There is nothing any more inherently hateful in white nationalism than in any other form of nationalism or identity, including Jewish nationalism and black nationalism. Could you imagine a Washington Post article about six Jews developing their Jewish identity called “The road to hate.” Yet social identity theory applies equally to Jews as it does to other groups — the more you identify with your group, the more likely you are to have negative feelings about outsiders.
For Connor Perrin, 29, of Austin, who grew up upper-middle class, it was during college when he felt campus liberals were ostracizing his fraternity because it was white. “If only people would stop attacking us,” he said.“I can’t say anything just because I’m white. I can’t talk about race, and I can’t talk about the Jews because I’ll be called an anti-Semite, and I can’t say I want to date my own race.”
For Eric Starr, 31, of Harrisburg, Pa., who has been convicted of disorderly conduct for fighting and possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, it was growing up white in a poor black neighborhood. “I got bullied and I got made fun of and I got beat up,” he said. “Cracker, whitey, white boy.”
And for William Fears, who has been convicted of criminal trespass, aggravated kidnapping and possession of a controlled substance, it happened while he was incarcerated. “I don’t think any race experiences racism in the modern world the way that white people do in a jail,” he said. “In jail, whites come last.”
From these disparate geographies, social classes and upbringings — rich and poor, rural and urban, educated and not — they converged on a single place last weekend, Charlottesville, with a shared belief that they, white men, are the true victims of today’s America.