicate to a great Purpose (ICP) all play a role in persuading people to join their cause of racial prejudice. That cause being the protection of the white race as supreme by stopping diversity, mixed-race families, high nonwhite birthrates, and mass migration. “White-genocide” was a new term for me (a wild and false notion that the white race will die because of multiculturalism).
I held my breath a lot during the reading of these real-life events. Picciolini writes with skill and a deep sense of honesty. Kassandra’s story made me cry. Koval’s story made me shudder. The eye-opening information here is shocking as it is heart-wrenching, and more timely today, post-election, than when the book was published in Feb. 2020. By the end, Picciolini shows us that there is hope. His own personal experience and his first-hand experiences with other now ex-extremists (he’s helped over 100 people leave extremists groups) proves that hate can be “unlearned.” Picciolini has a hefty toolbox containing empathy, compassion, self-reflection, and love. But there is one more remarkable instrument that brings these extremists out of their darkness and into the light. It has the initials STC, NTM, but for the full explanation, I encourage you to read this astonishing book.
If you really want insights into the current dangers that threaten humanity, our moral values, our world communities, and America—especially after the January 6 attack on our Capitol—this is the book to read for 2021. A must-read for every American and every parent.
Read more about Christian Picciolini here at AUTHOR OF THE WEEK, Jan. 25, 2021.