Extremism in America: Richard Barrett

  • April 30, 2010

Richard Barrett was the founder and leader of the Nationalist Movement, a white supremacist organization based in Learned, Mississippi. He was found murdered in his Mississippi home on April 22, 2010. 

Since Barret’s death, a small group of his followers have continued to publish the Nationalist Movement magazine, All The Way. The group’s current headquarters is in Wisconsin.

While the Nationalist Movement has never enjoyed significant influence on the far right ‒ due in part to Barrett's reluctance to share the spotlight ‒ it has been able to attract a steady (if small) number of aggressive skinheads. An attorney and tireless promoter, Barrett was best known for staging well-publicized rallies, often following legal actions that upheld the group's free speech rights. He drew repeatedly large crowds of counter-protestors, some of whom responded violently.

In the mid-1990s Barrett extended his legal battles to the Internet arena, successfully waging a campaign to have Web pages characterizing members of his Nationalist Movement as “haters” taken down.  In the last few years of his life, he began to pursue First Amendment lawsuits, often related to Nationalist Movement rallies. One such suit, which challenged the York, Pennsylvania, public assembly ordinance, led to a judgment in favor of the Nationalist Movement.

Read the full report, Extremism in America: Richard Barrett (PDF).


More from this Section