The Spread of Hate and Extremism

ReferencePoint. Oct. 2020. 80p. Tr $30.95. ISBN 9781682829332.
Gr 6-9–The current cultural climate has many people feeling lost, lonely, and rudderless. In this title, Henderson examines the rise of white supremacy and other hate groups. The text primarily addresses white supremacy groups, but there is a cursory mention of Black nationalists, incels (misogynists who are members of an online community who cannot find a sexual or romantic partner despite wanting one), and anti-LGBTQ groups. The text shows how hate groups have changed recruiting practices to adroitly use technology to spread violent messages. According to a 2016 study from the University of Maryland, “the most common factor among those who join violent extremist groups is emotional trauma.” These groups stoke the flames of anger that a new recruit might harbor about out-of-control areas in their personal life and then channel these negative emotions into thoughts and actions directed at a particular audience. The book ends with chapters about how people can recover from extremism groups. Finally, the text shares ways to stop hate. Henderson describes organizations, explains the need for police training and other education, praises and encourages further removal of hate/extremism social media content, and urges readers to take personal responsibility for thoughts and actions towards others. Detailed citations, contact information for hate-fighting organizations, a bibliography, and a thorough index are included.
VERDICT In these troubled times, this title could help middle-schoolers identify and stop hate.

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