The article below ran in the January 2013 edition of Searchlight, an anti-racist, anti-fascist magazine published monthly in London with international distribution. It analyzes Klan, neo-Nazi and Tea Party activity during 2012, and recounts some of the movement's most violent episodes. At the end, please note the data that points towards problems in the future.
2012: A Year in ReviewBy Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart
The year began with whimpers from white nationalists about the decay of their supposed civilization. And it ended with a bang from gunners screaming about their rights after yet another mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Election year events dominated the ebb and flow of the far right, the racists and the bigots. In between, skinheads and assorted Aryan-types were arrested and convicted in multiple instances of horrific violence.
Monday, January 21, is the national holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday anniversary. If he had not been horribly murdered by an assassin in 1968, or struck down in some other fashion, he would be 84 years old. Across the country, in every major city and most medium-sized towns there will be at least some kind of event. In Kansas City, where I am now sitting, multiple events have already happened as I write these words.
Alex Jones, the Austin, Texas-based radio talk-show host who's made a career of pumping out bigotry and conspiracies for profit, was invited onto CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" show on Monday, January 7 to discuss gun rights. In part, Jones was asked on the program to discuss his petition to "Deport Piers Morgan" after the CNN host advocated for gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown massacre. Rather than engage in a debate or discussion, Jones launched into an irate, conspiracy-laden rant.
Two self-avowed white supremacists, Holly Ann Grigsby and David Pederson, are awaiting trial in district courts in Oregon and Washington State for a five-month crime spree in 2011 that included kidnapping, robbery and murder—all in the name of preserving and purifying the "white race." They are charged under the same racketeering statute that was used by federal prosecutors in 1985 in Seattle, when twenty-three members of The Order were indicted for a murder, robbery and other crimes.
The Order criminal enterprise lasted longer, involved more combatants and was considerably more sophisticated politically than the most recent case. Indeed, the legacy of The Order included multiple Klan, Aryan Nations and neo-Nazi organizations adopting the "white bastion" strategy: trying to create a whites-only republic in the states of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Although it had its detractors inside the white nationalist movement at the time, the strategy was promoted widely until the defeat of the militia movement in the late 1990s.
Today, the white nationalist idea of secession, carving out a piece of territory in the Pacific Northwest, is regaining adherents. An uptick in activity in the region, increased discussion of the possibility of establishing a white republic, and the migration of a few white souls into states of Montana and Idaho may be signs that more trouble is in the offing.
Due to the interest in the international aspects of the white power music scene generated by the murder and mayhem alleged committed by white power musician Wade Michael Page, IREHR publishes here an investigative look back from our archives to further understanding of the nature of this international cooperation.
Long before the shooter walked into a suburban Milwaukee Sikh temple and opened fire, murdering six people before being killed by police, the former soldier reportedly responsible for the horrific attack was loaded with the ideological ammunition to carry out acts of mass violence against people of color.
Wade Michael Page has been identified as the alleged shooter. The exact motivation for Page's targeting of the Sikh temple is not now known, but his background shows a young man who for over a decade had his head filled with white noise.