Podcasts/Sacred Tension-STOut of White Supremacyb8ix6
STOut_of_White_Supremacyb8ix6 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, movements, groups, questions, white supremacist, life, person, conversation, white, hate, compassion, ideology, extremism, involved, black, violence, communities, folks, radicalization, hear SPEAKERS Brad Galloway, Stephen Bradford Long
Stephen Bradford Long 00:14 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long, and we're here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one, go to rock candy recordings.com. All right. As always, before we get started, I have to thank my patrons. My patrons are my personal lords and saviors, and I truly could not do this show without them. I believe in bringing free long form conversations to you every single week. But in order to do that, I need some help. I do all of the editing, all of the interviewing all of the producing all of this scheduling, it's a lot of work. And in order for it to be sustainable, I need your help. So if you love these conversations, and if you find benefit in these conversations, then go to Steven Bradford long.com. Nope. Wrong address. Then go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long for $1 $3 $5 a month you get extra content every single week. All right. So for this week, I have to thank Elizabeth Washburn Nixie Lionheart, Diane Koch Neff, Patricia Moreno and Scott Armstrong. Thank you so much. All right. With all of that out of the way, Brad Galloway, welcome to the show.
Brad Galloway 01:41 Thanks for having me in.
Stephen Bradford Long 01:41 You were suggested to me for an interview by our mutual friend John Morehead. I have done a lot of work with John Morehead. He's great. So special thanks to John, as well for this. He does interfaith dialogue. So anyone interested in that, go check out my previous conversations with John. But here at the beginning, tell us some about who you are and what you do.
Brad Galloway 02:07 So often I get this, this question because I work in, in this field where we, we researched terrorism, extremism, hate groups, all of this stuff. So it roots from many moons ago, back in the 1990s, where I myself became immersed in what back then was sort of a violent social movement coupled, you know, white supremacist skinheads, things like that. I had met the, you know, got involved through a friend, as people did back then. I often refer to this as sort of the pre internet days of recruitment and things like that, where people met in a pub and talked about politics. And I equate the relationship, though to be the reason why I got, you know, sort of involved is that I trusted this person, I knew him from around the neighborhood, and we were friends. And I ended up inadvertently, at that time, I had no ideology, I didn't really, like, know too much about what these groups were about, and all that kind of thing. But that grew over time. How old were you at that time, I was in my late teens. So at 19 years old kind of thing, as teenagers are doing. And as people are doing in general, we're looking for an identity, we're looking for a sense of belonging, we're looking for a place to hang our figurative hats on something, I had nothing going on in my life that was entirely positive. And I was kind of at a vulnerable point to I had, you know, struggled through school struggled through different aspects of my life. So that's, you know, a lot of times these groups are looking for folks that are looking for something to do with their time. And, and I was kind of a prime sort of target at that point. And yeah, so it went from there to to immersion, deeper and deeper into whatever the groups were at that dose at those times. And then I ended up relocating to the west coast where I became involved in like, organized hate movements for a number of years. And then ended up you know, getting disenfranchised with it all and leaving it all behind in 2011.
Stephen Bradford Long 04:18 And now here, here we are, and now you are, tell us some about the work you do now.
Brad Galloway 04:24 Yeah, so in the in the years to follow to 2011 I sort of got involved with one of the guests dreams or aspirations that I had was to finish a degree in criminology at some point in my life. So I went back to school and got involved with that and I inadvertently met some folks that were working in the in the area of extremism and terrorism research and ended up sort of getting invited along to work on some projects with them, but also doing a lot of interviews about my time that I spent in the movement. But I also met up with some other people who had formerly been involved in these movements, which are often called formers. And a group called Life After Hate, which is based out of Chicago. And from there, I got involved in their outreach work, which often was about education and talking about, you know, our stories of being involved in these groups, like the questions you had, how did you become involved with that kind of thing. So, you know, having civil society, give them a lens into what it's like in to understand how people join these groups, so that we can potentially figure out how we can prevent people from getting involved. So we went from there to working in the intervention space, so helping other people leave, I now that work with their exit USA program as exit specialist, which specifically looks at helping people leave right wing right wing extremist groups. And also I work with that organization up in Canada, similarly, called the organisation for prevention of violence in their evolved program, where they do similar work, but across ideological bounds. So left wing right wing, religiously motivated extremism, things like that we, the programs specifically look at trying to help people leave or D radicalized or whichever words you want to disengage whichever words you want to put on the, on the floor there. And then more broadly speaking, I'm the coordinator at the Center on hate bias and extremism, which looks at a wide variety of issues, from hate, hate crimes, hate incidents, to violent extremism, to general, just bias research. And we do a lot of outreach and webinars on these different subject matter. So yeah, that's a short summary of what I'm doing.
Stephen Bradford Long 07:06 It's a lot of yeah, you have your hands full. So whenever I hear stories of, of radicalization, I can't help but feel that there's a sort of unlucky randomness to it. And there, you know, those of us on the outside of this phenomenon, and I mean, I've been I experienced my own radicalization in various ways. And but I'm very much on the outside of the white nationalism, conversation. And I think for people like me who are looking at it, we there's always the question of why how, how does this happen? How does someone fall into something so dark and so extreme and so ugly? And hearing hearing your story there? It really is kind of the an unlucky drawl almost, there's a randomness to it. Yeah, there was there was this guy in your neighborhood, you he he seemed cool. And you're in the right place in life. And, and the the why, for me, personally, always seems so unsatisfying because of that. And do you Is that accurate? Like, is it just like, right place? Right time? Wrong place wrong time? And there's a there's a sort of unlucky randomness to how it is that that people get radicalized?
Brad Galloway 08:31 Yeah, I mean, I think I think that's a huge thing. I think opportunistic. You know, some of my colleagues look at it as like, they don't really even believe in recruitment. Like, it's not really like a recruiting strategy by these groups or something. It's just like, the person is interested in being something like, you're like the randomness, right? Like, I'm searching for identity. So here, I found something. And it's weird. I sometimes equate this to like, I had the one thing that mattered the most, and all the other stuff didn't really matter. And that was that I was just a white person. So for this group, I fit the credentials right away, like right out of like, there's nothing else that you really needed. Because that could come over time, like that could build over time. So yeah, opportunistically or randomly, this guy meets me at a pub, and says, hey, oh, you're in like Shambles in life. That sounds perfect for what I, this group that I'm part of. Right. And we didn't have the old awkward opener if it's not like, you've talked to some dude at the pub that you don't know, it's a person, you know. So that's kind of like, that opportunity was just there. And I came across it randomly that day, I walked into that pub, if I didn't, I don't know. I often say I was in a place at that time where I would have joined the IRA or would have joined some group anything that was just offering belonging and, you know, a potential for brotherhood and that feeling that we're all kind of looking for For a family that, you know, attachment to something, right, like in life
Stephen Bradford Long 10:05 now what was it? Was it a conscious decision on on their part like it? Are? Do you think that people are actively thinking like, Oh, this guy's life is fucked up and he needs order in his life I'm going to provide that is is that actually a conscious thought? Like, is it that Machiavellian? Or does it just happen?
Brad Galloway 10:24 Yeah, I think maybe know that it's, it's built to that point where there might be some of that, that kind of like, positioning where people are doing that. But I think at that time, it was really a, just a piece of randomness that just happened to be. And it was like, of course, I didn't like I said, I didn't really have ideology really going on at that point. Like I had, I was friends with people from all different ethnic community, like I had, like, I had to really accept the ideologies down the road, it wasn't like I was going in, like, and that's where I guess the counter argument is if like generationally, people become involved in like, hate movements, or extremism or whatever, like if their parents or if they're, they have family members or whatever, but that was not the case with me. So that that can happen in a different type of radicalization feel, it's like more of a cult feel like they grow up in the Klan, or they grow up in, you know, a cult of some sort. So then they just inadvertently are part of that that's just their life. So radicalization looks different, I think in that sense than it does for a kid who grew up in, you know, Toronto, in an urban setting and had no, there was no disposition to go be part of a hate group at all in my life, right.
