Sikh Shooting Puts White Power Music Under Scrutiny
The killings of six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin has thrust attention on white power music, a thrashing, punk-metal genre that sees the white race under siege.
It was a movement fully embraced by shooter Wade Michael Page.
With a shaved head and tattoos, Page played guitar and sang for a number of white power bands with names like End Apathy and Definite Hate, espousing views on albums such as “Violent Victory” and encouraging others to act through his Internet postings.
“Violence is part of this culture,” said Robert Futrell, professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and co-author of “American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement’s Hidden Spaces of Hate.”
Called “hate music” by detractors and “independent music” by advocates, it provides an outlet for white supremacists, some of whom openly preach violence against minorities while others offer more subtle messages of angst and alienation found in many forms of music.
“There is a set of ideas that suggests that a race war is going to happen,” Futrell said, in which whites will be pitted against all others and must fight to defend against their extinction.
“Part of preparing for the race war is stockpiling weapons,” he said. “It’s instructive to know that one of (Page’s) bands was called ‘End Apathy’ and part of this … is this push to activate people. So his action could be seen as an act that sparks or catalyzes action, that sparks or ends the apathy he was seeing.”
Former white supremacist Arno Michaels, the founder of Life After Hate, an online magazine that advocates for racial, religious and gender equality, said white power music was “an active practice of hate and violence.”