LOS ANGELES (Oct. 27)
Violence-prone neo-Nazi youth gangs known as Skinheads have been co-opted by veteran adult hate groups all over the United States, according to a report made public here Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
The shaven-head youths wear Nazi insignia and engage in violence against blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Asians and homosexuals.
They have been recruited by the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations in 21 states — up from 12 states only six months ago.
Membership nationwide is now estimated at 2,000, compared to 1,000 to 1,500 shown in a previous ADL study last February.
Skinhead gangs have participated in virtually every recent important hate movement rally, march and conference in the nation, the ADL report said.
California has the highest incidence and highest level of their criminal activity, according to ADL national director Abraham Foxman.
The report, prepared by the fact-finding department of the ADL’s Civil Rights Division, was released at the opening of the ADL’s five-day National Executive Committee meeting at the Century Plaza Hotel here. The meeting will last through Sunday.
The report, culled from the ADL’s 31 regional offices, singled out the California-based White Aryan Resistance headed by former Klan Grand Dragon Tom Metzger as progenitor of the most active, best organized Skinhead group in California.
Metzger uses national television to preach an unrestrained brand of racism and anti-Semitism.
The report also offered evidence that the Skinheads have joined forces with other hate groups — mainly the KKK — in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
The Aryan Nation, an Idaho-based paramilitary group that promotes white supremacy and anti-Semitism is also a recruiter of Skinheads.
Foxman cautioned that all youths with shaven heads or closely cropped hair are not neo-Nazis or racists.
The report cited several cases in which Skinheads have been arrested for racially motivated crimes. Most of them involved assaults on blacks.
However, in Atlanta, two Skinheads, age 16 and 17, were tried and convicted of scrawling 50 swastikas on the walls of a yeshiva high school last March.
Highlights of the ADL meeting here include addresses by Israeli Ambassador Moshe Arad, a forum on black-Jewish relations, and an analysis of the role of the courts in the political process.