Hatewatch

Austin Killer Becoming a Hero to the Radical Right

In the hours since a man enraged at the government slammed his small plane into an Austin, Tex., IRS building, white supremacists and their fellow travelers have elevated Joseph Andrew Stack into an icon of resistance to tyranny.

“The Guy is a true HERO!!!” wrote “northroad” on Stormfront.org, the largest white supremacist Web forum in the world. “God bless him,” chimed in “Rudyard,” following a comment by “suepeace”: “This was quite heroic. There is a gradual awakening underway. I wonder how racially conscious he was.”

Shortly after Stack slammed his Piper PA-28 into the IRS building Thursday morning, killing himself and one IRS worker and injuring another 13 people, a manifesto the man apparently wrote just before the attack came to light. In it, Stack bitterly railed against a wide variety of targets — big business, corporate executives, unions, the Catholic Church, the recent bailouts of various industries, and more — but he kept coming back to the alleged evils of American government in general and, more specifically, the Internal Revenue Service and tax law. That made him a hero in the eyes of many on the radical right — so-called tax protesters — who have long believed that federal taxes were illegal or simply voluntary. Although many tax protesters who call themselves “sovereign citizens” subscribe to a racist ideology, there was no indication that Stack entertained racist ideas.

Nevertheless, white supremacists were thoroughly excited by his attack. “I can feel the crunch coming,” wrote “Lady Spirit Warrior,” another poster on Stormfront. “This is just the beginning. Prepare for battle!” “Things are heating up in America,” added “Astragoth.” “This man won’t be the last to do something like this.”

“Leshrac,” writing at another radical Web forum, the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network, said: “Only bad I see about this is that he didn’t kill enough.”

A few other white supremacists suggested that lionizing Stack could be a bad thing for the radical right, but they appeared to be in a minority. At the White Revolution website, “stephen3” said that “although Mr. Stack’s reasonings are true and correct, I am not hinting by any means that this is the way to protest against our corrupt government. … Although the time for direct action is here, do not go out and kill yourself to make a point.”

A more common point was made on Stormfront by “berdoofool,” who asked simply: “Are there ANY innocent IRS employees???”