By Terrence McCoy
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Of course these men insist they're warriors only in a metaphorical sense. "We don't advocate criminal group activity," Doug stresses, "because they would RICO Act every fucking one of us."
The Alliance is clean -- in that none of its members has been convicted of a hate crime, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center -- but that doesn't stop the group from getting harassed by authorities. "Cops have a gang profile that all of us fit into," Doug says, "and that's one thing that any of our heavily tattooed brothers will attest to."
"But in my experience, white cops are usually sympathetic to us," Charlie offers. "Some have said, "Nice tattoo,' and they'll show me their swastika tattoo. Black people never say anything. Deep down inside, they're still scared."
And Charlie has a plan for the Jews: They're going to be run out of town when whites finally band together. Unable to restrain himself, the photographer asks Charlie where the Jews would go.
"Who gives a fuck," Charlie growls. "In the fucking ovens, hopefully."
We cap off the interview with talk of the RAHOWA, which every Aryan Alliance member believes will happen during his or her lifetime. "The niggers and Jews are going to start this race war," Charlie says, "but we're going to finish it. We've been preparing all this time. We would love it if one of our brothers could light that fuse and spark it. But for now we'll wait patiently. When the day of reckoning comes, we're going to be ready."
On my drive home, my mind is numb. My hands shake, seemingly of their own accord. I don't feel as if I just escaped certain death or anything dramatic like that, but the realization that these guys exist, and that they'd just as soon throw me in an oven as look at me, raises the hackles on the back of my neck.
And now, as I write this story, I can't help but wonder if I have just given way too much free ink to the same kind of people as those who marked my grandmother for death.