The Racist Next Door

Don Black fills the Internet with hate and calls for a revolution to split the country along racial lines

The link to Aryan Nations, which Black designed, frets: "The Jew is like a destroying virus that attacks our racial body to destroy our Aryan culture and the purity of our race. Those of our race who resist these attacks are called 'chosen and faithful.' We believe that there is a battle being fought this day between the children of darkness (today known as Jews) and children of light, the Aryan Race, the true Israel of the Bible."

An essay "Love and Hatred: Two Sides of the Same Coin" on the Website (Racial Holy War), another link to Stormfront fashioned by Black, counsels: "The problem is not that people hate, but that they hate the wrong people. For example, due to Jewish mind scrambling, many people hate us -- the very people who are trying to insure that they have a future. On the flip side, many people "love their enemies," the Jews, niggers, and other mud races -- those who seek their destruction. Does it make sense to love your friends and hate your enemies rather than the other way around? Does it not make more sense to destroy your persecutors than to 'pray for them?' Of course it does."

Black says aspiring censors like the ADL and the German government force him to devote a part of every day to defending against cyber-assaults. He frequently gets "e-mail bombed" (a massive chain of e-mails that clog up a system or shut down the server), "ping flooded" (data packets of information that severely slow down communications to the server), and "blue screened" (data sent to overload and crash an operating system). He now uses three servers to protect Stormfront from crashing or being otherwise shoved off-line.

And, with a trace of pride, Black says he's on the verge of taking Stormfront into the Internet's next generation. He expects to stretch its interactive capacity to the edge of current technology by broadcasting audio feeds for a live call-in, radio-type show by mid-February. Thereafter he plans to cram a few dozen followers into his cave-like office to help air weekly shows through the Internet. Other updates in the near future include adding Russian and Italian sections to the international page, which already features racism and revisionism in Spanish and German. The next step -- which Black says could come in the next few years -- is video feeds or Web TV. The Stormfront of today will be clunky in comparison to the flashier video. And Black believes that its message will only become more accessible.

Leaning back in a swivel chair, he says with the hint of a grin curling his lips, "The future's on our side; it's only a matter of time."

"At its core the argument is an old one -- should an incitement to hate be protected by the First Amendment?" harrumphs ABC News Nightline's Ted Koppel. The veteran late-night interrogator introduces the "Hate and the Internet" program, which aired last month, in his signature staccato cadences: "But what used to be limited to pamphlets and leaflets and street-corner ranting, what used to be inhibited by the reluctance of radio and television station owners to lose advertisers or even their licenses, has received an unprecedented shot in the arm from the Internet...."

It's not every racist who gets a soapbox with a national audience of about four million or the legitimacy of a perch once held by the likes of Henry Kissinger and Mikhail Gorbachev. And few right-wing conspiracy theorists get the chance to brand an apostle of the mainstream media a tool of a news monopoly on live net- work TV. On January 13, Black got those opportunities.

"Like many Website operators," intones a reporter in the opening video segment, "Black is using the Internet to promote a specific idea, in his case a political point of view."

Cut to Black propped in front of Old Dixie, a row of books, and a computer monitor advertising Stormfront: "The Net has provided us with the opportunity to bring our point of view to hundreds of thousands of people who would never have otherwise subscribed to one of our publications or otherwise been in touch with any of our organizations."

The reporter tells viewers the Wiesenthal Center estimates at least 800 Websites like Black's are now on the Internet and the bigotry-bashing group now spends 80 percent of its resources tracking "so-called 'on-line hate.'" Koppel explains the Internet could have about 200 million users by the turn of the century.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center: "The lunatic fringe has embraced this technology with a sophistication and a veracity that is frightening.... What started as a trickle has now evolved into an incredible deluge. In the last year alone, we've seen a 300 percent increase in the number of these pages put up on the World Wide Web."

Despite a sheen of sweat, the onset of stubble, and a drab gray pinstripe suit -- a no-no for TV -- Black was smooth, believable, and effective. He spoke in clear, crisp sentences. He invoked history, came across as authoritative about the mystifying mechanics of the Internet, and, when necessary, he parried sharply against Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment attorney, who was featured as Black's foil in the téte-à-téte portion of the show. Yet the two didn't spar that much. Abrams repeatedly expressed support for Black's right to spread his message. And if face-time renders a winner, Black won. His nine ripostes -- which included repeated plugs for Stormfront, condemnation of proposed censorship by ADL and America Online, and summoning Thomas Jefferson to his defense -- pummeled Abrams' six shorter responses.

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