The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Talking Points Memo: Rep. Keith Ellison invites FRC’s Tony Perkins to come visit mythical Minneapolis ‘no-go zones.’
Breitbart Unmasked: Following the trail of Mark Weber’s Holocaust-denial money all the way back to the Church of Scientology.
KCRA-TV (Lodi, CA): Students at basketball game begin chanting ‘U-S-A!’ when Pakistani player for rival school shoots.
Salon: Fertility a ‘disease’? How extremists fundamentally misunderstand contraception.
Think Progress: Extremist gun lobbyist Larry Pratt’s GOA wants veto power over new attorney-general nominee.
USA Today: When bakery refuses to make cakes with anti-LGBT hate messages, client files a complaint.
Right Wing Watch: Religious-right activist admits that same-sex marriage bans are like anti-miscegenation laws.
A police lieutenant in Charleston, W.Va., resigned yesterday just before he was scheduled to appear at a termination review hearing for producing racially insensitive videos involving his daughter dancing to KKK music.
Those who have seen the seven videos made by Lt. Terry Shawn Williams describe them as “disgusting and unspeakable,” Charleston station WCHS reported today.
“I knew when … I heard about [the videos] and when I saw them, this police officer was never going to wear a gun and a badge in the city of Charleston ever again,” Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said Wednesday. “They’re a whole lot more than racially insensitive.”
The videos, stored on Williams personal computer, surfaced last year as he was going through a divorce, the West Virginia MetroNews Network reported.
They reportedly show Williams’ young daughter dressed like a police officer and dancing to KKK music. The videos were shown privately to some Charleston City Council members in December, three months after Williams was placed on administrative leave. The mayor said he doesn’t regret that decision or a judge’s order sealing the tapes.
The mayor said the city didn’t leak word of the videos, which he suggested came from one of the “many people who were privy to the divorce.” Now, Jones said, “We don’t have to show them in a hearing and hopefully no one will ever see them again unless it’s in his divorce hearing.”
Williams’ decision to resign came on the eve of a hearing before a city police appeals board where he sought to appeal a decision by the department to fire him. The police officer, who frequently acted as the department’s media spokesman, has said he believes the investigation was politically motivated and that he knows about other incidents of racism within the police department.
To that, the mayor said Williams “was just trying to shed blame. He can go out … and make all the allegations he wants against us. Now, all he can do is go back to his klavern,” a reference to a KKK chapter.
“I knew he couldn’t win this case and apparently he finally did, too,” the mayor told MetroNews. “I think it’s a sad chapter in our history that’s finally come to an end.”
In his resignation letter to Police Chief Brent Webster, Williams said: “It is clear to me and most of the general public that I will not be able (to) resolve my personal problems based upon the way in which this administration has strategically ‘leaked’ and handled my internal investigation. In my sixteen years of service to this department, I have never before witnessed the ‘leaks’ from an internal investigation such as mine. Therefore, I feel that resigning is in the best interests for my family.”
Jones suggested the resignation also is in the city’s best interest, and now he vows to see that Williams’ police certification is revoked so he can’t become a police officer elsewhere.
Robert Ransdell, the neo-Nazi who ran for U.S. Senate in Kentucky last year under the slogan “With Jews We Lose” – he didn’t win, by the way – was arrested in the Blue Grass State as he prepared to protest a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in the small city of Florence.
Ransdell, who was carrying a sign that read, “Happy Machin’ Lootin’ Killin’ Day,” was taken away by police on Monday shortly before the event was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., a spokesman for the Florence Police Department told Hatewatch today. Ransdell was charged with trespassing in a city owned government building.
“I feel depressed at the fact that I was arrested,” Ransdell told the neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer. “I have been able to walk that line over the years and it is something I have taken pride in, getting out there balls to the wall and at the same time not being shackled for doing so.”
Ransdell said he was arrested after police – “agents of the Jew-Negro Occupation government,” according to the website – asked him to leave the building and he refused. “It was just the record of token harassment I have got from this city in particular for my political activity in the past,” he said, “that moved me to just refuse to be bullied around anymore.”
Ransdell said he was released on his own recognizance and had to walk more than 10 miles back to his car. All the way, he told the website, he held up his sign to passing motorists, continuing his protest against “this rotten, phony, hypocritical, Jew-controlled, non-White infested shithole of a country.”
He said he is scheduled to be in court on the case Feb. 3 and faces a $250 fine.
It was the first time, Ransdell told the website, that he had been arrested in his 10 years as a white nationalist activist. He added that he remains committed to the cause and will be back protesting in no time. “We have hoax remembrance day coming very soon,” he said, referring to Holocaust Remembrance Day, “so there will not be long to wait.”
