Long before the shooter walked into a suburban Milwaukee Sikh temple and opened fire, murdering six people before being killed by police, the former soldier reportedly responsible for the horrific attack was loaded with the ideological ammunition to carry out acts of mass violence against people of color.
Wade Michael Page has been identified as the alleged shooter. The exact motivation for Page’s targeting of the Sikh temple is not now known, but his background shows a young man who for over a decade had his head filled with white noise.
After being drummed out of the Army with a less-than-honorable discharge in 1998, Page discovered the white power music scene in 2000. During this period the so-called white power music scene was burgeoning into a multi-million-dollar-a-year international enterprise and the leading recruiting tool attracting a new generation of white nationalist “street soldiers” into the movement.
In those years after the Army, Page travelled the country attending white power music festivals in Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, and West Virginia, and found a home in the movement. He quickly rose in stature by not just being another sieg heiling racist in the crowd, but being up on stage as a popular white power musician. Page claims to have played in some of the most well-known white power music bands in the United States and Europe, including acts like Celtic Warrior, Radikahl, Max Resist, Intimidation One, Aggressive Force, Youngland, and Blue Eyed Devils.
Those racist bands all sound pretty similar, but today white power music music comes in a multitude of genres, from National Socialist Black Metal to Ku Klux Klan Country ballads. It may be packaged differently, but the message is the same: hatred of Jews, Muslims, all people of color and the LGBT community; exhortations to violence and even glorification of genocide.