In the early 2000s, VH1 sought to "expose" the insidious "white power" indie rock scene ... and the results are sketchy, to say the least.
By: Jimbo X
For a moment, just think how powerful Viacom was circa 2002. This was before the social media revolution, before YouTube, before smartphones and even before DVRs became entrenched in the American consumer experience. Yeah, you still had a shitty Internet connection that could download a five minute Metallica song in only three hours, but by and large, the television set was your multimedia window to the world.
And at that point in time, Viacom owned a disproportionately huge slice of the cable television pie. Among other holdings, they owned the cable channels MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, CMT, Spike TV, Comedy Central, TV Land and VH1. So it stands to reason that in this Information Age bottleneck, the multimedia conglomerate had substantial cultural agenda-setting power. Whatever they wanted to broadcast to the masses, they had free rein to do so, and when your only other alternative was watching fuzzy, constantly-buffering RealPlayer clips on your hulking PC's CRT screen, you were pretty much forced to accept whatever they were giving you.
In that, it seems pretty hypocritical - if not downright laughable - for the Viacom monolith to go after anyone for trying to push some sort of political agenda under the guise of run-of-the-mill entertainment. Indeed, Viacom pretty much WAS the chief cultural tastemaker for the pre-MySpace under 20-set, with our nation's gilded youth weaned on a steady diet of questionable Nickelodeon produce before graduating us into the multiculturalism uber alles indoctrination factory that was MTV. Say what you will about James Dobson being a wrongheaded asshole 99 percent of the time, his accounts on the pervasive influence of Viacom programming - and I mean that in more than one way - is right on the freakin' money: "MTV not only admits they are trying to manipulate the young and immature; they spend big bucks bragging about it."
And with that little nugget in mind, let's turn our attention to a super obscure relic from the early 200s - a VH1 produced "special" titled Inside Hate Rock.
Now, without even knowing anything about the program, odds are you can deduce what it's going to be about. In a very hushed, concerned tone, a disembodied voice will lecture the audience on the evils of that dastardly "white supremacist" music, designed to instill prejudice and vehemence in the hearts of impressionable youths across the Heartland. Despite the fact the audience for such music is just a teeny, tiny fraction of a fragment of a percent of the Viacom sphere of influence, they will continue to hammer home the point that this shit is dangerous with a big, bold, capital "d" and if somebody - like, I don't know, the federal government - doesn't do anything about it, before long the entire Midwest will be filled to the brim with KKK members blaring racist heavy metal out of their trucks and literally ethnic cleansing the plains. The funny thing is that this thing came out loooong before the much-maligned Social Justice Warrior/Tumblrina movement kicked off ... indeed, the special aired barely five months after 9/11, a point in time where people were much more concerned about not getting killed by psychotic brown people than they were hurting the feelings of overly sensitive brown people.
"In Downtown Detroit, one of hatecore's biggest bands is mixing a new CD," the special begins. "And getting ready to hit the road again."
The band in question is called Max Resist. Well, I, for one, have never heard of them. And I'm living in the year 2017, where you can find all kinds of shit on the Internet. Needless to say, this VH1 special gave them more publicity than they ever received anywhere - which, as we all know, is the best way to kill something you don't want anybody to know about. No, wait, that's the exact opposite of what you would do!
|This may come as a surprise to some readers, but believe it or not, she isn't a fan of Skrewdriver.|
Seven hundred miles to the south, we're introduced to a band called the Carolina Sons, who were supposedly inspired by the music of Max Resist. "As I walk down the street, I don't like what I see, a sea of foreign faces, staring back at me," one of their sample lyrics go. Before being "introduced to the politics of hate," the band members say they were into acts like Styx and Men at Work.
"They get into it because they see white privilege being eroded and they want to protect that white privilege," comments one talking head. "And they see joining the white power skinhead scene as the best way to do that." Yep, "white privilege" was a weaponized term way back then, too.
