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Extremism  
Bill White RULE Recent Activity

Posted: November 18, 2009


Recent Activity
Ideology
Leadership
Getting His Message Out
Background

Bill White, a Roanoke, Virginia-based neo-Nazi leader, was convicted in December 2009 for making Internet threats against several individuals including a Canadian civil rights attorney, a University of Delaware administrator, tenants in a Virginia Beach apartment complex, and a Citibank employee.

 

White originally faced seven charges, and he was acquitted of three: threatening the Citibank employee with an intent to extort, threatening a newspaper columnist, and threatening a New Jersey mayor.

 

On December 11, 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice issued an indictment charging White with seven counts of making threats to injure via several different means:

 

  • Threat via E-mail and threat to injure with the intent to extort something of value from a person or corporation. The first two counts claimed that White threatened, via E-mail, a bank employee who was overseeing a situation concerning White's bank accounts.  White allegedly made repeated attempts to obtain personal contact information about the employee.  Further, the indictment explained that in March 2008, White e-mailed the employee threatening to release her personal information to the public if she did not resolve his problems. He also made a statement about the murder of family members of the federal judge who had presided over the case of white supremacist Matt Hale. White allegedly wrote in the E-mail, "Lord knows what drawing too much publicity and making people upset is what did in [the federal judge]."

 

  • Using intimidation to delay or prevent the testimony of African-American tenants in an official court proceeding. Specifically, White is charged with sending letters to African-American tenants in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who had brought a discrimination case against their landlord. In May 2007, White is believed to have sent letters to the tenants featuring the letterhead of his neo-Nazi American National Socialist Worker's Party (ANSWP) group, a swastika, and White's signature and title. The letters read, "…your actions have not been missed by the white community…you are and will never be anything other than a dirty parasite…." The indictment also charged White with including with each letter an issue of his neo-Nazi group's magazine National Socialist entitled, "The Negro Beast and Why Blacks Who Work Aren't Worth the Cost of Welfare." White's apparent hope in sending these letters was to intimidate the tenants.

 

  • Threatening to injure an African-American journalist. Following the publication of an article of which White disapproved, he allegedly called the journalist's home and sent him an E-mail, which reportedly said: "…I look forward to the rapidly approaching day when whites once again rise up and slaughter and enslave your ugly race to the last man, woman and child." White went on to publish the personal information about the journalist and his wife on the ANSWP Web site and other places on the Internet. White allegedly refused to remove the information from his Web site following a request from the editor of the Miami Herald, which publishes the journalist's work. In addition to his refusal, White reportedly stated that he "wouldn't shed a tear" "if some loony took the info and killed him" and the "whole news room" of the Miami Herald.

 

  • Threatening to injure a University of Delaware professor and administrator. White apparently took issue with a seminar that the professor taught and called the professor's home and office to obtain a home address. In speaking with the professor's secretary, White allegedly claimed that he would "hunt…down" the professor, who deserved to be shot, according to White. The indictment explained that White posted personal information about the professor to the ANSWP site and other Web sites.

 

  • Threatening to injure a Canadian civil rights attorney who has a history of taking legal action against white supremacists, including White. The indictment includes information about a post that White made to his group's Web site in February 2008 which called for the murder of the attorney and included the attorney's home address.

 

  • Threatening to injure an African-American mayor of a New Jersey town following the town's decision to offer a reward for information leading to the identification of individuals who made racist threats against the mayor. White called the mayor and spoke with his wife, introducing himself as the Commander of a neo-Nazi group and informing her that he would put a swastika on her front yard.  White reportedly went on to send a threatening E-mail to the mayor.

 

If he had been convicted on all charges, White would have faced a maximum of 55 years in prison and a $1.75 million fine. Having been convicted on four charges, he now faces a possible 35-year sentence.

 

2008 Internet threats case

In October 2008, a federal grand jury in Chicago, Illinois, indicted White for encouraging violence against the foreman of a jury that sent white supremacist Matt Hale to prison in 2004 (The jury found Hale guilty of soliciting the murder of a federal judge). Authorities in Roanoke, Virginia arrested White that month on a charge of obstruction of justice for the "attempted use, or threatened use of force…" after he posted on-line personal information regarding the jury foreperson in September of that year. Specifically, White posted the name, address, birth date, place of work, home, cell and office phone numbers, along with a photograph of the jury foreperson, on his Web site in an article headlined "Gay Jewish Anti-Racist Led Jury."

 

Federal agents had executed a search warrant of White's office for any documents, photos or other material that could show his possible "intent to intimidate or injure persons whose personal information has been posted." The agents seized computers and files related to his Web site, which they shut down.

 

In July 2009, a Chicago-based U.S. District Court judge dismissed the charge against White, ruling that his Internet posts were protected as free speech under the First Amendment.

 

This ruling contradicted that of another judge, previously assigned to the case, who decided that White's publishing of the juror's personal information, in addition to previous similar postings directed at others, were not protected speech.

 

 





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