The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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/* Written 12:29 PM  Aug 14, 1994 by markalf in igc:publiceye */
/* ---------- "CDR: State of the Racist Movement" ---------- */
Center for Democratic Renewal
P.O. Box 50469
Atlanta, GA 30302
(404) 221-0025

                  WHITE SUPREMACY IN THE 1990s

Overview

     Two months ago, New Hope Baptist Church in Seattle, Washington
was struck by arson on May 17, reportedly because its minister,
Rev. Robert Jeffrey, is a progressive activist in the area. 
Jeffrey, an African American, is involved in fighting several
anti-gay initiatives in the state.  He is also a sponsor of "Black
Dollar Days" which organize the African American community to spend
its dollars exclusively with black businesses.  Many believe the
attack on his predominantly black church was intended to drive a
wedge between African American and gay and lesbian forces in the
region.  
     At the same time, a new computer bulletin board opened up in
the area.  Calling itself the "Gay Agenda Resistance," the
electronic network offers its subscribers tips on how to stop the
gay rights movement in the Pacific Northwest.  With the right
passwords, it also includes tips on how to target their opponents
with violence. 
     Is this a coincidence?  Probably not.  What this story
illustrates is how the white supremacist movement in America has
learned to shift its tactics.  No longer able to rely on open
racism as an effective recruiting tactic, they have now found a
more socially acceptable target for hate -- lesbians and gays. 
     Is this a new white supremacist movement?  Does this mean they
no longer hate people of color, Jews, feminists, immigrants, etc.? 
No and No.  The number of hate crimes in this country is evidence
that hatred still exists as a family value. 
     Hate groups in the mid-1990s are refocusing their energies. 
They are worried that they can never convince the majority of white
Americans to join them in their netherworld.  While many whites may
share their prejudices, very few are willing to act on them by
openly carrying a Klan calling card or an Uzi.  This situation
demands a new strategy that combines old hatreds with new rhetoric. 
White supremacists desperately need to reinvigorate their movement
with new recruits by manipulating white fears into action. 
     White fears of change or difference are exploited by hate
groups.  At the same time they are expanding their targets of hate. 
They have adopted not only homophobia as a prominent part of their
new agenda, but are forcefully anti-abortion, pro-family values,
and pro-American, in addition to their traditional racist and
anti-Semitic beliefs.  This broadening of issues and the use of
conservative buzzwords have attracted the attention of whites who
may not consider themselves racist, but do consider themselves
patriotic Americans concerned about the moral decay of "their"
country.  
     From the ranks of homophobes, anti-abortionists, racists,
anti-Semites, and those who are simply afraid of a fast-changing
world, white supremacists find willing allies in their struggle to
control America's destiny.  Hate groups cannot be dismissed as no
more complex than the virulence of a few fringe fanatics. With the
breathless way the media covers hate groups, it is sometimes easier
to characterize them simply as misfits or extremists, rather than
acknowledge them as part of the larger problem of widespread
racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. 
     When they wish, hate groups get lots of free publicity from
tabloid talk shows eager to boost ratings with the winning
combination of race, guns, and violence.  Such hosts may
hypocritically hold their noses while racists, particularly
skinheads, advertise their toughness and their addresses on
national TV. 
     In this way, many more people are exposed to their message,
convinced by their passion, and seduced by their simplistic answers
to complex social problems.  With time and repetition, white
supremacists have fused many "fringe" far-right beliefs together
into "acceptable" mainstream values.  While hate groups have
previously relied on violence, their new manipulation of
ultra-conservative rhetoric have combined to provoke a deadly
acceptance of intolerance in this country. 
     The influence of hate groups is evident in the increase in
violent hate crimes across the nation.  Most are committed not by
actual members of hate groups, but by freelancers trying to halt
the social changes around them.  Many are trying to form hate gangs
of their own. 
     The latest FBI statistics report that 65% of America's hate
crimes were committed by whites against blacks.  A good portion of
such hate crimes are what we call "move-in" violence when
neighborhoods, schools, churches or jobs are finally integrated 30
years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  
     Terror over the visibility of the lesbian and gay movement
lies behind hate crimes against gays and lesbians (and their
allies) -- the fastest-growing hate crime category in the country. 
