The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Richard Mack, the leader of the so-called “Constitutional sheriffs” movement and a longtime figure in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, made a somewhat startling announcement near the end of his speech Saturday December 13 to the gathering of fellow gun-rights enthusiasts at the “We Will Not Comply” rally in Olympia, Wash.
“I want you to know that there is something that I’m gonna do – and I don’t want to do it,” he said. “And my wife really doesn’t want to do it. But there is a group of people that were looking for answers to what we’re doing. And they formed a committee, and they formed a website, and they got together and they said, let’s call this the Constitutional County Project. And we’re going to try to make at least one county a complete and entire constitutional county.”
Mack smiled. “Now imagine that all of you – all of us that similarly live in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, all lived in the same place,” he said. “Can you imagine that? And we are the town councils, the county commissioners. And I am moving there to run for sheriff.”
This is not the first time that Mack has moved to another locale in an attempt to become sheriff since losing his badge as the sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., in the mid-1990s. In 1998, he ran as a Republican for sheriff in Utah County, Utah, but lost in the primary. He returned to Arizona, where in 2006 he ran as a Libertarian Party candidate in the U.S. Senate race against incumbent Jon Kyl, a Republican, but finished in the general election with only 3% of the vote. Mack, who now has a residence in Texas, ran in the 2012 GOP primary against Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of the state’s 21st Congressional District and was similarly trounced, garnering only 15 percent of the vote.
There is indeed a website devoted to a “Constitutional County Project,” as well as a Facebook page, and they explain that their mission is to “re-assert the United States Constitution as the supreme law of the land, driven by active citizen engagement within the political process at the County level, to secure and protect the liberties of ‘We the People’ without compromise.”
The website explains that the organizers have set their sights on Navajo County, a sparsely populated and relatively large body in Arizona’s northeastern corner, as the county where they hope to establish a large population of fellow “constitutionalists” who share their political views, and to transform the county’s politics accordingly.
The project’s intentions, according to the website, in Navajo County include “supporting Constitutional candidates, as well as encouraging project participants to run, for all county offices including county sheriff, attorney, board of supervisors, school board, along with all municipal and political party offices,” “repealing local and county laws and regulations which are unrelated to protecting individual rights,” “establishing and enforcing environmental regulations at the county level,” and “using legal and political means to protect the county’s residents against any attempt to un-Constitutionally interfere with peaceable living and enterprise.”
“The main reasons for our choosing Navajo County include a rural location, mild climate, and an already existing tradition of independence, self-reliance, and liberty among its residents,” the website explains.
The site also lists a number of endorsements for the project from around Arizona, including a number of leading Republican Party officials. Among them are Dara Vanesian, the Navajo County GOP Chairman; AJ Lafaro, the Maricopa County GOP Chairman; Pinal County GOP Chairman Seraphim Larsen; and Arizona State Sen. Judy Burges, R-Sun City West, a noted Tea Party figure who once made headlines by introducing a “birther” bill in the Legislature, as well as for a bill to stave off a “one-world order,” a response to the right-wing conspiracy theory about Agenda 21.
Local endorsees include Sylvia Allen, a Navajo County Supervisor; former Arizona State Senator Jonathan Paton; Barry Weller, an Apache County Supervisor; and Robert Corbell, a Greenlee County Supervisor. The group’s leadership appears to include Barry Hess, a former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, and Barbara Blewster of the state’s chapter of the John Birch Society.
Mack explained to the crowd Saturday how it all came about. “This group got together and came to me, I wasn’t part of it,” he said. “They told me about this, and I said, ‘This is tremendous. This is what I’ve said for years. If we’re going to take back freedom, we have one opportunity to keep it peaceful, and that is the enforcement of state sovereignty by our sheriffs, and by our state and county legislators.”
He said he saw it as a dream come true: “We can keep this movement peaceful, my dear friends, we can. You have to have them on board, though. You have to have some of them. And you have to have some sheriffs. And so they said, ‘We want all of that to happen – in Navajo County, Arizona, and we want you to come there and run for sheriff.
“And I said yes. My wife said no. This is one time I’m gonna be the boss. We’re moving. And it’s three hours from where I live now.”
