Virtual Hate


[Watch the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather on Tuesday for part two of this series, in which "Eye on America" introduces an apostle of hate. He believes the Golden Rule does not apply to millions of our neighbors, and he uses the Internet to spread his word.]

While to some, the Web symbolizes the chance to meet people who they might otherwise never meet, the darker side of the Web -- a largely unregulated, unpoliced, and unfiltered new world -- has become a breeding ground for hatred. CBS News Correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports for Eye On America.

Like most American college students, Sabina Lynn sees the Internet as her daily direct patch to friends and information. That's why it stunned her the day the 'net brought a message of terror.

"He specifically wrote 'I'm going to kill you all,'" she told CBS News.

Lynn had received an anonymous email that targeted not only her, but to 60 Asian-American students at the University of California, Irvine.


The sender promised his life's work would be to "find and kill every one of you personally. OK???"

"You would actually get a chill up your spine knowing that somebody would hate you that much without even knowing you," Lynn says.

With virtual hate spreading on the Internet, email is just the beginning.

"There's been a virtual explosion of hate sites on the Internet, numbering between 200 and 400," says Professor Brian Levin.

At Stockton College in New Jersey, Levin teaches a class on Internet hate.

Levin monitors hundreds of sites advocating, for example, a racial holy war in which Jews would be crushed by whites and where blacks, gays and immigrants are threats to white culture.

On the 'net, Adolph Hitler's calls for an Aryan uprising are just a click away.

"Hate at the speed of light," Levin says. "Sites like this give legitimacy to the message of hate to a boundless and limitless audience, often times including impressionable young people."

Levin has identified a site he calls the "gateway to hate." The site, called the Storm Front, is, Levin says, "the brain child of Don Black, who's been in the hate movement for about 30 years."

Black, a former Klu Klux Klan leader, creates his Web site in an office where the picture of the Klan's founder looming on the wall above.

"We believe in white nationalism, white separatism," Black says. "We want to see an all-white nation."

While Black's Storm Front Web site does not call for violence directly, the site provides Web links to Klan groups, skinheads, and Aryan Warrior sites, some of which clearly suggest that whites are oppressed and need to take action.

But Black says that his call for white freedo did not spring from Hitler's call for Aryans to rise.

"Our philosophy is not based on what Hitler did or didn't say," Black says. "If there's some parallels to the National Socialist movement in Germany, so be it."

One of those parallels is propaganda. Just like Hitler used movies to sell his movement in the 1930's, Black is using the visual appeal of the Web to win converts in the 1990's, right down to the "Aryan dating page," where at least one woman seeks a National Socialist male -- white supremacists looking for love.

"Historically, hate mongers have been very effective at using propaganda and new technology to recruit new members," Levin says.

Back on campus, Lynn is still fearful. Virtual hate is real to her.

"How would I know if there's somebody behind me and that's him or not?" she asks.

In her case, the hate email contained a specific threat. That's against the law, and the sender, Richard Machado, was sent to jail.

But Don Black's Storm Front? That's protected speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Along the information superhighway, there's a parallel freeway of hate.




Reported By Wyatt Andrews
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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