Wade Michael Page (1971-2012), American terrorist, skinhead and rock musician, killed six people at a Sikh temple on August 5th 2012 in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee. In the police shoot-out that followed he shot himself in the head and died.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has had an eye on him since 2000. He wrote songs about killing Jews, blacks and gays. He belonged to the violently racist Hammerskin Nation. Despite all that he had no trouble buying a gun a week before the massacre.
This came just two weeks after the massacre at Aurora, Colorado by James Holmes.
President Obama offered his “thoughts and prayers”, he even called for “soul searching”, but nothing on gun control. The gun makers, through the NRA, pour millions into Congressional races. Even when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in 2011 Congress did nothing.
Unlike Aurora, the president did not visit the families affected by this massacre, undercutting his claim that “We are all Americans”.
The temple was just a block from where Page’s girlfriend worked. Most likely the word “temple” drew his attention – to him it would have meant they were not white Christians and therefore did not belong in the country. Some think Page mistook the Sikhs for Muslims, but such subtleties scarcely mattered to him.
Page mainly hated Jews and blacks. He believed Jews run America through a Zionist Occupation Government and that blacks are favoured over whites in American society.
He belonged to the Hammerskin Nation, which has six chapters in North America, nine in Europe and one in Australia. Founded in Texas in 1988, it was directly modelled on the neo-Nazis in the film “Pink Floyd – The Wall” (1982).
The Hammerskins beat up and sometimes murder blacks just for being black. They paint swastikas on Jewish temples. They firebomb places. They see a holy race war coming and want their men to have military training to be ready.
They also have a music scene: not just to make money but to get their message out and bring people into the movement.
Page himself had been in several skinhead bands through the years: he played guitar, sang and wrote songs. He saw it as a way to wake people up. Thus the name for his last band: End Apathy.
Page grew up in Littleton, Colorado – where the Columbine massacre would later take place on Hitler’s birthday, 1999. When he served in the army in the 1990s the skinheads there got him interested in the movement. At Fort Bragg in North Carolina he even met James Burmeister, the skinhead soldier who murdered a black couple in 1995. (Tim McVeigh, by the way, was also at Fort Bragg, briefly, and was also openly racist.)
The army has thousands of skinheads and does nothing about it. That, along with loose gun laws, means skinhead gangs are becoming increasingly militarized. In 2009 a government report, killed by Republicans, warned that a black president and high unemployment would mean more skinheads.