Bill White (neo-Nazi)

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For other people of the same name, see Bill White (disambiguation).
Bill White
Born (1977-05-29) May 29, 1977 (age 37)
Rockville, Maryland, United States
Occupation Landlord

William Alexander "Bill" White (born May 29, 1977) is the leader of the American National Socialist Workers' Party, and former administrator of Overthrow.com, a now-defunct website dedicated to anti-communist thought, and far-right interpretations of 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 twelve students and a teacher in the Columbine High School massacre, because according to White, they were being oppressed by the United States 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. On December 18, 2009, White was found guilty on four counts, one of which was later dismissed by the judge. In 2010 the ACLU filed a brief asking the court to reverse White's convictions on those three charges. A federal district court overturned the convictions on First Amendment grounds and White was released in April 2011. In 2012, the prosecution appealed the decision and White fled the country, violating his supervised release, and was arrested in Mexico.

Background[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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[edit]

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[edit]

Though most noted for his support of fascist movements, White has proclaimed multiple intense and conflicting political shifts across the political spectrum, ranging from communism to conservatism.

From 1997 to 1998, White claimed involvement with the Maoist[11] Revolutionary Communist Party's Refuse and Resist, Coalition against Police Brutality, and the Trotskyist[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[edit]

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[edit]

On October 15, 2005, White helped the National Socialist Movement organize a march and rally in Toledo, Ohio.[17] 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.[18][19] In 2005, he also attended a small rally in Yorktown, Virginia.[20] He served as a spokesman for a 2006 neo-Nazi march at the capitol in Lansing, Michigan.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23][24]

Access to White's websites in Canada[edit]

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.[25]

Jena Six[edit]

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."[26] Al Sharpton claimed that some of the families have continuously received threatening and harassing phone calls.[26]

Roanoke, Virginia attack[edit]

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.[27][28] During the trial, White testified that he choked Brown unconscious during the incident.[29] He later published an essay, "Transcendence and the Killing of the Wicked," describing the experience.[30]

Federal trial and conviction[edit]

On October 17, 2008, White was arrested in Roanoke, Virginia 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.[31][32][33][34] Other counts against White, filed December 11, 2008, included 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.[35][36][37]

In July 2009, one count of inciting violence was dismissed by the judge.[38] The trial on the seven remaining charges began on December 9, 2009.[39] On December 18, the jury found White guilty on four counts and not guilty on three counts.[40]

On February 8, 2010, a Federal judge dismissed White's conviction of threatening Warman. On April 14, 2010 White was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment. Judge James Turk said he rarely sentences defendants on the high side of guidelines, but did so because of the fear White instilled in many of his victims.[41]

The conviction for threatening a federal juror was reversed as violating the First Amendment, and White was released in April 2011.[42][43] The prosecutor appealed the ruling.

On March 1, 2012, a federal appeals court threw out the 30-month sentence White received for making threats and set a new sentencing date for enhanced sentencing because at least one of the victims was a child.[44] Also in March, White was charged and found guilty in General District Court of littering for throwing fliers out of his car.[45] On May 14, White failed to appear at the sentencing hearing and left a note at his apartment that he will not be returning, violating his supervised release.[45] He claimed online he was moving to Iran.[45]

On June 8, 2012, White was arrested by Mexican authorities in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.[46][47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shields, Todd & Bowles, Scott. "Over the Line On-Line: Family Put Under Siege", The Washington Post, February 14, 1996.
  2. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b Cramer, John. "White supremacist comments on case" 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. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  7. ^ McCain, Robert Stacy (1999-04-30). "Anarchist Web site salutes 2 killers". Washington Times. pp. A.10. ISSN 0732-8494. 
  8. ^ Russia Contemplates Sports Agreement With Iran - English pravda.ru
  9. ^ 'I am just so tired of this Semitism'
  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" by Mike Hudson, Roanoke Times, July 9, 2004
  17. ^ Article on December Toledo nazi rally
  18. ^ "Wireless". [dead link]
  19. ^ Hatewatch | Southern Poverty Law Center
  20. ^ Neo-Nazis outnumbered at historic site, CNN, June 25, 2005
  21. ^ Hundreds protest rally by neo-Nazis, LSJ.com Apr 23, 2006
  22. ^ Gettys, Travis. "Neo-Nazis Arrested At Bush Speech In Ohio", wlwt.com, April 19, 2007.
  23. ^ White-supremacy group sends hate mail to Beach complex | LOCAL NEWS | WVEC.com | News for Hampton Roads, Virginia
  24. ^ Beach apartment residents receive mass hate mailing | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com
  25. ^ Sullivan, Sean Patrick. "Ottawa lawyer asks CRTC to block access to US-based hate websites", Canadian Press, August 23, 2006.
  26. ^ a b Becky Bohrer (2007-09-22). "FBI Probes Anti-Jena 6 Web Page". The Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  27. ^ William White Wins in Court | WSLS 10
  28. ^ White acquitted of assault charges - Roanoke.com
  29. ^ Supremacist acquitted of assault - Roanoke.com
  30. ^ Overthrow.com
  31. ^ Hammack, Laurence (2008-10-18). "Roanoke neo-Nazi jailed on charge of threatening a juror". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  32. ^ Cramer, John and Jen McCaffery. "White Supremacist Comments on Case." Roanoke Times & World News, 3 March 2005.
  33. ^ Ahearn, Lorraine. "Neo-Nazi Site Posts Addresses of Truth Panelists." Greensboro News & Record, 3 July 2005.
  34. ^ "The 'N-Word,' and Other Readers' Letters," Philadelphia Daily News, 10 Aug. 2005.
  35. ^ How Two Canadians Helped Nab America's Top Neo-Nazi by Colin Freeze, the Globe and Mail, December 12, 2008.
  36. ^ U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, 12/11/08
  37. ^ "Neo-Nazi White's trial begins today". 
  38. ^ 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. Retrieved December 8, 2009. 
  39. ^ [1] WSLS News, Dec. 2, 2009
  40. ^ Hammack, Laurence (December 19, 2009). "Jury finds White guilty on 4 counts: A jury found William A. White guilty on charges of making threats, but acquitted him on three other counts". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved December 21, 2009. 
  41. ^ Hammack, Laurence (April 14, 2010). "Neo-Nazi Bill White sentenced to 2½ years in prison for hate speech". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  42. ^ Kravets, David (April 21, 2011). "Neo-Nazi Freed, Online Speech Protected". Wired.org. 
  43. ^ Sweeney, Annie (April 20, 2011). "Judge throws out conviction of white supremacist". Chicago Tribune. 
  44. ^ Appeal by Bill White may draw more time, The Roanoke Times, March 2, 2012
  45. ^ a b c Authorities say William A. White is on the lam, The Roanoke Times May 24, 2012
  46. ^ Virginia white supremacist arrested in Mexico Washington Post, Saturday, June 9, 2012
  47. ^ Hammack, Laurence (2012-06-09). "Fugitive William A. White is arrested in Mexico". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 

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