White Aryan Resistance
White Aryan Resistance (also known by its initials WAR) is a white supremacist hate group that is considered a leading organization within the white power skinhead movement. They were named for a newspaper they read that was published by Tom Metzger, a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon in California. Founded in 1980 as the White American Political Association, Metzger changed the name in 1983 as the group's focus shifted to social revolution, as opposed to electoral campaigning. He promoted the group on a public access cable show called Race and Reason, and by the late 1980s was recruiting skinheads to his cause.
In 1990 the group faced legal trouble when members of a Portland skinhead gang called East Side White Pride, which was part of the alliance, murdered an Ethiopian immigrant named Mulugeta Seraw. Seraw's family sued WAR for 12.5 million dollars, which were paid in WAR's profits and Metzger's residence. Despite this, WAR continued publication, and made a website in 1997 which is still up to this day.
Currently, WAR is associated with the Alt-Right.
Metzger's first group was known as the White Brotherhood, which he led in the mid-1970s until joining David Duke's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1975. By 1979 he had risen to Grand Dragon of the California realm.
During these years the California realm conducted unofficial border patrols at the Mexican border.
The realm also kept a blackshirted security detail that would engage in skirmishes with anti-Klan demonstrators and police.
In Oceanside, California, in the spring of 1980, an incident involved 30 members of this squad and left seven people injured. In the summer of 1980 Metzger left the national organization and founded his own California Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
From 1980 to late 1982, Metzger headed the California Knights, while also pursuing electoral office. In 1982 he left the Klan to found a new group, the White American Political Association, a group dedicated to promoting "prowhite" candidates for office. After losing the 1982 California Senate Democratic primary, Metzger abandoned the electoral route and reorganized WAPA as White American Resistance in 1983 and then to White Aryan Resistance, to reflect a more "revolutionary" stance.
By the late 1980s, Tom Metzger began Race and Reason, a public-access cable television show, airing WAR propaganda and interviewing other neo-Nazis. The show caused much controversy, and its guests included anti-abortion speakers, Holocaust deniers and pro-segregation lawyers. WAR members gained attention through appearances on talk shows throughout the late 1980s.
On November 13, 1988, three white Aryan supremacists who were members of East Side White Pride, which allegedly had ties to WAR, beat to death Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian man who had moved to the United States to attend college.
In October 1990, the Southern Poverty Law Center won a civil case on behalf of the deceased's family against Tom and John Metzger and WAR, for a total of US$12.5 million. The Metzgers did not have millions of dollars, so the Seraw family only received assets from the Metzger's $125,000 house and a few thousand dollars. The Metzgers declared bankruptcy, but WAR continued to operate. WAR continued to publish a newspaper despite the verdict. Metzger launched a website in 1997 and had an Internet radio program. The cost of trial, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Morris Dees founder of the SPLC, was absorbed by the SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League, according to Morris Dees, founder of the SPLC.
Although WAR along with other white power skinhead organizations has declined in relevance as most younger white supremacists joined Alt-Right groups in the mid 2010s, cartoons that appeared in its newspaper drawn by A Wyatt Mann remain popular with the broader white power movement, particularly an anti-Semitic caricature known as the "Happy Merchant".