2008-08-10

Aryan Nation for Barack?

White supremacists say an Obama win may offer them a boost

AUGUST 10, 2008

They're not exactly rooting for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., but prominent white supremacists anticipate a boost to their cause if he becomes president. His election, they say, would trigger a backlash -- whites rising up, a revolution of sorts -- that they think is long overdue.
He'd be a "visual aid," says former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in trying to bring others around to the group's view that whites have lost control of America. Obama's election, says another, would jar whites into action, writing letters and handing out pamphlets rather than sitting around complaining.
While most Americans have little or no direct contact with white supremacists, organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center keep close tabs. The law center estimates some 200,000 people nationwide are active in such groups. These observers think the prospect of a white revolution is fantasy.
White supremacists -- many call themselves nationalists or White activists, with a capital W -- have had limited political success: Duke served in the Louisiana Legislature. And the public has periodically been unsettled by their events, such as the effort by uniformed Nazis to march through Skokie, Ill., the annual Aryan Nations meetings in Idaho and elsewhere or the FBI's clashes with armed white supremacists in several Western compounds.