General Question

LadyMarissa's avatar

Am I reading too much into this or is there hope?

Asked by LadyMarissa (16084points) July 4th, 2023
46 responses
“Great Question” (7points)

Justin Nash is a self-proclaimed recovering bigot & he’s setting out to right his wrong!!! This was also reported in the Washington Post, but they won’t allow you to read it without a paid subscription & even my workaround wouldn’t pull it up.

I understand that Mr Nash is only 1 person, but I also remember that this was a very effective method back during the Civil Rights Movement!!!

Personally I love the term “recovering bigot” because he didn’t become a bigot overnight…it took years of browbeating by friends & family. Now he’s going to LBGTQ+ events to look those people he has hated for years in the eyes & apologize to them.He seems to be truthfully amazed how willing they are to forgive him & accept him into their life.

What are your thoughts???

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I think it’s wonderful! I welcome him with open arms.

smudges's avatar

1. It is possible to change a belief system, it’s just that most people don’t.
2. He really put himself out there and set himself up for abuse, but did it anyway.
3. related to #2 he’s in a wheelchair and pretty defenseless, but he sat there at a public event and held a sign admitting he believed he’d been wrong.

I think it’s awesome, I believe him, and yes, I think there’s hope! <3

JLeslie's avatar

There are always sporadic stories like this. I think it is great when people can break away from the hate and especially if they are willing to try to help others find their way out. As far as giving me hope, I have no more hope than I did a year ago or 20 years ago. The WS groups are more connected now than ever, because of the internet.

You can google and find more stories of people changing their lives completely around. I saw a story about a hater getting out of jail and a minority family helped him and he realized all the hating crap he had in his head was wrong. Or, some get turned around through Christianity. Lisa Ling did a story in season 6 of her show This is Life about a WS bigoted type gang and how some of the members find their way out.

Unfortunately, the haters are on the rise right now.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^No, there are not always stories like this.

kritiper's avatar

It sounds bogus to me.

filmfann's avatar

I subscribe, and have sent you a link to read the article.

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Forever_Free's avatar

A light that is always needed. Good for him.

chyna's avatar

We had a very much loved senator in my state, Robert Byrd. He was very high up in the Klu Klux Klan, voting against civil rights in his early years.
At some point he became aware that he was completely wrong, denounced the KKK, and apologized hundreds of times.
Was he sincere or was it just political? I will never know for sure, but i would like to think he was sincerely ashamed of his earlier history with the KKK.

mazingerz88's avatar

No idea Nash existed until this post. I read a lengthy article a few years ago at the WP about a young man who was raised to have white supremacist beliefs and he was able to break away
from that but ended up being shunned by his own family. I hope Nash is sincere. But how does one really find out if that is the case?

jca2's avatar

I’ve never heard of this person and I tend to be leery (cynical) that people like him who are so public about it, and the politician mentioned by @chyna are doing it for likes and publicity. Otherwise they would not necessarily need to be so public about it.

If they are sincere, it’s great and I’m all for it but we really have no way of verifying.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@jca2 Yes, we can verify. Look at their actions. Your cynicism is unhelpful.

jca2's avatar

I’m sorry, @Hawaii_Jake. The OP wrote “What are your thoughts” so I put my thoughts. I realize they may not necessarily be the same thoughts everyone has.

smudges's avatar

@mazingerz88 I hope Nash is sincere. But how does one really find out if that is the case?

Only time will tell.

@jca2 Otherwise they would not necessarily need to be so public about it.

I suppose it’s the same reason that some religious people are so ‘out there’ with their beliefs – their enthusiasm makes them want to tell everyone and share what they’ve learned.

jca2's avatar

@smudges Yes, GA. It could be that.

canidmajor's avatar

I see no reason to doubt his sincerity. He wasn’t making it so public, his audience was the Pride participators. Third parties made it public. And really, in so many recovery programs, expressing remorse to the wronged or wounded parties is promoted as a positive thing.

Good for him.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@filmfann Yes, I received your link. I THANK you very much!!! I don’t trust yahoo news to be reliable so I tried to check WaPo, & I could see the article was there but I just couldn’t get in. I feel even MORE confident that this is a true event & the man is being HONEST!!! I’m even MORE impressed that a right wing bigot from TEXAS is brave enough to publicly announce his change of heart. Yes, it is only 1 person, but he has the ability to influence possibly MORE people.

