Aryan Wear promotes message of hate

In a small industrial park west of Keller, near sprawling neighborhoods and new schools, a storage facility routinely receives shipments of merchandise geared toward a certain clientele – white supremacists and anti-Semitics.

An FBI joint task force knows about the place and the people who operate it.

So do the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department and a national watchdog group that monitors hate groups nationwide.

Aryan Wear, an online clothing, music and book outlet that degrades Jews and promotes white supremacy, keeps much of its merchandise in the northeast Tarrant County storage stall.

Incorporated by a licensed pilot who lives in far north Fort Worth, Aryan Wear is one of 10 hate and racially intolerant operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based organization that tracks extremist groups.

While most hate groups consist of members who are out in the open, publicly shaking their fists at the minorities they consider to be inferior, operators of Aryan Wear remain for the most part anonymous, letting their online sales pitches spread their unfriendly message.

“You don’t really have my permission to use my name in your article, pertaining to this. I think this pretty much seals the deal,” said a phone message left by Tony Eynon, named as Aryan Wear’s president and lone director in corporate records filed with the Texas secretary of state’s office in Austin.

A pilot who until recently was licensed to commercially fly Boeing 737s, Eynon, 30, declined to be interviewed, saying only in his phone message to the Star-Telegram that he had recently sold Aryan Wear and that “there’s just the finalization of paperwork right now.”

He lives with his wife and young child in a well-established neighborhood – down the street from a black family and a Hispanic family – in a home no different from any other on the block until, neighbors say, the garage door rises, revealing a large Confederate flag on the wall.

Joe Roy, chief researcher for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s magazine, the Intelligence Report, called Aryan Wear a “hate-for-profit” business, a kind of one-stop shopping for the fashion needs of white supremacists.”

The Web site’s merchandise includes T-shirts that declare, “Deport Pedro,” another that brandishes a picture of Adolph Hitler, with the inscription, “I was right,” and yet another that is similar to a Tide detergent logo, altered to say:

“Pride … For a Whiter, Brighter Future!”

Aryan Wear’s signature product, however, is a high-laced boot with swastikas carved in the sole, allowing its wearer to leave an impression of the Nazi symbol when walking on soft ground.

“An outstanding product real skinheads can be proud to be associated with,” one wearer said in a review posted on the Aryan Wear Web site. The boots, the owner gushed, were simply “Too White …!”

Roy said the boots were created by Eynon’s friend, Christopher Evans, who was connected with the violence-prone Confederate Hammerskins in Dallas and is now living in the Fort Worth area.

Evans could not be reached for comment.

Initially, Roy said, the boots were sold to make money for the National Alliance. But the once-powerful neo-Nazi organization is now in turmoil, with a declining membership, since the death of its longtime leader, William Pierce, in 2002.

Roy said the boot sales were the National Alliance’s biggest moneymaker until August 2003 when, apparently realizing the financial potential of the footwear, Eynon formed Aryan Wear as a Texas company and began selling the boots exclusively.

A man identifying himself as Jim Reid, who lives near Austin, said in a recent telephone interview that Eynon is no longer associated with Aryan Wear and that he is the new president and chief executive officer.

There are three “primary” owners, one in Houston, another in Florida and the third in New Jersey, he said, adding that the new owners want to remain “silent partners.”

Reid denied that the business promotes hatred, or that its products – including the “Happy Hitler Baby Doll” T-shirt – are overly radical.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with hate,” said Reid, maintaining: “We want to basically present a positive image to the youth and the public in general.”

Local officials are not impressed.

“I’m glad that authorities are aware of this operation and are keeping an eye on it,” said Roy Brooks, a leader in the local African-American community and a member of the Tarrant County Commissioners Court.

“We can’t legislate good taste or human compassion. I wish we could,” Brooks added.

Lori Bailey, a spokeswoman for the FBI in North Texas, said federal authorities are “keenly aware” of Aryan Wear because of its apparent association with the sometimes-violent skinhead movement. Bailey said, however, there is little that the FBI can do because the business is not breaking the law.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson agreed that he saw nothing illegal in Aryan Wear’s business tactics. Still, Anderson said, “They are clearly tied to the white supremacist movement, if you look at the types of merchandise they’re offering. …

“I think anytime anybody deals in that type of activity, it’s a concern for law enforcement,” the sheriff said, adding: “It certainly bears watching.”

Star-Telegram researcher Cathy Belcher contributed to this report.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, USA
July 30, 2005
Jack Douglas Jr.

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday August 1, 2005.
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