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Press ReleaseHate Crimes
RULE

June 10, 1998
Aryan Brotherhood
& the Turner Diaries

Hate Crime in Jasper, Texas

The brutal and apparently racially motivated murder in Jasper, Texas of James Byrd, Jr., an African American, has grabbed the nation's conscience.

Two of the three men charged with the murder claimed membership in the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang active in jails and penitentiaries across the country. During the drive on backcountry roads with Mr. Byrd's body chained to the back of their pickup truck, one of the suspects reportedly said, "We're starting The Turner Diaries early." The Turner Diaries is a veritable handbook of hate, in which Blacks and Jews are targeted for murder by white supremacists.

The following is background on the Aryan Brotherhood and The Turner Diaries:

Aryan Brotherhood
  • The Aryan Brotherhood got its start on the West Coast in the 1960s.

  • The Brotherhood, which has members in prisons throughout the United States, exhibits an intense hatred of Blacks and Jews, and reportedly engages in extortion, drug operations, prostitution, and violence in prisons.

  • Many Brotherhood members sport an identifying tattoo consisting of a swastika and the Nazi SS lightening bolt.

  • The Brotherhood has ties to Aryan Nations, an Idaho-based paramilitary organization that advocates racial violence and white supremacy.

  • In April 1997, John Stojetz, an Aryan Brotherhood leader at an Ohio prison, was convicted in the murder of a 17-year-old Black prisoner.

  • Since 1996, six murders of inmates at the Pelican Bay State Prison in California have been linked to the Aryan Brotherhood. A local prosecutor characterized the situation at the prison as a "reign of terror." More than 50 inmates in the prison's maximum-security unit are members of the group.

  • In October 1994, Donald Riley, a member of the Brotherhood, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder in Houston of a Black marine who had recently returned from service in Desert Storm.

  • Aryan Brotherhood member Roy Slider was convicted in August 1993 of felonious assault in an attack on a correction officer, Thomas Davis, in Ohio. Prison officials said Slider went after Davis because he was Black. Davis died as a result of the attack.

  • In the 1980s, Brotherhood members challenged a Missouri prison's ban on inmates receiving literature from Aryan Nations and similar groups. Nevertheless, the courts upheld the ban.

  • The Missouri inmates were also members of a "Christian Identity" organization, the Church of Jesus Christ Christian. Members of the "Identity" movement claim that Anglo-Saxons not Jews are the Biblical "chosen people," that nonwhites are mud people on the level of animals, and that Jews are the "children of Satan."
The Turner Diaries
  • The Turner Diaries was written in 1978 by William Pierce, head of the National Alliance, one of the largest and most organized neo-Nazi groups in the United States.

  • The novel has become a "Bible" for right-wing extremists. It calls for the violent overthrow of the Federal government, and the systematic killing of Jews and nonwhites.

  • Pierce's book has reportedly inspired a number of people connected to vicious crimes including Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of bombing the Murrah building in Oklahoma City.

EDITORS NOTE: For materials on Hate Crimes and extremist groups and to arrange interviews with experts contact the ADL Media Relations Department at 212-885-7749.

More information about this and other extremist
and racist groups can be found in
ADL's Publication Danger: Extremism

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



 
 
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1998 Anti-Defamation League