Dominion of New York

Social Justice

August 8, 2012

In the Army Still? White Supremacists & The American Military

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Written by: Kelly Virella

Wade Michael Page


e’ve read a lot this week about the structural racism that breeds people like Wade Michael Page, the white supremacist who killed 6 members of  a Sikh temple in Wisconsin before being shot by police. The one missing elements in all these accounts was the correlation between Page’s white nationalism and military service. Not anymore.

Scholars David J. Leonard and C. Richard King do a standout job of explaining the nexus between the U.S. military and white supremacy, in their article “In the Army Still? White Supremacists & The American Military” for the blog NewBlackMan. 

Page was discharged from the military with an “other than honorable discharge,” The New York Times reports. But Leonard and King cite a 2006 article from the Times saying that the U.S. military was tolerating people like him.

The Times article says: “Recruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces, and commanders don’t remove them from the military even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members.”

Leonard and King add:

White supremacist organizations have been known to target Special Force soldiers as they have been trained in everything from combat demolitions to urban warfare.  “Hate groups send their guys into the U.S. military because the U.S. military has the best weapons and training,” said T.J. Leyden, who while a member of the Marines recruited his white brethren to join the  Hammerskins, a renowned and violent skinhead gang that has been linked to Wade.

 According to Leyden the military was not just a perfect place to recruit but a perfect space to train fighters for the race war: “Right now, any white supremacist in Iraq is getting live fire, guerilla warfare experience,” he concluded. “But any white supremacist in Iraq who’s a Green Beret or a Navy SEAL or Marine Recon, he’s doing covert stuff that’s far above and beyond convoy protection and roadblocks. And if he comes back and decides at some point down the road that it’s race war time, all that training and combat experience he’s received could easily turn around and bite this country in the ass.” Continue reading



About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.