Ransdell is a former regional coordinator for the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is now a coordinator for the like-minded National Alliance Reform & Restoration Group (NARRG). He is one of six NARRG members suing the now former chairman, Erich Gliebe, for $2 million and for control of what’s left of the Alliance.
But Gliebe resigned last October and William W. Williams, known as “White Will,” was elected chairman of the Alliance. Williams responded in the comment section of The Daily Stormer to Ransdell’s recent arrest. “He’s a self-centered grandstander who now finds himself a defendant in a minor criminal matter,” Williams said. “That’s what he wanted. He’ll milk the situation for all it’s worth but it will ultimately gain nothing for the cause.”
Calling Ransdell “a self-centered grandstander” is mild compared to how he was described last fall by white nationalist Internet “comedian” Paul Ramsey, aka RamZPaul.
“He’s a walking cliché,” Ramsey said in a You Tube video. “He says all the cliché, neo-Nazi, white supremacist, white nationalist things.”
He called Ransdell a “fake” whose shtick is “so over the top” and asked “why are all these guys who are so obsessed with the Jews, why do they look so Jewish?”
Ramsey said the media loves Ransdell because he makes it look like everyone associated with white nationalism is “a fucking kook.”
“I consider this guy trash,” Ramsey said.
The title of the video was “With Clowns We Go Down.”
Right Wing Watch: Sandy Rios claims that President Obama used subliminal Islamic messages in State of the Union speech.
The Vane: ‘Weather hoaxer’ who chases chemtrails threatens National Weather Service, yells at FBI agents.
Raw Story: Oath Keeper sheriff from upstate New York encourages residents to ignore state’s new gun-registration law.
Dallas Voice: California ‘general hate’ group tries spreading the poison in visit to Texas to protest Muslims.
The Monitor (McAllen, TX): Border militia member faces hearing to determine competency to stand trial in weapons case.
Coeur d’Alene Press (ID): Ku Klux Klan fliers show up in Post Falls neighborhoods.
East Oregonian: Pendleton police arrest fourth man in Aryan gang’s crime spree.
Pink News: Mike Huckabee says states should simply ignore the Supreme Court if it upholds gay marriage.
My racially charged silly billboard file is getting thicker and thicker these days.
The radical right loves the relatively cheap to rent outdoor signs. For more than a year, billboards with racially provocatie, anti-diversity or white nationalist messages have been popping up along the highways of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
The billboards have been sponsored and supported by anonymous online segregationists, predicting “white genocide,” and old-fashioned racists such as members of the Ku Klux Klan, desperate to be relevant. But the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) has been especially billboard-happy. Since 2014, the League or its individual members can be tied to at least six billboards, usually plastered with one word, “Secede.”
Now comes word that a “mystery donor” has stepped forward to help keep the billboard campaign going well into the southern summer and maybe beyond. “An offer too good to refuse,” is the way the president of the League, Michael Hill, put it yesterday on the group’s Facebook page.
The donor has offered to match up to $10,000 in donations to the League’s “general billboard fund” between now and Feb. 20. “This is an offer too good to let pass without taking maximum benefit from it,” Hill wrote. “Think about what we could do with $20,000 seed money in a League billboard fund.”
The League advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans.” On its website, the group says that if “the South is going to survive, especially against a flood tide of massive Third World immigration and leftist attempts to destroy her very cultural and political foundations, she is going to have to seek her independence and govern herself.”
“We in the League,” the group adds, “believe that we must secede to survive.”
One of the places the League sponsored a “Secede” billboard last year was in Montgomery, Al. It was taken down within days after the billboard company received complaints and some businesses said they would discontinue renting the space in the future if the sign was not removed.
Before the sign came down, AL.com asked Hill if southern states did secede would black southerners be treated as citizens with equal rights. “That is the kind of thing in our ideal world that would be left up to individual states,” Hill replied.
A few weeks later, a League member independently purchased space on a billboard near Leeds, Al. That sign quoted the white nationalist mantra, “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.” That sign came down after a few weeks, too. “I guess even racist idiots have freedom of speech,” David Miller, the mayor of Leeds, told Hatewatch. “As soon as it went up, we hopped on it and condemned it.”
This month, an anonymous group of segregationists, calling themselves the White Genocide Project, sponsored a racially charged billboard in Springville, Al. It read: “Diversity Means Chasing Down The Last White Person.” It came down five days later after the billboard owners were flooded with complaints, and, they said, some threats.
