Fixing What We Broke With Former White Supremacist Christian Picciolini

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Christian. I'm really glad that you're here. Because it feels like. We are at a precipice in america right now. Where one misstep will send us plummeting into generations of racial hate and violence. And i think it is so very important to understand how people enter hate groups and white supremacist organizations so in order to get a better understanding. Can you tell us a little bit about your story in particular. Yeah thanks for having me. It's an honor to be here but it's also a privilege. I want to acknowledge that. Oftentimes people that look like me Second chances and we still live in world. Where black and brown folks aren't getting even first chances many cases so i wanted to point that out too. But thanks for having me. I was recruited at nineteen eighty-seven was fourteen years. Old into america's first neo nazi skinhead group. I spent eight years as a member of that. Until i was almost twenty three years old but before that the take a step further. I wasn't raised to be a racist. My parents are italian. Immigrants who came to the united states in the mid nineteen sixties and. When they came over they were often the victims of prejudice. They also had friends from all over the world different religions and backgrounds and it was always exposed to that so it wasn't a matter of my parents rearing that in me but because my parents are telling immigrants they also had to work extremely hard when it came over and they started a small business. They were gone seven days a week sometimes fourteen or sixteen hours a day so i didn't really see them a lot and i knew that they loved me. I was surrounded by a lot of love grandparents. Aunts and uncles. But i never saw my parents and i always wondered where they were and why they weren't around than it always came back to. Maybe i wasn't good enough. So i never really voiced that so i went looking for that elsewhere looking for that sense of family and when i was fourteen years old in nineteen eighty seven. I was standing in an alley and was smoking joint and a guy with shaped head came up to me and it was eighty seven so nobody really knew what skinhead was. I certainly and this guy walked up to me. And he pulled the joint from my mouth and he looked me in the eyes and he said that's what the communists and jews want to keep dessel

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