After four years of stunning growth, the number of groups on the American radical right dropped significantly for the first time in 2013. The decline in hate groups and, especially, antigovernment “Patriot” groups was driven by a legal crackdown, the failure of various nightmarish radical predictions to materialize, the co-opting by politicians of the extreme right’s issues, and the re-election of President Obama.
The number of hate and antigovernment “Patriot” groups fell significantly for the first time in 2013 after four years of spectacular growth. But the radical right still remains enormous by historical standards, and its capacity for terrorism is still very much alive.
Volksfront, once a powerhouse neo-Nazi skinhead group, appears to have collapsed. So have most of the other once-important groups on the radical right. Still, hate groups continue to present a serious threat and their numbers remain at record levels.
The National Alliance, which once dominated the U.S. neo-Nazi scene, has fallen on increasingly hard times in the last decade. Now, with the announcement that it is no longer a membership organization, it could be sounding its death rattle. The move may also have been an attempt to short-circuit litigation over a Canadian bequest.
Paul Anthony Ciancia’s language and references in his 'manifesto' seemed to put him squarely in the conspiracy-minded world of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. The attack comes at a time when the Patriot movement has been growing by leaps and bounds, from some 149 groups in 2008 to 1,360 last year, according to counts by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Eighteen days after Martin Luther King Jr. gave his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech at the conclusion of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, stark, unadulterated evil came to Birmingham, Ala.
He was our Anders Breivik. Like the Norwegian who last year massacred 77 of his countrymen — most of them teenagers associated with the Labor Party he blamed for enabling Muslim immigration — Wade Michael Page capped a life of seething rage with a grotesque and bloody act of terrorism.
The National Alliance was once the most important hate group in America. Now, 10 years after the death of its founder William Pierce, the once-pow- erful Alliance has been reduced to nearly complete irrelevance, although that hasn’t stopped its recent recruits from engaging in at least a dozen mur- ders and a range of other crimes.
In the end, it came down in line with prior precedent. The Supreme Court, ruling in late June on the Arizona law that set off a tsunami of ugly legislation aimed at undocumented immigrants, affirmed decades of settled law, saying the federal government — not states or cities — has the right to control immigration policy.
Yesterday’s attack on the Family Research Council and the shooting of a security guard there was a tragedy. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) deplores all violence, and our thoughts are with the wounded victim, Leo Johnson, his family and others who lived through the attack.
Ten years ago today, William Luther Pierce, the founder and leader of what for three decades was the most important hate group in America, died unexpectedly. Now, a decade after Pierce’s death, the National Alliance, which was once revered on the international radical right as a serious and effective organization, is a shadow of its former self — a joke on the larger neo-Nazi scene that is led by a man who has lost the respect of his former followers.
For the better part of seven years now, Kansas attorney Kris Kobach has been urging municipalities and states to pass the draconian laws he writes that are aimed at so badly punishing undocumented immigrants that they will “self-deport.” Even as governments went into debt to pay his fees and the cost of defending his dubious statutes, Kobach insisted that if they hung tough, they would win in the end.
Is Agenda 21, a United Nations non-binding plan for global sustainability signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, a “comprehensive plan” for “global political control”? Is it a “destructive and insidious” scheme being pushed “covertly” in U.S. towns that would entail “socialist/communist redistribution of wealth”?
America’s greatest lesson in violence from the radical right came in 1995 in Oklahoma City, when a single fanatic, aided by a couple of his friends, brought down a federal building and murdered 168 men, women and children.
Something is happening on the radical right. Even as the presidential campaign season heats up and, with it, the possibility of ridding themselves of their hated black president, extremists are ratcheting up the rhetoric of war.
The radical right caught fire last year, as broad-based populist anger at political, demographic and economic changes in America ignited an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation
Egged on by cheers and interrupted by standing ovations, one-time GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told the first National Tea Party Convention in Nashville this February that President Obama's spending was "immoral" and amounted to "theft."
In recent months, as the right-wing clamor over health care and President Obama's leadership seemed to reach new heights, commentators from across the political spectrum increasingly began to warn of the possibility of violence.
Barack Obama, the son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Africa, is a symbol of the rich diversity of our nation, his election a sign of how far our nation has come in embracing that diversity. But there are other signs of just how far we have to go.
Ten days before the 1939 invasion of Poland that launched World War II, Adolf Hitler reassured a conference of Nazi military leaders that even the complete destruction of the Polish people would not tar the Third Reich for long.
Animated by the ugly rhetoric of the nativist movement, the number of hate groups in America grew 5% last year to a total of 888. The increase translated into a 48% jump in hate groups since the year 2000 and was accompanied by reports of rising violence.
Before the first anti-racism demonstrator had set foot in Jena, La., this fall, white supremacists already were burning up the Internet with furious denunciations, bloody predictions, promises of apocalyptic violence, and calls for lynching.
Seventeen years ago this month, a grotesque exercise in political pandering and refusal to see the obvious reached its nadir as then-Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez, urged on by other leaders, declared Oct. 7, 1990, "Yahweh ben Yahweh Day."
Even as a shaky legislative agreement on immigration reform is debated in the halls of Congress, poisonous and untrue propaganda continues to leak into the national dialogue on undocumented migration to the United States.
In the latest disaster to hit the American radical right, Kevin Alfred Strom, the founder of National Vanguard and a major neo-Nazi leader for nearly 20 years, has been arrested and charged with child pornography and witness tampering.
On the tenth day of the Minuteman Project, a vigilante effort to shut down human traffic across the Arizona-Mexico border that began on April Fools Day, a man named Patrick Haab was arrested at an Arizona rest stop where officials found him holding seven undocumented immigrants at gunpoint.
Though many religious right leaders criticizing homosexuality claim that they 'hate the sin but love the sinner,' their vicious personal attacks poison public debate and reinforce a cultural hatred that could lead to violence and death.
After revelations about a stripper's attendance at the National Alliance's annual Leadership Conference, financial struggles and internal dissent, the nation's leading neo-Nazi group is on the edge of a breakdown.
The near-universal repudiation of Sen. Trent Lott — after statements amounting to an endorsement of institutionalized segregation in December 2002 — belies the spread of radical right ideology into the American mainstream.
The infection is spreading. Like pus from a wound, hatred is seeping from the most virulent extremities of our society into the organs of American democracy. The body politic is at risk of falling ill.
In the recent aftermath of some senseless murders, details are emerging that one part of the puzzle was the influence of white supremacy. Another influence may have been the Internet and the extreme music subculture.