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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

White Supremacist Group Distributes Fliers in Eagle

Aired August 13, 2003 - 19:13   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Today, a disturbing side show to the Kobe Bryant case we'll tell you about.
A white supremacist group has found a way to use the sexual assault charges against the NBA star to get its message out. And a lot of people in Eagle, Colorado, where Bryant was accused, are none too happy about this.

CNN's Mike Brooks is in Denver with the latest -- Mike.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Anderson.

Well, early yesterday morning about 3,000 people awoke to find fliers in their driveways, on their cars, all around town, in Eagle, and all around the county.

I spoke with the acting police chief in Eagle, Gary Ward. He said that his department got a number of calls from people who were very upset about what they're calling the racist fliers.

Now, the group putting this out is the National Alliance. I spoke with the chairman of the National Alliance, Eric Leba (ph), from their compound in Hillsborough, West Virginia.

I asked him, I said, why were these fliers put out in Eagle County? Was it because of the Kobe Bryant case there?

And he said, "Absolutely." Then he went on to quote from the flier, Anderson. He said went on to say according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks aged 13 to 14 account for 63 percent of all new AIDS cases.

He went on to talk about that. The flier reads, "Do not have sex with blacks; avoid AIDS."

But then he went on to say something else that I thought was interesting. He said, quote, that he didn't want more unsuspecting white girls falling prey to other black athletes.

He then -- I asked him again if they were going to take any more action in Eagle County in the upcoming months. He said as the trial approaches there could be more fliers put out and they also could possibly put on a demonstration in Eagle County.

He says that there are a number of members in Eagle County of the National Alliance and there is a large number here in Denver. I asked how many. He would not disclose that.

But very disturbing to the people of Eagle, Colorado -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Mike Brooks, thanks very much.

Among those closely following the National Alliance flyer campaign is the Anti-Defamation League. Evan Zuckerman is the associate director of the ADL, Denver chapter. She joins us now.

Evan, thanks for being with us.

EVAN ZUCKERMAN, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: I guess this doesn't really surprise you, you know. This kind of stuff happens any time, I guess, there's a large concentration of media. Is this basically just an attempt to get publicity?

ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely. The Anti-Defamation League has been monitoring and tracking groups like the National Alliance, hate groups. The National Alliance is a neo-Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant hate group. And we've been tracking them for years now and they're using this opportunity as an opportunity to exploit and get their message across.

COOPER: And, I mean, I guess you know, they argue it's their First Amendment right to do this sort of thing. And because they're on the Internet, these fliers, you can download them. So it's not as if -- They're not sort of this -- I mean, I guess, how strong a group are they? How many are there out there? Are people just downloading this stuff from the net and someone is just handing it out?

ZUCKERMAN: It's very difficult to get a good number of how many are actual members of the National Alliance. We estimate in the number of 1,500 to perhaps 2,500 in this country alone. And...

COOPER: Have you seen this kind of stuff in Colorado before?

ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely. We've seen National Alliance leafleting in at least ten cities since the beginning of this year, 2003.

COOPER: So are you just quoting that because it just began in 2003 or has it been in prior years, as well?

ZUCKERMAN: It's been in prior years, as well. I have just looked back on my notes in order to -- because of what happened in Eagle County. And the Anti-Defamation League has been following this group for years and they have been doing this sort of thing for years now.

COOPER: And nothing you or really anyone else can do much about it. It's not illegal, right?

ZUCKERMAN: No, it's not unlawful. The First Amendment protects hate speech as well as all other kinds of speech. And so the National Alliance is entitled to spread its hateful message. Our job is to educate people and to be sure that people understand their ideology is full of hate and seeks to establish a white Aryan society.

COOPER: This is the same group. As I understand it, they own, like, Resistance Records, which is, like, a white power record label. Is that correct?

ZUCKERMAN: They own Resistance Records, which is a huge moneymaker. It produces white power music and it also distributes a hate-filled video, or it's actually a CD-ROM, for children called "Ethnic Cleansing." So, you can imagine with a title like that, the goal of this video game is to recruit young people to go after -- the object of the game is to go after Jews and blacks and Latinos and kill them.

COOPER: You know, Evan, one of the things we face here it's like did we even want to do this story because it does give more publicity to people? I mean, do you think there's a value to talking about this kind of stuff or should it just not be covered, in your opinion?

ZUCKERMAN: Well, in the opinion of the Anti-Defamation League, we need to shine the line on bigots like the National Alliance.

There's always a balancing as to how much attention you're going to give to a group like this, because that's exactly what they seek. But we need to educate people and make them aware. Because most people, as the people in Eagle County, reject these hate-filled messages.

COOPER: All right. Evan Zuckerman, appreciate you joining us tonight.

ZUCKERMAN: Thank you.

COOPER: We're going to talk a little bit more about this with our legal round table coming up, in about 15 minutes or so.

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