The Work of Humanity

The Jews control the media and finance system. (Jews will not replace us!) Immigrants are coming into our country to steal our jobs. (…of Muslims entering the United Sates…) Blacks are lazy and commit crimes. (..white and white only!…) And the word “diversity” is a codeword for white genocide. “We must secure the existence of our people, and a future for white children.” Or so I believed. I was a vulnerable, teenage boy, who was searching for something. And the bullies made fun of me any chance that they got. I felt marginalized, and powerless, and weak, and unheard. And all I wanted was to be powerful, when I felt the most powerless. And when a man intercepted me, one day when I was standing in an alley, smoking a joint. He grabbed the joint from my mouth, he looked me in the eyes and he said, “Don’t you know that that’s what the Communists and the Jews want you to do to keep you docile?” I didn’t know what a Communist was, or if I’d met a Jewish person, I hardly knew what the word “docile” meant. But this man’s charisma, this man who was America’s first neo-Nazi skinhead leader, promised me, that the people who bullied me would stop. I jumped at the opportunity. And I became a member of America’s first neo-Nazi skinhead gang, that day. As a young teenager, I had to find a place to fit in. And I got swastika tattoos. And Celtic crosses. And when I started to speak, people paid attention. …the skinhead movement or the white power movement… And I went from somebody who was ultimately powerless, to somebody who felt extreme power. And the violence, and the anger, and the racism, and the anti-Semitism, it focused my sense of purpose. And because of that, I was able to, eventually, lead America’s largest, and most infamous, neo-Nazi skinhead group. (…director of the Illinois chapter, a Chris Picciolini…) Well I believe we’re warriors today and we’re fighting for a great cause, which is the white race. I’m sick and tired of hearing the sob stories from kikes! I get sick and tired of seeing a Uncle Tom here. In 1991, my name found itself, into an ADL report, that listed me as the top, neo-Nazi skinhead running the biggest organization in Illinois. And I’d like to say I came, full-circle. I met a girl and I fell in love. 19 years old we got married and we had our first child. And when I held my child in my arms for the first time, I remembered what it was like to love something, instead of to hate. And my priorities shifted. For the last twenty years, I’ve been dedicated to dismantling what it was that I helped build. To help people find a more positive path, with a positive narrative. Because when I listen to the people who reach out to me for help, breaking away from racism and from hateful ideologies, I hear things like, “Unemployment” “Low education” A grievance, against somebody who did something to them. And now they judge a whole race of people based on that one experience. Hatred is born of ignorance. Fear is its father. Isolation, its mother. I’d never had a meaningful dialogue with an African-American before. But when he told me that his mother had died of cancer, and I felt his pain, I knew that he felt the same way that I did when my Grandmother, was diagnosed with cancer. And when I met Jewish people who came into my store, I couldn’t understand the vision that I had in my head of of them, because it didn’t match, what I was seeing in reality. And when I met the gay couple who held their son, I knew that they felt the same love, for their child that I felt for my own. I wasn’t raised on racism. I learned it. Embrace what you don’t understand. Make an effort, to connect with the people that you fear the most. This world is here for all of us. And while borders of countries and nations change over thousands and thousands of years, we remain the same. And if it weren’t for the ADL doing this work for over a hundred years, this would still be, in the shadows. And I’m proud to be partnered, with the ADL. Because that, is the work of humanity.

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