As an American black, I am growing more alarmed and even ashamed
of the way that the "guardians" of my civil rights are using
the excuse of protecting me and other "minorities," in order
to trample on the rights of white Americans.
On Nov. 9, 2000, Alex Curtis was arrested in San Diego, California.
that date, 25-year-old Curtis, a self-described white nationalist,
set foot outside his cell, except to attend court hearings and limited
visits with his attorney and parents. Curtis's parents (his father
engineer, his mother a schoolteacher) have willingly offered to put
value of the family business and their home, so their son can be released
from jail to await his trial. All of their pleas have been rejected.
The state, whose charges against Curtis are still vague and tend
somewhere along the lines of "conspiracy to violate civil rights,"
"conspiracy to commit civil rights violations," has decided
amount of bail should be accepted to free this young man. In reading
prosecution's case against him, it appears that Curtis has been
incarcerated more for what it is expected he might do than for anything
What he has allegedly done is this: distributed "racist"
spray-painted graffiti on a synagogue, shoved a fake, plastic snakeskin
through the mail slot of a public official, and vociferously verbalized
his disdain for that same official--actions described as "harassment."
What he has certainly done is maintain a white nationalist website
was derogatory towards ethnics and racial minorities and publish a
newsletter expressing similar sentiments. He has exercised his right
dissent from the popular orthodoxy on race, especially denouncing
enormous influx of immigrants into California, while making these
known to others.
Curtis is not charged with physically harming anyone, and the
Star-Telegram newspaper reports, "No direct acts of violence
in the indictment." For this reason, it is important to the prosecution
that a case be built against Curtis to convince a jury that he has
in the words of an FBI agent, "conspired to commit highly disruptive,
life-threatening crimes." Although the FBI claims to have taped
conversations between Curtis and a friend, a spokesman is quoted in
San Diego Union-Tribune admitting, "Curtis's statements are general
nature and not specific."
This, however, is not slowing down the prosecution, which is being
on by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the B'nai B'rith
Anti-Defamation League, and is expected to demand the minimum "hate
sentence of 10 years of prison punishment for Curtis's impertinent
behavior and beliefs. The brazen, irreverent Curtis is denied bail
what in a saner political climate, would be deemed nothing more than
fraternity capers or Halloween pranks. What happened to 30 days in
county jail? Ten years for "harassment" and conspiring to
The ADL has described Curtis as a "rising star in the racist
and has expressed concern over the popularity, although limited to
circle, of his website and newsletter. Spokesmen for this self-styled
human rights group staunchly justify Curtis's arrest on the basis
potential to be a future "danger." Is it now acceptable
to arrest American
citizens on the basis of nipping future trouble in the bud? Do we
and deny freedom to nonconformists for what we think will be their
The story grows worse as we learn of other young white men who are
incarcerated on similar charges or have received long, harsh prison
sentences for minor crimes. For example, in Houston, last June,
21-year-old Matthew Marshall and four friends decided to end a night's
drunken revelry by burning a cross on the lawn of a black family.
was harmed by this foolish gambit and no property damaged. In fact,
family of Dwayne Ross, asleep throughout the escapade, did not know
occurrence until the next morning, when they viewed the remains of
wood. All five white men were arrested and charged with "violating
rights," for which Marshall has been sentenced to 10 years in
One recalls how, in the James Byrd dragging case in the same state
Texas, the court refused to allow Byrd's past criminal record to be
entered into testimony In this case, however, not only did Judge David
Hittner allow the prosecution to bring in instances of Marshall's
juvenile, albeit non-criminal antics, Hittner admitted to being influenced
by an overheard off-hand remark, that included a racial slur, supposedly
spoken during a pre-trial hearing by Marshall's angry father. As reported
by the Associated Press, the 10-year prison sentence was deserved,
explained Hittner, because the "seeds" of the young Marshall's
"were sown at home."
In December 1999, in Riverside, California, a black woman, Tyisha
while sitting in her car, was tragically shot to death by several
policemen--for no reason that makes any sense to this day. The police
officers who did the killing were fired but not prosecuted. Needless
say, the Riverside police have been fighting the stigma of racism,
local media and community groups have kept alive the issue of police
excesses. The charge of "systemic racism" now dogs the department.
