The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

This Former Neo-Nazi Has An Urgent Message For Donald Trump

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

 

Former American neo-Nazi and Life After Hate co-founder Christian Picciolini was deeply disturbed by President Trump’s decision to stop a U.S. government program that fought violent extremism in all forms from targeting white supremacists.

“I think that’s a mistake,” Picciolini said, acknowledging that prior administrations have “recognized the threat within our own borders.” In Trump’s America, “we have a domestic terrorism issue that we hardly talk about because we’re so focused on the threat coming from overseas.”

Neo-Nazi leader Clark Martell recruited Picciolini to the Chicago Area Skinheads in 1987 when he was just 14 years old. At 18, Picciolini was leading the group, with Martell in prison. By the mid-’90s he was through, but his memories haunt him to this day.

Picciolini co-founded Life After Hate in 2009, a non-profit geared toward helping people leave hate groups.

“The imagery of white supremacy has changed over the last three decades,” he explained. “We knew that we were turning more people away than we could eventually have on our side.”

Picciolini understands why these hate groups are so hard to abandon.

“White nationalists, just like any other extremist group, promise paradise,” Picciolini told Vox. “They promise that the problems of crime and the problems of ‘white genocide’ are going to go away.”

“The problem,” he explained “is that nobody is trying to take [anything] away from you.”

Watch:

 Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.
This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Youtube Screenshot

In late 2011, John Oliver and his Daily Show cameraman made a trek to my office, then in Providence, Rhode Island, to take me to task. I had recently referred to the Tea Partiers who had pushed America to the brink of a disastrous default as "economic terrorists."

Oliver had apparently swallowed whole a series of barbs directed my way by a Wall Street Journal blogger who didn't seem to like women much. The blogger kept calling me the "Civility diva" and a "Baroness Catherine Ashton lookalike." (A member of the British parliament, Ashton was said to be homely.) He was quite the wit.

Keep reading...Show less

Donald Trump and Mike Pence

Youtube Screenshot

Several mainstream media outlets are manufacturing a political narrative that the discovery of classified documents at the homes of both President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence should alleviate pressure on disgraced former President Donald Trump, who not only took a vast trove of federal records but also refused to give them back.

Biden and Pence have both cooperated with federal investigators to recover and return documents that belong to the government, and both situations have rekindled scrutiny at the overall system of federal document classification and retention, which appears to be in serious need of reform. Their two examples stand in stark contrast to Trump’s behavior, and possible misconduct, regarding his own handling of government records.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}