"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Memoir of former Neo-Nazi is a must read to understand reasons behind growing bigotry in Trump era. Featured

 

The Cure for Hate couldn’t have come at a better time, as the world grapples with growing threats of populism and alt right movements.

Penned by a former neo-Nazi, Tony McAleer, the book will be released on Wednesday, October 2 at 6:30 pm at Vancouver’s Langara College.

McAleer has made startling revelations about his previous avatar as a white supremacist who hated Jews, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.

This story of his life’s journey as a neo Nazi, who once believed that whites are an endangered species, helps in understanding where the hate comes from and how it is exploited by white nationalists to rope in impressionable teenagers to mobilize them against minorities. Ironically, a Jewish psychologist helped inspire him to abandon his racist ideology. This led to the formation of Life After Hate, an initiative started by McAleer and others to keep youngsters away from hate. His firsthand experience with racist ideology therefore also offers us a solution to deal with the problem.

McAleer’s work is important especially under current circumstances, following the emergence of Donald Trump as US President and the increased presence of far right parties on the political landscape of Canada. As we head toward a crucial federal election on October 21, with several candidates having ties with white nationalist groups, his book may provide some answers to questions about this phenomenon.

McAleer writes extensively about how fear of the unknown was created by the neo Nazi leadership, who frequently blamed immigrants for “taking away jobs” during the 1990s, resulting in violent attacks against racialized groups.  He takes “moral responsibility” for the 1998 murder of Nirmal Singh Gill, a caretaker at the Guru Nanak Sikh temple in Surrey, even though he was not directly involved in the crime.

Gill was beaten to death in the temple’s parking lot. Five skinheads involved in the racially motivated hate crime were eventually convicted and sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison after they pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The book reveals that as part of his duty, at personal risk, Gill had tried to stop neo-Nazis from vandalizing cars parked at the gurdwara. Not only that, Gill tried to resist their attempt to steal his iron bracelet that all practicing Sikhs wear as an article of faith.  

Years after the murder, McAleer paid a visit to the temple, to pay his respect to the deceased. At the temple, he indicated that even though he was not involved in the killing, he can’t claim “zero percent” responsibility because his racist propaganda may have been a contributing factor. He now wants part of the proceedings from the sale of his book to go to the gurdwara to help the temple keep Gill’s legacy alive.

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