A tweet by Davy Carter, the former Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives and a resident Cabot alerted us to this NBC documentary on how a family in Lonoke County became radicalized by Nazis.

Jacob Scott Goodwin is in jail in Charlottesville, Va., awaiting trial in the beating of a black man during the white supremacist rally there last August. Filmmaker Ed Ou spent time with Goodwin’s parents and at Nazi rallies hoping to understand how they could so easily stand with hatemonger Billy Roper, who would like to see all people of color, Jews and gay people wiped from the face of the earth.

Goodwin’s mother complains she simply wants to support her son, as any good mother would. But she eagerly takes up the cry “Hail Victory,” calls members of the hate group her friends and describes her son as a political prisoner, despite Ou’s attempts to point out to her the contradictory nature of her beliefs. (Roper’s group critiques Ou as “a funny flagrantly gay reporter.”) 

It’s a tragic and dismaying story of the rise of hate groups in these Trumpian times and how easy haters are finding it to recruit among people who need a cause, need to feel like they belong to something, will believe anything, and are unfamiliar and unconcerned with historical fact. Goodwin’s mother listens to her son’s incoherent repudiation of the Holocaust and, questioned by Ou what she thinks of that, asks “What difference does it make to me?”


Like Carter says, watch it.

CORRECTION: A reader points out that it was not the NBC filmmaker but a Fox News reporter who was referred to as a “funny, flagrantly gay reporter” by the ShieldWall.