City Desk

White Trite: A Look at D.C.’s White Power Flops

Members of the white-supremacist group Aryan Nations plan to march on the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, ostensibly to protest the treatment of white farmers in South Africa. But if history is any predictor, the rally has a good chance of fizzling. Ever since the Ku Klux Klan organized around 35,000 marchers in 1925, it’s been downhill for white-power groups hoping to pull off a spectacle in Washington.

Nov. 28, 1982: After a 57-year break from protesting in Washington, the KKK returns to the Capitol. Organizers set the bar low and predict 200 members will march. Thirty-six show up. When a KKK spokesman mentions the threat of “illegal aliens,” according to the New York Times, one reporter asks if he means E.T.

Sept. 2, 1990: The Knights of Freedom Nationalist Party, a KKK group from South Carolina, attempt to walk down Constitution Avenue. The 44-person march gets stuck at the Capitol, however, after counterprotesters block their path.

Oct. 28, 1990: The Knights of Freedom Nationalist Party are back, and, after a legal fight with then-Mayor Marion Barry’s administration, win a permit. Only 27 people show up, but the Klan does get D.C. to pay its $62,000 legal bill to the ACLU.

August 7, 1999: A long-planned march by a neo-Nazi group ends up attracting just four members—not counting the group’s leader, who doesn’t’ show up. His mother tells the Washington Post: “I don’t like to say that about my own son, but he is a chicken.”

April 19, 2008: White-power groups just love Constitution Avenue. A march by Michigan neo-Nazis attracts hundreds of cops...and 35 neo-Nazis.

Photos courtesy Library of Congress

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  • Kaba

    Well, white supremacists are still able to hold conferences at the National Press Club and at the Ronald Reagan Building, as they did Sept. 9-10, 2010. One of them will speak at Towson University on Oct. 2, and a group of them will hold a conference at a Holiday Inn at BWI in November. There were a series of rallies put on by the white supremacist National Alliance in 2001-2002 where the average number they brought out was 150, but the last one brought out 400.

    Don't sleep on these clowns. They will take advantage of it.

  • Tom

    White Power is a flop in D.C.?

    What about the 2002 Rock Against Israel march?

    There were nearly 1,000 White Nationalist there that day.

  • Kaba

    You must be one of them, Tom. No one calls it the "Rock Against Israel" march except those connected to National Alliance, and only they say there were 1000 "White Nationalist" - as opposed to Nazis - that were there. There were 400. Having said that, that's what I refered to in my last post.