The WS groups are more connected now than ever, because of the internet. Yet, Mr Nash is on the internet & he’s feeling guilty for his actions. the haters are on the rise right now I see the operative words as being “right now”. Just because it is the prevailing thinking “right now”, it does NOT mean that it has to stay that way!!! I see HOPE in possibly changing the thought process of 1 person at a time until we’re back to having millions thinking that way!!!

@chyna I remember Senator Byrd. As sure as I am that his initial distancing himself of the KKK was political in nature, it seems I remember that IRL he lived up to his actions, so I think he was sincere. He drove the right wing crazy!!! He died before “likes” became a thing!!! He also changed his voting record to reflect the “new” him!!! He initiated a LOT of good before he actually died!!!

Even IF Mr Nash is lying about how he really feels, he has put the thought out into the universe & others may well hear it & follow his lead. Plus, being from Texas, he would lose more than he would gain by lying!!! I’m sure that he lost a few friends & family members by saying the quiet part out loud. I’m NOT questioning his honesty. Maybe even he doesn’t understand why he is saying what he is saying, but his heart is telling him it is the right thing to do!!!

My heart is feeling a LOT of hope that we can right a listing ship & Mr Nash may well be a good first step!!! Our attention span has grown so short that I’ll gladly jump at any catalyst that jump starts a changing movement!!!

canidmajor's avatar

And really, to all you cynics, does it actually matter if he’s not sincere? His actions are promoting positivity, so unless he’s whispering hateful words when someone comes to hug him, or randomly stabbing queer people when they approach him, I see no downside to this.

jca2's avatar

@canidmajor It does not matter and there is no downside that I can see. Again, the OP asked for thoughts and I gave my thoughts. I understand that, just like any question on Fluther, the opinions or thoughts from one person may not be the opinions or thoughts of the majority. That’s ok, to me.

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seawulf575's avatar

It’s very possible it is true and lasting. I’ve seen numerous people from the left that hated Trump, Trump supporters, and Republicans in general. Some of these have started really questioning their beliefs. Some want to prove their own beliefs. But all of them realized their views were tainted by things they had been told, not what the facts were. They were all extremely surprised at how their own bigotry played into things. That doesn’t mean they fully swapped their views, but they started questioning them. It is entirely possible that this gentleman decided to dig in a little deeper than what he was told. Isn’t it funny that when you take the blinders off and actually start questioning we often find that the opinions we have been fed are not always correct?

I was fortunate. My mom and dad came from old school southern families, full of racist views. Mom and dad didn’t subscribe (at least openly) to those views and were far more open. That carried over to me and my brother. We managed to break the cycle.

jca2's avatar

It’s ok people. We all have our thoughts. That’s what Fluther is for.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think there’s always hope and find this very touching.
In one branch of our family, we have old racist Democrats. All that changed when one of the kids married another race.
People can and do change.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I am not sure why you are so upset with me. I wasn’t even addressing you, just answering the Q.

I do understand why it is upsetting to contemplate these hateful people are out there targeting us. I wrote it is nice to see when this sort of things happen; when people leave their bigotry behind and make a profound change.

I can’t help it that you don’t know other stories of people who leave hate groups or abandon their own personal feelings of hate and go the extra step to speak out and help others to find their way out of their bigotry. It’s just a fact that other people have done it over the years.

The people in the various WS groups hate LGBT, Jews, Blacks, and many other groups, and often support removing and stifling women’s rights too. Below are just a few articles, plus I already mentioned the Lisa Ling episode. Are you denying the hate groups are very active right now?

Ted Talk: I have seen him before in interviews. He has spoken out a lot about his change from hate. Interesting message at the end.

Koxufoxu's avatar

People rarerly change. But they do, I know I did myself.

smudges's avatar

@LadyMarissa …he has put the thought out into the universe & others may well hear it & follow his lead.

Love it!

Pandora's avatar

Is it possible for people to change? Yes. But I find people who do a 180 usually did so because something happened to make them see things differently. For example. Having a death sentence because of some illness or because of the death of someone dear to them or it could be he joined AA and found most of his issues stemmed from being an alcoholic.

I tend to believe that time will always reveal who a person really is to their core, so I would suspend my belief in how genuine he is till he has solidly proven himself. Because although it is possible for people to change, sometimes they fall back to old beliefs when they get bitter or have dealt with the trauma that may have caused the change. Just as easily as they fell into a newfound belief, they are quicker to rebound.

