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Poisoning the Web: Hatred Online
Internet Bigotry, Extremism and Violence
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Neo-Nazi Skinheads and Racist Rock:
Youth Subculture of Hate

The skinhead phenomenon originated in the early 1970s, when groups of menacing-looking, shaved-head, tattooed youths in combat boots appeared on the streets of England. For some, the racist and chauvinistic attitudes held by these gangs developed into a crude form of Nazism with a penchant for violence, exemplified by frequent, racially motivated attacks on Asian immigrants ("Paki-bashing") and homosexuals ("fag-bashing").

In the years that followed, the Skinhead movement spread from England to the Continent and beyond. Racist Skinheads are found today in almost every industrialized country whose majority population is of European stock, though not all Skinheads are racists. Skinheads are almost uniformly white youths in their teens and twenties, who respond to the movement's seductive sense of strength, group belonging and superiority over others.

Generally, neo-Nazi Skinheads' views have varied. Some believe in orthodox Nazi ideology, while others adhere to a mixture of racism, populism, ethnocentrism and ultranationalist chauvinism, along with a hodgepodge of Nazi-like attitudes.

Their numbers have grown substantially since Neo-Nazi Skinheads first appeared in the United States during the mid-1980s. Predictably, this growth has been matched by violence: since 1987, racist Skinheads have committed at least 43 murders in the United States as well as thousands of lesser crimes such as beatings, stabbings, shootings, thefts, and synagogue desecrations.

In addition to World Church of the Creator, Skinheads in the U.S. have also linked up with other established hate groups, such as Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan, and Tom Metzger's White Aryan Resistance (WAR). On November 12, 1988, three members of a skinhead gang in Portland, Oregon, killed an Ethiopian immigrant, Mulugeta Seraw. In a suit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center and ADL, it was later shown that Metzger and his son John had incited these Skinheads to murder Seraw. A jury awarded Seraw's family $12.5 million in damages, one of the largest civil verdicts of its kind in U.S. history.

A major aspect of Skinhead life is devotion to bands that play "oi" white power music, a hard-driving brand of rock and roll whose lyrics pound home a message of bigotry and violence. Music is the Skinhead movement's main propaganda weapon and its chief means of attracting young recruits. Skinhead use of the Internet has almost exclusively focused on racist music. Bigotry-laced hard rock and the Internet have proved a natural match in being used by white supremacists trying to capture the minds of youngsters.

Before the World Wide Web became popular, neo-Nazi skinheads depended on USENET newsgroups such as alt.skinheads to communicate with each other and spread their propaganda. However, these extremists soon realized the Web's power. By 1996, a few skinhead sites were already online, including Skin Net, Skinheads, USA, and the site for Resistance Records.

Canadian George Eric Hawthorne, a.k.a. George Burdi, was an acolyte of Canadian Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel in the 1980s before turning to the Skinhead scene. Burdi is lead vocalist for the Skinhead band RaHoWa (as noted earlier, a contraction of the phrase "Racial Holy War") and was formerly president of Resistance Records. Resistance distributes RaHoWa's recordings and the music of several other Skinhead groups as
Bigotry-laced hard rock and the Internet have proved a natural match in being used by white supremacists trying to capture the minds of youngsters.
well as operating an E-mail mailing list and a Web site.

Until mid-1998, the Resistance site provided brief descriptions of the albums it sold; a chance to download audio samples from those albums; and some propaganda penned by Burdi. Also, the site specifically targeted the young using hip, anti-establishment rhetoric similar to that employed by Holocaust denier Bradley Smith. For many months, the Resistance Home Page exclaimed, "WARNING: The music promoted by this Web Page has been deemed unacceptable by Big Brother...If you are easily offended TURN BACK NOW...If you are bold and independent-minded enough to think for yourself PROCEED."

In 1997, Burdi was jailed in Canada on an assault conviction for violently kicking an anti-racist protester at a RaHoWa concert in Ottawa. In April of that year, Michigan authorities raided the offices of Resistance as part of an investigation involving nonpayment of taxes. At the same time, Canadian authorities raided Burdi's home in Windsor, Ontario, as part of an investigation into whether Resistance was using its U.S. address to get around Canadian hate crime laws. Burdi was charged by Canadian police with "willfully promoting hatred."53 In 1998, Resistance was sold and moved its offices to California.

In the midst of these changes, the Resistance Web site shrank, but it continues to sell hateful music, including Resistance Records releases, other domestic hate rock records, and foreign recordings. Visitors to the site can still use a credit card to order albums such as Nordic Thunder's Born to Hate and Johnny Rebel's For Segregationists Only.

Many other bigoted music companies have followed in the footsteps of Resistance, selling hateful music on the Web. The Tri-State Terror Web site peddles Aryan vs. Alien by the group Mudoven, which features a cover photo depicting corpses from Nazi concentration camps. According to that site, over 900 copies of this release have already been sold.54 Also available there are Racially Motivated Violence by Angry Aryans and Murder Squad by Blue-Eyed Devils, which displays a photo portraying three lynched Jews on its cover.