Nice, subtle editing from VH1 as one of the Carolina Sons members says he believes in segregation and images of black people opening up a car trunk is flashed over the screen. You get an even better display when one of the Max Resist members says he can tell when "outsiders" are around - a quip accompanied by black and white images of hooded black men huddled together.
The lead singer of Max Resist talks about growing up in Detroit. He said he wasn't too keen on being carjacked and having to order pizza through bulletproof glass. "That's not the kind of culture I want to spend the rest of my life in," he says. He said he got into the skinhead scene because the punks were too Marxist and pro-homosexuality.
The lyrics to a song celebrating the death of Alan Berg are shown on screen (which, for the record, manages to rhyme the word "Swiss cheese" with "hebe.") This needs to TERRIFY us, claims one talking head. The VHS copy on YouTube is so old, it's impossible to read the captions for anybody's names, so I apologize in advance for being vague with my descriptions.
Max Resist recount doing a show in Sweden, in which the lead singer was arrested for giving a Nazi salute on stage. He was imprisoned for four weeks.
Cue our first black interviewee of the program: white supremacists hiding behind the First Amendment, she says, "is ludicrous." They know the reaction their music has on people, she continues, and as we all know, the SOLE reason the First Amendment exists is to protect people from having their feelings hurt.
The ADL and SPLC are so hellbent on crushing what they deem "evil," the Max Resist guy says, that it's nearly impossible for the band to book gigs in the States. The Carolina Suns go to a seafood restaurant and one of the members talks about wanting to be in the music business so bad he wrote non-racist music under the stage name "Lone Wolf" and shipped it around to record labels. He considers writing songs about living in the country and fishing. "It doesn't have to be all white power," he adds.
We watch the Max Resist frontman get a tattoo of a German WWII soldier on his arm. "Rewriting history," the proud black woman says, is a way for kids "who otherwise wouldn't have anything to be proud of" to develop a sense of self and identity. So, uh, do you mean white kids may flock to hardline white identitarianism because general society frowns upon even innocuous displays of white cultural pride or that white people - just in general - have NOTHING in their collective histories to be proud about?
The Max Resist guy says making racist music is a way of expressing himself without getting involved in the criminal justice system. Take that away from him, he says, and he would have to go about "other means" to express his white power convictions.
"Even white supremacists want to settle down," the narrator states upon learning the members of the group want to own a home and start a family and save up for retirement. You know, because the idea of skinheads having secondary desires that resemble those of everybody fuckin' else in society are totally shocking. Shit, next thing you know, you'll be telling me these Hitler-worshipping motherfuckers like ice cream and puppy dogs, too. Also, they edit to death this one quote from a Carolina Suns member about his daughter and "hatefulness" to make it sound like he's the most marble-mouthed retard on planet Earth - which, yeah, is pretty much what you expected them to do for a hit-piece "doc" like this.
|Which is clearly more damaging to the black community than such uplifting rap numbers as "Lookin' Ass Nigga," "Bitch Niggaz," "Kill Me a Nigga," "Kill That Nigga," "This is How You Kill a Fuck Nigga," and of course, that all-time classic, "Pussy Nigga Killa."|
Up next, we're introduced to yet another white power band from Detroit, the Angry Aryans (jeez, do you think being minorities in a city that's more than 80 percent African-American might be a common theme here?) "There lyrics are some of the most vile rants against Jews, people of color, and gays and lesbians that I've ever seen," quips one self-described "anti-racist" commentator. Hey, notice how these at the time fringe referential constructs like "people of color" and "white privilege" have become mainstream concepts over the last 15 years? "Because their blatant bigotry could invite retribution," the narrator says, "the Aryans insist on obscuring their faces for the cameras." A number of critics say how hypocritical it is for these people to say they are so proud of their race refuse to show their faces ... a condemnation that, yeah, is just a wee bit ironic considering the wardrobe choices of Antifa. From there, we get a breakdown of all of the latest neo-nazi codespeak, including the secret meanings of such innocuous signifiers like "14", "88" and "Z.O.G."
