White Revolution: Billy Roper's unity efforts not particularly successful
Posted: January 25, 2005
Billy Roper's efforts to unite disparate white supremacist groups under the White Revolution umbrella have not been particularly successful, partly due to the clash of personalities and leadership styles in the movement but also to his own mistakes.
These include a badly received speech at a white power event in the Phoenix area early in 2004, where he may also have alienated skinheads with his conservative dress and manner. Similarly, in May Roper asked those planning to attend a Topeka protest against the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case, to wear "plain street-clothes or better, no uniforms, robes, or overtly NS [National Socialist] or Confederate, et cetera, imagery, flags, or apparel." The National Socialist Movement, whose members are known for wearing Nazi uniforms, criticized Roper's suggestion and pulled out of the rally. NSM members went on to describe Roper himself as an upstart who had no right to tell them what to do. Tensions between the groups appeared to cost White Revolution a major ally in its "coalition." Without NSM's support, only about 35 people showed up in Topeka, about half the number Roper attracted to a demonstration at the headquarters of the Southern Poverty Law Center 16 months earlier.
By the fall of 2004, however, Roper and the NSM appeared to have resolved at least some of their differences, since White Revolution members showed up to support a well-publicized NSM rally held in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
During 2004, White Revolution also supported other groups and their rallies, including a sizeable white unity rally in Osceola, Indiana, sponsored by Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Additionally, White Revolution members carried out various flyer distributions in different parts of the United States. Nonetheless, the group has stagnated; Roper admitted in June 2004 that membership "barely breaks three digits."
Since the founding of White Revolution in September 2002, Roper's biggest challenge has been to establish good will between various groups, personalities and ideologies without alienating the leaders or members of characteristically fractious white supremacist groups. To date, Roper has only been able to attract a small number of followers, while relatively few groups have attended White Revolution rallies. Roper's ambition to be a high-ranking leader in the white supremacist movement seems to have stalled.