Since the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) first formed in 1865, white supremacist groups in the United States have propagated racism, hatred, and violence. Individuals belonging to these groups have been charged with a range of crimes, including civil rights violations, racketeering, solicitation to commit crimes of violence, firearms and explosives violations, and witness tampering.*“Domestic Threat White Supremacy Extremism,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, May 22, 2012, https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/domestic-threat..x Nonetheless, white supremacist groups––and their extremist ideologies––persist in the United States today. A February 2017 Southern Poverty Law Center report identified 100 active white nationalist and 99 active neo-Nazi groups in the country.*“Active Hate Groups 2016,” Southern Poverty Law Center, February 15, 2017, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2017/active-hate-groups-2016#whitenationalist.x In an October 2020 assessment by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf declared that white supremacist violent extremists “have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years.”*“Homeland Threat Assessment,” U.S. Department of Homeland Security, October 2020, 4, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/2020_10_06_homeland-threat-assessment.pdf.x
The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) has identified eight especially virulent white supremacist groups, which principally espouse white ethno-nationalism and/or National Socialism (neo-Nazi). Neo-Nazi groups, such as the National Socialist Movement (NSM), Hammerskin Nation, and Atomwaffen Division (AWD), generally make no effort to hide their belief that the white race is superior to others. Their ideologies also usually include anti-Semitic and homophobic components that are in line with Nazi dogma. In contrast, groups such as the League of the South and Identity Evropa propagate their radical stances under the guise of white ethno-nationalism, which seeks to highlight the distinctiveness––rather than the superiority––of the white identity. Furthermore, it claims that the white identity is under threat from minorities or immigrants that seek to replace its culture. For example, Identity Evropa’s chant, “You will not replace us,” insinuates that growing minority populations threaten to overtake whites of European heritage in American society.*Identity Evropa, Twitter post, July 28, 2017, https://twitter.com/IdentityEvropa/status/890912720920379392. x Members of this new generation of white supremacists, such as former Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) leader Matthew Heimbach, have decried the traditional supremacist narrative of the inferiority of non-white races. Heimbach and his contemporaries have instead focused on racial separation rather than racial superiority, promoting the idea that all races are better served by remaining separate.*Vegas Tenold, Everything You Love Will Burn (New York: Nation Books, 2018), 175-201.x
Spurred by the rise of these younger ethno-nationalist leaders and organizations, some overtly racist groups have attempted to soften their radical images. In late 2016, the NSM abandoned its use of the swastika in order to “appear more integrated and more mainstream,” according to then-NSM leader Jeff Schoep.*Serge F. Kovaleski, Julie Turkewitz, Joseph Goldstein, and Dan Barry, “An Alt-Right Makeover Shrouds the Swastikas,” New York Times, December 10, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/10/us/alt-right-national-socialist-movement-white-supremacy.html. x Despite the cosmetic change, the NSM’s ideology and rhetoric have largely remained unchanged, while groups like the Hammerskins have thoroughly rejected the attempt at rebranding.
In a further effort to gain popular support and acceptance for their radical platforms, many of the groups profiled in this resource have officially renounced violence and instead rely on demonstrations and propaganda to sway public opinion. Nonetheless, many affiliated individuals have still been involved in violent altercations spurred by ideologies that encourage racial elitism. Furthermore, violence plays a defining role for groups like AWD, which projected the image of a heavily armed militia preparing for an impending race war.* Matt Lebovic, “Inside ‘Atomwaffen,’ where Blaze Bernstein’s alleged killer trained for race war,” Times of Israel, January 29, 2018,https://www.timesofisrael.com/inside-atomwaffen-where-blaze-bernsteins-alleged-killer-trained-for-race-war/; A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan, “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student,” ProPublica, last updated August 3, 2018,https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate-group; “SIEGE! THE LEFT-RIGHT SPECTRUM - ATOMWAFFEN DIVISION SPECIAL,” Bitchute video, 4:01, posted August 29, 2017, https://www.bitchute.com/video/eFLaKY5ePJxO/; “#RESISTRACIALECLIPSE - ATOMWAFFEN DIVISION,” Bitchute video, 2:01, posted September 14, 2017, https://www.bitchute.com/video/pwgBtaUkUGn4/. x AWD disbanded in March 2020 after the arrest of several of its members.*Ben Makuch, “Audio Recording Claims Neo-Nazi Terror Group Is Disbanding,” Vice, March 14, 2020, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjdnam/audio-recording-claims-neo-nazi-terror-group-is-disbanding.x In July 2020, former AWD members reorganized as National Socialist Order (NSO) and pledged to “build an Aryan, National Socialist world by any means necessary.”*“National Socialist Order Announcement!,” American Futurist, July 25, 2020.x
Groups like Identity Evropa—which shut down in March 2019 as its leaders created the American Identity Movement (AIM)—officially reject violence but their identitarian ideology has directly inspired it. Identitarians—including those based in non-European countries such as the United States and Australia—associate their Western identity as European. Identitarians subscribe to a theory known as the Great Replacement, in which non-European migrants threaten to replace the dominant white European culture.* “Frequently Asked Question,” Generation Identity United Kingdom and Ireland, accessed March 8, 2018, https://www.generation-identity.org.uk/faqs/. x The March 15, 2019, attack on two New Zealand mosques that left at least 50 dead was a direct manifestation of the identitarian ideology to which Identity Evropa and AIM subscribe. Alleged attacker Brenton Tarrant entitled his manifesto “The Great Replacement” and wrote about the “crisis of mass immigration … that, if not combated, will ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people.”*Brenton Tarrant, “The Great Replacement,” Internet Archive, accessed April 1, 2019. x Like Identity Evropa, Tarrant identified a broader white European ethnic identity prevalent in the Western world that transcended national borders.
