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Stormfront
Stormfront header logo.png
URL www.stormfront.org
Slogan "White Pride World Wide"
Commercial? No
Type of site Forum
Registration Required to post
Available language(s) English, Italian, Serbian, Portuguese, Spanish, Croatian, French, Gaelic, Dutch, Russian, Afrikaans, Norwegian, Hungarian
Owner Don Black
Created by Don Black
Launched 1995
Current status Active

Stormfront is a white nationalist and supremacist[1] neo-Nazi[2] Internet forum that has been described as the Internet's first major hate site.[3]

Stormfront began as an online bulletin board system in the early 1990s before being established as a website in 1995 by former Ku Klux Klan leader and white nationalist activist Don Black. It received national attention in the United States after being featured as the subject of a documentary, Hate.com. Stormfront has been the subject of controversy after being removed from French and German Google indexes, for targeting an online FOX News poll on racial segregation, and for having as one of its members a candidate for political office from a major political party. Its prominence has grown since the 1990s, attracting attention from watchdog organizations that oppose racism and antisemitism.

The website is structured as a theme-based discussion forum with numerous boards for topics including ideology, science, revisionism, homeschooling and self defense. Stormfront also hosts news stories, a merchandise store, content aimed at children and extensive links to racist organizations. The site has a logo featuring a Celtic cross common to neo-fascist iconography surrounded by the motto "White Pride World Wide".

Contents

History

White nationalist politician and activist David Duke, whose 1990 campaign for United States Senator in Louisiana was the impetus for the first iteration of Stormfront.

Early history

Stormfront began in 1990 as an online bulletin board for white nationalist activist David Duke's campaign for United States Senator of Louisiana.[4] The name "Stormfront" was chosen for its connotations of a political or militant front and an analogy with weather fronts that invokes the idea of a tumultuous storm ending in cleansing.[4] It was opened to the public in 1994, and the Stormfront.org website was founded in 1995, becoming the first website associated with white supremacy.[5][6] Until this point, attempts at using the Internet for the white pride movement met with limited success,[7] but Stormfront quickly began to become popular with the growth of the Internet at this time, according to owner Don Black.[4][8] A former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and in the 1970s a member of the National Socialist White People's Party (which had changed its name from the American Nazi Party in 1967),[9] Black first received computer training while imprisoned for his role in an abortive 1981 attempt to overthrow the government of Dominica.[10][11]

National attention

The site received considerable attention in the United States, such as in Hate.com, a 2000 CBS/HBO documentary television special which focused on the perceived threat of white nationalist and white supremacist organisations on the Internet.[12] Narrated by Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, it featured interviews with Black and his son Derek as well as other white nationalist groups and organisations, and was criticised by Black as conflating Stormfront with unrelated websites and individuals.[12] Carol M. Swain, assessing Hate.com and similar broadcasts of the period, found that the commentators "never seriously discuss the issues that have angered white nationalists", noting that Hate.com omitted any coverage of Stormfront's articles on crime, affirmative action and other social issues.[12] She characterised the documentaries' approach as "typical of media policy" in emphasising racial hate against minority groups and avoiding mention of racially motivated attacks on white people, thereby reinforcing "white nationalists' claim of a double standard".[12] Stormfront had previously been accused of citing crime statistics out of context in order to support claims of reverse discrimination in I Found It on the Internet, a 1999 book on internet content by Frances Jacobson Harris.[13]

Controversies

In 2002, search engine Google acted to remove Stormfront.org from their French and German indexes in order to comply with French and German legislation forbidding links to websites which host white supremacist, Holocaust-denying, historical revisionist or similar material.[14] Stormfront returned to the news in May 2003, when its members targeted an online poll on a racial issue. Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly reported on a racially segregated prom being held in Georgia and posted a poll on his website asking his viewers if they would send their own children to one. A link to the poll was posted on Stormfront and messages subsequently posted there implied that a mass of readers had duly voted in order to skew the poll in favor of segregation. O'Reilly reported this the following week and refused to read the final results due to this, citing Stormfront as the culprit by name and referring to it as a "Neo-Nazi organization".[15] In a prominent outing of one of its typically pseudonymous members, Doug Hanks withdrew from seeking the Republican Party nomination for one of four seats on the city council of Charlotte, North Carolina in August 2005 after it was revealed that he had posted on Stormfront. Hanks, a writer and actor from Connecticut, had posted more than 4,000 comments over the previous three years, including one in which he wrote, "Let's treat all the Blacks like the rabid beasts they are."[16] Hanks claimed that his postings were intended to gain the trust of Stormfront users in order to help him write a novel, saying "I did what I thought I needed to do to establish myself as a credible white nationalist."[16]

