Hardball | August 07, 2012
>> details are emerging about wade michael page , gunman who police say killed six and injured three at a sikh temple this sunday. including the powerful role music had in his life and the white supremacy culture. genre referred to as hate rock that spouts racist lyrics and used in recruitment efforts. for more insight let me bring in main mink. also back with us from yesterday is pete simi, professor of criminology. he met page ten years ago. thank you so much. frank, let me ask you about it. just tell your own story. i'm not going to push in any direction. how did you get involved with skinheads and hate rock? whole thing? what did you learn? what made do you it? what made you change?
>> okay, well, you know, i got into it when i was about 14. i had a pretty rough home life. and it was a -- i was a fearful kid. when this kind of came into my life, here ' -- where people that gave me attention and they talked to me about my home life and the music part came in real quickly because, you know, i can go to so many bible studies to preach hate and go to a couple of meetings here and there but when i -- at all times was something to keep backing up my belief and the music was definitely that part from me.
>> what role did race play in -- race part?
>> the race -- i mean, race became my religion. what i thought of everyone else was that they were inferior to the white race and that the white race is now being duped and into believing anything by the jewish media. and that the black races and -- they call in the movement mud race, taking everything from us. so it gave me an outlet when i feared something, i got to be the person putting the fear on the world. that's how i felt being part of the movement committing hate crim crimes, you name it.
>> and give me a scene where people are playing hate rock and people are enjoying it? what's that like? what's the feeling, sentiment of that room?
>> you know, driving in the car with a bunch of skinheads, listening to music about kicking people's heads in, you know, finding people of other races to destroy and you are sitting in a car with a bunch of friends looking for victims. really keeps the drum beating, it is time for action.
>> you think music drives bad behavior? racist behavior? physically.
>> it -- physically helped us and also the racist music is what keeps the movement young. if it was than for the music that keeps getting people into this, you know, you would have that old image of the klan sitting on the front porch in w the shotgun. music keeps the newcomers involved. it keeps them wanting to be part of this. it keeps them, again, wanting to be -- portray what's going on in the music . the music is -- i mean, i can't -- stress how much the music is to them.
>> let's get back to pete . give as you bigger sense, great individual story which we relish having on. brings reality to it. frank is giving us that. tell us what the role you see across the country that this hate rock plays in causing bad behavior and tragedy like we just saw on sunday in wisconsin.
>> well, frank mention it is music is central to the movement . the music in some ways to a large extent in his -- is the movement or is a very big part of the movement . and it -- provides opportunities for recruitment and provides opportunities to generate receive knew and probably most importantly, it provides a variety of different occasions for individuals of like mind to come together and who share a common cause and it helps them sustain their beliefs and -- and -- provides them in a sense of reinforcement. the lyrics are laced with ideas of violence and aggression. the dances are aggressive. the tattoos are shown off and reinforced, you know, prominent symbols like swastikas and others. and so everything about the music is -- it provides a great opportunity for these folks to reinforce their mindset.
>> you know, prank, when i heard you talking about the appeal of hate rock and joining the skinhead groups, reminded me of all i heard about african-american kids in tough neighborhoods, terrible home situations being drawn by their -- the gang members. they say you can be part of something now. you can feel at home in a way you don't want to be at home. and it just sounds like that. you know what i mean ?
>> no. absolutely. my -- my crew, of guys, my gang, that's what we were, too, they gave me accolades for my violence. frankie did this or -- those guys in philadelphia did that. we got -- pats on the back. you know. and not to slam my parents and -- my parents weren't the best parents to me and -- they didn't give me those things when i came home. i didn't get home and have my parents, how is school today, son? how are things going in life? it just didn't happen. it is not a son story. just the truth. these guys --
>> you didn't get a peanut butter sandwich and apple when you came home?
>> absolutely not.
>> no. let me ask you, how are you doing now? i need to know . you are a philly guy from south philly and moved up there. where was the second neighborhood you moved to? the.
>> i moved from -- yeah, second street in south pihilly, wood land avenue. pretty much at that time all black and i went to an all black school. you know, how am i doing now? i have to tell you what changed me was people showing me compassion. you know. at every turn. and even with my hateful things, i had a jewish antique dealer , swastika tattooed on my neck who gave me a chance and took a chance on letting me work with him and used to give me accolades when i did smart things. and when i would be -- times in my head or where i would say out loud, i'm so stupid which -- see, i was an egomaniac. low self-esteem. he would say you are one of the smartest guys i know. it was compassion. that's what i have to do today. i have to wake up -- hi to wake up this morning and know i'm going to show compassion to someone. not am i going to get up and fight with the right wing guy or left wing guy or argue with somebody. you know, worry about -- issues of -- i will show compassion to the next person i come in contact with. that's always helping my life change for the better.
>> frank, i think everybody watching doesn't hardly know you -- knows you and rooting for you. i wish everybody was so hon. thank you important coming on the show at this time so we can get to understand individuals like you. anyway, pete , you have come a long way and helped us so much and helping us get to something. maybe we will be better off for knowing this. certainly frank is on the right trail and i wish him well. especially because he is