Stephen Bradford Long 11:41 So so the Yeah, it almost sounds like, you know, how the same process by which I got into like, tabletop role playing games in college, like, like, oh, you know, there are these guys. They seem cool. It provides a sense of community. It provides a sense of, you know, there's a there's a sense of fun and mythmaking surrounding it. There's camaraderie, it gives me something to do in the evenings. Right. And there's a randomness to that and there's a there's a randomness to this as what you're describing as well, at least for you. And but the ideology came later is what I'm hearing you say So first there's the camaraderie there's the Brotherhood there's the hanging out in pubs at night talking about politics and talking about it he ology and just hanging out with the guys, etc. But then eventually the ideology comes. So what was the ideology? What were you? What were you taught? And then what did you believe?
Brad Galloway 12:39 So yeah, I mean, the base of the group that I immerse was immersed in was was they were so identified themselves as white power skinheads, right. So it was kind of like this loosely formed, not organized group of people that often had different ideologies underneath the the wider spread of right wing extremist ideologies. It would be like, there was some people who identified as like, part of the creativity movement, or the Christian identity movement. There was folks who said they were openness, there was folks who were just white white nationalists, or ideologues like they, there was a very bunch because it was kind of a collective bunch this group of but the one thing they did have that was attached sort of everybody together was they were sort of all part of this white power skinhead, kind of this so they, they had the bomber jackets, shaved heads, boots, you know, that that whole look. So they had that connectivity. And then some of them would be part of, I would learn later, they were part of broader, like, actual groups, like organized groups. But right from the outset, I didn't, I didn't know that I wasn't really privy to that kind of information. It was more like, you know, an ideology that I kind of got into with sort of anti government to white separatist kind of stuff, like, you know, what, what often is considered the, you know, this, this idea of white victimhood that whites are there, our rights are being taken away by broader governments and multiculturalism and all of those things. However, there was a whole whack of other ideologies that were kind of in and around and often it's Neo Nazism and Neo fascism, stuff like that. Like but for me, I I had studied history, like quite a bit just on my myself, so it's kind of like, I don't know if I, I don't really like the whole like Hitlerism, stuff like that. That stuff really was that was a stretch for me. So I remember
Stephen Bradford Long 14:49 you were like, Oh, that's a bit too far.
Brad Galloway 14:52 Well, because and then they get into like real conspiracy theory stuff, like, you know, Holocaust denial, that kind of stuff. And I'm like, I can can't really go there. Like, it's history, this, these are real things that happened. And these people are like trying to figure out ways to like, dislike, you know, remake history or whatever. And it's same with like the Christian identity movement. I never understood that they, because in the Bible, my understanding of the Bible always was, you know, Middle Eastern people that, you know, it's Judeo Christian. So there's a lot of Jewishness, and this is a largely anti semitic movement. So how could you be, you know, following a religion where Jesus, you know, it just didn't make sense
Stephen Bradford Long 15:37 for what I'm what I'm hearing here is that there is a is that there's a lot of intellectual diversity within white supremacy and maybe not as, and not just in terms of belief, but also in terms of temperament. And so there will be some people who are more prone to skepticism than others, there will be people who are more prone to self reflection than others. And I think that's helpful because I think a lot of the discourse online about white supremacy and white supremacist is that you are all equally brain zombified. It is all equally, all equally irrational and all equally untouchable. And basically, what I'm hearing you say is that that's not the case. That that is, it is not the case that, you know, when you were a white supremacist, you had doubts, because you had read history. And you you, you had a certain measure of skepticism. And I think that's helpful to, for people to understand that there is there is a spectrum of belief and temperament there.
Brad Galloway 16:47 And they talk about compassion was a huge thing, too. So a lot of this too, also leads to the help of people D radicalizing and people leaving these movements, right. Like, the disenfranchised, disenfranchised, you know, values of like, when you're in the movement, you're kind of looking at going, well, not that that's insane. Like, you can't believe that, right. And there was a lot of stuff that was going on inside of those movements that is going on, in now to like we see with a lot of the groups, there's like, trying to make sense of like, a person who identifies as not white being in a white supremacist group or of being in a right wing extremist group is very, that's has an odd look to it. I mean, we see what the proud boys there's, there's some folks there that clearly, you're like, This doesn't, this doesn't add up, this whole picture does not add up, which is stuff we should talk about more that this doesn't add up, these things don't add up. So don't join these things, because they're actually just not, it's all for naught. And, and that people leave, people can leave these groups. So myself, and there's many other people that, that I know that are in this space that work around this, that's we, we say like this, as much as you can get involved in it, you can also get not involved in it. And it has a lot to do with compassion, and people that you interact with, from other communities from, you know, multi ethnic communities. And that was helpful for me, because I worked out in public world, and security and things like that. And, you know, 80% of the staff, probably we're not, we're not white people. So I was living this life and these white groups, and then I was going to work and interacting with people. And you realize people are people, right? And it isn't what the movement is really disguising, you know, this whole, like, every one that they're out to get. No, they're not. You know, actually, I have to get you. Actually, most of my if not all of my interactions with folks from other communities. was good. They were you know, that was something that when you think back on it, you go, Well, how did I get to hear well, yeah, if we're living in this silo, with just these people telling you all of this, that, Oh, they're all bad. They're all bad. They're all but Well, that's a real awful place to live to that everything's just bad all the time. So it's that exhaustion of too much negativity in your life. And it really that's what it is. That's it's like, easy black and white answers for people. I know people want that. But when we kind of think about it just a little more, like when you hear someone denying the Holocaust, you're going that's an insane stance to take on that. Right? That that's fake. So how do you get there? How do you get into that place? Well, let's think and maybe educate ourselves. So that's another thing that's an intervention point of like, well, if we studied that a little more, or read about it a little more, we would know that this is an obvious falsehood. And we don't just go to black and black and white thought rather than trying to interrogate things a little more and learn, right? Yeah, it makes sense.
Stephen Bradford Long 19:55 Absolutely. And, and this gets to one of the big questions that came up on my Discord server, which is well, how do you communicate with people who are in various levels of radicalization. One of the things that I'm hearing you say is exposure to diversity works. Compassion works, and education works. And maybe those things won't work in every case. But those are really powerful tools is I think what I'm hearing you say,
Brad Galloway 20:26 exactly, yeah. And they don't all work for everybody. Right? Like, it's, you don't want to, you know, in the sense of working with folks that are leaving, sometimes it's really accountability that you start with. So you say, Be accountable. You were in these groups, you did this, you're part of this, you thought these bad things. But we can move past that, though. We can we can work on that we can say, Okay, I mean, it's similar to like, a lot of the stuff you see with cults in the United States, like, you know, people just in there in this vacuum, they're stuck there, and they don't know how to get out. Well, part of it is just learning about other stuff that's out there. Right? It might be just branching out. And if they've been telling you not to eat at these restaurants, because that goes against the culture, whatever, we'll go eat at that restaurant. Screw it picked a chance to take the plunge, right? Like that's, that's the first thing.
