White Aryan Resistance (WAR) is a white supremacist neo-Nazi organization in the United States founded and led by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon Tom Metzger. It is based in Warsaw, Indiana, and is incorporated as a business.
It holds views that are self-described as racist, as seen in its website sections "Racist Jokes" and "Racist Videos," and in the tagline for its newspaper The Insurgent: "the most racist newspaper on earth." WAR uses the slogan White Revolution is the Only Solution.
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 unauthorized border patrols at the Mexican border and kept a blackshirted security detail that would engage in skirmishes with anti-Klan demonstrators and police. One incident in Oceanside, California, in the spring of 1980, 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. The group continued to harass Hispanics and Vietnamese refugees.
From 1980 to late 1982, Metzger headed the California Knights, while also pursuing various electoral offices. 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.
In 1988 Metzger, recorded this message on his "WAR HOTLINE",
You have reached WAR Hotline. White Aryan Resistance. You ask: What is WAR? We are an openly white-racist movement—Skinheads, we welcome you into our ranks___The federal government is the number one enemy of our race. When was the last time you heard a politician speaking out in favor of white people?... You say the government is too big; we can’t organize. Well, by God, the SS did it in Germany, and if they did it in Germany in the thirties, we can do it right here in the streets of America_We need to cleanse this nation of all nonwhite mud-races for the survival of our own people and the generations of our children.
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, for a total of US$12.5 million. The SPLC did not charge for their work, and the Seraw family did not share any money won with the SPLC. 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 was absorbed by the SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League.
WAR has been associated with dangerous individuals throughout its existence. WAR was mentioned in the press when it was revealed that a member threatened video stores in Rhode Island which carried Jungle Fever. In 1994, Richard Campos, a WAR sympathizer, was convicted of racially motivated bombing plots. Calls were made stating that the bombings were perpetrated by an organization called the Aryan Liberation Front, of which Campos was the only member. In early 1995, Campos was sentenced to the maximum term of 17 years in prison.