According to one commentator, skinheads have been responsible for more than 50 murders since neo-Nazi punk was "introduced" in the 1980s. Of course, that's a sum that is actually exceeded by the number of homicides that have taken place within the inner circles of hip hop alone - lest we forget, mainstream, Viacom-friendly acts like Snoop Dogg and Gucci Mane are among the many, many rappers out there that have actually been CHARGED with murder themselves. So yeah, white people singing about killing black people is absolutely disgusting and depraved, but black people not only singing about killing other black people, but actually DOING it? Naturally, that sits just fine and dandy with the Viacom Industrial Complex. The African-American anti-racist activist from earlier chimes in on songs with such cheery titles as "Still Just a Nigger" and "Faggots (Give Rainbows a Bad Name) - "The Angry Aryans CD really reads like a hit list," she says. "Basically, the answer to all that is kill them." Which is especially troubling, since there are positively no examples of black rappers expressing a desire to violently solve the problem of Whitey. Absolutely none on record, whatsoever.
Next scene, the Angry Aryans (why does that automatically make me think of The Angry Beavers?) revisit their childhood home in Detroit. One of them shows off all the street corners where he had the shit beat out of him by black kids. "Everyone faces disappointments," one commenter replies, "but not everyone becomes racists."
The ringleader of a racist record label says rock and roll music has been subverted into a weapon against the white man. Per the narrator, there are over 2,800 racist music web sites (presumably, I assume they mean white racist music web sites) spewing hate all over the goddamn place. And here it comes, the moment the special justifies its own existence:
"The fear in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks is that the white power music circuit is becoming an underground meeting place for homegrown terrorists."Allow me some time to wipe off the coffee I just spat all over my laptop screen. You mean to tell me 3,000 Americans just got incinerated by hardcore, Islamic revolutionaries, and instead of worrying about more people dying at the hands of a global network of hate-driven religious fundamentalists, whose numbers could possibly be in the millions (and whose perennial targets include women, gays and the Jewish, no less) and you want us to instead be worried about a couple of hundred heavy metal bands that say "nigger" and "kike" a lot?
Oh, I get it - you're exploiting the violent acts of one kind of people as a beachhead to go after a much smaller, much less vocal and quite frankly, much less dangerous fringe community because it helps you espouse your tertiary pro-multiculturalism and pro-globalization goals. Man ... I sure am glad nobody does that anymore!
Next, we get some jibber-jabber about the ladies of white power music, complete with long, lingering shots of blonde, blue-eyed elementary schoolers frolicking around at a neo-nazi expo before doing "Heil Hitler" salutes and singing songs with the lyrics "strike force, white survival." (By the way, they grew up to become the group Prussian Blue, the subjects of the BBC documentary Nazi Pop Twins.) Then this suspiciously well-groomed white nationalist says it's important to instill into children pro-white tendencies before they go off to college and get bombarded with pro-diversity propaganda, start race-mixing or experimenting with homosexuality.
We get a ten second long quote from a band called Intimidation One and the guy from the Angry Aryans says he doesn't want his kids growing up in a multicultural environment. Eventually, the white man will have to form an army for its very survival, he says, and it's only a matter of time until the proverbial "shit hits the fan." And as we know, there is absolutely no equivalent to this rancorous racial resentment anywhere on the African-American side of the equation. None, anywhere, at any time, for any reason.
|Your call: a campy gay cabaret performance or a hardcore white power punk concert?|
Up next, we meet George Burdi, the former lead singer of the Canadian white power metal band RaHoWa (that's short for "racial holy war," but you probably already knew that.) He reminisces about this one time he got arrested in Ottawa in 1993 for beating up a bunch of "anti-racists." Somehow, VH1 was able to track down a woman who said she was there and the RaHoWa frontman kicked her nose in.
