Author Topic: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf  (Read 499 times)

Sandra Craft

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Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« on: May 03, 2019, 02:53:06 AM »
I don't know if anyone remembers McHugh (I didn't) but she was a mouthpiece for the alt-right who suffered a serious fall from grace, repented her past and is now trying to make up for it. 

The article is by Rosie Gray of Buzzfeed, and it is long -- I'm nearly tempted to call it a novella.  But it is interesting, particularly towards the end.

Get Out While You Can: once notorious for her racist and bigoted tweets, Katie McHugh saw the dark insides of the white nationalist movement

Quote
No one can be totally alone. Even if you’re hated by the majority of people, if you have kindred spirits cheering you on in the minority, you can survive. McHugh might have gone on longer if she hadn’t become toxic not only to the wider world but also to her alt-right former friends. In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt writes about the way the lonely deduce the worst, and the way that totalitarian government “bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man. … What makes loneliness so unbearable is the loss of one’s own self which can be realized in solitude, but confirmed in its identity only by the trusting and trustworthy company of my equals.” White nationalism thrives on the loneliness of the disaffected; McHugh’s own loneliness aided her escape — but with the help of the two friends.

McHugh recently discovered the English academic Roger Griffin’s theory of palingenetic ultranationalism — the idea that fascism hinges on the idea of rebirth, that the old order would be swept away and the new one heroically installed, promising a new beginning and a better life for the people. Now, she says, she sees how much of all this was a fantasy designed to comfort disaffected men who were isolated and insecure.

Knowing exactly what to do with McHugh isn’t easy; but the point is more what she is able to do, not what society is supposed to do for her. She said terrible things and helped empower a destructive social and political movement. She was part of a group of people who took advantage of others’ trust and obliviousness to smuggle racists into polite society. Now, she says, she’s changed. She knows that many people won’t believe that she has. “That’s why I’m saying I take full responsibility for everything I said, every mistake I made, anyone who I hurt in this process, period,” she told me last year.

At age 28, she has made herself unemployable in the career field she chose — even on its fringes. She perpetually struggles to support herself financially. It’s easy to see how someone in McHugh’s position might regret the path she took that got her here. Would she regret it if she still had friends, still had a writing job?
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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2019, 04:17:33 AM »
I read that piece the other day. (Keeping track of the doings of the "alt-right" is a minor hobby of mine.) It's an interesting read, I agree. There is some question in my mind whether she truly has shed her previous beliefs and mindset, or has merely realized that she ran herself into a dead end by pushing them so openly and wants to rehabilitate her image, in hopes of making a comeback.

Something I noticed in the close-up portrait, and I'm not sure I understand. It looks like she has some poorly pasted on or poorly made false eyebrows. I didn't know such things existed, and maybe they don't, but I found them intriguing, and as I say, perhaps I'm not understanding what I'm seeing.
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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2019, 04:41:33 PM »
Wow, I see what you mean.  The eyebrows look pasted on.

Now I'm embarrassed.  This is about a woman's mental life, and I'm talking about the way she looks.  Sorry.

Sandra Craft

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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2019, 05:12:49 PM »
Wow, I see what you mean.  The eyebrows look pasted on.

Now I'm embarrassed.  This is about a woman's mental life, and I'm talking about the way she looks.  Sorry.

It does stand out quite vividly.  The article mentioned health problems, and I was figuring that explained the eyebrows.
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hermes2015

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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2019, 06:06:38 PM »
I think she's wearing a wig as well.

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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2019, 07:08:54 PM »
Cancer?
Give no mercy to your fear.



Sandra Craft

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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2019, 07:10:45 PM »
Cancer?

It only mentioned diabetes 1, but who knows?
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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2019, 08:07:19 PM »
I regret initiating the side-track on the McHugh's appearance. It doesn't do justice to what is an intriguing and informative article.  :-\

The reason I question the sincerity of her new outlook is that it seems like for a long time she has had the core attitude that led her down her particular path, from a relatively early age. Still, others have made the same transition from extreme xenophobia to a more open-minded stance so I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, and I hope things work out well for her.

People who read the story will get a vivid picture of the workings of one particular network in the alt-right movement; an eye-opener if they hadn't learned previously about the way groups like that think and operate.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2019, 10:11:53 PM »
I had my own journey.  After 9-11 I not only hated Islam, I hated Muslims.  18 years later, and after many positive interactions with Muslims in the health care field, I no longer have that hatred. I’m a bit ashamed of how bigoted I had become, but my basic attitude has changed. Still not a fan of Islam, but I separate the adherents from the Idea itself. 

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Re: Katie McHugh turns over a new leaf
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2019, 02:27:05 PM »
I had my own journey.  After 9-11 I not only hated Islam, I hated Muslims.  18 years later, and after many positive interactions with Muslims in the health care field, I no longer have that hatred. I’m a bit ashamed of how bigoted I had become, but my basic attitude has changed. Still not a fan of Islam, but I separate the adherents from the Idea itself.

I have had similar generalised attitudes against certain groups of people before, but that has slowly changed. If you think about it, generalising such beliefs to entire groups has adaptive value for self-preservation, but it isn't rational. When you start thinking rationally you generally don't generalise assumptions and beliefs.
Give no mercy to your fear.