He also made a pitch for fellow “Patriots” to join him there. “The election is in 2016,” he said. “I want you to carefully, prayerfully consider moving there with me. And I’m serious. You want to live in a free county? You want to live by constitutional law? You want to not worry about the federal government not moving in and ruining your lives and your family and hauling you off at midnight? Come live with us there. We’re gonna do this.
“We’re gonna make it a constitutional county and show everybody the blueprint for freedom. And there’s a lot more people running for other offices than me. I just said I’d run for sheriff. We’re going to give this one more try. The election is in 2016. I’m going to be moving there in spring of 2015 so I can start getting ready for this. You have about a year and a half to decide. And I’m dead serious about this. If I can move there, so can you.”
There are some immediate problems, however, with the plans of Mack and his cohorts. The most obvious is that of the county’s 9,960 square miles, 6,632 of those are federally designated Indian reservation – the third most of any county in the United States.
Nor is it clear that their political plans – involving a predominantly white “Patriot” movement contingent – will go over well with the county’s current population, some 45 percent of which in the latest Census was Native American. That is only slightly outnumbered by the county’s white population, which comprises 51 percent. However, that white population has grown in recent years; in the 2000 Census, only 46 percent of the county was white, while 48 percent was Native.
Kelly “K.C.” Clark, the current Navajo County sheriff – a Democrat who has held the office since 2008 – told Hatewatch that he had heard of the “constitutional county” rumblings a month ago and had been told recently about Mack’s plans. “I take everything seriously,” he said, “but I just do what I have always done as sheriff.
“You know, I have been serving the citizens of Navajo County for 27 years,” he added. “I have taken the oath as a certified police officer, when I became certified, and then twice as an elected official. And we all know what that oath says. I don’t take that oath lightly, never have.”
But he bridles at the idea that what he and other mainstream sheriffs do is somehow unconstitutional. “I do support the Second Amendment, but I support the whole Constitution, too. I support all 26 amendments. Because I am a constitutional sheriff.”
Clark said he welcomed Mack and his fellow constitutionalists. “You know, anybody can run for sheriff,” he said. “If he does, then so be it. I heard on that video that he was encouraging other people to move here. And I hope so, because that would be great for our economy.”
Los Angeles Times: Former white supremacist convicted of brutally killing African-American man in 1997.
IREHR: South Carolina tea-party convention scrubs white nationalist scheduled to speak from their website.
FBI.gov: Ten people sentenced for involvement in Aryan Brotherhood racketeering conspiracy.
Merced Sun Star: Swastikas appear in Atwater, possibly connected to deaths of two unarmed black men.
Spokesman-Review: ‘Constitutionalists’ protest county deputy’s remarks at Spokane Valley police precinct.
Right Wing Watch: Rick Wiles predicts that a nuclear holocaust will kill us all, thanks to LGBT people.
The FBI is now investigating the August death of a black 17-year-old football player whose family and friends believe he may have been the victim of foul play in Bladenboro, N.C.
State investigators ruled the death of Lennon Lacy a suicide, but his family and many others in the community wonder if he was the victim of a lynching, The Washington Post reports in today’s editions.
In another stunning development today, Lacy’s former girlfriend, Michelle Brimhall, broke her silence and told Dailymail.com that she believes Lennon Lacy was murdered because of their interracial relationship.
“I believe Lennon was murdered,” Brimhall told the online news site.
The 31-year-old woman said she had been “targeted by racists during” because of her relationship with a black teenager almost half her age. Brimhall, who is now living in Illinois, “fled the town for her own safety,” the Daily Mail reported.
In an interview with Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, the victim’s mother, Claudia Lacy, said there are inconsistencies in the evidence surrounding her son’s death.
“Do you think his death could have been racially motivated?” Lemon asked Claudia Lacy. “It could have been,” she responded.
Her son recently had broken up with Brimhall, who had three children, an ex-husband and a drug history, according to media reports. Brimhall denied any involvement with drugs in her interview with the Daily Mail.
Still, there are questions and inconsistencies over the way the death scene was processed. The victim’s hands were not covered with plastic bags, which is normal protocol, so forensic pathologists can check for foreign DNA and other evidence.
