Of all the murders that have been committed over the past five years, almost 100 were committed by people who were registered users of Stormfront, a West Palm Beach-based website for "white nationalists," according to a report released April 17 by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC says that the web forum "in effect acts to nurture budding killers and give them moral support" for violent hate crimes.
The report paints a damning picture of a certain type of murderer, a momma's boy who leans on his wife of girlfriend for support and blames the world - or the government, or certain racial or religious minorities - for his problems. Angry enough, egged on enough, and given access to a firearm, he kills.
Says the report, available online at splcenter.org:
"Forensic psychologists call him a 'wound collector.' Instead of building his resume, seeking employment or further education, he projects his grievances on society and searches the Internet for an excuse or an explanation unrelated to his behavior or the choices he has made in life.
"His escalation follows a predictable trajectory. From right-wing antigovernment websites and conspiracy hatcheries, he migrates to militant hate sites that blame society's ills on ethnicity and shifting demographics. He soon learns his race is endangered -- a target of "white genocide."... Assured of the supremacy of his race and frustrated by the inferiority of his achievements, he binges online for hours every day, self-medicating, slowly sipping a cocktail of rage."
The report, the result of a two-year study, explains that fewer than 1,800 registered members log on to Stormfront each day, but that registered Stormfront users "have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the site was put up in 1995. In the past five years alone, Stormfront members have murdered close to 100 people." Their murder rate went up after Barack Obama was elected.
Stormfront leader Don Black said of the report, "Like all good propaganda, it's a mix of truth, half-truth and outrageous lies," though he conceded, "We're obviously a big website, and any site is likely to have a few unstable people pass through. Facebook, Twitter, and particularly Craigslist have had their share."
He jabbed back at the SPLC, writing in a post on his forum: "Richard Cohen is legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Like all Jewish extremists, he supports the Jewish nationalist state of Israel, which enforces strict segregation against the native Palestinians, with interracial marriage illegal (along with same-sex marriage). Israel also regularly employs ethnic cleansing, terrorism and torture to advance its interests. Not a peep from the largely Jewish staff of the SPLC about any of that, or the billions in American tax money going to Israel, or American Jewish organizations supporting Israel."
Last year, Black's son, Derek Black, who throughout his childhood had been touted as the new, young face of white supremacy, publicly disassociated himself with Stormfront via a letter he wrote to the SPLC. The college student said, "I am sorry for the damage done by my actions and my past endorsement of white nationalism. I can't support a movement that tells me I can't be a friend to whomever I wish or that other people's races require me to think about them in a certain way or be suspicious at their advancements."
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