Stories about life in Liddonfield housing project and its impact on the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood of Upper Holmesburg. These true stories reveal how government policy affected the lives of real people, from the project residents to area homeowners during the 5 decades of Liddonfield’s existence. Stories and articles are written by a former resident of the project.


Rosemary Reeves, Blogger, standing on Philadelphia Skyline

Oct 11, 2010

Why Racist Skinheads Try to Recruit Poor Whites

Racist skinhead groups are more savvy than you know.  Like any organization with a product to sell (in this case, racism), they need to reach out to a target audience.  In determining who that target audience will be, the most important factor is who is the most likely to buy into their rhetoric.  White juveniles who grew up in poverty are especially vulnerable, as they are often dealing with feelings of alienation and anger toward society for the hardships they have endured.  The white racist skinhead movement is well aware of this, and even has its own music labels to attract and indoctrinate alienated white juveniles who are looking for a way to express their suppressed rage.

But racist skinheads did not create the phenomenon of alienated poor white youths.  Society did, by sweeping white poverty under the rug, blaming poor whites for their poverty and demeaning them with classist slurs like "white trash" and "trailer trash."  People read about racist groups in the newspapers, shake their heads and say, "Tsk, tsk. What  a shame.  Something should be done about this," without realizing they are a big part of the problem.   We can try to curb racist recruitment by making public service announcements until we're all blue in the face.  If racist groups are the only ones offering them acceptance, brotherhood and a sense of pride, then that's where alienated poor white youths are going to gravitate. In his interview with New York Times reporter Wayne King, John Metzger of the Aryan Youth Movement stated, 'So someone who is not sure about his beliefs, you instill that pride in them, it's easy to convert to racism. Pride for yourself, it can become white pride.''

Every human being needs to have pride in himself to a certain extent.  If you keep beating someone down, eventually they acquire a low self-esteem, stop trying to live up to impossible expectations and maybe turn to alcohol or drugs in order to cope.  Alienate them and they seek acceptance from anywhere they can find it.  The Aryan Youth Movement is able to recruit these young people because no one else will reach out to them.

Poor whites deserve to have a healthy sense of pride that has nothing to do with hatred.  Our society needs to stop sending them negative messages that damage their self-esteem and fuel their anger.  People should be told that words like, "white trash" are not okay to use.  They are as dehumanizing as any racial slur.  Where are the public service announcements about that?  Shame on us and our society for deeming it acceptable.

Ordinary Americans are unknowingly pushing these young people into the arms of the white racist skinhead movement and are not innocent bystanders.  They are a big part of what is causing this to happen.  Being kind to poor white youths instead of hurling classist slurs in their path will make it that much harder for these skinhead groups to do their dirty work.


  1. All I see are countless La Raza latino gangmembers all over my state (California). I've never met a white gangmember in the decades I've lived here. I only know they exist from all the attention the few that actually exist receive from the media. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of hardcore 24/7 La Raza gangsters roam my state at will from one to the other.

  2. And your point is?

    As for you calling "Taxpayer", do you really believe that only white people pay taxes?


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