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Former Neo-Nazi Reveals 'The One Thing All Racists Have In Common'

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Former Neo-Nazi Reveals 'The One Thing All Racists Have In Common'

A former neo-Nazi has revealed the one trait that he thinks all racists have in common:

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For seven years, Arno Michaelis was a former leader of what was once the 'largest racist skinhead organisation in the world'.

After joining the white power movement when he was 17, he left the group in 1994 and has managed to reform himself and now helps others do the same.

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Speaking to LADbible, he said: "I've met former violent extremists of every stripe you can imagine and every single one of them I talk to - the common thread is 'trauma'.

"Hurt people hurt people.

"It's not only a truth but it's a tool. It's a tool I use on a daily basis.

Arno Michaelis became involved in the white power movement from the age of 17. Credit: Arno Michaelis
Arno Michaelis became involved in the white power movement from the age of 17. Credit: Arno Michaelis
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"That applies to people that drive rudely - it also applies to violent extremism.

"There is something that happened in their life that hurt them and that pain, untreated, is what lead them to believe violent extremist is a good idea.

"And that's absolutely true for white nationalists. It's more important than ever to remind ourselves of that.

"I notice nowadays that there's a contemporary trend of hostility towards racists, that is well intentioned, but it's very misguided."

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Arno's 'trauma' came a few years before he joined the group.

He says that, although he was brought up in a loving household, his father was an alcoholic, which lead him to start drinking from the age of 14.

Michaelis has since turned his back on extremism. Credit: Arno Michaelis
Michaelis has since turned his back on extremism. Credit: Arno Michaelis

"My father's alcoholism put a lot of pressure on my mom - financially, emotionally.

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"My mom suffered a lot throughout my childhood and as much as she tried to hide that and put on a happy face I could sense that she suffered and that hurt me as a kid.

"Rather than being a good kid and be like 'hey mom I love you, how can I help?' - I just started to distance myself from her and from my father who loved me very much, despite the disease that he struggled with.

"I believe that's what made me start lashing out.

"I got a kick out of repulsing people and causing trouble and it actually became like an addiction.

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"By the time I was 16 I was a full blown alcoholic and was very familiar with violence.

"I loved to shock people and nothing shocked people more than a swastika."

In the 80s, Arno was deeply involved in the white power movement and also a lead singer of the race-metal band Centurion.

He managed to leave the white power group when his daughter was born and felt 'exhausted' with being 'wrong' and 'racist.'

The key turning point was when a black co-worker offered Arno food when he was hungry.

"A part of me was like, what about Lani at work who gave me sandwich when I was starving, he's Afro-American and he's a nice guy. He knows that you hate him and he still fed you when you were hungry.

"Those acts of kindness are so powerful that it brought me to a point in 1994 where I was looking for an excuse to leave."

Arno now works with Serve 2 Unite/Parents For Peace - an organisation that aims to prevent radicalisation and help people recover after being radicalised.

Credit: Arno Michaelis
Credit: Arno Michaelis

Arno said: "We help people leave violent extremist groups of every sort.

"The organisation itself is staffed by, not only former white nationalists, but former jihadis and even former antifa are also involved with us.

"People from every violent extremist background you can imagine have all come together, along with brilliant mental health professionals and parents who have lost children to violent extremism."

If concerned about extremism, find out more at Parents for Peace.

To view Arno Michaelis' books visit Mylifeafterhate.com and Giftofourwounds.com.

Featured Image Credit: Arno Michaelis

Topics: Racism, UK News, Politics

Anish Vij
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