A Former Klansman Talks About How He Left a Life of Hate

“The fact that I believed that shit is embarrassing to me.”

Alyssa Schukar

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Shane Johnson was born into the Ku Klux Klan—now he works to convince others not to join hate groups. How did he get out? And what can we learn from his story?

On the Mother Jones Podcast, senior editor Wes Enzinna shares insights from his extensive reporting on the movement to deradicalize white supremacists and tells us how Johnson was able to turn away from a lifetime of hate. Enzinna shares exclusive audio from his interviews with Johnson, the subject of Mother Jones’ cover story this month. It’s a fascinating conversation that explores the difficulties of leaving violent extremist groups, why some researchers think extremism is similar to addiction, and the complicated ethical questions raised by a key step in the deradicalization process: getting extremists to engage with someone from a group they hate.

Also on this week’s podcast, DC bureau chief David Corn explains why President Donald Trump’s behavior makes him feel like “we’re in the upside down world in Stranger Things.” Plus, he gives us a big update in the Russia investigationand it doesn’t bode well for Trump.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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