COMM 624 Textual Hate Speech Analysis

Textual Analysis Paper for Hate Speech (COMM 624)Spring 2022
Posted 2/25/22
This is the 10-15-page assignment we discussed at the beginning of the semester (see your syllabus). You
will analyze a text related to hate or a specific topic we discussed this semester. Your text might be a Web
Page, a film, a documentary, book, etc. I am open to almost any text that you find interesting and
compelling. I will share some options with the class next week in case anyone is at a complete loss for
ideas. Generally, the analysis should be composed of the following headings:
1. Purpose of the persuasive analysis. This is what you want to accomplish in your analysis.
2. A general description of your persuasive text. This description should provide the reader with an
understanding of the text and the social significance of the text (and your work). Some of you may have a
more specific and concrete text than others but everyone should have a text that centers your analysis.
3. Your description of the theoretical lens that you use to understand and critique your Web Page/film.
You should define the theoretical concepts you use to understand your Web Page/film. For example, if
you are examining a website maintained by a hate group in terms of its narrative features, then you will
want to describe the “narrative” concept so that a reader will know what you “considered” as a narrative.
Other optional theoretical concepts might include (heuristics, hate stratagem, or basic themes that are part
of a thematic analysis).
4. Analysis: This would include your critique of your Web Page/film. For example, if you are analyzing
an advertisement’s use of persuasive heuristics, then this portion of your paper would provide concrete
and specific descriptions of author’s attempts to encourage the heuristic processing of persuasive
5. Conclusions: This should include a discussion of what you have learned from your analysis. This
might also include a brief discussion of the practical use of your findings.
If you have an idea that does not fit within this framework, talk to me. I want to help you with a project
that matters to you and that you value.
Your paper will be evaluated in terms of the following criteria:
Comprehensiveness and Thoroughness—Does the paper include all five sections? Is each section
thoroughly developed?
Heuristic Value—Is the paper and the analysis theoretically interesting? Does the analysis offer an
interesting interpretation of the text? Does the analysis “make sense” given the nature of the artifact?
Would people who make their living thinking and working in relevant areas (e.g., hate, prejudice,
discrimination) want to read this paper?
Quality of Expression—Is the paper well-written? Is the paper a coherent whole with clear transitions
that permit the reader to experience the paper as a seamless whole? Well-written papers possess the
following characteristics: (a) The author’s writing does not contain attributes that distract the reader from
the argument being developed in the paper (e.g., missing words, incorrect use of grammar, incorrect
punctuation, awkward or convoluted expression). (b) Ideas are expressed with parsimony. Parsimony is
achieved when the writer has taken the time review and edit their writing to achieve the most clear and
simple form possible. Remember, good writing is good editing. Good editing involves careful selfcriticism. So, good editing means going beyond the spelling/grammar function of a word-processing
system. (c) Quality writing is effective argumentation. Good writing is only possible to the extent that the
writer develops effective arguments. Do claims derive from the purpose statement? Is evidence provided
to support claims? Is the evidence used in a way that makes its relationship to the claim clear? Are
quotations, for example, interpreted by the writer?
Criteria for the Assignment of a Grade
An “A” paper should, generally speaking, possess the following characteristics.
The written quality of an “A” is exceptional, creative, and parsimonious. It is clear that the writer has
crafted the argument(s) through careful editing of earlier drafts of the paper.
An “A” paper evidences superior argumentation. Superior argumentation is apparent through: (a) the use
of evidence to support the writer’s claims, (b) the consistent interpretation of quotes (and other forms of
evidence), (c) the application of theoretical material that is well-suited to understanding the persuasive
artifact, (d) the application of theoretical material in a way that creates a new and unique way of looking
at the persuasive artifact.
An “A” paper possesses all of the sections and headings discussed in the description of the persuasive
analysis. In addition, all of the sections are thoroughly developed and readers of the paper have a very
clear sense of how all sections contribute to a complete and coherent paper. Moreover, the writer has
explicitly integrated the various sections of the paper through good writing strategies (e.g., transitions
between sections and internal summaries) and analysis (e.g., explicit analytic connections between
purpose, method, and results; explicit analytic connections between results and conclusions).
A “B” paper should, generally speaking, possess the following characteristics.
The written quality of a “B” paper is exceptional, often creative, and often exhibits the attribute of
parsimony. A “B” paper may evidence minor grammatical errors and awkward expressions that do not
distract the reader from the argument being advanced by the writer.
A “B” paper evidences excellent argumentation. Excellent argumentation is apparent through: (a) the use
of evidence to support the writer’s claims, (b) the interpretation of quotes (and other forms of evidence),
(c) the application of theoretical material that is consistently, but not always, well-suited to understanding
the persuasive artifact, (d) the application of theoretical material in a way that helps readers to better
understand the persuasive artifact.
A “B” paper possesses all of the sections and headings discussed in the description of the persuasive
analysis. In addition, all of the sections are thoroughly developed and readers of the paper have a very
clear sense of how all sections contribute to a complete and coherent paper.
A “C” paper should, generally speaking, possess the following characteristics.
The written quality of a “C” paper is adequate to the task, is sometimes creative, and sometimes
parsimonious. A “C” paper will evidence minor grammatical errors and awkward expression but may
occasionally possess attributes that distract the reader from the argument advanced in the paper and the
reader will be aware that the writer needed to spend more time editing the paper.
A “C” paper evidences the need for effective argumentation. Effective argumentation is apparent
through: (a) the use of evidence to support the writer’s claims, (b) the somewhat inconsistent
interpretation of quotes (and other forms of evidence), (c) the application of theoretical material that
provides a reasonable interpretation of the persuasive artifact, (d) the application of theoretical material in
a way that helps readers to better understand the persuasive artifact.
A “C” paper possesses all of the sections and headings discussed in the description of the persuasive
A “D” paper should, generally speaking, possess the following characteristics.
The written quality of a “D” paper is poor and the writing is an ongoing distraction to the reader.
A “D” paper fails to evidence the need for effective argumentation. Ineffective argumentation is apparent
through: (a) consistent lack of clearly articulated claims (b) a consistent incoherence between claims and
evidence intended to support the writer’s claims, (c) a consistent failure to interpret quotes (and other
forms of evidence), (d) the application of theoretical material that does not provide an reasonable
interpretation of the persuasive artifact, (d) the application of theoretical material in a way that does not
help readers to better understand the persuasive artifact.
A “D” paper possesses all of the sections and headings discussed in the description of the persuasive
analysis. However, one or more of the sections is seriously underdeveloped in a way that diminishes the
quality of the overall paper.
An “F” paper should, generally speaking, possess the following characteristics.
The written quality of an “F” paper is poor and the writing is such a distraction that the reader would stop
grading were it not for the necessity to assign the paper a grade.
An “F” paper completely lacks one or more of the attributes that makes for effective argumentation.
An “F” paper completely lacks one or more of the overall headings. OR, one or more of the sections is so
seriously underdeveloped that readers do not learn from the persuasive analysis.
Other Thoughts
This might be a good opportunity for many of you to submit this work to an undergraduate honors
conference. That would mean traveling to the conference to present your paper. If you are interested in
doing this, please see me and I will provide you with useful information about potential conferences. I
will also recommend a few things that you might work on in your paper that will help you write a paper
that is likely to be accepted to a conference. Or, for some of you, this might be an assignment that could
be expanded to a Senior Honors Thesis.
This paper might be a good spring board to an honors thesis if you are a Junior (or Sophomore). An
honors thesis would be more involved and complicated but this would make for a very good start. A
better start than most students are able to make.
Myths in Racist Novels
Collective Memories and a Call to
Purpose of Racist Novels

They have been a “how to” manual to
commit violence

Purpose is to teach the appropriate Aryan

Analogous to Mein Kampf
Burke on Mein Kampf

“Here is the testament of a man who
swung a great people into his wake. Let us
watch it carefully; and let us watch it, not
merely to discover some grounds for
prophesying what political move is to
follow . . . That move, etc; Let us try to
discover what kind of ‘medicine’ this
medicine-man has concocted, (next)
Burke on Mein Kampf, cont.

. . . Has concocted, that we may know with
greater accuracy, exactly what to guard
against, if we are to forestall the
concocting of similar medicine in America.”
Overview of Myths: Turner Diaries

Myths of Racially Conscious Aryan

Myths of the Other (all discussed in
cartoons and not covered here)
Myths of the Racially Conscious
Aryan: Overview

Moral Aryan Myth

Vigilant Aryan Myth

Dispassionate Aryan Myth

Martyr Hero Myth
Moral Aryan Myth

Narrative that enunciates the values and
personal behavior that constitutes moral
conduct …
Compassion for Aryan women (text)
⚫ Compassion for Aryan (not enemies of
Whites), generally (text)
⚫ Killing enemies of Aryans (text)

Vigilant Aryan Myth

Narrative of one who acts consistently with
racial beliefs.
Be ideological (text)
⚫ Always prepared to attack the system (text)
⚫ Shame from failure to act (text)

Dispassionate Aryan Myth

Narrative that the proper Aryan is calm in
all circumstances.

Dispassionate when killing (text 26-7)
Martyr Hero Myth

Exemplifies morality, vigilance, and
dispassion in one’s willingness to die for
one’s race. (text—27-8)
New Myths from Hunter–Overview

Terrorists Burden Myth

Female Aryan Ideal Myth

Independent Aryan Myth
Terrorists Burden Myth

Narrative describes the strife an ethnoterrorist experiences as he faces the
burden of ethno-violence.
Conflict between morality and immorality
⚫ Recognition the innocent Aryans will die

Female Aryan Ideal

Narrative teaches the reader the Aryan
woman’s role in the survival of Aryan race.
⚫ Nordic beauty (“hot” “do-able” “tied to
⚫ Racially conscious
⚫ Symbol of all that is good
⚫ Can be a warrior

Independent Aryan Myth

Narrative through which readers are
introduced to the Lone Wolf concept.
Develop technical background (fashion
⚫ Develop critical thinking skills to interpret
⚫ Learn stealth (for killing)
⚫ Be private


TD’s and Hunter describe a disease that
afflicts the Aryan race and the Aryan
identity that is constructed is the medicine
to cure that disease.