On the League website, Hill called the removal of the Springville sign “censorship,” which he said, “has a way of breeding more of what the censors attempt to sensor.”
“So don’t be surprised,” he continued, “if you see more billboards and other forms of ‘unapproved dissent’ springing up all across the South.”
A body recovered last weekend in a fire-ravished mobile home in Buchanan, Mich., was that of Theodore William Lanser, 24, who lived at that location, the Michigan State Police said yesterday. Positive identification was made through fingerprints on file with the FBI and the South Bend, Ind., Police Forensics Lab. Lanser died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, an autopsy revealed, police Lt. Michael Dawson said. Additionally, the preliminary investigation showed accelerants were used to start the fire, Dawson said.
A man described as a “doomsday-prepper” died last weekend after shooting at neighbors’ homes and setting his own house on fire during a fiery standoff with police in Buchanan, Mich.
Pending autopsy results, authorities said they believe a charred body recovered from the ruins is that of Ted Lancer, who may have committed suicide during the siege. He had been involved in a domestic dispute earlier in the day with a female companion, who had left the home, various media outlets reported.
As many as 3,000 bullets exploded during the fiery siege, with slugs striking the homes of two neighbors. No one was injured, but neighbor Kalyn Dobrzykowski said he and one of his four children, a teenage daughter, were nearly killed when a bullet shattered a window and passed between their heads.
“If we would have been one inch more either way, one of us wouldn’t be here today,” Dobrzykowski told reporters from WSJV-TV based in nearby Elkhart, Ind.
Melissa Dobrzykowski, his wife, told South Bend, Ind., station ABC57-TV that the gunman had been “acting really weird,” accused her husband of being a cop and claimed he heard helicopters overhead. “The only thing I know about this guy is that he is a ‘doomsday prepper,’” she said.
Police responded to the River Estates mobile home park about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when neighbors reported gunshots were being fired from inside a mobile home located on Lot 76. After some neighbors were evacuated, the mobile home erupted into flames with the ensuing fire igniting bullets, holding police and firefighters at bay.
It’s not clear if the gunman, who was firing at his neighbors’ homes, actually fired at officers who responded, Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Dawson told Hatewatch.
Neighbor Terry Walsh, a retired firefighter and fire inspector, told the South Bend Tribune, he heard as many as 3,000 rounds explode during the fire. Another neighbor, Lyle Wilson, told the newspaper he looked out his front door and saw the gunman firing a gun through his living room window at Wilson’s nearby mobile home.
“He was just shooting wild,” Wilson said. “We actually saw him firing at us, saw the bullets coming through a window. I had no doubt what I was seeing.”
Both Wilson and his son grabbed their own firearms and were ready to shoot the gunman if he came out of his mobile home, the newspaper reported.
Mint Press: White supremacy and homegrown terrorism pose a growing threat to United States.
Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.): Sentencing set for 10 white people in racial beatings that left a black man dead.
Inside Higher Ed: Vanderbilt’s Carol Swain wades into the swamps of anti-Muslim hate with column on Paris attacks.
Medium: Texas anti-Islamic event brings out the crazies.
Courthouse News: ‘Hutaree’ militiamen appear unlikely to secure approval to revive civil-rights claims against administration.
Salon: Frank Schaeffer recalls how he helped found the religious right’s home school conspiracy, and start a religious war.
Raw Story: Drunk ex-Navy SEAL who faked attack by ‘three black men,’ posts bizarre video of Obama ‘choke-out.’
Advocate: American Family Association wants two liberal Supreme Court justices removed from same-sex marriage case.
Crooks and Liars: At South Carolina Tea Party convention, Rick Santorum lashes out at legal immigrants.
Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) faxed and sent letters to every member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) regarding an upcoming trip to Jerusalem being organized by RNC Chair Reince Priebus.
The letters expressed concern about the organization paying for the trip, the American Family Association (AFA), which the SPLC has listed as an anti-LGBT hate group since 2010.
In particular, the letters asked RNC members not to lend their good offices to an organization with a long track record of making anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim and other hateful statements. An email to Priebus’ director of communications about this matter was not responded to.
As a follow up to our letters, SPLC staff also called all of the RNC state offices for comment about the trip. In particular, we wanted to ask if members were aware of AFA’s extremism. Here are some notable examples:
- An AFA leader has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.”
- The same staffer said African Americans “rut like rabbits” and women have no place in politics or the military.
- Another has argued that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come to the United States to “plunder” our country.
- And the group has repeatedly made the point that non-Christians are second-class citizens—“we are a Christian nation, and not a Jewish or Muslim one.” (Find a comprehensive look at AFA’s extremist statements and positions here).
