How a reformed white supremacist helps others let go of their hate

NEW YORK — Words of hate were posted by the El Paso shooter, just minutes before he entered the Walmart and went on a shooting rampage.

The New Jersey Attorney General also announced that hate crimes were up in the state — the most in a decade.

What exactly drives people to these hate sites and groups?

Reformed white supremacist Christian Picciolini, who now works to de-radicalize people who are part of white nationalist groups

When he was 14, he was driven into an extremist ideology after his parents constantly worked. As Picciolini went searching for a “family,” he was found.

He eventually turned his life around and now works to de-radicalize other white supremacists. Picciolini works with the Free Radicals Project, which aids individuals and their families or communities in exiting hateful, violence-based "radicalization," through non-aggressive, community-led methods of resiliency-building, reconnection and making amends.

Picciolini told PIX11 he "listens for potholes" or things that appeared in a person's life journey that may have detoured them into the life, including trauma, poverty and abuse, and he works with them to help repair the potholes.

"When those potholes are filled, and they're on sturdier ground, often the crutches of racism are something that they don't need," he said.

For more information on the Free Radicals Project, click here.

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