Bill White, the vicious neo-Nazi Internet gossip who spent more than two years in prison on charges of using the Internet to threaten a perceived enemy, is up to his old tricks.
Once the head of the neo-Nazi American National Socialist Workers Party, White went to prison in 2008 after posting personal information about the jury foreman in the trial of another white supremacist on his website. A federal judge threw out his conviction on First Amendment grounds, and White was released April 20 on the condition that he refrain from participating in “any Internet related business or hobby involving a website, and the posting of any information on any website.”
In a letter to the Roanoke Times outlining his plans to retire from the neo-Nazi movement and keep his website dark, White wrote, “I do not intend to recant my views, even if I will quiet them.”
Perhaps “if” was the key word. Making an end-run around the court-ordered restriction on Internet activity, White – who started using the web to harass and intimidate people 15 years ago – is now relying on old-fashioned ink-and-paper media to spread his hateful beliefs.
His outlet of choice is American Free Press, an anti-Semitic weekly that bills itself as “America’s Last Real Newspaper” and was founded by Holocaust denier Willis Carto.
Most print media these days gets transferred to the Internet, and American Free Press is no exception. Full issues can be downloaded for free as PDFs, and some articles are available as typical web postings. Since May 23, White has contributed at least six articles to the racist publication.
Unsurprisingly, White shows a preference for writing about free speech and privacy issues, lacing the facts with paranoid antigovernment and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Topics have included ICE’s under-the-radar network of suburban detention centers for undocumented immigrants (first reported by the unapologetically left-wing The Nation); the controversial recent expansion of the FBI’s power to search databases and household trash, and use surveillance to look for signs of criminal or terrorist activity; and former President Bill Clinton’s May proposal that the federal government or United Nations create an agency charged with “identifying relevant factual errors” in online reporting. (Clinton, who’s no dummy, identified the objections that would arise from many people like White: “[I]f it’s a government agency in a traditional sense, it would have no credibility whatever, particularly with a lot of the people who are most active on the Internet.”)
On May 30, American Free Press ran White’s self-aggrandizing essay headlined “How I Was Tortured, Told to Lie by the Obama Regime,” in which he claimed that he was held in a cell “flooded with human feces” and that he was “detained, tortured and held in solitary confinement because I refused to lie for the benefit of the federal government.”
White, whose American Free Press bio describes him as a “freelance journalist” who “served 30 months … for thought crimes and trumped up charges related to his publishing efforts” – has been something of a cause célèbre for the paper.
Shortly after his 2010 sentencing, Carto and longtime sidekick Michael Collins Piper (who at a 1999 Council of Conservative Citizens convention alleged that Israel was behind the Kennedy assassination), co-wrote an article lionizing White as an “outspoken dissident” persecuted by a “totalitarian” government.
“White’s ‘crime’ is his nature,” they wrote. “He is ‘politically incorrect,’ pushing that first and foremost of our constitutional rights – the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech – to its limits.”
Hatemongering isn’t the only bad habit to which White has returned. According to a May 4 article in the Roanoke Times, he has also begun renting out properties without obtaining rental certificates – a city code violation for which officials say he will eventually have to answer.
White began buying up real estate in 2004, accumulating houses and apartment buildings in a largely black neighborhood for what he called his “ghetto improvement project.” His pattern of improving the distressed properties, raising rents, and, often, booting out original residents who could no longer afford to stay, led the local Legal Aid Society to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Tenants at the time also claimed White walked around their neighborhood armed with a shotgun and tried to intimidate them by saying the Klan was coming to “regulate” the area.