This week on Unorthodox, one young man’s journey out of white nationalism. Our Jewish guest is Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow, whose latest book is Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, which tells the story of Derek Black, the son of Stormfront founder Don Black and heir apparent to the white nationalist movement. After enrolling in a diverse college and befriending a wide range of people—including Jewish students who invited him to weekly Shabbat dinners after he was outed as a white nationalist—Derek began to challenge his ingrained assumptions, ultimately denouncing the movement he was raised to lead and his family’s involvement in it.
We also talk to Derek himself, who tells producer Shira Telushkin about life after white nationalism, explains the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories at the root of the movement (plus the whole thing about lizard people), and shares the remorse and guilt he feels that the ideas he once publicly espoused and proliferated inspired the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter.
Join us at Adat Shalom in Los Angeles Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. for a special Shabbat show with actor and director Lauren Miller Rogen, Black-ish producer Jonathan Groff, and Iranian-Jewish philanthropist Rachel Sumekh; get your tickets here. Then we’ll be at the Stroum JCC in the Seattle area Feb. 2 for a live show with Dan Savage of the Savage Lovecast and Rabbi Will Berkovitz of Jewish Family Service. Get your tickets here.
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This episode is sponsored by the Yiddish Book Center’s Great Jewish Books Summer Program for high school juniors and seniors. To learn more and apply, visit: www.yiddishbookcenter.org/greatjewishbooks.
Additional support comes from Harry’s. Get a free trial shave set at Harrys.com/UNORTHODOX.