Author Leonard Zeskind visited Big Rapids March 4 to speak to students and community members about immigration and his book “Blood & Politics.”
Zeskind’s book, which took 15 years to write, is an in-depth look at the development of the white nationalist movement. Written in a narrative non-fiction form, Zeskind uses ironic glances to analyze the ideas of confirmed national socialists.
“I worked really hard to make this book understandable,” said Zeskind.
Reviewed by several white nationalist publications, “Blood & Politics” addresses the white nationalist movement as a serious phenomenon in America.
Witnessing the affect race played in his own community, Zeskind extensively researched both the origins and current conditions of white supremacists, anti-Semitic groups and anti-immigration legislation.
“I was somebody who wanted to change the U.S. on race,” said Zeskind.
He views the white nationalist movement as a serious phenomenon in America. It is this perspective he feels society must develop in order to affectively address the ideas of racism in America.
“It’s the piece that tears at the heart of American life,” said Zeskind. “We fought a civil war over the question of race.”
Visiting Ferris’ Williams Auditorium, Zeskind spoke to students and community members regarding the ideas political figures such as Pat Buchanan and white nationalists such as David Duke have revealed to be present in American society. Zeskind used the large amount of political support these individuals previously have gathered from white voters, to explain both the conscious and unconscious trends of American racism.
Criminal justice major Jake Krese thinks the issues of race are of great importance to America. Krese said pro-immigration legislation has positively influenced American history.
“It’s the foundation of our country,” said Krese. “America wouldn’t be America without it.”
For applied speech communication sophomore Duane Roberts, the university’s decision to address forms of social racism has helped to create a more open-minded campus at Ferris.
“We are becoming more accepting of others,” said Roberts. “We have so many diversity programs that help promote awareness.”
Roberts thinks Zeskind’s message of acknowledging the influence of race in the United States also draws attention to its importance. By understanding the effects of race in American culture, Roberts said his generation can learn how to address it effectively.
Zeskind is currently promoting his book “Blood & Politics.” For information regarding his book, articles and essays contact Leonard Zeskind at leonardzeskind.com. n