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Grand Rapids Community College’s Neo-Nazi Reporter

Over the summer, Michigan Racism Watch wrote about the White Culture Club at Grand Rapids Community College. It was an attempt by a GRCC student to start a racist student organization using student activities funds.


Not surprisingly, the effort was stymied by the college and the White Culture Club never became a registered organization. Still, the whole incident struck us as a little suspicious. While the student organizing the group—James Wisner—claimed to just be interested in “white” history and heritage (a sure tip-off towards racism if there is one), his Facebook profile contained white supremacist imagery. Moreover, GRCC had seen a few instances of racist posters appearing on campus.


Perhaps most interesting aspect of the controversy was the coverage given to the White Culture Club by the college’s student newspaper, The Collegiate. It was overwhelmingly positive, especially in articles written by reporter Mike Peterson. It eventually came out that Mike Peterson was Wisner’s friend—hence the lack of critical engagement of the topic.


However, it is now known that Mike Peterson himself is a neo-Nazi and was therefore generally supportive of the White Culture Club’s goals. The Southside Chicago Anti-Racist Action chapter has posted more information on Mike Peterson on their blog. It turns out that Peterson—who frequently uses the name “Ragnar”—is a neo-Nazi. Aside from writing favorably of the White Culture Club, Peterson has participated in a white supremacist march in Jackson, attended an Adolph Hitler Birthday Celebration in Chicago last year, and is involved in racist group in the Grand Rapids area called Gallows Tree Wotansvolk Alliance.

A picture of Mike Peterson with his white supremacist friends is located below:

Mike Peterson of Grand Rapids Community College: A White Supremacist

Posted in People, Racist Groups.

One Response

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  1. Grand Rapids says

    As a former editor of the collegiate I would like to point a few things out.

    1. there was only ever ONE positive article about the club. and as it stood in the article, it sounded like not a bad idea. Get a chance to taste food from other countries for free. Lets be honest, the Dutch can make some good pastries.

    2. We did follow up articles, once the truth came out about wisner. We took the story from mike, which pissed him off and he quit (even though he was not getting paid). We put in clear wording the truth behind the intentions of the organization. But we still had to credit mike at the end of the articles. he did not write them, but he did give us valuable information such as the official letter from GRCC to wisner. Just because he is a racist, doesnt give us the excuse to ignore our integrity.

    3. He actually is a very good writer. I wish he would use his talents for better purposes. If he were to reform, he could be a very bright beacon of hope to other like him.

    So in conclusion I have two more points.

    1. even though you are not a newspaper, you are a public blog and will be held accountable to the same standards of fact. Please be careful when using plural words. there were not positive articles, but only one positive article. also, make sure not to take down ENTIRE public organizations when speaking negatively about a single person. We at the collegiate were (the word were is used because almost all the people from that years staff are now elsewheres) not racists, as the blog post sounds. honestly, we pretty much had to chew him out for it. It might be in your best interest to find the later article entitiled “whit culture club denied status” and include that in your post.

    2. because i personally knew mike and saw his good side, i am not as eager to condemn him. he is a passionate and loving father. it is evident that she is his world, and he will do anything to not end up back in prison. But, it is true, mike has some messed up beleifs and is making some poor life choices. I say, condemn the action, not the man.

    We cannot hope to change the world by being angry back at the people who hate us. We must be like martin luther king jr. and meet hate with a furious and unrelenting LOVE (“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”)
    Yes, we must love on people like Mike. We must celebrate the man for all the good he has in side of him, when ever we see it. but we must also come along side him during the time in which he is failing, and show him the better way through our compassion.

    This is very difficult, I know. But ask any one who participated in the civil rights movement. it is difficult, but in the end worth it. (see any thing john perkins has written).

    perhaps mike will turn around and become an example for those around him.