“I can’t get the music out of my head,” says Kyle who was consumed with hate rock when he was inside a hate group.

“I radicalized myself in the Nazi party through the music,” says TM Garret, a German hate rock singer/song writer whose songs are still on the Internet despite his having walked away from hate years ago.

Hate music is often the attraction into white supremacist groups as well as a way to slowly drip in an ideology of shifting blame and hating others. “In school someone gave me a cassette tape with hate music. That’s when I started looking for those “skinheads” they sang about,” TM recalls.

Hate music, like any other type of music, is often catchy due to its lyrics, melody, or other musical elements and may leave a strong impression long after listening. Youth who go to parties with lots of alcohol and drugs combined with hate music may think it’s all fun at first, but overtime the hate begins to seep in.

Everyone gets catchy lyrics and melodies get stuck in their head, replaying again and again. The song’s emotional impact, its familiarity, or its repetition can all contribute to that effect as well as where it was played and the emotional and sexual arousal going on at the time.

Music takes us back to place and time and can kick in old feelings and sensations in a matter of seconds. The problem is when the lyrics promote division, hate and discriminatory ideologies they have harmful effects on individuals and communities, even years after they were first imbibed.

TM remembers playing this song, We’ll Stand up and Fight, aimed at Jews and their so-called Zionist Occupied Government (ZOG) all over Europe at white power concerts for thousands of partygoers:

We scream it into your dirty faces with all of our anger. 

We’re not gonna be oppressed.

Just as you – we won’t forget.

You want to see us policed in a terror state.

You value us like animals who are inferior to you.

His hate music pumped up crowds of drunken and drugged skinheads and neo-Nazis in Germany where he was born. The chorus:

But we’ll stand up and fight, just like others before us.

Your Talmud won’t help you then because we’ve got Odin and Thor.

And you will experience once again what a proud people is about.

We’ll sweep you away from history, like the dirt on the streets.

Maybe you’ve walked away from hate, but you can’t get the hate out of your head and the music is part of that. It is important to recognize and challenge hate filled messages, even those that replay from the past. If hate music keeps replaying in your head and causing distress, it may be helpful to seek support from a mental health professional or to try strategies such as identifying the underlying emotions or triggers that may be contributing to the distress and finding healthy ways to cope with these emotions.

TM’s song is just as much about feeling oppressed and undervalued as it is about turning that negative self-image outward with blame and hatred.

It’s also important to understand why a hate group’s message and music resonated with you.  Maybe you needed to feel better about yourself, felt a deep sense of failure and shame that you knew was not only about yourself—for which you couldn’t shoulder the blame.  Maybe it was about hurts, failures and lack in your upbringing, the society you grew up in, your education, or other opportunities withheld from you. Of course, you need to take responsibility for your own actions but we also need to look at the families we grew up in, the social system we tried to succeed within and understand the things that tripped us up and hurt us.

Hate group leaders know that it’s so easy to pick one thing—like the Jews or minorities—blame everything on them, but there’s little truth in that. It’s better to see the actualities in life, take responsibility for what you can control and seek to better both yourself and the society you lived in. Your parents may have failed with you, but you can do better in the next generation. Your society may not have given you the education, healthcare and employment opportunities you deserve, but you can work to change that, voting for politicians who take into account the little guy and expanding opportunities for everyone.

As for music, it’s also important to actively seek music that is upbeat and promotes positive and inclusive values and love, not hate, as a way to counteract the negative messages of hate music.

If you need help exiting hate you can contact people who care here.

 

 

 

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