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Hate on the Web

Hate on the Web

 


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Hate on the Web (Contents)

Hate on the Web

More than 300 white supremacist sites on the World Wide Web target white working-class youth with everything from literature to hate rock CD's, peddling a message that glorifies hatred and violence.

A UE Steward
Files a Grievance
Against Hatred

How one UE Steward arms himself to challenge racism and bigotry on the web and on the job.

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More Information

There are no links to any of the hate sites mentioned here — but listed below are five valuable web sites where you can learn more about the organized hate movement in the United States and how to oppose it.

HateWatch, a web-based organization that monitors the growing and evolving threat of hate group activity on the internet;

Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate activity across the country. Web site includes "Klan Watch" and "Teaching Tolerance" sections.

Center for New Community, where the "Building Democracy Initiative" works to counter far-right, anti-democratic movements in the Midwest.

The Center for Democratic Renewal, founded in 1979 as the National Anti-Klan Network.

Not In Our Town, home page of two public television programs that have helped coalesce a national movement against hate crimes.


Hate on the Web

Hate on the Web

Hatred, violence — and rock and roll?

Racist music and the Internet are closely connected vehicles for a mind-numbing array of organizations peddling hatred.

White working-class youth are special targets of Internet hate-rock sites promoting hostility to non-whites as a solution to unemployment and hopelessness.

Jostling for Web surfers’ attention along with hate music sites are neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, Ku Klux Klan factions and ersatz religions based on white supremacy. To visit some sites is travel the ideological road to the Oklahoma City bombing.

Since an ex-Klansman put up the first neo-Nazi web site in March 1995, an explosion in Internet hate activity in the last three years brought the total into the triple digits. Based on our own research and that of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the UE NEWS found nearly 200 Sites. Adding into the count those extremists whose goal is a "white Christian republic," researcher Devin Burghart of the Center for New Community puts the total number of white supremacist web sites at more than 300.

The UE NEWS visited 32 hate web sites — including KKK, neo-Nazi and skinhead sites — in the preparation of this report.

Hate on the Web

 

CANNED HATE

While some sites are served up by disgruntled individuals acting on their own, more than half the sites represent organizations peddling membership, literature or compact discs, all while offering racial hatred as the solution to the nation’s problems.

"With hate sites proliferating on the Internet and the increasing popularity of slickly produced, white power rock ‘n’ roll music, racist organizers are reaching young people around the country like never before," says the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The proliferation of white supremacist web sites follows growth in white supremacist organizing and activity.

The Intelligence Project documented 474 hate groups and group chapters involved in racist behavior last year, reflecting a real rise of some 20 percent over 1996.

Racist rock bands and labels have been particularly successful in promoting their product, says Burghart. "The distributors of white power rock have latched on to the ‘Net as another promotional tool, as another advertising medium," he points out.

Hate on the Web

‘CYBER-WAR’

White power rock gives expression to the rage of some young people, while postings on the Internet raise economic issues too often ignored by the media and politicians of both major parties. But if neo-Nazi web sites attempt to exploit legitimate working-class anger, the sites’ messages have little in the way of analysis or solution other than appeals to hatred.

"Some cyber-Nazis, particularly young racist skinheads, view the Internet as the ideal location for agitation and escalation of racial warfare doctrines," says Burghart. "For them, it provides a means to wage ‘cyber-war.’"

"Each Internet component plays a role in advancing the white supremacist movement’s diffuse agendas," Burghart observes. "Bulletin Board Systems act as bunkers — archives where the most virulent ideas are guarded from easy public access by passwords that only proven activists can obtain. E-mail and online chat facilitate discussion of movement strategies and tactics. Usenet newsgroups serve as arenas for propaganda and recruitment. World Wide Web pages act as electronic billboards, openly displaying white supremacy to anyone searching for it."

A visit to the oldest white supremacist site, Stormfront, reveals numerous articles, a chat room, a "legal defense" area and links to the web pages of David Duke for Senate, the Buchanan Brigade, white power music, a wide variety of KKK and neo-Nazi groupings and foreign fascists.