     Some of the haters, living on the United States borders, are
petrified at the thought that brown hordes of Mexicans, Chinese or
Haitians may swarm over them if they cease their militant rhetoric
and violence towards these immigrants.  If they live near Native
American reservations, the aim of their violence is to challenge
the few remaining treaty rights granted native peoples.  
     Other white supremacists want to save the white race by
controlling the behavior of white women -- they attack interracial
couples, lesbians, and feminists.  They join the anti-abortion
movement, believing they can prevent white women from getting legal
abortions.  Racist far-right organizations have been quick to
glorify anti-abortion violence, making it yet another hot issue to
fuel the fires of the white revolution.    
     There are others who want to save the environment for the
white race.  They have infiltrated the environmental movement, or
have switched sides to join the Wise Use movement.  They are
frantic to exploit the earth's natural resources to accumulate
wealth before that time early in the 21st century when demographics
predict that America will no longer be majority-white. 
     In particular, many new recruits to the movement come from the
religious right across a bridge of homophobia.  Haters robed in
clerical black are barely distinguishable from those hiding under
white bedsheets, particularly in the eyes of their victims. 
     Hate groups have decided that they are no longer willing to
wait for the white revolution -- the violent backlash against human
rights movements.  They want a fast solution before, as they put
it, "the white race is extinct." 
     Some white supremacists are opting to lead the way as a
guerilla strike force, precipitating the purification of America of
all those who are not white, straight and Christian.  In a frank
statement about white supremacist strategy, Aryan Nations member
Louis Beam wrote: "We do not advocate segregation. That was a
temporary measure that is long past....Our Order intends to take
part in the Physical and Spiritual Racial Purification of ALL those
countries which have traditionally been considered White lands in
Modern Times....We intend to purge this entire land area of Every
non-White person, gene, idea and influence." (Capitalization in
original) 
     These self-described "white separatists" believe that the
United States government is controlled by a conspiratorial cabal of
non-whites or Jews or a combination of both. They seek to change
this "Zionist Occupation Government" either through terror or
violence, or by influencing the political mainstream. They tell
their followers that crime and welfare abuse by African Americans,
immigration by Mexicans and Asians, or a fictional Jewish
conspiracy are responsible for a decline in the status of white
people. They accuse civil rights organizations of "hating white
people" and brand whites who do not support them as race traitors
or self-haters. 
     These fanatics are terrorists who use bombs, murder, arson and
assaults in their genocidal war.  Some skinheads -- for example,
the Fourth Reich Skins arrested last year in Los Angeles or the
Aryan National Front convicted of murdering homeless people in
Alabama -- are in the vanguard of this street-level violence. 
Meanwhile, older survivalists like Randy Weaver, who was acquitted
of killing a federal marshall in a Idaho firefight in 1992, are
barricaded in mountain shelters with stockpiles of weapons,
awaiting the final Armaggedon.      
     Impressionable, often alienated people, both young and old,
are natural recruits for this movement.  They bring new energy and
a willingness to display their hatred aggressively.  They also
expand the influence of the white supremacist movement -- into the
anti-abortion movement, into the anti-gay movement, into the
English-only movement -- opening new avenues for the expression of
hate. 
     Others white supremacists are following a less violent
strategy: exchanging bullets for ballots and running for political
office.  Some attempt to clone David Duke's success.  With a little
cosmetic surgery on the nose and resume, Duke was able to convince
55% of white Louisianians to vote for him when he ran for governor
in 1992.  Tapping into the resentment of the white backlash, Duke
promoted himself as a defender of white rights and, for a brief
moment, shook America out of its racial daydream.  
     Many observers were surprised so many whites voted for Duke
since they had lied in pre-election polls.  Duke set himself apart
from other "klandidates" by convincing the majority of whites to
act on their perceived group interests as whites -- something that
had not been achieved so openly since the 1980s romance with the
Reagan revolution. 
     What many Americans fail to realize is that, increasingly,
white people are being literally scared out of their wits by
demagogues like Duke who crystallize for them their fears of people
of color, lesbians and gays, the government, the media, welfare
mothers, immigrants, the economy, health care -- and the list goes
on.  Instead of rejecting Duke as a fringe opportunist, they voted
for him because of his well-documented racist past.  He was serious
about white rights; he gave them permission to practice a kindler,
gentler white supremacy. 
     In the 1990s, the image of organized hate is rapidly changing. 