Forms of hate speech closely connected
to terrorism.
Symbolism of Hate Crime

Hate crime is a message crime.

Used to construct the identities of the
perpetrator and the target of the hate

Lynching Ritual
Characteristics of Hate Crime

Excessively brutal

Often committed against people who are
vulnerable and at fringes of society (but
not always)

Targets chosen because of their identity
Characteristic continued

Often perpetrated by multiple attackers

Perpetrators are often ordinary citizens
Hate Killings are the Little Brothers
of Genocide

Genocides arise out of broader social
relationships of empowerment and
Hate Killings are the Little Brothers
of Genocide
Genocides arise out of broader social
relationships of empowerment and
⚫ Social structures in the community provide
a rationale (ideology) for the elimination of
a subordinate group.

Hate Killings are the Little Brothers
of Genocide
Genocides arise out of broader social
relationships of empowerment and
⚫ Social structures in the community provide
a rationale (ideology) for the elimination of
a subordinate group.
⚫ Differences in socio-economic class,
segregation, ethnic identities, religious

Nature of Hate Speech
And Subtypes
Broad Characteristics of Hate Speech
• 1. Seeks to politicize social differences
Broad Characteristics of Hate Speech
• 1. Seeks to politicize social differences
• 2. Characterized by attempts to construct
outgroup in negative terms.
Broad Characteristics of Hate Speech
• 1. Seeks to politicize social differences
• 2. Characterized by attempts to construct
outgroup in negative terms.
• 3. Context is important.
Elements of Hate Stratagem
• 1. Inflames emotions to view ingroup as
significant and indispensable.
• 2. Denigrate a specific outgroup and all who
belong to the outgroup.
• 3. Inflict permanent harm on outgroup
(isolation and alienation).
• 4. Rhetorically conquer outgroup
The Hate Stratagem
• 1. Inflame emotions by constructing a positive
in-group identity.
Inflame the in-group
• We want to have a White Christian America
again . . . then we can help look after the
other people in the world. The bible says that
if we can take care of our Christian brothers
and sisters and live a good Christian life then
our country will be blessed. . . . and there
aren’t terrible things happening in America to
White Christians . . . then we can be a blessing
to all the children of the world. (Waltman,
2003, p. 27)
Inflame the in-group
• The truth is that there are women and kids in
the KKK. Women are in The Knights because
they care about their country, they care about
their race, and they care about kids. Kids are
in the KKK because they want to learn about
their heritage and they want to make the
world a better place. (Waltman, 2003, p. 27)
Inflame the in-group
• Recall news report on Ben Nathanial Smith:
• White people are responsible for civilization,
advances in medicine. White people built the
• White people are descendent of kings.
The Hate Stratagem
• 1. Inflame emotions by constructing a positive
in-group identity.
• 2. Denigrate the out-group
Denigrate the Out-group
• Children visiting this Web Page learn that, following
reconstruction, a Jewish cabal of bankers and
politicians sympathetic with newly freed slaves
attempted to destroy White people.

• Children learn, “White people had to salute black
people on the street. Whiskey sellers sold liquor to
blacks who excited about no longer having a curfew
would roam the countryside hurting men, women, and
children (p. 29). Additionally, “Troops of armed men
would not allow the white people to defend
themselves.” (p. 29)
Denigrate the Out-group
• The Knights tell children that this sort of
persecution continues today as a “liberal
media” conspires to vilify the KKK, “Usually
the programs that they make about the KKK
on TV just show really mean acting men.
Sometimes the men they show are made to
act really dumb. . . . That’s because the very
rich people who own the TV shows and
newspapers and movies don’t like white
Christians. . . .
Denigrate Out-group
• Recall Benjamin Nathaniel Smith:
• “Jews are parasites.”
• “African American savages.”
• General invoking of stereotypes to make
outgroup less than Aryans
The Hate Stratagem
• 1. Inflame emotions by constructing a positive
in-group identity.
• 2. Denigrate the out-group
• 3. Inflict permanent harm on out-group
Inflict permanent harm on out-group
• “Do you think the people of Alabama want a
Jew family living in the Governor’s mansion?
(see Whillock, 1995, p. 42).
• As Whillock notes, this also serves as an attack
on Siegelman, questioning his status as a
“good Christian.”
Inflict permanent harm on out-group
• The founders of America didn’t want slaves to
keep coming to America. They were afraid
because in some small islands in the Tropics
where there was slavery—when there became
so many black people—they all got together
and murdered all the white people—moms,
dads, and kids. . . . They killed them all.
Inflict permanent harm on out-group
• When there would start to be bigger groups of
black people in different towns . . . they would
start to riot and steal or kill. . . . Yes, there
were still nice black people, but the more
there were the more they would hate white
people. Today there are many black people in
The Hate Stratagem
• 1. Inflame emotions by constructing a positive
in-group identity.
• 2. Denigrate the out-group
• 3. Inflict permanent harm on out-group
• 4. Rhetorically conquer the out-group
Rhetorically conquer the out-group
• Just because a person is black or another race
doesn’t make them bad people. But you
should always be careful where you go and
who your friends are. Young girls should be
extra careful. Many black boys feel extra cool
if they hurt a white girl. Some kids don’t learn
until its [sic] too late. (Waltman, 2003, p. 30)
Rhetorically conquer the out-group
• Pleasure of murder myth:
• Cartoons depicting murder of the enemies of
the Aryan race.
• Turner Diaries and Hunter depicting the
pleasure a terrorist receives from killing his
Heuristics in Hate Speech
• Defined
• Types of Heuristics
– Credibility
– Consensus
– Liking
• For example, Just For Kids made liberal use of
quotations by Abraham Lincoln who children
have come to understand as the “great
emancipator” and respected historical figure
to suggest that Lincoln was indifferent and
contemptuous of enslaved Africans.
• So child learns KKK thinks the same way as
• “We want to make known that we are the
largest, oldest, and most powerful Klan
• Children and women want to belong to KKK
• One night when the club was meeting they
accidentally came across a band of negroes.
But this time instead of the White people
getting murdered, the negroes ran away
screaming. They thought the men in their
costumes were ghosts of dead soldiers who
had died during the Civil War . . . These
deeply religious men felt that God had given
them a peaceful way to defend themselves.
Role of Myths
• Myths defined
• Types of myths
Types of Myths
• Identity
• Eschatological
• Societal
• Cosmological
Reasons Myths are Persuasive

1. Presented as historical truth.
2. Presented as THE truth.
3. Myths give meaning to the present.
4. Myths provide a sense of community
5. Dramatize struggles between good and evil.
6. Myths are ideological
Do we get lost in narrative and lose critical
thinking skills?
Hate Speech and Hate Crime
• Hate Crime is a way of co-constructing
identities of victim and offender.
• Hate crime sends a message like hate speech
• Hate crime and speech are constituted in
• Hate crime and speech both subdue
community. (policing social differences)
Steps to Violence
• HS characteristic 1: Promotion of positive ingroup identity.

• White People Builders, White/Western

• Moral Aryan White Tolerance
Steps to Violence
• HS characteristic 2: Denigration of out-group identity.

• The construction of the Other impersonally and as
interchangeable class representatives.

• De-individualized Images, Stereotypes, Standard
• The rhetor impersonalizes and distances the Other without
diminishing the potential threat posed by the Other.

• Jew as Vampire Myth,
Black Savage Myth,
Repulsive Jew Myth
Steps to Violence
• HS characteristic 3: The rhetor symbolically constructs
and initiates an adversarial relationship with the Other.

• Black predator Myth, Jew as Pornographer Myth,
White Tolerance Myth

• ZOG Myth & Jewish International Conspiracy Myth

• Sleeping White Man Myth,
Treacherous Violent Jew Myth
Steps to Violence
• HS characteristic 4: The rhetors express a desire
to physically assert, and derive pleasure from,
dominance over the Other.

