From the interview on his book, Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist:
“The title really does sum up the part about my spiral into racist violence and my escape. My world got destabilized by a number of things when I was about twelve. I got physically attacked, became terrified, and wrongly believed that allying myself with a brute and attacking an “other” would make me safe. It’s exactly what I saw happen to America after 9/11. We got scared and we went after a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the reason we were scared. And it was easier to go after them because they were dark-skinned Muslims. When all that happened, the feelings I had as a teenager came up full-blown in me again, and I knew I had to write about them, since I felt as though I had some experience with those feelings and perhaps some perspective.
Luckily for me, some people, both black and white, stepped in when they saw how far things had gone for me. Some really transcended their own beliefs in doing this, and some courageously risked racist backlash for doing it. I was in deep, and these people were willing to jump in and save me. I’m endlessly thankful to them.