Official Blogs from the Anti-Defamation League » ADL Blogs
providing inside access to our work on topics ranging from anti-Semitism and extremism to anti-Israel activity and much more
September 9, 2016

Who’s Who in White Lives Matter

WLM protest at NAACP office in Houston, Texas

WLM protest at NAACP office in Houston, Texas

In late August, around 20 so-called “White Lives Matter” (WLM) activists attracted national attention after staging an armed protest in front of the Houston, Texas, offices of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

A WLM spokesperson claimed that the extremists were there to protest against the purported failure of the NAACP to speak out against alleged “atrocities” committed by the Black Lives Matter movement.

When white supremacists toting assault rifles show up in front of NAACP offices, that’s news.  The incident understandably caused concern.  But what is White Lives Matter?  Is it a group?  A movement?  Just a slogan?

The best way to describe WLM might be as a network—a small network of hardcore white supremacists with connections to a variety of hate groups.  These extremists started organizing events and activities under the banner of “White Lives Matter,” regardless of what group or groups they actually belonged to.

The white supremacist movement in the United States has a history of this type of organizing; in 2012-2014, various white supremacists around the country engaged in similar activities as part of the so-called “South Africa Project” and related “White Genocide Project,” designed to raise awareness of purported (but actually fictional) “genocides” of whites in South Africa, the United States, and elsewhere.  WLM follows squarely in this tradition.

Most such campaigns fade away after a year or two, but because WLM is in effect an active white supremacist protest against Black Lives Matter, it theoretically has the potential to last as long as that movement does.  It is important to stress that the Black Lives Matter movement and the WLM network are in no way equivalent or comparable, either in size or the nature of their beliefs and goals.

White Lives Matter Activities

WLM fliers for distribution

WLM fliers for distribution

“White Lives Matter” began as a transparent white supremacist slogan designed to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement, a protest movement that emerged in late 2014.  No single person came up with the slogan; by early 2015, numerous white racists were already using “white lives matter” as an on-line rallying cry.

It did not take long before some white supremacists began to take the concept out into the physical world, with the distribution of WLM fliers in neighborhoods in Connecticut in April 2015.  Most WLM activities since then have taken place in Connecticut, Texas or California, with a few scattered incidents elsewhere.

White supremacist posting WLM handbill

White supremacist posting WLM handbill

WLM matters activities have typically taken the form of on-line promotion of white supremacy using the “White Lives Matter” slogan, organizing WLM protests and rallies, distributing WLM fliers, handbills or stickers, and releasing red balloons into the sky “for Caucasian victims.”  The latter takes place on a very small scale and is usually caught on video to use on the Internet.

White Lives Matter: The Cast of Characters

Dozens of white supremacists around the country have taken part in one or more WLM activities since 2015, but the network is not very large.

In fact, a small handful of individuals are responsible for conducting or organizing most of the on-line and real-world WLM activities.  The first to become active, in the spring of 2015, were Ken Zrallack from Connecticut and his friend, Travis Golie, who has recently lived in Texas and Georgia.

By late 2015, the Aryan Renaissance Society (ARS), a longstanding white supremacist group based primarily in Texas, had also begun promoting WLM—to the irritation of the others.  In October 2015, Golie groused about ARS, which he described as a “brand new self proclaimed group” and a “silly gang,” claiming they stole WLM materials and put their own logo on them.  The materials appear to have been transmitted through Rebecca Barnette.  Barnette herself is disliked by some other WLM activists.  California WLM activist Mellissa Dennis described Barnette in September 2016 as “a bottom feeder who wants attention.” A WLM facebook page apparently run by Zrallack claimed that Barnette “has absolutely nothing to do with what we are doing.”