It is no longer the exclusive domain of white men over 30.  It is
becoming younger and meaner.  Many people join the movement as
teenagers, including a remarkable number of young women.  A kind of
"Sisterhood of Hate" to procreate white supremacy has emerged. In
the last 10 years, women have joined the racist movement in record
numbers -- from the White Nurses preparing for racial holy war to
female skinheads producing videotapes on natural childbirth
techniques.  This new and dangerous increase accounts for nearly
one-third of the membership of some hate groups.  The increase in
the number of women, coupled with a strategic thrust to reform the
public image of hate groups, has expanded women's leadership.  
     These new recruits do not fit the stereotypical image of wives
on their husbands' arms.  In fact, many of them are
college-educated, very sophisticated, and displaying skills usually
found among the rarest of intellectuals in the movement.  
     Most Americans don't understand the pervasiveness of white
supremacists and the importance of their ideology in America's
self-definition.  Thus, they are unaware of how this ideology has
mutated over the years and now blurs the lines between organized
racists and their more mainstream counterparts in the religious
right and ultra-conservative movements. 
     Of particular concern in the 1990s is a continuing convergence
of sections of the white supremacist movement with the radical
Christian Right, as represented by Pat Robertson, and nationalist
ultra-conservatives, as represented by Pat Buchanan. This alliance
is between religious determinists who think that one's degree of
Christianity determines one's future, economic determinists who see
themselves in a war of the "haves" against the "have-nots", and
biological determinists for whom race is everything. All believe
they are in battle to save western civilization (white Europeans)
from the ungodly and the unfit (people of color, gays and lesbians,
and Jews). 
     In the 1990s, their cutting edge issue has been homophobia as
anti-gay campaigns have enriched their coffers and also mobilized
a conservative current in the African American community. For
example, their ability to oppose allowing gays in the military
transferred directly to killing or stalling President Clinton's
proposals on the budget, health care reform, jobs and economic
recovery. Of the three trends, the ultra-conservatives have the
best ability to mainstream their views. 
     They all oppose the social gains of the 1960s and they share
strong elements of racism and national chauvinism that can bridge
their differences. Nativist themes favoring the rights of natural
born Americans to those of immigrants may widen their appeal. For
example, the Rev. Billy McCormack who campaigned for David Duke in
the early 1990s and was prominent in the 1992 Republican National
Convention, is now the Louisiana state chair of Robertson's
Christian Coalition. This trend which CDR first noticed in the Duke
campaigns has continued around a series of issues: gay rights,
crime and welfare reform, immigration, English Only, America First
nationalism, opposition to NAFTA, and even Holocaust denial. The
1994 and 1996 election campaigns featuring isolationist and
nationalist themes and ultra-Christianity will be an opportunity
for rapprochement for all sectors of the right wing to begin a
march back to the center of power sharing a very "big tent." "No
Special Rights" and "No Political Correctness" campaigns have their
origins in the white supremacist belief that white supremacy is
right for America. 

White Supremacy as an Ideology 

     The fact that race relations in the United States are usually
presented as a black/white model disguises the complexity of color,
the brutality of class, and the importance of religion and sexual
identity in the construction and practice of white supremacy.  This
simplistic model, which fails to convey many of the important
aspects of white supremacy, cannot specifically explain how white
supremacy influences American culture and politics.       
     White supremacy is an ideology that manipulates U.S. politics
and affects all relations in American society.  It is sustained by
rigid ideological categories.  The construction of racial
categories, although varying greatly over time, has always been
based on the economic, social and political aspirations of people
of European descent.  Throughout European history, racial
definitions have been based on lineage, phrenological
characteristics, skin hue, and religion.  This system was
institutionalized in America through systematic violence, distorted
Christianity, and dubious science. 
     The concept of a white race aggressively struggling against
all others to maintain its presumed purity is an expression of the
European model of white supremacy, based not necessarily on skin
color, but on social stratifications and values assigned by the
dominant group.  
     These categories and values -- a series of immunities,
privileges, rights and assumptions that became the foundation for
ideological whiteness -- are not entirely dependent on skin color
or even class status.  The creation of racial categories, including
"whiteness," affects identity construction and social
relationships.  Because white supremacy springs from the identity
crisis of European nationalism, it is not surprising that it
replicates similar identity crises among its victims.  Thus,
racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism, and nativism are
interdependent in the practice of white supremacy.  Other
components are national chauvinism and religious fundamentalism.  