Most of the groups profiled are comprised of a younger demographic of individuals in their 20s and 30s, and primarily target youth for recruitment through social media and other means. Groups like Identity Evropa, AWD, and Vanguard America have actually spread their propaganda on college campuses, and groups such as the National Socialist Movement and League of the South have created youth wings and student memberships.* “Frequently Asked Questions,” National Socialist Movement, accessed August 25, 2017,http://www.nsm88.org/faqs/frequently%20asked%20questions%20about%20national%20socialism.pdf; “Join the Cause!” League of the South, accessed August 25, 2017,http://leagueofthesouth.com/application/. x In recent years, social media and the Internet have also provided new outlets for white supremacists to spread their messages and recruit supporters. The founders of AWD met and organized on the now-defunct fascist online forum IronMarch and created a cult-like subculture on social media through which they have further propagated their ideology.*“Worldview,” Universal Order, accessed August 16, 2018, http://siegeculture.biz/worldview/. x After the February 2020 arrest of several AWD leaders, a group of former AWD leaders who were not arrested reorganized online in July 2020 as National Socialist Order.*Ben Makuch, “Audio Recording Claims Neo-Nazi Terror Group Is Disbanding,” Vice, March 14, 2020, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjdnam/audio-recording-claims-neo-nazi-terror-group-is-disbanding; “National Socialist Order Announcement!,” American Futurist, July 25, 2020.x Stormfront, America’s oldest and most notorious neo-Nazi online forum founded in 1995, was removed by its Internet host in August 2017, but simply resurfaced months later.*Andrew Blake, “Stormfront, internet's longest-running white supremacist site, goes offline,” Washington Times, August 26, 2017, www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/26/stormfront-internets-longest-running-white-suprema/.x Other forums, like the Daily Stormer, have moved their operations to the Dark Web, which is accessible only through encrypted software.* Hilary Whiteman, “I will not be silenced: Australian Muslim fights Twitter 'troll army,'” CNN, February 28, 2015, http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/27/asia/australia-muslim-twitter-campaign/; “Neo-Nazi Site Daily Stormer Is Banned By Google After Attempted Move From GoDaddy,” NPR, August 14, 2017, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/14/543360434/white-supremacist-site-is-banned-by-go-daddy-after-virginia-rally; John Biggs, “Daily Stormer has officially retreated to the dark web,” Tech Crunch, August 24, 2017, https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/24/daily-stormer-has-officially-retreated-to-the-dark-web/.x Websites like American Renaissance—which is easily accessible on the surface web—act as online media outlets, displaying links to pseudo-intellectual articles, videos, and podcasts that attempt to present white supremacy as a legitimate social science.
CEP’s White Supremacy Groups in the United States report provides an overview of the history, propaganda, violent activities, and notable rhetoric of the most active and virulent white supremacist groups in the United States, as well as several prominent white supremacist media outlets.
