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Eastside Group Holds National White Supremacist Conference in Detroit

On May 1, 2010, The American Nazi Party—a white supremacist group with its headquarters in Westland, Michigan—held its national conference in Detroit. The event was open to a broad range of white supremacists and invitations have been extended on a number of prominent white supremacist websites.

One invitation read:

“On May 01, 2010, the American Nazi Party led by long-time pro-White political activist Rocky Suhayda, will have its National Conference in Detroit, Michigan. The event is open to all OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS of the ANP. Those wanting to attend must be current on their pledge and preregister for the event.”

The organization claims that there have been more registrations than in previous years, but there is no way to independently verify those claims.

Although the group’s name should say all most people need to know about the American Nazi Party’s politics, the following article is designed to give an overview of the American Nazi Party’s positions and tactics. There hasn’t been a lot written about the American Nazi Party elsewhere, so hopefully this will help fill a gap in anti-racist and anti-fascist research.

The American Nazi Party: Ties to an Older Era?

American Nazi Party FlagThe American Nazi Party is an organization that claims to be directly descended from the American Nazi Party of the 1950s and 1960s. However, while there are no direct ties to that organization, its history is worth reviewing.

That organization was led by George Lincoln Rockwell until his assassination in 1967 by a disgruntled follower. Throughout the early part of the 1960s, the American Nazi Party (which was renamed from the World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists to maximize media attention) engaged in confrontational tactics and propagandizing including distributing racist literature to high school students and protesting against integration.

However, as Rockwell gained notoriety—and financial success—he moved the organization from this “Phase I” approach into a “Phase II” strategy that advocated a more subtle approach. Direct attacks on people of color were toned down, “Seig Heil” chants were replaced with “White Power” chants, the public display of the swastika was limited, and the group ran candidates in local elections. The group was also renamed to the National Socialist White People’s Party to take a more mainstream approach. Following Rockwell’s death, membership declined and the organization split into a number of different offshoots.

Despite having the namesake of Rockwell’s organization, the contemporary American Nazi Party has no direct historical links to that group. The group’s website sells reprints of old American Nazi Party publications and has a page honoring George Lincoln Rockwell.

The American Nazi Party: Today

Photo of American Nazi Party Literature TableThe American Nazi Party today operates similarly to the “Phase II” version of the American Nazi Party. It minimizes involvement in public rallies—often favored by groups such as the National Socialist Movement or the various Ku Klux Klan formations—and instead advocates for educational work.

The American Nazi Party sees itself as an organization of “Aryan revolutionaries” and prides itself on being a “Political Educational Association” dedicated to advancing national socialism in the United States. Of course, this is synonymous with elevating whites over people of color. Indeed, the organization’s core goals are “Aryan Racial survival” and “Social Justice for Whites.” The American Nazi Party stresses “Small Cell, and Individual Activism as the path for which to build our Movement” and frowns upon “pointless and dangerous Rallies or Marches.” This makes gauging the activity of the American Nazi Party difficult, as much of its work is done outside of the public eye.

For example on its website, the organization encourages visitors to distribute the white supremacist literature that the American Nazi Party sells. Public literature distributions occasionally are covered in the media, but it’s impossible to know to what extent these activities are undertaken. A blog affiliated with the American Nazi Party advocates distributing business cards as they “are small and easy to place in library books, on top of restaurant counters, slip inside school lockers, on store shelves.”

In addition to literature distribution, the American Nazi Party produce a monthly print publication titled White Worker (circulation is unknown). Along with the magazine, the organization’s literature consists of contemporary arguments for national socialism, reprints of Rockwell’s Stormtrooper magazine, and downloadable copies of Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kempf and Henry Ford’s The World’s Most Foremost Problem: The International Jew. The American Nazi Party also makes available a range of videos, many of which are old Nazi propaganda films from World War II.

However, while the American Nazi Party speaks of moving white supremacist organizing into a new era, much of what the organization does shows its connections to the past. It still utilizes Swastikas as a primary symbol. Of course, that symbol is ubiquitous with Nazi racism. At the same time, the group distributes propaganda that rehashes old stereotypes about Jewish people and Nazi-era myths.

Targeting Immigration

If the American Nazi Party has made any strides towards, it would be in moving their propaganda in the direction of attacking immigration. In recent years, white supremacist groups have made inroads in the immigration debate. The mainstream immigration debate—especially on cable television and talk radio—has been quite racist, while leading organizations such as FAIR (founded by Michigan native John Tanton) have been linked to the white supremacist movement. At the same time, white supremacist organizations have attempted to use the anti-immigration movement to advance their politics and they appear to have made inroads.

On their website, the American Nazi Party appears to be taking this strategy, with a rant about how the “white” demographic is declining and how “illegal aliens… have INVADED OUR NATION.” The statement goes on to say that “WHITE AMERICA will be a total MINORITY” by 2025 and encourages the “white working class” to organize to stop this.

It is hard to evaluate how successful this strategy has been in increasing membership in the American Nazi Party, but given the documented instances of white supremacist participation in the anti-immigrant movement, it is a strategy that could increase the prominence of white supremacist ideas. Anyone interested in actively opposing racism and white supremacy would do well to keep an eye on this movement, especially if the Obama administration makes an effort to pass an immigration reform bill (the American Nazi Party was among white supremacist organizations hoping that Obama would win the 2008 election).


Overall, it is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the American Nazi Party. Its advocacy of educational and small group activities—instead of public gatherings—make it hard to follow. Moreover, its website looks dated and much of the propaganda it distributes looks dated, suggesting that it doesn’t have the reach of other organizations. In addition, while it has made attempts to network with other white supremacist organizations—such as various Ku Klux Klan groups—blogs tied to the American Nazi Party tend to be quite sectarian.

Still, while it may be difficult to gauge their activities, anti-racists would be wise to pay attention to the American Nazi Party. If they are ignored, they may be able to build a solid organization outside the public eye—at which point they could become a real threat.

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