The rec.music.white-power controversy
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 96 12:22:42 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: The rec.music.white-power controversy
[Is this a simple First Amendment question? Or is it more subtle than that?
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (JSA Calgary)
The Call For Votes (CFV) for the proposed "white power" music
newsgroup has been posted to UseNet's
Note the newsgroups to which it was _not_ posted.
Here's what Canada's George Burdi, of the neo-Nazi Heritage
Front, had to say about this vote, on February 21, on his
RESISTANCE mailing list:
"There is a call for votes
coming on rec.music.white-power in the next week
or so, and you will be notified in a special issue of
RREN exactly what to do. FOLLOW THE
INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER. Let me be
perfectly blunt and state that we have more than
enough "net-nazis" to win this thing hands-down.
But every one of you must vote YES! And just
voting yes means nothing unless you do it properly.
So you have been forewarned. The instructions
are coming to your email box soon, and they
are not complicated. Just follow them as told,
and we will have a WP music newsgroup finally!"
If Mr. Burdi's confidence disturbs you, please give this
letter the _widest_ possible distribution, and help us deliver
the largest NO vote in the history of UseNet.
The creation of the group rec.music.white-power, proposed by
noted net-nazi Milton Kleim, has provoked some interesting,
and sometimes insulting, arguments in news.groups, the forum
for the discussion of such new group proposals.
The attempt to establish a foothold within mainstream UseNet
should be viewed as precisely what it is: an attempt to
validate a political agenda, and a genre of "music," which
promote hatred based purely on religious and cultural grounds.
Although the standard procedure for proposing a new music
group would mandate posting the Request For Discussion (RFD)
to UseNet's music groups, Mr. Kleim quote deliberately did not
do this. That is the first pointer we have to his real
intention: mainstream validation of his political agenda.
The second pointer offered by Mr. Kleim is this: that he _did_
post the RFD to the so-called "white power" newsgroups, and
other venues relating to politics. That clearly established
his purpose, which had nothing whatsoever to do with music.
Be that as it may, a simple loathing for racial supremacists
and Nazis is not, in the UseNet tradition, sufficient reason
to reject the proposal.
Such a rejection should be based upon the answer to two
1. Is the "namespace" appropriate? I.e., Does the purpose of
the proposed group fit within the purpose of the hierarchy to
which it would be added?
2. Is there a _need_ for the proposed new group?
In response to #1, consider Mr. Kleim's tactics - he did NOT
advise rec.music users of the proposal. He DID advise those in
politically oriented "white power" groups. In short, Mr. Kleim
himself answered the first question by demonstrating a
political purpose. The answer to question #1 is "No, the group
does _not_ belong within the "recreational" framework. If it
belongs anywhere, it belongs in a political hierarchy!
With regard to #2: Although Mr. Kleim and other proponents of
the "white-power" group were asked, over a period of a month,
to provide data which would demonstrate, beyond a reasonable
doubt, that discussions concerning "white power" music tended
to dominate other newsgroups, for instance, alt.rock-n-roll,
alt.politics.white-power, alt.skinheads, RESISTANCE Mailing
List, etc., neither Mr. Kleim nor his compatriots produced a
single shred of evidence in support of this contention. In
short, Mr. Kleim failed to demonstrate that "white-power"
music was a hot topic in other newsgroups, and thus, should be
granted its own mainline newsgroup.
Further, Mr. Kleim could, at any time, without a vote, without
discussion, create "alt.rock-n-roll.white-power." Neither Mr.
Kleim, nor any of the other Nazis on the net, ever did this.
If his sole concern was the creation of a white-power music
group, _or_ if there was a legitimate _need_ for such a group,
then it could have been created, years ago.
If you agree with me, please register your vote. In order to
do that, send a message to: email@example.com
The content of the message should read:
I vote NO on rec.music.white-power
and nothing else.
Do _not_ vote twice - that would constitute voting fraud.
