CHRISTOPHER PICCOLINI IN 1992.
There is a strong factual case that can be made for white superiority (what the press calls white supremacy). There is also a strong philosophical case that can be made for white identity (also called white supremacy by the press).
To be connected to your people and to reality does not require burning down black churches or beating people up for no reason.
The lost soul at the heart of this story latched onto the violent skinhead movement at a young age, but later in life turned traitor to his race and to practical common sense.
Instead of renouncing violence, but proclaiming his love for his people, he stabbed them in the back and became an antiracist.
Excerpt from Huffpost
As a 14-year-old in 1980s Chicago, Christian Picciolini was ripe for recruitment into a hate group: He was bullied, didn’t have a lot of friends and felt “abandoned” by his Italian immigrant parents who worked long hours.
One day, when he was standing in an alley smoking a joint, a car pulled up, and a man with a shaved head came out, pulled the joint out of his mouth and said:
“Don’t you know that’s what the Jews and the Communists want you to do to keep you docile?”
That man was Clark Martell, a national leader of the white supremacist skinhead movement. Martell’s history of violence, according to a 1989 Chicago Tribune article, included targeting LGBTQ people and people of color. He once attempted to burn down the house of a Latino family.
Picciolini was recruited into Martell’s neo-Nazi skinhead group in 1987, and when Martell ended up in prison a couple of years later, Picciolini took the helm.
“He made me feel powerful when I felt powerless, gave me family and a sense of purpose,” Picciolini told HuffPost. “I was a nobody kid people picked on for having a funny name ― and [a few years later] I was respected and powerful.”
Over a decade later, in 2009, he co-founded Life After Hate, a small nonprofit run entirely by former members of America’s radical far-right, dedicated to supporting those who have left, or are seeking to leave, hate groups in the U.S.
It’s the only organization of its kind in the country ― and it’s up against a growing problem: The number of hate groups in the U.S. has doubled in the last 10 to 15 years, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and around 80 percent of those groups advocate white supremacist beliefs.
One key strategy the group uses to help people leave extremism behind is to facilitate in-person meetings between former extremists and members of groups they once discriminated against ― for instance, having a former Islamophobe meet an imam, or letting a onetime Holocaust denier talk with a survivor.
“As former extremists from the far right, what changed us is when we received compassion from the people we least deserved it from,” Picciolini said. “Often times they’ve never met a black person or had a meaningful conversation with a Muslim or Jewish person. I get them into a situation where they can sit and talk, and realize there are more things in common than differences.”
The strategy derives from “contact theory,” or the well-researched idea that contact with groups from different backgrounds can increase tolerance. It seems to have worked for certain high-profile extremists, such as former white nationalist Derek Black, who began leaving the movement after being invited to a series of Shabbat dinners by a Jewish fellow college student, and Life After Hate Deputy Director Angela King, who left the skinhead movement after being befriended by a group of Jamaican women in prison.
Jared Taylor of American Renaissance is one of the SPLC’s so-called haters. I’m reminded of an article he wrote a few years ago about why he likes black people. Being a separatist, segregationist, or White Nationalist does not require anyone to indiscriminately hate, although we’ve argued here many times before that righteous hatred is a good thing.
Separatism simply requires that one acknowledge a natural preference for people who look the way they do. It means being honest enough to admit to membership in a tribe (the German tribe, the Irish tribe, etc.) and then pledge loyalty to one’s tribe when it’s under attack.
Turning traitor is one of the worse things one can do.
Piccolini is a traitor. He was and still is a person with issues related to living. He should be shamed and shunned. Let him make a living as a tattoo artist or something.
CHRISTOPHER PICCOLINI TODAY.