On 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley interviews Christian Picciolini, a 44-year-old reformed white supremacist. At 14, in 1987, Picciolini joined the Chicago Area Skinheads (CASH). By 16, he was the group’s leader. Picciolini also led white supremacist punk bands including White American Youth and Final Solution, and ran a record store called Chaos Records which sold white power music. In 1996, at the age of 22, Picciolini renounced ties to the American Neo-Nazi movement. He has since co-founded Life After Hate, a peace advocacy and counter-extremism group. On 60 Minutes Picciolini discusses the 2015 Charleston church shooting and his correspondence with 23-year-old mass murderer Dylann Roof.
Music continues to play a big role in Picciolini’s life. After leaving the American Neo-Nazi movement Picciolini founded a non-racist punk rock band called Random55 and toured with Joan Jett in the late 1990s. (He writes about Jett, whom he considers a mentor, in his memoir White American Youth, see link above.) He also started his own record label Sinister Muse. Picciolini also went on to college, studying international relations at DePaul University. On 60 Minutes, Picciolini reads aloud the letter Roof had written him from prison (see below). It is addressed, “Traitor.” 60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7:30pm on CBS.