One of the arguments I’ve seen many times over the last 72 hours goes something like this: The white supremacists are just a small, pathetic group on the fringe and we should ignore them, not give them the attention they want. Chris Cillizza of CNN offered his version:
Bigots. And not very many of them. Let's ignore them and not give them the attention they so desperately crave. https://t.co/gmi2ZtnVls
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) August 12, 2017
But Christian Picciolini, a prominent former neo-Nazi, explains why this is the worst possible response, especially in a time when these people are routinely committing acts of domestic terrorism and talking openly about fighting a second Civil War:
"I was a prominent neo-nazi. Ignoring white extremists is a mistake." pic.twitter.com/ajdktgYHqu
— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 12, 2017
Ignoring them does not make them go away. It doesn’t protect society against their actions. The old cliche that sunlight is the best disinfectant got to be a cliche for a reason.