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Impact of the Aryan Nations

December 14, 2011

The Aryan Nations had more of an impact in America and the rest of the world as being the “headquarters of white supremacy”.  The Hayden Lake area is a very beautiful area, but hindering tourism is the stigma that everyone in the area is racist.  Even after the Aryan Nations compound was shut down in September of 2000 (Source), people still associate the Hayden Lake area, as well as the rest of Idaho with this group of white supremists.

Growing up in Northern Idaho, I would hear about the Aryan Nations from time to time, but all I heard was that they had an area they set up and kept to themselves.  I’ve been in this area all my life and have still not met anyone who is or at any time affiliated with the Aryan Nations.  Still, people view people that live in this area to be inherently racist.  The positive part of this is that it shows that people in America are somewhat aware that there are groups like the Aryan Nations alive in America, and people are not willing to accept them.  A quote I found from Tony Stewart, a long time resident who helped evict the Aryan Nations stated, “The stain is so deep.  We feel stereotyped in a way that is unjust.” (Source)

Another lasting affect the Aryan Nations have had are the lone wolf attacks by members of the group.  Probably the most significant was Buford O. Furrow who fired more than 70 bullets at a Jewish day care center.  He was sentenced to two life sentences, but his unforgivable actions will never be forgotten.

There are still a few reminders today of what the Aryan Nations have done to the area, including my previous post outlining the hate crime committed in Lewiston, ID in 2007.  Hopefully the rest of America has seen the negative lasting impact the Aryan Nations has had on this area, and will not accept any similar groups to move to their area.

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Local Hate Crime

December 13, 2011

In 2007, I heard about a white man that assaulted a black man outside a gas station in my home town of Lewiston, Idaho.  I found a follow up video about what he was charged with and the verdict (below):

The site wouldn’t let me embed the video, but here the link.

I believe that they made the right decision on this case.  Looking into the details, Steven Leas shouted racial slurs while baring a swastika tattoo on his chest.  The defense claimed that alcohol, not race,  was the motivation for Leas.  This is not a valid excuse.  Alcohol cannot bring people to be racist.  Racist people might be more apt to say or do something to a minority under the influence of alcohol, as is the case here (Source).

I’m glad that the jurors did not take Leas “voluntary intoxication” as a valid defense.  Also brought up was the fact that Leas had a swastika tattoo on his chest.  In response his charges, Leas said that this tattoo was also a result of a night of drinking and that he has gotten the tattoo removed since the incident.  It is very evident to me that Leas’ actions were racially motivated.  The fact that he targeted a black guy that was by himself, showed him his swastika tattoo, and yelled racial slurs at him alone without factoring in the physical harassment would prove to me that he is racist and his actions were racially motivated.

Another interesting thing is that they were caught because the father of one of the men arrested turned them in.  Police Chief Lainer had this to say about the issue,”There’s no room for it; keep it to yourself,” Lanier said. “Lewiston is a diverse place; North Idaho is a diverse area. It’s here for everybody.” (Source)

Even though Lewiston might not be very diverse, I think that he has good intentions and wants to put a stop to hate crimes in the area.

Protesting in John Day, Oregon

December 13, 2011

Above is a video of residents of John Day, Oregon protesting the Aryan Nations.  In early 2010, the leader of the Aryan Nations, Paul Mullet, came to John Day looking to buy property to set up a new Aryan Nations headquarters.  The community fired back with signs and letters and forums to educate area residents and stop the Aryan Nations before they could set up.  This effort worked and Mullet backed out of his plans to set up there.  This shows just how strong members of a community can be when they come together for something they believe in.  An example of this is shown below that was taken from a small business in John Day.

The reason Mullet wanted to set up in Grant County, Oregon was because it is very similar to Hayden Lake, Idaho.  It is a rural area with a population of only 8,000 and is is 95% white (Source).  The ironic thing about this is that Mullet thought that since the area was overwhelmingly white, that the Aryan Nations would be accepted there.  What actually happened was the opposite and it looks like a majority of the town were against them.

