White Aryan Resistance and Enlisting the Skinheads
In 1983, Metzger founded WAR (now defunct), originally an acronym for White American Resistance, which soon came to stand for White Aryan Resistance, reflecting Metzger's increasingly explicit and violent rhetoric. His synthesis of totalitarian, revolutionary left- and right-wing ideas - often called the "Third Position" - resulted in some uncharacteristic opinions for an American white supremacist, including concern for the environment and an apparent contempt for capitalism.
In the WAR platform, Metzger called the right and left wings “the controlled arms on the same Frankenstein body. WAR is strictly racist. A house or a race divided cannot prosper. Healthy ideas of both left and right, along with totally new ideas, must form a growing united front.”
Metzger has been closely involved with the neo-Nazi skinhead movement since this racist subculture first filtered into the United States from Great Britain in the mid-1980s. The skinhead gangs of racist youths, sporting shaved heads and neo-Nazi insignia and preaching violence, were a natural match for WAR's agenda. In turn, WAR provided established racist networks for these young white power enthusiasts. As Metzger quickly recognized, “Skinheads are becoming part of our overall movement….We're talking about survival now. If blacks or anyone else gives them trouble, they will smash them.”
The Ku Klux Klan and Christian Identity Movement
In the mid 1970s, Metzger became involved in the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), founded by David Duke; he became Grand Dragon of the Klan for the state of California. During the same period, he was ordained as a minister in the virulently anti-Semitic Christian Identity movement by the New Christian Crusade Church's James K. Warner, who has also been associated with Duke.
While Grand Dragon, Metzger began to militarize his followers. In the summer of 1979, he organized a patrol of armed Klansmen to capture illegal Mexican immigrants along the United States-Mexican border south of Fallbrook, near San Diego. In response, then-Immigration Commissioner L.J. Castillo announced that citizens' arrests of this nature were impermissible and could be subject to criminal prosecution. Metzger's Klan also maintained an armed, uniformed “security” force - similar to that of Aryan Nations - which was repeatedly involved in violent clashes with police and anti-Klan demonstrators. Once such clash occurred in the spring of 1980, when Metzger led 30 armed Klansmen in a confrontation with anti-Klan demonstrators in Oceanside, California; seven people were injured in the street fighting that ensued.
That summer, Metzger's branch of the Knights of the KKK left Duke's organization to form the California Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Attempts and Public Office and the White American Political Association
Metzger attracted little public scrutiny in the fall of 1980 on his way to becoming the surprise winner, with 33,000 votes, in a California Democratic Congressional primary. The ex-Klan leader was disavowed by the Democratic party and lost the election to Representative Clair Burgener in the state's heavily Republican 45th Congressional District (Metzger received 35,107 votes to Burgener's 253,949). During his unsuccessful campaign, Metzger, who had recruited youngsters into the Klan, stated that he favored having marksmanship classes conducted in elementary and secondary schools to teach children how to use guns.
Even as Metzger bid for popular office, his California Klan also helped to promote Klan paramilitary activities by distributing handbooks of instruction in terrorism and guerrilla warfare, such as The Anarchist's Cookbook, published by his Klan's book service, the White Point Publishing Company.
Following the 1980 Congressional defeat, Metzger parted with the Klan and formed the White American Political Association to promote “prowhite” candidates for office. The candidate most heavily supported by the new group was Metzger himself, who ran unsuccessfully in California's 1992 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. He received 75,593 votes, or 2.8% of the total number of votes cast.
Born in April 1938, Metzger has six children (five of them girls) and several grandchildren; his wife, Kathy, to whom he had been married for 28 years, died in 1992. He has worked for more than 30 years as an electronics technician. An Indiana native and former army corporal, he moved to Southern California in 1961 to work in the electronics industry. During this time he joined the John Birch Society, but quickly became disillusioned with the organization because, as he later explained, “I soon found out you could not criticize the Jews.” He then moved on to join and take leadership positions in more virulent groups, including the Ku Klux Klan and his own White Aryan Resistance organization.
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