Regardless, he spent four months in prison for assault - but, he also says jail was the best thing that ever happened to him, because it gave him time to contemplate his life and "reconcile his actions." So, he started reading non-specified "spiritual" books and staying up all night and meditating, and when he got out of the joint, he gave up on making Nazi music altogether. "I had spread so many negative ideas and harmed so many young minds," he laments. Naturally, this makes him a persona non grata in the skinhead community - but he doesn't really care no more, because he's 100 percent hate free and now playing music that sounds like really, really offkey techno metal while wearing suspenders over his bare stomach. His new band is called Novacosm, and what do you know, there's a grand total of two black guys in the group! And if you're wondering what they sound like, well - let's just say having actual gay sex isn't as gay as their music. Oh, and of course, his girlfriend is a self-described "East Indian" who experienced racism growing up "in a predominantly white culture." Together, they peruse through his old RaHoWa memorabilia, including a photograph of him with the lead singer of Skrewdriver (i.e., probably the most famous and influential white power punk band ever.) He says that many fans of "hatecore" are people who experienced parental abuse, and the music gives them a sense of empowerment allows them to feel like real tough guys. Alas, Burdi says he is certainly more content with his life in these, his post racist years. "I feel like a much bigger person now than I did then," he says.
And from there, folks? Unfortunately, that's all that appears to remain of this long forgotten special from the a decade and a half ago. I'm especially disappointed, since the bumper at the end of the Burdi segment promised us a detour into racist country music, and you knew that shit right there was definitely worth a' watchin'.
I've searched high and low for any fragments of the rest of the special out there in Internet land, and sadly, it looks like the rest of Inside Hate Rock has truly become "lost media." Granted, there is at least one neo-Nazi tape trader that appears to be hocking it, but come on - who's really going to risk getting on the terrorist watchlist just to review some stupid old VH1 special on a junk culture comedy blog? Being the Web sleuth I am, however, there is plenty of material from 2002 covering the special, including press releases from VH1, a ton of reviews from the likes of The New York Times and - as you would expect - quite a few caustic comments from the denizens of Stormfront. And now, I REALLY need to see the rest of this thing, since apparently, it features commentary from Henry Rollins, members of Blink 182 and has an entire section dedicated to William Pierce - a.k.a., the dude who wrote The motherfuckin' Turner Diaries.
Interestingly enough, the vestiges of the Inside Hate Rock website are stilling lingering on the Web. Of course, virtually all the links have long expired, but the page does reveal a little more information about the "lost" content of the program. Tis' a pity there's no way to visit the 2002-circa message board - I'm sure there's plenty of poignant comments dispersed throughout. Also, that viewer poll - which asks the fairly Orwellian inquiry of whether or not "hatecore bands" should be verboten from public performances - has to have the most out-of-place "joke answer" in the annals of anything. And at what point in time and space did ANYBODY think P.O.D. was a "tough guy" band? Shit, even back in the ninth grade, we knew those guys were just a bunch of tattooed pussies. I mean, they were dudes with dreadlocks that didn't even smoke weed, for crying aloud.
Thankfully, the interview with ex-Black Flag frontman/the coach from Michael Keaton's Jack Frost Henry Rollins has been preserved for future generations to read and cherish. And as you would expect, his comments are well worth printing in full...
Kinda' hard to pick a favorite quote there, ain't it? Do we begin with Rollins playing the "doesn't have a dad equals susceptible to seedy outside opportunists" line - you know, the same one that is automatically discredited when it comes to explaining the disproportionate rate of violent crime committed by young black men? Or how about the irony of Rollins chiding white supremacists for taking advantage of interracial violence fearmongering, but not saying a goddamn thing about the fact that white people are eight times likelier to be physically attacked, raped or killed by a black person than the other way around? Or how about the part where he sums up just how terrible black oppression is in the modern era - holy shit, sometimes, they have to pay first before eating at Denny's! Well shit, if that's what constitutes oppression, I'm being hate crimed every fucking time I go to Taco Bell or Starbucks. Still, it's got some genuine LOL material, like the part about skinheads being too pussy to go to Judas Priest concerts and Rollins saying one hit wonder Jamiroquai sucks (this, despite that artist's music being 20 times better than anything Rollins has shat out since Weight.) Also, you just have to love Rollins unintentionally shooting down the entire white nationalist fearmongering angle of the TV special at the end, by effectively saying "you know, this really isn't as big a problem as most people think."
