The Waco holocaust brought the message home. Ahiiostrnhalf the Branch Davidians killed at Mount Carmel were minoritiesrn—28 blacks, six Hispanics, and fi’e Asians. So there wasrna good reason for militants of different races to start cooperating:rnmore and more, the seemed to be fighting the same fight.rnAs Fletcher put it, “As things get worse, blacks and whites willrnbe thrown into the same trashpail.” To avoid that fate, thernblack nationalist and militia movements began to fuse alongrntheir edges. As of yet, no media have co’ercd this story. Tackingrnit down meant following a labyrinthine phone tree, and oftenrncalling people who were at first too suspicious to talk. Consequenth,rnit is hard to sa’ just how widespread the crossover is.rnIt is clear, though, that the intersection is real and growing.rnThe firebombing of MOVErnand the beating of RodneyrnKing catalyzed the samernresentment among blacks thatrnthe Ruby Ridge standoff promptedrnamong many whites.rnTwo organizations figure prominently in the tale: Zulu Nationrnand the Nation of Islam. Zulu Nation was born in the earlyrndays of hip hop. Afrika Bambaataa has been a DJ and communityrnorganizer in New brk Citv since the 1970’s; along withrnGrandmaster Flash, Cool Here, and others, he was one of thernfounding fathers of rap. Zulu Nation was his creation. Meantrnas an alternative to gangs, the group inited ghetto youth tornconcentrate on rapping, brcakdancing, and graffiti, and not onrncriminal violence. Todas’, the Zulu Nation includes musicians,rnfilmmakers, and others around the wodd—a quarter-million,rnclaims Islam, himself a member. One of the “primary functionsrnof getting in,” he adds, is sharing and spreading interest inrntheories about the New Wodd Order.rnIn 1994, Islam’s friend Hilder appeared on The Front Page, arnpopular talk show on KJLH, a black-oriented radio station inrnLos Angeles owned by Stevie Wonder. There, Ilildcr mixedrnthe conspiracy theories popular in the militia movement v’ithrnappeals specificall)’ targeted to a black community ruptured byrnunemployment and crime. One listener who tuned in that dayrnwas Rasul Al-Ikhlas, host of The Story of Soul, a wide-rangingrnpublic-access television program. Al-Ikhlas invited Ilildcr ontornhis show—and, at his guest’s suggestion, had Fletcher comernalong as vell.rnNews of the newcomers traveled fast, thanks largcK to thernZulu Nation network. Hilder’s black girlfriend had the amusingrnexperience of visiting a village in Belize, only to be recognizedrnby a native who had heard a tape of her speaking on thernradio. Soon, Islam introduced Ilildcr to Michael Moor, a reporterrnfor the Nation of Islam’s newspaper. The Final Call, andrnshorth’ afterward Moor appeared on Hilder’s radio show. Therernthe) argued that the powers-that-be are driving America towardrna race war, and that men and women of all ethnicitiesrnshould work together to defuse the battle before it starts. OtherrnMuslims, such as Cedric Welch of The Final Call, also beganrnto .show an interest in the militia/patriot woddview.rnMany readers, learning that elements of the militia andrnBlack Muslim communities have begun to cooperate,rnwill assume that the common ground is bigotry. Both groups,rnafter all, hae been plagued b accusations of anti-Semitism.rnThere is indeed anti-Jewish sentiment among many BlackrnMuslims—Ilildcr recounts an unpleasant confrontation withrnthe infamous Khallid Mohammed, whom he describes as arn”craz” who wants to kill all whites, especially the Jewish ones—rnbut it does not pla) much of a role, if any, in the black-whiterncrossover. “The blacks that are anti-Semitic von’t have anythingrnto do with me,” Hilder explains, “because they’re alsornanti-white.” (Hilder did once share a microphone with StevernCokch’, a black militant I hae witnessed citing’/ he Protocols ofrnthe F.lders of Zion and casualK using the word “Jewboy,” but thernpairing didn’t work out: after the program, Hilder was snubbedrnby Cokely and his companions because of his race.) As for thernother side of the equation, Fletcher’s wife is part Jewish andrnHilder, though a Christian, is a former member of the JewishrnDefense League. The patriot movement as a whole includesrnmanv Jews, including half the directorship of the San DiegornMilitia.rnMore troublesome is the extent to which the new overlap isrnbased not on a common political agenda but on dubious eonspiracvrntheories. Hilder and companv’s power analvsis, alas,rnowes more to Gary Allen than to C. Wright Mills. It is onernthing to expose corruption in high places, or the growing powerrnof executive agencies, or the rapidly globalizing corporaternstate. It is quite another matter to assert that a single cabal ofrnIlluminati stands behind it all. Fven leaving credibility-of-cvidenccrnissues aside, the sheer resilience of the power elite indicatesrnthat such a eonspiracv could not be true, for much thernsame reason that centralK planned economies fail while freemarketrnsystems succeed.rnBut below the surface one finds a concern with issues morernconcrete than the quest for a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theorv.rnAs Mack Tanner put it in Reason magazine, people “aren’trnseared because thev believe in conspirae’ theories. They believerneonspiracv theories because they’re scared.” The militiamenrnwant to preserve gun rights, free speech, nationalrnsoereigntv. and privae’, and to prevent any more incidents likernWico or Rub’ Ridge. Those may not be the black militants’rnchief concerns, but that does not mean they disagree with thernmilitias’ agenda. Al-Ikhlas sas, “I don’t like guns, period,” butrnthen adds that he supports the Second Amendment. Islamrnagrees that gun control is not an essential issue, but he believesrnthat guns represent power and control, and that this is why thernstate wants to seize them. Phr their part, the blacks arc mostlyrnconcerned with local issues—Al-Ikhlas, for example, is now in-rnoled in an effort to turn an emptv, government-owned buildingrnover to a volunteer drug treatment program.rnAnd behind both the conspiracy talk and the single-issuernconcerns, there is common [xilitical ground. The militiamenrnwant to make America a decentralized, constitutional republic;rnthe black nationalists arc calling for neighborhood power—rnwhich, in practice, is pretty much the same thing. “I would likern26/CHRONICLESrnrnrn