Hate on the Web

 

LOVE TO HATE

The more than 300 web sites represent a vast assortment of conflicting organizational allegiances, policies and ideologies. All, however, share a belief in white supremacy and hatred for Jews. Homages to Adolph Hitler sit alongside record reviews at hate music web sites.

Gays and immigrants are also frequent targets for crude and vulgar abuse. Skinheads sites display a particular disgust for those skinheads and organizations of young people fighting racism.

Some, but by no means all, of these web sites acknowledge that they are, in fact, promoting hate. By its own admission, Tri-State Terror sells "hate rock" CDs. Skinheads gather at the Internet’s "Hate Mongers Hangout." The World Church of the Creator preaches "hate for your enemies" — meaning non-whites and Jews. Born to Hate is the title of a compact disc by the skinhead band Nordic Thunder.

Other groups profess to be motivated by love — of "race," that is, not humanity. Regarding non-whites and Jews as inferior creatures who must be eliminated is not hateful, they say.

A similar ambivalence is evident in discussions of violence.

Hate on the Web

 

 

HOMAGE TO HOODS

While some Ku Klan Klan sites visited by the UE NEWS claim to abide by the law, others are silent on the issue. All, however, seem to glory in the KKK’s violent past.

These web pages praise the "leadership" and "victories" of the KKK movement in the post-Civil War period — an era when the original Klan gained notoriety for threats, lynchings and beatings designed to deny newly-emancipated blacks from exercising political power and keep them in virtual slavery on southern plantations.

Revived early in 1915, the "second era" KKK got its start through strike-breaking in Mobile, Ala. shipyards. The KKK targeted immigrant workers and their unions, resumed attacks on African-Americans, and later gained new notoriety for violence against the 1960s civil rights movement.

None of the various KKK web sites examined by the UE NEWS repudiate this legacy of violence. Instead, the Knights of the White Kamelia web site cites the Old Testament story of Phineas, who speared to death an Israelite and the Midianite woman with whom he shared his tent. A hooded Klansman warns: "Today is the Day of the Phineas Priest."

Hate on the Web

 

‘KICK, SMASH, CRUSH’

Appeals to violence are never far away from skinhead web sites or the lyrics of hate rockers available at white power record web sites.

The opening image on Bootgirl88’s Page shows violence against a black woman as a taunting blonde looks on. (The numbers "88" stand for "Heil Hitler.") A giant jackboot crushes a church on a neo-Nazi site; another celebrates RAHOWA — Racial Holy War.

Crush the Weak is the title of a Berserkr release on the Resistance Records label. In their song "When the Ropes Stretch Tight," White Wolf laments the emancipation of black slaves and the survival of European Jews and vows that both groups are "gonna get theirs when the ropes stretch tight."

With a TV news image of a human relations worker threatened as a "race traitor," the Philadelphia-based Alpha web site declares: "Traitors like this should beware, for in our day they will be hung from the neck from the nearest tree or lamp post."

Hate on the Web

 

NO UNIVERSAL RELIGION

Many of the groups and individuals represented on the Internet use religion to advance their racist goals, but the religious appeals vary widely. Some profess to be Christians, others espouse a bizarre rewriting of Christianity based on neo-Nazi ideology; some promote a new race-based religion while others have embraced worship of ancient Nordic deities.

Web sites promoting "Christian Identity" detail their belief that the children of Israel to whom the God of the Old Testament made His covenant are in fact white Anglo-Saxons; Jews, they say, are the offspring of Satan, while non-whites are soulless, "pre-Adamic" sub-humans. Identity is making inroads with traditional white supremacists (such as KKK members), racist skinheads and the anti-government Patriot movement.

The more recently devised World Church of the Creator despises Christianity, which it views as a Jewish plot. Popular among some skinheads and white power rock bands, this "religion" is based entirely on the belief that "what is good for the White Race is the highest virtue, and what is bad for the White Race is the ultimate sin." Hatred of Jews and non-whites takes on the force of a holy commandment.

