Frank Meeink spoke for more than two hours last week Thursday at Ripon College to a rapt audience.

But his talk came down to one word.

Empathy.

“Look, here’s the key to the *** kingdom, to everything,” he said, interspersing “colorful” language throughout his talk. “Empathy. People showing *** empathy.”

It’s a lesson Meeink learned the hard way, through many years of mistakes, as he admitted to the students in Great Hall.

But his experience as a former neo-Nazi have helped him better understand the mindset of others — and use that understanding to make a difference.

“I have to do good things because I have a really bad karma score with God in the world,” Meeink said.

Meeink returned to Ripon College to speak about his experiences for the first time in years, offering context at a time when a greater spotlight is shining on racism and neo-Nazi activities in America today.

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