Tree of Life/Roots of Rage: 3 Former Extremists Discuss Planting Seeds of Hope in the Context of Rising Hate-based Violence in the United States


Please join us for a Facebook Live discussion with Shannon Martinez, former Neo-Nazi, Frank Meeink, former white supremacist and Jesse Morton, former jihadi extremist to dissect the recent spate of far-right political violence in the United States and how to address it at an individual and community-wide level.

The flood of right-wing violence that erupted over the past week – including an attempt to kill African-American congregants at a church in West Virginia, the pipe bombs sent to various “Liberal” leaders across the country and the terrorism at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg – have sent many to, rightfully, question what the future beholds as we approach midterm elections.

In such a hostile and hate-fueled political environment, we seem to react in one of two ways – fight or flight. The answer, as these three ‘formers’ explain, is somewhere in between. On the one hand, to run from the threat of violent extremism is to assume conditions will simply improve on their own. On the other, to hate those that hate only assists in certifying the us-versus-them, black-and-white worldview that propels extremism in the first place.

In this open online discussion, Shannon, Jesse and Frank will share a bit of their personal journeys, explain how they assess the situation, elaborate on what they’ve been doing to counter it, and then lead an open-ended discussion that can help plant a seed of love and hope, somewhere in between lethargy and overreaction.

In an ‘Age of Intersecting Extremisms’ (far-left, far-right and jihadist), each one of us has an obligation to do something that addresses the rising animosity, hate and hyperpolarization that lies at extremism’s core.  Please join us and find out what you and your community might do to contribute to the cause.

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