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Bill White (neo-Nazi)

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Bill White
Born Rockville, Maryland, United States
Occupation Landlord

William Alexander "Bill" White (born May 29, 1977) is the leader of the internet-based American National Socialist Workers' Party, and former administrator of Overthrow.com, a now-defunct website dedicated to anti-Zionist and anti-capitalist speech.

White came to public attention in 1996 in a front page article in The Washington Post after he posted allegations about the stepmother of a girl he said was being abused.[1] In 1999 he expressed support for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killers of 12 students and a teacher in the Columbine High School massacre, because according to White, they were being oppressed by America's fascist education system.[2] In 2005, The New York Times quoted White as having "laughed" when United States district court judge Joan Lefkow's husband and mother were murdered[3] because Lefkow had ruled against white supremacist Matthew Hale in a trademark dispute. He told The Roanoke Times that he looked forward to "further killings of Jews and their sympathizers."[4] White is skeptical of the Holocaust, saying "claims that ... the gas chambers were part of a 'Holocaust' of 'six million,' were invented almost entirely by the Soviet Union, and were later adopted by the Jewish communities of the Western nations."[5] The Anti-Defamation League quotes White saying "there was no Holocaust" and describes what they call "White's Holocaust denial rhetoric".[6]

In 2008, White was arrested for alleged threats to a federal juror after activist Charles "Heavy Fed" Gilliam contacted the FBI and asked that White be investigated. The FBI confiscated his computer equipment, resulting in the closure of Overthrow.com. On December 18, 2009, he was found guilty on four counts, one of which was later dismissed.

Background

White was raised in the Horizon Hill neighborhood of Rockville, Maryland. According to an April 1999 interview with The Washington Times, he began to drift toward anarchism after reading The Communist Manifesto at 13. He attended Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland, where he founded the Utopian Anarchist Party (UAP) and published a magazine that focused on opposition to the education system, psychiatry, and law enforcement.[7]

White graduated from Walt Whitman High School in June 1994. He became a psychology major at the University of Maryland, College Park where, in 1995, he started another political group called the Bill White Student Group, a continuation of the UAP. He founded Overthrow.com as the group's website where he published material from a wide range of political viewpoints, including communism, anarchism, and fascism.[8] In 1995, White faced criminal charges of possessing deadly weapons, a knife and a club, distributing obscene material, and attempting to escape from police custody, arising out of the distribution of political leaflets. Montgomery County declined to prosecute the case. In 1997, White served seven months in the Montgomery County Detention Center on weapons, assault and resisting arrest charges.[9]

On February 14, 1996, White was featured in a front page story in The Washington Post after posting on Internet news groups the name and telephone number of a woman he believed was abusing her daughter. The supposed victim had allegedly told a university counseling group that her parents would not allow her to use the telephone or see friends; someone from the group spread the story, and White posted it, asking readers to telephone the mother and "tell her you are disgusted and you demand that she stops." The Post reported that the mother and stepfather were near breaking point after receiving threatening telephone calls.[1]

Columbine High School massacre

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, seniors at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colorado, killed twelve students and one teacher before committing suicide. White's website claimed that "schools and juvenile psychiatric centers [that]...prescribe anti-depressants are evil and should be destroyed," and it gave a list of "Music to Shoot Your School Up By." The report continued that "[t]here are so many parallels between the Web site's message and the April 20 massacre in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, that some police hate-crime experts say privately it is not inconceivable that the two teen-age gunmen in that case visited the site." [2] FBI officials claimed there was no indication that the website had any connection to the shooting.