     These categories are not inherent, natural or biologically
determined.  Rather they are artificial beliefs created by social,
economic and political conditions.  Such beliefs have altered the
laws, language and customs of the United States in the service of
regulating social relations. 
     Helan Page, an African-American anthropologist, defines 
white supremacy in the U.S. as an: 
     "ideological, structural and historic stratification process
by which the population of European descent...has been able to
intentionally sustain, to its own best advantage, the dynamic
mechanics of upward or downward mobility or fluid class status over
the non-European populations (on a global scale), using skin color,
gender, class or ethnicity as the main criteria" for allocating
resources and making decisions.
     This complex definition explains the substance of white
supremacy and its ability to mutate like a virus to meet constantly
changing conditions.  Since neither white supremacy nor the
European nationalism that is its base is recognized as an
expression of group interests, it is difficult for other groups to
defend themselves against it.  Even many who benefit from its
existence fail to recognize its current manifestation as
institutionalized racism or homophobia.     
     These common group interests need no conscious manipulation to
be expressed; they are based on color, class, sexual orientation,
and Christianity.  From far-right groups like the Ku Klux Klan to
liberals who deny the pervasiveness of anti-black racism on the
left, white supremacy privileges all people of European descent: a
sort of affirmative action for whites. 
     The words of a few defenders of white supremacy make these
common interests very clear.  Thom Robb, national director of the
Knights of the KKK, speaking at a 1993 Klan rally in Pulaski,
Tenn., declared: "Politicians, teachers, professors, religious
leaders...none of them speak out for the defense of white Christian
America."   
     Robb's speech was no more threatening than the militaristic
rhetoric offered by failed presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan
at the 1992 Republican National Convention: "If your leaders have
lost the stomach and the will to fight, then you go out and find
new leaders...Our culture is superior to other cultures, superior
because our religion is Christianity."  
     The connection between a far-right marginal figure like Thom
Robb and a national mainstream politician like Pat Buchanan is a
shared belief in white supremacy.  Robb is less successful at
disguising his fundamental prejudices.  While the Klan is seen as
being against all who are not white, radical conservatives like Pat
Buchanan or religious leaders like Pat Robertson of the Christian
Coalition prefer to advocate for Western civilization and
Christianity.  All see themselves as threatened by a non-white,
non-European-dominated future America. 
     White supremacist beliefs, though largely invisible to the
majority of the American public, regardless of race, are at the
heart of the American experience.  The persistence of these beliefs
suggests that the racial myths and stereotypes common to white
supremacy are integral to the maintenance of the U.S. social order. 
     Sometimes the tenets of white supremacist groups can be
helpful when they reflect, epitomize, crystallize or even clarify
the perceptions of a predominantly white Christian society.  For
example, a December 1990 survey conducted by the National Opinion
Research Center revealed that 78 percent of non-blacks said African
Americans are more likely than whites to "prefer to live off
welfare" and less likely to "prefer to be self-supporting." Such
studies prove the enduring nature and widespread acceptance of
white supremacist beliefs.  These beliefs help to explain why the
majority of white Louisianians voted for David Duke. 
     Each of these beliefs is a reassertion of European nationalism
and its successor, American nationalism.  White supremacy, assuming
its own universal value and superiority, justifies the aggressive
imposition of its own assumptions on other peoples and cultures. 
This is its response to the movements of people of color, women,
lesbians and gays, and minority religions when they defend
themselves against the aggression of white supremacy.  Robb and
Buchanan simply seek to redefine America's Manifest Destiny, to
abridge its multicultural reality, and to continue the dominance of
white supremacy.  As Theodore Allen points out in The Invention of
the White Race, "in critical times, the thrust for freedom and
democracy is thwarted by the reinvention of the white race." 
     The invisibility of white supremacy masks how violence and the
threat of violence guarantee its durability.  White people assert
their moral right to use violent force whenever their group
interests are threatened.  People of color have no equivalent moral
right to defend themselves against European aggression, especially
when such aggression is done in the name of "law and order." 
     This paradoxical belief has been a powerful weapon with which
to steal and exploit land and other natural resources, to defend
slavery and racism, to condemn lesbians and gays, and to deride all
who are not Christian.  Those who are not white or Christian are
expected, at best to merge into the dominant culture and political
system, or worst, to remain invisible and not to challenge white
Christian hegemony.  Outsiders seeking acceptance are constantly
pressured to prove themselves, to suppress their indigenous
culture, and to assimilate into the "mainstream" to achieve upward
mobility. 
