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Creator:Hatfield, Edward A.
Date:2008 Jan. 25

Encyclopedia article about the Columbians Incorporated, the nation's first neo-Nazi political organization, which arose in Atlanta during the summer of 1946 when incidents of racial violence and civil unrest were on the rise across the South. The group pursued a campaign of intimidation against the city's minorities, patrolling those neighborhoods most vulnerable to racial transition, and threatening with violence those residents who dared cross the city's "color line." Although they attracted some support from Atlanta's working-class whites, the Columbians were uniformly condemned by the city's press and targeted for arrest by its political establishment. Homer Loomis, a thirty-two-year-old New Yorker, came to Atlanta in 1946 intending to start a white supremacist movement. Loomis met thirty-one-year-old Alabama native Emory Burke, who was already a veteran of numerous white supremacist and fascist groups. Loomis and Burke forged a close personal relationship and, along with a third member, John H. Zimmerlee, of whom little is known, formed the Columbians Incorporated. Describing themselves as a "patriotic and political" group, the three men applied for a charter as a nonprofit organization from the state, which they received in August 1946. The men drew a majority of their support from working-class whites. Burke and Loomis claimed to have enlisted as many as 2,000 members, though other sources indicate the actual number was closer to 200. In order to fulfill their vision of a "progressive white community," the two men advocated a program of repatriation and deportation for America's minorities. Under their plan, blacks would repatriate to South Africa, which they admitted would first need to be purchased from Britain, and Jews would be deported to an unspecified location in the Mediterranean. After two incidents in October 1946 involving violence and demonstrating by members of the group, elected officials, members of the press, and local ministers all condemned the organization as a public menace requiring immediate attention. In November state officials moved to revoke the group's charter. By summer 1947, the group had dissolved, following the conviction of its leaders, Homer Loomis and Emory Burke, on charges of usurping police power and inciting to riot. Although the Columbians' existence may have been brief, their appearance nonetheless dramatized the racial tensions that characterized the postwar South and demonstrated the efficacy of Atlanta's moderate consensus that would later earn the city its reputation as "the City Too Busy to Hate."

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Subjects:Loomis, Homer L., 1914- | Burke, Emory, 1915- | Zimmerlee, John H. | Columbians Incorporated | Neo-Nazism--Georgia--Atlanta | Neo-Nazism--Southern States | Neo-Nazis--Georgia--Atlanta | Neo-Nazis--Southern States | Fascism--Georgia--Atlanta | Fascism--Southern States | Fascists--Georgia--Atlanta | Fascists--Southern States | Hate groups--Georgia--Atlanta | Hate groups--Southern States | Political violence--Georgia--Atlanta | Violence--Georgia--Atlanta | Intimidation--Georgia--Atlanta | Harassment--Georgia--Atlanta | Minorities--Abuse of--Georgia--Atlanta | Minorities--Civil rights--Georgia--Atlanta | African Americans--Civil rights--Georgia--Atlanta | Civil rights--Georgia--Atlanta | Race relations | Atlanta (Ga.)--Race relations--History--20th century | Georgia--Race relations--History--20th century | Southern States--Race relations--History--20th century | Race discrimination--Georgia--Atlanta | Discrimination--Georgia--Atlanta | Discrimination in housing--Georgia--Atlanta | Vigilantes--Georgia--Atlanta | Neighborhood--Georgia--Atlanta | Social groups--Georgia--Atlanta | Housing--Georgia--Atlanta | African Americans--Housing--Georgia--Atlanta | African Americans--Crimes against--Georgia--Atlanta | Working class whites--Georgia--Atlanta | White supremacy movements--Georgia--Atlanta | Segregation--Georgia--Atlanta | Segregationists--Georgia--Atlanta | Atlanta journal-constitution | Newspapers | Press--Georgia--Atlanta | Atlanta (Ga.)--Press coverage | Columbians Incorporated--Press coverage | African Americans--Press coverage--Georgia--Atlanta | Press and politics--Georgia--Atlanta | Journalism--Political aspects--Georgia--Atlanta | Nonprofit organizations--Georgia--Atlanta | Nonprofit organizations--Political activity | African Americans--Relocation | Blacks--Relocation | Forced migration | Jews--Relocation | Jews--Civil rights--United States | Jews--Civil rights--Georgia--Atlanta | Jews--Segregation--Georgia--Atlanta | Deportation--United States | United States--Emigration and immigration | Demonstrations--Georgia--Atlanta | Charters--Georgia--Atlanta | Columbians Incorporated--Charters | Arrest--Georgia--Atlanta | Indictments--Georgia--Atlanta | Imprisonment--Georgia--Atlanta | Riots--Georgia--Atlanta | Police power--Georgia--Atlanta | Atlanta (Ga.)--Politics and government--20th century | Southern States--Politics and government--20th century | Georgia--Politics and government--20th century | Judgments, Criminal--Georgia--Atlanta | Atlanta (Ga.) | Fulton County (Ga.)
Collection:New Georgia Encyclopedia
Institution:New Georgia Encyclopedia
Contributors:New Georgia Encyclopedia (Project) | Georgia Humanities Council | University of Georgia. Press | Merrill-Hall New Media | GALILEO (Georgia statewide project)
Online Publisher:[Athens, Ga.] : Georgia Humanities Council and the University of Georgia Press | 1/25/2008
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