Remembering Tom Metzger (1938-2020)
by James Harting
I FIRST MET Tom Metzger in 1973, when I was a staff member of the Los Angeles headquarters of the National Socialist White People’s Party. Tom had come up to Los Angeles from Fallbrook, and he stopped in to say hello at the HQ. Joe Tommasi was the local party leader. At that time Tom was a Christian Identity reverend. Joe was an atheist, and he had contempt for Christianity in general, and Identity Christianity in particular. He liked Tom well enough, he said, except for his religious beliefs. But those beliefs were fated to change.
Later, Tom was the California leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, whose national leader was David Duke. Duke had ushered in a new era of the Klan. He maintained traditional Klan practices, such as robe-wearing and cross lighting ceremonies, for private, internal Klan events, but he modernized Klan ideology and public outreach. Metzger was an enthusiastic supporter of this new approach. He initiated the famous Klan Border Watch to help stem the flow of illegal invaders from Mexico. For public demonstrations, he dressed his men in sharp black uniforms, rather than the traditional ceremonial robes, which, he noted, were impractical for fighting with communists on the street.
Tom later broke with Duke over personal matters which I will not discuss here. At first, he kept the Klan designation for his outfit, but soon renamed it the “White American Political Association.” In time, this name was replaced by “White American Resistance,” and finally “White Aryan Resistance.”
Sometime in the 1980s (I don’t remember exactly when) he came across the book Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Reading this book was a watershed event for Tom. Although he was certainly intelligent, he was primarily a man of action, not a philosopher or ideologue. Nevertheless, he thought deeply about religion, society and related topics. For a long time, he struggled in an attempt to reconcile Christian ideals with racial and societal realities. Might Is Right helped clarify his thinking. He wrote, “[Might Is Right] is the single most hard-hitting exponent of survival of the strong yet available…This book will pick you up, slap you around and drop you to the ground emotionally. It is then up to you to take an aggressive new Aryan view of life…I wish had read this before I was twenty years old.” The book became a Bible or handbook for him.
I worked with Tom throughout the 1980s on a number of projects. I visited his home in Fallbrook in January of 1990. While I was downstairs speaking with his son John, someone fired an arrow through the picture window in the living room. It embedded itself in the wall. Like a shot, an unarmed Tom rushed out the front door and gave chase on foot after the armed attacker. John, Wyatt Kaldenberg and I followed behind. The attacker apparently got away in a pickup truck and was never identified. Tom was not the least bit rattled by the incident. He viewed armed attacks on his home and his family as just part of the price he had to pay for standing up for his race.
Eventually, he was sent to prison on bogus charges. While he was incarcerated, his beloved wife Kathleen became terminally ill. In a rare show of compassion, the government allowed him out of prison early to attend to her in her final days. In time, he retired from active movement organizing and reinvented himself as a commentator and elder statesman of White racialism. His perspective was characterized by two features: (1) He always pushed the most-radical pro-White agenda; and (2) He always insisted on absolute political realism, eschewing all traditional movement fantasies and wishful thinking.
I kept in touch with Tom by email until the time of his death. I am sorry that I was not able to get together with him in person one last time, as there were several subjects on which I would liked to have gotten his take.
Tom Metzger was the real deal. His wisdom and insights will be sorely missed in the crucial years ahead.
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Source: Do Right and Fear No One