Former Aryan Brotherhood Member Gets Hateful Tattoos Removed
April is a former member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Now 28, she is getting an SS lightning bolt tattoo removed from her face and the acronym “CWB” removed from her neck. The SS bolts were represented on the German Nazi military uniforms, and were later adopted by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. “CWB” stands for “Crazy White Bitch.”
At the age of 14, April followed in her father’s footsteps and became an official member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Immediately, she was recruited to produce crystal methamphetamine, a white crystalline drug that can be inhaled, smoked or injected with a needle. She started using at the same time and within a year, became a heroine addict. Her parents were also drug addicts, which left her with no one to turn to for help.
April was 22 years old the first time she went to jail. She explains that it felt like a badge of honor, as though it were some type of achievement. She was later released.
Two years later (in 2012), she was sentenced again and admitted into Dawson State Jail in Dallas, Texas. “This time it was different. I wasn’t proud.” She explains. It was quite the opposite. Strangely, she felt a measure of relief because being locked up was on some level a respite from her reality. “I wanted to get away from life,” she explains.
This is where her transformation began. She joined a program behind bars called The HOPE Literacy Project (“Helping Others Pursue Education”), a writing workshop made up of women who served as both inmates and tutors. Tutoring took place at a series of tables in the middle of a room lined with bunk beds around its perimeter where the inmates eat, slept and studied together. The theory was that inmates could work one-on-one with their incarcerated peers on reading and writing.
April is now able to read and write, two basic skills she never learned while growing up. Besides teaching her literacy, her experience at Dawson State Jail opened her mind. “Every guard at Dawson was black, and I had been raised to hate people of other races.” It was here that April began to change her thinking. She attributes her transformation largely to a newfound faith in Jesus Christ and prays regularly, giving thanks for the chance at a new beginning.
Today, April works for a Christian non-profit ministry that provides a safe haven and rehabilitation for inner city homeless and needy children and adults, many of whom are African-American. Every morning, April covers up her tattoo before she goes to work, embarrassed and ashamed of her past. She views getting rid of her tattoos as another step towards redemption. We are so proud of April and what she’s achieved in spite of her upbringing. It’s an honor to provide a service to someone who is determined to not only change their own life, but to help others.
Hear from April on her transformation from Aryan Brotherhood to community do-gooder in the video below and watch her tattoo removal at Dr. Tattoff!