White told Reuters that "the reason [Columbine victims] got killed is that they are part of an authoritarian social movement and were seen by the killers as symbolic of that movement ... What the shooters were shooting at was not people but the movements they symbolized. It's a shame that authoritarian Christians, who are trying to dominate our society, don't have a clue how objectionable they are until people start shooting them." He said he would neither confirm nor deny that what he called a "Colorado cell" of his Utopian Anarchist Party had been in contact with the teenagers before the shooting.[2]

White later clarified his position on Columbine in an interview with Jack Ross for Pravda Online:

People were predictably outraged, and let me be clear that I sympathize with what they did — I don't support it or think it was necessarily the "right" thing to do. What I said was that the public school system is actively involved in hurting youth, that it is psychologically destructive to them, and that the necessary effect of the evil violence the public schools do on a massive scale is evil violence directed back at them and the people and institutions which symbolize them.[10]

Ideological shifts

From 1997 to 1998, White claimed involvement with the Maoist[11] Revolutionary Communist Party's Refuse and Resist, Coalition against Police Brutality, and the Trotskyite[12] International Socialist Organization (ISO). White worked as a columnist for the Russian website Pravda Online, which took its name from the now-defunct newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party.[13] In 2000, White joined Ross Perot's Reform Party and the campaign to elect Pat Buchanan, then running for President of the United States on a Reform Party ticket. White later told American Free Press that he resigned from the Buchanan campaign after a few months out of concern for what he called the campaign's "dishonest practices."

Business interests

White incorporated his first company, White Web Publishing Inc., in 2002, which he sold in 2003. He set up an eBay clone called "ShopWhite" with the aim of capturing the White Power music and paraphernalia market, but the venture failed after security and administrative problems.[14]

In late 2003, White moved to Roanoke, Virginia, where he began trading as White Homes and Land LLC. According to The Roanoke Times and the Southern Poverty Law Center, White has owned nine single and multi-family properties in an impoverished black neighborhood in South West Roanoke since April 2004.[15]

White told the Roanoke Times that he is not a racist or Nazi, describing himself as a "libertarian socialist."[4] He admitted to being an antisemite: "I wouldn't be out here buying and fixing up houses if I had some agenda against the black community...The Jews, I despise. They hate me. I hate them." He acknowledged calling some Roanoke residents "local nig-rats" and accused them of "conspiring to test me."[16].

Intimidation and activism

On October 15, 2005, White helped the National Socialist Movement organize a march and rally in Toledo, Ohio. The march was canceled by police when the NSM and around 20 supporters were outnumbered by several hundred anti-racists and members of the largely African-American neighborhood in which the rally was to take place. White, the NSM's Dayton leader Mark Martin, and the rest of their supporters taunted the crowd with racial epithets. Some counter-protesters became violent and began rioting. More than 100 people were arrested.[17][18]

In July 2006, White was removed from the NSM and formed the internet-based American National Socialist Workers' Party. On April 19, 2007, two of the ANSWP's fifteen members were arrested when they unveiled a swastika flag during a speech by President George W. Bush in Tipp City, Ohio.[19] On May 23, 2007, White mailed letters and copies of National Socialist, the ANSWP magazine, to the residents of an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia where tenants had complained about discriminatory behavior by their landlord.[20][21]

Access to White's websites in Canada

In 2006, Canadian human rights lawyer Richard Warman and the Canadian Jewish Congress asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Canada's telecommunications regulator, to block access in Canada to White's websites. Warman claimed the websites contained material intended to incite violence against him that caused him to fear for his life.[22]

Jena Six

On September 22, 2007, the FBI opened an investigation of Overthrow.com because it listed the addresses of five of the Jena Six and the telephone numbers of family members "in case anyone wants to deliver justice." According to an FBI spokeswoman, the website "essentially called for their lynching."[23] Black activist Al Sharpton claimed that some of the families have continuously received threatening and harassing phone calls.[23]

Roanoke attack

In October 2007, White was attacked by Aries Brown and Lattoria Minnis, two African-Americans whose claims that White had assaulted them were dismissed by a judge.[24][25] During the trial, White testified that he choked Brown unconscious during the incident[26]. He later published an essay, "Transcendence and the Killing of the Wicked," describing the experience.[27]

