Derek Black, son of the former Alabama Klan leader who now runs the largest racist Web forum in the world, has renounced white nationalism, saying that he had been through “a gradual awakening process” and apologizing for his past activism.
In an E-mail (pdf) to the editor of this blog earlier this week, Black, 24, wrote that he had come to see the arguments of white nationalism as “principally flawed,” adding that he had realized that American society is marked by an “overwhelming disparity between white power and that of everyone else” and that white nationalism was really about “an entrenched desire to preserve white power at the expense of others.”
“Advocating for white nationalism means that we are opposed to minority attempts to elevate themselves to a position equal to our own,” wrote Black, who recently finished his third year at the elite New College of Florida. “It is an advocacy that I cannot support, having grown past my bubble, talked to the people I affected, read more widely, and realized the necessary impact my actions had on people I never wanted to harm.”
It was a remarkable statement for Black, whose father, Don Black, once served time in prison for plotting a racist invasion of a small Caribbean nation and founded and still runs Stormfront, a white supremacist Web forum. The younger Black was raised in the racist movement, had by age 12 created a racist children’s page on his father’s website, and until recently hosted a radio show featuring racist guests.
But it was also the latest step in a fairly clear evolution.