Tony McAleer, a former neo-Nazi who for years worked as an organizer for the White Aryan Resistance, has written a column in Israeli paper Haaretz in which he offers advice to parents who fear that their own children might become white supremacists.

The most important thing to understand, says McAleer, is to realize that most young people who are drawn to white supremacist groups are not initially attracted to ideological racism.

"It was a sense of identity, purpose and belonging that lead me to spend 15 years as a high-level organizer and recruiter in the neo-Nazi movement," he explains. "It is precisely when a young person lacks these psychological building blocks that creates the vulnerabilities extremist groups exploit. Within the white supremacist movement, I found power at a time when I felt powerless, attention when I felt invisible and acceptance when I felt unlovable."

Essentially, McAleer says most people who join these organizations are simply desperate for any kind of acceptance -- and if they have to adopt racist ideologies to get it, that's the price they're willing to pay.

Because of this, McAleer says that any intervention parents take has to come before their children are recruited by white nationalists -- because by that time, it's simply too late.

"Most children, teens, and adults do not respond well when their identity comes under attack by any authority figure, let alone a parent: they get angry, they shut down, put up walls and if we persist, they can even go so far as to sever ties and end the relationship," he writes. "Once the ties of a relationship are severed we have little or no influence to change things."

Read the whole column at this link.