Stephen Bradford Long 21:16 It reminds me of a book that I'm reading right now called the constitution of knowledge that everyone should go read. But one of the things that he I'm forgetting the name of the author right now, I will link it in the show notes. Oh, Jonathan Rosch. Don't, Jonathan Rock, rock rush, something like that. But he basically says we are incredibly stupid as individuals we are incredibly smart with as, as a diversity of opinions as a diversity of, of backgrounds. And so we are smarter, we are more compassionate, the, the more interaction we have with different kinds of people. And but we but on our own. And if we are only with people who are just like us, we are really fucking stupid. And we are really, and our world is tiny, and, and it is easy to fall down rabbit holes of delusion. If we don't go to that restaurant, if we don't read those books, if we don't listen to perspectives, that might rub us the wrong way. That's really, really, really important. And to be compassionate, so So is that your is that your personal story of being D radicalized? Did people show you compassion? did? What? How did how did that process work for you? Well, I
Brad Galloway 22:49 think back to a time, and this is well, at the very beginning of the time that I was involved, and were. So I got into a fight. And I ended up in the hospital and and the person who saved my life, the doctor was an Orthodox Jewish guy. Right? And there I am this, you know, whatever you want to refer to me as a Nazi, or whatever, at that time. This guy didn't say anything about that, though. I'm a person, I'm a human being, and he's helps me and he saves my life. And, you know, so at the time, I thought, oh, whatever, you know, I'm not going to talk too much about my feelings on that, I'm going to bury that, right. But like later, I will think back to those moments. And I go, Well, that's, that's how people should be. Right? That that's the human kind that we are supposed to be right that were there. And I didn't deserve that at that time. But he didn't care. He was there to serve humans. And that's what he does for a living, even ones that are completely abhorrent, and that hate him, obviously, but his deal was not to say anything about that, and just to just to just be a really great person, right. And that's when I think back on that amongst the other, like, list of times where folks were I didn't deserve positive treatment, that I got positive treatment from them. You learn a lot from those those occasions, and you want to some somehow, how do you think about reciprocating that? Now, like, and that's part of the work through Life After Hate and helping other people lead these movements and seeing that there's, there's, you know, there's light on the other side, and that these, these extremist groups and traditions within these groups are, are detrimental to society and people out there, but they're also detrimental to the individual who's involved in it. And it destroys those individuals just as much as it's destroying families and communities and all of that, right. So it's a multifaceted sort of, you know, approach that we have have to think a lot harder about where we were in what we were doing. But also, like, wider society, what does it look like? But it's people like that, that are sort of calling humans back in, like I. So in my work where I've been invited to go and talk at a synagogue before, and that's, I think about that, too. Why do they want to invite former Neo Nazis into their place? Because it's fostering dialogue, and it's fostering healing for them. And they say they're getting something out of this. Understanding why people are hating, right. And it's a really amazing thing, that that is when these conversations happen, because we can learn so much about, you know, what, what we've done wrong, but we can also learn about what what we can do, right? And what how we've, you know, it's better when we're cohesive and working together, then working against each other in our own little silos, right. And, and it takes really, really magnificent people to be able to do these things and those communities, it isn't for everyone.
Stephen Bradford Long 26:07 It's not usually, and and so, you know, one, one of the things that I always want to be cautious about when I have conversations like this is to really clarify like, the communicating with people who hate you, is should only be done, if, if you are in the place to do it, and you're the right person to do it. And a lot of us are not going to be and that is okay. And it's okay to be there too. Yeah, it is. It is absolutely okay to be there. So. So, you know, if say, if you know, you're trans or you're gay, or you're a person of color, or what have you, or a woman, you know, talking to someone who believes that you are subhuman. You don't have to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. And so I always want to put that out there of whatever I have these types of conversations. So I'm what one of the questions that always comes up for me, is what is it about young men? And these types of movements? Because so often, you know, there there, I do see the occasional story of sis women kind of getting into these hate movements, and they absolutely exist. And but more often than not, it seems to be young men first, is that perception? Correct? And secondly, why what is it about young men that makes them vulnerable to this?
Brad Galloway 27:50 Okay, so the assumption is correct, when it's if you look at numbers alone, that that, like extremism across the border terrorism across the board is not entirely a male thing. But it is mostly, like I would say a larger percentage of men get involved in terrorism or extremism, generally speaking, than then do women. And you're, you're banging on about it that is solely not a male thing. There are 100% There are women who are involved in this enter very charismatic and are leaders and are part of the the wider issue of terrorism and extremism and hate groups and all that. But on the question of men, so vulnerabilities often come up, and mental health often comes up. Now, I'm not putting that as I'm not putting those things aside. But I'm also saying that, particularly white males, there's something there that there's a as we see, in America right now, there's a wide door that's open right now for white males and their identity to be like, right there. You know,
Stephen Bradford Long 29:03 like, just in their face. In other words, just very, very, ever present. Why is that thing? Why is that right now?
Brad Galloway 29:10 I know when I was in the movement, it was often like, if I'm walking down the street, people look at Oh, my God, it's a Nazi person, or they don't like that. But today, it's like, you can have a trucker convoy that's organized by extremists, but that's okay. Because it's not really extreme. Like, there's questions. You know what I mean? Like, there wouldn't have been a question like, they wouldn't have platformed me when I was in the movement in the late 90s and early 2000s. Like the local news wouldn't have been like, let's bring that Nazi guy onto our show to talk to
Stephen Bradford Long 29:43 him. In other words, there's there's there's a plausible deniability, is that what you're saying for like some people and like, Are they are they supremacist? Are they radicals? Are they not? Like, do we really know? Do they have issues with a Vedic writer? Or Did you know Did they play to me It's Call of Duty. Okay, got it.
Brad Galloway 30:01 But that comes up, it seems like only for this white populace that's involved in extremism. Because when you talk about a black or brown person who's involved in extremism, it's automatically devil worshipping black. Oh, hottest blah, blah, blah, right? We
Stephen Bradford Long 30:18 give white people the benefit of the doubt in a way we don't give people of color.
Brad Galloway 30:22 Oh, it and it's just not like it this thing is happening time and time again, where the media does this where you know, even some of the recent horrific attacks that have happened, they're like, Well, if we thought about, like, the amount of time that he was spending online, I'm like, Yeah, we're thinking about that. But what about the fact that he could have just been an ideologically radicalized terrorist, white person?
Stephen Bradford Long 30:52 Why did that? Why not? What about him just believing it? In other words, yeah, like, this is what he believed this was his worldview. And therefore he acted out on it.
Brad Galloway 31:04 Yeah, saying that out loud, is okay to do. But the immediate sort of steps very, you know, it's a different thing when it comes up when it's somebody else when it's, you know,
Stephen Bradford Long 31:17 no one I'm not, I'm a non white male community? In other words,
Brad Galloway 31:20 exactly. So it's, that almost serves as an empowerment as well for white men to get involved in these things, too. Because it's like, well, they're just going to write me off as mentally ill person or whatever. So, you know, does that give give them some fruit to go want to be part of these things? It plays into that whole victim narrative with them with these groups, right? Because the, you know, it's, it's the white, the whole, like, white male thing goes a little further in the sense of, you know, they feel like they're attacked right now. And in society, because of all the multiculturalism that's going on, you know, so they have the great replacement stuff, they have the white genocide, all of these different things that are being pushed to sort of fragment and divide. And that's what extremism is, it's, it seeks to fear and division, right? So that those are two major caveats of it. So that's what they're doing with this stuff. And, and then for painting the picture of the poor white man, right? You know, they've been victimized or they're, you know, traumatized by all these black people coming and taking their jobs or whatever it is, right. And that's, that's where again, so linking back to my story was kind of looking at that I'm like, picking my job, like, what does this mean? Like when they're when they're saying this? So they're all working at McDonald's, and I don't want to work there. They're not taking my jobs, they're actually coming here and contributing to our economy. And I'm thinking about, and I'm trying to, like, think about this. When I was in the movement, I'm like, I can't make up a reason for this. Like, there's no way to conspiracy theories this, these people are actually just doing jobs that
Stephen Bradford Long 33:17 right, so that rationality came in again for you. And it was like, Wait a second, this is bullshit.
Brad Galloway 33:24 This is trash. So what do we what do we call it right? Like we, we gotta call it what it is. It's not that's not a real thing. It's fundamentally flawed from the from the outset. And the fact that 1000s and 1000s of immigrants are coming here and taking all of our jobs away. It's not true. That's that's just not it is
Stephen Bradford Long 33:43 not true. And yeah, so and so it's almost like, you know, this coddling of, of white males that our culture does. So whenever, whenever there is an atrocity that happens at the hands of a white extremist of a white supremacist, there's this coddling and like this, delicately stepping around the issue being like, oh, you know, maybe maybe he was a white nationalist, or maybe he played Call of Duty too much or whatever. And it reminds me of it reminds me of when Sam Harris said that oh, maybe the shooter in New Zealand maybe he didn't actually believe it. Maybe it was just memes. And maybe he was just meaning to like, an extreme degree and like pushing meaning to an extreme degree, which which denigrates the fact that this that that guy actually believed it. He's he said, what he believed. And
Brad Galloway 34:50 so he filmed it live.
Stephen Bradford Long 34:52 He wrote it, he filmed it live, he streamed it because he believed it. Other than belief, other than you know, this is something Got that these guys actually believe, and therefore they act on it. Are there any other components that that lead into radicalization or lead into violent acts other than just belief? Like, are there social socio economic elements? Like what what are the other components that lead to acts of radical violence?
