My Life After Hate
A former racist skinhead examines aspects of his past: Where did the hate begin? How did a teenaged alcoholic become a central figure in the white power movement of the late 80s and early 90s? What happened to bring about his drastic change of mind and heart? With a collection of reflective essays, disturbing flashbacks, and an interview, My Life After Hate scrubs scabs off the festering wound of racism, then soothes with the essential wisdom of forgiveness and compassion.
All proceeds from the sales of My Life After Hate go towards expanding the audience of Life After Hate, delivering content, and peace education programs.
“…what the world needs to know about hate. But what’s even better, is that there is life after hate! I highly recommend this book!”—Frank Meeink, activist, actor, speaker, and author of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead.
“My Life After Hate is for anyone who thinks that change is impossible or too difficult. Arno Michaels’ honest look into his past as a white power skinhead and his long journey out of hatred is proof that change is possible in the unlikeliest places. This book is for anyone who underestimates their own power to transform their life or feels they lack the courage to reach out to others they once feared.”—Lisa Kaiser, Journalist, Shepherd Express
“Society discusses hate and diversity in sterilized language; this book tells the story first hand. Be prepared to be riveted, intrigued and shocked. An astonishing ride through a dark world of violence and the process of rehabilitation.”—Amber Miller, M.B.A., Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative
“It’s not so uncommon for those who have gone astray in ways that harm others to eventually get onto a more humane path. What’s extraordinary about Arno Michaels is his dedication to the larger enterprise of fighting bigotry and the destructive violence that often grows from it. My Life After Hate is an illuminating window into the origins of this repentant man’s mission.”—Will Fellows, Author of Gay Bar, Co-Creator of the Shall Not Be Recognized project
“…a reckoning between who a person was and who a person can be. The drastic changes of Arno’s perspective and the effects thereof clearly demonstrate that how we experience reality is up to us—that we can always choose compassion over aggression.” —Bashir Malik, Artist, Milwaukee Community Elder
“My Life After Hate is the new standard of brutally honest. It is sure to invoke strong reactions and personal moral inventories. The recounting of past hate oozes ugliness, but it is a necessary evil if others are to understand the true meaning of the word ‘change.’” —Sammy Rangel, Mental health and AODA therapist, former gang leader
“Arno, you have helped me with myself more then you’ll ever know… as I read the book I can light a cig, lay back, close my eyes and picture myself in nearly all the same situations. The situations that you had found yourself in I know are true and accurate and not fabricated or exaggerated. The stories I’ve heard before, many years back from some of the same people you talk about in the book. I just wanna say thank you for all your hard work, it has made it easier for a person like me to move along with my life. The last ten years have been spent withdrawn and stand-offish with people. Reality was out of step with what I’d considered reality—a stranger in a strange land kinda feeling. With the old days and old ways behind me, I had no idea how to fit in with my new world…” —Rob, former white power skinhead
“I went into my living room at 4 in the morning unable to sleep and picked up My Life After Hate thinking I could read a few pages, fall asleep and pick it back up in the morning. I sat on the couch until 12 in the afternoon; I finished the book. I stopped only at the end of each chapter to absorb what I had just read. I had to re-read certain sections because I either couldn’t believe someone actually lived through that, or because I was captivated by your honesty. I went online to see what other people thought and saw that you actually replied to peoples questions and comments on a few websites. There were a lot of people who were skeptical, for whatever reasons they may have. Some seemed to try to provoke you just for shits and giggles. I think that your past is part of what makes you who you are. It takes someone who truly experienced hatred to understand the importance of compassion. I hope you don’t beat yourself up too much for what happened in the past. You’re proof that it’s easy to hate and fear what is different, what we don’t understand; but that people contain an innate desire to love and be loved. That it’s never too late to change.”—Nick, New York, NY