Psychology Today: One Year After Charlottesville, What Have We Learned?

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One year after the violent and deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, a planned anniversary demonstration of white supremacists amounted to a gathering of only a few dozen Neo-Nazis, while hundreds of anti-racists turned out to peacefully counter-protest. At a gathering on the same day in Washington, D.C., Rabbi Aaron Alexander warned that “hateful, antisemitic, racist and violent messages do have traction in this country.”1 

But in a country—founded by immigrants—that is trying to live up to its ideals of equality, pluralism, and respect for differences, how do those hateful ideas get traction? Christian Picciolini understands how people can be seduced into a life of racism and violence. 

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