Anonymous Aberdeen cowards sponsored another dreary crypto-Klan meeting yesterday, giving two out-of-state conspiracy kooks who were kicked off the Sioux Falls History Club calendar an excuse to swing through South Dakota anyway and fleece the willing dupes of our ugly modern Red Scare (or Red Green Scare, as anti-Muslim/Marxist hyperbolist James Sampson leads us to call it, with unintended hilarity).
Why would people waste a good Sunday afternoon wallowing in their fears? Brady Mallory finds an explanation from psychologist Susan Eleeson, who discusses how otherwise decent people like Sioux Falls LGBTQ activist Boots Parker could fall into white supremacist groups:
“Someone who is emotionally starving, they’re not going to turn away being accepted and having a place to land. A starving person isn’t going to turn away a meal,” Eleeson said.
Eleeson says many groups have historically banked on this fact.
“They’re looking for people who do feel lonely or feel isolated and then they manipulate that need to be accepted or cared about and then they will have somebody who will follow whatever they want,” Eleeson said.
Parker says that was true.
“Pretty much name-calling and intimidation. You get into a big group of people and you start throwing salutes and start marching down the street with a Nazi flag and you feel pretty big and powerful,” Parker said [Brady Mallory, “Boots on the Ground: A Journey from White Supremacy to Equality,” KELO-TV, 2017.11.05].
Out-of-state con men and con women are preying on a small minority of our neighbors, to the detriment of our state’s reputation and economic development prospects. That even this minority of Aberdonians and other South Dakotans find comfort and solace in rabid speeches demonizing their neighbors suggests an emptiness in their souls that our communities must find healthy ways to remedy. We must find ways to help everyone feel like they belong in our community without stoking a rage that says some people don’t belong.