From his youth, TJ Leyden was taught to fight, to hurt, and to hate. Cunningly brilliant and deceptively clean-cut, TJ found that life with the Skinheads was exactly what he—and they—needed. Quickly rising to the top, TJ recruited members for the Skins, and in return he earned a name and a reputation as one of the most powerful men in the White Power Movement. With a skill for fanning the fires of hatred and an ability to elude the law, it seemed that nothing would stop TJ—that is, until he became a father.
As his own children grew, so did TJ’s uncertainty about the cause he’d endorsed for so long. One fact finally emerged from all the racist propaganda: white power wasn’t about being white; it was simply about having someone to hate. And once he realized this truth, TJ knew his life could never be the same.
Skinhead Confessions takes you on an unbelievable ride through a dark world of violence to one of openness and faith in the future. TJ’s honesty and courage—even in the face of death—have inspired people across America to take action against gang violence and hate crimes.
I heard the gasp of horror and knew I’d been caught. For several years I had hidden the depth of my involvement in the Skinheads from my parents, covering up my tattoos with long shirts, concealing my violent life through lies and deceit. Until now, my own mother hadn’t known how far I was entrenched in the world of hate.
“What are those?” she cried, pointing at my body, which was covered from my neck to the middle of my back in graphic, sinister tattoos. “Tell me or I will call the police!”
No way in hell I was going to tell her what they meant—the hate crimes I had committed, the people I’d hurt, stabbed, and maimed to earn those tattoos. No way would I tell her about the hundreds of kids I’d initiated to follow me into the White Power Movement and the things they did for me every day.