Hatewatch

Bill White: One More Investigation

Roanoke, Va., neo-Nazi leader Bill White has become embroiled in yet another investigation by the federal government. U.S. attorneys recently issued a subpoena ordering the Yahoo! Internet service provider to turn over any E-mail exchanges between White and John Crockett Henry, a Virginia Beach landlord accused in a complaint filed in May 2007 of violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against African-American tenants. A lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice based on the complaint, is scheduled for trial in federal court on May 19.

The civil rights lawsuit against Henry, which stems from a complaint made to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), was brought on behalf of five African Americans who say Henry insulted them with racial slurs and imposed strict tenant rules on the basis of race. White inserted himself into the matter by mailing to the tenants copies of his American National Socialist Workers Party newsletter. The newsletter referred to African Americans as “niggers” and made other derogatory references. White also mailed personal letters to the tenants that said, in part: “[K]now that the white community has noticed you and we know that you are and will never be anything more than a dirty parasite — and that our patience with you and the government that coddles you runs thin.”

“Bill White sent very threatening letters to our clients,” Jason Manning, one of the tenants’ attorneys, told Hatewatch. “We just want to know the extent of the relationship between Mr. White and Mr. Henry.” Manning and other plaintiffs’ attorneys believe there may have been collusion between White and Henry.

The allegations against Henry are similar to those leveled at White in 2004, resulting in another HUD investigation. African-American tenants of White’s Roanoke properties complained that he called them “nigger,” made threatening comments to them referencing the Ku Klux Klan, and walked through their neighborhood with a shotgun. They also complained of stifling policies that they say prevented them from having friends or family as guests in their rented homes. And, as a matter of fact, White, when he first moved to Roanoke and began to buy properties in a black neighborhood, boasted that he intended to chase out African Americans as part of what he described as his “ghetto beautification project.” But the HUD investigation did not result in a lawsuit or other government action against White.

In the current lawsuit, one of the plaintiffs, tenant Angela Reddick, claims she was regularly “admonished” by Henry for allowing her son’s father to visit. She alleges that Henry told her that the apartment complex was his “ghetto tribe plantation.” In addition, black tenants of Henry’s complex say they were given a “quiet time” policy memo, stating that only “quiet” activities were allowed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. White tenants said they did not receive the memo. Children of the black residents also reported that Henry had called them “niggers.”