White supremacists across the country attempted to mobilize in an effort to spread their hateful message at Tea Parties staged on July 4. Eager to use the tax issue as a bridge to discussions of alleged Jewish control of American institutions and racist topics, extremists claimed that they distributed propaganda and encouraged others to join their groups.
Despite their efforts, however, it appears that they had little success in reaching a population they felt might be responsive to their racist, anti-Semitic message. Several expressed disappointment that attendees were not receptive to their anti-Semitic and racist messages. A number of white supremacists also expressed disappointment at the fact that the some of the Tea Parties included non-whites and Jews.
In some cases, members of organized groups sought to recruit new members at the Tea Parties. Members of The Vinlanders Social Club, a hardcore racist skinhead group primarily based in the Midwest, reportedly attended a Tea Party in Indianapolis, Indiana. Additionally, members of the white supremacist League of American Patriots claimed to have distributed hundreds of fliers at Tea Parties in New Jersey and New York. Mostly, however, individuals acted alone and reported their alleged progress on Stormfront, the most popular white supremacist Internet forum.
In their reports discussing the events, white supremacists claimed that their efforts were met with mixed results. In places like Gilbert, Arizona; Woodland Hills, California; Tallahassee, Florida; Bloomington, Illinois; Morristown and Monmouth County, New Jersey; Rockland, New York; and Bellingham, Washington. Tea Party attendees were reportedly "enthusiastic" and "interested" to receive the propaganda and engage in discussions with extremists.
Several white supremacists, however, reported that their efforts were fruitless when confronting Tea Party attendees who were resistant to their racist and anti-Semitic message and material. One racist who said that he "helped man a booth for a certain pro-White political party" reported that he'd "never seen a crowd less receptive to [their] message." Of a Tea Party in Marietta, Georgia, a white supremacist wrote that "whites, even those at the tea parties, don't want to acknowledge race…" An extremist who attended a Houston, Texas Tea Party wrote that "there was absolutely NO place in that scene for someone with WN [white nationalist] ideals."
What follows are reports from white supremacists claiming to have attended a sampling of Tea Parties around the country:
Gilbert, Arizona Tea Party
An Arizona-based white supremacist posting on Stormfront claimed he attended a Tea Party in Gilbert, Arizona on July 4, "armed with WN [white nationalist] literature, business cards and CD's." In a follow-up post, he wrote that his "mission of distribution WN literature was accomplished."
Vicinity of San Juan Capistrano, California, Tea Party
A white supremacist on Stormfront (who is physically based in Anaheim, California) reportedly attended a Tea Party and "helped man a booth for a certain pro-White political party." This individual also wrote that he saw other white supremacists in attendance. In spite of their efforts to distribute propaganda (including a leaflet and a packet), the Stormfront member wrote that "this was, by far, the worst audience I've ever come across. I've never seen a crowd less receptive to our message…" The individual did report, however, that his group "got about 50 names for our email list, and we had about 10 people take registration forms to be affiliated with our party."
Woodland Hills, California Tea Party
Two members of Stormfront wrote that they attended a Tea Party in Woodland Hills, California, where one estimated the attendance at over 200. They claimed to have handed out dozens of fliers to people "enthusiastic about what [they] had to say," especially concerning anger about the appointment of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The white supremacists added that they used "ending the Fed and preserving the constitution [sic]" as conversation starters before they brought up "more specific political discussions."
Tallahassee, Florida Tea Party
A white supremacist and member of Stormfront reportedly attended a Tea Party in Tallahassee, Florida, where he estimated the attendance to be under 1,000. He claimed that a sign he carried that said "No War for Israel," received positive attention.
Marietta Georgia Tea Party
A white supremacist on Stormfront said that he attended the Cobb County Tea Party in Marietta, Georgia, where he estimated the attendance to be around 4,500. He reported that "whites, even at these tea parties, don't want to acknowledge race…"
Bloomington, Illinois Tea Party
A white supremacist on Stormfront said he attended a Tea Party in Bloomington, Illinois, where he estimated the attendance to be 300-400. He claimed that he spoke to several people who were "receptive" to his message about alleged Zionist/Jewish control of the media, government, and financial institutions.
Indianapolis, Indiana Tea Party
Members of The Vinlanders Social Club, a hardcore racist skinhead group based primarily in the Midwest, reportedly attended a Tea party in Indianapolis, Indiana. Previously, the
Vinlanders Web site featured a piece by the anti-immigrant group ALIPAC, which promoted the Tea Parties and called for citizen participation.
Newton, New Jersey Tea Party
A white supremacist on Stormfront wrote about his attendance at a Tea Party in Newton, New Jersey. He estimated the crowd to be between 100 and 120. He expressed disappointment that the objectives of the white supremacists planning to attend the parties were not met at this particular event and commented that there were three black speakers and a rap singer.
Morristown, New Jersey; Monmouth County, New Jersey; and Rockland County, New York Tea Parties
Members of the white supremacist League of American Patriots (LOAP), a New Jersey-based group, reportedly
attended Tea Parties in Morristown (NJ), Monmouth County (NJ), and Rockland County (NY). They claimed that they distributed hundreds of copies of a flier entitled "Celebrate Western Heritage," and the group reported that "many Tea Party participants were interested in [the group's] nationalist message."
According to the LOAP report, in Monmouth County, a local chapter of the border vigilante Minuteman movement "provided security."
Houston, Texas Tea Party
A white supremacist on Stormfront said he attended a Tea Party in Houston on July 3. He estimated the crowd to be between 1,000 and 1,500. He reported that he was upset at the "Mestizo" who spoke and at the support for Israel voiced in the crowd, to which he "booed, just as loud as [he] could." He claimed he was the only one to protest the support for Israel. Angered, he said he left the event and voiced his sentiments to the people manning a table. He commented that "there was absolutely NO place in that scene for someone with WN ideals…"
Another white supremacist on Stormfront who also claimed that he attended that Tea Party agreed with the assessment that there was no place for racists at the event.
Bellingham, Washington Tea Party
A white supremacist posting on Stormfront said that he attended a Tea Party in Bellingham, Washington, where he reportedly "talked to many like minded folks and managed to distribute a few flyer's [sic]." He also claimed that he told racist jokes about "Negroes and Mexicans" and made others laugh with him.
This individual also claimed that he held up a sign that read "No Taxation Without Representation" on one side and "Oligarchy is Un-American" on the other. He said that this was a great tool to explain that "wealthy families controlled the government…without coming across as anti-Semitic [sic]."
Vicinity of Kennewick, Washington Tea Party
A Stormfront member said that he attended a Tea Party in the Kennewick, Washington area. He reported that it was a "real disappointment," and that "no one even wanted to talk about anything." He said that it was a "waste of time and effort."