FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – A former Neo-Nazi Skinhead will tell his story at an event, Thursday evening, at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills.
As a child Frank Meeink says had it rough; with a broken family, an abusive stepfather, and an upbringing in a tough Philadelphia neighborhood.
When his cousin introduced him to Skinheads at age 13, they asked about his life, and, he says, it was the first time anyone had ever done that.
“I felt kinda unique, and my parents never asked me how my life was going, even when I lived with them; so, that first intrigued me to hang out with them more,” Meeink said.
Mink told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil he fell so deeply into the movement, he would recruit on behalf of violent gangs. With a swastika tattoo on his neck and “skinhead” across his knuckles, he even hosted his own cable show called “The Reich,” on which he broadcasted hatred for non-whites and non-Christians.
Everything changed when he was arrested. In prison, he says, he was befriended by the very people he had been taught and was teaching others to hate.
“A couple of black dudes I played football and basketball with in prison had empathy for me,” Meeink said. “When I looked back over my life, I noticed that this human feeling of empathy is the greatest human emotion we’ve ever had.”
When he got out of prison, Meeink says he left the Skinheads — but it wasn’t easy.
“These were all my friends, these were my only friends; because after I became part of that movement I cut everybody out of my life, including my family,” he said.
Now a motivational speaker at age 39, Meeink says his message is about empathy for others, no matter their religion or race.
“That’s the real human stuff; not this ‘Kumbaya, I’m gonna love you ’cause you’re different.'”
The event, hosted by the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, takes place Thursday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Holocaust Memorial Center, 28123 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills.
Admission is $15. Register online or get more information HERE.
Meeink’s book “Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: The Frank Meeink Story” is available on Amazon.