He was gentle and kind and loving and a he was a happy person and a happy child. And what happened, God only knows, because I don’t. … When he lived in Texas with us, he had Hispanic friends and he had black friends. You know, there was none of that.
Wade Michael Page’s stepmother, Laura Page • Discussing how she remembers the suspect in the Sikh temple shooting over the weekend. She divorced Page’s father and hadn’t seen Wade since 1999 (before he got caught up in the white supremacist movement), so when he surfaced in the news recently, it was as a much different person than the one she knew. Page, who was killed in the shooting, is suspected of killing six people at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee. (more here)
Meet Bryon Widner. He used to be a white supremacist. When Widner left the movement in 2006, he had a lot to work past to prove that he no longer believed the things he once did — much of it on his own face. “This wasn’t just a few tattoos,” noted plastic surgeon Dr. Bruce Shack. “This was an entire canvas.” Widner had to fight hard to get these tattoos removed and get on with his life, turning former enemies into allies and working with the Southern Poverty Law Center. An anonymous donor paid for the changes to his face (which were incredibly painful), but he paid an even bigger price for the changes to his life. After years of being an “enforcer” for the Vinlanders Social Club, a notable white supremacist group, he quit. He had to leave his Michigan home to get a sense of normalcy. He went for it — for his kids, and for his wife, and to get a second chance. Now, as you can see, the tattoos are gone. He suffers health issues (he has to stay out of the sun), but he says “it’s a small price to pay for being human again.” An impressive redemption story. (Editor’s note: This storyhas two parts.)