Hate on the Web

 

FINAL SOLUTIONS

Appeals to working-class concerns are reoccurring themes in some racist rock lyrics and postings on web sites. The skinhead rock promoted by Plunder and Pillage has "always been music by and for the working class youth," says the distributor. "The working class can barely get by," wails White Wolf. Women for Aryan Unity decry communism but also capitalism, because "the rich get richer, the poor get poorer."

The UE NEWS found postings denouncing "free" trade, NAFTA and GATT. Most UE members could agree with the article "Clinton Prosperity is a Hoax," which discusses the rise of two-income earners against a backdrop of stagnant wages and increases in corporate profits and CEO salaries.

This reasonable-sounding posting appeared on the web site of the National Socialist White People’s Party, along with numerous reprints of Hitler’s speeches.

The program of the NSWPP calls for guarantees of decent housing, full employment, free medical care, price stability and a clean and healthy environment — for whites only. The republic envisioned by the NSWPP would be a one-party state based on the political philosophy of George Lincoln Rockwell and Adolf Hitler. Non-whites and Jews would be removed.

Democracy, the NSWPP says, "is a sickness." The government would have "special responsibility" to "remove all alien influences" from culture and "halt the spread of hereditary defects and racially impure blood."

As chilling as this message is, the view from the Aryan Nations-Church of Jesus Christ Christian is no less alarming.

Aryan Nations members declare they are "absolved from all allegiance to the United States of America" and catalog the U.S. government’s "hostile" acts in language that seems to legitimize terrorist attacks like the Oklahoma City bombing.

In the platform for the "Aryan National State," we find that only whites could be citizens, and only citizens would "be free to perform the mental or physical work of their own choosing" — a not-so-subtle plan to enslave people of color. Jews would be "repatriated;" advocacy of Judiasm and "Jewish Communism" would be punishable by death. Any publication or broadcast "not conducive to the National Welfare" would be banned.

Hate on the Web

 

WEIGHING THE DANGER

The white supremacist presence in cyber-space is a cause for concern, although the experts say these groups are not hijacking the Internet nor have they had any spectacular success in organizing via cyber-technology.

Leonard Zeskind of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights points out that while there has been a proliferation of white supremacist web sites on the Internet, "there has been a spectacular growth of web sites in general." Web sites are relatively easy and relatively inexpensive to put up, and the white supremacist movement has been taking advantage of the opportunities of the new technology, he says.

"As prolific as on-line white supremacists are," says Devin Burghart, "their material accounts for a tiny fraction of Internet content."

And Burghart says, the Internet has not replaced other communications media. "In fact, the largest usage of the Internet has been to advertise the sale of non-Internet-related white supremacist material, such as books, audio tapes and videos." Although the Internet may sell more white power records this activity does not necessarily translate into building a movement.

The Internet is no alternative to old-fashioned, face-to-face organizing. "A small group can portray itself as a highly sophisticated mass movement, and yet when those groups try to actually go out and do anything, most attempts to use the ‘Net to organize have fallen flat on their face," Burghart says.

Internet hate activity is significant because it gives an indication of white supremacist activity in the real world. The Internet gives a picture of a movement trying hard to expand its influence — an influence that threatens to divide and weaken unions.

"The white supremacist movement is very good at exploiting issues like stagnant wages and job loss due to NAFTA," says Burghart. "People don’t necessarily seek out white supremacist groups because of their objective economic situation, but white supremacists will exploit those situations to build their movements.

"It’s important that there is a progressive voice raising arguments about working-class concerns and organizing around those issues," he says. "In the course of doing that organizing, and addressing those issues, we must create a moral barrier against hate that would discourage people from joining white supremacist organizations."

"Union members should be concerned in the same way that every decent person should be concerned," says Zeskind, who addressed the 1997 UE National convention. "White supremacist activity poses a threat to very nature of the attempt to create a progressive and democratic society."

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