And on that note, I can't think of a better way to segue into our concluding comments on Inside Hate Rock. Now, I don't really need to tell you this, but yes, there are indeed white nationalists out there. In fact, some of them even go as far as to physically attack, rape and sometimes kill people of different ethnoracial origins to sate their in-group bloodlust, and periodically, they build mobile Nazi death rays to try and kill the president. These are not exactly what you would call "good people" by any stretch of the imagination, but here's the thing - over the last 20 years, just how many people have the much maligned 'white power' sorts actually killed? Well, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center - which, by the way, considers the actions of black nationalist cop killer Micha X. Johnson and the 50-homosexual-corpse pile-up created by Muslim sociopath Omar Mateen forms of "right-wing violence" - there have been 63 murders perpetrated by "white extremists" since Timothy McVeigh's attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Building in 1995. Of course, the SPLC's tally also mixes up anti-globalist, anti-police, anti-feminist and anti-abortion "sovereign citizens" into the jumble of neo-Nazis and klansmen, so that greatly inflates the statistics. Meanwhile, the City of Chicago alone sees 12 times as many black people killed (virtually all at the hands of other black people) in one year than we've seen white supremacists kill any-non-white-victims over the last two decades. Hell, for that matter, black people killed six times as many white people committing run of the mill, ordinary crimes in 2013 than these terrifying white ray-ray-racists have killed minorities over a 20-year span. Sorry, Antifa, but the statistics aren't helping your argument here - indeed, careful consideration of the data suggest you're simply cherry picking isolated incidents and exaggerating the regularity in which they happen, while simultaneously - and hypocritically - looking the other way when the hard, hard data on REAL intraracial crimes snakes its way into the picture.
Remember the Red Scare during the 1950s? Yeah, I know there was one in the late 1910s, too, but silencio. Well, today, I think we're in the midst of a White Scare - that being, an absolutely hysterical anti-honky putsch led - irony of ironies - by super-white and super-rich liberals to make it seem like any Caucasian who isn't 100 percent in favor of multiculturalism and globalization is secretly a member of the Klan or a neo-Nazi. The theoretical "critical theory" jibber jabber spat out in Inside Hate Rock has indeed become the liberal canon, and there isn't a university in America that isn't sipping from the blatantly anti-white social justice punch bowl like gleeful FlavorAde drinkers at Jonestown. Inside Hate Rock is especially interesting as a historical piece, since it represents a very early attempt to instill into the masses the bedrock of cultural Marxism - indeed, one could even go as far as to consider it a trial run of sorts. It really is propaganda leeching off a lesser form of propaganda - by showcasing these blatantly racist white supremacists as some sort of underground cultural force despite making up an absolutely microscopic percentage of the general white populace, that gives you an easy springboard to turn around and say "but you know, all white people do have the Mark of Cain on them in the form of white privilege and centuries of white oppression." And as we all know - and as history has shown us time and time and time again - it's a very slippery slope from demonizing people to dehumanizing them - and yeah, bad shit generally tends to happen when one group of people considers a different group of people socially (and genetically) inferior.
As Inside Hate Rock clearly posits, a lot of bad can come out of efforts to deter diversity. Alas, VH1's jeremiad doesn't have the forthrightness or the guts to dare ask an even more poignant - and critical - question for our times: can't an equivalent amount of "bad" come out of demanding diversity, as well?