40-year-old Julie Sanders is a mother of three from Portland, Oregon.
But at 16, she belonged to a white supremacist group–and one night in 1988, found herself at the scene of a murder.
She’s kept this a secret from most of her friends and family.
In fact, before sitting down with a friend at StoryCorps, Julie had rarely talked about her past at all.
Click here for the transcript.
Every weekend, we drank and then drove around, looking for a fight. And on nights they didn’t have anyone to beat up, I was the target — even being almost choked to death at one point by my boyfriend.
One time, six of us all get into the car and there is another car. And in the car was three black guys. And a fight erupted. My boyfriend grabbed a bat. And I could see from the back seat the bat being swung, a man falling to the ground — and then everybody running.
The man died. He was born in Ethiopia and had a son. But we just saw black.
After the murder, I ended up going to a girls reformatory. And I have spent a lot of years just hiding from it even, you know, when it would creep up on me in the middle of the night.
It really didn’t seem like a reality until I hit 20 and had my own son. And I think that I certainly have raised my kids different. All three of my kids are confident, care about other people. You know, my sixteen year old protects a cross dresser at school. And when my kids do something like that, it really makes me fell like I am kind of changing that cycle.
But I just still feel like not a good person. And I don’t forgive myself.