Unity through Hate
Alex James Curtis, an anti-Semitic and racist activist based in San Diego,
is a rising star among bigots on the Web. Originator of the Lemon Grove
(San Diego) Ku Klux Klan, Curtis has described himself as a history student
at San Diego State University.
The Nationalist Observer Web site is the online version of the
print publication of the same name, which was founded by Curtis in 1996.
Curtis is the editor of this online edition, posting his "Lead Editorials"
from the print edition as well as content available exclusively online.
Curtis also includes transcripts of his telephone hotline message; an
archive of hateful articles by propagandists such as David Lane of The
Order and neo-Nazi Matt Koehl, and a catalog of racist audio and video
tapes. Additionally, readers can find Curtis' "White Power Manual,"
which suggests white supremacist propagandizing strategies and offers
assistance to aspiring hatemongers.
Curtis believes Jews have corrupted the white race, using the media to
convert whites into "comfort-loving cowards" who "sit passively"
as Jews and minorities seize power. His Nationalist Observer "Tribute
to Jewry" consists of a picture of "Jew York City" being
destroyed by an atomic bomb under the caption "The quickest way to
exterminate 6 million vermin!"
Curtis thinks the answer to whites' problems is separatism. "Racial
separation seeks the preservation of life, whereas racial integration
is the realization of the death of peoples," he writes.59
According to Curtis, white supremacists should not regard themselves as
U.S. citizens, but as members of the white race who should concentrate
on "moving into separatist areas or assisting in dismantling the
system."60 He envisions a "race-centered" state
in which "citizenship and residency will be explicitly stated as
restricted to those of pure White ancestry."61
He feels that only the elite of the white supremacist movement should
participate in creating this state. "We believe the Aryan struggle
to be an elite one," Curtis writes on the Nationalist Observer
Home Page. "We don't promote democratic or mass appeals. We support
the unity of our movement and the revolutionizing of our spirit into a
combined force to take back control of our Race's destiny, by any means
Unity among white supremacists is central to Curtis' vision. He sees
many different white supremacist movements as part of a single "White
Nation." "We go by names such as White nationalists, White separatists,
Skinheads, National Socialists, Ku Klux Klansmen, and Identity Christians,
or others," Curtis writes, "but these people who put White Racial
survival as their highest priority are members of the White Nation."62
In his struggle to build "unity" among racist leaders, Curtis
created a "Nationalist Observer E-mail magazine," which he believes
is "the best way for racial activists to keep in contact." This
"magazine," published each day, contains articles by, and E-mail
messages from, many prominent bigots. Curtis claims that over 1,200 users
subscribe to the "magazine." Among others, Greg Raven, George
Burdi, and Matt Hale have published their propaganda in Curtis' "magazine"
or written personal messages to him.
Some well-known haters feud publicly, but Curtis stands above the fray,
voicing support for all sides. "Limit criticism of other activists"
and "make an effort to work with all activists" are listed at
the Nationalist Observer site as two of Curtis' central goals.63
While members of the National Alliance called neo-Nazi Harold Covington
an FBI informant, Curtis faithfully published Covington's messages and
articles in his "magazine." Meanwhile, Curtis defended Tom Metzger,
one of the most infamous American haters of the past 15 years, when Covington
deemed Metzger "traitorous." Curtis calmly replied that "Metzger
is a very successful propagandist for racial separation and should therefore
Only when Curtis was informed by trusted associates that Covington engaged
in "constant attacks on people who are doing a lot of work"
for white supremacy did he disassociate himself from him. "I have
tried to stay as far away from feuds as possible, but have come to view
Mr. Covington as being the one who is perpetuating feuds to extreme levels,"
he wrote.64 "Harold Covington should be avoided because
he is spreading dissention and disunity in the Racial struggle."
In distancing himself from Covington, Curtis took care not to engage in
hostility, bemoaning Covington's criticisms of other racists without attacking
Maintaining a carefully constructed air of equanimity, Curtis has tried
to represent himself as a "reasonable" voice in the white supremacist
movement, a calm speaker among a chorus of noisy egotists. While racist
leaders seem to like communicating with Curtis because he shares their
views and reaches many readers, other subscribers to his "magazine"
have praised his composure. "Your attempt to remain neutral in the
midst of wars between rivaling Racists/NS [National Socialists], and to
do so while attempting to promote their useful work, is quite admirable,"
wrote "Eric Thompson" to Curtis, "though I'm sure it is
not at all easy to carry through sometimes." Another reader commented,
"once again you are hitting the nail on the head when you refuse
to take sides concerning the internal bickering that exists between certain
factions of this glorious struggle!" A third complained, "I
am growing sick of the inter-fighting [sic] taking place."
Though he has shown respect for the infamous haters who write to him,
Curtis has expressed especially warm feelings for these rank-and-file
subscribers, whom he imagines to be like himself: young and serious about
unity among racists. In fact, based on letters that Curtis has posted,
there seem to be many high-school-age subscribers. "If these 'leaders'
are serious about Racial survival, they better reevaluate what they are
doing," he commented. "The excellent news is that the youth
of the Aryan Struggle are not gossipers or vindictive arm chair generals.
This [magazine] is devoted to them and the future."
While Alex Curtis and other bigots try to rally their supporters around
the concepts of racism and anti-Semitism, other extremists on the Internet
focus on different concerns. Some promote homophobia; others urge attacks
against abortion providers; and still others use their computers to spread
the violent, anti-government rhetoric of the "patriot" movement.