White Aryan Resistance
White Aryan Resistance (WAR) is a neo-Nazi white separatist organization founded and led by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Tom Metzger. Part of the American far right, it is based in Warsaw, Indiana and is incorporated as a business.
It holds views that are self-described as racist, as seen in its website sections "Racist Jokes" and "Racist Videos," and in the tagline for its newspaper The Insurgent: "the most racist newspaper on earth." WAR uses the slogan White Revolution is the Only Solution.
Metzger's first group was known as the White Brotherhood, which he led in the mid-1970s until joining David Dukes Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1975. By 1979 he had risen to Grand Dragon of the California realm. During these years the California conducted unauthorized border patrols at the Mexican border and kept a blackshirted security detail that would engage in skirmishes with anti-Klan demonstrators and police. One incident in Oceanside, California, in the spring of 1980, involved 30 members of this squad and left seven people injured. In the summer of 1980 Metzger left the national organization and founded his own California Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The group continued to harass Hispanics and Vietnamese refugees.
From 1980 to late 1982, Metzger headed the California Knights, while also pursuing various electoral offices. In 1982 he left the Klan to found a new group, the White American Political Association, a group dedicated to promoting "prowhite" candidates for office. After losing the 1982 California Senate Democratic primary, Metzger abandoned the electoral route and reorganized WAPA as White American Resistance in 1983 and then to White Aryan Resistance, to reflect a more "revolutionary" stance.
By the late 1980s, Tom Metzger began Race and Reason, a Public-access television cable TV show, airing WAR propaganda and interviewing other neo-Nazis. The show caused much controversy, and its guests included anti-abortion speakers, Holocaust deniers and pro-segregation lawyers. WAR members gained attention through appearances on talk shows throughout the late 1980s.
On November 13, 1988, three white Aryan supremacists who were members of East Side White Pride, which allegedly had ties to WAR, beat to death Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian man who came to the United States to attend college. In October 1990, the Southern Poverty Law Center won a civil case on behalf of the deceased's family against Tom and John Metzger, for a total of US$12.5 million. The jury awarded the figure based on: Kyle Brewster- $500,000, Ken Mieske-$500,000, John Metzger-$1,000,000, WAR-$3,000,000, Tom Metzger-$5,000,000, and the jury awarded $2.5 million for Melegeta's unrealized future earnings, and pain and suffering. The SPLC did not charge for their work, and the Seraw family did not share any money won with the SPLC. The Metzgers did not have millions of dollars, so the Seraw family only received assets from the Metzger's $125,000 house and a few thousand dollars. The Metzgers declared bankruptcy, but WAR continued to operate. WAR continued to publish a newspaper despite the verdict. Metzger launched a website in 1997 and had an Internet radio program. The cost of trial, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars was absorbed by the SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League.
WAR has been associated with dangerous individuals throughout its existence. WAR was mentioned in the press when it was revealed that a member threatened Rhode Island video stores which carried Jungle Fever. In 1994, Richard Campos, a WAR sympathizer, was convicted of racially motivated bombing plots. Calls were made stating that the bombings were perpetrated by an organization called the Aryan Liberation Front, of which Campos was the only member. In early 1995, Campos was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 17 years in prison.
- Neo-Nazi groups of the United States
- Antisemitism in the United States
- Racism in the United States
- List of white nationalist organizations
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- Press Archive File—Article on “Aryan Liberation Front” dated Thursday, October 14, 1993:
- Southern Poverty Law Center report “The Godfathers” about the recruiting of skinheads by various white supremacist groups:
- Morris Dees. Hate on Trial: The Case Against America's Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi. Villard, (February 23, 1993) ISBN 0-679-40614-X (280 pages)
- Elinor Langer. A Hundred Little Hitlers: The Death of a Black Man, the Trial of a White Racist, and the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement in America. New York: Henry Holt, 2003. ISBN 0-8050-5098-1
- White Aryan Resistance
- Articles related to WAR - from the Nizkor Project
- Profile of Tom Metzger from the Anti-Defamation League
- White Aryan Resistance file at the FBI