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White Supremacist Military Veterans

 
 
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 12:25 pm
This is an honest question. Is there something about military service that would inspire someone to become a white supremacist? If so, is military command trying to remedy this?

It was revealed today that the army veteran behind yesterday's killings at the Sikh temple was a white supremacist.

One night in the 1970's I got together with my older brother and a group of his friends. One young man in the group had left the army after serving in Vietnam. He was telling us that we should prepare for race wars here in the United States. We never spent any time with him after that.
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 2,591 • Replies: 22
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 12:43 pm
@wandeljw,
I can only speak of my own experience in the service from 1970-'71 to 1974 and with conversations I've had with other vets. I didn't or don't perceive any trend towards it whatsover. I certainly didn't seek out any supremacists nor did I ever knowingly meet any.

However, I won't be so naive as to say that there couldn't be some sort of connection. I can see a potential correlation between a person whose psyche wants guns around him/her and enjoys militarism and the psyche of white supremacist. After all, it's not a stretch to say such persons hunger for power and control.

That isn't to say all militarists or gun lovers or even most ARE supremacists.

I do recall after the Manson killings, Manson's prediction and belief about imminent race wars was blabbed all over the media.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 03:03 pm
@Ragman,
I regret attempting to make a connection where none exists. Nevertheless, do white supremacist groups target their recruiting efforts to members of the armed services?
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 03:13 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

I regret attempting to make a connection where none exists. Nevertheless, do white supremacist groups target their recruiting efforts to members of the armed services?


Now that's a logical possibility. Supremacist groups would be looking for members with military experience or training. I agree, however, that in my own time in the US Army and the National Guard I saw no evidence of any particular racial bias that would differ either in kind or severity from that generally exhibited in the general populace.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 03:13 pm
@wandeljw,
I wouldn't go so far as to say there is no connection. Career military personnel do tend to lean to the political right. Those veterans who can't seem to outgrow their few years in the service seem inclined to the very far right. I'm speaking of tendencies, you understand, not a direct connection.

Disclaimer: I did five years in the US Army, without ever having served in any sort of combat area. I'm fairly conservative on most issues.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 03:14 pm
I don't have any special knowledge of veterans as white supremacists. I suppose it's pretty much like society in general, where racism is concerned. The degree of fanatacism needed to go berserk can exist anywhere, I think.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 03:51 pm
The military is pretty racially diverse so I would expect that most service members would have served beside someone of a different race. Hopefully that would make things better, not worse.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 04:29 pm
My wife and I did 32 years between the two of us in the service - her 12 in the Marines, my 20 in the Army. We've talked about racism in the military, and what we agreed on was that what people already are seems to get enhanced by the peculiar phenomena we call military service. If they were rabid racists with fear and loathing of others based on how they look, for some reason their perversions just get worse. If they already have the beginnings of generous, strong characters, serving seems to bring that to the surface.

There are exceptions of course - those who have their eyes opened by serving with people different than them and grow up a little bit. but in my opinion people just become more pronounced versions of what they already were.
Lustig Andrei
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 04:36 pm
@snood,
Fine post, Snood.

I was going to say something similar. For a number of people military service is the first time that they've actually had to sleep and eat and work with people who are markedly different from what they're used to "back home." This applies not only to what we call "race" but cultural background and socio-economic background as well. For some it can be a real eye-opener, making them better people in every way. For a deluded few, the first-hand experience only anhances their existing prejudices.
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 07:35 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
nodding
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2012 07:38 pm
@wandeljw,
I didnt think you were trying to make a conmnection. These sort of events make a person curious.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 12:12 pm
There was an interesting article in yesterday's Guardian. It seems in this case it was more to do with Fort Bragg than the 'military' in general.

Quote:
But at the time Fort Bragg was also a recruiting centre for white hate groups including the National Alliance, once regarded as one of the most effective such groups and also among the most extreme because it openly glorified Adolf Hitler. The Military Law Review at the time reported that National Alliance flags were openly hung in barracks and, out of uniform, soldiers sported neo-Nazi symbols and played records about killing blacks and Jews.

"White supremacists have a natural attraction to the army," the Military Law Review said. "They often see themselves as warriors, superbly fit and well-trained in survivalist techniques and weapons and poised for the ultimate conflict with various races."In 1995, two soldiers with the 82nd Airborne murdered a black couple in Fayetteville, the city neighbouring Fort Bragg, in a racially motivated attack.

Others serving at the base during the 1990s were arrested for hoarding ammunition in preparation for an attack on businesses, including media organisations, owned by African Americans and Jews. Soldiers were also arrested as members of skinhead gangs involved in assaults.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/07/wade-michael-page-wisconsin-shooting?INTCMP=SRCH
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 12:53 pm
@izzythepush,
I live about 70 min drive from where that happened.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 01:19 pm
I believe what one finds in the military is also found in the general civilian population.

I spent four years in the USAF back in the late fifties, and spent my social time with mostly whites. It was probably out of necessity, because I was the only Asian in our squadron in the three bases I was stationed. I was treated well from my fellow airmen and officers.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 02:24 pm
@snood,
Oh ******* hell mate, I bet that doesn't give you a restful night's sleep.

Although, in our terms, somewhere that takes more than an hour to get to isn't seen as being that close, but we're very densely populated.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 03:54 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

Oh ******* hell mate, I bet that doesn't give you a restful night's sleep.

Although, in our terms, somewhere that takes more than an hour to get to isn't seen as being that close, but we're very densely populated.


Yeah, it seems close - just a fast highway's trip away. And Fayetteville's my hometown. And I was born at Fort Bragg. It doesn't lose me any sleep Izzy, but it does add perspective to things...
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 04:11 pm
@snood,
Listening, Snood and Izzy, and thanks, Izzy for the link. I read the Guardian, but miss stuff. I've family and friends earlier in the military but none that I remember at Ft. Bragg - not that the whole place is suspect, surely not.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 04:16 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Listening, Snood and Izzy, and thanks, Izzy for the link. I read the Guardian, but miss stuff. I've family and friends earlier in the military but none that I remember at Ft. Bragg - not that the whole place is suspect, surely not.


Not at all. Some of the best soldiers who ever lived came out of Ft Bragg, and Fayetteville is a nice town to grow up in.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 05:13 pm
@izzythepush,
You think 100 miles is a long ways; we think 100 years is old.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 05:58 pm
@roger,
That, in a nutshell, is the difference between Europeans and Americans, roger.
 

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