As was noticed at Winter of Dissent, there's a bit of growing problem here in Bozeman, America. The white supremacists have settled in for a long winter's nap. So, I'll answer the call to arms, and at least recount the recent events. A warning, though; some of the links in this post will be to the websites of the white supremacist organizations mentioned. If you find me repugnant for sending them traffic, then I would like to point out that throwing a curtain over the ugliness, doesn't make it go away, as I will point out again later in this piece.
Earlier this year, members of the National Alliance distributed flyers around Bozeman and Great Falls that pronounced "Missing ...A Future For White Children". The flyers gave a quick view into the groups beliefs and a membership form. Later, around Thanksgiving, another distribution of flyers was perpetrated in the Bozeman areas (Bozeman, Belgrade and Manhattan), as well as other places in Montana. I write perpetrated, because this was a stealth effort. Flyers were left on doorsteps in the night, weighted with rocks and baggies of sand. This time, there was a reaction from the communities.
On December 14th, the Gallatin Valley Human Rights Task Force appeared before the Bozeman City Commission, asking them to condemn the flyer drops. Make no mistake, that Comical article is dreadful, with several incorrect attributions and facts. For instance, the man who was threatened by the Mayor with forcible ejection for disrupting the proceedings was not attempting to shout down the woman speaking. He was yelling at the mayor to pay attention to the speaker. Yup, quality mayor we got here, but that's a post for another time. Also, the local representative of the National Alliance who addressed the commission is not "Kevin McGuyer", but Kevin McGuire. And apparently, he wasn't very impressed with the accuracy of the Chronicle's writing either.
To bring this story up to the now, the City Commission met last night, with this community condemnation of racist flyering on the agenda. However, it appears that taxes took center stage, and if anything proceeded on this issue, the local paper isn't reporting it.
So, besides completely up in the air, where does that leave things? Very good question. Within the white supremacist community, Mr. McGuire is something of a hero. The National Vanguard, news magazine for the "white rule" folk, has this write up by Kevin himself. Due to the efforts of Kevin and his compatriots, it seems that the white supremacist movement has taken quite the interest in Montana, and Bozeman especially. Yes, I know that these folks have always taken an interest in this state, but I think we sometimes need a wake up call as to how deeply committed to fostering their agenda here that these folks really are. According to McGuire, there are at least 25 members of the National Alliance, right here in Bozeman. But they do have a strong communication network, and the efforts of the Bozeman group are being applauded on the forums of Stormfront.Org. Rather than shy away from those forum responses, I urge you to read them. They offer an intriguing view into the minds of the these people, and even offer a few gems of wisdom:
Actually it is the very best strategy for us. What the ADL, politicians, and various Human Rights Task Force groups fail to understand is publicly condemning our views by holding meetings, and passing resolutions of no substance and no authority simply formalize us as a potential mighty force in the mind of the masses.
The ADL tried the same game here and once it hit the news I had almost more positive contacts and potential recruits then I knew how to deal with.
Kevin called their bluff, made them look like fools, and will no doubt have increased any effort he made previously 10 times fold.
This is why I feel it inappropriate to hide these folks under a blanket. They believe in what they're doing, they aren't going away and there are those who haven't spoken up who agree with them. Furthermore, we damage our own position of righteousness when we attempt to silence or condemn them.
These organizations feed and grow off of victimization, and reactionary steps only feed that, especially if we get silly about the reaction. Look at this quote from the BC article:
"I'm very pleased that he showed up because I think it makes it very clear that the organization has moved to Bozeman and wants to stay here," Stacey Haugland said.
And the best strategy from keeping it from establishing a presence in the city is to condemn it while it's sill trying to get a foothold, she said.
Stacy, what part of "they're here" don't you understand? They have a presence, and condemning that simply justifies it. They're not trying to get a foothold; they have one or this wouldn't be happening. The trick now, is to deal with them. When I was much younger, I took a spontaneous trip through Clark Fork, Idaho. There was a sign at the edge of town that read "Welcome to Clark Fork. Nigger go Home." If we erect a sign at the edge of Bozeman that says "National Alliance Go Home", we've simply justified the very feelings of need that these people think they can assuage. Nope, they're a part of the community, albeit a very small and annoying part. Official condemnations won't work, threats of violence won't work, and telling them that they smell and we don't want them in OUR place simply ... won't ... work.
As with many things, I think the only missing element is a bit of education. These people aren't Dangerous because they spew "hate speech". They're dangerous because they believe a war is coming, between whites and those of muddy background, and they will do what it takes to win. Don't feed the maw of opposition and you starve the idea of war. The Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center figured this out quite some time ago, and have actively pursued removing these peoples resources with which a war can be waged. It does no good to wave your finger and tell them "you ... you ... you're bad you ... person!!1!". Remove their resources. Let them put flyers on every signpost in this town. Good for Kinko's, bad for their pocketbooks. Let them rant and rail at any city commission meeting they choose ... as long as any prospective recruit understands that they are called on to die for the cause (hint ... they won't get many). Read the Turner Diaries (written by the founder of the National Alliance). Know what you're up against before you arrogantly assume that a small city commission in a small western town, in a small population western state will deal these folks a death blow with a pronouncement of "bad racist ... bad".
I read the Turner Diaries while I was married to my second wife. I discussed the book briefly with my ex-father-in-law. It scared me, and it scared him, for the exact opposite reasons. It scared him because he really believes that the Jewish controlled Clintonistas are going to send the Black apemen battalions to collect his guns in the middle of a dark and stormy night, and that FEMA will try and ship him to a camp in North Dakota. It scared me because there are people who actually buy into this line of completely impossible bullshit. Needless to say, our discussion about the book didn't last long. But I took away the lasting truth that there are people who are irrationally sympathetic to the victimization complex of the white supremacists. Don't aid and abet the enemy by proving them right on the least significant point they can muster.
In one of my favorite movies, Yul Brenner as Pharaoh Ramses says of his opponent Moses, "Let him rave that men shall know him mad". Okay, so, Moses had God on his side, but these folks don't. To that quote I say "So let it be written; So let it be done".