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Addicted To Hate: Studying White Supremacist Groups And The People Who Leave Them

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Courtesy of Matthew DeMichele
/
RTI International

While last month's “Unite The Right” rally in Washington D.C. was small, it brought renewed attention to white supremacist groups in the United States. 

Researcher Matthew DeMichele has been studying these groups for years, and his recent research concludes that while many people do eventually leave, the process can be as difficult as overcoming an addiction. He and other colleagues conducted in-depth interviews with dozens of former members of white supremacist groups in the U.S. to examine what makes people more susceptible to joining a white supremacy organization, how individuals enter these hate groups, and how they unlearn hate and reenter society.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Matthew DeMichele, a senior research sociologist with RTI International’s Applied Justice Division about his findings.

NOTE: This program originally aired on August 17, 2018. 

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Amanda Magnus is the editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She's also the lead producer for on-demand content at WUNC and has worked on "Tested" and "CREEP."
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.