Brad Galloway 35:22 Yeah, I mean, there, there definitely are things like that, like, there are like, you know, there are situations where, you know, we had Oak Creek, that that horrific scene that happened with the, the offender there who was part of the wider spread hate movement, I think it was like hammer skins or something like that. And then it was also, he also was a vet. Right. So when now we're bringing in some actual risk factors, you know, gone and served in the military come home, probably not the right. That whole agency or problem that we have with not looking after our vets in the US and Canada, and mental health, and those things, these are real things that do happen. So there could be scenarios like that, where folks are just totally, you know, affected by an ideology is there too. So these are all playing roles in the same way. There's also like, when we think about some of the, the attacks that have happened, some of them are like, you know, isolated, they have adverse childhood experiences they have like, there's like psychological things that throughout their life, these people have it, they've ended up in violence, they were going to end up in violence, but which type we don't really know. But there are definitely risk factors. So when they talk about looking at risk assessments of people who are going to radicalize to violence, I mean, there's like, there's various ones that are used in our line of work that like, look at that kind of stuff. But it's, you know, when we when we think about this idea, and I don't believe it's new, there are a lot of people that do but it's acceleration ism. Right? So where are these acceleration, acceleration movements are looking to just accelerate everything to the race war to the end of times, right. So that's not a that's not a new thing. It's, I think it's particularly within white racist movements, has been around for quite a long time, I think about the 1980s with the order. And then going around, and suggestively rubbing porn stores and things like that, to take the money back, you know, to rob, our, you know, the armored trucks and steal the money from designers occupied government, and, you know, take it back for the white cars or whatever, you know, and then we think of the area and Republican Army like them doing those things. So a lot of these things can be like, you know, these folks that are sitting there, wondering why the world is the way it is, and we're not looking out, we're not doing enough in society to not allow it to get so fragmented and divided the way that it is, right? So mean, we know we historically, we know that these groups exist, and they have existed through time. And we know what they what they want to do. So getting to the point of like, violence that involves white males, it's like, well, have we done enough? And that's the education piece. I don't think we have we're not doing enough in schools. We're not doing enough in our homes and the way we're bringing up kids, and I think some some some of the risk factors like particularly isolation, and then getting involved in, in certain groups and those risk factors, people, it's again, it's like the media, the way they treat these things afterwards, you're like, well, it could have been, that's how parents well, I don't know, it's maybe it's a phase. Well, if your kids walks in and has a big swastika on their shirt, I would ask questions about the fates. So they don't often
Stephen Bradford Long 39:09 so what are so you say that our society is not doing enough to to protect and to protect society, from young white men and to protect young white men? Both right? And I honestly believe that like, you know, through history and every culture, young men are our a very powerful source of trouble and I really believe that so much of Civilization is built or, or developed to, like, curtail the worst excesses of young men. Right. So what is what are the ways in which you believe society our current society is failing young white men in particular,
Brad Galloway 39:57 what I mean when we when we talk about things like suicide And, and mental health and things like this, there's arguably been an uptick in, in this in this space of, of, you know, particularly over the last couple of years to see like the, the COVID, 19 pandemic, things like this, where people are isolated, they are they are at home, they're alone, they're there, you know, what do they do they go to the internet, they go looking for, you know, so that where do we get? What information stream are we providing to society? Right? So we have all these things that that have come up over the last, I don't know, let's go with decade. Because we can. And, and let's say, you know, things like Q Anon, let's say things like the alt right, let's say, right, so they all have these platforms online. And then when we get into a place of risk, like the COVID-19 pandemic, so you get people in the door at, oh, what about vaccines? Right? What about that, but then extremist groups are like, cool. We can get people through the door on that, right? And then we'll slowly give them the race thing. And that we're being told, Oh, the government is doing this. So now they hate the government. And it seems like pathways that one of my colleagues wrote a book called The extreme gone mainstream. So then we think about what happens on our, in our media, right? So we have all this stuff that's being streamlined down below the say Fox News, right? So it's come comes from a big company like that. And these folks are sitting there at home going, Wow, yeah, I feel like, that's kind of true. You know, I did lose a job to you know, so and so. But, but did you that doesn't matter, the government's making you take these vaccines, the government's telling you that critical race theory, blah, blah, blah, right, like, so now, you've got people sitting there going, Oh, that's interesting, right, that is happening. But is it? Because now where are they getting their information from? They're going to read it, they're going to 4chan, they're going to all these other places that are not so this is resources?
Stephen Bradford Long 42:11 This is really interesting. So it's almost like, would you say that maybe there is a point of discussion or anxiety in our culture that needs to be addressed? And the, the, the far right gets to it first, or takes advantage of it? They love it? Right? And so I and and i i saw this firsthand, in regards to online, public trashing in some leftist spaces are big, it is obvious to anyone who moves in online spaces on the left, which I do, I'm very much a leftist. And I move in those spaces. And in those LGBTQ spaces, I am myself gay, right. And, but, but there are some really, really toxic online spaces. And it's worth talking about. However, the Wright took the phenomenon. They took the term canceled culture, they completely ran with it, they made it completely radioactive. And, and instead of making it a problem of online culture, and and dysfunction in certain specific communities, they turned it into this existential nightmare that is coming for all of us. Right. But the but what happened, what I observed happening then is then the conversation on the left about it shut down. The the important, nuanced, thoughtful, this isn't the end of the world. This isn't a catastrophe, this is unique to specific communities. But a movement needs to be self reflective, if it's going to succeed. And so we need to explore this into that conversation. Shut down. Because the far right, turned it into this boogeyman and then use it to radicalize people. Would you agree with that analysis? I get? And so people would people, people would always be like, Stephen, don't, you know, don't we shouldn't talk about various sorts of things. Because the that is just a that that is just how people get radicalized. And I'm like, no, no, no, no people it's getting, it's being used as a radicalization tool because they got to it first. Doesn't mean it shouldn't be talked about. Does that make sense? Am I right about that, or or am I completely off? When it comes to that?
Brad Galloway 44:38 We have to think about these things. We have to think about like, oh, is so and so using x y Zed scheme to get people radicalized? Yes, they are doing that. Yes, the far right is doing it. I know I was in the groups. So Right. From my perspective, that yes, the far right shows up at and default, rallies are whatever they want to call them. And we're anti Racist Events. And they show up and they do dumb things, to pin it on them. They do and
Stephen Bradford Long 45:09 to provoke and to, and to take pictures. And then they take pictures and post it on Twitter and Reddit. And it's like, look at this look. Yeah, look at this is the ruin of Western civilization. Yeah, exactly.
Brad Galloway 45:22 They particularly do that kind of stuff. Because it's like, and let's, let's not get crazy here. They're a very, very small minority right wing extremists, which is great. And we should celebrate that. But that doesn't mean we want them to be a bigger majority. Right? Like, it's, it's like I'm talking to worldwide, I'm talking internationally, these right wing extremists, let's not give them the fuel for their fire. Let's not say, well as the Trump, I don't want to, I don't want to say that because I I am a firm believer that humanity will win this crisis that we're in. But we have to also say, no, but this is real. And people are really getting killed by these groups. And this is like a real thing. And the way that they do things, it increasingly gets more cutting, and they do more things that, you know, that we're like, people seem to be surprised about, and then that oh, well, that's mental health as a video games, no, no, it's still the same things that they're doing. It's just they're choosing to do it. Now they're using the internet, they're using these new tools, they're using all the things that they can to do this. And it's it's a, it's kind of a well oiled machine, when you look at it in a lot of ways because they know the response, they're going to get beforehand, right? Like, they know that, you know, the left is gonna go crazy when they do some little when they go down to a protest, and they do something, and they they know the responses are going to get so and they're hoping in this, I say this all the time. They don't care about what the what the attention is negative, positive, they love all the attention. If they can get if Richard Spencer can get punched out on camera, that's still attention for the for the alt right. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's but it's still
Stephen Bradford Long 47:09 it's still, to quote Oscar Wilde The only thing worse than being talked about as not being talked about, and that is the philosophy of the white supremacist. So yes, so is the solution then to not freak out is for the left to not freak out to is the solution for an AED. But how do we navigate that because this is a real problem. People are are genuinely like you just said genuinely getting killed. And, and but but these white supremacist groups are counting on the left to lose our mind are counting that they are counting on the left to have a very extreme response. So as the answer to not have an extreme response, like how do we navigate this?