• RAHOWA Myth; Pan Aryan Nationalism Myth;
Devine Retribution Myth

• Pleasure of Murder Myth Vigilant Aryan
Dispassionate Aryan
Chapter 1: Overview of Discursive Constructs for
Understanding Hate Speech
Chapter 2: Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
Chapter 3: Conceptual Properties of Hate-Motivated Speech
Chapter 4: Hate Speech and the Internet
Chapter 5: Nativism and Nativist Discourse
Chapter 6: Nativism and the 2008 Presidential Election
Chapter 7: Anti-Hate Narratives
Chapter 8: Conclusion
Appendix A
Appendix B
Author Index
Subject Index
Chapter 1
Language in Action: Overview of
Discursive Constructs Useful for
Understanding Hate Speech
Hatred and related constructs, such as tolerance, are controversial and ambiguous for a variety of reasons. First, the many academics working in this
area represent several disciplines and often work at the nexus of those disciplines, providing a rich and diverse set of ideas for understanding hate and
hate-related issues. This is useful for academic writers but it could hinder the
development of a commonly understood core set of constructs and practices
that might characterize the work of a single academic discipline.
Second, there is frequently a disconnect between what academics mean
by constructs such as “hate” and “tolerance” and how those terms are understood and discussed in our everyday lives. As we have described earlier
(Waltman & Haas, 2007), for example, people may claim to hate the boss
that bullies them with their power, the former friend who betrayed the secrets
of their friendship to a third party, or the colleague who frustrates the accomplishment of their professional goals. A child may claim to hate a classmate who “tattled” on him to a teacher. A politician from one political party
may claim that the rhetoric of politicians from another political party constitutes hate speech against the former.
How does one reconcile such everyday understandings and uses of the
term “hate” with the more extraordinary hate-motivated actions of the White
Supremacist that unleashed automatic weapon fire on a Jewish Day Care
Center in an attempt to kill Jewish children before they could mature to become an adult threat to the Aryan race? How do some of the everyday uses
of the term “hate” compare with Timothy McVeigh’s belief that the Federal
Government was infiltrated and controlled by an international Jewish conspiracy (Zionist-Occupied Government) and who viewed his bombing of the
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City as a righteous act of
self-defense? The use of the term “hate” to describe such a wide range of
emotions and actions could certainly interfere with a meaningful academic
The Communication of Hate
understanding of the term. Therefore, we define “hate” and describe what we
mean by the term.
Hate is generally understood as extreme negative feelings and beliefs
held about a group of individuals or a specific representative of that group
because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation (Perry,
2001). As he studied hatred, Aristotle felt it important to distinguish hatred
from anger. Anger is an emotion that (a) one might have for an individual
(not a larger social group), (b) does not prevent one from having sympathy
for the objects of one’s anger, (c) is usually the result of personal insult or
injury, and (d) is likely to promote impetuous action (Olson, 2002; Sokolon,
2006; R. K. Whillock, 1995). Because hatred is an emotion that one feels for
a social group, hatred, unlike anger, need not be the result of personal injury
or insult and is more likely to prompt deliberate action. Unlike anger, the
hateful mind is not capable of sympathy but hopes for evil to befall the hated
(Sokolon, 2006). Indeed, the hateful mind would have the objects of its hatred simply perish—the ultimate end for the mind that has learned to hate.
Because the hateful mind lacks sympathy, Aristotle viewed hatred as a much
more durable emotion than anger, unlikely to dissipate over time or to even
be satiated by killing (Sokolon, 2006). So, one is more likely to feel “anger”
toward a friend who betrays us. The friendship may never be the same, but
the anger is likely to dissipate over time and most of us would not wish that
the former friend would “disappear.”
It is also important to understand that hatred is an emotion in which one
may find pleasure (Hazlitt, 2005). William Hazlitt (2005) suggested a variety
of ways that hatred brings us pleasure. First, the fundamentalism and certitude of hatred offers the pleasure and indulgence in self-righteousness. Our
hatred of a specific group is enlivened by our construction of that group as an
enemy. Inevitably, the enemy is constructed as evil and/or fundamentally
flawed. Understanding ourselves as the dual opposite of this evil and flawed
enemy allows us to wallow in our own goodness and righteousness. Second,
Hazlitt viewed hatred as a destructive, actually primitive, emotion that had to
be repressed as humans exchanged their tribal bonds for the bonds of civilized societies (remember, we hate groups/tribes or their representatives);
however, we find pleasure in revisiting this darker side of our human nature
in our imaginations. Perhaps we revisit this “darker side” when we consume
movies and books that vilify old war enemies. Perhaps we even revisit hatred
and pantomime this hatred through our allegiances to sports teams and the
rivals we love to hate. As we will see in chapter five, it is easy to imagine
that ethno-terrorists and perpetrators of hate crimes take great pleasure in the
pain that they inflict on the objects of their hatred.
Language in Action
Hate speech may be used for many purposes and may have different intended consequences. Hate speech may be directed to intimidate an outgroup. However, hate speech may also be used to influence the behavior of
in-group members in a variety of ways (e.g., to recruit members to a hate
group, to socialize white people to adopt and understand the proper racist
Aryan identity and behaviors, to find pleasure in hatred, or to promote ethnoviolence). Hate speech is used to accomplish a variety of other goals that
we discuss in the following chapters. What will become clear is that hate
comes alive in our language and our actions.
With this understanding of hatred, we will now provide an overview of
the remaining chapters in this book. This text is focused on understanding the
language of hate in action. How does this language function? What does it
accomplish? What are interlocutors attempting to “do” when they appeal to
the hatred of an audience? The answers to these questions may be clearly addressed by an examination of the communicative messages produced by
those with hateful minds. Hate speech is used to intimidate minorities, to
promote ethnoviolence, to contribute to an ideology of hate (and, more generally, a collective memory that constitutes the worldview of racist Aryans),
to solidify the in-group against an out-group, and to recruit new members
into the organized hate movement.
Chapter two focuses on the discursive nature and organization of hate
groups. Hate speech certainly operates in sectors of society beyond the rhetoric of organized hate groups, as we discuss in chapters five and six; however,
hate organizations are important for their ideological work that often resonates throughout other societal contexts. Chapter two can be thought of as
offering a sociological overview of organized hate groups in the United
States. We describe a web of relationships between groups that can be distinguished by the symbols and images that may be observed in their communication and hate speech. Generally, we distinguish between race religion
groups (groups that ground their hatred in a specific religious viewpoint) and
secular hate groups (groups that primarily ground their hatred in a view of
group relations and secular beliefs). Importantly, we discuss the ways that
these groups have networked and become more integrated and co-opted one
another’s symbols and images.
In this chapter, we discuss the most recent incarnation of the ideology of
hate. This ideology is important as it provides substance and reason to hatred. This is important work because the ideology of hate has tended to
evolve as leaders change and groups fade in significance while other groups
grow in importance.
The Communication of Hate
Chapter three addresses the conceptual properties of hate speech. These
properties center on the discursive construction of social differences in negative and highly politicized terms. One such discursive construct is the hate
stratagem (R. K. Whillock, 1995). The hate stratagem, as described above, is
a rhetorical trick that discourages argumentative engagement and reasoning.
Instead, the hate stratagem politicizes social differences in order to accomplish some specific social or political goal. We review research on the hate
stratagem and extend this work by examining the operation of the hate
stratagem in different artifacts of the hate movement (e.g., in the racist novels Hunter and The Turner Diaries). Other discursive constructs discussed in
chapter four include message-induced heuristic processing of hate material.
Heuristics are decisional shortcuts that people employ to process social influence messages. Examples of such heuristics include the credibility heuristic (I should comply with this request because the speaker is credible or an
expert), the consensus heuristic (I should comply because other people are
complying), and the liking heuristic (I should comply because this person is
likeable). Several heuristics are discussed in chapter three. Some research indicates that hateful messages are often accompanied by attempts to encourage listeners to process such messages superficially and heuristically.
Social differences are also politicized through the exchanging of myths
that constitute the collective memory of the U.S. hate movement. The myths
discussed in chapter three functions to teach proper racist Aryan identities,
beliefs, and actions (including violence). They also teach Aryans how to
think about and treat their enemies. Chapter three extends previous work on
racist Aryan myths by illustrating their existence and functions across the
most important discursive artifacts in the U.S. hate movement.
Although not a discourse structure, we argue that hate crime often carries
important symbolic value. Hate crime has sometimes been referred to as a
message crime. A form of terrorism and ethnoviolence, hate-motivated crime
and violence communicate a variety of meanings to those who share an identity with the target of the hate crime. Hate crime and ethnoviolence communicates that the other is not welcome and not safe (“this could have been
you”). It is this symbolic value that makes hate crimes unlike any other
crime, one that tears at the fabric of communities.
Chapter four examines the role the Internet plays in the hate speech produced by hate-mongers. It was not too long ago that if hate-mongers wanted
to gather to create congenial environments they would have to travel, often
long distances, to secluded compounds in remote areas. Now, for the price of
an inexpensive computer, software, and Internet server, they may enter a
world where their ideas are normal and respected. It is clear that these con-
Language in Action
genial environments have played an important role in the radicalization of
individuals who go “Lone Wolf” and take it upon themselves to commit horrific acts of hate-motivated violence. This chapter examines several key Web
Pages to illustrate how hate speech is used to radicalize readers and promote
Lone Wolf terrorism.
Chapters five and six examine samples of hate speech in two mainstream
contexts that will resonate with the experiences of readers. In chapter five,
we examine hate speech and hate crimes that are directed at immigrants who
have entered this country illegally. “Nativism” reflects beliefs and policies
that favor established groups in a country and discriminate against “newcomers” or immigrants. In the 19th century, Nativism was a powerful force
in American life and politics, as being 100% American meant being white,
Protestant, and American-born. American fear of Europeans (and, often,
Catholics) fleeing economic and agricultural catastrophes in Europe are
widely discussed in American history textbooks. We examine current Nativist discourse that has been used to whip audiences into frenzies by making
undocumented immigrants (usually people of color) the repository for all the
ills and fears of working-class and middle-class white people. We examine
this discourse and identify it as a form of hate speech with important conceptual overlap with the discourse produced by the organized hate movement in
