Lately, those wacky kids at Stormfront (often referred to lovingly by we FDBers as Scumfront) have been getting up to a bit of mischief. It’s incite violence this, and plot terrorist acts that with those silly boys.
Stormfront… Gee whiz! It’s detractors say it’s full of neo-nazis and white supremacists, often discussing illegal activities. Fox News says it’s a place for whites to talk about underwater basket weaving and other wholesome activities.
We sent our correspondent Raz out into the internet to see what the deal was with the owner of Stormfront, Don Black…
Don Black – born 28 July 1953
Black was born and raised in Athens, Alabama, first coming into contact with the white nationalist movement at age 15, when he joined the White Youth Alliance – an organisation founded by David Duke. He caused controversy by handing out racist literature at his school, which caused the school to ban the distribution of political pamphlets.
In 1970, his senior year of high school, Black went to Savannah, Georgia, to work on the campaign of J.B. Stoner, a wacko running for governor of Georgia (He once described Hitler as having been “too moderate.”) During this time, a bloke called Jerry Ray (the brother of the guy that killed Martin Luther King) who also worked for Stoner, popped a cap in Black’s chest after Black admitted to having broken into Stoner’s offices on American Nazi Party orders (Stoner and the ANP were not friends at the time). He recovered and returned to finish his education at a private school in Huntsville.
Black joined the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK hereafter) in 1975, one year after David Duke took over the organization. He moved to Birmingham to become the group’s organizer for the state of Alabama. Duke resigned in 1978, after he was accused of trying to sell his group’s membership list, and Don Black became Grand Wizard, or national director, of the KKK.
He unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Birmingham in 1979.
The Dominican Job – Operation Red Dog
You know how sometimes you’re sitting around, sinking a few cold ones with your mates, and you come up with an idea that you think is pretty good… but isn’t so good the next morning?
We’re talking chocolate nacho pasta. We’re talking meat pie floaters. We’re talking the invasion of Dominica.
Operation Red Dog was the classy code name of a planned invasion of Dominica by Ku Klux Klan leaders Don Black (U.S.) and Wolfgang Droege (Canadian) AND former Dominican prime minister Patrick John. The invasion was meant to restore John to power and to transform the island into a white supremacist nation.
On April 27, 1981, Black, Droege, Larry Lloyd Jacklin and seven other men were arrested by U.S. federal agents in New Orleans as they prepared to board a boat with automatic weapons, shotguns, rifles, handguns, dynamite, ammunition, and a black and white Nazi flag (no skull and crossbones for these boys!).
The plan was to charter a boat to Dominica and rendezvous via rubber boats with John and his makeshift army. The genesis of the idea came from long-time Klan member Mike Purdue, who was introduced in 1979 to Droege through David Duke. That summer, Purdue (over beer?) outlined his plan to overthrow Grenada and to set up several lucrative businesses.
After their meeting, it was established that Droege would locate funds and resources. Duke initially involved Don Andrews, but after Purdue changed the target island to Dominica, Andrews withdrew.
What, wasn’t Dominica good enough for you, Grenada Boy?
Klansmen Arnie Polli and Roger Dermee were paid US$3,000 to visit Dominica to obtain preliminary reconnaissance. This was perhaps not money well spent.
In February 1981, the captain and crew Duke had arranged for backed out.
This is the bit where they really should have given up, but didn’t.
Purdue then approached a local boat captain and Vietnam War veteran, Michael S. Howell.
Purdue said the CIA needed his boat for a covert operation. Howell then contacted the ATF. On April 25, John was arrested in Dominica. When Purdue found out that his buddy was in the big house and that their plans were really, really, really busted wide open…… he insisted that the mission should continue.
On April 27, the group, including three ATF agents, met at the predetermined location, loaded the van and proceeded to the marina. An FBI team was waiting for them at the marina.
And everybody patted themselves on the back and went home for a jam scone.
Black was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the attempted invasion and his violation of the Neutrality Act. He was released in 1984, having served his sentence in a federal prison in Texas.
Black’s prison sentence was time well spent. He took classes in computer programming that would provide the basis for his future.
Not long after his release, Black launched an abysmally unsuccessful campaign for a U.S. Senate seat from Alabama. He wound up marrying Duke’s ex-wife, Chloe, and moving to West Palm Beach, Fla. Love triangle? Melrose Place, anyone???
Once there, he began dabbling with his computer, eventually setting up a dial-up bulletin board service for the radical right. By March 1995, that service evolved into Stormfront, the Net’s best-dressed hate site.
In 1985, Black announced that he had created the “Nathanial Bedford Forrest Brigade” under KKK auspices to aid the Contras in Nicaragua. He said the 120-man unit would engage in psychological warfare to foster anti-government seniment and would provde “a civil action unit to promote a stable economy.”
Yeah, mate, because participating in the overthrow of government had worked so well for you in the past.
