The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Last week, African-American neo-Confederate activist H.K. Edgerton stopped by Montgomery, Ala., to commemorate the five-year anniversary of his 1,385-mile “March Through Dixie,” a fundraising trek from his home in Asheville, N.C., to Austin, Texas. He was dressed in a gray Confederate soldier’s uniform and hoisted a large Confederate flag, mounted on a pole, over his right shoulder. While visiting Montgomery, Edgerton — an extremely rare black face in the overwhelmingly white neo-Confederate movement — granted Hatewatch an interview in which he detailed his unique perspectives on the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan, and race relations in the antebellum and postwar South. Here are just a few of his more interesting assertions:
• Before the slaves were freed, “Black folks and white folks were family,” he said. “We did all kinds of things together here. White people and slaves saw each other on the streets and they tipped their hats to each other … and asked each other about their families.”
• “The War Between the States is not over. This thing is real!”
• “I don’t see [the Ku Klux Klan] as terrorists. I see them as — I hate to use the word ‘vigilante,’ but vigilante sometimes ain’t as bad as you think. When your government fails you and fails to protect you, you have to turn somewhere.”
• The KKK was “just protecting the people — all of the people, black and white. Blacks wanted to be a part of that.”
• “Why would a man tell my babies [that] walking into a classroom with a Confederate flag on [their clothing] that [that is] demonic, evil and offensive? Black folks in the South been living with that flag all our lives.”
• “It wasn’t so much about [then-Alabama Gov.] George Wallace going to the schoolhouse doors, saying, ‘No, you can’t integrate.’ The thought in his mind was, ‘No, you can’t tell me to integrate. Let us deal with this, and we’re gonna deal with it.’”
• Slaves “were given a new pair of pants and a new pair of shoes every day, and he thinks this white man was cruel! [Black slaves] had the same medical facilities that the white man had. … You look at most of the slave pictures … they are not raggedy and torn. They lived better than most! … Most of them looked better than most of the white folks around and lived better than most of the free world!” ( continue to full post… )
Anti-racist demonstrators are about as common at Ku Klux Klan rallies as white pointy hoods. So it came as no surprise when, shortly after the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan revealed plans to hold a rally in Cullman, Ala., a counter-protest spokesperson piped up to announce that his group would likewise make a showing in Cullman to oppose the “racial slurs,” the “ignorance and stupidity,” the “hatred” and the “threats” voiced by the Indiana-based National Knights.
The identity of this “anti-hate” group, however, was a bit of a shock: The Alabama Ku Klux Klan.
Trussville, Ala., resident Ken Mier, who is publicizing the counter-protest and claims to be an “investigator” for the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, directed Hatewatch to a website depicting a hooded Klansmen riding a hooded horse and waving a burning cross — classic imagery from a movement whose entire 140-plus-year history is one of racially motivated terrorism. Nevertheless, Mier informed Hatewatch via E-mail, the Alabama Ku Klux Klan is “focusing on a totally different outward appearance. No militia, no Nazi flag, and, yes, no hatred of any sort.”
It gets weirder.
“We are the descendants of the ‘Non Violent, True Southern Christian Klanspeople,’” Mier wrote. “We are the children that fought with our fist [sic] to protect the negro [sic] friends we grew up with in the sharecropper fields.” ( continue to full post… )
More than a thousand people met on the south steps of the state Capitol today to protest HB 1804, one of the toughest immigration laws in the nation. […]
Steven Lonegan, the ultraconservative mayor of Bogota, N.J., and a onetime candidate for governor, has for years fought against illegal Hispanic immigrants, if not all Hispanics. […]
After a hostile reception in April, Chris Simcox’s return Monday to the University of Texas at San Antonio was much quieter, though not entirely free of protest.
In the year and a half since more than 1 million people took part in “A Day Without an Immigrant,” right-wing nativists have taken the legislative offensive against immigrants and the rule of law by proposing more than 200 local anti-illegal immigrant ordinances and resolutions around the country. These resolutions are a piece in a larger post-9/11 movement to convince Americans that foreigners threaten the American way of life. Although racist, manipulative and unconstitutional, they are surprisingly effective.
Over the past two years, the Watchmen on the Walls have brought their traveling anti-gay road show to Sacramento, Seattle and Riga, the Latvian capital. In Seattle last month, they were greeted by more than 100 protesters, who challenged the Watchmen’s beliefs that gays are a threat to society and were instrumental in orchestrating the Holocaust. In Latvia this March, American Watchmen leaders tried to pass themselves off as envoys of the US White House, a claim refuted by White House spokesmen.
This Nov. 14-18, they’ll return to Riga, where they will be joined by Americans Larry Jacobs and Don Feder of the World Congress of Families. Feder is involved with several extremist groups. He is a member of the board of advisers of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti-immigrant group whose leader has compared immigrants to bacteria. Last year, speaking at a conference put on by the anti-gay group, Vision America, Feder said the goal of the gay rights movement was to “transform us so that Salt Lake City on a Sunday morning looks like today’s San Francisco on a Saturday night.” ( continue to full post… )