Recruitment in White Supremacy groups – Who do they want? And why?

WANTED! New soldiers for a war: Must be white. Teenagers preferred. Must have lots of free time and not much experience. Angry people with unfair lives strongly encouraged to apply.

Read on to see why white supremacy groups want people who fit these criteria.

Got lots of free time?

White supremacy groups want people without a whole lot of things competing for their time and attention. They want people who will immerse themselves in the group fully and give it top priority in their lives. Younger people are perfect because they don’t have the commitments like children, work, a mortgage etc. which would get in the way.

No experience necessary

White supremacy groups (just like many employers) look for younger people who don’t have years of ingrained ideas/ways of doing things. This way they can train them up into their way of doing and thinking about things. White supremacy groups don’t just exist for social gatherings. They are groups that are preparing for/already at war with their perceived enemies. They want people who will follow white supremacist ideology without questioning it. Just like in any army, white supremacy groups need conformity and strong connections between members. There’s no room for dissent in a war.

Got lots to be angry about? White supremacy groups want you!

White supremacy groups target teenagers/young adults because often these age groups can have lots to be angry and disappointed about. School can be a tough scene. People get beaten up, bullied, excluded by their classmates etc. Adults seem to have all the power. Young people can find they have little say or control in their lives. Some young people have adults around them who just don’t seem to care about them or who are abusive. For a young person the world can definitely be an unfair and lonely place! White supremacy groups know that people who are angry and feel like the world is against them are more likely to be interested in the messages they are selling.

The groups then exploit people’s bad life experiences to manipulate people into joining their group. If a person has grown up being made to feel inferior and devalued, they are more likely to be attracted to messages about white superiority and being part of God’s chosen people. If a person has grown up feeling unsafe and unprotected, the white supremacy groups sell a message that they will be part of a strong family that protects its members.

Their explanations that it’s the non-whites who are to blame for all the problems, provide people with someone to direct their anger at and feel powerful. For teenagers/ young adults who are being pressured to know what they want to do in life, messages about white peoples’ responsibility to fight for white supremacy can appeal as they provide them with a sense of purpose and excitement in life.

Still want the job?

Fair enough. Some of these messages can sound pretty appealing. But maybe before you sign up you can ask yourself a few questions.

  • Are you OK with your bad experiences being exploited so the group can get new members?
  • Do some of the messages sound too good to be true?
  • Why don’t the groups want people who are happy and have lots going on in their lives?

Want to read more? Check out our other post “Joining a white supremacy group – is it a free choice?” where we look at the recruiting techniques white supremacy groups use.