Federal trial and conviction

On October 17, 2008, White was arrested in Roanoke by the FBI. The arrest stemmed from an alleged threat White made against a federal juror involved in the 2004 Matthew F. Hale case and posting the juror's personal information online. White was held without bond.[28] Other counts against White, filed December 11, 2008, include alleged threats he made against poor black tenants suing their landlords, and threats against others, including Warman, columnist Leonard Pitts, former South Harrison Township, New Jersey mayor Charles Tyson, and a university administrator from Delaware.[29][30][31] In July 2009, one count of inciting violence was dismissed by the judge.[32] The trial on the seven remaining charges began on December 9, 2009.[33] On December 18, the jury found White guilty on four counts and not guilty on three counts.[34] On February 8, a Federal judge dismissed White's conviction of threatening Warman. White is scheduled to be sentenced April 14. Sentencing guidelines are likely to result in a sentence under 30 years.[35]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Shields, Todd & Bowles, Scott. "Over the Line On-Line: Family Put Under Siege", The Washington Post, February 14, 1996.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tippet, Sarah. "Web Site Asks Youths To Carry Weapons, Build Bombs", Reuters, May 3, 1999 (now a deadlink).
  3. Wilgoren, Jodi et al. "Shadowed by Threats, Judge Finds New Horror", New York Times, March 2, 2005.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cramer, John. "White supremacist comments on case" Although in actuality White didn't believe in any supremecy but complete anarchal equality, The Roanoke Times, March 3, 2005.
  5. White, Bill. "The Argument against the Holocaust", Overthrow.com, April 3, 2005.
  6. "Extremist Response to the Virginia Tech Shootings". Anti-Defamation League. 2007-04-20. http://www.adl.org/main_Extremism/extremist_respond_va_tech_shooting.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  7. McCain, Robert Stacy (1999-04-30). "Anarchist Web site salutes 2 killers". Washington Times: pp. A.10. ISSN 07328494. 
  8. http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/10/25248.html
  9. http://gazette.net/gazette_archive/2002/200244/montgomerycty/county/128137-1.html
  10. "Interview With Pravda.ru's Bill White", Pravda online, January 10, 2002.
  11. 'Power and the Idealists' By PAUL BERMAN, New York Times Published: November 27, 2005
  12. Angry Exchanges, To and Fro, at Rally By ANTHONY RAMIREZ , New York Times Published: June 4, 2006
  13. The New York Times April 27, 2007, A Statue's Place Revives Post-Soviet Tensions by MIKE NIZZA
  14. "Some additional responses", Overthrow.com, July 2, 2005.
  15. SPLCenter.org: Bigots in Business
  16. Landlord denies allegations of sinister agenda
  17. Wireless
  18. http://www.splcenter.org/intel/hatewatch/item.jsp?hid=831
  19. Gettys, Travis. "Neo-Nazis Arrested At Bush Speech In Ohio", wlwt.com, April 19, 2007.
  20. White-supremacy group sends hate mail to Beach complex | LOCAL NEWS | WVEC.com | News for Hampton Roads, Virginia
  21. Beach apartment residents receive mass hate mailing | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com
  22. Sullivan, Sean Patrick. "Ottawa lawyer asks CRTC to block access to US-based hate websites", Canadian Press, August 23, 2006.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Becky Bohrer (2007-09-22). "FBI Probes Anti-Jena 6 Web Page". The Associated Press. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201404.html?nav=rss_technology. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  24. William White Wins in Court | WSLS 10
  25. White acquitted of assault charges - Roanoke.com
  26. Supremacist acquitted of assault - Roanoke.com
  27. Overthrow.com
  28. Hammack, Laurence (2008-10-18). "Roanoke neo-Nazi jailed on charge of threatening a juror". The Roanoke Times. http://www.roanoke.com/news/breaking/wb/180966. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  29. How Two Canadians Helped Nab America's Top Neo-Nazi by Colin Freeze, the Globe and Mail, December 12, 2008.
  30. U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, 12/11/08
  31. "Neo-Nazi White's trial begins today". http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/229084. 
  32. Hammack, Laurence (July 26, 2009). "White's life on fringe puts him at center of storm: The Roanoke neo-Nazi's ideological leanings were foreshadowed by his early feelings of "innate superiority."". The Roanoke Times. http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/213109. Retrieved December 8, 2009. 
  33. [1] WSLS News, Dec. 2, 2009
  34. Template:Cite new
  35. [2] Judge drops 1 of 4 charges against neo-Nazi By Laurence Hammack; Roanoke Times, 8 Frb 2010

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