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The four of us walked down a little one-way road through a neighborhood under the three highways. The houses were mostly big Victorians falling apart with neglect.

Matt saw a sticker in the window of a truck in a driveway that said, “Fuck RACism,” which he explained was a skinhead sentiment—the good kind. RAC stood for Rock Against Communism, a movement born in the UK that had stood for, variously, white nationalism, white supremacy, and neo-fascism.

One of the truck’s owners was standing on her porch, watching us carefully and pretending not to. Matt told her he admired the sticker, showed her one of his own punk tattoos, and asked if we could talk. There is hope too in how quickly people’s defenses can melt.

Erica used to do tats and nails but works for a pain management company now. Steven has been a chef, built buildings, and driven a tractor, he said, but is legally blind and now on disability. They’re SHARPs: Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice.

They rent the bottom floor of a Greek Revival for $1,100. Steven says their space, which they share with a mohawked Chihuahua named Chester, is huge. They have three bedrooms, and utilities are free, but it’s a “gangster neighborhood,” and Steven is aware that they stand out.

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