the United States. As we note in chapter five, recent years have seen a 40%
increase in hate-motivated violence carried out against people in this country
without proper documentation. Not surprisingly, this violence has been accompanied by increasingly vitriolic hate speech among politicians and media
In chapter six, we examine how this Nativism emerged in the discourse
produced by the key campaigns of the 2008 presidential election. We describe how the Hillary Clinton campaign gradually devolved into explicit attempts to “otherize” Barack Obama by constructing him as insufficiently
American. Over time, this strategy would reveal the production of the hate
stratagem and the suggestion that “hard-working, white Americans” would
be unwilling to vote for an African American nominee, a suggestion that
would be rejected by the voters. In the general election, the McCain campaign would employ rhetoric that resembled that of many hate groups. The
McCain campaign employed the hate stratagem and explicitly invoked cultural myths that have been used to vilify African Americans throughout history. This discourse did not fade into the background of our political
landscape when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.
Instead, this discourse morphed from simple hate speech that attempted to
otherize Barack Obama for his blackness, to otherizing him for both his un-
The Communication of Hate
American attitudes and his “non-American citizenship.” Groups such as the
Birthers and Tea Party protestors responded to the Obama administration’s
policies by calling him a Kenyan, Hitler, a Fascist, a Communist, etc. These
protests during the summer of 2009 would see the reemergence of militia
groups, popular in the 1990s, that cloaked their hatred in suspicion of the
government and conspiratorial beliefs that government wishes to take away
American’s Second Amendment rights in order to take away Americans’ liberties. In the summer of 2009, militia groups would coalesce with Birthers
and Tea Party protestors to make a potentially violent cocktail of antigovernment Nativists (Potok, 2009). We discuss the implications of the return of the militias and their violence that defined so much of the 1990s.
Chapter seven explores the desirable features of anti-hate discourse, discourse designed to respond to hate and promote more humane and tolerant
communities. We reconsider the purposes and functions of hate and hate
speech in order to articulate the desired functions of anti-hate discourse. Specifically, we argue that anti-hate discourse should reconstruct what was destroyed through hate. Hate crimes represent attempts to destroy the body and
identity of its victims. Hate speech vilifies and dehumanizes the identities it
targets. So, one important function of anti-hate speech is to re-humanize and
revalue the identities destroyed through hate speech. An anti-hate discourse
explicitly describes the value and preciousness of the identities demeaned by
hate speech. In this chapter, we identify a set of best practices that we
gleaned from a close reading of various anti-hate texts such as documentaries, Web Pages, and pamphlets. We warn of potential pitfalls in the construction of messages intended to challenge hate. For example, we note that a
community’s desire to promote a desired self-image may lead to scapegoating specific hate criminals, making them a vessel into which a community’s
shortcomings may be poured. Such community identity management strategies may prevent reflection on community characteristics that grow hatred
(Williamson, 2002).
The basic thrust of these anti-hate texts is on how one may respond to
specific, often interpersonal, encounters with family, friends, and acquaintances. The hateful acts depicted in most of these materials also involve rather
explicit acts of hatred. This chapter also focuses on the everyday discourses
that support and sustain hatred. While previous chapters addressed the hate,
hate crime, and hate speech produced by individual hate-mongers or hate
groups, in this chapter we also examine the ways that hatred is manipulated
by elements of mainstream society. This Everyday Racism focuses on the
ways that broad social discourses produced by police, politicians, and everyday citizens knowingly and unknowingly contribute to a more hateful and
Language in Action
fragmented society. These forms of racism may “otherize softly” (BonillaSilva, 2006) but still promote hatred. We discuss this Everyday Racism as a
form of racism that exists in people’s everyday interactions and serves to
maintain white privilege. Subsequently, we describe ways that this form of
racism may be challenged and confronted.
Finally, chapter eight serves to conclude our discussion of the discursive
production of hatred. We consider the implications of the issues discussed
and offer suggestions that may shepherd us to more hopeful and humane
communities that offer unity in differences.
One important feature of this book is the universality of hatred. Hatred is
an international problem that results in isolated acts of murder and more systematic and coordinated genocide. Our writing and our examples are skewed
toward American society because that is our focus. We think it is important
that readers keep in mind that hatred is a problem that knows no geographical boundaries, and that the American version of hatred must certainly have
implications for the hatred experienced by other societies.
We believe the themes discussed in these chapters provide a rather
unique view of hate speech in action. The chapters in this book offer a comprehensive examination of how hatred operates in American society. We examine the discourse of various organized hate groups, including the ways
that common symbols, images, and icons serve to integrate various groups in
the hate movement. We also examine how hatred is manipulated by mainstream politicians, political operatives, and media pundits to pursue the advancement of their own agendas. This analysis allows us to compare the
discourse of organized hate groups with these mainstream public voices. This
comparison will reveal that these voices are often more alike than they are
different. Our analysis of hate-motivated discourse in American society also
allows a glimpse at the various technologies that make hate speech available
to mass publics (e.g., physical books, television commercials, newspaper and
news magazine reports, Internet Web Pages). Another unique feature of this
text is our analysis of the desirable features of a discourse that promotes tolerance. We believe this to be a unique attribute among books that examine
hatred. The importance of this chapter is given weight by an example of antihate discourse, discussed in chapter five, that violated important principles of
the anti-hate discourse discussed in chapter seven, resulting in unfortunate
consequences for specific individuals and the community they wished to protect.
The Communication of Hate
Chapter 2
Discursive Nature of
Organized Hate Groups
Hatred takes many forms in addition to the forms it takes in organized hate
groups. However, a broader understanding of hatred must begin with these
groups, and their activities, because organized hate provides an ideology and
culture of hatred that inspires, directly and indirectly, hate crimes and ethnoviolence. As we discuss in this chapter, these groups are created discursively.
They have articulated their beliefs and ideology through Web Pages, racist
novels, and White Power music (Billig, 2001; Daniels, 1997; Davis, 2005;
Olson, 2002; Perry, 2001; Waltman & Davis, 2005; Waltman & Haas, 2007;
Waltman, 2010-a; R. K. Whillock, 1995). Moreover, these groups pursue
their goals (e.g., recruitment of new members and the promotion of ethnoviolence) through discourse (Davis, 2005; Hamm, 1993; Waltman, 2003;
Waltman & Davis, 2004).
The challenges of hate are embodied in the violent deeds of those who
serve hatred and intolerance. From 1977 to 1989, Joseph Paul Franklin traveled the eastern part of the United States, killing approximately 17 people for
posing various threats to his white race. Franklin bombed a Jewish synagogue, killed two black men jogging alone, killed white women who admitted to having sexual congress with black men, and killed couples that he
identified as “inter-racial” couples. Over time, Franklin supported his violence through armed robbery.
On April 19, 1995, following procedures described in The Turner Diaries, a racist novel that tells the story of a race war in the United States,
Timothy McVeigh bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He killed 168 people and injured 850 more while leaving a gash
across the psyche of the people of Oklahoma City. His purpose was (a) to
strike back at the Zionist-Occupied Government (ZOG) of the United States
that he perceived as responsible for the unwarranted killing of the Branch
Davidians in Waco, Texas; and (b) to try to awaken good white people to the
threat of this system.
After years of eluding law enforcement, Eric Rudolph was arrested on
May 31, 2003, and charged with the deadly bombings of the 1996 Atlanta
Olympic Games, a lesbian nightclub, and abortion clinics. He wanted to
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strike at the “regime in Washington” that was encouraging race-mixing and
diversity, the acceptance of a homosexual agenda, and the murder of unborn
white children, respectively (Waltman, 2010-b). Rudolph clearly had additional plans because, after his arrest, he disclosed to authorities where 250
pounds of dynamite could be located.
In June of 1998, Lawrence Brewer, John King, and Shawn Berry tied a
black man named James Byrd by the feet to a chain and dragged him to death
behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas. They left his decapitated body on the
lawn of a black church. They believed that the attention drawn to this grizzly
hate crime would help them to form their own hate group.
On August 10, 1999, Aryan Nations member Buford Furrow walked into
a Los Angeles Jewish community center and began to shoot, leaving a 69year-old receptionist and four children wounded and traumatized. His purpose was to awaken white people to what he perceived as a Jewish international conspiracy committed to the oppression of white people, and to take
some measure of revenge for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (F.B.I.’s)
killing of Robert Matthews, his friend and leader of The Order, a terrorist
group affiliated with Aryan Nations.
These examples center on individuals who had a relatively intimate acquaintance with a formal hate group that preached an explicit ideology of
hate. However, there are also examples of violence linked to individuals
who, though lacking an explicit association with an organized hate group,
were familiar with the ideology they preached. On October 6, 1998, Russell
Henderson and Aaron McKinney maneuvered a young gay man named Matthew Shepherd to a remote location in order to beat and torture him to death,
leaving him tied to a prairie fence just outside of Laramie, Wyoming. They
did so because he was gay.
On February 19, 1999, in Sylacauga, Alabama, Steven Mullins and
Charles Monroe Butler lured Billy Jack Gaither, a 39-year-old gay man,
away from a bar where they were playing pool. They cut his throat and beat
him to death with an ax handle. Later, the two men would confess that they
killed him because he was gay.
Approximately one week after two airplanes were flown into the World
Trade Center, Ali Almansoop, a Yemeni immigrant, was awakened by Brent
Seever who, while shouting anti-Arab slogans, shot Almansoop in the back
as he tried to escape. Seever had been driving around the neighborhood
thinking about the attack on the World Trade Center, and decided to defend
the United States by killing someone he perceived to be like those terrorists
who attacked the World Trade Center (Levin & McDevitt, 2002).
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
In January 2009, Keith Luke killed black residents of Brockton, Massachusetts. He claimed that the killings were his attempt to protect the white
race from extinction. Luke informed authorities that his racial attitudes were
learned entirely from racist Web Sites that “spoke the truth about the demise
of the white race” (Keller, 2009a). These sources celebrated ethnoviolence
and terrorism as a response to the genocidal threat faced by the white race.
These ethnoterrorists and hate killers are all connected by their commitment to an ideology of hate, informed by their membership in, or contacts
with, organized hate groups. Most of these terrorists have been nurtured to
believe in a world Jewish conspiracy that Jews are dedicated to controlling
world governments, media, and a host of other social institutions. The purpose of this conspiracy is the oppression and eventual genocide of the white