A quote, taken from an article about this protest on Fox News stated, “The mayor says if the Aryans moved in that would be the final nail in the coffin for his city.” (Source)

Interestingly enough, I found a video interviewing Mullet about the citizens of John Day protesting the Aryan Nations.  The video, below, shows Mullet explaining his plans on giving back to the community while training people at the new Aryan Nations compound.  He says that he doesn’t understand why people are protesting him and his group moving to the area.  This goes along with many white supremacists being ignorant.  He can’t understand why people don’t like him, while he only likes and accepts people that are the same race he is.

Aryan Nations Parade

December 12, 2011

On July 18, 1998, the Aryan Nations held a parade in downtown Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.  This event drew 125 police officers to defend 92 marchers from the thousands of protesters from around the area.  Below is a picture from the parade. (Source)

Something interesting about this picture is they are marching with various countries flags.  All of these flags, except the 13 colonies and Canadian flags, are flags from countries throughout Europe that are predominantly white.  These marchers are conveying a few messages by participating in this parade.  First of all, they are showing the world that they are part of the Aryan Nations and all that they stand for.  Second, they are representing other countries besides America.  This is very different from white nationalists who claim to be “true patriots” and are trying to protect America.

Another part of this picture that I found interesting was the sign that said “Coeur D’ Alene Is Not Jasper County”.  I didn’t know what this meant at first, but after a little research I found that James Byrd Jr. was murders there (Source).   His murder was very gruesome and opened many people’s eyes to hate crimes.  I really like this poster referencing Byrd.  It conveys the messages that hate crimes will not be tolerated.

After only three blocks, 20 protesters sat down and blocked the parade.  This creates a fascinating dilemma.  While both parties claim that they are only trying to express their freedom of speech, the police have to do something about the situation.  To avoid any violence, the police formed a detour around the block and continued with the parade.   Four protesters were ultimately arrested for not cooperating with the police.  I believe the police handled this situation very well.  By suppressing many angry protestors and potentially violent parade marchers, both sides were able to voice their opinions (Source).

The video below shows some glimpses of the parades.  From 0:45 – 1:15, the parade is shown to be very violent.  It shows both the Aryan Nations members parading and the people protesting.  I think this is a better representation of what was actually going on because there’s only so much information a picture can convey.

 

Rebirth of the Aryan Nations

November 20, 2011

The video that I found on YouTube is almost a continuation of the last blog post on Richard Butler and the Aryan Nations.  The Aryan Nations fell apart in the early 2000’s, but the American National Socialist Party is trying to start the group back up.  This video is used as a call to action and help get the word out about their efforts.

The intro of this video shows an atomic bomb going off.  To me this signifies that they are trying to make a huge impact on society and that they are ready for a RaHoWa, or racial holy war.  The video also portrays a picture of Hitler with captions like, “Every generation has a legend…”.  This preoccupation with Hitler coincides with many white supremists hatred for Jews.  I think the American National Socialist Party uses the image of Hitler because he had such an impact on the thinking of the majority of the population.  This group idolizes him because they are trying to do the exact same thing in America.  They are also not only giving public speeches of what they believe, but are also putting the video on YouTube so the whole world can see and hear their message.

The message about RaHoWa is not specifically spelled out but there is a call to arms later in the video where a member of the Aryan Nations is shown giving a speech/rant to whoever will listen to him.  He is talking about many topics we have talked about in class such as immigration, white pride, rights, political power, and immigrants taking jobs.  He is also very adamant that he is not trying to spread hate, he is just proud of his race.

To research this group more, I visited both websites that are listed on the video.  Both websites have warning messages before entering the websites.  Aryannations88.com states, “By clicking the waving banner of our racial nation, you will be entering the website of the most feared and revered white supremists organization the world has ever known!” (Source).  Theansp.us website’s warning message states, “By entering this website, you are declaring that you are not a minor, that you are entering this website of you own free will and that the owner of this website assume no responsibility for any individual’s experience within.  By this statement, you enter the site at you own responsibility.  (Source)

These warning messages are unique in that they notify the viewer that they are about to view things that some people might not agree with.  This is much different than sites such as cloaked websites to try to trick people into believing their views about civil rights and other topics.  I believe that all websites that are produced or connected to white supremists or nationalists should have a warning like these websites.