Popularity and later history

In a 2001 USA Today article, journalist Tara McKelvey called Stormfront "the most visited white supremacist site on the net".[17] The number of registered users on the site rose from 5,000 in January 2002 to 52,566 in June 2005,[18] by which year it was the 338th largest Internet forum, received more than 1,500 hits each weekday and ranked in the top one percent of Internet sites in terms of use.[19][20] By June 2008, the site was attracting more than 40,000 unique users each day.[21] Operating the site from its West Palm Beach, Florida headquarters is Black's full-time job, and he is assisted by his son and 40 moderators.[9][21][22] The popularity of the site attracted attention not only from racists, but also from groups such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), whose efforts against the site have been hitherto ineffective.[23] The ADL describes Stormfront as having "served as a veritable supermarket of online hate, stocking its shelves with many forms of anti-Semitism and racism".[24]

In 2006, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported a discussion on Stormfront in which white nationalists were encouraged to join the U.S. Military in order to learn the skills necessary for winning a race war.[25][26] The 2008 United States presidential candidacy of African-American Barack Obama was a cause of significant concern for some Stormfront members;[21] the site got 2,000 new members the day after Obama was elected as President, and went temporarily off-line due to the overwhelming amount of activity.[27] Stormfront posters saw Obama as representing a new multicultural era in the United States replacing "white rule", feared that he would support illegal immigration and affirmative action, and would help make white people a minority group.[21] During the primary campaigns, The New York Times mistakenly claimed that Stormfront had donated US$500 to Republican Party candidate Ron Paul; in fact, it was site owner Don Black who had contributed the money to Paul.[28] In an April 2009 shooting, Richard Poplawski, a poster on the site, was charged with ambushing and killing three Pittsburgh Police officers and attempting to kill nine others.[29]

Content

Stormfront is a resource for those courageous men and women fighting to preserve their White Western culture, ideals and freedom of speech and association—a forum for planning strategies and forming political and social groups to ensure victory.

—Stormfront mission statement.[30]

Stormfront is notable for the white supremacist views of its members,[1] a characterization that is contested by Don Black as an inaccurate description; Black believes the term "supremacy" implies a system which "isn't descriptive of what [the members] want".[4] It is also a Neo-Nazi website,[2] on which Nazi mysticism and the personality cult of Adolf Hitler are sustained and Nazi iconography is popular.[31] The Stormfront.org website is organized primarily as a discussion forum with multiple thematic sub-fora including "News", "Ideology and Philosophy" ("Foundations for White Nationalism"), "Culture and Customs", "Theology", "Quotations", "Revisionism", "Science, Technology and Race" ("Genetics, eugenics, racial science and related subjects"), "Privacy", "Self-Defense, Martial Arts, and Preparedness", "Homemaking", "Education and Homeschooling", "Youth", and "Music and Entertainment".[18][21] There are boards for different geographic regions, and a section open to unregistered guests, who are elsewhere unable to post.

Services

Stormfront's logo, featuring a Celtic cross surrounded by the motto "white pride, world wide".

Stormfront.org is comprehensive and frequently updated, hosting files from and links to a number of white nationalist and white racist websites,[6] an online dating service (for "heterosexual White Gentiles only"), and electronic mailing lists that allow the white nationalist community to discuss issues of interest.[23][32][33] It also features a selection of current news reports, an archive of past stories, live streaming of The Political Cesspool radio show,[34] and a merchandise store featuring literature and music.[30] Stormfront has published stories aimed at children.[31] A 2001 study of recruitment by extremist groups on the Internet noted that Stormfront came close to offering most of the standard services offered by web portals, including an internal search engine, web hosting, and categorized links, and lacking only in an Internet search engine and the provision of free email for its members (though a limited email service was available at the price of US$30 a month).[31]

Design

Black uses the techniques of propaganda to build a story attractive to web surfers. With careful marketing and design, Stormfront.org hides its nature from casual visitors. Prominently featured on the homepage is a Celtic cross surrounded by the words "white pride, world wide." A mission statement praises courage and freedom. According to Stormfront, they discourage racial slurs, and prohibit violent threats and descriptions of anything illegal.[18][31] However, others say that only blatant hate and calls for violence are kept off the opening page.[30][35]

