Much has been said of the recent shootings in Pittsburgh involving a supposed white supremacist that resulted in the deaths of 3 police officers. We would like to provide information on the ideology of Richard Poplawski and his friends and to also express our anger at the hypocrisy of the media regarding the recent events.
On Richard Poplawski, Edward Perkovic, and right-wing white supremacy
Richard Poplawski is a 22-year old Pittsburgh man accused in the shooting of 3 police officers in his Stanton Heights home. The day of the shootings his self-described best friend Edward Perkovic appeared on TV, talking of zionist control of the federal government and Obama’s supposed plans to “take our guns away”. This was an obvious red flag that led us to look deeper into the background of these people.
It turns out that Richard Poplawski was a member of Stormfront, an online forum for white supremacists to gather and discuss their racist views. Despite statements to the contrary by friends Edward Perkovic (more on this budding white supremacist later) and Aaron Vire (who happens to be black), his frequent posting on a message board whose slogan is “White Pride World Wide” would suggest Poplawski strongly sympathized with white supremacist right-wing ideology. In one posting, he commented on Black, Asian, and Latina women: “Don’t mix your blood with dirt, son.”. In other posts, he rants against the “Zionist Occupied Government”, a codeword invented by Anti-Semites and other Neo-Nazis who hide their racism behind legitimate anti-Zionism.
Edward Perkovic (resident of Lawrenceville, employee of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh) also states in a KDKA interview very clearly “I am not a racist.” This comes conveniently after he wiped his Myspace and Facebook of racist rantings against Jews and promoted writings by David Duke, a former grandwizard of the Ku Klux Klan. It seems he knew that everyone would be scrutinizing his beliefs after the shootings, and tried to beat us to the punch. Luckily, we’re quicker than him. To quote Perkovic, “I must point out the dangers of…mixed bloodlines that will erase national identity (deemed not to be appropriate in today’s America, but I assure you, your nationality is something you should be proud of, NOT ERASE).”
Perkovic goes on to list books he would like you to read:
“The Turner Diaries” by Dr. William Pierce
The Turner Diaries are a book depicting a violent revolution in which white people would exterminate all People of Color and Jews off the face of the planet. It is an extremist white power manifesto, and has inspired such people as Timothy McVeigh who bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Timothy McVeigh was tied to the right-wing militia movement, groups whose propaganda Poplawski and Perkovic both espouse repeatedly.
“Jewish Supremacism” by Dr. David Duke
Jewish Supremacism is a book published in 2003 by former grand wizard of the KKK David Duke. This book promotes the anti-Semitic notion that Jews are engaged in a Jewish-Supremacist conspiracy.
Both Perkovic and Poplawski have been influenced by racist right-wing fear mongering that has become more prevalent since Obama took power early this year. They have both openly subscribed to white supremacist beliefs held widely by those in the Neo-Nazi and right-wing movements. Both have tried to hide their racism behind conspiracy theorists and nutjobs such as Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh, but anyone with a brain can see past their lies, no matter how much they try to act like regular old Pens-loving yinzers.
Both of their views are those of politically under-developed neo-Nazi or pro-American right-wing fascist thought processes. There is no evidence (so far) that either of these two are involved in any organized white supremacist groups. Poplawski has claimed on Stormfront that in the near future he would “up the activism.” It seems his activism is going to be confined to death row in the State Prison in Greene County.
On media racism, classism, and downright hypocrisy
It was October 12th, 1995. Johnny Gammage was driving down Rt. 51 when he was pulled over by a gang of white officers. They beat him with flashlights and proceeded to murder him by kneeling on his back until he suffocated to death. All officers were let off by racist white juries (yet we still call foul when people refer to Western Pennsylvanians as having racist sentiments).
Fast forward to Christmas Eve, 2002. 12 year old Michael Ellerbe lay face down on the pavement dying of a gunshot wound to the back inflicted by a police officer in Uniontown. 7 years later, in 2009, Samuel Nassan, the same cop who shamelessly murdered the 12 year old boy, unloaded his clip into a moving car in the South Side killing Nicholas Haniotakis, 33 years old.
On January 8th of this year police shot and killed Lamar Smith in North Point Breeze, and then on February 3rd they shot Paul Palmer to death on the North Side. Where are the black ribbons for the people that the police have routinely and systematically victimized? They have no front page tributes; their stories are shuffled into the middle of section C. The night after Richard Poplawski shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers, members of that same department burst into a party in Bloomfield assaulting several attendees, including a young woman who was beaten and a man who was punched in the face until he was knocked unconscious.
The bias in the media is clear regarding these events. The media serves a purpose that is also served by the police, to protect the state and capitalism. The media serves to glorify members of the police force whose routine murders of innocent unarmed people go unmentioned while they get processions, memorial services, and full-page tributes in the papers.
When all the dust settles, when all of the black ribbons on the telephone poles fade, when the Stanton Heights home of Margaret Poplawski is abandoned and boarded up, those police who people glorified and stood by when three of their co-workers were gunned down still won’t think twice about cracking your skull open with a baton. They still won’t think twice about murdering unarmed black children or unarmed poor white people. We still remember all those times we’ve been brutalized, and we won’t ever forget it. We most certainly will not forgive it.