Wisconsin shooting: how racist bands recruit for white supremacists (+video)
The suspect in the Wisconsin shooting rampage was a member of a racist rock band, part of an underground music scene that is a powerful recruitment arm of the white supremacist movement.
The suspect in the shooting rampage that killed six people at a Sikh temple south of Milwaukee Sunday was involved in an underground music scene that doubles as the recruitment arm of the white supremacist movement.Skip to next paragraph
Wade Michael Page of Cudahy, Wis., was the guitarist and founder of End Apathy, a hard-core punk band that espoused white power sentiments in its music. The band is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of a dozen bands that have been involved with national white supremacist organizations over the past few years.
In an April 2010 interview posted on the website of Label 56, the group’s record label, Mr. Page said the topics of his songs “vary from sociological issues, religion, and how the value of human life has been degraded by being submissive to tyranny and hypocrisy that we are subjugated to.” Page also said he played in the bands Definite Hate and 13 Knots, both of which are associated with the white supremacist movement.
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Police outside the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., killed Page, a five-year military veteran who was never deployed, after officials say he killed six people with a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun. Police officials and the FBI have not yet issued a motive for the shooting, although they say they are looking into Page’s ties to white supremacist groups. The FBI’s investigation will determine whether the incident is classified as one of domestic terrorism.
Label 56 sought to distance itself from Page and his band Monday afternoon by releasing a statement saying it was “very sorry to hear about the tragedy” and that it was removing all images and products related to End Apathy from its website so it would not profit “financially or with publicity.”
“Please do not take what Wade did as honorable or respectable and please do not think we are all like that,” the statement concludes.
The Label 56 website promotes many events and causes linked to white supremacy, including videos for Merlin Miller, a 2012 presidential candidate for the American Third Position Party, an organization that promotes white supremacy, and information for the annual European American Heritage Celebration, held next month in Moosic, Pa.