Brad Galloway 47:57 I think we do need to respond, but we need to respond in the sense and a lot of yeah, they don't like this stuff they don't like so my thing because I work in the prevention space, primary, secondary, tertiary prevention space in this like trying to look at extremism and and look at right wing extremism, and how can we, yeah, we have like this space where we're helping people like leave the groups but like, we want to get in front of it, though. We want to be like, we don't want people joining. So how can we do that? How can we get in front of like all prevention? We can't, we can't find a way to fund that. We can't do that. Well, if we can't do that. Those are the conversations that need to be happening, though. Right? Like we're having this conversation. Well, how did you join? Well, how would you not have joined? Those are good conversations. What What would have made you say, You know what, this guy's bogus. Screw this guy. I'm gonna go join the local soccer club instead or
Stephen Bradford Long 48:49 whatever. Yeah. Or join the local d&d club, or whatever.
Brad Galloway 48:52 Yeah, whatever. pro social activities you can become involved in that aren't the white power skinhead scene. Right? Right, right. Like, what? What's the alert? The alert should not be there. There shouldn't be that that alert are there to join hate groups? Why hate groups? What does? What did they do? Like, we really need to think about our society in the sense of, oh, we have these freedom of speech laws or whatever it is, like, okay, but do but who's how are they being used as an advantage for these hate groups? Right? So when we think about the gun debate to the right loves that one, right, because it really just divides people and back to the the notion of division and fear. That's what extremism is. So if they can get, they'll divide, they'll seek to divide wherever they can. So we need to get in that space and go, Well, how do we prevent the division? So it's not even like talking about racism and all that stuff? How do we just not divide us ourselves up as Americans or Canadians or as Europeans or whatever? Why are we
Stephen Bradford Long 49:59 the universal human entity? In other words, how do we how do we emphasize universal humanity? I am a firm believer in what I what I think is the fact that the most successful human rights groups are the groups that emphasize our universal humanity. And that for whatever reason works, and emphasizing our ultimate sameness, even if we have differences, and we are at the most base fundamental level, gay people, black people, different nationalities, people who speak different languages, or have different religions, on the most fundamental level, we are all the same. And I think that the movements that are successful the like pro social and humanitarian movements that are successful are the movements that emphasize that and, you know, all of the all of what you're saying is really relevant. For me personally right now, because last week, someone with so I am a minister in the Satanic Temple. I don't know if you know that. I don't know if John told you that. Okay. So I'm a minister in the Satanic Temple. And the Satanic Temple is based on you know, fallen, tenets of, of compassion and reason and justice and, and science and so on. Last weekend, someone with a god t shirt came and set fire to our headquarters, and say, Salem, Massachusetts, and it did not insignificant damage to the front of the building and to the porch. Fortunately, help came just in time for it to not get into the temple headquarters and not destroy all of the art and so on. And that, you know, really sacred space for our religious community. But the founder of the temple co founder, Lucien Greaves asked, asked me on to have a conversation about it. And I came on to his podcast yesterday, two days ago, ready to basically, you know, this is this is a battle between good people and evil people was kind of my attitude. This is the battle between between theocrats and pluralists. This is a battle between, you know, Christian nationalists and, and those of us who are pro plurality and equality and, and Lucien did something that I thought was very wise, where he kind of put on the brakes. And he was like, well, in essence, he said, you don't actually know anything about this guy. And this is an opportunity for us all, to take a step back, and examine how we got here, and how this polarization happened in the first place. And so instead of doubling down on to these, these turf wars in this battle, and this us versus them, let's not have that be our primary focus, let's instead, you know, take this as an opportunity to, to reflect and to self reflect on how we can create a better society and how we got here, that that's the kind of the same thing that I'm hearing you say is, you know, let's focus on, let's, let's find ways to focus on our shared humanity. And that doesn't mean that these aren't very real and profound divisions. They are that and so this is not to de emphasize that at all. But yeah, so so everything you're saying is resonating quite a bit right now.
Brad Galloway 53:52 Yeah, I mean, and I think that, to be honest, that if we started there, say we had the gate and we all open the gate, and we go, yeah, okay, we're starting at this level of humanity, right? Rather than starting at, oh, you're different. Like, looking at everything that's, you know, like, and that's where I think of that moment where I'm sitting there in that pub, having that drink with that guy who, you know, introduced me to the movement. You know, if I had said, why, but why are you doing this? Why do you feel you know, and just ask them, Are you okay?
Stephen Bradford Long 54:29 Bro, are you okay? Yeah,
Brad Galloway 54:31 how are things? Like, that seems like a weird thing to offer your buddy that you hadn't seen in four years? You know what I mean? Like, right, right? Right. You run into a guy, you know, and you're like, guess what? Nazis. And like, that's a weird thing. Like, that's a strange that's a strange combo opener. Right? So like, instead of us and not judging him for what he's become involved in either though, just saying, Hey, man, you know, how's things going? Are you alright? Like, what's what's been happening right now And that's that's the thing like, some, somebody like that is in crisis, that when they're telling you that they're part of this hate group and they're part of this thing, you know? How did they get there? Right? Like that should be our thought our notion as human beings going, Hmm. Well, that's, you know, that's, that's tough what's what's the trouble like how did you get how, you know, your world, that kind of thing. And
Stephen Bradford Long 55:28 and that's a tall order though because I think the first response is going to be revulsion and disgust. Right. Like, like it hits our disgust response so deeply that that next question of, are you okay will probably for for a lot of us will just never come? Like the first response for a lot of us will either be intrigue or get the fuck away as fast as we can. Right?
Brad Galloway 55:53 Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, it's, if we cared more about individuals, other people in the world, I think we might be better off. I mean, I hear all these all the time, people, you know, telling me that it's because I felt lost or lonely or isolated as a person. That's why I went to this because they they welcomed me with open arms into into these groups, right? Yeah. And that's it. That is it like they are there. They're like, Well, come on, let me show you the right side of every argument. Because it's so black and went like that, right? And that's, that's, instead of saying like, Oh, well, that's interesting. There should be another door that's open beside it saying, well, we'd like to call you back in all of these folks that are gone down these roads, right. And I know, there's movements out there who are like, you know, doing so much work on the ground on anti racism and anti fascism and all that stuff, which is amazing work as well. But it's like, sometimes we got to think, think big and go with these are human beings to the, you know, I saw those faces that they just arrested the other day in Idaho. And I'm like, Man, that's challenging. that's those are 31 people who have been sucked into these movements. And enter and we're planning to do something horrifying there.
Stephen Bradford Long 57:23 For people who live under a rock. Can you explain that situation that at that, because they they were a group of radicalized white supremacist or something going to a gay pride event? Right, right to present a cause violence? And there were 30 of them? It? Yes. So yeah, that's that's what happened there for people who haven't heard the news. Yeah.
Brad Galloway 57:44 And if you haven't heard that news, that's really too bad days. They need to up up their game on news out there.
Stephen Bradford Long 57:50 So pull your head out of your goddamn ass.
Brad Galloway 57:55 But yes, exactly. And but that's, I think you've brought up a really, really big point that we need to recognize is that these things are there, these hate these groups are there, and they are planning to do this stuff. So we need to be aware of that. But in my work, I don't I don't want Ryder trucks or whatever kind of truck it was U haul truck full of white supremacist going to going to do horrible things to members of the gay community in that area. I I don't I don't want to hear but I want to hear nothing about these types of groups, right. But that's the thing is that we're so divided right now that these groups are flourishing. This is a, unfortunately, a ground where they feel these groups are feeling like there is some acceptance in America right now that they can exist.
