Racist Music

Since the early 1990s, various forms of “white power” music have grown from a cottage industry serving a few racist skinheads to a multimillion-dollar, worldwide industry that is a primary conduit of money and young recruits to the radical right. Although the music originated in Britain in the early 1980s, it is now popular among hard-core racists throughout Europe and the United States.

The music essentially started with the British band Skrewdriver, led by the late Ian Stuart Donaldson, but is now played by hundreds of bands in the United States, Europe (where it is often illegal), and elsewhere. While it was once almost always one or another form of hard-core rock ’n’ roll, it has more recently taken all kinds of musical forms, even ballads.

For several years beginning in the late 1990s, the distribution of racist music — often referred to as “hatecore” by its enemies — was dominated by Resistance Records, a label owned by the once-powerful neo-Nazi group National Alliance. But the Alliance has shriveled to a nearly dead group, and Resistance has been losing money for years. Today, the music scene is no longer dominated by a single label, but instead fed by scores of small and often competing racist firms.