Updates on Wisconsin Hate Crime: White PowerPosted: August 6, 2012
White Power. White Supremacy. Or whatever you may want to refer to it as, is hate. And that word hate can be applied to all sorts of people and religious organizations and political movements. There is no doubt in my mind that this mass murder against a group of people purely targeted because of the color of their skin, and the turbans on their heads, will happen again and again…
Here are some updates on the neo-nazi who killed six men, with dark complexions, wearing turbans.
After authorities confirmed that Wade Michael Page, 40, was the lone gunman in Sunday’s tragic Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisc., details began to leak about the shooter’s past. One particularly interesting story is that he was the member of a white supremacist “skinhead” punk group End Apathy, whose Myspace page confirms Page’s involvement in the band (with pictures).
A 2006 posting by Page on BandMix.com — a site used by aspiring musicians seeking other artists to join them — seems to detail when he recruited a bassist and drummer for End Apathy. On the site, he reveals that he is also a member of bands Definite Hate and 13 Knots. The posting is based out of “South Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” which neighbors the city of Oak Creek where the shootings took place.
There are a series of pictures at the link, but here is one that stands out to me at least:
Another heavily-discolored photo shows a Confederate flag in the practice space. While not necessarily an indicator of neo-Nazism, in this case the flag makes sense given many white supremacists’ infatuation with antebellum slavery.
A 2010 interview Page gave to Label 56, a white supremacist music site, further reveals his dabbling with neo-Nazism. Page indicated he went to the Hammerfest 2000 in Georgia, which was an annual “hate rock” festival organized by a skinhead group.
I have no doubt that Page would have supported this religious right prayer rally. Religious Right Groups Organize Nationwide September 11 Prayer Rallies | rightwingwatch.org
The group Awakening America is hoping that people on September 11 will head to their county courthouse to gather for Cry Out America. Organizations partnering with Cry Out America 2012 include the Family Research Council, the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Call, Intercessors for America, Teen Mania and 40 Days to Save America. They hope that the prayer rally will bring about a revival that will lead to a “decrease in divorce rates, co-habitation [and] same-sex relations,” along with “the restoration of Christ’s influence in the arts, media, and communications.”
Hmmmm, seems like those bands mentioned in the Mediaite link would fit in with that twisted sense of Christ influencing the arts.
Okay, maybe I am taking that a bit further than I should, but these people believe that they are part of a supreme white race, and right-wing extremism is connected with right wing Christianity.
Just a few other opinions and links regarding the shooting, hate and Page.
A reader writes:
I am appalled with your choice for Face of the Day. I realize that the words you used to accompany the picture were not designed to whip up anti-Sikhism in the same way the picture was, but the picture, with its violent, retributive elements, is stronger than the text.
Last night, I watched CNN as Don Lemon interviewed the president of an American Sikh organization. I also saw an interview with the nephew of the Wisconsin’s temple’s president. The nephew’s uncle was seriously injured and the nephew had spoken directly with eyewitnesses. Both men impressed me with their kindness, their calmness, and their clear commitment to retaining the values of their religion as they spoke. They also were clearly not anti-American. They reminded me most of those Amish who were magnanimous after a madman killed many of their children.
Are Sikhs saints? No more than members of any other religion. I am aware that Sikh extremists murdered Indira Gandhi and almost certainly were responsible for bringing down Air India Flight 182, out of Vancouver. But on the day after American Sikhs were murdered for no good reason, and quite possibly because someone saw them in exactly the threatening terms that you chose to accentuate by using that image, why focus on that image?
I saw the image the reader is talking about, click the link to see it if you like. It bothered me as well…Please read the rest of this post because there is another interesting link made to a documentary commentary:
Ebert highlights a clip from Dastaar: Defending Sikh Identity, a documentary that “presents the struggle of the Sikh American community against discrimination and violence caused by ignorance of an essential symbol of the Sikh faith — the dastaar , or turban.”
Here are a few recent postings that you may not have seen yet:
The mass shooting at the Sikh temple seems even more horrifying than most. Of course victims are just as dead no matter what a killer’s motive. But here the “best” case interpretation would be that the gunman was merely one more psychopath who decided to take out his madness by shooting into a mass of innocents — like those in Aurora or Tucson, at Virginia Tech, and so on — rather than someone attempting to launch flat-out racial or religious war.
The suspect in the horrific shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin has now been identified. He is Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old army vet and described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white power band.” He’d also washed out of the army after a reduction in rank for being drunk on the job and was ineligible for enlistment. He may also have just broken up with his girlfriend. Tell me again why we don’t worry about violent white men or their sense of entitlement?
He also had a 9/11 tattoo and an apparent inability to tell brown people apart. An inability he shared with a lot of dumbshits in this country…
I will end with Charlie Pierce:
The Sikh temple outside Milwaukee that this Sunday became the location of the most recent mass murder by firearm in this freedom-loving country is one of those strange, wonderful huge things that pop up along the side of the road when you least expect to see something like a Sikh temple. It’s one of those things that can make you smile and, on a glorious summer’s day like this Sunday, contemplate what a diverse and fascinating place this country really can be, so long as we keep a grip on the dark and terrible impulses that too many people have become too rich and too powerful enabling at this time in history.
The law is calling this an act of “domestic terrorism,” which at least is a start, if not nearly the beginning. The guy who shot up the temple — an Army veteran with an arsenal at his disposal so sufficient that they’ve cordoned off an entire block in downtown Cudahy — behaved in every particular the way that a terrorist would. He killed his first victims, and then he opened up on the cops that came to help them. That’s the kind of murderous calculation that a terrorist makes. Call in a bomb threat to a building and then set the bomb outside on the sidewalk. People have done that overseas. We have our terms straight on this one, at least.
(And can we spare a minute and recall the howls of the various flying monkeys a couple of years ago when the Department of Homeland Security came to the unremarkable conclusion that rightwing domestic terrorist groups might be recruiting people who were being mustered out of the military? To its disgrace, DHS ducked and covered on its findings. I think this case might at least prompt further research. You can scroll down here to see the defensive whinging in embryo.)
This is the second mass murder by gunfire here in a month. Is it time to talk about gun control yet? We are an armed and dangerous society at a perilous and uncertain time, and there are far too many people who look at that combustible combination of circumstances and see, not a national problem, but a financial and political opportunity. It is time to stop listening to them. It is time to deafen ourselves to the professional paranoids and the people who enrich themselves while stepping through the blood of their fellow citizens. (I am, by the way, not optimisticthat this will happen.)