Since the mindless shooting of Miller, many white residents have
the police with the overzealous apprehension of young white men. The
rationale of the police seems to be that their own exoneration from
taint of racism can best be attained by coming down hard on other
Woe to those whites who happen to find themselves in the wrong place
the wrong time, as, apparently, did several young whites, earlier
year, who are members of a group called "Western Hammerskins."
trouble began when a fight broke out at a bonfire party, and a black
Randy Bowen, was chased and assaulted The whites who were responsible
the assault, all in their 20s, were quickly caught and arrested. Charged
with a "hate crime," the six face stiff sentences. Although
three of the
men were identified by witnesses as the actual perpetrators of the
assault, the other three appear to have only been onlookers. (Bowen's
injuries were not life-threatening and he recovered.)
In a rare, open journalistic moment, the Press-Enterprise newspaper,
reported the frustration and anger expressed by the parents and friends
the arrested men. Said the mother of Travis Miskam about the relationship
between her son and the assaulted man, "These boys have been
other's throats ever since middle school. That fight would have happened
even if Bowen was white."
And the father of Gregory McDaniel expressed the sentiment of many,
claiming, "Our children are being used by the district attorney's
to pacify blacks and other groups after the Tyisha Miller shooting.
that simple. I don't know how anybody could look at this case and
Jason McCully's father pointed to the current anxieties among the
about their department's image. "There's a lot of pressure being
Riverside right now by the state and civil rights groups. The easiest
thing for them to do is sacrifice our boys and say, 'Look, see how
tolerant we are here.'"
Deputy District Attorney John Ruiz dismissed the parents' comments
called the assault "one of the most shameful incidents this county
seen in a long time." He expressed horror over a T-shirt imprinted
racial insult that was found during a sweep of the accused Miskam's
bedroom. Ruiz intoned, "That's why this is an important case."
Does the offending T-shirt make this case important for the same
that Alex Curtis's case is treated in such a critical manner? In dozens
cases like these, the defendants' homes have been ransacked and
"objectionable" literature, videos, and other materials
have been removed
and held as "evidence" of the defendant's wicked state of
mind. In the
two-year period before Curtis was arrested, his home was twice invaded
the local police, who confiscated his computer and his writings. From
emphasis placed on the thoughts and mental outlook of these young
whether expressed in a newsletter, on a website or on a T-shirt, it
appear that it is their offensive ideas that condemn them in the eyes
the state and the bullying lobby groups that have power to impact
Curtis, facing a possible 10-year prison sentence for tasteless mischief
making, is learning the hard way what life is like in a
post-constitutional United States, where orthodox ideologies make
behaviors more "incorrect" than others, and where simple
can be ratcheted up into felony crimes.
Take a look at the case of Sara Jane Olson (formerly Kathleen Soliah).
Olson, a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, was a fugitive
on the run from the law since 1976, until her arrest in June 1999
Olson was indicted in absentia, along with other SLA members, for
pipe bombs under police cars. Today, she faces one count of "conspiracy
commit murder" and two counts of "attempted explosion of
device with intent to murder."
A month after Olson's capture, this woman, who has already demonstrated
her propensity to run from the law and is charged by the state with
serious felonies, was released on bail and is subject to an electronic
monitoring system. In contrast, the approximate $250,000 which is
value of savings, business and home offered by the parents of Alex
as bail, is rejected at each court hearing. Also, his lawyer's plea
Curtis be put under house arrest and be subjected to a similar electronic
monitor, goes unheeded.
While Olson and her many fans and supporters are successfully raising
money through a defense fund set up in her behalf, anyone who might
contribute money to the defense of Curtis will have to face the
possibility of being targeted in the future as a fellow travelera
In a society where citizens are thoroughly conditioned to be intolerant
even a vague approximation of "white consciousness," Alex
rightwing views are held as more contemptible than those of the leftist
Olson, who, although charged with the commission of particular felony
crimes and implicated in others, is still accorded greater due process
Is there much chance that at some point we will begin to witness
protests against this lop-sided justice? Not likely, since the typical
white American tends to shy away from outspokenness, especially on
subject of race. With social ostracism as the paramount fear, most
seem satisfied to live within the safety of self-imposed censorship.
this reality, the rare white who dares to indicate displeasure with
status quo, or unexpectedly erupts in anger, as did baseball player
Rocker, can expect little support from fellow whites and a whole lot
trouble directed his way from a state that is determined to enforce
conformity and compliance.
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