Many times some people make bad choices. Later on in life, after landing in prison, they see the light and try to reform their lives. That is what happened to Christian Piccioloni who was in a neo-Nazi group thirty years ago. He now works with those in white supremacy groups to try and get them out and help them to reform their lives. Piccioloni tells the secret to all the violence behind the hate groups. He warns these white supremacy groups are not trying to outdo each other, they are trying to outdo Timothy McVeigh who pulled off the worst anti-government terrorist act which killed over 100 people in 1995. It is the second-worst terrorist attack to 9/11. Piccioloni warns the world, it will only get worse.
The recent attacks on Pittsburgh, El Paso, Dayton, and New Zealand are not because of guns. He tells reporters, guns or no guns, these ruthless people will kill anyone, any group of people with anything they can get their hands on. “This is not a gun problem. It is a hate problem.” Bombs, knives, airplanes, vehicles, weapons of any kind are used to kill.
The El Paso shooter killed 22 people, including his own sister at a Walmart store. All the people were doing was shopping for back to school for their kids. The shooter left a manifesto stating he was fighting off a “Hispanic Invasion” as he shot and killed the people. Thirteen hours later, in Dayton, Ohio, nine people were killed within thirty seconds. Getting rid of the guns is not the answer. Picciolini said, “I have to ask myself, Do we have white-nationalist airline pilots?” There have to be. I knew people in powerful positions, in politics, in law enforcement, who were secretly white nationalists. I think we’d be stupid and selfish to think that we don’t have those in the truck-driving industry.”
Picciolini runs a global network called the Free Radicals Project. It is like rehab for white supremacy to detoxify the hate and pull the people caught up in the groups and extremist movements which plague our society. He gave a speech on his thoughts and explained what it means to deradicalize extremist.
He was asked to give his thoughts on the shooting in El Paso, Texas over the weekend. Picciolini stated, “I’m as horrified as everyone else is. And frustrated, because this is something I’ve been banging the drum about for 20 years that the escalation of violence would get worse. The [white-supremacist] ideology is spreading more into the mainstream than it ever has before. There aren’t checks and balances to counter it. There aren’t programs being funded to help people disengage from extremism. Some of the rhetoric coming from the very top is emboldening extremists.”
Another question he was asked is about the internet and his thoughts on the white supremacist movements if it is the same as ISIS. Picciolini responded, “It’s a very parallel process. The propaganda is very similar. The internet itself is a platform. Thirty years ago, marginalized, broken, angry young people had to be met face-to-face to get recruited into a movement. Nowadays, those millions and millions of young people are living most of their lives online if they don’t have real-world connections. And they’re finding a community online instead of in the real world, and having conversations about promoting violence.”
Picciolini was asked if anything in the manifesto surprised him. He responded, “Unfortunately I’ve read every one of these things, since the first, in 2009, when James von Brunn walked into the D.C. Holocaust Museum and killed a guard [Stephen Johns]. He left a manifesto that had the same conspiracy theories, and much of the same language, that [we’ve seen] in other shootings up until this week this whole idea of the “Great Replacement,” of “white genocide,” the belief that immigrants are going to overwhelm the white race. That, frankly, is a crock of s—. But we see things in the news that seem to kind of stand behind these notions that border facilities are overwhelmed. Even though it’s not really a threat to anyone’s race. Migration has been happening for centuries, and we’re still here. Nations change over centuries, borders have been different. But that’s all the language white supremacists have been using for decades.”
His closing was that of President Trump’s words from Charlottesville, “I believe there are good people on both sides.” He said he has to believe that otherwise, he cannot help anyone.