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My Life After Hate Paperback – December 31, 2010
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About the Author
"From the time I was 17 until I was was 24, I was a substantial part of the white power movement. I was a founding member of what went on to become the largest racist skinhead organization on Earth, a Reverend of a self-declared Racial Holy War, and lead singer of the race-metal band Centurion, selling over 20,000 CDs of the most violent, hateful music ever made. There is blood from innocent people on my hands that will never wash off. There are kids today who listen to my voice bellowing my lyrics as they're getting drunk and geared-up to go out and hurt people. After 7 years of involvement, the combination of single parenthood and higher education finally instilled enough doubt in the racist dogma that I had vehemently promoted for so long to allow sight beyond the narrow view I clung to. There was one particular afternoon that marked my epiphany: I arrived early to pick my daughter up from daycare. No one had noticed me, so I took in the moment, watching with teared eyes as my little girl played with the other kids. It struck me that they were all children; not black children, or white children, but the sons and daughters of mothers and fathers. I thought of all the people I had hurt, whether with my own hands or by lighting some psychopath's fuse. Those people had moms and dads and brothers and sisters. How did their loved ones feel when they saw this person who was so special to them battered and broken? How horrible would it be to have my daughter exposed to such violence in the slightest aspect? Love for my child thawed a dormant empathy for people that I was never aware of. I have changed drastically over the years since then, becoming a person who seeks out and embraces the diversity of our wonderful human family. I didn't become this person with the intention of simply being the antithesis of what I was. It happened very organically once I became too exhausted to maintain the lies necessary to be a racist. Today T strive to study and practice basic human goodness—our innate need for compassion and the ability to give it. This core truth serves as the foundation for peace as it’s common to every world religion and transcending of ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and any other sort of difference that seems to sort human beings.
Top customer reviews
We can learn much from a fearless intrepid soul who dares to make such a journey. It is not an easy read-- not for its structure or style for Michaelis' storytelling ability is fluid and compelling, but for its content and the realization of what the human psyche is capable of when it follows a direction of bitterness, chaos and destruction. At the same time, it is a tale that is inspiring and engenders hope-- for if a singular human being can make this kind of change, there is hope for all of humanity.
I am awaiting volume II where Michaelis shares with us what honor and gallantry came from this gritty and deeply, deeply human story and where it has now led him.
Highly recommended for all the absolutely right reasons. I won't spoil it for you...