race. This genocide is to be accomplished in a variety of ways, including encouraging inter-racial dating and marriage, the growth of Feminism to
brainwash women and draw them away from family values, the acceptance
of a “homosexual lifestyle,” and governmental policies devoted to reducing
the significance and influence of white people, such as the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, Affirmative Action, and weak immigration laws. Believing in the
utter veracity of these conspiracies, the terrorists mentioned above saw themselves in a life and death struggle with Jews and other enemies of the Aryan
race. Because they see their struggle as a complete and total race war, there
are no innocents, only the enemies of the Aryan race and those white people
who are racially unaware and duplicitous in their own oppression.
These ideas have evolved over a long period of time and their sources
cannot be framed by geographic boundaries (Timmerman, 2003). Presently,
they may be recognized by ordinary people as cultural stereotypes that polite
society does not discuss or endorse, at least publicly. However, these ideas
are nurtured in a reservoir of hate by groups in the organized hate movement.
America’s commitment to free speech leads us to permit all forms of hate
speech. Many Western democracies have viewed hate speech as too toxic to
the social fabric to tolerate, America has not. It is from this reservoir that (a)
hate groups spew their hatred when social circumstances are desirable, (b)
individuals seek confirmation of their racist ideas, cocooning themselves
from beliefs that might challenge their worldview, and (c) domestic terrorists
emerge to spread violence after consuming a steady diet of hate.
The Nature of Organized Hate Groups
Hate groups may be regarded as cultures because they may be distinguished
by their beliefs, values, goals, and icons that constitute their unique views of
race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation (Perry, 2001). The
The Communication of Hate
discourse through which these values, icons, and symbols are communicated
is a useful way to learn about these subcultures of hate. Beyond the hate
movement, the heritage of white supremacy in this country has rendered the
white identity as the norm. Dyer (1997) has noted that an identity that is defined as the norm may become taken for granted or relatively “invisible”—
perhaps even lacking in cultural content. Indeed, the very power of “whiteness” lies in its ability to be rendered normal and invisible (Gabriel, 1998).
One goal of hate groups is to articulate what it means to be White. The rising
popularity of folk festivals among White people provides evidence that
White people are attempting to connect to the cultures and traditions of their
ancestors. Such festivals, themselves usually innocent enough, have become
platforms for hate groups’ recruitment of White people who may be sympathetic to their unique articulation of a white identity (Waltman, 2010-a).
The present incarnation of hate groups reflects two broad categories that
are each composed of distinct subtypes. The first set of hate groups are race
religion groups, groups that ground their hatred in a religious doctrine to give
ideological substance to their hatred. The second set is secular-based hate
groups, groups that ground their goals and activities in social or political beliefs that give substance to their hatred. While secular and religious groups
are distinct and separate entities, many racist Aryans participate in the life of
a secular group and subscribe to the religious tenets of a race religion. Indeed, as will be argued later, such individuals serve as one marker of the
growing permeability in the ideological membranes that separate these subcultures of hate.
Race Religion Groups
There are three primary race religion groups that are currently active in the
hate movement. The Identity Church Movement, or Christian Identity, represents a racist version of Christianity and is the oldest of the race religion
groups. However, Racist Pre-Christian Paganism and the Creativity Movement, also recognizable as the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) (prior
to a lawsuit in 2003 that forced the group to change its name), are groups that
have become popular among younger racist Aryans.
The Identity Church Movement
The Identity Church Movement grounds its hatred in anti-Semitic and racist
interpretations of the Christian Bible. Christian Identity is the doctrine that
claims that Aryans are the lost tribes of Israel. Adherents to this doctrine believe the Jews to be the literal children of Satan; the offspring of Eve’s mating with Satan in the Garden of Eden, and a natural enemy of the Aryan race.
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
This group was formed by Louis Beam shortly after the F.B.I. botched the
arrest of Randy Weaver on charges of possession of illegal weapons in Ruby
Ridge, Idaho. (Weaver had been affiliated with Aryan Nations and the government had tried to recruit him to entrap other Aryan Nations members.)
Beam preached that the Federal Government views all free-thinking white
people as the enemy. This ideology was also advanced by Richard Butler, a
Christian Identity reverend in the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, and Pete
Peters, reverend in the LaPorte Church of Christ. Beam, Butler, and Peters
would minister to individuals who would later become ethnoterrorists
(Waltman, 2010-b). Two terrorist groups are associated with the Identity
Church Movement: The Phineas Priesthood and The Order.
The Phineas Priesthood is a phantom-like organization that operates
through the informal knowledge of the Identity Church Movement. The Phineas Priesthood is not a membership organization that holds regular meetings
among individuals who know one another. One claims the title of a Phineas
Priest by murdering an inter-racial couple (involving one white partner). The
inspiration for the Phineas Priesthood is taken from the Book of Numbers
(chapter 25; verses 6–13) in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. To set
the stage, Moses has been wandering the desert with the Children of Israel
after leading them out of slavery in Egypt. The Israelites begin to co-mingle
with people outside the covenant with God when we are introduced to Phineas:
And behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a
Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of
the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the
congregation. And when Phineas…saw it, he rose up from among the congregation,
and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and
thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly.…
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of
Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he
was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in
my jealousy.… Behold I give unto him my covenant of peace; and he shall have it,
and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he
was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.
Another terrorist group that is associated with the Identity Church
Movement is The Order. In many ways, The Order serves as a conceptual
conduit between the Identity Church Movement and a second race religion,
Racist Pre-Christian Paganism. The Order was formed by Robert Matthews,
a recruiter for the National Alliance, named after a similar terrorist group in
The Turner Diaries. Matthews recruited members from National Alliance,
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Aryan Nations, and various Ku Klux Klan groups to wage a guerilla war
against the Federal Government (the Zionist-Occupied Government). Matthews, a Racist Pre-Christian Pagan, used Pagan rituals to bind together this
diverse group of terrorists. To finance their war, and to support other groups,
The Order stole millions of dollars from armored vehicles at gunpoint.
Two other important members of the group were the late David Lane and
Richard Scutari. The Order would also become famous for the killing of Jewish radio shock jock, Alan Berg, who insulted the group on his radio show.
On June 18, 1984, Lane and Scutari would participate in the killing of Alan
Berg. The Robberies and this highly visible murder brought the F.B.I. to
their door. On December 8, 1984, Matthews was killed in a gun battle with
F.B.I. agents. The rest of The Order would be arrested and sent to prison.
Once in prison, David Lane converted to Paganism out of respect for Matthews. He would eventually become an intellectual leader among Racist PreChristian Pagans.
Alternative race religion groups are growing in popularity among those
who view Christian Identity to be insufficiently radical and still fundamentally a Christian system of beliefs. Christianity, with its emphasis on forgiveness, is viewed as a religion of the weak and an outgrowth of Judaism
intended to narcotize white people to the growing dominance of the “mud
races,” subverting the “natural” dominance of the white race. Two main
groups have emerged as alternatives to the Identity Church Movement: Racist Pre-Christian Paganism and the World Church of the Creator.
Racist Pre-Christian Paganism
Racist Pre-Christian Paganism is an increasingly important religion in the
American hate movement. Racists embracing this religion see it as an “indigenous faith rooted in pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon warrior cultures; and the
oneness of the Aryan race with nature.” (Gardell, 2003, p. 206) The racist
Pagan believes that mainstream Christianity has de-natured white people and
separated them from their own “blood.” In other words, Christianity and
other Jewish conspiracies have taken control of white people’s lives and their
culture, separating them from their true nature and past. Racist Paganism is
intended to reconnect Aryans with their original culture, so that they can relearn to “think with their blood” (Gardell, 2003, p. 206).
Often referred to as Odinism, this is a religion grounded in the Old Norse
pantheon of gods and included (a) Odin, the god of war and the father of all
gods and men, (b) Freya, his clairvoyant wife, and (c) Thor, their hammerwielding son and god of thunder. Odin is known by many names, such as
Wotan, his Germanic name. Among White Supremacists, WOTAN is also
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
used as an acronym for Will Of The Aryan Nations. Other lesser-known
Norse gods represented various aspects of nature and ideas gifted to humans
from the gods (e.g., Tyr, original god of war; Balder, god of light, joy, purity,
beauty, innocence, and reconciliation; and a host of other gods constructed to
describe the influence of powerful forces on humankind—including the outcomes of war). These characters, themselves, do not provide us with a rich
understanding of the racist Pagan mind. To understand this, one must understand the Pagans view of their world, their relationships with their gods, and
the end of their world—their apocalypse.
The values of Anglo-Saxon warrior cultures, and their view of their
world, will be familiar to anyone who has read Beowulf or the Icelandic Sagas. Prior to the ascendance of Christianity, Pagans did not believe that humans might transcend the physical, human world to any kind of spiritual
world approximating a Christian understanding of heaven or hell. The possibilities they saw for a life beyond the present were limited, almost exclusively, to the stories that might be told of them following their death, ideally
a death that was noteworthy and in defense of King, kinsmen, and companions. The most glorious name would be earned in the Wael-raes, the rush of
the battle-slaughter, thereby bearing tangible witness to one’s commitment to
his king and the venerable bond between one and his battle companions
(Heaney, 2000, p. xv). Such noble action was rewarded in times of peace, for
those who lived through the Wael-raes, and was essential to establishing
one’s place in the social hierarchy. In other words, commitment to kinsmen
(and king) and courage in battle are values that are at the hub of this warrior
culture. This is part of the consciousness that White Supremacists are trying
to return to in their embracement of racist Odinism. Hate-motivated murder
is viewed as analogous to killing for Odin in battle or making a human sacrifice to Odin (Waltman, 2010-a).
The pre-Christian Pagan imagination did conceive of an afterlife for the
bravest of warriors—but it was not an eternal afterlife. Those warriors who
demonstrated exemplary bravery in battle might be selected by the Valkyrie,
the blond, fair-skinned demigoddesses of death. These select dead warriors
