Tony McAleer, author of The Cure for Hate: A Former White Supremacist’s Journey from Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion, describes what led him to become a member of the white supremacist movement, and ultimately how and why he left. He says that it wasn’t only the ideology that attracted him to the skinhead scene, but there were deep psychological drivers that led him there. The movement gave him power, attention, acceptance and brotherhood when he most needed it. It was only after the birth of his daughter and son, and becoming a single parent, that his life’s trajectory changed. He connected to his children on a heart level, something he hadn’t done in years. And needing his mother’s help to raise them came at a cost: he would have to leave the movement. Through his journey of self-discovery, he was able to give up on anger and return to his true self.
Tommy Chong, half of the comedy team Cheech & Chong, describes experiencing anti-Asian racism from his childhood through his adulthood. He survived the racist incidents with his comedy, his music, and understanding the mindset of the perpetrators. He believes that if you don’t fight back, there’s nothing to fight. He learned the power of prayer, and prays for wisdom.
Kevin E Leven, Co-leader, Bucks County Anti-Racism Coalition, describes his experience growing up black in America in a well-off, privileged environment. This resulted in him internalizing racist ideas that undermined his self-worth and confidence. Leven is learning to prioritize himself and unlearn the patterns he learned as a child. Leven believes that anti-racism is a process, not a finish line. And once you are able to identify racism anywhere, especially in yourself, you are able to take steps to address it.
Keller, life coach, describes being bullied throughout her childhood,
leaving her with no self-esteem and suicidal as a teenager. At the age
of 34, she transformed her life and work after attending a Tony Robbins
seminar and learning how to change her attitude and life.