     White supremacist beliefs are perpetuated through a series of
social conventions irrespective of political boundaries.  
Organized white supremacy makes prevailing attitudes of prejudice
appear moderate and reasonable: it normalizes everyday injustice.
For example, a 1993 study commissioned by the National Science
Foundation found that racist attitudes and stereotypes are rampant
among whites, regardless of political affiliation. For example, 51
percent of the respondents who identified themselves as
conservatives said they think African Americans are "aggressive and
violent." For those who identified themselves as liberals, 45
percent felt that blacks had those attributes. Furthermore, blacks
are "irresponsible" according to 21 percent of the conservatives
and 17 percent of the liberals studied. 
     Excessive tolerance of white supremacist activities threatens
the culture of pluralism and impairs the practice of democracy in
America. They are America's deepest nightmare because they attack
not only individuals, but they assault the legitimacy of our
democratic process itself. Their ideology seeks to oveturn civil
and human rights achieved through open debate and free elections,
one of the cornerstones of democracy. 
     Because the percentage of whites who actually belong to white
supremacist groups is small, there is a general tendency to
underestimate their influence. What is really significant is not in
the number of people actually belonging to hate groups, but the
number who endorse their messages. Once known primarily for their
criminal activities, racists have demonstrated a catalytic effect
by tapping into the prejudices of the white majority. Recent polls
by the National Opinion Research Center reveal that 13 percent of
whites in America have anti-Semitic beliefs; another 25 percent are
racist. This noticeably impacts public policy concerning central
issues of racism, poverty, crime, reproductive rights, civil rights
for gays and lesbians, the environment, and more. 
White Supremacy in Practice 
     Most white supremacists in America believe that the United
States is a "Christian" nation, with a special relationship between
religion and the rule of law. Because racists give themselves
divine permission from God to hate, they often don't see that their
actions are driven by hate; they claim to "just love God and the
white race." If they are religious, they distort Biblical passages
to justify their bigotry. A popular religion called Christian
Identity provides a theological bond across organizational lines.
Identity churches are ministered by charismatic leaders who promote
racial intolerance and religious division. Even for those who are
not religious, "racist" to them means being racially conscious and
seeing the world through a prism of inescapable biological
determinism with different races having different pre-ordained
destinies. 
     Only about 25,000 Americans are hardcore ideological activists
for the white supremacist movement, a tiny fraction of the white
population. They are organized into approximately 300 different
organizations. No two groups are exactly alike, ranging from
seemingly innocuous religious sects or tax protestors to openly
militant, even violent, neo-Nazi skinheads and Ku Klux Klan
Klaverns. The basic underpinnings of these organizations may be
rooted in religion, they may be paramilitary, or survivalists, or
anarchists. Currently, Klan groups are on the decline while more
Hitler-inspired groups, like the National Alliance and the Church
of the Creator, are growing in numbers and influence. Swastikas and
Uzis are replacing hoods and crosses. 
     Each group is working to create a society totally dominated by
whites by excluding and denying the rights of non-whites, Jews,
gays and lesbians, and by subjugating women. The movement's links
are global, from the pro-apartheid movement in South Africa and the
neo-fascists in Germany to robed Klansmen in the deep South. 
     Some 150,000 to 200,000 people subscribe to racist
publications, attend their marches and rallies, and donate money.
Approximately 100 hatelines are in operation, with recorded
messages that propagandize the caller wih hate-motivated speeches
and publicize upcoming meetings and rallies. Because of their
increasingly sophisticated use of the media and electronic
technology, there are 150 independent racist radio and television
shows that air weekly and reach millions of sympathizers. This
estimate does not include commercially-backed broadcasters like
Rush Limbaugh who also spew racist vitriol, or the countless
mainstream talks shows that regularly feature racists during
ratings week sensationalism. 
     In the 1960s, the Ku Klux Klan was the most infamous of the
organized hate groups with an estimated 40,000 members in 1965. But
by the end of the 1970s the majority of white supremacists belonged
to organizations other than the Klan. They had evolved from loosely
structured fraternal organizations into highly developed
paramilitary groups with extensive survivalist training camps often
funded by proceeds from counterfeit money and bank and armoured car
robberies.  In the 1990s, they have transformed themselves from a
violent vanguard into a sophisticated political movement with a
significant constituency. 