Key WLM activists include:

White supremacist Ken Zrallack

White supremacist Ken Zrallack

  • Ken Zrallack (aka Kevin Harris and other pseudonyms).  Zrallack, who more than any other person may lay claim to starting the WLM network, is a long-time hard-core white supremacist from Connecticut who in the early 2000s with his brother founded the Connecticut White Wolves, a racist skinhead group.  In the mid-2000s he was involved with another hate group, White Revolution; later, he helped form yet another white supremacist group known as Battalion 14. In 2010, Zrallack and two other men were arrested in an alleged conspiracy to sell grenades and guns to a police informant posing as a white supremacist.  While one of the trio was convicted, Zrallack and the other defendant were acquitted.
  • Travis Golie.  Golie, who has lived most recently in Texas and Georgia, is a key ally and partner to Zrallack in WLM.  Golie is the current head of the Nationalist Movement, a small but longstanding white supremacist group, which is probably one reason why some of the early WLM fliers sported the address of the Nationalist Movement website.  Golie served time in prison in Iowa for second degree robbery, which caused Ku Klux Klan members to protest at his prison in 2009 in support of him.  He was released from prison in 2012.
  • Rebecca Barnette.  Barnette, who has perhaps received more publicity than anyone else associated with WLM, has not necessarily played one of the most important roles.  Barnette has claimed that WLM was started by Zrallack and herself “and a few others.”  She was an early on-line promoter of WLM, but her one attempt at organizing a WLM rally, in Buffalo, New York, in July 2016, was an embarrassing failure, with only 1-3 people showing up—but not Barnette herself.  After this debacle, she lost standing with other WLM activists. Barnette is from Tennessee, where she has been very active with the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. She has also had ties of varying strengths to other white supremacist groups, such as the Aryan Renaissance Society.
  • Ken Reed.  Reed, a Texan (though he spent several years in Rhode Island as a mattress salesman), is probably the most active figure in the Texas contingent of WLM.  He is one of the leaders of the Aryan Renaissance Society (ARS), a longstanding white supremacist group that dates back to the 1990s, when it was a racist skinhead group known as Aryan Reich Skins. It has also used the names White Power Liberation Front and Aryan Liberation Front. Originally based in New Jersey, ARS’s center of activity later moved to Texas, where it became something of a prison clique.  More recently, it has given itself a neo-Nazi makeover.  What has remained constant throughout is its white supremacy.
  • Doug Chism  Chism is the leader or “president” of ARS,  of which he is a long time member, dating back to its Aryan Reich Skin days.  He spent much of his membership behind bars in Texas, serving time on various convictions until 2009.  He lives in the greater Houston, Texas, area. Chism, born in 1969, is one of the oldest of the WLM activists.
  • Horace Scott Lacy.  Lacy is another ARS member from the Houston area; like Chism, he is one of the oldest WLM activists, born in 1967. Before Lacy was involved with ARS, he was a member and “special assignments major” in the large and violent Texas-based white supremacist prison gang known as the Aryan Circle. He became an Aryan Circle member in the 1990s and was still a member as late as 2009. Lacy is a felon with an extensive criminal history dating back to 1985, including convictions for possession of a controlled substance, aggravated robbery, and multiple theft charges.  He was arrested in April 2016 on aggravated robbery charges.
  • Bill Hagan (aka William Quigg).  Hagan, who publicly goes by the pseudonym William Quigg, emerged as part of California’s white supremacist scene in 2015 as the “West Coast Grand Dragon” of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. In February 2016, Hagan and other white supremacists organized a “White Lives Do Matter” rally in Anaheim, California, an event that received considerable media attention after insufficient police crowd control allowed left-wing counterdemonstrators to attack the white supremacists, turning the event into a bloody brawl that resulted in numerous serious injuries and multiple arrests to and of people from both sides.  Hagan also got media attention for claiming to “endorse” Hillary Clinton for president, then later claiming that he had somehow raised $20,000 in donations for Clinton from members of his tiny group. Hagan also has close ties to the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and attends many of their events.
  • Melissa Dennis.  Dennis, another Californian living in Bakersfield, is a member of the Noble Breed Kindred, a small white supremacist group. Dennis has been one of the most active West Coast promoters of WLM, both on-line and in the physical world, where she has passed out fliers and released red balloons.  She also sells WLM t-shirts and other white supremacist paraphernalia. Like Zrallack, she has also promoted “Free Matt Hale” events.

