Rebranding Hate in the Age of Obama
With an African-American president and the economy in bad shape, extremist groups are trying to enter the mainstream—and they're having some success.
It's not about hate, it's about love. Love of white people. That's the message in songs, speeches and casual conversation during a weekend retreat in Zinc, Ark., sponsored by the Christian Revival Center and the Knights Party, an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan. There's no overt threat of violence here. No cross burnings (or "lightings," as the KKK prefers to call them). The only fire at the grassy compound, located at the end of a long, rocky road circled by turkey vultures, is a bonfire for the Knights youth corps to roast their s'mores. The kids draw pictures of white-hooded Klanspeople and sing songs about the oppressed Aryan race; rousing sermons are read from Bibles decorated with Confederate flags. Aryan souvenirs are for sale, including baseball caps proclaiming IT'S LOVE, NOT HATE and advertising THE ORIGINAL BOYZ IN THE HOOD.
It's hard to conduct accurate surveys of racists, who tend to exaggerate their strength and importance. This spring, the Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual "Year in Hate" report, which outlines that in 2008 the number of hate groups rose to 926, up 4 percent from 2007, and 54 percent since 2000.
At least one group has become more fashion-conscious. The National Socialist Movement—a descendent of the American Nazi Party—tweaked its uniform last year, switching from Nazi brown shirts to a more Italian Fascist look. "The uniforms we wore before were even more out there, more extreme," says "commander" Jeff Schoep, who, like the Knights' Robb, hails from Detroit. "Last April we adopted the black [uniforms]; it's part of our modernization project. We don't want to look like throwbacks to 1935. But we are not trying to trick people; there are enough white groups now trying to soft-pedal people into joining."
Hate Groups Are Benefiting From Obama's Election - Newsweek
"Many will tell you racism is the No. 1 issue," Mr. Raymont said in an interview. "There's been a 62 percent rise in racist crime in Toronto. Statistics like that are all over the place. So it's happening. We like to feel we're a wonderfully tolerant multicultural society, but there are a lot of frustrated angry people out there.
Head of Detroit White Supremacist Group Faces Trial in Canada - Biography - NYTimes.com
It is apparent that these groups are adapting to draw in more support. This doesn't surprise me at all, their numbers are not a real concern to the revolutionary front of the Afrikan community. What should be a concern is the location that in which these groups are thriving. (Area's heavily populated by Afrikan people). This draws my concern for the unsuspecting public and the threat of terrorist attacks against the communities. Given the size, community awareness, and the lack of surveillance or incoherence of the DPD with the community makes Detroit vulnerable. This form of supremacy is the most vile and unpredictable. We have to do our part to protect our families and communities. So, everyone pay a little more attention to suspicious characters and vehicles. I don't believe the whole of the community are aware of the threat. Therefore, I am giving the heads up to all the pro-afrikan organizations within the Detroit area to spread the word.