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Childhood Torment, Social Isolation Can Turn Minds Toward Hate

August 24, 2017

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Cries of “Nazis, go home!” and “Shame! Shame!” filled the air as Angela King and Tony McAleer stood with other counterprotesters at the “free speech” rally in Boston last weekend.

They didn’t join the shouting. Their sign spoke for them: “There is life after hate.”

They know because McAleer and King were once young extremists themselves, before they co-founded the nonprofit Life After Hate to help former white supremacists restart their lives. To hear them talk about their pasts hints at what may be in the minds of those inside the far-right fringe groups whose actions have ignited raw, angry passions across the country. What are people thinking when they spew hate? Are they all true believers? What’s more, how does someone get that way?

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Image via Flickr AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by Bob Jagendorf

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.