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2010.01.25 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

White Supremacy is Focus of New Book by UNO Professor

Omaha - A new book by a University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) professor explores how White Supremacy movements thrive nationwide, even as the country – on the surface – advocates racial equality.

American Swastika is written by Pete Simi, an associate professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UNO, and Robert Futrell, a sociology professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In the book, published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Simi and Futrell explain the difference between movements such as the KKK, the Aryan Nation, Skinheads and others, then discuss ways White Supremacists cultivate, maintain and spread their beliefs, largely under the radar of most Americans.

The authors draw on more than a decade of research and interviews, from the infamous Hayden Lake Aryan compound in Northern Idaho, to private homes in Los Angeles, to hate music concerts around the country.

Through descriptive case studies, Simi and Futrell examine hate in the home, talking with parents who aim to raise “little Hitlers” and discussing the impact home schooling and cultural isolation can have on children. The authors also describe Aryan crash pads, Bible studies and rituals. They take readers through the hate music scene from underground bars to massive rallies, examining how the Internet has shaped communication and created disturbing new virtual communities.

“Since I was young I’ve wondered how a person could commit their life to hating other people,” Simi said. “Since then I’ve read a lot about why people join hate groups. This is an important question, but my co-author and I decided to focus on a slightly different issue. We wrote this book to help explain how people keep these groups going once they become involved. We also wanted to give readers some firsthand views of the world of white supremacists. We felt this was important because too often people don’t want to take these groups seriously and would rather write their members off as insignificant buffoons.”

For more information on American Swastika, contact Simi: psimi@unomaha.edu or (402) 554-3093.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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