I celebrated Hanukkah recently with some Jewish friends in Memphis. Their welcome would have been unthinkable to an earlier version of myself. For 15 years, I lived a life full of hate, leading and recruiting white supremacists to white power groups in the United States and Germany. Before leaving the neo-Nazi movement in 2002, I would have been more likely to carry a torch than light a menorah.
I'm grateful that I found the strength to leave the white power movement - but the act of turning away doesn't immediately make someone a good person.
After leaving the extremist environment, I was still hard-wired to hate. I moved my family to another town to get a fresh start, and the only apartment I could afford was being rented by a Turkish Muslim man.