In 1986 Black rethought his commitment to the KKK. Resigning from the group in 1987, he said:
“I concluded the Klan could never be a viable political movement again. It had a reputation for random and senseless violence which it could never overcome. There were several events around that time that reinforced that opinion.”
In 1995, Black founded Stormfront, a white nationalist website, featuring the writings of prominent white nationalists such as William Luther Pierce and David Duke, as well as works by the Institute for Historical Review.
Black could see that with this shiny new technology, white supremacists might finally bypass the “jew-controlled” mainstream media and political apparatus, getting their message out to people who otherwise would never hear it, people who now could listen in the privacy of their own homes without fear of embarrassment or reproach.
In its early years, Stormfront was a slow-growing web site with large amounts of downloadable nazi propaganda and swastikas, but was focused almost entirely on the USA. Its international character was gradually developed with German and Spanish pages. In 1997, an e-mail discussion list became operational. Participation was mainly confined to Americans. In 1998, Stormfront started a web forum and, by 2000, the International sections of the site were opened.
Other hate sites hosted by Stormfront with Don Black involvement include http://www.jewwatch.com/ and http://www.martinlutherking.org/. Don Black’s son Derek also used to host the Stormfront children’s page. (It was really, really creepy)
In 2002 at David Duke’s request, Jamie Kelso joined Stormfront. Black and Kelso were both men who could put up a relatively clean-cut and civilized front as the Internet face of White nationalism. Kelso is described by those who have met him as “warm and inclusive”.
The results since Kelso joined Stormfront have been fairly spectacular. In January 2002, Stormfront had a mere 5,000 members. A year later, membership reached 11,000; and a year after that, in early 2004, it had 23,000. By January 2005, membership hit about 42,000.
At the time of writing (December 2005) membership stood at 69,478, 23,337 of whom were considered active. How many of that 23 odd thousand are actually active racists and not government, media or antifa is not known.
That doesn’t include the large numbers of those who simply read Stormfront postings without joining up (becoming a member allows one to post messages and also to view personal information posted by other members). All together, total traffic to the site gave it an Alexa Web monitor ranking back in June of the 8,682nd most visited site on the Internet, a rank well above that of most civil rights sites.
In 2004 Black’s mentor David Duke was released from jail (he got done for fraud), and Stormfront now also serves as a campaign vehicle for Duke and his European-American Rights Organization (EURO), regularly announcing events and news that Duke is involved in and hosting his regular “Stormfront Town Hall & Webradio” internet broadcasts.
In 2004, Black joined in signing the New Orleans Protocol on behalf of Stormfront. The New Orleans Protocol seeks to “mainstream our cause” by reducing violence and internecine warfare, and was written by David Duke. The result of this has been the scaling down of the overtly nazi content on stormfront and presenting it and its members as a more clean cut, well dressed ultra conservative grouping. The more extreme neo-nazi element refer to this as “trimming” or “Strasserism” and deride the approach but they still make up a significant amount of the online membership. Some of the nazi stuff is still there – it’s just hidden a bit deeper.
This year 2005 has seen a lot of jockeying for position amongst American WN groups. The National Alliance is in it’s death throes and Duke, along with Kelso and Black carry significant influence with the splinter “National Vanguard” crew, after supporting the Strom & Co. coup. By drawing together the National Vanguard and combining them with the Stormfront readership, Duke has the potential to have access to the largest White Nationalist grouping seen in the US.
Very recently Stormfront has seen the departure of a number of stalwarts like Muad Dib, once a senior moderator who was demoted for asking embarrasing questions of Kelso about where all the money from the contributing members was going. The issue of finances has repeatedly come up with Don Black seemingly endlessly pleading poverty and threatening to throw the toys out of the pram unless the membership reaches into its pockets a little deeper.
For an insider “lone wolf” perspective on the current SF problems, have a look at http://movementexposed.blogspot.com . Bear in mind the guy may be critical of the National Vanguard and it’s leadership but he’s still a white supremacist and read it with a grain of salt. That said, given the previous criminality of the leadership, and their constant need for money, if I was one of the 400 sustaining members pledging $60 US a year to stormfront I would be asking serious questions of the leadership about where the money is going.
Joe Trippi, Campaign Manager for Howard Dean once said “I’d hate to think what Hitler could’ve done with the Internet.”
About sums it up really. Don Black, with James Kelso & Co. is serving up David Duke’s agenda to the Internet masses and so far it’s working, far beyond their original expectations.
Of course, there are some rumours that Black has worked for the FBI ever since his (very short) prison sentence for the failed Dominica coup. Certain elements claim that Stormfront is used to collate information and keep tabs on white supremacists by intelligence agencies.
These rumours are simply ridiculous, and should be ignored by all active Stormfronters.
Further Fun Reading To Make Your Day:
Stormfront: The Early Days
Don Black’s Poisoning Web
Southern Poverty Law Centre article on Donny
Don’s Wikipedia Entry
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