To the oblivious eye, the tattoos coloring Christian Picciolini’s arms resemble intricate artwork — a color-by-number masterpiece from shoulder to wrist. But to the knowing, the ink thicket telegraphs something more sinister. White power.
For most of his teen years and into young adulthood, Picciolini, who grew up in Blue Island, led a white supremacist movement that attracted a global audience. He recruited other members, wrote and sold white power music, encouraged acts of violence against African American and Jewish people, got kicked out of several high schools, including Marist and Brother Rice on the Southwest Side, and admired and emulated Adolf Hitler. He began tattooing his body with white power symbols and quotes, now a permanent and painful reminder of his past.
Right-leaning Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson, following the Aug. 3 mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, claimed white supremacy was a “hoax” perpetuated by Democrats and liberals to divide the country. Because he never met a white supremacist, Carlson concluded they don’t exist. Huh.
Carlson, meet Picciolini.