The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Former Neo-Nazi Leader Sentenced to Prison for Threats

By Sonia Scherr on April 14, 2010 - 6:57 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi

Former neo-Nazi leader Bill White will spend 2½ years in prison for threatening his perceived enemies.

U.S. District Judge James Turk sentenced White to 30 months on each of three counts, according to a federal court filing. The sentences will be served at the same time, with credit for time served. The judge also imposed three years of supervised release.

According to The Roanoke Times, Turk said he doesn’t often sentence defendants at the upper end of federal guidelines but thought White deserved the lengthier sentence for terrorizing some of his victims. The newspaper quoted Turk telling White that upon his release from prison, “You can have any thoughts you want to have, but you ought to keep them to yourself.”

On Dec. 18, after an eight-day federal trial in Roanoke, Va., the 32-year-old White was found guilty of making threats against a Citibank employee and a University of Delaware professor and of intimidating tenants of a Virginia Beach apartment complex. (The judge later dismissed a fourth conviction for threatening a Canadian human rights lawyer.) White targeted his victims through E-mail, his website, the telephone and the U.S. mail. On Monday, Turk denied White’s request for a new trial.

White, who did not speak during the hour-long sentencing hearing, was leader of the now-defunct American National Socialist Workers Party, a neo-Nazi organization that in 2008 had 35 chapters in 28 states. He had a long history of using the Internet for harassment. In 1996, while a student at the University of Maryland, he posted the phone number of a woman he believed was abusing her teenage daughter.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said in a news release that the jury last winter rejected White’s contention that his speech was protected under the First Amendment. “[T]his sentence demonstrates that all threatening and intimidating behavior, no matter how a perpetrator tries to mask it, will be subject to the same punishment under the law,” he said.

White will likely serve the remainder of his sentence at a prison in Beckley, W.V. Even after he gets out of jail, it’s unlikely he will have a chance to vilify people on the Web. As part of his conditions of release, White will be barred from posting information online or using the Internet for a job or hobby.

  • Snorlax

    One less attendee at next Monday’s teabagger soiree’.

    I’m sure he will be missed by all.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Ignorance is a strange thing. Sure, many WNs are ignorant, but not in the way people think. Some of them can be quite intelligent but they are ignorant of things outside their experience. For example, many of them take it for granted that this identity of “white” actually means something outside of America, or that they can go to Europe and say “HEY I’M EUROPEAN, LIKE YOU!!”

    They may also be superficially educated on subjects like history, but only history that fits their historical narrative. Faced with facts which contradict that narrative, they are rendered helpless- such was the case with one local Islamophobe WN here, who was neutralized when I informed him of all the examples of Europeans working with the Islamic world throughout history.

  • TIM

    It’s a sad world we live in. It’s not so much about education but what tree you came from. Bernie Maddoff, Tom Delay, Bob Ney, all the wall street bankers and many, mnay, more prominant people are ignorant. Hell I can’t spell but I have a masters degree from the University of Illinois. I know lots of uneducated people who are the kindest peop;e in the world. Even many conservatives and liberals however misguided they are abhor hate mongers. In the words of a famous american Rodney King “can’t we all just get along”?

  • Tom A. F.

    O.K., trying to reform the extreme, social sickos is a waste of resources, but, having Bill White grow organic vegetables for poor Americans would do much good. We need to exploit these misfits as restitution to society. Our prisons hold a formidable, yet, idle workforce.

  • Hatewatch

    Skinnyminny,

    That was Don Black, who currently runs Stormfront.

  • skinnyminny

    Is this the same Bill White that, with other extremists attempt a coup on the caribbean island, the Commonwealth of Dominica (but plan failed, and group detained in Florida), as a means to ‘have their own country?’

  • bryony1

    “Education is the cure for ignorance.”

    No, it’s not. Did you read the NY Times poll of Tea Baggers? Most claim to be well-educated, though their misspelled signs and delusions about the president being a Muslim born outside the U.S. show that “education” is no cure for irrational hatred and racism.

    When I taught journalism at San Francisco State University in the ’80s, I was horrified to find that most seniors could not spell and could not write an article in a logical fashion, though they’d been being “educated” for four years.

    People who join hate groups, like the Tea Baggers, whites-only militias, etc., are ignorant as the day is long, “educated” or not. Penalties for doing what this ex-Neo-Nazi who was just sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail should be much more severe than that, based on what he did and for how long he did it.

    He’s not the only one. I’ve been emailed by an irrational hate-monger in the SF Bay Area that I’ve already breathed too much of other people’s air. These people are everywhere, their hate-filled delusions are quite real, and if they act on them their penalties should be a lot more than 2 1/2 years. They’re dangerous.

  • Kat

    He’d be worse than useless at a health clinic. They don’t want him in their way. He should be sentenced to doing something useful where he can’t cause more trouble. Do prisoners make license plates in West Virginia?

  • Tom A. F.

    Sending Bill White to prison, the University of Hate, will allow him to organize with his comrades. He should be sentenced to working in a poor, black, health clinic in New Orleans. Education is the cure for ignorance.

  • http://n.a. cindy hawkins-legorreta

    Now that the Internet is so much a part of our lives, new opportunities for on line harassment and mis-use of the web is a real possibility. It’s depressing but, we need to keep aware that free speech still does not include hate speech – be it spoken, or electronic.