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Former Nazi Skinhead shares recovery story, reaction to Charlottesville violence – WZTV

Posted in Tattoo Removal on Aug 15, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

A former Nazi Skinhead spoke to Fox 17 News Tuesday about the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the help he got in Nashville that changed his life.

Byron Widner said he changed on the inside, but felt trapped by his outward appearance.

Widner says he was so desperate to get rid of the tattoos showing his Nazi Skinhead allegiance that he considered using acid to remove the images of hate.

“I didn’t see any help, Widner said. “I thought I was stuck looking like a circus freak for the rest of my life.”

When Widner decided to leave his skinhead life behind, he got death threats and couldn’t escape the tattoos.

It was pretty taboo to have facial tattoos, and everybody was just kind of scared of me I guess,” Widner said. People didn’t help us at restaurants things like that. We were ostracized.”

Byron found unlikely help in the Southern Poverty Law Center. The civil rights group found a plastic surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who agreed to remove the tattoos.

When I first showed up, the nurses went out of their way to make me feel to feel welcome, to make me as comfortable as possible,” Widner said. “My first consultation with Dr. Shack, he was absolutely hilarious and charming. I could tell he knew what he was talking about. I knew I’d be in good hands.”

After 25 painful surgeries, the most visible symbols are gone and the former white supremacist is speaking out about the death and violence caused by white supremacists protesting in Virginia.

What’s going on in Charlottsville is absolutely appalling,” Widner said. “Our country has taken probably about a 40-year step backwards as for civil rights goes. That kind of uprising, It’s disgusting.”

Now a father, Widner works to help others escape the life he left behind.

“I do reach out to other skinheads when they have questions about possibly getting out,” Widner said. “I do what I can to assist them on actually exiting the subculture.”

A donor with the Southern Poverty Law Center gave $35,000 for the laser tattoo removal. Dr. Bruce Shack, who performed Widner’s laser tattoo removal, has since retired.

The rest is here:
Former Nazi Skinhead shares recovery story, reaction to Charlottesville violence – WZTV

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