In early December, Time reported that 60 members, or about a third, of the RNC had decided to travel to Israel. But you wouldn’t know that from the calls we made. We left dozens of voicemails and sent many, many emails, none of which were replied to.
In Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma and Tennessee, communications directors were unaware of the trip and promised to speak with RNC members and get back to us. They did not. Other state communications directors, like those in Maryland and Louisiana, said they knew nothing of the trip and could not answer questions. In Idaho, a communications staffer told us she had no idea what we were talking about, but that she would have known about a trip if there was one.
The communications director in New Mexico had not heard of the trip, but was shocked at AFA’s views. And the communications director in Utah was quite surprised about AFA’s views, but knew nothing about the trip. A communications staffer in Mississippi verified that none of his members would be traveling with AFA. No one from Massachusetts will be attending, nor will the chair of the Connecticut RNC.
The bulk of the states simply ignored our requests for comment, but in some cases, our calls were met with hostility. That happened in Wyoming, where a woman who answered the office phone refused twice to identify herself. She did say that no one from Wyoming was going on the trip and that she had “no idea who that group [AFA] is,” nor did she seem to care. Then she said “your argument [about AFA’s extremism] is kind of moot since no one is going” and hung up on me.
Meanwhile, AFA staffers continue to put out a stream of extremist propaganda. Just in the last few weeks, AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy Bryan Fischer has said you can’t support gay rights and call yourself a Christian, railed about a Muslim congressman being appointed to the House Intelligence Committee and claimed that Duke University is “inviting the Demons of the Abyss” onto its campus by planning a Muslim prayer rally. And those comments are only from the second half of January. Imagine what is to come in the rest of 2015.
A Minnesota man who had been making an independent film depicting the coming of a “New World Order” in America was found dead with his family over the weekend in what investigators have said appears to be a murder-suicide.
But the man’s supporters have quickly spun a conspiracy theory pointing to the federal government as malicious actors trying to silence the truth.
Crowley, 29, was found dead, along with his wife Komel, 28, and daughter Rani, 5, in their suburban Apple Valley home south of Minneapolis. Investigators said it appeared that the bodies had been there for several weeks—probably since before Christmas—and deemed it a probable murder-suicide, with Crowley the apparent perpetrator.
However, in the conspiracy theory industry in which Crowley operated his home-based filmmaking business, the deaths were immediately assumed to be assassinations carried out by nefarious “New World Order” agents.
At Alex Jones’ InfoWars site, the news story reporting on the deaths described the “suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths,” namely, “the controversial nature of Crowley’s latest project, entitled Gray State, a highly-anticipated independent film envisioning a brutal police state, martial law crackdown, complete with biometric identification, a ubiquitous surveillance state and FEMA stormtroopers rounding dissidents up into camps.”
Indeed, a look at the trailer Crowley created for Gray State reveals it to be an attempt to film nearly every fever-dream conspiracy theory about the New World Order of the past ten years:
Crowley successfully raised over $60,000 in 2012 in an Indiegogo campaign to make the film, and a number of scenes were filmed on sets with professional actors. These included scenes involving roundups and executions of American citizens, home surveillance and forcing children to have chips implanted in their bodies.
Crowley’s project was enthusiastically supported by members of the antigovernment movement, where most of these conspiracy theories originate, and Crowley was interviewed by Alex Jones for his radio show. He was also apparently well connected to the far-right “Oath Keepers” movement, frequently posting their material on the film’s Facebook page.
In one Facebook photo posted in January 2014, Crowley can be seen conferring with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and far right Constitutionalist pastor Chuck Baldwin, among others. Another Facebook photo meme lionizes “III Percent” movement founder Mike Vanderboegh. That was one of Crowley’s last posts.
Crowley was an Army veteran who had served in Iraq. ON his LinkedIn profile, he explained: “After five years I had enough and left to pursue filmmaking.”
Crowley’s wife was a dietitian who ran a business called Mind Body Dietitian. She and her daughter Rani can be seen in a video that Crowley shot to promote a “documentary” he also planned in support of his feature film, to be titled Gray State: The Rise. The video shows him at home devising lighting for specific shots he had planned.
On the Facebook page for Gray State: The Rise, the administrator posted a notice about the deaths, saying: “Gray State founder, director and screenwriter David Crowley and his family have passed away. Please pray for their families and friends of which they had many. … We will try and keep you all posted, but this page will go dark for awhile as the future of Gray State is uncertain.”
Stewart Rhodes chimed in, saying: “I was honored to know David, to see him work, and to help, in a small way, with this project. This is a great and tragic loss, and comes as such a shock.” Others across the Web were not so measured. One site reporting on the case asked: “Who really murdered them?”
