The “Fresh Air” segment of Virginia’s Public Radio broadcast has featured a new story about Billy Roper and The ShieldWall Network, this one by Sandy Hausman, pictured, whom I’m willing to bet is not Irish.
Called “Road to Radicalization”, the three and a half minute long segment can be listened to at their site, where it begins by discussing political prisoner Jacob Goodwin’s case.
“After their son’s arrest, a group came forward to befriend the couple. It’s called The Shield Wall Network, and it’s headed by Billy Roper – a white nationalist who claims his race is on the verge of extinction. The Southern Poverty Law Center says he’s the voice of violent neo-Nazism in America.
But Roper provides financial and legal assistance to Goodwin’s parents, and they’re grateful.
“There is no way in this whole world that we could ever, ever repay you!” Tamara tells him.
She invites Shield Wall troops to train on her property, and Scott – who served in the U.S. military – agrees to instruct.
“For visual effect, you get 15-20 guys all dressed in the same uniform holding shields and their boots pounding on the pavement, it has a psychological effect on people,” he tells the militia. “It intimidates people, and that’s basically what you want. Forward, March!”
“This is changing people,” Scott says. “It’s changing who I am. Anger does make you look at things differently. You begin to say, ‘I don’t care how you feel about me.’ The only people helping my son are these people.”
“Any time they want to come here and train, I’ll feed ‘em,” Tamara Goodwin adds. “Through Jacob being in jail I’ve made great friends, met great people.”
The parents attend a group meeting and get their son on Facetime from the Albemarle County Jail.
“Hey everyone!” he says,
“Hey Jacob! How’s it going?” asks a member of the group.
“I’m doing alright,” he replies. “I’m fine in here. They’ve been making it nice and comfortable for the darky friends in here, so at least we can reap the benefits, right? All I can say is if this is all those commie bastards have got, I’m doing alright. It’s not too bad!”
Jacob’s older brother, Dustin, is also featured.
“Me and my parents have never really seen eye-to-eye since I was 15,” he says. “I had enough of religion and racism. I’m not into either one of those things.”
He joined the Marines when he was 17, and today he’s suspicious of people like Billy Roper.
“They find people that are easily manipulated – males between the ages of 17 and 25 that don’t have a career, don’t have anything steady in their life – that’s a pretty easy target,” he explains.
But by the program’s end, it’s clear that Jacob Goodwin’s parents have also joined the white nationalist movement. The documentary is called Path to Radicalization. It’s available on YouTube.”