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

White Revolution Chief Seeks Kinder, Gentler Ode to Terror

By Robert Steinback on December 10, 2010 - 9:18 am, Posted in Extremist Crime, Neo-Nazi

In the ranks of white supremacists, Dec. 8 is a day of celebration.

But being who they are, racist skinheads and other neo-Nazis generally treat what they call Martyr’s Day — an event meant to honor those who have died for the cause of white nationalism — as just another excuse for a beer-swilling, gut-belching, slam-dancing bacchanalia. This year, however, the festivities planned for this Saturday might just be a little different.

Billy Roper, head of the white supremacist group White Revolution (WR) and recently failed (49 votes) write-in candidate for governor of Arkansas, would like to introduce a more genteel, summer-camp-like tradition: A family-friendly potluck dinner featuring guests reciting homages to their favorite dead racist.

“Each attendee should research their favorite White Nationalist martyr, and be prepared to speak briefly to the assembled group on their chosen martyr so that we might educate one another about those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our people and their future,” Roper’s invitation reads.

It is not known if the odes to dead racists will be followed by the singing of “Kumbaya.” But despite occasionally naïve treatment by the Arkansas media — one local TV station actually ran a “news” story in which Roper was presented with a straight face as simply a mainstream critic of the Southern Poverty Law Center — Roper is no family-values conservative. Immediately after two airplanes flew into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, killing some 3,000 Americans, Roper, then an official of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, wrote the following to his 1,400 fellow members: “The enemy of our enemy is, for now at least, our friends. We may not want them marrying our daughters, just as they would not want us marrying theirs. We may not want them in our societies, just as they would not want us in theirs. But anyone who is willing to drive a plane into a building to kill jews [sic] is alright [sic] by me. I wish our members had half as much testicular fortitude.”

The WR online “event reminder” featured a sweet high-school-graduation-style photo of one such “martyr,” Kathy Ainsworth, perhaps the most qualified claimant to the title of white lady terrorist. Ainsworth was a pregnant Mississippi housewife and Klanswoman who was killed in a 1968 shootout with police as she and a companion were surprised while trying to bomb the home of Jewish businessman and local Anti-Defamation League leader Meyer Davidson in Meridian. Such is the nature of white supremacist martyrdom: honoring someone cut down by police while attempting to carry out an assassination.

Officially, Martyr’s Day marks the death of Robert Jay Mathews, the founder of the infamous — though long defunct — neo-Nazi terrorist organization The Order, also known as the Silent Brotherhood, or Bruders Schweigen. Mathews, fearful of the demise of the white race and hoping to create a “white American bastion” in the Pacific Northwest, led his group on a series of increasingly daring armored-car robberies. Order members were also convicted of machine-gunning to death Denver radio talk-show host Alan Berg on June 18, 1984. In the end, on Dec. 8, 1984, Mathews died in a fiery shootout with FBI agents in Washington state.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    It would be boring not to inject sarcasm into the WN movement. It practically begs to be made fun of. One could not even make up the kind of stuff that happens within that movement.

  • Curious Person

    Your organization sure does its research!
    What I cannot stand, however, is your tone.

    I would suggest that your purposes would be better served if your journalists dropped the sarcasm and snark and let the facts speak for themselves.

  • WordSpinner

    Ah, why did they have to steal my birthday for their racist crap.

  • Mitch Beales

    J. Edward Tremlett does your final comment mean to suggest that Roper’s heritage is not as lily white as he’d like folks to believe? :-)

    I’d like to suggest a better way to celebrate “martyr’s day” in the true spirit of martyrdom. Perhaps they could all gather for a mass festival of self-immolation!

  • IludiumPhosdex

    Next thing you know, there’ll be white nationalist Zealots seeing South African President Hendrik Verwoerd as a “martyr for the Afrikaner Volk” deserving of hagiography, never mind where some historians saw his 1966 stabbing death as the beginning of the end for apartheid and White Afrikaner Nationalism.

    (Even more interesting is that Meneer Verwoerd was stabbed by an overzealous white Afrikaner who was frustrated about the apartheid regime’s policies excusing White Privilege doing little for improving the lot of poor whites.)

  • J. Edward Tremlett

    Damn. I wonder if Bill Roper’s been contacted by any FBI agents disguised as terroristas. It would be kind of funny if he was finally done up in a sting operation for planning a bombing or something like that.

    Whatta maroon.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Most WN “martyrs” were incompetent petty criminals at best. Let’s see:

    David “Pedophile” Lane
    Robert “I use a gun registered to me and recruit morons into my terrorist cell” Matthews
    Ben “did the world a favor via suicide” Klassen
    Adolf Hitler: Killed more “white” Europeans than Jews, far more according to Holocaust deniers.

    Then again, does not one have to die to become a martyr in the first place? Most WN criminals just surrender at the drop of a hat, ratting out their buddies.

  • James Hutchings

    Hey, they don’t always have a “beer-swilling, gut-belching, slam-dancing bacchanalia”.

    Sometimes they stab people instead.

  • IludiumPhosdex

    Next thing you’ll know, they’ll be calling for a Day of Solidarity with the Afrikaner Peoples of South Africa in their Struggle for Reclaiming Their Natural Right to Self-Determination coincident with the December 16th observance formerly known as the “Day of the Vow” under apartheid rule in South Africa, the Holiest of Days to Afrikanerdom (since restyled as the Day of Reconciliation).

  • Difluoroethane

    I doubt that racists would sing “Kumbaya”, given that song’s Gullah origins.