Commenters at the Gray State Facebook page were far more certain that the family had been “suicided” – a term popular with conspiracy theorists who believe that nefarious New World Order assassins frequently kill the people who try to expose them by staging their deaths and making it appear to be suicide.
“The Creator of Gray State was killed by our Gov’t… watch the Concept trailer,” wrote one. “This will shine some light on what this movie was about and will have you know why he was murdered by our Gov’t. Everyone knows except those who haven’t seen this yet.”
“DEMAND JUSTICE FOR DAVID CROWLEY! We must not allow his good name to be soiled. He did not kill anyone, this was an assassination!” wrote another, who was especially persistent in pursuing this claim. In another post, he wrote: “DAVID CROWLEY WAS ASSASSINATED!! No doubts. He is not part of a psyop but a real person, one of the major players behind exposing the horror of the upcoming police state.”
He then apparently set up a Facebook page dedicated to the concept. “David Crowley and his family were murdered by those who want to shut down the Gray State project,” it says. “Help expose what really happened and demand justice.”
One of his admirers posted a video of Crowley speaking at a “Ron Paul Festival” held in Tampa, Fla., in 2012, while he was raising funds for the film:
“This man did NOT kill himself. He was SUICIDED,” wrote the post’s author.
For some Americans, there is a boogeyman rampaging through the land. His name is “Demographics.”
By 2050, experts predict the United States will be a majority-minority country, a rainbow nation. Most of the rainbow, however, will still be white. According to Pew Research, by 2050 “non-Hispanic whites, who made up 67 percent of the population in 2005 will be 47 percent in 2050.” Hispanics will go from 14 percent to 29 percent, blacks will hold steady at about 13 percent by the time 2050 and Asians will go from 5 percent to 9 percent.
On the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, someone calling him/herself “Steve Goode” responded by email to an interview request and explained his reasons for the billboard.
“We started the site because we wanted to voice our concern about the trends towards a White minority across dozens of White majority countries,” Goode wrote. “If trends towards a White minority status were isolated to just one or two countries, we would be less inclined to believe it was about getting rid of White people as a race.”
Goode said the group was started in January 2013, and the way he described its operations, WGP sounds like it may have well adopted the “leaderless resistance” approach made popular by Louis Beam, an iconic figure of the radical right who helped guide the white supremacist movement into the computer age.
“In our movement there are no bosses telling employees what they should do,” Goode wrote. “Much of our activity is by individuals who agree with us and want to help spread the message in their own way. In other words, everyone is their own boss.”
Goode said the members of the group are anonymous out of fear of being fired or beaten up, “because many bad things can come of publicly being pro-White.”
“Several people have written to me that they support us,” Goode said, “but say they are afraid of what will happen to them if they go public.”
It is a bizarre position for something that is so glaringly public.
On Jan. 9, the small city of Springville, Al., about a 30-minute drive from Birmingham, discovered a new and unsettling billboard along I-59. It read, “Diversity Means Chasing Down The Last White Person.” Goode said the phrase was first featured in a blog post on Bob Whitaker’s site devoted to “fighting white genocide.” Whether Whitaker came up with it or someone else, Goode said he did not know.
Whitaker, a longtime segregationist, is the author of a piece called “The Mantra,” which includes the phrase “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white” and has become a touchstone for nearly all manner of white supremacist.
The phrase has appeared on several billboards across the country; it has been written on sheets hung from highway overpasses; for a time it even appeared on white supremacist Craig Cobb’s house in Leith, N.D. The phrase also was used on a billboard recently near Leeds, Al., before the sign was taken down after a few weeks of considerable protest and pressure from city officials. Goode said his group of online segregationists had nothing to do with that billboard.
The owners of the billboard personally took it down and refunded the money, several thousand dollars. The owners told a television station from Birmingham that they were not racist and had been bombarded with angry telephone calls, including some threats.
“We have no plans for any projects like this at the moment,” Goode wrote in a separate email, “but we will offer our support to any people who agree with us and want to spread our message.”
In The New York Times on Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday, Jelani Cobb, an associate professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut, wrote about how the “growing fears of struggling whites” could impede civil rights advances.
“A democracy in which the traditionally empowered class is outnumbered is traditionally a less liberal place, not more…” he wrote, adding. “…It’s no coincidence that the super-heated opposition to immigration reform coincides with the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act, and with public opinion polls in which a substantial number of whites say they believe they are the primary victims of racism in the United States. If anything, demographic trends will intensify these dynamics.”