In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Kathleen Belew about the white power movement in the United States. They discuss white supremacy, white nationalism, white separatism, the militia movement, “The Turner Diaries,” the connection between the white power movement and war, the significance of Ruby Ridge and Waco, the Christian Identity movement, the significance of “leaderless resistance,” the failures of the justice system in prosecuting white power crimes, and other topics.
This thread is for listeners’ comments.
Harris is going yet further into his white supremacy/white nationalist obsession, almost as if he wishes to be a counterweight to Dave Rubin going off the deep end in the other direction… Just about the last thing I can imagine most people want to hear about at the moment is this subject, framed by the left-wing synopsis above.
Harris would never invite on Victor Davis Hanson—largely because Harris privately knows he could not refute a lot of the logic of VDH’s current critique of the left, and Harris does not want to produce a podcast in which he is largely “uh-huh” for two hours to someone so palpably conservative.
VDH would raise too many issues with the silliness that has bedeviled Harris the last two years, like Russiagate and his anti-Trump hysteria.
Perhaps at least a compromise candidate like Paglia?
I Googled Kathleen Belew and for a brief shining moment Wikipedia said “Is owned by Candace Owens”. Ha ha ha ha ha.
It was gone and now it’s back. Must have been properly vetted.
Very important talk from someone who understands the historical context.
The “hide your power-level” credo of all these movements is proving to be very effective in giving politicians cover for pretending that there is no problem.
I listened to Ms. Belew’s interview with Sam first. I wanted to know more about her work so I Googled her. There I found video of her and Candace Owens at a sub committee hearing:
I’m no fan of Candace Owens but after hearing Ms. Belew mischaracterize Ms. Owens I found it hard to give much credence to Ms. Belew’s analysis.
Here’s the whole hearing:
I was disappointed in this podcast. Granted, that disappointment is mainly on me because I’d hoped for some current information about the problem of white supremacy, but still, one would think an expert on white supremacy and white nationalism up to 1995 would be better informed on the same from say 2000-2018. Is it a declining problem since then (the SPLC data indicates it is) or a rising one (as advertised in the media these days)? That seems to me the central reason for bringing up white supremacy and white nationalism today. I was really hoping for more information on that, but it was absent from the podcast.
I was also disappointed to see Sam criticize his guest in his Afterward, and that disappointment is on him. Bad form, Sam, and your justification of that bad form in the Housekeeping segment of your next podcast makes the matter worse. Stating the fact of disagreement with a guest in an afterward and noting that you tabled this disagreement for the sake of discussion is one thing; stating her position and then criticizing it a manner that rejects it out of hand is quite another. Not only does the second case presume the last word—a courtesy one should always give to a guest; it presumes all the words—a discourtesy one should never inflict on anyone, guest or otherwise. Your listeners gave you a chance to reflect on this mistake and admit you were in the wrong, and you missed the opportunity by doubling down. So bad form made worse than the original error.