whitelives-matter-4-from-vk

Selected White Lives Matters Incidents/Events

  • September 2016: WLM flier drops by Zrallack in Connecticut. WLM members in Texas claimed to have “hand delivered food aid to Whites effected [sic] by the flooding in Baton Rouge, LA.”
  • August 2016: WLM flier drops by Zrallack in Connecticut. WLM protest in front of NAACP office in Houston, Texas.
  • July 2016: WLM flier drops by Zrallack in Connecticut. Small WLM protest in Dallas, Texas, in front of Bank of America Tower.  Failed WLM protest in Buffalo, New York.
  • June 2016: WLM flier drops by Zrallack in Connecticut. WLM flier drops in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, apparently by Ken Reed.
  • May 2016: WLM flier drops by Zrallack in Connecticut.
  • March 2016: WLM /“Free Matt Hale” flier drops by Zrallack in Connecticut. Matt Hale is a white supremacist serving a 40-year federal prison sentence for soliciting the murder of a federal judge. Many WLM activists also are vocal Matt Hale supporters.
  • February 2016: WLM/“Free Matt Hale” flier drops by Zrallack in Connecticut. Small WLM protest in Anaheim, California.
  • January 2016: WLM supporters put up handbills, apparently in Bakersville, California.
  • December 2015: WLM flier drops in various locations.
  • October 2015: WLM red balloon releases (“for Caucasian victims”) in different locations.
  • September 2015: WLM red balloon releases in different locations, plus distribution of fliers and stickers in California and Connecticut.
  • August 2015: WLM red balloon releases in different locations. Flier drops in Connecticut.
  • May 2015: Flier drop in Westport, Connecticut.
  • April 2015: Flier drop in Milford, Connecticut.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

September 9, 2016

Anti-Semitic 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists Thrive 15 Years After Attacks

Fifteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC, anti-Semites continue to spread conspiracy theories blaming Jews and Israel for the events of that day. Anti-Semites Christopher Bollyn, Ken O’Keefe, and Kevin Barrett are three such conspiracy theorists who spread the theory that 9/11 was a “false flag” operation by Israel and the Jews to control world events and create wars for their benefit.

Christopher Bollyn

Christopher Bollyn

Christopher Bollyn was one of the earliest promoters of anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theories blaming Jews and Israel for the attacks. He first began writing about the attacks soon after they occurred as a reporter for American Free Press, the anti-Semitic conspiracy oriented newspaper.  Since that time, Bollyn has doubled down on his arguments and promoted the view that the 9/11 attacks were a false flag operation by Israel and Jews which led to the “War on Terror.” He is now in the midst of a 2016 speaking tour across the U.S. at which he promotes these themes.

On his website, Bollyn asserts, “The terror attacks of 9/11 were an Israeli false-flag operation that was designed to be blamed on Arab Muslims for the sake of kick-starting the long-planned Zionist stratagem known as the ‘War on Terror,’ which is really an Israeli war agenda to be fought by the U.S.” Bollyn is not the only anti-Semitic 9/11 “truther” who is speaking to audiences in this country.

Ex-Marine Ken O’Keefe is another virulent anti-Semite who conducted a similar tour this past spring that promoted conspiracy theories about 9/11 and Jews. He ostensibly gave the tour to talk about security issues, but he focused on vilifying Jews and Israel. During the tour O’Keefe appeared in a video on YouTube in which he answers an interviewer’s questions about 9/11.

Ken O'Keefe

Ken O’Keefe

In the video, O’Keefe blames Israel and “traitors” in the U.S. government for carrying out the 9/11 attacks. He argues that Jewish neo-conservatives planned a Pearl Harbor-type event so that they and Israel could dominate the world. He describes Jews as “psychopaths” who are trying to carry out a war of aggression that he claims will lead to World War III.