MSR Productions carries hundreds of domestic and foreign Skinhead CDs at its site, as well as white supremacist T-shirts, flags, and videos. Along with an album by the group Final Solution and More Evil Than a Hollywood Jew by the band Lightning Rod, MSR sells recordings of speeches by the late American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell; albums of German music from Hitler's era, and a dozen records by Skrewdriver, the world's most popular racist Skinhead band.

Numerous Skinhead Web sites, such as the site for Swedish record label Nordland, have paid tribute to Skrewdriver, which was formed in 1977 and led by Ian Stuart Donaldson (a.k.a. Ian Stuart), who died in a car crash in 1993. Stuart penned lyrics such as

We were the country, and we could never lose,

Once a nation, and now we're run by Jews

We want our country back now!55

Stuart spent time in jail during the mid-1980s for physically attacking a Black woman. In 1987, he founded Blood and Honour, which has acted as an umbrella organization for Skin rock groups in Europe and the United States since his death.

Not surprisingly, Web sites that promote Blood and Honour often focus on Stuart. At the Blood & Honour England Web site, which accuses the British government of killing Stuart, "Erik Bloodaxe" voices his support for street violence inspired by Stuart's racist music. He writes, "It is an insult to the memory of our fallen warrior, Ian Stuart, to avoid combining words and action!"56 This site also exclaims, "Tomorrow belongs to you, Ian! As long as your music lives in the hearts of your kinsfolk, you are still alive. Hail Ian Stuart!"

Another Skinhead music site that refers to Stuart advocates violence even more directly. The Oi! Boys site features a "BootParty" page. Individuals are identified by the Oi! Boys as needing a "bootparty" if they deserve to be kicked with steel-toed boots by a group of Skinheads. Most of those pictured are former white supremacists (now deemed "traitors"), but one is a young Black man, who is pictured with his mother:

This here is Nigger Nate. Him and his mama are holding a Nigger hunting tag that was gave to him. This story made the front page in the newspaper cause his mama is in the (NAACP) Niggers Are Always Causing Problems. The one thing that his mama doesn't know is that her son is a gangbanger and his getto-slang [sic] name is Chicago. Well if you see this Nigger Kick him in the [expletive] head.

Two of the most extensive Skinhead Web sites, Plunder and Pillage and The White Pride Network, also pay tribute to Ian Stuart. The Plunder and Pillage site contains the full text of Skrewdriver: The First Ten Years by Joe Pearce, a book-length, sympathetic account of the career of Stuart's band, and The White Pride Network houses pages for Blood and Honour Scandinavia and Blood and Honour Serbia, offshoots of the group that Stuart founded.

Unlike the vast majority of racist Web sites, which are designed in part to promote the bigots who stand behind them, both Plunder and Pillage and The White Pride Network have been created and maintained anonymously. Both sites have been registered to post office boxes in New Jersey, but the registrants of these sites have not identified themselves.57

The huge Plunder and Pillage Web site serves as two fans' tribute to white power music. These lovers of racist rock, who go by the names "Plunder" and "Pillage," give their fellow fans the latest news on new releases and concert appearances of Skinhead bands; reviews of the latest white power records; reports on recent concerts; lyrics from various albums and transcripts of their interviews with over a dozen music groups. The Plunder and Pillage site also provides racist rockers a historical perspective in "Oi! The Classics," which features reviews of and sound clips from early "oi" albums that have "earned a spot in every skinhead's record collection."

The Skinhead who maintains The White Pride Network registered his site under Ian Stuart's name in order to hide his identity. At his site, he goes by the name "Micetrap." Though he cloaks himself with a pseudonym, Micetrap doesn't hide his hateful views. Claiming to "have been involved in the skinhead movement for many years," Micetrap declares the Holocaust "the biggest financial scam in history" and glorifies the Skinhead movement as "a sub-culture built for pissed off Pro-White youth to rebel against the ZOG system."58

Formerly known as Whitepower, The White Pride Network features Micetrap's reviews of the latest racist rock records and houses the page for "Patriot Video Services," which stocks video tapes of white power bands performing. In addition to music-oriented pages, The White Pride Network pays tribute to Hitler; posts some of William Pierce's allegations of Jewish media control, and contains a "Skinhead Cyber Tattoo Parlor," which pictures racist designs etched in ink on Skinheads' arms, backs, and skulls. Micetrap also encourages his supporters to become active, offering to sell them E-mail addresses and space for Web sites, connecting them with each other in his "Personal Ads & Pen Pals" section, and giving them advice on how to use Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

Though not a Skinhead, Alex Curtis also uses the Internet as a tool to bring together and motivate the "youth of the Aryan Struggle." Along with racist Skinheads and WCOTC devotees, Curtis, who is still in his mid 20s, represents the new, young face of white supremacy on the Web.

Next: Alex Curtis

53 "Canadian skinheads charged with selling 'pro-white' music CDs," Ottawa Citizen, September 23, 1997

54 Tri-State Terror Web site, retrieved November, 1998

55 Skrewdriver "Lyrics" page at the Nordland Web site, retrieved November, 1998

56 "Waste ZOG, Not Time!," by Erik Bloodaxe, Blood & Honour England Web site, retrieved November 1998

57 Network Solutions' InterNIC Registration Services Web site, records for White Pride Network and Plunder and Pillage Web sites, retrieved November 1998

58 "Micetrap's Views on Everything," The White Pride Network Web site, retrieved November 1998

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