This video is a great example of how white supremist ideology is spread through technology today.  This video was free to put up on YouTube and can be viewed all over the world.  Not only is this man making his speech to people in his local area that are listening to him.  This speech can be replayed endless amounts of times, which helps spread white supremist ideology rather than word of mouth without this new technology.

Richard Butler

November 15, 2011

Richard Butler has a major role in the development of white nationalists in the Northwest.  He is most known for the creation of the Aryan Nations in Northern Idaho.  This blog post will be regarding Butler’s life and his significance to white power groups in the Northwest.

Butler was born in Denver, Colorado on February 23, 1918 to Winfred Girnt and Clarence Butler.  His father was of English ancestry and his mother was of German ancestry (Source).  After the start of the Great Depression, his family moved to Los Angeles.  He studied aeronautical engineering at Los Angeles City College and was drafted into the Air Force after he graduated.  He fought in World War II and returned, “Deeply troubled concerning the future of his nation….Governmental edicts seemed to be always contrary to the best interest of the nation, and of the White Race, in particular” (Source).

After the war, Butler set up and managed a machine plant for the production of automotive parts and engine assemblies for commercial and military aircraft in the United States, Africa, and India (Source).  Here, William Potter Gale, a leader of the para-military California Rangers and a founder of the anti-government Posse Comitatus introduced Butler to Christian Identity teachings.  By the mid 1960s, Butler was fully immersed in the teachings and served as National Director of the Christian Defense League, an organization founded by the most prominent promoter of Christian Identity, Wesley Swift.  After Swift’s death in 1971, Butler felt compelled to follow Swift’s example and declared his Church of Jesus Christ Christian to be the direct successor to Swift’s ministry. (Source)

Butler moved this group to Northern Idaho, near Hayden Lake to set up what he referred to as a, “a national racial state. We shall have it at whatever price is necessary. Just as our forefathers purchased their freedom in blood, so must we….We will have to kill the bastards” (Source).  This group of people, popularly known as the Aryan Nations, was not only a central figure to white nationalism in the Northwest, but one of the country’s most prominent proponents of white nationalism and religious racism.  This facility combined the fundamentals of Christian Identity with paramilitaristic views.

Butler has been credited with creating what is arguably the closest substitute to an Aryan homeland.  Many white nationalist considered his compound in Hayden Lake to be “the headquarters of the white race”.  This shows that not only is Butler an important figure to white power groups in the Northwest, but worldwide.  Butler also helped foster communication and recruitment to the white nationalist community by hosting festivals, called the World Congress of Aryan Nations was attended by more than 200 people annually.  The picture below is the last time Butler hosted the annual festival in 2004. (Source)

Another focus of Butler was the group’s children.  In 1980, Butler established the Aryan Nations Academy to, “inculcate the group’s philosophy in the minds of local youngsters” (Source).  By 1982, an Aryan Nation’s mailing claimed that the academy had 15 full-time students.  Butler was also very vocal and was a big proponent of having marches in nearby towns to make themselves visible to the community.  Below is a photo taken from one of these marches.


Butler died on September 8, 2004 in his sleep.  At the time of his death, the Aryan Nations had about 200 members.  Since the sale of the Aryan Nations compound in 2000, the Aryan Nations have declined in number and pretty much died out. (Source)

Northwest Front

October 19, 2011

A couple blog post ago, while I was looking on Stormfront for posts regarding the Northwest, I stumbled across a group called the Northwest Front.  I briefly covered what they stand for and what goals they have as a group.  In this post, I am going to look more in-depth into this group as well as try to come up with some motives the Northwest Front has for choosing the Northwest over other parts of the country.   There are 3 sites that affiliate with the Northwest Front.  They are, northwestfront.org, nwfront.net, and northwestfront.net.

To start with, I will review shortly what the Northwest Front is and what their goals are.  Stated on northwestfront.org, they have an audio section.  This file, posted below, will inform you of their ideals and mission.

