White Supremacists Plan Protest on 50th Anniversary of Brown V. Board Of Education
Update: White Supremacists Get Low Turnout at Protest
New York, NY, May 12, 2004 … A coalition of white supremacist groups is planning to stage a protest surrounding the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that brought an end to racial segregation in America's public schools.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors racist and extremist groups, reported today that several racist groups have joined forces and plan to stage a protest in the run-up to the May 17 anniversary of Brown. An Arkansas-based hate group has discussed plans to bring members of various national white supremacist groups together for a joint protest at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas, on May 15.
"We are saddened but not surprised that the hatemongers and bigots are seeking to exploit the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education by using it as an occasion to spread their racist and bigoted ideology," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Brown v. Board of Education laid the groundwork for America to move forward in finding equality for all citizens. These groups would like to undermine all of the achievements of the last 50 years with a throwback to the era of racial inequality."
Billy Roper, a white supremacist and founder of the Arkansas-based White Revolution, is encouraging members of Aryan Nations, the National Socialist Movement and the Ku Klux Klan to gather across from the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site two days prior to the official national commemoration. Managers of the historic site, which is operated by the National Park Service, had denied the groups a permit to demonstrate during the official May 17 ceremonies.
Undeterred, Roper says his group now plans to protest across the street from the historic site on May 15. While it is not known how many members of his and other groups are planning to join the protest, White Revolution has advertised the event on their Web site, which is well known to and frequented by like-minded bigots across the country.
A onetime teacher and former skinhead, Roper founded White Revolution in 2002 after he was expelled from the neo-Nazi National Alliance. He often seeks to capitalize on issues that seek to divide communities along racial lines.
Roper claims that the protest is being organized by those who "oppose racial integration along with all its cumulative societal, cultural and genetic effects…." He states that school desegregation has led to "higher dropout rates and lower standardized test scores for blacks and whites" and that "American schoolchildren are less educated today, than their grandparents were fifty years ago."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.