Four years after a neo-Nazi record label provoked a nationwide outcry by distributing hate rock to middle and high school students, one of the men behind that ambitious recruitment drive is at it again.
White power music broker Bryant Cecchini, who uses the alias Byron Calvert, recently announced on his website that he had begun distribution last week of 30,000 CDs. The campaign is dubbed “Project Schoolyard Volume II” and targets teenagers with a 25-song sampler that features tracks such as “White Power” and “Some N------ Never Die.” “Remember,” he wrote, “we don’t just entertain racist kids, we create them.”
The CDs are on sale for 30 cents each, but Cecchini is including several free with each order from Tightrope, his Arkansas-based website that offers hate music and other racist merchandise. Cecchini’s website features a fist clasping a noose and the motto, “It’s not illegal to be White … yet!”
Cecchini told the Intelligence Report that he has already shipped a few thousand of the CDs in batches of 50 to longtime acquaintances who, he says, will hand them out to children at malls, concerts, skate parks and schools. He said the CDs he’s mailed in bulk have gone to at least seven states — Alaska, Arkansas, California, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Pennsylvania — while the ones he’s packaged with customer orders have been sent nationwide. Cecchini said he also uses multiple MySpace accounts that are not overtly racist to reach white students at schools where racially charged incidents have occurred.
“It’s not a hard sell,” he said of his CDs. “People don’t have to be besieged by blacks and Mexican gangs necessarily to just appreciate the music.”
Asked what he hopes to accomplish with Project Schoolyard Volume II, Cecchini at first sounded like a typical ’sixties hippie. “Just rock and roll, man,” he said. “Why does anyone express themselves? Why does anyone do anything they do?”
But the 37-year-old Cecchini, who said he’s been a racist skinhead since he was 17, eventually conceded that the music serves as a hook to pull young people into the movement. “Your average kid really don’t give a damn about paint scrapings at Auschwitz,” said Cecchini, who claims no one was gassed at the infamous Nazi death camp. However, “If you put it to music, they’ll listen to it twice before breakfast every day.”
Cecchini served 3½ years in prison for a 1989 felony conviction and acknowledged that he has some regrets. “I’ve told kids for years that if you think tattoos and felonies are cool, I wish I could give you some of mine, because they’re not.”
Yet the lyrics of many of the songs on the CD appear to call for violence against minorities, “race traitors” and the American government.
A song titled “Aggravated Assault” repeats the phrase “It could happen to you,” followed by the words “n----- boy,” “filthy jew,” “slant-eyed g---,” “f------ f-----,” “race traitor,” the “U.S. government” and SPLC co-founder Morris Dees, among others.
Isn’t there a contradiction between his telling children to avoid felonies and the violent lyrics on his CD? “Hell no,” Cecchini replied. “Absolutely not.” People should be able to control their behavior after listening to or viewing violent CDs, video games or movies, Cecchini said. And given the prevalence of violent entertainment, there’s no reason he should be held to a different standard just because he’s racist.
Still, Cecchini didn’t seem too concerned that his CD could potentially cause someone to get hurt. After falsely claiming that the majority of hate crimes are committed by blacks against whites, he said, “If this music did cause kids to go out and commit hate crimes, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
Project Schoolyard Volume II follows Project Schoolyard Volume I, which Cecchini organized with neo-Nazi Anthony Pierpont several year ago. Cecchini said the label he and Pierpont ran, Panzerfaust Records, distributed about 50,000 CDs in the fall of 2004. The project drew widespread media attention, including stories in The Boston Globe and on CNN. However, Panzerfaust Records didn’t achieve its goal of handing out 100,000 CDs because it disbanded in January 2005 after Cecchini went public about discovering that Pierpont’s mother was Mexican and that Pierpont had boasted about having sex with Thai prostitutes — both serious no-no’s in the world of Aryan supremacy. Pierpont was essentially drummed out of the movement after the disclosures, but has said since that he’s glad he left.
Cecchini said he doesn’t plan on promoting his most recent venture in the media as much as he did with the first Project Schoolyard because his 40-acre farm and five home-schooled children keep him busy. Nonetheless, a leading racist forum, Stormfront, contains a thread on Project Schoolyard Volume II, and Cecchini has high hopes for the CDs.
“They’re nice, they’re glossy, they’re shrink-wrapped,” he enthused. “It’s free music. Kids are going to come running.”