If it’s big and made of wood and looks like a horse, then it’s a good chance that it is a trojan horse and we know how that can turn out.

Now I may be more likely to believe him is what caused him to change was that he found his rhetoric and hate speech has hurt someone very close to him than I can see how that may also change his mind.
People from hate groups rarely change and the real reason is because its easier to blame and hate others for your miserable life than accept that they made their lives miserable.
Hate kills a person from within. Whether one believes in souls or not. It is corrosive and addictive.

JLeslie's avatar

I think the guy is sincere, just like I think the other stories similar to this are sincere. The problem is the haters are constantly recruiting, promoting, and having their own babies.

smudges's avatar

…having their own babies.

And therein lies the crux of the problem, imo. That’s why it’s going to take many many generations to overcome racism, especially, but also other prejudices. Same with abuse…let’s say 1 child out of every five families stops whatever cycle they’re in. Can you imagine just how long that would take to eradicate those beliefs? But then that 1 child raises 2 or 3 to believe like the parent who’s overcome the abuse or whatever. In that way, eventually, if the earth lives long enough, negativity will be banished. but of course, there will be others cropping up in the meantime :(

seawulf575's avatar

There is a problem with this question, though. It does good to show how someone that had grown up with bigotry towards the LGBTQ community was trying to grow. But that is not the only bigotry out there. There is racial bigotry, sexual bigotry, political bigotry, religious bigotry and just about any other division in today’s world you can think of. And there are just as many out there that accuse of bigotry if you don’t fully embrace something. I disagree with someone’s views without being a bigot. I can feel that someone’s actions are wrong without being a bigot.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Disagreeing or hating someone’s existence is really what is being talked about. Some people hate LGBT people for existing, they want to basically erase them or force them to be straight. They don’t want to give them equal rights as citizens of the US. I guess those people dwell on the “behavior” of gay people. I understand not wanting to see big public displays of affection by both gay and straight if that’s what you mean, and as long as it’s equal, but consenting adults who want to date or marry shouldn’t be a problem for anyone.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie Soooo….all the slams on Christians are bigotry? Trump haters are bigots? Misogynists are bigots? Racists are bigots? The answer to all of those is yes, they are. The point I was making is that we probably need to identify what we are talking about when we say someone is a bigot. I have gay friends, black friends, Atheist friends, etc. I don’t care about any of those things. But if I disagree with their choices…I don’t want to follow that path…that doesn’t mean I’m a bigot or a hater. It means I’m different.

I can appreciate the guy in the original question doing the soul searching and opening up the idea he might be wrong to hate someone. I believe that is something we all need to do. If he looked deeply at himself and realized he had an actual hatred of someone because they were LGBTQ (or everyone who was), that to me is bigotry. And to me it doesn’t mean he is a bad guy, just an uninformed and close-minded one. I think ignorant is the term that applies.

And yes, I think the behavior of some of the people in the different groups is deplorable. But I look at that group as being a problem, not the entire spectrum of people that might be tossed into that same group. Example: A bunch of guys dressed up as women marching down the street celebrating their choices is okay in my eyes. A bunch of guys dressed up as women marching down the street doing erotically suggestive things with/to little kids or saying “We are coming for your children” is not. It isn’t their choice in life I am upset about, it is the behaviors they are exhibiting for those choices that I have a problem with. But that can go to any of the groups I mentioned above.

canidmajor's avatar

Outrage and hatred of bigots and all they represent and all they do to harm people is not bigotry, it is reaction to bigotry. The “if you hate the haters, you are a hater” trope is just a semantic trick to try to justify the original attitudes and behaviors that promote such outrage.

Trying to play it any other way is buying into the two-dimensional propaganda and is just silly.

So no, @seawulf575, hating Trumpers is not bigotry, it is the reaction of persons with a conscience to those without.

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor Thank you for proving my point. Your hatred has reduced anyone that dares to support Trump to a person without a conscience. Actually, for most of you it is reducing anyone that won’t try to one-up you on how much you hate Trump is viewed as a Trump supporter. Yet you don’t stop to ask any questions. You don’t stop to wonder who they are or even why they might support Trump. All you have is hatred that clouds your mind and vision.

