Tim Zaal hurt a lot of people in his time: blacks, Mexicans, gays. Strung out on drugs and propaganda, he fitted the toes of his engineer boots with razor blades, all the better to kick the scum and save the white race.
Zaal has since recanted, but others continue to follow in his bootsteps. After decades largely under the radar, race-based violence and extremism is back in the news. In June 2015, white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine black worshippers at a Methodist church in Charleston, South Carolina. In August 2017, the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, saw youths on the streets giving Nazi salutes, and one counter-protestor killed, deliberately mown down by a car.
It's not just in the US. In June 2016, British politician Jo Cox was murdered by a white nationalist. Last November, tens of thousands rallied by torchlight in Warsaw, Poland, waving banners that advocated deporting refugees and making Europe white again, while chanting “Sieg Heil” – in the once-Nazi-occupied land where Auschwitz was built.
For most, the motivations of such hate seem unimaginable. But pioneering work in the US is beginning to reveal its roots. What it is uncovering turns a conventional view of terrorist motivations on its head – with implications for how all societies should deal with the phenomenon. Read More.