Here is the complete CFV:
FIRST CALL FOR VOTES (of 2)
unmoderated group rec.music.white-power
rec.music.white-power Lyrics, albums, performers, enjoyment of the genre.
Votes must be received by 23:59:59 UTC, 18 Mar 1996.
This vote is being conducted by a neutral third party. Please address any
questions about the proposal to the proponent.
Proponent: Milton John Kleim, Jr <bb748@FreeNet.Carleton.CA>
Votetaker: Michael Handler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There is no appropriate newsgroup for discussion of White Power music, a
phenomenon which is international in scope. Persons who have an interest
in this genre of music have no appropriate venue on USENET in which to
discuss this controversial topic. Other rec.music groups' topics are too
dissimilar, and many of their participants are in no way receptive of
posts about this heated topic. Some discussion of White Power music
occurs on alt.skinheads and alt.politics.white-power, but is inappropriate
there due to the former's mostly lifestyle-oriented matters, and the
latter's largely political nature. Rec.music.white-power will prevent the
"intrusion" of fans into other, more vaguely-defined, newsgroups, where
they will not be welcomed. Discussions would necessarily be free and
open, due to the topic's controversial nature. This group should be
unmoderated because a moderator could exercise undue control over one
All issues relating to the genre known as White Power music, since it's
inception until the present, covering all languages and nationalities of
performers, and all themes of pieces.
Rec.music.white-power is an unmoderated newsgroup for the entertaining
and enlightening discussion of revolutionary new forms of rock, country,
and other sub-genres having racist/nationalist themes. Both supporters
and opponents will find the group educational and intriguing.
Potential topics will relate to the origin, development, and
dissemination of White Power music; to the artistic composition and
performance of the music; and to the personal opinions and perceptions of
those who enjoy particular bands and performers, and pieces.
HOW TO VOTE:
Send E-MAIL (posts to a newsgroup are invalid) to:
Please do not assume that just replying to this message will work.
Check the address before you mail your vote. Your mail message
should contain one and only one of the following vote statements:
I vote YES on rec.music.white-power
I vote NO on rec.music.white-power
You may also vote ABSTAIN or CANCEL but these are not counted as valid
votes for the total count.
If your mail software does not indicate your real name, please also
include the following statement and add your name (on the same line).
IMPORTANT VOTING PROCEDURE NOTES:
Standard Guidelines for voting apply. One person, one vote. Votes
must be mailed directly from the voter to the votetaker. Anonymous,
forwarded or proxy votes are not valid. Votes mailed by WWW/HTML/CGI
forms are considered to be anonymous votes.
Vote counting is automated. Failure to follow these directions may
mean that your vote does not get counted. If you do not receive an
acknowledgment of your vote within three days contact the votetaker
about the problem. It's your responsibility to make sure your vote
is registered correctly. Duplicate votes are resolved in favor of
the most recent valid vote. Addresses and votes of all voters will
be published in the final voting results post.
The purpose of a Usenet vote is to determine the genuine interest of
persons who would read a proposed newsgroup. Soliciting votes from
disinterested parties defeats this purpose. Please do not distribute
this CFV. If you must, direct people to the official CFV as posted
to news.announce.newgroups. Distributing pre-marked or otherwise
edited copies of this CFV is generally considered to be vote fraud.
When in doubt, ask the votetaker.
OFFICIAL SOURCES OF THE CFV:
* The copy which was posted to news.announce.newgroups
* Any copies which were sent to mailing lists *by* *the* *votetaker*
* A copy received from the votetaker's automated mailserver
To obtain a copy of the CFV from the votetaker's mailserver, send a blank
email message to <email@example.com>.
This Call For Votes (CFV) will be also be sent to the following mailing
* Stormfront Mailing List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
* Resistlist <email@example.com>
Michael Handler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Usenet Volunteer Votetakers (UVV)
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© 1996 Peter Langston