How Do People Become Radicalized…?

Dear Editor,

How do people become radicalized?

1. They are seeking an identity or peer group.

2. Many are loners.

3. They are looking for something that gives their life purpose.

4. They feel a need to be noticed.

5. They feel rejected by the culture around them.

6. They feel disenfranchised (feel deprived of power, right and privilege.

7. In order to cope with rejection they become angry and full of rage at the direction those around them have chosen.

8. They may have been traumatized.

9. They may feel ostracized.

10. They have a void to fill.

11. Radicalization happens when they meet with a radical leader who makes them feel included and valued.

12. Most are fascinated with the idea of becoming part of a “small brotherhood of superheroes who avenge their brothers/or communities.

13. They are motivated by the promise of capturing headlines.

14. They feel marginalized because their perception is that people treat them as insignificant or belittle their beliefs.

15. They consider others traitors or weak who do not think as they do.

16. They seek out likeminded people and withdraw from society.

17. They gather a community of people who share their views.

18. They feel others see them as insignificant.

All of these reasons can be applied to many different forms and factions and many different causes. Whether I am speaking of ISIS, the Redoubt Movement, alt-right groups, the Constitutionalists or the KKK, these groups exist because there are people in every walk of life who feel their lives, lifestyles, and things they hold near and dear to their heart are being threatened. It just takes a few loud and persuasive people to get out in front of them and yell, “The sky is falling!  Can’t you see it? Join us before it is too late.” And voila, you have a movement.

The interesting thing for me is that radicalization can be applied to almost any group. Whether you consider them good or bad is not relevant to this article. They all start in a very similar way, so let’s speak loudly of peace, kindness, charity, and tolerance. Let’s accept others religious differences and value and notice everyone. Maybe we can radicalize enough people to start our own movement. May there be peace on earth and let it begin with all of us.

Marlene Petersen

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.