is the title of a piece in the Guardian.uk by James Ridgeway.
Fourteen Words that spell racism
The prospect of an African-American president is bringing white supremacist subculture in the US out of the shadows
It was written in response to the arrests of the 2 young skinheads arrested for plotting to decapitate black Americans and kill Barack Obama.
I wish that American news sources would address this arrest in context, as does this piece.
Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, the two Tennessee neo-Nazis arrested for plotting to kill 102 African-American schoolchildren and then assassinate Barack Obama, clearly drew inspiration from a violent white nationalist group called the Order. In the 1980s, members of the Order carried out a crime spree that included several high-profile murders.
The connection to the Order is evident in the numbers the two men scrawled on their car on Saturday shortly before they were arrested: 14 and 88. The so-called Fourteen Words is a slogan – “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” – coined by Order member David Lane, who also wrote an essay called 88 Precepts. In white supremacist circles, 14-88 is a shorthand expression of allegiance to the beliefs put forth by Lane and the Order, who wanted to found a white homeland where they could preserve the “Aryan race” from being polluted by non-whites and enslaved by the “Zionist-occupied government” of the US. Lane also advocated polygamy and a kind of European paganism he called Wotanism.
Ridgeway, the author of Blood in the Face , also did a film about these groups:
Order members were best known for the 1984 murder of Denver talkshow host Alan Berg. The group’s leader, Robert Jay Matthews, was killed soon afterwards in a shootout with federal agents. David Lane was arrested in 1985 and died in prison last year while serving a 190-year sentence. Both men have become heroes and martyrs to the white supremacist movement.
During the heyday of the racist far right in the 1980s, the Order was only one of the groups active across the US. I wrote about that subculture for years, and made a film about it.
For those of you who haven’t seen the film it is available in full on youtube. Here is the opening segment:
You tube notes:
Welcome to the Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party and David Duke.
In the film, members of the Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party, Aryan Nation, The Order and other radical right wing groups speak openly and assertively about arming themselves to the hilt and preparing for imminent race wars and the overthrow of ‘ZOG’ (The Zion Occupation Government). With folksy, often dark humor, they address their issues: interracial ‘breeding,’ the Holocaust ‘hoax,’ legions of ‘colored’ foreign troops poised to attach America.
In addition to the infamous David Duke, the films cast of right wing radicals includes the American Nazi Party’s George Lincoln Rockwell, former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Don Black, Ku Klux Klan National Director Thom Robb, Christian Identity Ministers Jack Moher and Allen Poe, Canadian Fascist Western Guard leader John Ross Taylor, The Order leader Bruce Carroll Pierce, and White Patriots Party leaders Alan Berg and Glen Miller. Some are seen only in archival footage, others are interviewed directly for the film.
“Compared to some aborigine in Africa who eats his own grandmother, and they’re still eating people over there, yes sir, I believe you and I are all supermen compared to those cruds.”
“America did not exist until the coming of the white man.”
Go to youtube to see the rest of the film.
The two young men who were arrested will be brushed off by most of the press as “isolated nutjobs” and everyone will breathe a sigh of relief, pleased that the ATF did its job, and the story will fade away in the press of other news.
I have a deep interest in hate groups in America, and regularly check in to the Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Watch site. Perhaps it’s because I actually saw the Klan ride as a child. I’ve seen hate groups come to my neighboring town of Kingston New York in recent years, and know that not far away from me are a group of rabid haters. I’ve also done work in prisons, and have had direct contact with Aryan Brotherhood members.
The face of hate in America is being revealed in living color in these last days of the campaign. I do not excuse John McCain, nor Sarah Palin for inflaming and co-signing this hatred. They have essentially given race hatred and xenophobia hate a “Sick-Housekeeping Seal of Approval”.
I am tired of hearing that John McCain is an honorable man, that he has no control over his campaign, or the people that do things in his name.
I am tired of people turning away from this hatred, and minimizing it.
Yes, these this is the face of the sick underbelly of American society.
Yes, this is not a majority.
But those two young men who were arrested have tuned in to a fouled stream that runs silently through many sectors.
They were not old men – old men clinging to old ways.
It is the very fact of their youth that is chilling.
Some of these are part of biker gangs, including the Sons of Silence, who were implicated in a threat against Obama at the Democratic convention in Denver. Some have joined the anti-immigrant vigilante movement, committing drive-by shootings of Mexican labourers. Others are scattered around doing their own thing: picking fights in bars, beating up gay men. Some are clearly being brought out of the dark corners by the prospect of an African-American man as president.
Don’t let this get shoved under a rug. One of the issues facing us all after November 4th, will be – what can each one of us do to fight the hate?
Cross posted at Daily Kos: