White Hate Group Homicide in the United States, 1950-1999

Roger Roots

White supremacist group violence has attracted a great deal of scholarly commentary in recent decades (Levin and McDevitt 2002; Banton 2001; Omi 2001; Dobratz and Shanks-Meile 2000). Rarely is such violence subjected to critical quantitative analysis, however. In this, the first study of its kind, the author attempts to quantify homicides by members of white supremacist organizations between 1950 and 1999, and to develop reliable descriptive statistics regarding the prevalence of overall white hate group violence. Using a multi-stage analysis of newspaper stories and relevant texts, court opinions, and other data sources, this study identifies a total of 176 such homicides during the 50-year period. This tally of homicides is then analyzed for variables such as race of victim(s), gender of victim(s) and perpetrator(s), weapons, and circumstances of death of victim(s). From this statistical analysis, the author concludes that white supremacist group violence is a marginal but growing problem in American society.

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Updated 05/20/2006