“Former Members of Hate Groups, What Helped You Leave and Rehabilitate Yourself?”

flannelheart wrote this:

“I was a racist skinhead in the late 80’s. The turning point for me was having a child. My son was just learning to walk. I was at the local mall, holding his hands above his head and walking with him in that classic parental style (me in full skinhead ‘uniform’) when, coming the other direction, was a black father doing exactly the same thing with his daughter. The smile on her face looked identical to that of my son’s and, I imagine, his to mine. It was at that unguarded moment that I realized, in a flood of understanding, that race has no bearing on who we are as individuals. And that, if I were to honestly claim hatred of a race, I would have to hate that little girl. And I could not. I dumped every bit of racist paraphernalia in the trash the next day, made one phone call [after?] another [to people?] in my local skins group telling them I was leaving and would never speak of the knowledge I had of criminal activity if they let me be. They, and I, honored that request for all intents and purposes. I was not raised as a racist. A part of that flood was realizing that I was an angry young man who was just looking for somewhere to belong. Somewhere to feel ‘special.’ Somewhere that condoned the violence that I wanted to perpetrate, as a result of my anger. I realize that maybe I should find the root of that anger in order to be a better father and, maybe, eventually a better person. That was almost 30 years and six children ago — all of whom are pretty healthy, happy, and tolerant individuals who know nothing of my past.”

Source: apple_kicks, “Former members of hate groups, what helped you leave and rehabilitate yourself?” Reddit. 14 August 2017 <http://tinyurl.com/ybsxhz4y>.

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