Maybe you should take a page out of the playbook of the guy that was a reformed bigot.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 I am being totally serious right now, don’t you ever again accuse me of hating Christians, because it is completely false, it’s offensive, and I do not want that lie on social media period.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie Outside of the one question you posed I haven’t. But there are many that do. And isn’t it interesting how that plays out? I’ve been accused of hating gays, I’ve been accused of being a racist, I’ve been accused of being a xenophobe, transphobe and many other things on these pages. Many of them by people that hate Trump. So let me ask: if it is offensive when someone says something negative about you, do you agree it might be offensive when others to the same to someone else? After all, this gets right to my point about bigotry.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 Do you support gay marriage under the law? Do you support gay people in the military? I don’t think everyone against those things hate gay people, but I do accuse them of being bigoted, because they don’t want to give then equal rights under the law. It’s a matter of semantics. Not all Christians are against those things.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie I support the government getting out of the marriage business entirely. I’ve had gay friends that wanted to get married and I would have attended their ceremony. But making a law out of marriage is a farce.

As for gays in the military I really have no problem with it. However I do want to point out that all the rules of military bearing and commitment to duty should still apply. In other words if two gay guys are on duty and they abandon their posts to have a quicky somewhere, they should most definitely face the consequences. I feel the same way about men and women in the military. Oh! and before you start saying that is just hateful and not realistic, it actually happened when I was in the Navy. Two marines were assigned to control access to our reactor during decommissioning. Their superior came around to do a spot check and couldn’t find either of them. He looked in the bathroom and they were having sex in a stall. So they left uncontrolled access to the reactor vessel that had the lid off. Bad juju! Now, since this was about 1986–87 they didn’t allow gays in the military so they had to deal with that as well. But abandoning your post is completely unacceptable and would carry a much stiffer penalty.

I’m a Christian and I believe that homosexuality is considered a sin by God, or at least it was the last time he left us a message. However I also know that not a single human on this Earth has not sinned. Who am I to judge them? Now, by that same token, I do take offense when someone tells me I have to embrace and support the LGBTQ lifestyle. There is a far cry from me not speaking out against it and me fully supporting it. At that point they are telling me what I am supposed to do which is, ironically, exactly what they accuse Christians of doing.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 The government is in the business of marriage, we have civil marriage, that is how it is and it most likely will not change.

Why on God’s green earth would you bring up having a quicky? Ugh. That reminds me of a man I knew who thought gay men should not be in the military because they might come on to straight men they were serving with. Why are you even thinking about sex regarding a military question? Of course the rules about sexual activity would apply to all adults equally gay or straight.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie My history, as I have explained, has shown me it is possible. There is the issue of gay guys coming on to straight guys. Some straight guys are very offended by that. I, personally, have had gay guys come on to me, grab my ass, etc. I don’t get squirrely about it. I just tell them I’m not interested and that usually ends it.

Why am I thinking about sex on a military question? Hmmm….let me think about that. What makes a gay guy different from a straight guy? His sexual appetites. In a situation where there are a lot of guys, to put a guy that seeks guys for relationships would naturally bring up the sexual side of the consideration. And if you have many gay guys, that consideration is amplified.

I’m very much a realist, but not a bigot about a great many things. I do have a low tolerance for foolishness and have an over-developed sense of fair play. That all sometimes makes me seem recalcitrant but I believe in holding everyone to the same standard.

As for government being in marriage at all, they shouldn’t be. There are enough people in the world that can perform marriage ceremonies without including the government. There shouldn’t be separate tax scales for married people, No marriage licenses…there shouldn’t be any of that garbage. The government doesn’t need to keep it’s fingers in that pie at all. If two guys or two girls want to get married, that is their business, not the government. And that goes for Federal, State, and local governments.

JLeslie's avatar

I just can’t. Gay men have more sexual appetite than straight men? They are more out of control? That is bigoted. SMH. I am done.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie I wonder how we can account for the fact that so many women in the military are raped but you don’t hear of men being raped by men? Hmm

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie No, gay men don’t have MORE sexual appetites than straight men, they have DIFFERENT sexual appetites than straight men. It is what makes them gay. Stop trying to be obtuse.

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb How many women in the military are raped? Got a citation for that or are your just throwing out random garbage? But in the end that question is off topic anyway. We are talking about bigotry. Anyone that would rape a woman has lots of issues and bigotry (under the name misogyny) is one of them. The only reason we got off onto gays in the military is because @JLeslie asked me how I felt about them.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess we need to separate all men from women too then. Men can’t seem to control themselves. They shouldn’t work with women, go to school with women, be at a restaurant with women, or fight in combat with women. We need to protect women from men who might come on to them or think of them as possible sexual interests.

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