Stephen Bradford Long 58:46 They feel empowered. In other words, yeah,
Brad Galloway 58:49 we got to do a lot better to say, No, we're not. Society doesn't accept this. This is this is not just people with mental health issues. This is these are ideologically motivated extremists, that we really need to think about what we've done wrong to have those 31 people involved in that. What are what are we doing? We would say
Stephen Bradford Long 59:09 it's an indictment of our culture that these groups exist.
Brad Galloway 59:13 Yeah, what are we doing? Why are we running on? Often I feel like when I'm helping people who are leaving these groups, they say, I don't even believe in my own constitution anymore. I'm like, that's a big thing to say.
Stephen Bradford Long 59:30 What does that mean? Like they don't believe in the American Constitution, or they don't believe in their own own,
Brad Galloway 59:35 like their own personal but also, yeah, the American Constitution. They're like, because they were like radicalized, and they went into these groups, and they gave such a different version of Americanism, how they utilize the Constitution. Now, they're sitting there and they're like, I'm now beholden to nothing. I don't believe in anything, you know, and I'm glad that they've left the movements but I'm like, that's really a shame. We have people who are like stripped of their, of any
Stephen Bradford Long 1:00:03 of any anchor have any have any kind of ethical mooring? In other words, yeah. Do you have? Do you have time for some questions from my Discord server? i We are an hour in. But this is this has been a great conversation. Do you have some time for a few questions? Sure. Okay. Yeah, so a lot of people were really interested in this conversation. So here's an interesting question. What is the state of the country? I? So in the United States, you're in Canada, correct? Yep. So let's just change this question to in general, what is the state of, of white supremacy now versus when you were actively a white supremacist in the 90s.
Brad Galloway 1:00:52 So it has increasingly been getting worse in Canada in the US. And I would say a lot of that has to do with similar divides like are going on in the United States, like we have specific lines drawn between, you know, people who are seen as liberal people who are seen as conservative people who are, so it's like, you're, they're building up these silos. So in extremism This is that's the premium division thing. And the fear thing, oh, afraid of the other afraid of what could be afraid of this afraid of, and that's where we're kind of living in that in those notions, and particularly, something that's become a widespread issue is the sort of the anti government so our prime minister particularly has been the face of a lot of these extremist groups sort of like entry point, like anti Trudeau anti anti government, anti that so you get a wider range of people that are willing to get involved on the onset of like, okay, because people don't like the COVID-19, or people don't like how we responded to that. So you've got people in, in that sense, and then the extremist groups come in and go and what about this group would have been three percenters would have been the problem. What about this would have, then there's all these options that are kind of thrown out there. And so in that sense, researchers are saying that there's there has been an uptick of, of groups forming different types of movements crossed from anything from accelerationism to the alt right to anti government type of group militia type of groups. So yeah, it's it's the landscape is looking. Unfortunately, it's looking pretty grim right now in Canada, when it comes to I think the two provinces that had the most significant rises in hate crimes and incidents were Ontario and British Columbia, over the last while, and so we're looking at, yeah, there's some big things going on. Yeah.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:02:54 Does he still struggle occasionally with a knee jerk reaction thoughts that match his old ways of thinking, like in the heat of the moment? Does he have racist thoughts that he needs to stop and reconfigure?
Brad Galloway 1:03:06 Yeah, for sure, in the first number of years, as as I was getting further and further away from things. Now, management, in my mind can manage those things. As more of a like, I'm recognizing it, and I'm going okay, I'm accountable for that thought. I don't need to, you know, mindfulness. Yeah, it's just saying, Well, I was around it for 13 years. So of course, those thoughts are gonna come up, it would be a horrible life for me to say, oh, no, it never happens. You know, of course, it does sometimes. But you can manage those things. I at least I can manage those things in such a way that they don't, they don't come up like they they used to. And, you know, they mean something much different now than they meant when I was in the movement, right. So I love
Stephen Bradford Long 1:03:51 that because, you know, I think that emphasizes the fact that it's what we do that matters, not, not the thoughts. It's how we act on the thoughts that really matter. And so, you know, I was raised as kind of a super conservative fundamentalist Christian, I still have homophobic reactions. I am gay. Right? I am gay. And I will still have knee jerk homophobic reactions, especially towards other gay men sometimes. And, and it it arises. And I note that feeling, I know that I let it go, and I don't act on it, and it dissipates. And it's almost like, each time I do that, it gets fainter and fainter and it loses more and more power over me. So
Brad Galloway 1:04:43 yeah, it works like that. That's fine. I mean, it. I think the approach we take to it is what's most important, right? Like that's, you know, and that's in our work, too. When we're when I'm working with people, it's like I'm not there to brainwash them or turn everybody into a liberal or whatever. You want to say, like, that's the that's the way that right looks at the work that we do. They're like, Oh, we're turning everyone into a liberal, like, whatever CRT I'm like, No, we're helping people disengage from groups and get out of hate groups, and then work on their ideology across time. Right? It's different for everybody who goes through that process. And even like what you were just saying, like you identify as a certain group, but you're still like, oh, I have these thoughts. Yeah, but I know how to combat these thoughts, though. Yep. So. And I'm the same way to like, it's true
Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:33 of all of us. We all have those skeletons in our closets. Every single one of us we are human beings. We're not free. None of us are free from prejudice in some way, right?
Brad Galloway 1:05:44 No, I struggle with it often because I live in it in the Bible Belt of Canada. Okay, so I'm not a religious person. I have no
Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:51 Canada as a Bible Belt, Jesus Christ, I'm so sorry.
Brad Galloway 1:05:55 We, we do and it's a, it's an odd scenario to be living around. Not not just regular folks that just go to church on Sundays, like these are evangelicals mostly, and who are committed to wanting others to be part of whatever it is that they're and see, I was part of something. So I'm kind of like, I don't want to be part of anything. Like, I don't want to be part of a extreme anything, I want to be a nothing. Can I just be a nothing? That's what I want to be, you know? So. And I don't mean that, in a sense, I'm a person, but I'm like, just, you know, in the sense of religion, I'm kind of like, I can't devote time and energy to something that like that. I can't, because I know I'll go to the extreme measures. And
Stephen Bradford Long 1:06:42 it is general a very costly hobby. I will say that as someone who who is a minister, it takes up a lot of time.
Brad Galloway 1:06:50 I'm worried about that. That's a that's a object that I know with work, family, all these different things that are going on in my life. I just don't have that kind of, I don't think I could put what is needed into it. And that's just so I choose that is and often that comes off as Oh, you're not really so you hate? No, I don't hate for that. They can do whatever they need to do. That's not the point. I'm just talking about my personal thing.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:07:17 It's just not you. Yeah. But it also sounds like you have an awareness of your own proclivities towards extremism. And so it's almost like if you're going to do something, you have to do it in the most extreme fucking way imaginable. Right. And which, so you just know that right, right. Right. That makes complete sense. Here's, here's a really great question. A former White supremacist once said The impetus for him to change was the extension of undeserved care. We tend to demonize such people until the change of heart, but perhaps you could ask how a more difficult extension of compassion to the allegedly undeserving might make an impact?
Brad Galloway 1:08:02 Yeah, I think I've touched on that earlier. Absolutely. Perhaps a little here.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:08:07 I don't know if there's much more to say on that. I think that's just a really good framing of that A, the the way that was phrased, we tend to demonize such people until a change of heart. But perhaps, but a, a more difficult extension of compassion to the allegedly undeserving can make an impact. Yeah.
Brad Galloway 1:08:27 I love to set it better.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:08:28 I love that framing. That's good. One person asks, What does he think of Black Lives Matter?
Brad Galloway 1:08:37 Sure. What do I think about it? I think that yeah, I mean, it's, it's a, it's a movement that is, you know, just like a lot of the other civil rights movements that have been passed. There's folks that need to speak out. I'm here as an ally in the background. And I love what they're doing. They're often framed in my area of work, I often see really, really awful things when referring to that, that movement. And that's unfortunate, because I do know, people that are legitimately on the ground, doing work for the increasing rates for you know, bipoc people, and that is something that is amazing, and amazingly difficult and hard, and has been centuries old fight and struggle, and I know it will continue. But I think that, you know, there's Yeah, it's pretty close to home. I have some have some colleagues and friends who are who are doing this work and I'm, you know, I feel for them. So
Stephen Bradford Long 1:09:52 beautiful. Let's see, one person asks, Does he think there's anything that could have prevented his radicalization in the first place where that could have interrupted the process. I think we've kind of explore touched on that through this conversation. One thing that you brought up was just someone asking, are you okay? Like, what's going on? It's just someone extending that having extending that gesture being like, what's going on? Are you okay? Um, yeah. Sounds like one thing that that would have possibly disrupted that process. Is there anything else?
