“People are being groomed and don’t realize that they’re being groomed or that they have been groomed.” — Sammy Rangel

Today I interviewed Sammy Rangel from Life After Hate. This is part two of that discussion.

Sammy Rangel is an author, social worker, peace activist, speaker, trainer and father. His autobiography, “Fourbears: The Myths of Forgiveness,” chronicles his life from the physical and sexual abuse he endured as a child to his path of self-destruction that culminated in a 15 1/2-year prison sentence. In 2012, Sammy founded Formers Anonymous, a national self-help group based on the 12-step model for people addicted to street life and violence. In May 2015, he participated in the TEDxDanubia Conference: Balance On the Edge held in Budapest, where he spoke about the power of forgiveness.

In 2017, he was honored in a special tribute to Everyday Heroes in the Global Campaign Against Violent Extremism. Sammy holds a Master of Social Work from Loyola University-Chicago. He previously served as a program director for a youth outreach program in his hometown of Racine for 16 years. He is also a second-degree black belt, practices mixed martial arts, and is a singer on a Native American drum.

He is the co-founder and Executive Director of the organization Life After Hate which is committed to helping people leave the violent far-right to connect with humanity and lead compassionate lives.

To catch up with our guest:

In this episode we speak about:
The violent far right has changed their image, upped their marketing and they are actively recruiting. And if you know someone who has been taken in by them — and geography is not a limitation anymore — at least listen to the last part of this podcast to hear some tips from Sammy. Life After Hate is your resource.
It does not take someone who has been in trauma to become a member of the violent far right — the broken homen arrative of the white supremacist is no longer valid. It can simply be someone who is persuadable.
The violent far right is using the language of civil rights to promote their cause, even going so far as to say that they are not racist.
There is a way to melt away hatred on Twitter that does not entail being hateful.
It is possible to forgive people who do horrendous acts.
For people who are involved in the violent far right, the organization’s networks are vast and they make it very hard to leave.