Tom Metzger

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Tom Metzger

Thomas Linton Metzger (born: April 9, 1938) is a former California Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of the White Aryan Resistance. He was the Democratic Party congressional candidate for Congress in 1980. Tom Metzger has participated in race discussions and interviews with CNN and Telemundo, and has appeared in numerous documentaries about White nationalism. He has founded a video series titled Race and Reason where he interviewed a number of White nationalist leaders.

In 1990, White Aryan Resistance was bankrupted by a lawsuit which alleged influencing others to commit violence. There have been various criticisms of the politically correct view on this.

Early life

Metzger was born and raised in Indiana. He served in the U.S. Army from 1961 until 1964 when he moved to Southern California to work in the electronics industry. In 1963, he married Kathleen Murphy; they had six children.[1]

For a short time, he was a member of the John Birch Society and attended Anti-Communist luncheon meetings sponsored by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation. Metzger served as a Barry Goldwater precinct worker in 1964, but by 1968 moved to Fallbrook, California and supported George C. Wallace for President. Metzger stopped paying taxes in the 1970s and by 1972 his tax protest over the Vietnam War destroyed his thriving television business but introduced him to other tax protesters who, he said, were "atheist racists, Christian Identity racists, Nazis, all kinds of people."

During the 1970s he joined the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which was led by David Duke, eventually becoming the Grand Dragon for the State of California. In summer 1979, he organized a patrol to capture illegal Mexican immigrants south of Fallbrook, California. Metzger's Klan organization also had a security force which was involved in confrontations with anti-Klan protesters. Metzger's branch of the Klan split with Duke's organization in 1980 to form the "California Knights of the Ku Klux Klan." Also in 1979 he took Greg Withrow, of the White Student Union "under his wing," which later became the Aryan Youth Movement (AYM), for youth associated with White Aryan Resistance. He was also a minister in the Christian Identity movement.

In 1980, Metzger won the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives receiving 32,344 votes (39 percent of the total) in a San Diego-area district.[2] He had changed his party registration from Republican to Democrat earlier in the year. The Democrats disavowed his candidacy, instead endorsing incumbent four-term Republican Clair Burgener. Metzger lost by over 200,000 votes in November to a several-term incumbent in a heavily Republican district.

In 1982, he sought the Democratic Party's U.S. Senatorial nomination, running against then-Governor Jerry Brown and author Gore Vidal. He received 3% of the vote.

White Aryan Resistance

Metzger left the Klan after the election and formed the "White American Political Association" in order to promote "pro-White" candidates for office. He ran for the United States Senate in 1982, winning almost 76,000 votes (and 2.8% of the vote) in the Democratic Party Primary. In 1983, he changed the name of his group to "White Aryan Resistance" (WAR). WAR worked to recruit members in prisons, and rejected Christianity as a form of Judaism.

Metzger made numerous television appearances in addition to hosting his own cable access show. In November 1988, his son appeared on an episode of the Geraldo Rivera show in which a brawl broke out and Rivera's nose was broken after a chair was thrown at him.

SPLC lawsuit

White Aryan Resistance (WAR) was eventually bankrupted as the result of a civil lawsuit centered on its alleged involvement in the 1988 murder of Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian, in Portland, Oregon. Several skinheads were convicted of killing Seraw and sent to prison. Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a civil lawsuit, alleging that WAR influenced Seraw's killers by encouraging their group East Side White Pride to commit violence. In 1990, Tom and John Metzger were found civilly liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability, in which one can be liable for a tort committed by a subordinate or other person taking instructions. The jury returned the largest civil verdict in Oregon history at the time—$12.5 million—against Metzger and WAR. The Metzgers' house was seized, and most of WAR's profits go to paying off the judgment.

A 2003 book by a liberal Jewish writer investigating the case argued that the killing was due to a street fight rather than a premeditated, racially motivated attack that many assume it was. The involved skinheads initially denied that the killing was racially motivated. However, the prosecution consulted the SPLC and skinheads were given a plea bargain deal that included the stated admission of a racial motivation. This admission was then used by the SPLC in their lawsuit against Metzger. The star witness for the prosecution was Dave Mazzella who had contacts with both Metzger who did not live in Portland and with skinheads in Portland. However, the book argued that Mazzella had not moved to Portland to organize skinheads as alleged by the SPLC and actually had little influence among skinheads. A crucial meeting held just hours before the killing focused more on a desire for beer and girlfriends than the need to attack Blacks. The trial was mishandled because Metzger insisted on representing himself and there was no effective cross-examination of any of the SPLC's witnesses.[3]

"Metzger chose to defend himself in court but wanted control over who heard his case. Before one pre-trial hearing, he told a court clerk he objected to being tried by the county's chief judge, Donald H. Londer, saying his name sounded Jewish. When Londer, who was Jewish, heard about the comment, he asked Rosenthal and Metzger whether they objected to being heard by Judge Ancer L. Haggerty. Rosenthal had to stifle a laugh as Metzger -- perhaps thinking Haggerty an Irishman -- agreed to be tried by an African American judge."[4]

Metzger now

Since the suit, WAR has never returned to being a true membership organization, and Metzger now advocates the "lone wolf" tactical concept. He speaks occasionally, traveling as far away as Japan. Metzger still puts out the WAR newsletter, and hosts a weekly radio talk show called Insurgent Radio from his home in Indiana. He leads the Pan-Aryan Insurgent Network.

Metzger on Barack Obama

“The corporations are running things now, so it’s not going to make much difference who's in there, but McCain would be much worse. He’s a warmonger. He’s a scary, scary person -- more dangerous than Bush. Obama, according to his book, Dreams Of My Father, is a racist and I have no problem with black racists. I’ve got the quote right here: ‘I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s white race.’ The problem with Obama is he’s being dishonest about his racial views. I’d respect him if he’d just come out and say, ‘Yeah, I’m a black racist.’ I don’t hate black people. I just think it’s in the best interest of the races to be separated as much as possible. See, I’m a leftist. I’m not a rightist. I hate the transnational corporations far more than any black person.” - Tom Metzger


  1. Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement..., by Leonard Zeskind, page 46
  2. Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement..., by Leonard Zeskind, page 46
  3. SKINHEAD REVISITED, A new book reexamines Portland's neo-Nazi legacy
  4. 1998 story: Legacy of a hate crime: Mulugeta Seraw's death a decade ago avenged

See also

External links

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