are lifted by the Valkyrie to Valhalla, Odin’s great hall, a monument to male
bravery and the honor of war. It is said that the rafters of Valhalla are spears
and the roof is constructed from the shields of fallen warriors. The warriors
fight during the day and feast at night in Valhalla. The warriors live, thusly,
in Valhalla until Ragnarok, the final day of battle when all the world will be
scorched from battle and the earth will sink into the sea. In this final battle,
men fight beside and against the Pagan gods. However, a new earthly world
will arise from this destruction in which re-born gods live peacefully with
The Communication of Hate
humankind in a new and better world. It is this power of Paganism that Racist Pre-Christian Pagans hope to draw from to fuel their hatred and ethnoviolence.
Racist Odinists take Ragnarok as a metaphor for RAHOWA (RAcial
HOly WAr), and they draw on the traditions of bravery in battle and the legends of the Valkyrie and Valhalla to add a religious fervor to their hate. The
Web Site TightRope weaves the images and icons of Old Norse Pagan traditions into stories and cartoons that celebrate the Aryan race and depict ethnoviolence as a natural part of the life of the true Aryan. To reach a cartoon
called “Son of Har,” the reader must click on images depicting a skinhead
youth making gestures that signify various Old Norse gods (Odin, Balder,
Tyr, and Thor). The young man is wearing an amulet of Thor’s battle hammer around his neck. The young man removes an automatic pistol from an
alter, adorned with a swastika and pictures of Hitler and Robert Matthews.
As he proceeds to the eventual assassination of a prominent Jew in his community, his car is followed by two ravens, as if the Valkyrie (symbolized by
the ravens) has designated the upcoming assassination and “warrior” as worthy of Valhalla.
The TightRope Web Site portrays ethnoviolence as part and parcel of a
normal Racist Pre-Christian Pagan life. Such images tell us something very
important about the racist Pagan view of violence. Violence, itself, is a cultural totem, tied closely to the racist Pagan’s identity. As such, the racist Pagan feels most “natural” and most closely connected to his community when
committing violence.
Odinism shares with Nazism, and Fascism more generally, a social Darwinist philosophy, that views the survival of the white race as a goal of their
religion. This “might is right” worldview is found in the belief that all racially aware white people are preparing for the inevitable racial holy war by
becoming self-sufficient and taking on the responsibility to live healthy lives,
avoiding narcotics and alcohol, and becoming physically fit (Davis, 2005;
Waltman & Davis, 2005). This certainly resembles Hitler’s belief in the possibility of a race of Aryan supermen. So, it is not too surprising that Odinism
has been very appealing to neo-Nazis and young, racist skinheads. The fact
that many in Hitler’s Third Reich subscribed to a similar occult-like religion
to inform their beliefs in a re-born Germanic identity is a fact that is not lost
on many pupils of Nazism. So, the blending of fascist hatreds with Odinism
provides many neo-Nazis with an ideology that is deeply and historically familiar.
As noted earlier, David Lane and Richard Scutari, former members of
The Order, are responsible for founding Odinism as an influential prison re-
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
ligion. According to an SPLC Intelligence Report (2000), Odinism is the
fastest growing and most violent religion behind prison walls. Only very recently, Lane passed away in prison as the result of a heart attack. Already, he
has been treated as a martyr by those in the hate movement. Even behind
prison walls, Lane influenced White Supremacists through a publishing operation established by his wife in the mid-1990s. Indeed, Lane is revered as
the publisher of the racist credo known as 14 words: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” This mission statement
has been adopted by a host of groups within the larger hate movement. In a
Web Page maintained by a group calling themselves White Revolution (see, Lane was memorialized as a Prisoner of
War and a man of action. The reader is encouraged to “join these men of action before we [white people] become an extinct species.”
Creativity Movement
Creativity, known as the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) during the
1990s, is a religion that grounds its philosophy in white supremacy. The religion is the advancement of the white race. WCOTC was initially founded
by Ben Klassen, a religion he termed Creativity, on the belief that it is the
natural destiny of the white race to rule over all others; Creativity sees white
people’s social ascension as predetermined by a “creator” who fashioned the
other races before he created the white race. Afterward, the creator made its
finest creation, the white race, and gave it dominion over all others (Hamm,
1993, p. 203). It should be noted that the Creator is not an omnipotent being
in the sky (Klassen viewed Christianity as superstition). According to Klassen, the white race has a soul, an intuitive feeling or desire to create (music,
literature, law and order, architecture, etc.). The “inferior” souls of other
races are said to lack this impulse. Klassen believed that anything that threatens the white race threatens this impulse toward creation and, therefore,
threatens the world. Consequently, what is good for the white race is good,
and what is bad for the white race is, by definition, bad (Waltman, 2010-c).
Although Klassen encouraged his followers to pursue their “religious” beliefs through peaceful means, he did believe that a race war between the
white race and the other “mud” races would be inevitable.
These ideas are enumerated in a book Klassen authored called The White
Man’s Bible, a text that has influenced not simply those who subscribe to
Creativity but also a variety of racists and hate-mongers. Therefore, this text
is examined more closely in chapter four.
When Klassen passed away, Matt Hale took charge of the Creativity
Movement and renamed it the World Church of the Creator. Under Hale’s
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leadership, WCOTC would become one of the largest hate groups in the
United States with affiliations in 27 states organized through 30 Web Sites
(Anti-Defamation League-a). Hale would become a charismatic leader and
the most visible face of the hate movement during the 1990s and early part of
the 21st century. During this time, he would appear on network news programming, serve as a mentor to a vicious racist spree killer, draw a significant proportion of racist skinheads to Creativity, and ultimately be convicted
of conspiring to kill a federal judge.
From his home in East Peoria, Illinois, Hale conducted caustic and hateful attacks against Jews, Christians, and people of color through his Web Site
and various speeches. Creativity’s “cold” racial holy war turned hot in July
of 1999 when Benjamin Nathaniel Smith began a spree killing of African
Americans, Jews, and Asian Americans that began in Chicago, and included
the murder of Northwestern basketball coach, Ricky Birdsong. Smith’s stated
purpose was to jump-start the racial holy war that Klassen predicted. Smith’s
killing spree ended when he killed himself, surrounded by police, in Indiana.
Smith had been mentored by Matt Hale, although there was no firm evidence
that Hale was legally culpable in Smith’s murders. Hale subsequently portrayed Benjamin Smith as a martyr for his race.
Hale’s fortunes began to unravel when he and his World Church of the
Creator were sued for the rights to that name by an Oregon-based, non-racist
church also using the name Church of the Creator. Because the Oregon
church was the first to register the trademark, a federal judge ruled against
Hale and his church. Hale would conspire to have this federal judge murdered when he encouraged his members to wage war on the federal judiciary
(Waltman, 2010-c). The only other time that Hale had employed this violent
rhetoric was when he was ultimately denied a license to practice law in Illinois—immediately before Benjamin Smith’s two-state rampage. Waltman
(2010-c) described how Hale’s discourse encouraged individuals to strike out
at the enemies of the Aryan race while temporarily insulating his organization from the violence he fostered. In the end, F.B.I. informants and undercover agents infiltrated his organization and revealed him to be a builder of
terrorists. Although Hale is in prison, he has served as a symbol of one who
was willing to give up his freedom for his race. Since his imprisonment,
Creativity is attempting to return to its place of prominence in the hate
In the end, all race religions operate similar to Creativity. They are not
groups whose main purpose is to build membership roles. Rather, their purpose is to build terrorists by providing a set of cultural beliefs and practices
that create enemies and provide a rationale for the killing of those enemies.
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
The idea is the creation of a terrorist like Benjamin Smith, Buford Furrow, or
Timothy McVeigh who kill on their own (or with one or two partners) while
providing the leaders and formal group plausible deniability.
Secular Race Groups
Neo-Nazi groups
Neo-Nazi groups, such as the National Alliance, have drawn on the Fascism
of Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich to inform their “White Power” rhetoric.
Their deification of Hitler and the Third Reich provides them with a rich,
symbolic heritage that grounds their hate in a historical struggle for Aryan
purity. Many numerical racist symbols explicitly link the neo-Nazi identity
with Adolph Hitler. Hitler’s birthday, April 20, is celebrated through the numerical symbols “420,” “4/20,” or “4:20.” Neo-Nazis identify themselves to
one another through the “88” numerical symbol (“Heil Hitler”—“H” is the
eighth letter of the alphabet) or, more recently, “18” (“Adolph Hitler”—“A”
is the first letter of the alphabet and “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet).
Such symbols may appear in public as graffiti, placards, or individual tattoos
(Anti-Defamation League-b).
Most neo-Nazis, or neo-Nazi-like groups, reject any kind of religious
philosophy. Tom Metzger, founder of White Aryan Resistance (WAR), says
of religion: “We better solve the problems by ourselves because there’s nobody going to come here and magically do it for us” (Ezekiel, 1995, p. 73).
Metzger’s remark provides insight into more than his view of religion.
Metzger’s comment also emphasizes the neo-Nazi value of action over
thought, a value that is drawn from the Fascism that followed World War I.
The neo-Nazi embracement of violence as a means to political ends flows
directly from 20th-century Fascism. Mussolini (1932) wrote:
Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in
the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of
Pacifism—born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face
of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the
stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. All other trials are
substitutes, which never really put men into the position where they have to make
the great decision—the alternative of life or death. (Internet Modern History
Sourcebook, 2007)
The fascist embracement of violence is, rather naturally, expressed by fascist
artists. The Futurists, an artistic and literary movement in Italy during the
early part of the 20th century declared in their manifesto:
The Communication of Hate
We want to sing the love of danger.… The essential elements of our poetry will be
courage, audacity, and revolt. We want to exalt movements of aggression…the slap
and blow of the fist. We want to glorify war—the only cure for the world—and
militarism…the beautiful ideas which kill. (Marinetti, 1909)
Hitler gave the fascist view of violence and war a focus and purpose when he
blended it with his interpretation of Social Darwinism (also known as natural
law or biological determinism). This philosophy asserts that stronger nations
and people possess a natural right to dominate or exterminate weaker nations
(Von Maltitz, 1973). From this point of view, war and conquest are not immoral, but merely the fulfilling of a predestined mission (Hamm, 1993). This
view of violence and conquest is explicitly translated into the practices of
modern neo-Nazis.
Within the American neo-Nazi movement, the value of action and violence is manifested in William Pierce’s The Turner Diaries (published under
the pseudonym of Andrew McDonald). Pierce, founder of National Alliance,
tells the story of the racial holy war in his “novel.” Pierce depicts a struggle