Most disturbing, the mother said, is that her son had just left home wearing a new pair of Air Jordan shoes. But they were never located after his lifeless body was found on Aug. 28 hanging from a wooden swing set with two belts tied around his neck. The shoes on his feet were two sizes too small, without shoe laces, and they weren’t his.
“It’s not feasible,” Claudia Lacy told CNN. “Two sizes too small? Why?”
Her son was excited about the start of school and his first home football game on Aug. 29. Investigators found no suicide note. The autopsy report makes no mention of the missing shoes or those found on the body.
The victim’s mother and private attorney Allen Rogers, of Fayetteville, along with Rev. William J.Barber II, the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, asked U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina to request the FBI investigation. There was a march supporting that effort last weekend in Bladenboro.
“We are glad to hear that the request made by the North Carolina NAACP and the family of Lennon Lacy for a federal investigation has been accepted,” Barber said, adding there is a need for “a thorough investigation.”
“There are too many questions and contradictions raised by our independent pathology report and stories in the community about the facts, quick conclusions, and how the death scene was not protected,” Barber said in a statement released to Hatewatch.
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Right Wing Watch: Oath Keepers’ Stewart Rhodes claims that Bundy Ranch standoff nearly sparked civil war by turning the military against feds.
Huffington Post: Pat Robertson says homosexuality is doomed to die out ‘because they don’t reproduce.’
Associated Press: President Obama signs legislation outlawing giving elderly Nazis any benefit checks.
IREHR: White nationalist scheduled to speak at South Carolina Tea Party convention in January.
A Kansas prosecutor said today that he will seek the death penalty against Frazier Glenn Miller, the longtime neo-Nazi and former Ku Klux Klan leader accused of killing three people last spring at two Jewish facilities in suburban Kansas City.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe filed notice of his decision shortly after a judge ruled that Miller, who is 74 and suffering from lung disease that has put him in the jail infirmary for days at a time, is mentally competent to stand trial for the killing spree, according to the Kansas City Star.
Last month, around the time a Johnson County district judge was ordering the competency evaluation for Miller, the elderly white supremacis told the Star in a series of telephone interviews from jail that he was convinced he was dying at the time of the shootings and “wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”
None of the three people killed on that bloody Sunday in April – Terri LaManno, 53, William Lewis Corporon, 69 and Corporon’s 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood – was Jewish.
Miller told the paper that he went to Jewish facilities in Overland Park, Kan. – a community center and a care center – “for the specific purpose of killing Jews.”
“Because of what I did, Jews feel less secure,” he boasted to the paper. “Every Jew in the world knows my name now and what I did. As for these white people who are accomplices of the Jews, who attend their meetings and contribute efforts to empower the Jews, they are my enemy, too. A lot of white people who associate with Jews, go to Jewish events and support them know that they’re not safe either, thanks to me.”
Corporon and his young grandson were shot outside the Jewish Community Center, where the boy was scheduled to audition for a singing contest with scores of other teenagers.
Miller told the paper that as he drove away from the center, “I have never felt such exhilaration. …Finally, I’d done something.”
Miller said he then drove to the Village Shalom care center, where LaManno was killed just outside the facility. LaManno was there to visit her elderly mother.
“After I shot her,” Miller told the Star, “another woman came right behind the woman’s vehicle that I’d just shot. Right behind it, 15 feet from me. …I had the shotgun pointed at her head from about 12 feet. I said, ‘Are you a Jew?’ She said, ‘What?’ By the second time, she knew why I was asking. She screamed, ‘No.’ So, I let her live.”
After the killing spree and his arrest, Miller sat handcuffed in the back of the police car and shouted through the mental mesh covering the back window, “Heil Hitler.”
In court today, after filing a notice with the court that prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Miller, the District Attorney placed a copy of the notice in front of Miller, who was dressed in a stripped inmate uniform and sitting in a wheelchair at the defense table but looking much healthier than in past court appearances.
“I don’t fear the death penalty,” Miller said, according to the Star. “I’m already dying.”
Two young women from Brandon, Miss., have confessed to federal hate crimes related to racially-motivated assaults carried out by them and their associates against African-American people, culminating in the 2011 murder of a man run over with a truck.
