The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
The morning of Sept. 25, fliers posted across the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing blared “GAYS SPREAD AIDS.” They bore the insignia of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) and invited students to attend a lecture that evening by anti-gay agitator Ryan Sorba entitled “The Born Gay Hoax.”
About 100 MSU students made it to the talk. At least two-thirds were anti-YAF demonstrators who silently protested Sorba’s message by wearing brightly colored “I Have a Story” T-shirts and holding signs aloft throughout Sorba’s 90-minute presentation. One male student’s placard read, “I made out with all the YAF boys.”
Sorba — pictured below with his arm around MSU YAF leader Kyle Bristow (thanks to East Lansing-based journalist Todd Heywood for the photo) — for the most part stuck to a standard anti-gay script of branding homosexuality a degenerate lifestyle “choice” rather than an innate trait, though he deployed a few of his own rather bizarre rhetorical flourishes. “When a male dog mounts another male dog, he simply desires to be stimulated … just as when he slavishly mounts a shrub or your dinner guest’s leg,” Sorba declared. “Would this dog consider himself homosexual? Does he bark with a lisp?”
The Washington Times, which has a long history of shoddy journalism and extremism, has recently endured a spate of staff departures, including that of Washington insider Tony Blankley. Blankley, the newspaper’s editorial page editor and former press secretary for then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), joined the PR firm Edelman on Sept. 18 as its executive vice president for global public affairs. Following him out the Times’ door in October will be Cathy Gainor, the business news editor. Earlier this year, two of the Times’ top advertising salesmen, Michael McGrath and Aaron Finely, bolted as well.
These resignations come after an onslaught of press accounts revealing white supremacist thinking by Managing Editor Francis Coombs (pictured right, see Coombs’ blog here), whose wife Marian has direct ties to white supremacists (as revealed in 2005 by the Intelligence Report). One of Coombs’ favored editors, Robert Stacy McCain, is an ardent foe of interracial marriage and a former member of the white supremacist League of the South. Most damaging to Coombs have been recent revelations of the Coombses’ alleged associations with neo-Nazi leader Bill White. White, the leader of the American National Socialist Workers party, is currently being probed by the FBI after suggesting that the “Jena 6” should be lynched and listing the home addresses and phone numbers of five of the teenagers on his website.
The founder of the anti-illegal immigration Minuteman Project, Jim Gilchrist, who was forced off a Columbia University stage last year, will not be coming back for a return engagement at the school. The Columbia Political Union, a nonpartisan student group that had been planning the forum, said in a statement on its Web site yesterday that “it has become clear that this event cannot take the form we had originally hoped it would and could not effectively accomplish the goals we had hoped it might.” […]
Illegal immigration is a national problem, but its impact is trickling down to the local level, Prattville Mayor Jim Byard told a group of about 25 at Wednesday evening’s River Region Minutemen chapter meeting.
The often-emotional debate over immigration roiling cities across the country has morphed here into an unusual clash between individual privacy rights and public access to governmental records.
A week from now, 81-year-old Kansan Robert Baker will be cruising near the border in Arizona in his four-wheel drive vehicle.
A well-known Mississippi white supremacist is working to exploit the family of Justin Barker, a white teenager allegedly beaten by six black youths in Jena, La., who were later charged with attempted murder. The local authorities’ heavy-handed treatment of the black suspects in the Barker case, compared with others where white teens accused of crimes were handled with leniency, sparked a massive anti-racism rally in Jena last Thursday. The rally drew, by most estimates, at least 20,000 people.
Richard Barrett, leader of the Nationalist Movement hate group, claims on his website to have met with 17-year-old Barker, along with his father David Barker, the night before the rally. Barrett says he got a statement from Justin, complaining that “the ones who attacked me are getting money for beating me up,” which Barrett promptly posted. Justin (pictured, above right, posing with Barrett in a photo now on Barrett’s website) also reportedly expressed gratitude for the encouragement he has received from some people and said he hopes to hear from other supporters.
The New York Times’ Sunday fashion insert doesn’t normally cross paths with Hatewatch. But a headline in the Sunday, Sept. 16, edition caught our attention: “Skinheads are Moshing Their Way Into the Style Mainstream.”
According to the brief magazine article, big-name designers like Dior Homme and Heidi Slimane are bringing skinhead style back to the runway. For a movement now largely known for its racist violence, that’s quite a comeback.
Skinhead researcher and Portland [Ore.] State University professor Randy Blazak says that while he hasn’t seen a pair of Doc Martens boots in over three years, skinhead style as a mainstream fashion fad isn’t anything new. As a matter of fact, racist skinheads are often angered to see their style co-opted, whether by anti-racist skinheads or trend-seeking teenagers. “It undermines their message when that style is diffused to the mainstream,” said Blazak. ( continue to full post… )
As tens of thousands of people were preparing to make their way to Jena, La., for today’s anti-racism rally, white supremacists were burning up the Internet with furious denunciations, bloody predictions, promises of future violence and calls for lynching.
“The best crowd control for such a situation would be a squad of men armed with full automatics and preferably a machine gun as well,” is how one person put it on the Web forum hosted by the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network. Added another hopeful VNN poster: “I’m not really that angry at the nogs [a recent variation on an ancient racial slur] — they are just soldiers in an undeclared race war. But any white that’s in that support rally I would like to … have them machine-gunned.” ( continue to full post… )
Our friends over at the Center for American Progress (CAP), which describes itself as “a progressive think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action,” just posted an important article skewering large parts of the media for their frequent depiction of racist or nativist ideologues as mainstream commentators.
“Know Your Sources,” by CAP Senior Fellow Henry Fernandez, mentions some of the country’s most unpleasant nativists, including hate group leader John Vinson (here and here), Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) founder John Tanton (here and here), and former FAIR official Rick Oltman. Fernandez’s point — and it’s an important one — is that the background of these men and others is rarely mentioned in the mainstream press, which frequently quotes them as if they were legitimate critics or analysts of the immigration situation in the United States. Partly based on Southern Poverty Law Center research, Fernandez also points out several other connections linking nativist groups and individuals to unsavory extremists of the far right.