Thursday, January 20, 2011

A former neo-Nazi fesses up: White-supremacist rhetoric was a foundation of sand

-- by Dave

If you want some insight into the culture behind the Spokane MLK Day parade bomb attack, read this fascinating bit of self-confession

I want to formally apologize for the image of hate that I helped bring upon this decent community. I could tell you I was ordered to do what I did and that I was young and dumb, manipulated and lied to, but it doesn't change the fact that it was still me. I wish I could take it back.

You don't have to forgive me and I don't blame you if you don't, but I need you, Coeur d'Alene, to know that I and so many before and after me are wrong. Hate is pointless, destructive to everyone involved, selfish, childish, and cowardly.

I'm sorry.

My name is Zach Beck and this is my story.

I was led to believe that without the white race, civilization as we know it would cease to exist. That the white race is the race of God and therefore it is the duty of the white race to bring forth His will, law, and word on Earth as it is in Heaven. That all non-whites are inferior to the white race and are subjected to our will, God's will. The proof of this? The Holy Bible. This is just a small piece of the foundation of the "white power" movement. I've spent the last 10 years eating, sleeping, talking, walking, thinking and believing this lie.

I was wrong.

I thought this was particularly noteworthy:

I grew up in California and Arizona playing an array of sports. While most kids tried to decide which party they wanted to go to that weekend, I was trying to decide between USC and UCLA. The first concert I attended was the Grateful Dead. My hair was long, my shirts were tie-dyed, and my friends were of every color and background. I dated girls of every race and lost my virginity to a black girl.

Two years later, he was a hardcore neo-Nazi and Aryan Brother. I remember seeing Beck in 2001 accompanying Richard Butler at the court hearings in Coeur d'Alene ordering the Aryan Nations compound be turned over, after the AN lost the property in a lawsuit over an assault by AN thugs. He was awfully baby-faced then, and I remember wondering how young guys like that got recruited into hate groups like the AN.

I also remember, incidentally, that Richard Butler periodically issued stern denunciations of violence as a tactic too.

The Zach Beck story is a reminder, perhaps, that young men can be extremely volatile at that age, especially when it comes to political ideology. People who know, say, a pot-smoking leftie in 2007 might be shocked at the wingnutty, paranoid young man they would encounter in 2011.

Just sayin'.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

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