Character

Purpose and appeal

Don Black has long worked to increase the mainstream appeal of white supremacism. His medium is Stormfront.org.[18] Black established the website to heighten awareness of perceived anti-white discrimination and government actions detrimental to white people,[12] and to create a virtual community of white extremists.[4][21][31][36] Black owns the site's servers so he need not depend on website hosting providers.[20]

Black's organization inculcates enough white pride to make "its worldwide aspirations meaningful and socially significant".[30] Stormfront keeps the rhetoric in its forums muted, discourages racial slurs, and prohibits violent threats and descriptions of anything illegal.[18][31] Site moderator Jamie Kelso is "the motivating force behind real community-building among Stormfront members" due to his energy and enthusiasm in organizing offline events.[37] Black's positioning the site as a community with the explicit purpose of "defending the white race" has helped sustain the community over its long lifetime, as it attracts white men who define themselves in opposition to ethnic minorities, particularly Jews.[18]

Stormfront established MartinLutherKing.org to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr. [38] In a 2001 study of white nationalist groups including Stormfront, academics Beverly Ray and George E. Marsh II commented that "Like the Nazis before them, they rely upon a blend of science, ignorance, and mythology to prop up their arguments".[31][39]

Ideology

Stormfront presents itself as engaged in a struggle for unity, identifying culture, speech and free association as its core concerns,[30] though members of Stormfront are especially passionate about racial purity.[37] It promotes a lone wolf mentality, linking to white nationalist theorist Louis Beam's influential work on leaderless resistance and offering a sympathetic assessment of Benjamin Nathaniel Smith, a white supremacist who committed suicide after a racially-motivated killing spree in June 1999.[31] Scholar Violet Jones notes that Stormfront credits its mission to the founding myth of an America "created, built, and ideologically grounded by the descendants of white Europeans."[40] Asked in 2008 by an interviewer for Italian newspaper la Repubblica whether Stormfront was a twenty-first century version of the Ku Klux Klan without the iconography, Black responded affirmatively, though he noted that he would never say so to an American journalist.[41]

Activism

In 2009, roughly two dozen white supremacists demonstrated outside the St. Clair County, Illinois courthouse in response to a recent school bus beating which some had claimed was racially motivated. The rally had been promoted and organized in part by Stormfront users. It lasted for roughly one hour before being broken up by police.[42]

