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What Does a Reformed Racist Look Like?

Feb 15, 2017 | 831 videos
Video by Independent Lens

Scott Shepherd is a former grand dragon of the Klu Klux Klan in Tennessee, but now refers to himself as a reformed racist. Shepherd’s troubled past includes witnessing violent physical beatings and plots to attack the government—and cheering them on. In this short documentary by Independent Lens, Shepherd says that his reasons for joining the group stemmed from feelings of isolation. “I was just looking for a place to fit in, to fill a void within myself,” he says. “I could have very well have gotten involved with ISIS.” The film follows Shepherd’s search for redemption as he reconnects with an African American woman, Rebecca Hawkins, who helped raise him.

This film is an extra to the feature-length documentary Accidental Courtesy, about a black musician who meets and befriend members of the KKK. It is now streaming on the PBS website until February 27, 2017.

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Author: Nadine Ajaka

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.