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Words of Hate Transformed Into Art

Above: Art from "Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate" exhibit Speyer Book

Aired 3/13/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Tammy Gillies, director of the San Diego chapter of the Anti-Defamation League

Frank Meeink, former Neo-Nazi recruiter, author of "Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead"

Transcript

KPBS Evening Edition

Words of Hate Transformed Into Art

Above: Tammy Gillies, director of the San Diego chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, and Frank Meeink, former Neo-Nazi recruiter, author of "Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead," talk to KPBS about a new art exhibit created from 4,000 volumes of white supremacist propaganda.

Many of us would like to think that the age of hate groups in America has passed. According to a recent report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the opposite is true. In the last 10 years, the number of what the center terms "hard core" hate groups has almost doubled, as have efforts to transform hate into understanding.

The San Diego chapter of the Anti-Defamation League is marking the ADL's 100th anniversary with an unusual art exhibit and a speaker with a remarkable life story.

When the Montana Human Rights Network acquired 4,000 volumes of white supremacist propaganda from a defecting official of the World Church of the Creator, it approached the Holter Museum of Art in Helena with the idea to use the books to create art for an exhibition. More than 100 artists from coast to coast responded to the museum’s open invitation to reflect upon or transform this propaganda into contemporary art.

The result is the exhibit Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, which is at the Gotthelf Art Gallery at the Lawrence Family Jewish Center from March 13 to June 6.

Frank Meeink, a former Neo-Nazi recruiter and author of "Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead," will be speaking at the opening night of the exhibit tonight.

He calls himself a "recovering skinhead," and changed from being a white supremacist to being an advocate for diversity.

Meeink told KPBS that "human nature and science" made him question all of his beliefs. He said the idea of DNA went against his white supremacist teachings, and he changed his beliefs after working for a Jewish man who became a mentor.

Claire Trageser contributed to this report.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 13, 2013 at 11:39 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

"Many of us would like to think that the age of hate groups in America has past."

You'd have to be living in a shoe box to think that.

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Avatar for user 'rkeefe57'

rkeefe57 | March 13, 2013 at 2:50 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

A few choice words about the SPLC's "hate map" fundraising tool.

Last year the SPLC's mostly elderly donors took its spurious "hate group" numbers at face value and sent in more than $40 million donor-dollars, or more than $4,600 dollars every hour of every day.

That figure does not include the $18 MILLION dollars in interest generated by the SPLC's quarter-BILLION dollar cash reserves.

Take a look at who the SPLC's "hate groups" really are and how much money is involved before making a decision on their accuracy.

http://wp.me/pCLYZ-hi

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