Former Skinhead Warns Trump Rhetoric Is Scarier Than Anyone Thinks (VIDEO)

Christian Picciolini was once second in command of America’s first neo-Nazi organization, but now the former skinhead is getting serious with America, warning everyone to take Trump and his racist rhetoric seriously.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Picciolini described his conversion from a “relatively normal” fourteen year-old to a full-fledged white supremacist when he was recruited firsthand by Clark Martell, founder of the Chicago Area SkinHeads, after the  leader of the neo-Nazi hate group caught him in an alley getting high.

Martell grabbed the joint out of Picciolini’s mouth and said, “That’s what the communists and Jews want you to do to keep you docile.” Piccolini continues:

“At the time I was at my most vulnerable, I was breaking free from my parents’ influence. For me it was a sense of belonging, a sense of something noble. I was told diversity is a code for white genocide. I was told Latinos were bringing drugs into neighborhoods. I was told Jewish people controlled the media and our banking systems.”

It was as simple as that, and Picciolini, who has recently-published his memoir “Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead”, warns that more easily swayed members of society – the young, uneducated, poor, etc. will join the movement if America doesn’t wake up.

“I think people are being absolutely complacent. People are hopeful and I understand that, but I for one am not giving him [Trump] the benefit of the doubt.”

Picciolini argues that all Americans must be vigilant. Anti-Semitism has exploded over social media, particularly Twitter, in recent month. Picciolini said that, although Trump might not have specifically tweeted anti-Semitic rants, he spread images that anti-Semitic tropes favor, including a picture of Hillary Clinton in front of an apparent Star of David and a pile of money with the words “History made: the most corrupt candidate ever!”

Picciolini, who also spoke at the Anti-Defamation League’s “Never is Now” summit last week in New York, is especially concerned by the team of racists Trump is surrounding himself with, which include Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

“There is no track record of him or anyone surrounding him of understanding what makes this country great, and so we must be extremely vigilant. I know how they think. I was one of them.”

Piocciolini remained an active extremist until he was 22 years old, but has co-founded Life after Hate, a nonprofit organization which advocates for peace and does counter-extremism consulting worldwide.  He is now committed to helping the misled successfully leave hate groups. With the way things are looking in Trump’s America, he could be a very busy man.

Watch him describe his journey of transition from skinhead to peacemaker here:

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Featured image via Brian Blanco/Getty Images

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