White power music, of the kind performed and consumed by the alleged Sikh temple shooter, is a major youth recruitment tool for the movement, explained an ex-skinhead on Tuesday's Hardball.
"The racist music is what keeps the movement young," said Frank Meeink, the co-author of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead. "If it wasn't for the music that keeps getting people into this, you know, you would have that old image of the Klan sitting on the front porch with the shotgun."
By the time of the Sikh temple shooting, alleged gunman Wade Michael Page, had been a presence on the white power music scene for over a decade. He performed in several bands and even started his own, called End Apathy.
Meeink first became a neo-Nazi when he was 14 years old, he said. The movement appealed to him because it gave him a home and sense of power that he had never felt before.
"When this kind of came into my life, there were people that gave me attention," he said. "They talked to me about my home life. And the music part came in real quickly, because, you know, I can go to so many Bible studies to preach hate, I can go to a couple meetings here and there, but what I needed with me at all times was something to keep backing up my beliefs."
Criminology Professor Pete Simi, who had studied Wade Michael Page while researching the hate rock music scene, said that the music "is a very big part of the movement. It provides opportunities for recruitment, it provides opportunities to generate revenue and, probably most importantly, it provides a variety of different occasions for individuals of like mind to come together."