Arthur Arno Michaelis, Arnold, Green Bay Packers discussed on Public Affairs Events
Honor of Paramjit car and SUV sing contra and Prakash Singh, Ranjit Singh and Sita sing sing Kalica. Of the lives lost in Oklahoma City in a Colombian sandy hook the movie theater in Aurora. The Boston marathon the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina. The pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida the bicycle path in New York City and of the people dying every day on the north side of Milwaukee and on the south side of Chicago and in Syria, Afghanistan, the holy land, Mexico Africa. We can find the gift in the wound. If we can forgive with vengeance with purpose with love. Thank you. Man reading. Of that prologue right now. As the most unlikeliest of people to read that prologue. Kalica? It's one of the co author of the book the gift of all. It's man here. Artem michaela's. One of the founding members of the same gang. The man who murdered six people that morning before taking his own life. The law too. Les page was a continuation of the suffering in the harm that Arnold had caused from his time. When he was affiliated. Arnold's journey. Out of the movement and Atkin to back into life. Required that he go back and go back, and he'll some of those. And I'll let him explain his journey. Out of out of hate and back into humanity. And the deliberate the deliberateness of his actions to come back to that same pain that he he inflicted on other other people and really cleanse those wounds. So growing up. I I wouldn't seem like the kind of kid who would it be came a violent racist Neo Nazi skinhead. I grew up on the rough streets of Juan Wisconsin. People who are chuckling. No or one is and the Ross thing and Matt blonde is probably keeping up with the Joneses, actually, as it's very well to do predominantly white. My family was like the poor family of Matlin. But that meant that for summer vacation. We only got to go north to dad's cabin instead of going to Hawaii like all my friends did. It's ridiculous to complain about that, and it is. But even though everything on the surface looked great in my childhood. I lived in alcoholics, and I 'cause a lot of tension between my parents, and it was very difficult for my mom to keep things together and keep the bills paid, and our nice awesome. Nice neighborhood. And she was miserable. Her relationship with my dad's sucked. And as a kid that hurt me. And rather than say, hey, mom. I love you. How can I help? I just started a distance myself from her distance myself from my dad, both of whom love me very much. And they let me know that all the time. But as I distance myself from my parents, and from all the adults in my life who fawned over me and wanted to help me, of course, myself got worse, and I started lashing out with other kids. I was a bully on the school buses early as kindergarten. I got a kick from causing havoc from getting teachers, and parents tear their hair out at my behavior. Unlike any other kind of addiction. What gets you off the first time like ten times later doesn't you'd have to keep escalating the fix. And so I went from being a bully on the school bus to get in fights in the school yard to breaking and entering vandalism burglary getting in fights in the street by the time. I was fourteen. I started drinking myself the first time, I drank I drank till I passed out, and I drank like that for another twenty years by the time. I was sixteen years old. I was. A full blown alcoholic. I was very familiar with violence been violence since I can remember, and it seems second nature to me. I convinced myself that I like to get in fights. And that I like to get hit which I did quite often because I was not a very talented fighter. I also thought that hate was just part of the kick. I think that every human being who has ever been a teenager has had at least one split-second when a teacher or a parent or somebody says like you can't do something you really wanna do you guys hormones raging? You're like, oh, I hate you. And fortunately for the bulk of us that just comes and goals. But for me I'd like grab onto that. That was part of the rush. So I was not only like I hate you. But I hate the school the principal kids and Mack wanted. I hate society the government, I hate cops. So I was like riding this wave of hatred drunk all the time fighting all the time. And that's who I was when I heard white power skinhead music Arno Michaelis. What are the co authors of the book the gift of? Now, I had been in a punk rock for a couple of years before that I still love punk rock. I never wanted it to sound like punk ass. I'm kinda gateway drug to become an barsky and add. There's a lot of great things about the idea of punk rock lake questioning authority. Not conforming thinking for yourself doing things yourself. But to me punk was involved breaking stuff and pissing people off and nothing pisses people off like a swastika. I wasn't ignorant as to why people were pissed off by swastikas. I I knew about the holocaust. I knew why that repulse people. But in the same way that a heroin junkie may do horrible things to get money for their drugs. I didn't care we're less loss came from all I cared was that it gave me that rush. It gave me the adrenalin of lashing out at society of shocking, people of hurting people. And so me and a couple of friends of mine. One of who was from Madison actually started away power skinhead gang. And we started away par skinhead band as well. I had been screaming in punk bands for a couple of years. I don't have a lick of usable talent as anyone who sees videos. My old bands will agree. But I was good at screaming really loud and good at getting people. Crazy punk shows. So I was a great frontman for this light bar skinhead band. Ed as was our guitar player. Pat O'Malley is from medicine and together we had quite a stage presence and our band was like a magnet for pissed off white kids and soon sooner gang grew for just a couple of us ten of Austin twenty of us, and as we radiated hate and violence into the world around us the world reflected back we live in a system and it produces output, according to our input. So when we input hate and violence in the world the world gives it back oftentimes multiples and before long Pat went to prison for shooting a kid that came to do a drive by in her house. Shortly thereafter, a second friend of mine earth. Excuse me, a dear friend of mine was shot and killed in a street fight. And rather than take these misfortunes that we definitely brought upon ourselves as a wakeup call. We spun all the bad stuff that happened to us to suit our narrative, so when our friend was shot and killed out on the street as he was walking around with a gun his jacket shaved head starting fights. With people rather than say, hey, maybe we should change the way we think in way, we act we blamed it on everyone else, and we fully bought into this white supremacist narrative that there is a Jewish conspiracy to kill all the white people on the planet earth. Now. That's ridiculous. It's good it should sound ridiculous because