The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

26 March 2005

Was Shooting Suspect Inspired by Canadian Tribal Leader?

Jeff Weise Not The Only Native American With Nazi Sympathies
By Brian Maloney

(With new update)

Jeffrey Weise at age 9

If Americans today are perplexed, trying to fathom how a young tribal member in northern Minnesota could kill 10 people, including himself, it might help to revisit a news story from 2002.

Although it might seem illogical, 17-year-old Jeff Weise hasn't been the only Native American to express Nazi sympathies.
Could he have been inspired by a Canadian aboriginal leader who publicly expressed similar views two years ago?

The evidence so far is circumstantial, but worth investigating further.

A firestorm erupted across Canada in December 2002 when Dr. David Ahenakew told a reporter from the
Saskatoon Star Phoenix in Saskatchewan that Hitler "fried six million Jews" to keep them from taking over Europe. “

"That’'s why he fried six million of those guys, you know. Jews would have owned the goddamned world. And look what they'’re doing. They'’re killing people in Arab countries,"” Ahenakew was quoted as saying.

No ordinary tribal member, he's the former
chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Assembly of First Nations, according to Indian Country Today.

Certainly, Ahenakew's comments were made hundreds of miles away from Weise's home at the Red Lake Indian Reservation, home to a band of Chippewa Indians, most of which is a relatively short distance from the Manitoba border.

It's much closer to Winnipeg than Minneapolis, and a portion of it actually straddles Manitoba, while another section touches Ontario.
With the kind of open border that still exists between Canada and the US, particularly in the Midwest region, it's likely that Ahenakew's statements were known to Red Lake members. Could this be when the seed was first planted in the teen's mind?

Weise's first public expressions of Nazi sympathies on the Internet date to March 2004, how long he had previously maintained them is not known.
In April 2004, officials questioned him over a rumored plan to commit a shooting at the school to coincide with Hitler's birthday, but according to the Guardian of London, the investigation was dropped without Weise facing punishment or restrictions.

This would suggest his sentiments date back further, as it's hard to imagine he'd come anywhere near that point overnight.
Even though Canadian press coverage completely condemned Ahenakew, even demanding he be stripped of his prestigious Order of Canada membership, a 2003 study by the League For Human Rights of B'nai Brith of Canada found a surge of anti-Semitic incidents across Canada in the three months following Ahenakew's infamous comments.

Their contention is that negative press coverage of such statements can actually have the opposite effect, opening the door to pent-up hostility, turned on like a light switch.
Internet comments made by Weise indicate not only sympathy for Nazi atrocities, but outrage with "racial impurity" being exhibited by his peers on the reservation.

It could very well prove to be the motivating factor for his homicidal massacre. According to the Guardian, Weise found compatible neo-Nazi beliefs that didn't seem to conflict with his tribal identity through the Libertarian National Socialist Green party, which runs the website.

An email sent today to a tribal spokesperson asking about any possible connection to Ahenakew's statements has so far not been returned. A note at Red Lake's website says long delays will meet all media inquiries.

Even though nothing yet connects the two incidents other than circumstantial coincidences of geography and time, Weise acquired neo-Nazi philosophies, twisted and warped to be compatible with tribal beliefs, that originated somewhere.

In one Internet post to fellow LNSG supporters, Weise expresses surprise that fellow participants hadn't heard of other Native American fascists, as he obviously had:


Title: Re: Native American Nationalists?
Post by NativeNazi on Jul 19th, 2004, 11:33am

Apparently a lot of people have never heard of a Native American National Socialist, which surprises me.

I think most people on this Reservation would respond well to the racial question if it was disguised.

For example, if I asked your average teenager on this reservation: “Are you proud to be Native?” The answer I would get is, “hell yeah dawg.”

Now for some reason, I would find myself asking “if you’re so proud to be Native, then why do you walk, talk, act, and dress like an African American?”

But I always refrain from doing so.


Is he indirectly referring to Dr. Ahenakew in that first sentence? He makes it clear that he's not one of a kind. Who else could he be mentioning? Dr. Ahenakew isn't known to have ties to this particular party, but clearly shares its views.

Weise was easy prey for these groups, with a troubled family history and his forced exclusion from school, due to unspecified violations of policy. It's not clear whether the April 2004 questioning resulting in this removal, press accounts differ.

The LNSG Party certainly played its part, but Dr. Ahenakew is the one regional role model Weise could potentially look to that shared both the fascist beliefs and ethnic identity tied together in a compatible package.

There simply must be an examination of whether Ahenakew's fascist public sentiments reached a young mind and ultimately encouraged this horrible massacre. Let's find out now, before we learn the hard way that other young Native Americans have joined this demented cause.

Weekend update: Red Lake Tribal Spokesperson M. Barrett contacts The Radio Equalizer to say that this will be looked into further.

I'm concerned that with such a busy news week, this story and its impacts on our children, wasn't sufficiently discussed. The provocations for Weise's attack have since been blamed by the media on a whole host of issues, from Prozac to family problems.

But isn't this exactly the kind of young person that fringe groups can most easily influence? Let's examine that more closely to prevent the next incident.


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