The Persistent Myth Of Radicalization
You’ve seen the story in the media. A kid stumbles across fringe ideas online, gets involved with the wrong crowd, and ends up in the headlines for committing some act of violence. These stories follow a familiar arc. The only problem? For every person that follows this trajectory, many more will adopt fringe ideas and never commit violence. And for every hard-core idealogue that commits violence, there are people drawn to the violence, not the ideology. Following reprehensible acts of white supremacist violence, lawmakers are understandably grasping for solutions. But reliance on outdated radicalization theory empowers law enforcement agencies to trample over constitutional rights and civil liberties, all while misleading law enforcement about the causes of white supremacist violence.