pitting racially aware white people against a government organized for the
oppression of white people. Pierce describes the counter-insurgency of the
revolutionaries in great detail, providing models for the making of bombs,
potential targets, and the logistics for carrying out successful bombings. The
Turner Diaries has, indeed, served as a “how to” manual and inspiration for
many extremists. The novel was found in the possession of the ultra-violent
group, The Order (led by Robert Matthews), and of Timothy McVeigh, the
infamous Oklahoma City bomber. McVeigh is thought to have selected his
target, and executed his mission, in Oklahoma City based on a bombing described in The Turner Diaries.
Racist skinheads
Racist skinheads, somewhat neo-Nazi in character, tend to be more loosely
organized but highly violent youth. Anti-racists have argued that members
tend to be disaffected and troubled working-class youth with no real agenda
but hate (Hamm, 1993). The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) went so far as
to claim that skinheads were disintegrating before our eyes. But that was in
1988 and the racist skinhead subculture is still an ominous presence on the
extremist landscape.
Skinheads are recognized by their shaved heads, steal toed Doc Martens,
and “Donkey” jackets, artifacts of the urban, working-class background that
nurtured this youth subculture (Hamm, 1993). Racist skinheads have occasionally added to the symbolism of this uniform by painting the toes of their
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
boots red (to reflect the blood shed in battle for the Aryan race), interweaving red and white shoestrings in their Doc Martens (to represent their sacrificed blood and the purity of the Aryan race, respectively), or wearing red
and white suspenders (D. E. Whillock, 1995).
Hamm (1993) distinguishes between terrorist and non-terrorist racist
skinheads. Terrorist skinheads tend to subscribe to neo-Nazi beliefs and/or
the values of Odinism described earlier but, in Hamm’s study, they were
more likely to grow their hair to the norm, dress in mainstream clothing, and
pursue a college education while working. The concept of “beserking,” a
term that has been used to describe skinhead attacks on minorities, is taken
from the fighting style of Viking warriors who went into battle in a crazed
state, preferring death to retreat. Skinhead beserking is fueled by beer and
White Power music, two central elements of skinhead culture. Indeed, Hamm
(1993) argues that White Power music, with its celebration of neo-Nazi beliefs and Nordic Aryan ideas, provides an ongoing infusion of their ideology
into the life world of the skinhead. Because terrorists listen to White Power
music daily, this infusion occurs on a regular basis. Non-terrorists are less
inclined to hold neo-Nazi beliefs and are also less likely to participate in ethnoviolence. Violence may or may not be a part of their lives, but nonterrorists are more likely to become involved in fights against other white
people (or anti-racist skinheads, specifically). Unlike their terrorist counterparts, non-terrorist skinheads tend to dress in the skinhead “uniform.”
The American skinhead movement received an additional injection of
neo-Nazi beliefs from Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance (WAR).
Metzger encountered a newsletter that was produced by Ian Stuart (founder
of the White Power band, Skrewdriver) in London. Metzger set out to create,
through WAR, an organizational structure that would permit him to distribute his ideas to skinheads, providing them with more ideological grounding
than they possessed in the past. By mentoring skinhead groups across California, he hoped to create a cadre of young racist warriors who would take
the racial holy war to individual Jews and minorities across California
(Hamm, 1993; Langer, 1990). Metzger is reported to have said of his foot
soldiers, “If you’re going to do anything, you need to have somebody with
you who’s going to stand their ground, and most conservatives won’t. The
skinheads have already got the main thing, and that’s guts” (Hamm, 1993, p.
53). On October 21, 1990, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Morris
Dees won a civil suit against Metzger and his organization for conspiring
with skinheads in the death of Mulugeta Seraw, who was killed in November
1988 by three racist skinheads. This forced Metzger into bankruptcy. The
bankruptcy and the belief among many skinheads that they were being
The Communication of Hate
“used” and exploited by Metzger contributed to his diminishing influence on
racist skinheads.
Although Metzger’s influence on skinheads was removed by the Seraw
suit, there was someone who was ready to fill the vacuum, Matt Hale and the
World Church of the Creator. Prior to his conviction, increasing numbers of
skinheads were turning to the Creativity Movement to provide them a more
substantive race ideology. Hamm (1993) interviewed a number of skinheads
who reported being “reverends” in the World Church of the Creator and who
claimed that Creativity is core to skinhead beliefs.
The Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan (the KKK or the Klan) is a truly American-grown hate
group. The Klan grew from the reconstruction that followed America’s Civil
War. Fearful of the loss of a Southern white identity, and presumably violent
former slaves, the Klan arose as one of America’s first terrorist organizations, grounded principally in a belief of white supremacy. The Klan was
wed to the American film industry in America’s first silent film, Birth of a
Nation. This film glamorized the Klan as the protector of white womanhood
and white virtue from predatory and marauding freed slaves during reconstruction. The film actually became a powerful recruiting tool for the Klan in
the second decade of the 20th century. The Klan’s self-avowed purpose was
to protect the virtue of Southern white women from supposedly marauding
bands of former slaves. This ongoing narrative of the “black rapist” has become a virtual proverb that justifies white hate and white fear. The idea of
the Klansman as a white knight-like defender of white womanhood was
given physical form in a cartoon entitled Knight of the Cross (see The ritual slayings of former slaves are so brutal
and well-known that they do not require repeating here, but Markovitz
(2004) provides a thoughtful treatment of the role lynching has played in the
collective memory that shapes contemporary racial politics.
Once highly violent in the 1920s and 1930s, the Klan has become less
violent and has moved into mainstream politics, as evidenced by David
Duke’s emergence as a white activist and Louisiana politician. Presently
fragmented and often fighting among themselves, Klan groups advance their
agenda by talking about social issues that are often a part of American political life, such as crime, AIDs, and immigration (Perry, 2001). That is, rather
than railing against blacks, Hispanics, and gay men and women, they are
more likely to rail against crime, immigration, and AIDs.
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
Racist militia groups
Racist militia groups represent a subculture that, operationally, has faded into
the background of the American Hate Movement. However, their ideas and
commitments remain a part of organized hate. Moreover, the reemergence of
the militia during the summer of 2009 (Potok, 2009) demands their inclusion
here. Militia groups ground their worldview in a focus on the protection of
an individual’s “right” to own, store, and trade guns in sufficient quantity
that individual citizens will be in a position to protect themselves from a
shadow government determined to continually reduce individual liberties, an
event that militia groups prepare for through regular paramilitary training exercises.
Militia groups see any attempt to control individual citizens’ ability to
purchase and own guns as evidence that the Federal Government has the nefarious intent to disarm Americans and to impose a New World Order. Some
militia groups reject racism and terrorist activities; however, news coverage
of militia activities throughout the 1990s also reveals a sinister and evil element in the militia movement whose ideology blends anti-statist beliefs with
racism to create a rather unique, radical nationalist philosophy that views the
Federal Government as a structure that has been co-opted by Jewish interests
and is bent on subverting the “natural” white American identity (e.g., Crothers, 2003).
Racist militia groups believe that only a portion of the citizenry constitutes America’s “sovereign citizens,” citizens who have the right to assess,
reject, or endorse government decisions. Sovereign citizens are those whose
forbearers signed the original Constitution, creating the original social contract Americans made with their government (Crothers, 2003). According to
Crothers (2003), the militia movement was born in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, when
the F.B.I. attempted to arrest Randy Weaver, sparking a gun battle that resulted in the accidental killing of his wife. It gained steam in Waco, Texas,
when the F.B.I. accidentally burned to death David Koresh and the Branch
Davidians, who were suspected of warehousing illegal weapons. The crescendo came in Oklahoma City when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Alfred
P. Murrah Federal Building. The Oklahoma City bombing was such an extreme act that it caused the militia movement to burn itself out (Crothers,
Integration and Bricolage within the Hate Movement
These subcultures of hate can, and should, be understood as distinct. However, there is tangible evidence that hate groups are becoming more integrated at both an organizational level and at a conceptual level. At an
The Communication of Hate
organizational level, it has long been possible for hate group members to
commune, share ideas, and reinforce their hatred. This has typically taken the
form of national and regional rallies where individuals would travel to a particular location. However, the growth of the Internet has permitted a degree
of integration between unique groups that has not been previously witnessed.
A number of individual groups provide Web links to one another on their organizations’ Web Pages. Moreover, white supremacy groups are making
themselves available to the general public through Web Pages devoted to political issues outside the mainstream of American political life (Waltman &
Haas, 2007). Within the past few years, however, hate-oriented search engines and Internet-based newspapers have made it possible for Internet users
to not only remain connected to one another (Hamm, 1993; Langer, 1990)
but to sample the ideologies of a variety of different white supremacy
groups. As a result, hate groups have become most effective in their bricolage. Literally, bricolage means to tinker with something. Bricolage is an intellectual construct that emerges from the neo-Marxist, British sociological
tradition, and it is a method used by scholars to describe and understand how
the meaning of cultural symbols and artifacts may be transferred from one
culture to another.
Hate group members are proving to be workman-like bricoleurs. As
noted earlier, during the 1990s many American skinheads “rounded out”
their secular ideology with the religious commitments of the World Church
of the Creator. Indeed, many skinheads also became ministers in WCOTC.
Originally, RAHOWA was not a construct that was central to American
skinheads. That construct has been incorporated into skinhead ideology
(Hamm, 1993) and one skinhead group has taken the name “Skinheads of the
Racial Holy War,” and they explicitly blend their skinhead secularism with
Creativity (see An electronic news organization,
the Vanguard News Network (VNN), reports news and social events from a
white racialist perspective. It claims to draw its readership from White Supremacists from a variety of backgrounds, and it incorporates the signs and
artifacts of different hate communities into its publication with meticulous
care. Another Internet organization, TightRope, blends images of the AngloSaxon, Germanic warriors with the artifacts of neo-Nazism to provide drama
and inspiration to readers as they celebrate a white warrior ethic in stories
that are intended to teach readers how to kill the major threats to the white
race: Jews (i.e., the Zionist-Occupied Government, or ZOG) and the morally
inferior “mud races.” Perhaps the hate movement has not yet achieved Tom
and John Metzger’s vision of a Pan-Aryan Nationalist Movement (Hamm,
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
1993), but there is growing evidence of ideological integration and strategic
cooperation among different communities in the hate movement.
