When I first told my friends that I was taking a white power studies class, the typical reaction from my friends was that I would be enrolled in class where we talk about all sorts of racism and where it exists and watch chappelle show every class period. Since being in this class, I have realized how far away from the truth that reality is. So, when prompted to ask my friends what their thoughts were about white nationalists movements in comparison to what I learned I jumped at the chance.
First of all, I must insert a disclaimer that I have many ignorant friends who were relatively unaware (with the exception of the Ku Klux Klan) of that white supremacist groups were still in relative existence and striving to push their views on others. As I explained to them what we were covering in class, their motivation for knowledge overrode their capacity for ignorance and were actually very much interested in what I had to say. Although they did not know much of white nationalist movements in current times, after I filled them in on current events a discussion ensued on how people with such obscure and backwards views were still in existence in our progressive society today. With the first amendment still holding strong, much of the knowledge held by white supremacists can still be printed and distributed and with the distribution of easy access to internet, white supremacist ideologies can be found from anywhere with an internet hookup.
The topic of the internet then brought on another discussion about how anyone who can operate a computer has access to the internet and can thus voice their opinion somewhere. A quote that I found to pertain to this though from one of my friends says it all “If you yourself are allowed to rummage through the internet for obscure data on prison gangs and then post a blog about it simply for a collegiate course, the possibilities seem endless for any idiot with an internet connection and something to say” (Taylor Jones, next door neighbor). Upon discussing the internet, it became apparent that my friends had finally figured out why white supremacist discourse still exists today. The fact that anyone can post anything provides an outlet for people with these obscure ideas to express themselves. This is where most of the discussions with my friends started to peak and then fizzle out and they began to lose interest. It was actually pretty interesting and fun talking to my friends about something they had previously not known about. Spreading knowledge of something happening in out society to ignorant people is empowering simply on the basis that knowledge is power and the more you have the more rounded and educated person you become.