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The Anti-Government 'Patriot' Movement Is Exploding in Size and Reach

Hate groups of all kinds are climbing in numbers, but the swelling of the Patriot movement since late 2008 has been astounding.

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Last March, David Lynch, leader of the Sacramento, Calif.-based American Front and one of the best-known  racist skinheads on the international scene, was shot to death in his Citrus Heights home; his girlfriend was shot in the leg. Within days, police were questioning Charles Gilbert Demar III, a Lynch associate also known as “Charlie Boots” who was the lead singer of the Stormtroop 16 band, as a “person of interest.” Demar was arrested when officials found crystal methamphetamine and a meth manufacturing setup in his apartment, but as of press time he had not been charged in connection with Lynch’s death. Another significant event on the skinhead scene took place last June, when the decade-old Vinlanders Social Club, one of the most violent racist skinhead groups, held its first white power concert. More than 50 people came to the event in Columbus, Ohio, including Richie Meyer, president of the Confederate Hammerskins, and Forrest Fogarty, a musician and one of Meyer’s more prominent followers. Their presence and friendly association with Vinlanders at the event reflected the success of a truce between the two groups that was reached in 2007, ending what had been described as a “blood feud” between them.


Three large groups form the core of the  white nationalist movement in the United States: the Council of Conservative Citizens, an outgrowth of the old White Citizens Councils, that fights against school integration and racial intermarriage; American Renaissance, a journal that justifies white nationalism by attacking the intelligence and mental health of black people; and the American Third Position (A3P), a racist party with electoral ambitions in many states and the nation at large. Of these, it has been A3P, which only started up in 2009, that has been growing the most rapidly. It also has attracted most of the best-known white nationalists in America to its cause. Last year, Virginia Abernethy, an emeritus professor of psychiatry and anthropology at Vanderbilt Medical School, joined the A3P board of directors, as did Tomas Sunic, an American-educated Croatian who has spoken at neo-Nazi events. Others who became A3P officials earlier include Kevin MacDonald, a deeply anti-Semitic professor at California State University, Long Beach; James Edwards, host of a racist radio show based in Memphis; Don Wassall, publisher of the anti-immigrant Nationalist Times; and Jamie Kelso, once an aide to former Klan boss David Duke. A3P is headed up by Los Angeles lawyer William Daniel Johnson, a man who once sought to deport every American with any “ascertainable trace of Negro blood.”

Mark Potok is the editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center 's Intelligence Report .

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