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Former White Supremacist Speaks to Soldiers

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FORT BRAGG — A former white supremacist brought apowerful message to soldiers at Fort Bragg Monday.

As a former member of the Aryan Nation, Floyd Cochran knows what itmeans to hate someone simply because of the color of their skin. He knowsracism first-hand, but learned about it long before he became part of theAryan Nation. Like many young people in America, he says he just grew upwith it.

Cochran says talking about it is the way he believes people can beginto change each others' hearts and minds. He says the military is ripe forinfiltration by hate groups because of its cultural diversity.

Killings in Fayetteville last year, which were apparently raciallymotivated, are an example of hate turning to violence. Since theblack couple in were gunned down, allegedly at the hands of whitesupremacist soldiers, the focus on racism at Fort Bragg, and in themilitary in general, has been non-stop. Soldiers say they've learned fromthe deaths, and from Cochran.

SSgt. Robert Scott ...

Corporal Charlotte Boyd ...

Cochran says often people joining the military come from small,rural areas where they are not exposed to diversity. Suddenly, theyfind themselves tossed into a melting pot where they becomeuncomfortable. Hate groups, he says, know this. They deliberatelyplay upon the fears of these young people.

Minds will not be changed overnight, he says. It's up toevery community to educate young people about diversity and understandingbefore they learn to hate.

Cochran says he began to see what hatred could do to people after hefathered a handicapped child.

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