Skinheads USA

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"Skinheads USA: Soldiers of the Race War" is a 45-minute documentary film which aired on HBO in 1993 as part of their "American Undercover" series. It was directed by Shari Cookson, written and produced by David Keane and shot by Mark Morris in 1992.

The documentary centers on a group of young white supremacist Neo-Nazi "skinheads" in Shelby County, operating as part of the Aryan Youth Front under the leadership of Bill Riccio. During the filming, the group participated in a small joint march with members of the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in downtown Birmingham.

The producers of the documentary wished to highlight the supposed connection between skinheads and the punk scene. At their urging, members of the AYF were filmed attending a concert by Mobile's Vomit Spots at Frankie's Down Under in Pickwick Plaza. The band was upset at their inclusion in the documentary, and denounced white supremacy from the stage, but their statement was left out of the program as it aired.

The filming of the documentary imperiled an undercover investigation being conducted by Bart McEntire of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. One of the show's producers, who had been introduced to him as "Mark Carpenter", head of the "White Reich", recognized him in the ATF's Birmingham field office. Though she promised not to divulge the secret, McEntire was ordered to continue the investigation without his undercover identity.

Also featured in the film was commentary from civil rights activist Mark Lane.


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