     Although the Ku Klux Klan is the most notorious, hate groups
come in many forms.  For example, they organize as religious cults,
most predominantly the Christian Identity model which asserts that
(1) white people are the original Lost Tribes of Israel; (2) Jews
are descendants of Satan; and (3) African Americans and other
people of color are pre-Adamic, or beasts created by God before He
created Adam, the first white man.  Christian Identity followers
feel they can attack and murder Jews and people of color without
contradicting their religious convictions because they have been
told by their leaders that people of color and Jews have no souls. 
     Another significant religious cult is the Church of the
Creator, founded in 1973.  Its members believe they are engaged in
a racial holy war (RAHOWA) between the "pure" Aryan race and the
"mud races."  Adherents are frequently in the headlines for their
violence.  In 1993, members were arrested by the FBI as part of the
Fourth Reich Skinheads who attempted to bomb First AME Church in
Los Angeles and assassinate LA motorist Rodney King.  Members have
also been arrested in numerous murders, violent assaults, and bank
robberies across the nation.  They believe that they can
precipitate the race war by provoking a violent response with
attacks upon Jews and people of color. 
     The Aryan Nations in Idaho has been one of the umbrella
organizations seeking to unite various Klan and neo-Nazi groups. 
Members spread across the country attend annual celebrations of
Hitler's birthday at the Idaho encampment in April.  In 1979,
founder Richard Butler convened the first Aryan Nations World
Congress on his property and attracted Klan and neo-Nazi leaders
from the U.S., Canada and Europe, who gathered to exchange ideas
and strategies.  This annual summer event has led to greater
cooperation among a wide variety of groups. 
     There are at least 26 different Ku Klux Klan groups in the
United States, most of them concentrated in the South.  The largest
and fastest-growing is the Knights of the KKK, headquartered in
Harrison, Arkansas under the leadership of Thom Robb.  The Knights
recently held rallies in Wisconsin, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana,
Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.  Robb's Knights were
the first group to recruit skinheads into their ranks and he has
been quick to put promising young leaders like Shawn Slater in
Colorado into the national spotlight.  It is the most Nazi-esque of
the Klans, maintaining strong ties to Richard Butler's Aryan
Nations in Idaho.  
     Robb's group, originally founded by David Duke in the 1970s,
has moved into national Klan leadership because of the dissolution
of the Invisible Empire Knights of the KKK in 1993.  The Invisible
Empire's national leader, J.W. Farrands of Gulf, N.C. recently lost
in a suit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) against
the Invisible Empire for the violent attacks in 1987 on civil
rights marchers in Forsyth County, Georgia.  Farrands was ordered
by the court to pay $37,500 in damages to the plaintiffs in the
class action suit.  The settlement with the SPLC prohibits use of
the Invisible Empire's name or the publication of their newspaper,
The Klansman.  Farrands has reorganized his forces under a new
name, the Unified Knights of the KKK, to continue their racist
activities.  
     It is typical for the 1990s' Klan, reeling from criminal
convictions, to publicly disavow violence while secretly
encouraging its followers to commit hate crimes under the cover of
darkness.  However, they are still known for their "Knight Riders"
and the Klan calling cards used to terrorize people the Klan
dislikes. 
     The Holocaust-denial movement is the clearest expression of
the anti-Semitic nature of white supremacy.  Various institutions
within the white supremacist movement are revising the history of
Nazi Germany, claiming that the Holocaust against the Jews either
did not happen or was greatly exaggerated.  
     The most sophisticated of these institutions is the Institute
for Historical Review (IHR) in California.  Founded by longtime
racist and anti-Semite Willis Carto, the IHR offers hatred with an
intellectual gloss.  Although the IHR is currently beset by
internal power struggles between founder Carto and Institute staff,
it still remains the source of much of the anti-Semitic literature
in the hate movement.       
     Carto also founded the Liberty Lobby in the 1950s, and in 1974
began publishing The Spotlight, a weekly tabloid with approximately
100,000 paid subscribers.  In 1984, he started the Populist Party
which ran David Duke for U.S. President in 1988. 
