As with all political groups there are the mainstream followers and those that considered themselves t be extremists. This was a topic commonly discussed in class, and observed in class readings such as White Man Falling by Jesse Daniels. In the world outside of prison it isn’t always obvious which groups are part of the mainstream and which are associated with the extreme. For example, one could look at the SPLC (the Southern Poverty Law Center) and see an abundance of groups such as the KKK or The Aryan Brotherhood and still have no idea which group is more violent or more filled with hate then the other. Foe example, the group that lists themselves as the National Alliance does not sound as though they would be a white supremacist group or a violent group of any sort. However, if one looks deeper into the history and beliefs of the group they would find that William Luther Pierce, the author of the “The Turner Diaries” was once a leader of this group. “The Turner Diaries” are considered by the Southern Law Poverty Center to be the bible of racist right amongst extreme white supremacist groups across the nation. To those who do not know, The Turner Diaries is a novel that depicts a future of anarchy and chaos as the white race fails to prevent any of the disaster in fear they will be labeled as racists. It also the novel that has fueled lone wolfs across the country into performing terrorist acts against other races. Most notably, it has been the inspiration for the bombing of the J. Edgar Hoover building and is considered to be the main cause of the Oklahoma City bombings. This just goes to show that it is not easy to differentiate between which groups are parts of the mainstream and which groups are part of the extremists.
The same concept that applies to members of prison gangs based upon racial lines. Although many of the members that are a part of these radical violent gangs stand firmly behind the beliefs of the white nationalist movement, there are many members that only associate because they fear for their safety. Take for example this video. In this video you do not see a bunch of extreme racists preaching the death of their different skinned brothers. Instead you see a gang of men who associate as way to survive their time in San Quentin. Many of the men speak of their fallen brothers, but they do not speak with anger in their tone, merely sadness and regret. These men are all part of a gang called The Mexican Mafia, one of the most violent prison gangs in the southwestern region of the United States. However, much like the gangs outside of prison they cannot be judged as one singular unit, there are varying levels of infatuation and belief within each individual gang as there are varying levels of intensity amongst different nationalist groups. In conclusion, I am by no means justifying the formation of racist groups and gangs, I am merely stating that members of each group are not always as balck and white as we would like them to be.