NJ seller of white supremacist merch closes after ‘deep look into myself’
MAPLE SHADE — A New Jersey company considered to be a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center is closing down its operation.
Micetrap Distribution on its website said the decision had been a long time coming to close down the business after 20 years, but the recent protests in Charlottesville helped make the call.
"After the recent issues in Charlottesville, Virginia, it has forced me to take a long, deep look into myself. And after speaking with friends and neighbors, I can no longer be aligned with the violence (from all sides) that I have always been against," founder Steven Wiegand wrote on his website, which has been stripped of any other content.
The site sold merchandise with logos affiliated with white supremacist groups and sayings including "Support Your Local White Boy," "Angry Aryans" and "I'm The Infidel Allah Warned You About." Other best-bellers listed on the site include a Swastika flag, "Adolf Hitler European Town 1939-1945" and "Aryan pride strength and pride."
In the SPLC's most recent list of hate groups in the United States, Micetrap was considered one of 15 hate groups in New Jersey along with the Ku Klux Klan, the Nation of Islam and AC Skins because of its distribution of "hate music."
The SPLC has not returned messages from New Jersey 101.5 to discuss any of the New Jersey groups on the list.
In a 2006 SPLC article titled "A Look at White Power Music Today," the company was mentioned as one of many regional music labels seen as trying to fill the void of fallen music companies. Micetrap sold CDs, clothing and books but had conflicts with other white supremacist groups over bootleg music, domain names and the hacking of websites, according to the article.
Micetrap also hosted an internet radio station in 2012, the Anti-Defamation League wrote in a story on its website titled "The Sounds of Hate." Philly.com reported the station was no longer streaming as of Monday.
An unidentified "former law enforcement agent" told NJ.com that Micetrap was a top seller of white power materials.
"I am proud to say that I built this business from practically nothing and formed a company that I believed stood for everything our 1st Amendment was established for," Wiegand wrote on what remains of his site. "But in doing this, I have endured personal issues and sacrifices that very few would have been strong enough to endure. But, I can no longer continue on with the passion and enthusiasm that made the business the success that it became."
Wiegrand said all current orders to the website will be honored.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com
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