Northwest Front Mission

To sum up what I took away from this audio clip, members of the Northwest Front believe that that the white race is disappearing and the only way to fight against this is to have all like-minded Aryan men and woman move to the Pacific Northwest.   On nwfront.net, they have a principles section that goes into more detail about this. They state in this section that, “White people will be a minority in the United States and Canada by the year 2050, and we will have vanished completely from North America by 2100”. Source

This is an extreme example of white separatism and racial genocide.  The Northwest Front does not promote racial genocide as in the killing of non-whites.  What they do think is that the reason that Aryan men and women need to move to the Northwest is that it is their only strategy left.  In their own words, “Our last remaining hope to starve off extinction is the establishment of a sovereign and independent nation on the continent of North America for White people only”. Source

One question that came to mind after reading this was, why the Northwest?  On northwestfront.net, they claim that the decision was made by considering the demographics, economics, and history of commitment by Bob Matthews, Sam and Vicky Weaver, and Richard Butler.  To further investigate Northwest Front’s motivations, I looked up the 2010 census data about state population and found out that the percentage of people who identified themselves as white is 89.1% in Idaho (Source), 83.6% in Oregon (Source), and 77.3% in Washington (Source).

To compare this to other parts of the country, I chose states from across the country to see if there actually were a large percentage of whites in the Northwest compared to the rest of the country.  The states I chose were Arizona for the Southwest, Texas for the South, Florida for the Southeast, Maine for the Northeast, North Dakota for the North, and Iowa for the Midwest.  The result I found were as follows:

Arizona – 73%

Texas – 70.4%

Florida – 75.0%

Maine – 95.2%

North Dakota – 90.0%

Iowa – 91.3%

(Source)

This shows that for the Southern states that I looked up, there are a significantly lower percentage of whites to the rest of the population, but this is not the same as the North.  In all three states I looked up, the percent was higher than in the three Pacific Northwest states.  This seems to discredit the motivation of Northwest Front to move to the Pacific Northwest on a basis of the demographics.

Next, I looked at the three people listed as reasons to choose the Northwest.  The first, Bob Matthews was burned to death during the intense gunfight with approximately seventy-five of the federal law enforcement agents who surrounded his house on Whidbey Island in Washington.  Matthews and his group, The Order, were inspired to make a Northwest American Republic that led them to embark on a spree of robbery, murder, and counterfeiting in the region, and ultimately resulted in Bob Matthews’ death. (Source)

Sam and Vicky Weaver were both killed in a violent confrontation and seige at Ruby Ridge in Idaho in 1992.  It involved many government organizations as well as Randy Weaver (Father of Sam and Husband of Vicky).  The case is very controversial and has many attachments, but white supremists use the image of Sam and Vicky to justify their hatred of the US government and it’s organizations.  The above picture is the book written by Randy Weaver telling the story of their lives and his outrage towards the government. (Source)

The last person the Northwest front lists as a motivation for moving to the Northwest is Richard Butler.  We have talked about Butler in class and I have mentioned him through his involvement in the Aryan Nations previously in the blog.  He is by far the most important person out of these three because he is the person the first came up with the idea of creating “a white homeland in the Pacific Northwest” otherwise called the “Butler Plan” (Source)

In the Butler Plan, whites are directed to move to the Northwest, start influencing politics, take over politics, and then turn the Northwest into one giant state called the Northwest American Republic (NAR). (Source).  When I read the Butler Plan, I could not believe what I was reading.  It’s hard to believe that the Northwest Front could even think that implementing a plan like this is possible.  The idea of the Butler Plan in essence is racial genocide in that they are going to separate themselves from the other races and almost try to set up their own habitat.

I have lived in the Northwest all my life, so to think that there is a group out there that is planning to take over this area and force their will upon everyone seems farfetched.  When I first started to look at Northwest Front, they seemed to be an extremist group that just had some media links.  Now that I have looked into their organization more in-depth, I have come to realize that people need to be aware that there may be member of this group living in the Northwest already.  We need to take a stand so that this group knows that we understand their organization’s ideals and goals and that is not welcome here in the Northwest.  It is my hope that this post will educate other people living in the Northwest about the Northwest Front and their intended actions as to prevent any influence on the Northwest from this organization in the future.