Back in 2004, now-defunct Panzerfaust Records came out with a marketing tool that demonstrated the organizational potential of the racist right: Project Schoolyard USA. The project focused on distributing a compilation CD of white power music to as many American youth as possible, both via internet sharing and physical distribution at schools, malls, and other locations with large concentrations of kids and young adults. Project Schoolyard saw a distribution as high as 50,000 copies. We ran into incidents of distribution in schools here in Chicago.
The motto for Project Schoolyard didn’t mince words: “We don’t just entertain racist kids. We create them.”
Check out more details, including sample lyrics from songs on the compilation, at TOLERANCE.ORG.
We wish the story ended there.
It seems a second installment of the compilation now exists. As reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center and confirmed by our research, Bryant Cecchini, one of the two original architects of Project Schoolyard is behind the new 25-track CD, being distributed as we write this to kids all over the country by white power associates of Cecchini, a.k.a. Byron Calvert. According to an interview for SPLC’s Intelligence Report, Cecchini is also sending the disc out with all orders on his Tightrope Records website, as well as using seemingly benign fake MySpace pages to lure possible new recruits.
Check out the SPLC’s coverage of the story – including Cecchini’s complete comfort with the potential for his project inciting violence against minorities – at SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER.
This is huge, and not in a good way whatsoever, to say the least. The white power factions in the US have been disorganized and relatively ineffective in recent years. This CD represents a renewed effort.
But both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Turn It Down Campaign, among a number of other organizations, were there to fight back against the distribution of the first Project Schoolyard disc. We’re already working on responding to Volume II. We’re in talks about a couple of different options for a counter-compilation, possibly aligned with Insurgence Records, who put out the fantastic Project Boneyard compilation in 2004. We know a lot of our supporting bands and industry friends have expressed excitement about a project like this; we’ll definitely keep you updated as we go forward.
For now, know that this is out there. Know that the racist right is targeting the places you or the young people in your life hang out, hoping to use music as a vehicle to recruit and instigate hate crimes. Know that they plan to crash our concerts, skate parks, and other hangouts. Know that they’re specifically targeting youth in areas that have experienced racially-charged incidents recently.
DEFINITELY let us know of any distribution in your area.
Insurgence Records responded to the original Project Schoolyard with a free compilation of it’s own called Project Boneyard. You can download the Project Boneyard CD for free as well as read about the campaign, HERE.