Monday, October 24, 2016

After 25 Surgeries, A White Supremacist Gang Leader Is Finally Free Of Tattoos... And Hate

Ex-white supremacist leader Bryon Widner had lived a life of violence and hate until he couldn't take it any longer. He wanted to make a drastic change once and for all, one that would allow his children to look up to him as a role model. Bryon decided that it was time to rid his body of the hateful tattoos that characterized a low point in his life. 
You have to hear Bryon's inspiring story. 

SHARE this article with your friends on Facebook. At a time when there is so much hate in the world, they will truly appreciate his story.

Meet Bryon Widner, a previous white supremacist gang leader. 

The racist tattoos that once scattered his face appeared during a time in Bryon's life where hate ruled everything.

The tattoos weren't limited to his face and chest. His entire body was used as an advertisement for the white power movement. 

As you might expect, Bryon had considerable difficulty finding work with iron crosses and swastikas on his body that couldn't be covered. 

After spending time in prison and getting married to his wife Julie in 2006, Bryon decided that he no longer wanted racism to poison his life. 

He was prepared to do whatever it would take to strip his face of all the tattoos he got as a member of the Vinlanders gang of skinheads. This urge to purge hate from his heart was so intense that he was prepared to use whatever methods necessary to erase the tattoos. 

In an interview, Bryon said, "I was totally prepared to douse my face in acid."

This was a decision Bryon and Julie made together as she was also deeply involved in the white supremacist movement as a member of the National Alliance. 

"We had left the movement, had created a good family life. We had so much to live for. I just thought there has to be someone out there who will help us," Julie explained. It was time to seek professional help. 

The couple reached out for help from the unlikeliest of sources, a black man directly involved in the anti-hate movement, Daryle Lamont Jenkins.

While Jenkins worked to combat the white supremacist movement that Bryon once advocated, he heard the couple's cry for help. They simply wanted to start over again. 

This led the anti-hate activist to send Bryon to T.J. Leyden, a former white supremacist who was well-known for ditching a life of hate as well. Ultimately, T.J. Leyden led Bryon to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) where he would be given an offer he couldn't refuse. 

It was here that Bryon met Joseph Roy, an active investigator of hate groups for the SPLC. 

Mr. Roy, who admitted that "it was like the Osama Bin Laden of the movement calling in," offered Bryon a deal. If Bryon would speak to police officers at the Skinhead Intelligence Network conference, he would find a donor to pay for Bryon's extensive tattoo removal.  

During this process, the family received death threats and even had pig manure dumped onto their car. His old crew wasn't happy about what had begun to take place. 

Here is Bryon's stepdaughter Isabella looking out the window in their home. 

An anonymous donor finally answered the call to put up $35,000 for Bryon's tattoo removal surgeries on several conditions, including that he obtain his GED and go into counseling. 

The process of removing his tattoos had finally begun. As you can see in this side-by-side image, even after the first rounds of surgeries, you could start to see the difference.

As the surgeries continued, the signs of his past hate slowly disappeared...

As you can see here, the tattoos were beginning to become unrecognizable. 

The tattoo removal surgeries were done by Dr. Bruce Shack at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Bryon said of the doctor, "He saw me as a real human being."

Over 16 months, the surgeries continued and the tattoos were fading away. 

After 25 surgeries, here is Bryon tattoo-free! 

As you can see, evidence of his past tattoos is quite sparse. 

With a new lease on life, Bryon could continue being a positive role model for his four-year-old son Tyrson. 

His life after this has truly changed...

Since becoming tattoo-free, Bryon appeared in a documentary covering his journey called Erasing Hate.

Here is the couple receiving a round of applause after a screening of the powerful documentary. 

In a touching moment after a screening, Bryon described how a black woman approached him.

She came up to Bryan and said, "I forgive you."

After a long period of self-reflection and honesty with himself, Bryon had finally made it out successfully on the other side of the white power movement.

He had reached his goal. 

What an incredible journey. Even after a long life of hate and violence, peace and love can find a way. People can change after all!

Leave a COMMENT on Facebook letting us know what you think about Bryon's courageous transformation. 

h/t Daily Mail


Author: verified_user