it is. But at the time considering who I was on this drunk angry. Adrenaline and alcohol. Addicted violent kid like that was literally music to my ears and everything that happened to us in the world was spun to suit that narrative, all that spin was constant. I we had to constantly be spinning every bit of information. We had to suit the story that we told ourselves about who we were and what our place in the world was that took a ton of energy. It was exhausting. Exhaustion came from all directions there were times or even early on in my seven year involvement as a violent racist where as hitting someone. There's an inner voice saying like what the hell are you doing? What is wrong with you? You a horrible person for acting this way. And I didn't have the courage to even acknowledge that voice. Muchas answer those questions. So I'm constantly trying to suppress that internet of how wrong, I am which was absolutely exhausting. Anytime a person is scribe to a fundamentalist ideology, whether it's racial or religious or political. They're in a constant exercise of spinning reality and also blocking things out from their day to day experienced that don't corroborate their ideology. And that's the bulk of the information that you experience everyday because the world is not a fundamental place. Really the only fundamental thing about this universe that we live in is change. And that change is constant now white supremacy like every other fundamental ideology. Is essentially based in fear. It's fear of change happening, which is the human condition. All human beings have a hard time dealing with change. I believe that all human spirituality from Abraham religions to Buddhism of which I am an adherence to sickie Hindu. What have you are really all means of finding peace with change? And I think today I'm closer to that than I've ever been. But back in the movement days, we were terrified a change. And as part of this conditioning that we put ourselves through and cutting ourselves off from the residence society. I had to disconnect from cultural. Qualities and cultural content that I had once joy, I am a lifelong TV film music and sports geek and pretty much all of those things are not allowed when you are a white bar skinhead being from Wisconsin. Like everybody else. I was part of the cult. We call the Green Bay Packers fans growing up, but as a white power skinhead, I couldn't very well. Get my buddies the other to watch the Packers game on Sundays because an NFL football team is pretty much the antithesis of a white power skinheads worldview as successful football team has people of all sorts of backgrounds on it. And they don't really have to get along together. But they have to like work as a unit if they wanna have a prayer of winning a game. So on Sundays, I would sneak off from my buddies. I locked myself in my dingy efficiency apartment, turn on this little TV. I had really low. I'd watch the Packer game like. Co Arthur Arno Michaelis, and it was ridiculous. It was I do it was ridiculous. Then. But again, I didn't have the courage to call myself out. It'd be like how stupid is this. Like, why didn't you get out of this? So that was exhausting. What was most exhausting though, was when people who claim to hate treated me with kindness, and I was very fortunate that that happened time and time again throughout my seven year involvement in hate groups. There were people like a Jewish boss lesbian. Supervisor black and Latino co workers who treated me with kindness when I least deserved it and in doing so they demonstrated for me a number of things one of them being hall wrong. I was about feeling superior to people because of their skin color or their sexuality or their religion. And they also demonstrated for me how human being should treat each other. And how much nicer life is when you're not caught up in fearful ignorant bullshit as I was. Now, I would love to say these actually kindness changed me on the spot. It would've saved me. A lot of trouble. It would result in a lot less harm in the society. But in truth. Most of these actually kindness. Actually seem to make me worse at the time. Now, I never attack someone who is kind to me. But there were times where I literally ran away from people who are treating me with kindness because it made me so uncomfortable. I was diligently practicing hate practicing violence every single day all day every day. Every waking moment, I was terrified of the world around me. I'm trying to maintain this narrative that anyone who's not white as my enemy in anyone who is white. It is on my side is a traitor. And when people treated me with kindness, they blew all that out of the water, and it made me very uncomfortable. It threatened everything that I thought I was because I had adopted this ideology as my identity. And it's very important understand especially in the current political climate, which I like getting I feel like a loop saying the current political climate and the current political climate as done like every piece of media. We see what it's all the more important understand that when we treat hostile people with kindness. We that is the greatest act of defiance that we can demonstrate when I was a white power skinhead everything I did was meant to provoke hostility everything I did was meant to provoke hatred. It was meant to cultivate, hatred in the world in the way that a farmer would, cultivate, and crop. If the hatred was directed at me, all the better. That's excellent. That's what I'm trying to accomplish. So when people got in my face, and they wanted to fight me. And they think they're going to beat the Nazi be. They are literally putty in my hands, and I got beat up as often as I beat other people up both of which were very very often and never once did violence. Make me any less violent. Never once did hate make me any less hateful. So when people treated me with kindness. They were dictating the rules of engagement in our interaction rather than allowing me to do. So when people reflected, my aggression, they're playing by my rules when people absorbed, my aggression, and just let it pass pass them. And they responded with compassion. They were making the rules. They were in control. And it was the bravery of those people that really put my exhaustion over the edge to the point where after seven years, I was literally looking for an excuse to leave that excuse came in kind of a two stage process in one thousand nine hundred ninety four I. My relationship with my girlfriend kinda crumble we had had a child about eighteen months before then go figure, but hate and violence and alcohol is not a recipe for a healthy relationship between a man and a woman, and I found myself a single parent to my year and a half old daughter. And a couple of months later, a second friend of mine was shot and killed in a street fight after a concert that my band had played. And so by that time, I lost gone. How many friends have been incarcerated it finally hit me that death or prison would take me from my daughter if I didn't change my ways. So those two catalysts were the excuse..