References

  1. ^ a b Sources which consider Stormfront a white supremacist website include:
  2. ^ a b Sources which consider Stormfront a Neo-Nazi website include:
  3. ^ Sources which identify Stormfront as the Internet's "first hate site" include:
  4. ^ a b c d e Swain, Carol M.; Nieli, Russell (March 24, 2003). "Don Black". Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism in America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 153–65. ISBN 0521016932. http://books.google.com/books?id=RonIunZ521sC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Contemporary+Voices+of+White+Nationalism+in+America&sig=ACfU3U1-9hB5o-MpFkml7hWIqJj2CKYVKQ. 
  5. ^ Schultz, David (2000). It's Show Time!. Frankfurt Am Main: P. Lang. p. 236. ISBN 082044135X. 
  6. ^ a b Swain, Carol Miller (2002). The New White Nationalism in America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 30–32. ISBN 0521808863. "Stormfront has links to many dozens of other white nationalist and white racist websites, and many of these also feed into Stormfront." 
  7. ^ Kaplan, Jeffrey (1998). The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. p. 160. ISBN 0813525640. 
  8. ^ Etchingham, Julie (January 12, 2000). "Hate.com expands on the net". BBC News (BBC). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/600876.stm. Retrieved September 14, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b Schwab Abel, David (February 19, 1998). "The Racist Next Door". New Times. http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/1998-02-19/news/the-racist-next-door/. 
  10. ^ Lloyd, Robin (August 8, 1999). "Web Trackers Hunt Racist Groups Online". CNN (Turner Broadcasting System). http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9908/12/hate.online/. Retrieved September 14, 2007. 
  11. ^ McKelvey, Tara (August 16, 2001). "Father and Son Team on Hate Site". USA Today (Gannett Company). http://www.usatoday.com/life/2001-07-16-kid-hate-sites.htm#more. Retrieved January 29, 2008. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Swain, Carol (2002). The New White Nationalism in America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 230–232. ISBN 0521808863. 
  13. ^ Jacobson Harris, Frances (April 1, 2005). "The Deep End: Content". I Found It on the Internet: Coming of Age Online. Chicago: American Library Association. p. 99. ISBN 0838908985. http://books.google.com/books?id=tvz9fEQXIAMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=I+Found+It+on+the+Internet&sig=ACfU3U09tBN-eCtuKFu-3tvorbco0vcgyg#PPA1,M1. 
  14. ^ McCullagh, Declan (October 23, 2002). "Google excluding controversial sites". CNet News. http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-963132.html. Retrieved July 20, 2007. 
  15. ^ O'Reilly, Bill (May 8, 2003). "Circling the Wagons in Georgia". Talking Points (Fox News). http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,86338,00.html. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  16. ^ a b "Internet Postings End Politico's Shot". Columbia Daily Tribune. Associated Press. August 6, 2005. http://archive.columbiatribune.com/2005/aug/20050806news010.asp. Retrieved March 17, 2009. 
  17. ^ McKelvey, Tara (July 16, 2006). "Father and Son Team on Hate Site". USA Today (Gannett Company). http://www.usatoday.com/life/2001-07-16-kid-hate-sites.htm. Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f Daniels, Jessie (December 1, 2007). "Race, Civil Rights and Hate Speech in the Digital Era". in Everett, Anna. Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media. MIT Press. p. 133. ISBN 0262050919. http://books.google.com/books?q=Black+has+long+been+advocate+for+%27mainstreaming%27+the+white+supremacist+movement%2C+and+the+Internet+is+his+preferred+medium+for+doing+so.+His+first+and+primary+presence+is+Stormfront.org&ie=ISO-8859-1&vid=9780262550673&sourceid=ca-print-mitpress#PPA129,M1. Retrieved July 19, 2008. "Black has long been advocate for 'mainstreaming' the white supremacist movement, and the Internet is his preferred medium for doing so. His first and primary presence is Stormfront.org" 
  19. ^ Jessup, Michael (2007). "The Sword of Truth in a Sea of Lies: The Ideology of Hate". in Robert J. Priest, Alvaro L. Nieves. This Side of Heaven. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. p. 165. ISBN 019531056X. 
  20. ^ a b Cohen-Almagor, Raphael (November 1, 2005). "Conclusion". The Scope of Tolerance: Studies on the Costs of Free Expression and Freedom of the Press (1st ed.). Routledge. p. 254. ISBN 0415357586. http://books.google.com/books?id=W96CMNnRYv0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Scope+of+Tolerance:+Studies+on+the+costs+of+free+expression+and+freedom+of+the+press&sig=ACfU3U1KsUU2Y2QZeUvHq7B_Ywv7_eP2Uw. Retrieved July 21, 2008. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f Saslow, Eli (June 22, 2008). "Hate Groups' Newest Target". Washington Post (Washington Post Company). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/21/AR2008062101471.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved July 13, 2008. 
  22. ^ Phillips, Peter (April 9, 2001). Censored 2001: 25 Years of Censored News and the Top Censored Stories of the Year. New York: Seven Stories Press. p. 133. ISBN 158322064X. http://books.google.com/books?id=rIaJ_B2WQFQC&pg=PA16&dq=Censored+2001:+25+Years+of+Censored+News+and+the+Top+Censored+Stories+of+the+Year&sig=ACfU3U1qC-qzIYMcrpp6e8NITGHktaaKYg. "Today, the state is home to several of the most powerful white supremicists in the country, including Stormfront, an Internet-based hate group headquarted in West Palm Beach." 
