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Recovering Skinhead Tells his Story at Diversity Lecture

October 5, 2010
By: WSU News

Frank Meeink, author of the book, Autobiography of a recovering Skinhead: The Frank Meeink Story as told to Jody M. Roy, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Wurtzel, told a rapt crowd of students, faculty and staff his story from inside a white supremacist movement and his ultimate transformation as part of the Worcester State University (WSU) Diversity Lecture Series last Tuesday.

Meeink told of growing up poor and fatherless in south Philadelphia. Frequently subjected to beatings at home by his mother’s boyfriend and looking to belong and for protection, he ultimately–at age 14– turned to his cousin in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, during a summer visit. His cousin had a picture of Hitler and a swastika in his room and introduced him to his inner circle who talked to him about white supremacy. Later, he started a cable access program called “The Reich,” and ultimately was incarcerated. It was there that he began to question his beliefs. He began playing football in prison and befriended “G,” an Africa American inmate who was one of the few people he found he could talk to about the birth of his daughter. The closeness of this friendship made him question his white supremacist beliefs.

After his release, he was able to land job moving furniture. Again his beliefs were called in to question when the Jewish owner of the company, and his boss, taught him a powerful lesson through mentoring him and telling him that he thought he was a smart young man.

After the Oklahoma City Bombing, Meeink was deeply affected by the news photograph of the firefighter carrying a child killed in the blast. He was moved to call the FBI and offer his story to use in profiling.

He now says he is a work in progress and is working to raise his four children, speak on his experiences through lectures and his book and with Harmony through Hockey, an organization he founded to bring culturally diverse American communities together by promoting racial harmony through team building and athletic competition.

The Diversity Lecture Series is sponsored by the Student Center/Student Activities Office, Disability Services Office, WSU Pride Alliance, Third World Alliance and People’s United Bank.

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