Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Former Neo-Nazi Reveals How He Healed From Hate: ‘Nobody Is Irredeemable’

I encourage reading the whole article at the following link.

Tony McAleer
,The Daily Beast•November 24, 2019

As one of the voices featured in the documentary Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation, which premiered at the DOC NYC film festival, I have seen several cuts of the film in its development.


There is an old expression that “hurt people hurt people” and when we can engage people in the darkest expressions of their despair with curiosity and understanding, we set the foundation for change and healing. As a co-founder of Life After Hate, I can attest to the changes hundreds of people have made through similar efforts by our organization.


Everything is connected, and when we judge and dehumanize another person for their expressions of despair, when we refuse to acknowledge the humanity in those whose behavior or ideology is abominable, we deny a part of our humanity.


When we are compassionate with someone it is like we have a mirror that allows them to see their full humanity reflected at them when they are incapable of seeing it themselves. We help those people recognize their humanity, and in doing so help those people recognize the humanity in others. I truly believe that the level to which we dehumanize others is a mirror reflection of our dehumanization and disconnection, and we can’t recognize the humanity in others unless we can recognize our own humanity. Life After Hate’s philosophy is that nobody is irredeemable, and that message is also at the core of the film. It is hard to have compassion for someone who has no compassion themselves, but aren’t those the people who need it most? Everyone is capable of living and contributing to society as well as repairing and healing the very harms they created.


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