The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Nativist Leader Now Says Video is Fake

By Casey Sanchez on August 20, 2007 - 11:27 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

For the first time, Robert Crooks, leader of California’s nativist extremist Mountain Minutemen, has admitted to filming and posting videos (here and here) that seem to depict an undocumented immigrant being shot on the border. But Crooks now says the video was staged.

“Who in their right mind is going to shoot a smuggler, videotape it, then post it to YouTube?” Crooks asked KGTV 10News in San Diego.

That’s a change from last week, when Crooks, in an E-mail to the Intelligence Report, insisted he neither filmed the video nor posted it to a video-sharing site. A local police spokesman told 10News the video did appear to be fake.

Crooks’ tiny Mountain Minutemen group is one of several armed Minuteman spinoffs now operating on the U.S.-Mexico border between Campo and Jacumba, Calif. Crooks told a reporter that he and friends made the fake video during talks about President George Bush’s proposed immigration reform bill.

Crooks had a number of other nativist extremist leaders convinced that his video was real and would damage their movement. In response to Crooks’ border shooting video, Jeff Schwilk, leader of the nativist extremist San Diego Minutemen, told his supporters he had a media strategy in place, “to minimize damage to the Minuteman movement.” Jim Gilchrist, director of another Minuteman group, banned his own members from contact with Crooks and his group and said that he would no longer provide Crooks’ group with supplies as in the past.

In late July, Crooks sent an E-mail to Gilchrist and other Minutemen leaders that contained a link to part of the chilling video depicting an immigrant being targeted and shot at through a night-vision scope. “This video shows how to keep a ‘Home Depot’ parking lot empty,” he wrote, jabbing at Gilchrist and others who, he suggested, could “Talk the Talk” but not “Walk the Walk.”

Now, Robert Crooks offers another reason for making the video. “We’re old men and we’re bored,” he said.

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  • EnderW

    Mark, I largely disagree with your assessment. The SPLC, although I support it’s work, has been largely ineffective in doing anything other than educating the already decent people.

    Although they have a handful of court successes under their belt (credit is due there), they have done little to stem the tide of domestic Terrorism, which is far more rampant today than it was ten years ago.

    If you want protection from what the right wants to pull, I suggest taking advantage of the ban being lifted on the kind of guns that will be shooting at us, and buy equivilant weapons yourself. I’m not endorsing the NRA with this statement (I consider the NRA to be a Terrorist/Insurrectionist group that habitually violates the Smith Act with their threats of overthrowing the Government, and indoctrinating others into the “necessity” of doing so, combined with the training they give to that end in how to do so).

    The real problem is that there are so many here on the Left that don’t have the Tenacity of our grandfathers in using the Smith Act. It worked against the Nazi Bund, it can work against Christian Reconstructionists (Today’s Nazi Party).

  • robert

    I commend the SPLC for standing up this racist punks.Keep up the great work.

  • Anna

    True, racists often hate illegal immigrants.
    There are also good people who want our borders secured. Some of us are of hispanic heritage, and certainly aren’t racists.

    If people would spend more of their energy confronting the Mexican government, demanding it change its policies, there wouldn’t be a problem along our border. You have your fingers pointed in the wrong direction.

  • Peter S. Lopez

    I am glad the Southern Poverty Law Center monitors what it can for those who have the luxury of Internet connection. Much needs to be done to educate people, especially to rid them of their own racism and remnants of racism. Sad but true that some White Amerikans always have to have a ‘nigger’ to hate. If not African-Americans, then, Middle Eastern ‘terrorists’ and now we have illegal immigrants trying to feed their families that inhumane racists hate! Shame for their parents!

  • Mark Day

    I agree 100 per cent. If it were not for the SPLC and other watchdog groups,t he Minutemen and other nativist hate groups would already be spilling blood. Keep up the good word. Keep an eye on them 24/7.

  • Gary

    So bored old white men can make movies about shooting “illegal” immigrants on the border, send it to their pals with “talk the talk / walk the walk” goading… but it’s somehow OK because it’s “fake”? These people are completely out of their minds.

    I commend the SPLC for their continued efforts. Do not let the Minutemen, Lou Dobbs, Peter Brimelow, or any other nativists deter you from your path. You’re doing the right thing.