     The most violent wing of the white supremacist movement is the
growing neo-Nazi skinhead movement, of which there are about 3,500
members in the United States.  They openly worship Hitler and many
young people, with ages from 13 to 25, are inducted into their
ranks after committing a hate crime as part of the gang initiation. 
Their youthful appearance is rapidly changing the face of hate. 
Girls are rapidly rising into skinhead leadership.  
     Skinhead groups have developed their own leadership and
appeal, distinct from adult Klan and neo-Nazi groups.  Skinheads
have committed over 25 murders in the last four years and have
expanded into 40 states.  Most of their victims are African
Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, gays and lesbians, and the
homeless.  The typical skinhead assault begins with liquor, drugs
and hate. 
     Skinheads are the "urban guerrillas" of the hate movement. 
More seasoned adults have abandoned open violence to sanitize their
public images.  Such adults recruit and encourage young people to
commit criminal activities, just as older drug dealers use young
kids to push drugs.  Unfortunately, this means that hate crimes
committed by juveniles are often seen as mere pranks, not the
serious assaults on liberty and freedom that they really are.  This
tactic also frequently allows the adult leaders to escape
punishment.  For example, the FBI learned of the assassination
plots planned by the Fourth Reich Skinheads by monitoring the phone
lines of Tom Metzger, leader of White Aryan Resistance in
California. 
     Skinheads have firmly established themselves in six to eight
national organizations, rather than simply as appendages of adult
groups. In 1993, rather than waiting for the race war to start,
they were "doing things to start the race war" according to
skinheads arrested in June who attempted to bomb a predominantly
black housing project in Toledo, Ohio. On July 20, a pipe bomb was
thrown through the front windows of the Tacoma, Washington offices
of the NAACP. A week later, the Sacramento, California NAACP office
was also gutted by a bomb. 
     While young people commit the majority of hate crimes in
America, the adult leaders are forming a series of political
organizations with which to spread their message of hate and
bigotry.  When David Duke left the Klan, he formed the National
Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP) to serve as
a "white civil rights organization" which would oppose integration,
affirmative action, welfare, interracial marriages, and scholarship
programs for minorities.       
     Many of the distinctions between various Klan and neo-Nazi
groups have dissolved.  The membership is extremely fluid: members
flow in and out because of internal squabbles and leadership
battles.  Cross-memberships, in-depth leadership summit meetings,
and the use of common periodicals are frequent, indicating
considerable organizational cohesion.  For example, members of WAR
are featured in newspapers from the Church of the Creator; Klansmen
often appear at Aryan Nations events; NAAWP activists have been
seen at Klan rallies.  Their primary point of disagreement is
whether to fight for white supremacy through violence, politics, or
both. 

Coalition Politics Against White Supremacy 

     Just because white supremacy exists and has done so for a long
time, there is no reason for its victims to accept it.  This
apparent tautology serves as a reminder of the distracting
potential for misdirecting our focus into fighting each other
rather than understanding the nature and endurance of white
supremacy. 
     In the words of Dhoruba Bin Wahad, "We must prepare ourselves
collectively to wage many struggles at once, we must do so with a
common sense of mission and purpose."  Pride and solidarity prepare
individuals to become partners in an alliance against oppression. 
     Coalition building requires that each group clarify its own
identity apart from that created for it by white supremacy. 
Learning each other's history is critical to understanding why we
cannot set each other's agendas.  
     Mutual efforts against white supremacy are not just an
educational process that teaches each group about the other; this
work also addresses the loss of contact and lack of trust between
communities.  
     Oppressed groups need to have separate spaces in which to gain
their self-respect, name themselves, and discover their own
history.  These same groups need to form coalitions with other
groups in order to compare, contrast, and identify the connections
among different types of white supremacist oppression.  
     Coalition work is not easy or comfortable; it is hard to be
confronted constantly with our own and each other's bigotry which
forces us to reevaluate our cherished assumptions.  Despite the
difficulties, coalitions provide us with a much greater potential
to bring about fundamental opposition to white supremacy and
advancement of our movements for human rights. 
                              ***** 
     The Center for Democratic Renewal is a non-profit research
clearinghouse for information on white supremacist hate groups and
hate crimes in the United States.  Founded in 1979 as the National
Anti-Klan Network, CDR monitors how hate groups infringe on the
human rights of American citizens and helps communities
constructively respond to bigoted violence.  This report was
prepared by Loretta J. Ross, Program Research Director. 


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