Recent writers have divined an overall ideology of hate from the Web
Pages maintained by different hate communities (Perry, 2001). The increasing cultural integration of different hate communities provides even more
coherence to a common ideology that transcends differences and permits organized social action within the hate movement. Perhaps it is this increasing
cultural integration that has changed and differentiated the ideology of hate
suggested by Perry in 2001. This new ideology of hate is described in the following section.
The Ideology of Hate
An ideology may be understood as any system of ideas underlying and informing social and political action. But an ideology is more than a common
belief system or definition of reality. Berger and Luckman (1966) argue that
an ideology is a definition of reality attached to a power interest. So, an ideology becomes a system of ideas that legitimates the subordination of one
group by another group. This form of collective memory emerges from the
dominant discourses operating within a culture. A variety of cultural ideologies are readily identifiable—race ideologies, gender ideologies, and rightwing and left-wing ideologies, to name but a few. Identities are used to advance ideologies and motivate the emergence and maintenance of hegemony,
a system of power structures that is established to maintain the power of the
privileged group. Hegemony is often perpetuated by communication and persuasion. An example of this form of persuasion may be seen in the Duisberg
group’s work (a group of German critical discourse analysts) that focuses on
“collective symbols” that are used to represent foreigners in media-produced
racism, or what has been termed “everyday racism,” in Germany (Reisigl &
Wodak, 2001). From their analysis of German newspapers, they report that
German alleged perpetrators of crime were singularized and individualized
but “foreign” alleged perpetrators were collectivized by the prioritization of
their ethnicity in newspaper reports (Reisigl & Wodak, 2001). Consequently,
minorities and foreigners often appeared to be more significant threats to the
social order than members of the majority.
Various hate groups see the Civil Rights Movement as a key moment in
American history when white people became the true minority in America
and in the world. They feel that they are oppressed by other social groups
and they view themselves as a counterinsurgent-hegemonic force that is determined to rearticulate racial and gender dynamics in America (Perry,
2001). They see the new hegemony as such a destabilizing force in social re-
The Communication of Hate
lations that a racial holy war (RAHOWA) is the only means by which America may, again, become a white America. Such conspiracies result in a persecution paranoia that permits these groups to identify enemies wherever they
perceive a threat to a white American identity. Arguably, this paranoia feeds
what Meyer (2001) called identity mania, a social condition in which differences between groups are politicized and the confirmation of one’s own
identity is the primary goal of social and group interactions.
As a counter-hegemonic force, hate groups have espoused an ideology of
hate that defines their own identity as the norm. Identities outside the norm
are, by virtue, different and inferior. Consequently, difference is seen in moralized terms (e.g., white = wholesome; non-white = alien) and reflective of a
“natural” social hierarchy where racial and ethnic identities are situated.
Thus, difference is understood to be a threat to the norm. Naturally, hate
speech and hate crimes become a way of “policing” difference to maintain
the natural social order (Johnson, 1997; Perry, 2001). Naturally, too, the
“American identity” becomes the battleground in the clash between hegemonic and counter-hegemonic forces.
Perry (2001) identified six principles that constitute the ideology of hate
(Christian Identity, White Supremacy, Xenophobia, Sexism/Heterosexism,
Anti-Statism, Racial Holy War [RAHOWA]). Those principles are discussed
below. However, in the present, these six principles constitute an incomplete
accounting of the hate ideology, due to the ways that hate groups have
morphed and changed over the past seven years. Consequently, we introduce
two additional concepts—Lone Wolf Terrorism and Neo-Paganism—that
provide a more complete accounting of the hate ideology.
Christian Identity
The racism and anti-statism in the hate movement is traced to the principle of
Christian Identity. This principle takes as dogma that the white race is the
true covenant race described in the Christian Bible. Just as white people are
understood to be the children of God, the racially aware white person also
understands that Jews are the children spawned from Eve’s mating with Satan (Jews are often depicted as serpents in racist literature and images) and
are an ongoing threat and the “natural” enemy of white people (God’s chosen). Thus, the struggle between Aryans and Jews is an earthly manifestation
of the ultimate conflict between God and Satan. Specific conspiratorial beliefs within the dogma of Christian Identity are all too familiar: Jews control
the banks and are financing a black revolution in America, Jews control the
Federal Government (the Zionist-Occupied Government) to oppress white
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
people, Jews are pornographers determined to perpetuate interracial mixing
in order to extinguish the white race (Waltman & Davis, 2004; 2005).
White Supremacy
The ideology of the hate movement is also grounded in the notion of white
supremacy. Racist Aryans understand their race to be responsible for building everything good in the world (e.g., Daniels, 1997). Race categories are
organized hierarchically to reflect differences that are inherent in the essences of the categories. These differences justify and underlie the hostility
that is expressed toward inferior groups. This hostility further fuels the drive
for racial purity. “Race-mixing” is treated as genocide and is understood to
be the goal of all non-whites. This genocidal threat vilifies the Other and
makes violence an acceptable and desirable response to the new hegemony.
The ideology of the hate movement is also grounded in Xenophobia—the
exaggerated hostility directed toward foreigners, especially non-white immigrants. Many hate groups are expanding the scope of their hate to immigrants. In their rhetoric, they use the term “alien” instead of illegal
immigrant, though one can imagine that the hate movement does not distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. Immigrants are understood to be
in America for two reasons: (a) to exploit the welfare system and (b) to take
jobs from real Americans. The contradiction inherent in these beliefs typically goes unaddressed by those who hate.
The ideology of the hate movement is also grounded in Sexism/
Heterosexism. Hate groups see natural distinctions between men and women,
much as they see natural distinctions between races and ethnicities. In general, women are essentialized as breeders and caretakers. However, women,
specifically the wombs of white women, are viewed as the frontline in the
genocidal threat to the white race. Good women are the key to protecting the
white American identity. Good white women raise children (to be racially
aware) and support white men. Bad white women work outside the home,
have priorities other than children, mix with men who are not white, and
have abortions.
Feminists are viewed as a threat to the white race because they have
deemphasized the traditional role of women. Violence against the Other is
justified because the purity of the white woman’s womb must be protected.
The Communication of Hate
Homosexuals reject the traditional relationship between men and women.
Consequently, such “gender traitors” represent a threat to the white race. Because homosexuality represents a voluntary rejection of traditional sex roles,
it is equated with “other perversions,” such as pedophilia. One of the more
vitriolic images reflecting these beliefs may be found on a Web Site maintained by Westboro Baptist Church,
html, that depicts Matthew Shepherd, a gay man murdered in Laramie,
Wyoming burning in hell. A previous version of this Web Site maintained a
count of the number of days that Matthew Shepherd had been burning in
The ideology of the hate movement is also grounded in Anti-Statism. The
ultimate threat to white America is the Zionist-Occupied Government
(ZOG). The New World Order, represented by advances in civil rights,
would make those of European descent minor players in American social and
political life. ZOG represents all elements of the State: the media, the Federal
Government, law enforcement agencies of all kinds, and the like.
Racial Holy War
The ideology of the hate movement is also grounded in the RAHOWA (RAcial HOly WAr) construct adopted by members of the Identity Church
Movement, racist skinheads, neo-Nazis, and Racist Pre-Christian Pagans.
This concept imbues the ideology of hate with apocalypticism and millennialism. For Christian Identity adherents, this belief flows rather naturally from
the Armageddon myth advanced by mainstream Christianity. Thus, it is only
logical, because Jews and other “mud races” are the literal offspring of Satan, that the final battle between good and evil should become manifest in a
Racial Holy War pitting Aryans (God’s children) against the Jews (Satan’s
offspring) and their minions (African Americans, Arabs, Latinos, etc.). Thus,
Christian Identity adherents are pre-millinealists; they believe that Christ will
return only after Christians have imposed Christian values and law on the entire earth. Christian Identity adherents argue that this inevitable Racial Holy
War is ultimately an act of Christian love, albeit a love of white Christians,
because it will facilitate the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven (Crothers,
Discursive Nature of Organized Hate Groups
Lone Wolf Terrorism and Neo-Paganism
From a more recent reading of Web Pages, Internet postings, and racist novels, we see two additional constructs that constitute the ideology of hate.
First, a complementary construct to RAHOWA has recently emerged in the
American hate culture: Lone Wolfism (Davis, 2005; Guttentag & DiPersio,
2003; Waltman & Davis, 2005). A Lone Wolf is a terrorist who follows the
principle of leaderless resistance. Rather than following the explicit orders of
the leadership of a specific hate group, lone wolf terrorists see a wrong (e.g.,
mixed-race couples, the oppression of ZOG) and take it upon themselves to
strike at the problem through violent action.
Lone Wolfism represents a conscious shift in the organization and operation of many hate groups. Leaders of hate groups are becoming the intellectual arm of the hate movement and they spread their ideas through Internet
sources. Potential Lone Wolves are encouraged to avoid membership and association with an organized hate group. Potential Lone Wolves are also
counseled to avoid making racist remarks or jokes in public or with anyone
but their closest associates. Potential Lone Wolves are told that their conscience will tell them when to “act.” Several physical and Internet texts tell
readers how to prepare themselves to be a Lone Wolf. Timothy McVeigh and
the other terrorists mentioned at the beginning of this chapter are examples
of Lone Wolf terrorists.
Second, Neo-Paganism is replacing Christian Identity as a religious doctrine among many of the younger members of the hate movement. The basic
beliefs of Neo-Paganism, or Odinism, have been described in our discussion
of the hate movement’s race religions. By way of summary, many younger
people in the hate movement are reconnecting with an ancient Norse polytheistic religion that they believe to be culturally and spiritually wed to the soul
of the Aryan people. They draw upon the ethos of these ancient warrior cultures to legitimize and encourage hate crime, hate murder, and ethnoviolence
against the enemies of the Aryan race (Waltman, in press-a).
This preceding discussion provides a description of the substance of the
hate movement. However, the ideology of the hate movement must also be
understood for its form as well as its substance. This ideology represents a
form of Fundamentalism. Fundamentalists intend to create among adherents
a closed system of thinking and action that “artificially excludes differences,
doubts, and alternatives.” (Meyer, 2001, p. 21) The fundamentalist form of
ideology results in the refusal to respect cultural differences in a fair, peaceful, and open-minded way. According to Meyer, Fundamentalism, across a
range of geopolitical perspectives, causes iden…

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