Tony McAleer, who comes from a middle-class education in British Columbia, channeled his anger to join skinhead groups and then recruit for neo-Nazi groups including White Aryan Reistance. Of this excerpt from his book The Cure for Hate: A Ex Ex White Supremacist & # 39; s Journey from Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion, McAleer writes:
The ego had full control and my life was full of conflicts – conflicts with my parents, my girlfriend, society in general and above all myself. In that world of conflict, there was negativity and judgment everywhere – for Jews, immigrants and women. The irony is that of that world of ideology and violence that was also so full of misogyny, that the catalyst that triggered the awakening of my heart, my return to humanity and feeling, was holding back my daughter .
The transformation that took place over the next few years was not rapid, but began in that delivery room.
A few months after my trip to Vancouver from my trip to visit the skinheads of the Aryan nations in Alberta, the phone rang. Dan Sims asked me if I could host two skinhead girls who would be out in Vancouver for a couple of weeks. This was the thing about the skinhead scene in North America: with a phone call you could organize a place to stay in almost every city on the continent, and Vancouver was no different.
Ten days later Michelle and her friend arrived. While I did my best to be a good host, they did their best to be great guests, and several times I found myself going home in closets and a fridge full of food and a couple of beer flats . Really, a game made in heaven. Michelle and I didn't take long to become an object. At the end of the two weeks, he stayed and his friend returned home.
My mother felt an instant dislike for Michelle. I remember driving my mother to the airport for work one afternoon when she gave me the beak. "The beak" was my mother's nickname, since it caught me when I was a little girl in a cross between annoying and a locker room from a real English school director with the values of a past era.
"I don't like her. She'll be pregnant with you and ruin your life," he said with his English middle-class accent. "You're a fool because you don't even see it." In the end, he concluded, with great emphasis, "Make sure you use protection."
"Don't worry, I've got everything covered," I replied confidently.
I grew up without sisters and I attended a Catholic school for boys only: what could go wrong? When Michelle told me it was sterile, I thought I had won the jackpot, but in reality, I was like a lamb brought to the slaughter. Or that's how I saw the situation when I was still a scared little boy who wasn't able to take responsibility for anything and had a deep rage that I directed towards Michelle and, later, women in general.
After about three months, the honeymoon phase of the relationship began to fade and we were fighting worse than Sammi and Ronnie, the infamous on-again, off-again pair of the reality show "Jersey Shore". After we broke up for the third time that week, Michelle spoke the words that no 22-year-old boy (God knows I wasn't a man at this age) wants to hear, "I'm pregnant."
I was amazed, as if I had been psychologically punched in the intestine, and I couldn't find words. My mind was racing, looking for every possible angle to get out of this.
In a panic, I ran to the nearest pharmacy, where I bought a pregnancy test. I waited impatiently while Michelle went to the bathroom. After a couple of minutes, it emerged and gave me the test: positive. It must be defective, I thought, and ran back to the store to get another kit. After another wait, the same result: positive. I returned to the store several times to buy different brands, with no results. I was thinking, hoping, praying that they were somehow defective.
I wanted so much that the tests were wrong, but knowing that Michelle was pregnant, there was no other choice but to have the baby if I seriously wanted to save the white race. This was the white suprematist ideology, dating back to the Fourteen words on how to guarantee the existence of whites and a future for white children.
The belief was that the Jews were behind the abortion in a conspiracy to kill white children, and with a declining birth rate among whites, having children was an imperative to favor the white race and ensure its survival go on.
This narrative also reflects the intrinsic misogyny of the white suprematist ideology in the way it places women on a pedestal while at the same time dehumanizing them only by enhancing their ability to bear and raise children.
The role of women in the movement was very specific. They were revered for their ability to have children, but in a very condescending way in which they were treated as second-class citizens.
The only women who were genuinely respected were those who could fight, and they were recognized and appreciated for their hardness, for their capacity for violence, not for their humanity.
Looking back, I see that the heavy misogyny inherent in ideology has led to dysfunctional romantic relationships between people who did not know how to have a positive connection with themselves or with others. My report was full of verbal and emotional abuse flowing in both directions. We have become targets for each other of anger and pain, and our relationship reflected so many people around us.
Over the months, Michelle was able to hide her pregnancy with the help of a sweatshirt the odd time that we went to family dinners (which was not often, since my family did not speak to me because of the their rejection of my white supremacist activities) for holidays like Christmas and Easter, when we had to pretend to be happy family. We were sweating for fear of being discovered.
It was no hurry to tell my mother because she would have invited only a strong signal, so we delayed giving the news as long as possible. In the end, however, we could no longer delay.
Nervously, I dialed my parents' number, hoping with every ring that no one could receive, but on the fourth ring my mother answered.
"Mom, I have something to tell you," I said.
"Oh no! And now? "He said, as I heard her preparing to hear bad news, which is typical of my phone calls.
"It's Michelle. She's pregnant."
I could hear, my mother started losing it, and then her full-strength beaking took effect: "Idiot, I told you she would get pregnant! Fucking idiot, you've ruined your life! "
I heard the wall-mounted kitchen phone receiver drop and start banging against the wall as my mother walked on the floor with her high heels, cursing. Until today, I don't think I've ever heard so much vulgarity coming out of the mouth of a real middle-aged English.
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To be honest, he was probably cursing because he knew how much work this girl would be for her, given the current state of my life. I was not able to be a responsible father and a family man.
So my father picked up the handset. "Tony, what is your mother angry about?"
"It's Michelle. She's pregnant."
He paused. "Are you sure?"
"Oh yes, I'm sure," I said as I thought about the size of her belly.
"How far is it?" Churches. He was the doctor in him.
"Half past seven."
"Seven and a half months and didn't you say that?"
To which I timidly replied: "No, no, no, not seven and a half months. Seven and a half minutes. The contractions are seven and a half minutes away. I call from the St. Paul hospital! "
By now my parents would have become grandparents and there would be no more beaks. At least not for that.
What happened next was extraordinary. Not more than 20 minutes later, I was in the delivery room with Michelle, amid all the chaos, screams and vulgarities normally associated with your average childbirth, trying to make sense of everything and feeling useful as a spare tool. While Michelle snorted and puffed and grunted it reached a crescendo, I could see a child begin to emerge.
I saw the nurses intervene to complete the process, cut the umbilical cord and wrap the baby. And then a nurse turned around and handed me the baby.
She was a beautiful girl. I took her in my hands and looked at her as she waved her little fists clenched in the air with her eyes closed and curled her face as if trying to come to terms with her change in the surroundings.
I was terrified when the nurse handed me over, fearing that I would do something wrong, worried about not knowing how to treat her appropriately, since she was so small, fragile and delicate. But as I marveled at the little human being writhing in my hands, he opened his eyes.
At that moment, knowing that my face was the first picture his brain would take, I connected to another human being for the first time since … I couldn't remember when. We were tied up. I felt a tingling start in the upper part of my scalp, traveling along my body and coming out of my feet and into the floor. It was an intense sensation. I only knew one thing: that moment had changed me.
I didn't know how or how, but I left that delivery room a different person than the one who entered.
I wish I could say that the birth of my daughter meant the end of my involvement with skinheads, neo-Nazis and white supremacists, but it didn't happen that way. I had invested too much personal and social capital in my identity to let it go. My deepest trajectory in the world of white supremacy has gained too much momentum.
So even though something in me started to change the day my daughter was born, I was still 100% dedicated to the cause of the white supremacist. I continued my journey in search of purpose and attention, as well as my transition from skinhead to bomber and Doc Marten boots to political leader in a suit and tie.
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