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Hate groups spread message through music

A group called Panzerfaust Records has found a novel way to spread its message -- giving out free CDs on school grounds. NBC's Mike Kirsch reports.
/ Source: NBC News

In Madison, W.Va., 100 students from the high school and the middle school — children as young as 10 — were given copies of a CD recently.

"These people just came out of nowhere and handed out these CDs," says student Tiffany Nichols.

Tammy Spurlock says her two daughters played the CD thinking it was new rock music. What they discovered was that it was propaganda for white supremacists — a CD of hard-core hate songs advocating death to Jews, blacks and other minorities and inviting listeners to visit the Web site of the producer, Panzerfaust Records, for more racist songs, jokes and even to buy "Hitler Youth" knives.

"On a personal level it actually outraged me," says Madison Schools Safety Director Steven Bradley. "I was upset because I don't think it's at all appropriate to be in a school system or to even be around school children."

The music has also shown up recently around schools in southern California and central Florida.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says it has become a key recruiting tool of white supremacists.

"The message that this company is sending is that we can target our children and make them haters," says Daniel Alter of the ADL. "Its Web site says, 'We don't just entertain racist kids, we create them.'"

The ADL says that hate music — an industry with millions of dollars in annual sales — is a major source of income and growth for several hate groups, including Panzerfaust Records.

The man behind Panzerfaust operates out of his home in a quiet neighborhood in South St. Paul, Minnesota.

"There's 50 million white kids that need to hear what we need to say," says Panzerfaust producer Byron Calvert.

Calvert says Panzerfaust has distributed 20,000 CDs in 40 states. His goal is 200,000. He claims his hate music is protected by the First Amendment.

School officials still don’t accept it.

"Our message is stay out of the school system," says Steven Bradley.

"I was scared that they were organized enough to just come and do this," say Tiffany Nichols.

The Anti-Defamation League has alerted communities nationwide to watch out for this new release of hate aimed at America's schoolyards.