PORTLAND (AP) ó For more than a year now, a Tualatin man has used public access television, the Internet and the mainstream media to create the illusion that a white supremacist movement is on the rise in the Northwest, law enforcement officials said.
But in reality, authorities said, the so-called Tualatin Valley Skins and the pro-white movement is the work of one man, Matthew Ramsey of Tualatin, and perhaps one or two other men.
Ramsey even created an alternative persona for himself, “Jim Ramm” ó but his real name surfaced two weeks ago in media reports.
Still, some experts say, Ramsey, 40, and his Web site should be tracked because he has managed to create a buzz for the white supremacy movement.
“We are concerned that they are getting more attention in the Northwest and in particular in the Portland area than they have any time recently as a result of his grandstanding,” said Robert Jacobs, the Anti-Defamation League’s Seattle director.
Ramsey’s racist recruitment fliers began appearing on driveways across the state last January. He took credit for the distributions on his Web site and granted several interviews.
Showing off his Tualatin apartment packed with computers and video equipment, Ramsey, 40, told a reporter that he’d grown up in Hillsboro, seen the growth of Hispanic immigration, and graduated from Portland State University.
Later, in a voicemail, he said: “You see, my friend, my family they are all Nazis,” he said. “And you know what? They are raising Nazi children, white supremacist children.”
But Ramsey’s 87-year-old mother, who lives in rural Washington, told The Oregonian in a telephone interview that she did not approve of her son’s behavior and did not know where it came from.
Her son did not grow up in Hillsboro, she said, but in rural northern Washington. He did not attend PSU, she and school officials said, but graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in graphic communications in 1987.
In Oregon, she said, he holds a blue-collar job.
The Tualatin Valley Skins’ Web site got more attention at the end of January after the Spokesman Review in Spokane used Ramsey’s true name in a story saying that he was organizing a rally in Idaho celebrating deceased Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler. Ramsey says he wasn’t the organizer, only that he agreed to promote it on his Web site.
But Ramsey did not seem as comfortable with the attention as he did last summer.
There were people in the world, he said, who wished to do him and his family harm.
“I’m just saying you might have a little bit of mercy for my kids who don’t really deserve to die for the cause because they are still young yet,” he said.
His mother isn’t aware of Ramsey having any children, although she thinks he does have a girlfriend.