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Skinheads USA: Soldiers of the Race War

Genre: Documentary; Runtime (in minutes): 60

A concise mindblower: In the space of an hour, producer-director Shari Cookson presents the worldview of a neo-Nazi cult in Alabama. Bill Riccio is the head of a small Aryan National Front organization that recruits primarily adolescent boys. ”More and more young people have found out that Adolf Hitler was right,” says Riccio, surrounded by skin-headed fellows who join him in burning the American flag, insulting African-Americans and Jews, and singing along to records with racist lyrics. The achievement of Skinheads USA is that instead of shaking your head and wondering how things got this bad, you come to understand why: In interviews, one boy after another talks of parents who either ignore or beat him, of boring schools and a bleak future of ”flipping fast-food burgers.” Riccio makes them feel wanted; he hugs them and says sincerely, ”Y’all are in my life.” By offering love, he instills hatred. A

Originally posted April 30 1993 — 12:00 AM EDT

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