  23. ^ a b Kaplan, Jeffrey (May 28, 2000). "Black Metal". Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press. p. 24. ISBN 0742503402. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=nNWbbhUYv8oC&dq=Encyclopedia+of+White+Power&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=qeqNoHqlWY&sig=nZQdJw_Ui60b9bxBpJXEZEaDcnc&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result. 
  24. ^ "Don Black: White Pride World Wide". Poisoning the Web: Hatred Online. Anti-Defamation League. http://www.adl.org/poisoning_web/black.asp. Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  25. ^ Holthouse, David (July 7, 2006). "A Few Bad Men". Southern Poverty Law Center. http://www.splcenter.org/intel/news/item.jsp?aid=66. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  26. ^ Kifner, John (July 7, 2006). "Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military, Group Asserts". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/07/washington/07recruit.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  27. ^ Sullivan, Eileen; Lara Jakes Jordan, Jerry Harkavy (November 13, 2008). "Obama threats more than previous presidents-elect". Yahoo News. Associated Press (Yahoo!). Archived from the original on November 14, 2008. http://www.webcitation.org/5cKwkrbTe. Retrieved November 15, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Corrections: For the Record". The New York Times Company. December 26, 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/26/pageoneplus/corrections.html. 
  29. ^ "Poplawski frequented right-wing Web sites". UPI.com. April 5, 2009. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/04/05/Poplawski-frequented-right-wing-Web-sites/UPI-66971238977599/. Retrieved April 6, 2009. 
  30. ^ a b c d e Bernardi, Daniel (2002). "Cyborgs in Cyberspace". in James Friedman. Reality Squared. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. pp. 163–167. ISBN 0813529891. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h Ray, Beverly; George E. Marsh II (February 2001). "Recruitment by Extremist Groups on the Internet". First Monday 6 (2). http://outreach.lib.uic.edu/www/issues/issue6_2/ray/. Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  32. ^ Nacos, Brigitte L. (November 2002). "E-Terrorism and the Web of Hate". Mass-Mediated Terrorism: The Central Role of the Media in Terrorism and Counterterrorism (2nd ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. p. 114. ISBN 0742510832. http://books.google.com/books?id=UPPT1owM8TIC&pg=PP1&dq=Mass-Mediated+Terrorism&sig=ACfU3U3XqjzxJMLlVVKNGt-aKwj25rQFvA. 
  33. ^ Kaplan, Jeffrey; Weinberg, Leonard (February 28, 1999). The Emergence of a Euro-American Radical Right. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. p. 161. ISBN 0813525640. http://books.google.com/books?id=hZJU6wJvJBIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Emergence+of+a+Euro-American+Radical+Right&sig=ACfU3U3odRAMaUCd_wBAoCQKFzTppH_4Tw. 
  34. ^ "Does MSNBC approve of Pat Buchanan's appearances on a "pro-White" radio show?". http://mediamatters.org/print/research/200808190010. Retrieved October 27, 2009. 
  35. ^ Lehman, Peter; Peter Lehman (2006-07-25). Pornography: Film And Culture. Rutgers University Press. p. 221. ISBN 0813538718. 
  36. ^ Pulera, Dominic J. (August 30, 2004). "White Wrongs". Sharing the Dream: White Males in Multicultural America. London: Continuum. pp. 304–305. ISBN 0826416438. http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&id=DL3qyFCCp_0C&dq=Sharing+the+Dream&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=isU3U8HvVU&sig=vs7fwu7TOrNk64UGm3hm_7C8kpw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result#PPA16,M1. "Jeffrey Kaplan, for one, describes Black's Web site as 'the cyberspace flagship of the racist right.' Indeed, Stormfront.org is the most popular racist site on the Internet" 
  37. ^ a b Tucker, Maria Luisa (June 5, 2007). "A Neo-Nazi Field Trip to the Met". Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/content/printVersion/209786. Retrieved December 27, 2008. 
  38. ^ Ibanga, Imaeyen (June 12, 2009). "Hate Groups Effectively Use Web as a Recruiting Tool", ABC News.
  39. ^ Hubbard, Lee (January 24, 2000). "Dissing the King". Salon.com. http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2000/01/24/mlk/index.html. Retrieved September 28, 2008. 
  40. ^ Jones, Violet (November 28, 2006). "Violence, Discourse and Dixieland: A Critical Reflection on an Incident Involving Violence Against Black Youth". in Rossatto, César; Allen, Ricky. L; Pryun, Mark. Reinventing Critical Pedagogy: Widening the Circle of Anti-Oppression Education. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. p. 39. ISBN 0742538885. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=tY_2Ob3_gRQC&pg=PA118&lpg=PA118&dq=Reinventing+Critical+Pedagogy:+Widening+the+Circle+of+Anti-Oppression+Education&source=web&ots=kQtiaSkugo&sig=jqs_iXWvejRB4o40T0EGO2xg7yQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result. 
  41. ^ Calabresi, Mario (October 29, 2008). ""Fermeremo Barack Obama siamo il nuovo Ku Klux Klan"". la Repubblica. Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso. http://www.repubblica.it/2008/10/sezioni/esteri/verso-elezioni-usa-5/nuovo-kkk/nuovo-kkk.html. Retrieved November 17, 2008. 
  42. ^ "Rallies held over Belleville West bus attack". http://www.kwqc.com/Global/story.asp?S=11204618. Retrieved September 27, 2009. 

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