James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old auto plant worker who was African-American, was struck and killed on June 25, 2011, by a Ford F250 driven by a gang of white youths. His brutal murder was captured on surveillance video and broadcast nationally.
The gang of youths essentially had made a sport of looking for disabled, homeless or intoxicated African-Americans to verbally harass and physically assault, and then boasted about their deeds with the belief that such individuals would be less likely to contact law enforcement.
Shelbie Brooke Richards and Sarah Adelia Graves, both 21, each pleaded guilty last week to one count of conspiracy to violate the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Justice Department said in a news release. Richards also pleaded guilty to an additional count of concealing information about a felony. Sentencing dates have not been set.
The Ku Klux Klan, which in recent years has been a shadow of its once monolithic self, has been trying to make a comeback. From handing out candy to children, appearing in robes on the U.S.-Mexican border to protest President Obama’s executive action on immigration—even raising money for Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.—it seems Klansman are everywhere.
Is the Klan growing?
This week, Vice published a video report on the Klan experiencing a rise in members, in part fueled by a strategy that targets veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In it, host Rocco Castoro talks with the SPLC’s Mark Potok about hate group recruitment often being tied to military conflict.
“There is a very high degree of interest on the part of Klan groups in returning military veterans with high end military skills that they think will be useful to them one day,” Potok said. “A lot of these men are coming back traumatized with serious PTSD and other problems. The economy is not good. They’re not getting jobs, so they come home to find a situation that is not very good for them. … What some veterans find in these groups is family.”
Watch the videos.
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Raw Story: Indiana church that fired gay choir director closing after sharp decline in attendance.
Vice: Ku Klux Klan is boosting its numbers by recruiting veterans.
Access ADL: Apparent extremist threatens police officers and a city employee in small Louisiana town.
Right Wing Watch: Tony Perkins warns that gay rights will destroy freedom and the American economy.
With cries of “Second Amendment remedies” to “government tyranny” ringing in their ears, a crowd of several hundred people gathered near the state Capitol in Olympia, Wa., on Saturday, to voice their defiance of Initiative 594, the new state law requiring background checks on most gun sales.
Most people in the gathering carried firearms of one kind or another, and a number of them openly exchanged weapons as a way to make a statement supporting the “We Will Not Comply” rally. There was even a table marked “I-594 Violation Station,” where attendees could openly swap or sell firearms.
The focus of the event, though, was the parade of speakers who encouraged the audience to defy the new law on the grounds that it violated the Constitution. Many of them were longstanding antigovernment figures, including former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, whose fame on the radical right has much to do with his own challenge of federal gun laws and “III Percent” movement provocateur Mike Vanderboegh.
Accordingly, many of them referenced violent action in defense of their gun rights as the ultimate response to what they see as tyranny.
“Make no mistake: If we do not stand up, America, our children and our grandchildren will take back liberty at the price of blood!” intoned Gavin Seim, the Ephrata, Wa.-based “liberty speaker” and chief organizer of the event.
Vanderboegh was even more explicit: “When democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote!” he told the crowd, to loud cheers. “So be careful what you wish for. You may get it.”
Vanderboegh blamed the passage of I-594 last month, with nearly 60 percent of the vote, on internecine bickering between gun rights organizations, notably the National Rifle Association and the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation. He warned the groups that they needed to work together now to prevent the law from being fully enacted.
“[W]e are here today to remind them, and to remind the enemies of liberty in this state, that if they fail, there are always Second Amendment remedies,” he said. “And like that determined minority of colonists, that original three percent who fought the forces of the greatest empire on the planet to a standstill, we will not be intimidated, we will not compromise, we will not back down, and we will be heard, one way or the other!”
Even more chilling were the demands that were quietly read by an Oath Keepers representative from Washington, Scott Bannister, who demanded that current office holders in the state step down from their positions, or face violent consequences.
“We the people demand that our current government, and their many crimes of treason against the Constitution, breaking the oath they swore to uphold … we are asking them to step back and surrender their position or office they hold, or be arrested by the sheriff of their local state,” he read from a prepared statement. “By their failure to uphold their oath that they swore, they are committing treason and high crimes against our country, and I don’t think any of us want to stand for that. These tyrannical acts and criminal acts toward us American people are out of control.”
