The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that a hate music company with links to neo-Nazi and skinhead groups plans to distribute 100,000 "sampler CDs" at schools across the United States in the coming weeks, in an effort to attract young people to the music and ideology of neo-Nazi bands.
The ADL, which tracks the activities of extremists and reports its findings to law enforcement and the public, has been alerting school districts across the country to the planned CD distribution effort, dubbed "Operation Schoolyard USA" by its organizers.
Spearheaded by Panzerfaust Records, a neo-Nazi music label based in Newport, Minnesota, the distribution campaign will target schools with sampler CDs of songs by various white power bands whose music is filled with racist and anti-Semitic themes. The record company plans to draw on a network of "volunteers" from various white supremacist groups to help distribute the CDs at schools across the country. The target audience, according to Panzerfaust, is middle and high school children ages 13 to 19.
"Once again, the hate groups are finding ways to repackage their old-fashioned hatred and anti-Semitism into new, more deceptively attractive forms that can appeal to a younger audience," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director in a press release. "Instead of handing out leaflets on street corners, they are creating video games and CDs and Web sites whose aim is to attract children by at first concealing their real agenda and message."
Since first learning of the campaign several weeks ago, ADL has been working to notify school officials of the Panzerfaust campaign. In addition, ADL has published on its Web site visuals and information on hate music and an "Educator Alert" to help school officials, parents and caregivers better identify the symbols and warning signs commonly associated with hate music.
"Panzerfaust has intentionally designed its CDs to lure unsuspecting teens with a free giveaway that has the appearance of being just another free compilation of cutting edge music," said Mr. Foxman. "In reality it is a thinly veiled attempt to attract kids to hateful, racist music and white power bands."
In a bulletin to national school officials, ADL explained the campaign's goals: "Panzerfaust hopes to use the hard-driving music to recruit youth to its racist and anti-Semitic ideology, and plans to make the CD readily available on its Web site for just 15 cents, so that white supremacist groups can easily purchase large quantities to hand out to kids. In hopes of disguising the content of the CD, Panzerfaust points out that it has been designed "to be inconspicuous and not overtly racial so that it will be able to fly below the radar screen of teachers and other people ."