Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse of the Phoenix New Times report from an Arizona Aryanfest:
Have you heard the one about the brown-skinned kid who showed up at the Nazi rally wearing a "WHITE POWER" tee shirt?
This was no joke at Aryanfest 2004, an "international" gathering of Nazi skinheads, Ku Klux Klan members and other white supremacists that took place inside McDowell Regional Mountain Park just north of Fountain Hills a couple of weekends ago.
Aryanfest's gates opened at noon, and about an hour later, the gathering assemblage gradually hushed as all eyes turned upon the young man who had just paid his entrance fee and was casually perusing the hate-rock compact discs, swastika flags and white power watch caps at Panzerfaust Records' merchandise booth.
He was in his late teens or early 20s, had a shaved head and sported Nazi and white power tattoos on both arms, in addition to wearing the white tee shirt with bold, black script.
He would have fit in just fine, except for one thing: He wasn't white. Not even close. There was at least half a cup of Kahl?a in his cream.
Seemingly oblivious to the increasingly hostile stares and menacing murmurs generated by his mere presence, this poor fellow, who seemed on the verge of getting lynched from the nearest sturdy saguaro cactus, was accompanied by three white kids who looked as if their primary aspiration in life was to load amplifiers for Marilyn Manson. They were outfitted in gothic black. Two had long, dirty blond hair, the other an unruly dark brown mop that danced wildly in the cold wind.
About five minutes after arriving, the group of four was approached by a cadre of skinhead security guards. These storm troopers were painfully polite as they informed the brown kid he wasn't welcome. "We're sorry, but we've been asked by the managers of this event to tell you that you have to leave. We're going to escort you out," said one.
"Why?" asked the kid.
The skinheads looked at him incredulously, and not without a degree of sympathy. It was obvious that he actually thought he belonged there, amongst white power kinfolk. "Well, you haven't broken any of the festival's rules," began another skinhead, employing the sort of "I hate to break it to you" tone of voice of a father explaining to his 5-year-old son why a bed sheet tied around his neck doesn't mean he can fly. "The thing is, you're not white."
Crestfallen, the kid stood silent for a few beats, then responded, "Okay, okay. I understand. I respect that. I just hope you know I didn't mean any disrespect by being here. I just wanted to come out and show my respect for the white race and support the cause."
"We respect that, and we appreciate your attitude, you not giving us any trouble," said a skinhead, gently guiding him toward the exit. "It's just we don't allow any non-whites here, and, you know, a judgment call was made and that call was that you're not white. We'll be happy to refund your money. Your friends can stay if they like, and if not, we'll give them their money back as well."
The four interlopers each retrieved their $30 cover charge, then made hastily for their car. Watching them go, celebrity racist Tom Metzger cackled and said, loudly but to no one in particular, "Well, what in the hell do you suppose that spic was thinking?"
Metzger later reveals that he's backing Al Sharpton for president. "Sharpton's the only one to mention race, the only one to recognize there is a white race," he explains.