Guest: Tony McAleer
The Cure for Hate
To hate someone is a powerful emotional response that can easily escalate to violence. In his book, “The Cure for Hate,” former white supremist Tony McAleer takes the reader inside his life story. Born into an affluent Vancouver family, the events of his life lead him to join some of the most notorious neo-Nazi groups in Canada and the US.
My initial reaction to reading his book and interviewing him was one of great hesitation. I did not want to give voice in any manner to the ideas of hate and xenophobia. With trepidation, I opened the book to discover the story of a lonely young man attempting to find his place in the world – a world that did not understand his emotional needs – and subsequently every action and reaction to him was another push into an unimaginable life.
Once isolated from mainstream society, McAleer only had his new found community to bond with: a community that provided him with the sense of belonging he desperately wanted. Not to paint a picture of poor Tony, because as he freely admits, he made decisions that firmly placed him in that world, saying, “I am not offering excuses and I accept responsibility for what I did.”
Along the way, his beliefs changed. The journey away from hate was a long and arduous one that lacked compassion and understanding. Most certainly there was very little love, yet it is love, radical compassion that McAleer says he and others must have to overcome hate.
His book breaks down stereotypes and offers piercing insights into how regular people are drawn to hate and violent extremism. Most importantly, “ The Cure for Hate” offers insight into the long and challenging path out of that world.
We invited Tony McAleer, one of the founders of Life After Hate, to join us for a Conversation That Matters about his mission to help people leave hate groups.
Conversations That Matter is a partner program for the Morris J Wosk Center for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. The production of this program is made possible thanks to the support of the following and viewers like you.
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