Brad Galloway 1:10:28 Sure. Better parenting? That's a weird one. But, you know, I know if my kid was suited up in white power gear or whatever, I'd have some more questions for them, then. I probably shouldn't wear that. Or whatever. Like, you know, and it's no fault of them there. There are folks who are like, you know, from a different generation that are like, didn't really know what to make of this whole like weird socio cultural skinhead. Dope. And
Stephen Bradford Long 1:11:01 now there's no excuse, though. Now there's,
Brad Galloway 1:11:03 there's no excuse. It's pretty damn public. The information and it's right out there. I mean, yeah, people should know what that what that is now. So. But yeah, I think so. Back to the question, though, so better and better parenting. So education, as well, for me could have prevented a little bit more of this myself being a little more, like I said earlier about when I met that guy, in the pub, if I had asked like, well, what more is this about? Like, what is this really about? What is this movement, really, but if I had some more instinctual questions about like, you know, what is this group really better? And I think if I had learned that it was just about violence, and like, beating up black people, and you know, hate music and all that stuff, I think I probably I might have been like, I don't know what this is maybe. Not for me. Right. But the way it was posed, I didn't ask questions. I just wanted to be part of something. So, you know,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:12:02 you just use the term hate music was did music play a big role for you? Was there like a genre of musics geared towards white supremacist that helped in the radicalization process?
Brad Galloway 1:12:15 100% And it's like, it's still there today. I mean, it's I'm, I'm here now doing research on it. But it's, it's interesting. How it plays a role. And that's sort of the when you talk about the white boy power skinhead movement without the music, it's not, it's not really much, right, because there's the bands, there's the there's the way people dress, they will all wear the shirts with the band names on them. A lot of the groups were like associated with music as well. So that's, it's a moneymaker for the movement as well.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:12:47 What's the genre? Like? Is it punk? Is it metal? Like, is it what what kind of music is it?
Brad Galloway 1:12:53 It's unbelievably diverse in genres. There's country, there's hip hop, there's EDM, there's National Socialist black metal, there's black metal, there's, you know, folk kind of music, there's the everything under the sun, that they, because what they're trying to do is they're trying to create a place a space where people from all you know, musical interests will become involved in this stuff. I mean, it started out with way back in the early 1900s, of like, like, Kuhn songs and things like that, that went into country style music and then move through the sort of sociocultural ages into the into the 60s 70s 80s, where it became like punk metal, and then it sort of, you know, as, as society changed its interest in music, it's, it's sort of gone along with it. The strangest stuff I hear is like the white supremacist, like hip hop music, which is like, just doesn't Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:13:57 that's a contradiction in terms that
Brad Galloway 1:13:59 it doesn't really. But then again, neither just rock'n'roll because that's very grounded in it. You know, when you think about it, that does not come from white people.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:14:09 If you if you really, again, if you've really examined this whole thing, and if someone were to come along and say, Okay, actually look at this really examine this, the whole thing would just completely fall apart.
Brad Galloway 1:14:21 Yeah. Because it's none of it is like based in actual
Stephen Bradford Long 1:14:25 reality at all. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that makes complete sense. Let's see what else we have. Would punching you have caused you to change your mind? I would do you answer?
Brad Galloway 1:14:40 No, probably not. I mean, let's let's really think about this for a minute. What does violence solve? I don't know. Right? So at the end of the day, it's really just a societal thing. It's not even a hate movement versus not whatever. It's like What historically, what has violence done caused more violence? Basically, that would sweat it kind of does. But I think I think something else to note about that one is that I get it though. I get the luxury Nazi thing I understand people are mad at Nazis, and we should be,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:15:16 there's nothing more human than wanting to punch a Nazi like, Oh, my God, there's, there's nothing. I can't I can't empathize with anything more than wanting to punch a Nazi. But then there's also the question of, of, well, if we want to win if we want to win people to our side, and if we want to reduce harm, then with that in mind, what is the correct response?
Brad Galloway 1:15:42 Yeah, and don't think it's violence. I think it's something else. It's compassion. It's humanity. It's all that stuff, right? Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:15:50 absolutely. Let's see, let's see what else he he's, we've got here. Are you sometimes scared of relapsing back into your old ways?
Brad Galloway 1:16:01 Not anymore. No. But there was times for sure. There was times because it was easier. Like I said about the whole, like, in those movements, they just have black and white answers for everything. So it's easy. Oh, we lost our jobs. Because of the Jews. We lost because of the Jews. Everything's just you could blame it. Right? And that's, yeah, instead of thinking about it, you just blame it on someone else. It's never your fault, right?
Stephen Bradford Long 1:16:28 It's yeah, it's never your fault is always, you know, piling on resentment onto anyone but you. So a member of my Discord also asks this, if we have loved ones heading in the direction of white supremacy, or are already in that camp? Is there anything we can do or say to steer them away? Or guide them out?
Brad Galloway 1:16:55 Sure, the first thing I would say is, I would look up life after Hey, I know I'm shameless plug. But look up life after, hey, there are family services there that they have available for people who have loved ones who are involved. So there's like, like family groups, there's, you know, things like that. They can talk to former extremists. That's another thing I would do. Like they could look that up on Google, they could say like, stories of farmers, like they talk about often these farmers will talk about intervention points with family members, like ways to talk to them. Again, using that compassion piece, rather than, you know, you don't walk into a room and go, Hey, I stopped doing that. Like the whole, like, what's that? What's that old thing? They they throw people in prison to like, you know, shame them out of doing crime again, or whatever it is, right? Like, that'll work that'll, that's not going to work out. So it's more like sit down and actually empathize with them try to like, figure out why it is they're interested in this. Wow. So
Stephen Bradford Long 1:17:58 so so we're using the word compassion a lot. What does compassion mean, in this context? So so we use the word compassion a lot, but people probably have a lot of different ideas of what compassion looks like. Right? So in this context, what, what do you mean, when you say compassion?
Brad Galloway 1:18:17 Well, I said, I said this a bit earlier to about how like, hate is exhausting. These movements are exhausting, they take it out of the individual as much as they take, it takes stuff away from communities and society and all of that kind of thing. So it's like, those are some of the valuable questions I asked. It's like, what does? What is this doing for you? What is this? What is this hatred, and violence and fear and ideology? What are those things doing for you? Do you feel better now that you have all this hate with you? And most people would be like, Oh, fuck, no. Right? When you think about it like that, you're going, Well, why is it that I hate billions of people? What Why do you hate all non white? Like, how do you do that? Right? So asking those questions of compassion, or like saying, so when you went to the coffee shop the other day, and you were served by a non white person? How did you feel? Or did you even know? You probably didn't even know. Probably didn't care. Right? Right. And that's the thing is that, so you're not seeing all these things in the world that you think you're seeing in your mind? You're thinking, Oh, well, they took my job to do this. No, no, but that's not really happening. So bringing up those things and trying to find out where this you know, all of this stuff, has brought them as a person, why are you why do you why are you here? Why does this making you feel like you need to, you know, have these black and white answers for everything. And that's, I think that's rooted in compassion in the sense of, you know, we'll have has a person of another community like what have they done to you? Like what is you know, what have gay people done to you? Like, maybe Maybe it's something did happen. So maybe that's something that they need to talk about the trauma, right. Rather than blaming the whole wider gay community, let's talk about, was it the person or their identity that did it? Or was it them just as a human being that did something to you? Not Not, not their whole, like, social community that's behind. Like, often that happens, too. They're like, Oh, guys, like, Oh, I got, I got robbed by a black guy in the street. I'm like, Yeah, but he wasn't doing it as a racial crime. He was just trying to take your money. Right. Like, that's bad, in a sense, but it wasn't the black race. Totally. That did that to you. This was a criminal a person who did that. Yeah. So we need to get past the point of, of racializing. Everything, you know, and that's in the in these movements, they particularly do that, they'll say, Well, you know, it must have been because they were black and violent and blah, blah, blah, you know, they, and that's how they'll point it out to you. And that's like the point of radicalization when I talked to a lot of these guys, they're like, Yeah, I got bullied in school by by an Indian guy. And I'm like, What's the Indian guy part have to do
Stephen Bradford Long 1:21:05 with the bully? He was just yeah, he was just a guy. He was just a bully.