While Bollyn and O’Keefe get their message out through their tours and YouTube, Kevin Barrett, a former professor, has promoted his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories through his blog, online radio show, books and appearances on Press TV, Iran’s English language news network and propaganda machine.  He is also an editor at Veterans Today, an anti-Semitic website. But Barrett has gone beyond the 9/11 attacks to blame “Zionists” and for other events that he considers false flags, such as the terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino in 2015.

Kevin Barrett

Kevin Barrett

In an article on the Veterans Today site this month, Barrett writes, “The same forces that orchestrated 9/11 – namely, Operation Gladio B [refers to a supposed secret operation to carry out false flag acts and blame them on Muslim extremists] which is essentially a joint NATO-Israeli project – continue to inflict trauma on the American people with their ongoing false flag operations.”

Barrett, who has said he was influenced by Bollyn’s work, has edited a number of books that feature an array of conspiracists and anti-Semites who blame “Zionists” for various terrorist acts that were carried out by Muslim extremists.

The fact that anti-Semites are promoting the idea that Israel and Jews are responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks 15 years after the event is not surprising. In 2003, ADL released a report that predicted that an industry would grow around these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. In 2011, on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, ADL released another report that highlighted how anti-Semites are continue to promote these deceitful theories to further their agenda.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

September 7, 2016

Oregon Neo-Nazi Takes Anti-Semitic Message to the Highways

Jimmy Marr, a well-known neo-Nazi activist in Oregon, has taken to the highways to promote his anti-Semitic, white supremacist agenda. On July 17, 2016, Marr posted photographs on VNN Forum, a prominent neo-Nazi/ white supremacist social media site, showing off a truck adorned signs reading “Jew Lies Matter” and “Truth Dispels Darkness,” accompanied by a swastika. Marr recently began pairing this message with a “Blue Lives Matter” sign, because, as he explained in an August 2016 VNN post: “the Blue Lives/Jew Lies signage works well for me because it aligns my position with cops who might otherwise be unamused by my activism.” In September, Marr re-painted the back of the truck to read: “Trump: Do the White Thing.”

marr-truck-trump

jimmy-marr-truck

This provocative joyriding is just the latest episode in Marr’s long history of anti-Semitism and Neo-Nazi activism. Best known for sporting a kilt and playing bagpipes while leading racist and anti-Semitic protests around Oregon and the U.S., Marr has been an active Neo-Nazi since 2009.  He first made news when Oregon recalled his personal license plate, which read, “NO ZOG,” a reference to the “Zionist Occupied Government,” an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that claims the U.S. and other world governments are controlled by a Jewish/Israeli cabal.

Further notoriety came his way when he was a featured speaker at The Pacifica Forum, an independent group in Eugene formed by a retired professor at the University of Oregon (not affiliated with the university), which regularly  sponsored lectures by anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers.  In 2009, Marr gave a presentation to the group entitled “The National Socialist Movement: An Inside View of America’s Far-Right.”  During the meeting, according to a member of Eugene’s Anti-Hate Task Force, Marr expressed the view that white DNA is not being sufficiently protected. A year earlier, speaking at the same forum, Marr reportedly called Martin Luther King, Jr., a “moral leper and communist dupe,” and gave a Nazi salute.

jimmy-marr-nazi-salute

In 2011 and 2012, Marr marched with the National Socialist Movement in Nevada and California, and in 2012, Marr posted the following on the anti-Semitic Zion Crime Factory website:  “I embarked on a regimen of one man street demonstrations last month in which I did street performances on the bagpipes while wearing a sign that read ‘Anti-racism is a code word for anti-White.’” In 2013, he was one of several white supremacists who attempted to take control of the City of Leith, North Dakota, to create a home for whites. (Their doomed efforts were immortalized in the 2015 documentary film “Welcome to Leith”).

When Marr takes to the internet, his postings are, unsurprisingly, extremely anti-Semitic. In a 2012 Facebook post, he wrote:  “There once lived a people, far beyond hope whose daughters were whores.  Sons on dope with conscious decision, they watched Talmudvision, let their brains be washed with Jewish soap.”

Tags: , , , , ,