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Tue Feb 21, 2017, 09:28 PM

Former white supremacists help others leave hate groups

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) The Celtic cross tattoo on Shannon Martinez's leg gives away her past.

A victim of sexual assault at age 14 and never quite able to meet her parents' expectations, Martinez sought out other angry teens. By 16, she was a skinhead spouting white supremacist rhetoric, giving stiff-armed Nazi salutes and tagging public property with swastikas. She favored racist fashion statements like the symbol on her right calf.

Fortified by the love of an adopted family, Martinez left the skinheads behind. Today she's helping others do the same as part of an emerging U.S. movement that helps people quit hate organizations.

Modeled loosely upon organizations that formed in Europe years ago to combat extremism, groups and individuals are offering counseling, education and understanding to extremists seeking a way out.

Now a 42-year-old mom who homeschools her kids at their house in Georgia, Martinez volunteers with Life After Hate, a leading organization dedicated to helping people leave white supremacy. On Facebook, she shares her story with others who've left or are looking to leave extremism.

Read more: http://www.timesdaily.com/news/state/former-white-supremacists-help-others-leave-hate-groups/article_044a582f-a918-558f-b379-867595a6d77e.html

[font color=330099]Please note that many members on DU include the Celtic cross as an avatar as a symbol of pride for their Celtic heritage. I am not posting this article to question or embarrass those members since the Celtic cross has been misappropriated as a symbol of the white supremacist movement.[/font]

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