Like other extremist movements, the white nationalist movement has an aversion to mainstream media, which it largely views as controlled by Jewish/Zionist interests, beholden to the far left, and/or anti-white. For example, in February 2017, League of the South leader Michael Hill accused the New York Times of being "anti-white and anti-Christian."* Michael Hill, "What's wrong with a 'whiter America?'" League of the South, February 22, 2017, http://leagueofthesouth.com/whats-wrong-with-a-whiter-america/.x As such, white nationalists have created their own media platforms in order to propagate their views. CEP has compiled the following list of some of the most popular white nationalist propaganda outlets:
Barnes Review: An online magazine that promotes revisionist history, eugenics, and anti-Semitism. Blog posts include topics such as "Why the Holocaust Story Was Invented,"*John Wear, "Why the Holocaust Story Was Invented," Barnes Review, accessed March 1, 2018, https://barnesreview.org/holocaust-story-invented/.x "DNA and Ancient White Egypt,"*"DNA and Ancient White Egypt," Barnes Review, accessed March 1, 2018, https://barnesreview.org/dna-ancient-white-egypt/.x and "Black History Month Myths."*"Black History Month Myths." Barnes Review, accessed March 1, 2018, https://barnesreview.org/black-history-month-myths/.x The website also includes an online bookstore that sells racist material such as IQ and Race by Richard Hume, which argues that race determines intelligence.*"IQ and Race," Barnes Review, accessed March 1, 2018, http://barnesreview.org/product/iq-and-race-the-complete-overview/.x
Occidental Quarterly: A print and online magazine that "unapologetically defends the cultural, ethnic, and racial interests of Western European peoples and examines contemporary political, social, and demographic trends that impact the posterity of Western Civilization."*"Occidental Quarterly," Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed March 1, 2018, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/occidental-quarterly.x Articles include "Whiteness Studies: Jews, Communists, and Genocidal Hate,"*"Back Issues: The Occidental Quarterly," Occidental Quarterly, Fall 2015, http://www.toqonline.com/archive/.x "The Holocaust Industry in the UK,"*"Back Issues: The Occidental Quarterly," Occidental Quarterly, Fall 2015, http://www.toqonline.com/archive/.x and special sections on "white pathology."*"Back Issues: The Occidental Quarterly," Occidental Quarterly, Fall 2015, http://www.toqonline.com/archive/.x
Occidental Observer: An online newspaper spun off from the Occidental Quarterly. The Occidental Observer focuses on "themes of white identity, white interests, and the culture of the west."*Kevin MacDonald, "Mission Statement," Occidental Observer, accessed March 1, 2018, http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/mission/.x
The Reality Calls Show: A podcast run by Tara McCarthy, who believes that "the solution to reversing the destruction that globalism has wrought on our civilization is ethno-nationalism — a natural and traditional way of living that has been heavily demonized by the mainstream media."*"About Tara McCarthy," Reality Calls, accessed March 1, 2018, https://realitycallsshow.com/about/.x McCarthy's book, Irreplaceable – How We Can (And Why We Must) Save the West, expounds on her white supremacist views and provides tips to living an alt-right lifestyle.*http://www.irreplaceablebook.comx
The Right Stuff: A website founded by Mike Peinovich, a.k.a. Mike Enoch, which hosts podcasts, a blog, and a forum. Notable podcasts on the site include "The Daily Shoah," "Fash the Nation," and "This Week in White Genocide." The forum, blog, and podcasts touch on a variety of white supremacist, fascist, and neo-Nazi topics such as anti-miscegenation, homophobia, and anti-Semitism, while also promoting groups such as Identity Evropa.
Rense Radio Network: An online radio network founded by Jeff Rense, whom the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center have labeled anti-Semitic.*"Rense Web Site Promotes Anti-Semitic View," Anti-Defamation League, March 17, 2009, https://www.adl.org/news/article/rense-web-site-promotes-anti-semitic-view; Heidi Beirich, "Jeff Rense: In His Own Words," Southern Poverty Law Center, April 26, 2015, https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2015/04/26/jeff-rense-his-own-words.x The network features well-known white supremacists such as David Duke and Don Black of Stormfront.
RedIce.tv: An online media forum run by Henrik Palmgren, Lana Lokteff, Fredrik Tormann, and Patrick Casey. The site features video and audio programs geared toward an audience "seeking an alternative to the mainstream, covering politics and social issues from a pro-European perspective."*"About Red Ice," Redice.tv, accessed March 1, 2018, https://redice.tv/about.x Palmgren created RedIce in 2003. According to the site, he is "most concerned with European heritage and culture and counter acting the globalists seeking to destroy it."*"About Red Ice," Redice.tv, accessed March 1, 2018, https://redice.tv/about.x
Some modern white supremacist groups, such as The Base, Hammerskin Nation, National Socialist Order (formerly Atomwaffen Division), and Nationalist Social Club subscribe to a National Socialist (neo-Nazi) ideology. These groups generally make no effort to hide their overt racist belief that the white race is superior to others.
Other modern white supremacist groups, however, propagate their radical stances under the guise of white ethno-nationalism, which seeks to highlight the distinctiveness––rather than the superiority––of the white identity. Such groups, which include the League of the South and Identity Evropa, usually claim that white identity is under threat from minorities or immigrants that seek to replace its culture, and seek to promote white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate ideology that belongs in mainstream political spheres.
Many modern white supremacist groups eschew violent tactics in favor of using demonstrations and propaganda to sway public opinion and portray their ideologies as legitimate. However, their racial elitist ideologies have nonetheless spurred affiliated individuals to become involved in violent altercations.
White supremacist groups often target youth for recruitment through propaganda campaigns on university campuses and social media platforms. White supremacists have long utilized Internet forums and websites to connect, organize, and propagate their extremist messages.