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 Last Word: Hatewatch’s 2nd Annual Smackdown Awards

By Mark Potok on December 30, 2008 - 6:56 pm, Posted in Year-End

It’s been another sorry year in the world of hate, as knuckle-dragging white supremacists and their fellow travelers did their best to make our country a little worse with each new passing day. Here at Hatewatch, we’ve been hard at work trying to winnow away the garden-variety savagery that habitués of our blog know so well in favor of truly extraordinary examples of asinine activities from the benighted denizens of the radical right. It hasn’t been easy for members of the Hatewatch 2nd Annual Smackdown Awards Committee, who’ve had to wade heroically through the sewers and cesspools to produce our list. But now they’ve returned from that underworld, muddied but unbowed, to offer our readers, without further ado, Hatewatch’s year-end countdown of the very, very worst of 2008:

10. Most Creative Tattoo Award
We’ve seen more than our share of those who believe that large tattoos of swastikas and SS lightning bolts are attractive additions to their faces and other body parts, no matter what their mommies and daddies think. But the truth is that this year, there simply was no competition at all in this category once Ron Edwards, imperial wizard of the Kentucky-based Imperial Klans of America, showed up for a February deposition with attorneys of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Edwards was there for a lawsuit the SPLC brought against him and his organization after two of his followers beat up a 16-year-old boy, and he wasn’t happy, as evidenced by a new tattoo on the side of his freshly shaven head that read, “Fuck S.P.L.C.” The other side of his head — this one tattooed with “Aryan Justice”— apparently reflected his hopes for the trial’s outcome, but the mostly white jury didn’t agree. In the end, it came back with a $2.5 million judgment for the boy who was beaten, and Edwards’ head was plumb out of space for further commentary on the state of the world.

9. Creepiest Cult Leader Award
After last year’s recognition of neo-Nazi boss Kevin Alfred Strom for his arrest on charges of possession of child pornography — not to mention his version of “Here We Come A-Wassailing,” detailing his interest in marrying a 10-year-old girl — it’s been hard to find real competition in the Icky Sexual Proclivities Department. But just when we were beginning to despair, along came Tony Alamo, the cult leader known for his blistering hatred of Catholics and homosexuals. Turns out that the 74-year-old Alamo allegedly had something in common with Strom, who emerged from prison last fall after serving time on the kiddie porn charges. In truly awful documents filed in court this fall, a 14-year-old girl accused Alamo of fondling her in the shower; another said she was about 9 when Alamo “married” her; and a third recounted having sex with him at age 11. According to a confidential source, Alamo, who goes on trial in February on 10 counts related to transporting underage girls across state lines for sex, kept candy and Barbie dolls in his bedroom. ( continue to full post… )

American Border Patrol Questions Border Fence Tally

By Hatewatch Staff on December 29, 2008 - 10:19 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Glenn Spencer, head of the border watch group American Border Patrol, called the Department of Homeland Security’s latest border fence construction figures misleading.
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Editorial: Immigration A ‘Non-Issue’ In This Year’s Election

By Hatewatch Staff on December 29, 2008 - 10:17 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The simplistic ‘send them back where they came from’ approach to immigration reform has no traction with a majority of American voters.
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Panel Recommends Termination Of Sheriff’s Immigration Enforcement Contract

By Hatewatch Staff on December 29, 2008 - 10:15 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The Arizona Civil Rights Advisory Board recommended that, due to racial profiling complaints, Maricopa County end a contract with the federal government that allows anti-immigration Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s department to make arrests for violations of federal immigration laws.
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Civil Rights Group Seeks Federal Probe Of Suffolk County

By Hatewatch Staff on December 29, 2008 - 10:11 am, Posted in Uncategorized

LatinoJustice called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate allegations of systemic violations of civil rights of Latinos in Suffolk County, N.Y., where an Ecuadorean immigrant was beaten to death last month amidst an ongoing spate of hate crimes targeting Latinos.
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Latino Professionals Organize In City Hostile To Immigrants

By Hatewatch Staff on December 23, 2008 - 9:48 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Two years after Farmers Branch, Tex. gained a reputation for targeting immigrants with a harsh local housing ordinance, Latino professionals are politically organizing to gain fair representation in a city whose population is nearly half Latino.
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Recount Confirms Immigrant-Bashing Incumbent’s Defeat

By Hatewatch Staff on December 23, 2008 - 9:46 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Democrat Tom Perriello’s narrow victory over anti-immigration hardliner Republican U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District was confirmed by a two-day recount.
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Sheriff Arpaio Vows More Immigration Sweeps

By Hatewatch Staff on December 23, 2008 - 9:44 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Recently elected to a fifth term, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says increased scrutiny of ethnic profiling complaints by incoming U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will not deter Arpaio from targeting more immigrants with sweeps and raids.
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Minutemen Protest Outside Baca’s Office

By Hatewatch Staff on December 23, 2008 - 9:41 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Rep. Joe Baca, the outgoing chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said members of the Minuteman Project who staged a protest outside his office “hate the fact that the demographics of our society are changing.”
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Human Rights Complaint Filed Against U.S. Government

By Hatewatch Staff on December 23, 2008 - 9:39 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Manhattan-based LatinoJustice PRLDEF filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Costa Rica alleging the U.S. government is failing to protect Latinos within its borders.
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