in

Former KKK Leader Now Devotes Life To Helping Kids Reject White Supremacy

A former member of the Ku Klux Klan is now a volunteer for Parents 4 Peace, working with children to find empathy and compassion instead of hate.

Army veteran Christopher Buckley used to be a national security leader for the white power group, but after years of developing racist attitudes, he wants people to know they can change their ways and get out of the cycle of hate.

After a rough childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, Buckley says he started to develop racist attitudes. Those attitudes got worse after joining the Army and serving in Afghanistan and Iraq for 13 years. After he returned home to Walker County, Georgia, he became a member in the Georgia White Knights chapter of the KKK.

However, when he befriended a man named Arno Michaels, Buckley started to rethink his commitment to white nationalism. Michaels, a former member of one of the largest racist skinhead organizations in America, took Buckley under his wing. He too volunteers with Parents 4 Peace, which is a nonprofit organization that educates children about racism as well as helps white nationalists see the danger in their ideologies.

Buckley was inspired by Parents 4 Peace and Michaels, and he now volunteers with the group. Now, he spends his time helping kids instead of stewing in hatred. He’s also covered up his racist tattoos with new ink.

“People change,” Buckley says. “You just have to give them a chance.”

Patricia Grisafi

Written by Patricia Grisafi