Brad Galloway 1:21:09 He was a crappy person. Generally speaking, he was bullying a magnitude of people across the board. He didn't care.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:21:15 So let's say so. So what do you personally do when you are maybe in conversation with someone and someone just says something really fucking racist? Like, what do you do? How do you react in that in the moment in that situation, because so many of us, you know, like, someone will be at work. And a colleague of theirs will just say something so racist, and very often you just don't know what to do you have no reaction because it comes out of the blue. Maybe, you know, you're in customer service, and someone says something really awful and racist. What do you do in that situation? Where maybe granted in your position is probably more deliberate? You're actually good? Oh, deliberately having conversate with conversations with racist, but what do you do when you find yourself in that situation? And someone just said something super gross?
Brad Galloway 1:22:11 Often, I'll ask them, Are you trying to like, are you trying to like, go me along here to see if I'm still racist? Or if I'm still in the movement? So that's the first question. Okay. Yeah. If somebody have dealing, and second, I'd be like, you, okay? Like, I'll ask him that, like, like, what do you you got to drop the end, but like, there's some guys do that they'll like, drop it, you know, to like, try to like, get under my skin or whatever it is, right? And I'm like, You really feel that boldly about your hatred for black people? Like, and usually it goes silent. Because they're thinking about it. They're like, well, maybe I think so. So you don't?
Stephen Bradford Long 1:22:54 So you answer it with a question you You are always like, because, you know, maybe someone's first response would be Whoa, that's not okay. What the fuck, which is the which is an appropriate response. That is 8%. That is a 100%. Zero point response. But you wrote that, but you go around that bit, and you're like, why? Wow, okay, what? What's going on? Are you okay? Do you really believe that?
Brad Galloway 1:23:24 Or do you file like racism? Like, that
Stephen Bradford Long 1:23:27 is sad as vile racism? Why do you believe that? Or do you really feel that way? Do you really, and get until you ask a question that gets them thinking?
Brad Galloway 1:23:36 Yeah, it's also ability and accountability. I'm trying to get them to be accountable. Are you really that person that racist first? Are you really that? Like, because you probably aren't, is and that's what I'll get to later with them. But I want to bring up these things first, sort of substance things out is
Stephen Bradford Long 1:23:56 fascinating. But I can also kind of sense that the other thing that that question does is it demonstrates to them oh, you can't be frightened away by this, like you, you aren't going to be pushed away by this. You. You are not faced. You're you are you call it out? You think it's disgusting. It is morally and ethically wrong in every way. And you're not going to be pushed away by it. I think that that's really powerful.
Brad Galloway 1:24:28 Yeah. And that's to have the conversation to have the dialogue. Like I mean, there's fantastic back to this out there. And one of them. He was going around and intervening with Klan members. He was the black guy.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:24:43 Oh, remind me Al Davis. Darrell Davis. Yeah, the the jazz musician, right. He right. Yeah, he's incredible. It's amazing
Brad Galloway 1:24:50 work. It's amazing work. But it's those questions though. Really? Like you? This is you you hate all these people. For real, like how, let's hear, talk about it. Because very hard for people to talk about that, like, Why do you hate all these people,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:25:09 it's almost like the whole thing is set up. Or it's almost like extreme hate beliefs are set up to not ever have to self reflect. It's almost like they are, they're deliberately designed to not ever have to actually self reflect and examine the belief itself. And so just asking the simple question, just totally bypass that.
Brad Galloway 1:25:35 Well, it's kind of like, I had I had one person say, Well, you know, COVID-19 is a Chinese thing. And I'm like, okay. Why? It's not it has nothing to do with any race. It's a virus.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:25:52 It doesn't, it doesn't care. It's not
Brad Galloway 1:25:54 a thing about any kind of racist. But racializing it and making it about race is an ideology. That's a political standpoint, it's a political statement. And that's what they're trying to do. I'm like, I'm not buying it. I'm not buying the deal. Like, I don't care. I know what it is. It's, it's science will tell us what it is they put it under a microscope, and they look at it. And they'll say, Well, it's this, this is the disease that it is. Okay, cool. But that's not a race of people. Like when, and that's equating something like that. It's just a simple, simplified version of Black and White thought again, and again, they do it with everything, right? And that's what and often I was in there with that person. I said, so let me guess. Jews run the international banks, blah, blah, blah, go down the list of the other conspiracies that are happening. And they're like, Yeah, I'm like, No, though, none of that. So let's now talk about it. Let's unpack all those things. And those are really sucky conversations for people who are get awkward around, like, you know, these types of things, but like, these conversations need to be had, because I found they really helped me. You know, I say, one of the Go read the 1001 questions about Judaism, you know, because a lot of these guys know zero things about Jews. Not one thing, but then when they go, they're like, oh, that it isn't that you know, that? You know, no matter what your thoughts on religion are, but like, go read about it. You can't just decide you don't like Muslim people? How? Based on what? So those are the those are the questions and those those people who are willing to engage in those conversations, we're closer to helping them heal away from hate. Right? Because they're they're, they're, we're in the conversation, that we're having a dialogue, we're having this conversation, which is way better than them out there going and doing all these horrible things that are professed by these movements. Right. One last
Stephen Bradford Long 1:27:49 question. Just curious on how he handles the pushback, if he's public about being a former White supremacist, do you ever yourself as a former White supremacist get the revulsion from, from people? And the pushback is Do you ever? Do you ever get treated like you have this you know, irreparable stain on you? Or? And how, how do you deal with that? Or how do you respond when you're in that situation?
Brad Galloway 1:28:21 Yeah, it happens 100%. And I get it.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:28:24 It's the most understandable and human thing in the world.
Brad Galloway 1:28:28 I like I get it. Like I get it. Yeah, you don't trust me, you hate me. Cool. But can we talk about like, what? What things? That's, that's what I would say? I would say, look, I totally get it. Like I you know, I was, these groups are not good. And I agree with you now. Whether and that's, that's okay. We can we can also not, you know, it doesn't have to be a thing. You know, where are we? I understand if they want to hate me and all that kind of thing. That's fine. Because the scripts are abhorrent. The, the ideologies are equally as abhorrent. As violence, they're, they're killing people, I get it. But I'm here to educate about what those groups are about. And I'm going to continue my work. But I understand that people hate it, as well, that formers are involved.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:29:23 So yeah, I think that's a I think that's a really thoughtful and mature way of going about it. You know, you you don't demonize anyone for having for just being like, I just can't go there. I just can't think about that because you know, maybe maybe it's too hurtful or maybe it's it hurts too much. So I just can't think about that. And that that seems really thoughtful and mature. Well, that that's all the questions that I that I have from discord right now. But this has been a really I think productive and helpful conversation. I hope my listeners have enjoyed this conversation for those in my audience who might to find out more about your work, where can they go online to find that?
Brad Galloway 1:30:12 Yeah, so the Life After Hate as a website life after hate.org You can go check it out over there. The exit USA program is specifically the program I work with there. You can also look up the center on hate bias and extremism which is located in the Ontario Tech University. So you can check out the research you can also check out our work there on our on our website. And also the organization's prevention of violence is evolved program, which is prevent violence.ca.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:30:42 Amazing, I will put all of that in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining me. This has been fabulous. I really appreciate it.
Brad Galloway 1:30:51 Thanks. Thanks again for having me and good good discussion.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:30:54 Well, that is it for this show. The music is by eleventy seven the theme song is called Wild you can find it on Apple Music Spotify or wherever you listen to music. This show is written produced and edited by me Steven Bradford long it is a production of rock candy recordings, and it is supported by my firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash Steven Bradford long as always Hail Satan. And thanks for listening