I've been exploring right twitter hate groups for almost a year now - here's something I've noticed: no matter the type of bigotry, alt right hate groups always seems to work the same way. A quick thread.
First take an entire people, concept, ideology, etc. that's fairly complex / diverse, and find ONE aspect you dislike, fear, can ridicule, or feel superior to. This is often a person chosen to represent an entire group, one detail that can be manipulated to inspire fear / hate...
...or one aspect you can reduce a complex situation down to, in order to push your narrative. Second, take your singular example, now a stand in for that group at large, and disseminate it to your own group to ridicule, hate, get enraged at, or pity.
Spread it around and collectively vent all your frustration at this one stand in - mock them/it, ridicule, but most of all remember they are not a singular entity, they represent the entire group - not even just one group, but all groups you hate.
Not just that, they represent EVERY bad thing in your life, they are a MONOLITH of rage, an EFFIGY of collective pain. Every problem you've ever had in the world, every rejection, every bad feeling, every crushed hope or moment of sadness or feeling of anger is now projected.
Like mass mourning, they collectively share in this moment of projected hate, bonding through it. Finding solace in the fact they are better, they are NOT this stand in for everything they hate. Eventually they lose interest in this stand in, and a new one must be found.
By using a steady stream of effigies, raising up the worst examples they can find, and then collectively hating on those examples - as if these examples alone represent every single person in the group - they reinforce that rage, that hatred, over and over. A religion of hate.
While looking for new stand ins, they use memes and constant callbacks to those older stand ins, creating an endless compilation of hate. Reductionism. None of this seems to be about ideology - ideology is just a trigger to begin the process. A way in.
Whether anti-semetic hate accounts full of Jewish conspiracy, accounts with a steady stream of black crime, anti-feminist accounts of women being 'whores' or 'hypocrites', anti-BLM accounts turning half a year of peaceful protests into a war on their freedoms, it's all the same.
A personal note since I'm trans, look at a figure like Blaire White. You can literally see her engaging in this behaviour with other trans people. Video after video tearing down her own community. This is internalized transphobia. It's the same, a behavioral addiction to hate.
The targets don't matter - those are triggers, all that matters is the hatred - constantly looking for the perfect stand in to dehumanize, to represent their fear. Like an addiction they can't go without it, it doesn't matter who, a bigot hates one group today, changes the next.
This might be why they don't understand their own racism, why you hear things like 'I hate everyone equally'. They think they're joking, but it's true. The target group is irrelevant in regards to the behaviour, it's just an excuse to hate.
This is why this religion of hatred is so effective, it isn't about ideology, truth, logic, reason - it's simply about having a collective reason to hate or fear, a chemical addiction or psychological habit, to feed daily - truth be damned. And I'm not sure how you combat that.
However one idea might be to treat it like other behavioral addictions. It isn't about getting truth across, that doesn't matter, they need to be rehabilitated from the behaviour, the addiction to hate. And like all rehabilitation it can only work once the problem it recognised.
Those are just some thoughts, anyway. @threadreaderapp unroll

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