[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Not-so-uplifting news, from Cincinatti's WLWT:
Two local attacks with one word common to both -- skinheads. Skinheads manufacture fear as if it was a craft, mixing intimidation and violence. What makes all this even more unsettling is that they’re doing it right here in the Tri-State.Not all of them are violent skinheads. Out on the other side of the country, in San Diego, they're trying to pose as normal white folks:
The most recent attack occurred in Covington in August. A resident who asked to remain unidentified said, “I’ve never felt like I’ve had to worry about my safety around here until recently.”
The Covington community around MainStrasse has several gay bars and very little trouble. That’s why people there were surprised when a man tattooed with Nazi swastikas, along with a couple of his friends, was charged with beating two women outside of a gay bar. Police said the attackers shouted anti-gay slurs in the process of knocking the women to the ground and hitting them.
Devlin Burke is the tattooed man accused of leading the attack. He’s also charged with cutting a bystander who saw the attack and stopped to help the victims, sending that man to the hospital.
The former Army Ranger and small-business owner is wearing a plaid ivy cap over a shaved head. His T-shirt advertises “American Third Position: Liberty, Sovereignty, Identity.”This kind of mainstreaming has also been popular with Patriot/militia types as well.
Though he asked CityBeat to withhold his surname, Damon is open about his views. He believes the government doesn’t represent the common man, that immigrants are a threat to public safety and employment (particularly in San Diego County, where he grew up) and that white Americans must become conscious of their race. He doesn’t censor himself when a server walks by, and he pays no mind to the customers a few tables over.
That’s the point of American Third Position—it’s white nationalism packaged for a mainstream audience.
Damon wasn’t always so tempered with his rhetoric. He was involved with neo-Nazi groups in the past—he has protested, pamphleteered and brawled. “In my youth, like I think a lot of people are, I was just at odds with the world, and you get a little angry and you move with that because it’s kinda all you know,” he says. “As I got older and a little wiser, I saw that what I was doing wasn’t really reaching the regular white guy on the street.”
Damon first came to CityBeat’s attention through the Stormfront.org message board, the central online forum for the full spectrum of white nationalists, from Minutemen to skinheads. Damon participates under the username Cycoville. On his user profile, he identifies himself as “1/2 IRISH 1/2 SCOTTISH 100% CELTIC WARRIOR” and describes where lives as an “island of WHITE in a sea of mud.”
In May, Stormfront members from San Diego, including Damon, formed their own online “social group” to organize barbecues, hikes and a day trip to the Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering in Vista. But when one local neo-Nazi tried to use the forum to recruit members for protests against LGBT events—including “Out in Petco Park” on July 1 and San Diego Pride on July 17—Damon was quick to smack down the idea.
“If we want this movement to grow and work, we need to awaken the slumbering White Nationalists, the regular folks, and that doesn’t happen when we go and yell ni99er and fa66ot,” Damon responded on the site. “Makes us look like a bunch of ignorant a$$holes, and who want’s [sic] to be an A## Hole? I sure don’t.”
Damon told the user to be patient; San Diego’s white nationalists have something in the works—American Third Position or A3P.
It's all camouflage for the same old hate. But with the Tea Parties and right-wing pundits making overt racism fashionable again, it's not any surprise they're coming out of the woodwork again.