Bannister explained further: “Every once in awhile, the tree of liberty needs to be refreshed, and the blood of tyrants needs to flow. If they don’t do it quietly, and resign, sad to say it, maybe that’s what’s gonna happen, I hope not. But we will stand our ground, and no comply.”
Bannister also indulged in a moment of unintended irony when he told the crowd: “I wish more people would realize what’s going on with our country. Because we are all told so many lies, and so many people believe it. It’s really sad that we’ve all been brainwashed.”
Most of the speakers, including state Rep. Elizabeth Scott, who declared “Molon Labe!” (Come and Take Them) to the idea of gun registration, argued that both the Second Amendment, as well as provisions in the state constitution, prohibited such laws as I-594. Several, including Seim, argued that these constitutions prohibited any regulations of any weapons whatsoever.
“We need to draw the line,” Seim said. “Read my lips: The people should be armed equal to government! Because when the people are armed, there is liberty, and when there is liberty, there is safety, and there is security. We must stop trading away our children’s birthright for false promises of security and trade for liberty, because that, my friends, is not liberty, and that’s why we stand here today.”
Richard Mack argued along similar lines. “I don’t care if it’s state level, county level, whatever—the only way a background check before you can get a gun is lawful is if you voluntarily do it,” he told the crowd. “If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to. Because you’re not a criminal, you’re an American, and you don’t have to go through that. Because your government has no authority, no right, no power, no business ever saying to you, ‘Unless you submit and unless you subject yourself to my background check, you can’t have your Second Amendment.’
“That’s not the way our government works. We don’t need your permission! We don’t need your permission to be here, or to exercise our Second Amendment rights, but you need our permission to exist. You got it all backwards!” he said. “And we will not comply, we will not disarm, we will not be slaves, and we will not subject ourselves to you, in any way!”
Seim demonstrated how deeply he embraced this idea at the end of the four-hour-long program by burning his state concealed-carry permit, claiming that the government didn’t have the power to control his gun rights.
“You do not need a permit to exercise your rights,” he said. “If you, my friends, want a tank in your front yard, then buy one, and I for one may want to live next door, because your house will be the safest on the block.
“I was on a radio interview a little while ago, as we were planning this rally,” he continued. “He suggested that I was too radical. And he said, ‘If you stood up before all those people and said you ought to be able to own bazookas, they would not stand with you.’ And I said, ‘Well, challenge accepted,’ or something along those lines. So I say, if you want to own a bazooka, you can own a bazooka! Although an AR-15 might actually be a more effective weapon.”
The crowd cheered loudly, and a number of them came up to toss their concealed-carry permits into the fire as well.
A faction of what remains of the Aryan Nations is planning a triple cross burning later this month in Mississippi to raise money for a former Aryan Nations member who joined the white nationalist paramilitary group The Order.
The event, dubbed “Christmas with the Klan” and scheduled at an undisclosed location near Holly Springs, Miss., is being organized by Shaun Patrick Winkler, who calls himself an “Imperial Wizard” with the Aryan Nations Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Winkler, a protégé of Aryan Nations founder Richard G. Butler, lists a post office address in Potts Camp, Miss., not far from where “all pro-white groups” are invited for the event the weekend of Dec. 27.
And what’s in store for such a perverse gala? Winkler promises “free gifts for all children,” and “no alcohol, drugs or drama allowed.” All proceeds are slated to the Gary Yarbrough Legal Fund.
Yarbrough was a member of The Order, a white nationalist revolutionary organization founded by Robert J. Mathews in late September 1983. The group was set on fomenting a race war and a revolution against the U.S. government, which it believed to be controlled by a secret Jewish cabal.
The legal fund is raising money to the challenge the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for rescinding Yarbrough’s parole after he allegedly posted to various racist online forums, including Stormfront.
Other members of The Order who are still in prison are: Randolph George “Randy” Duey, 63, scheduled to be released in 2047; Richard J. Scutari, 67, scheduled for release in 2025; and David C. Tate, 52, who is serving a life sentence without parole