Press "Enter" to skip to content

5 Parenting Tips from a Skinhead Who Promises He’s Not Racist Anymore

I know I’m rough around the edges and might not look like the stereotypical parent, but in 2016 what really is the, “stereotypical parent” anyway? My, “normal” parents neglected me growing up and I turned to the streets—eventually joining the American white power movement (WPM) and playing in white pride skinhead bands. I was young, full of hate, and I fell for their despicable recruitment tactics. Since leaving the WPM well over 20 years ago, I’ve dedicated my life to preventing others from making the mistakes my parents and I made. I’ve also raised three beautiful, compassionate, definitely not at all racist children, and now I’m going to share my tips with you.

Just to be clear, racism is a disease and I’m not racist anymore, whatsoever. Now here are my tips:

Tell them you love them: Growing up my Dad never told me he loved me, which left me feeling hopeless and alone. Especially after all those years of hating so many people and things, I’ve learned to value love. Actually, let’s not even get into what or who I was hating—because that’s in the past. All love from here on out.

Show unwavering support: When a child feels helpless, it can be damaging. I learned all the positives of a group support system in my 20s when—now don’t freak out—I was in a racist skinhead gang. That’s not important though, that’s in the past. let’s not dwell on it.

RelatedWe Asked 7 People Who Aren’t Women How To Get More Women Involved in Punk

Encourage individuality: Let your children be unique. They’ll learn from exploring phases and trends on their own, even things like tattoos. My tattoos will always be a part of me. I use my old nazi tattoos as a reminder of who I was. Not that I’m still like that anymore, of course. Because I’m not, and I’m definitely not proud of them. They are a part of my past. A past that I am very, very ashamed of, to be clear.

Expose them to all forms of music, entertainment, and culture: I always played classical music for my children to make them more musically inclined. As they grew up they all developed distinct tastes. Sally has gotten pretty into urban music and keeps saying she’s going out to get, “turnt up”. And that’s completely okay with me—it’s totally fine. Sometimes when I’m feeling nostalgic I’ll listen to the music of my teenage years. I mean just for the music, not the lyrics. I can enjoy the sound without agreeing with the words. I mean, it’s not like everyone that listens to rap is a criminal, right? Oh god I didn’t mean for that to sound racist, please don’t take that the wrong way.

Now look, I know you’re still thinking about my past, but bear with me, I still have more tips. Give me a chance, don’t be like I once was. Not that I’m accusing you of anything as heinous as my involvement in the WPM. Moving on…
Where was I?

Learn from your mistakes: Don’t even say it. Let’s just skip that one.

Have fun with your children, they won’t be kids forever: Checkmate! Good luck turning that into anything racist! Ha!

I promise I’m not racist anymore: Look, I don’t know what to tell you. I get it. You’re freaked out because I used to be a horribly violent, racist individual with a mean streak and a drinking problem. Why did you click this article if you were going to act this way? God, sometimes I feel like it’s me against the world, and people like me are going to get left behind if we don’t do something about it.