Arizona shooting suspect is member of white power group that uses Internet more successfully than KKK

Accused killer Ryan Giroux 41, served time in prison in California, Washington and Arizona and has a rap sheet dating back to the 1990s. Photo: AZ Dept. of Corrections.


Accused killer Ryan Giroux 41, served time in prison in CA, WA, AZ; rap sheet dates back to 1990s. Photo: AZ Dept. of Corr.

Logo of the Hammerskin Nation alliance of skinhead groups


Logo of the Hammerskin Nation alliance of skinhead groups

The suspected gunman in a recent Arizona shooting with multiple victims belonged to Hammerskin Nation. This white power hate group originated in Texas, and has enjoyed a growing worldwide membership thanks in part to effective use of the internet and social media.

Fueled in part by effective online communications strategies, Hammerskin's growth has been tracked during a period when the Ku Klux Klan's membership appears to be on the decline. What is this newer, more nimble hate group doing that the KKK isn't? And what can those of us who oppose racist hate and neo-Nazi violence learn from their success, and what this means for free speech online?

Notable: the Nazi nut who is accused in the recent Arizona massacre is not the first shooter from Hammerskin.

[Washington Post, azcentral.com]

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