"Payback's a Bitch": The White Supremacist Response to the 9/11 Terrorists Attacks

Barbara Perry, Northern Arizona University

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, most major cities across the United States have experienced a rash of hate crimes against those presumed to be Muslim, Arab, or Middle Eastern. One could be forgiven for expecting members of white supremacist groups to have been behind at least some of this retaliatory violence, or to have taken rhetorical advantage of the attacks to further their agenda of hate against the Other, in this case, those from the Middle East. However, the response of white supremacists has not been quite so simple. As I will argue in this paper, they have exploited the attacks, not in order to berate Muslims, but to wage a further assault on Jews in particular, and American immigration policy in general. Moreover, there is a fairly large contingent of the hate movement that sees in the attacks evidence of a conspiracy to contract civil liberties in this country.

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Updated 05/20/2006