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

Hispanic Leaders Receive Racist Threats

By Hatewatch Staff on July 22, 2008 - 1:24 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Hispanic advocates and legislators in North Carolina report that every time they address immigration issues in public, they receive a spate of messages threatening their safety and/or denigrating all Hispanics.
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Major Minuteman Donor Alleges Fraud, Calls For Criminal Investigation

By Hatewatch Staff on July 22, 2008 - 1:21 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Jim Campbell, who mortgaged his house to donate $100,000 to the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps in 2006, is now accusing the MCDC of deceptive fundraising practices and seeking a criminal case in federal court.
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Insurance Service Quotes Anti-Gay Crackpot as Authority

By Casey Sanchez on July 21, 2008 - 10:08 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT

“It’s a loaded subject, but let’s get right down to it: gay men, on average, die significantly younger than the rest of the population.” So begins “Gay Men Die 20 Years Younger,” an article posted on, a publicly traded online insurance brokerage. The source for the article is identified as none other than “Dr. Paul Cameron, the President of the Family Research Institute, [who] published a study in Psychological Reports that confirmed a 20-year life expectancy gap for actively gay men.”

The study in question in fact did nothing of the sort. Its author is a notorious anti-gay propagandist who for more than 25 years has circulated bogus, homophobic “research findings” in pay-to-publish vanity magazines like Psychological Reports (which will publish most anybody willing to pay $27.50 a page). Cameron’s goal, as he says quite candidly, is to provide “ammunition for those who want laws adopted banning homosexual acts throughout the United States.” (In fact, such laws were struck down as unconstitutional by the 2003 Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.) Cameron’s propaganda is so transparently false and aimed merely at defaming homosexuals that the Southern Poverty Law Center added his Family Research Institute to its list of hate groups in 2005.

One of Cameron’s most infamous works is his 1983 “gay obituary study,” for which he used obituaries published in gay newspapers at the height of the AIDS crisis to conclude that gay men die on average at 43. “Gay Men Die 20 Years Younger,” which was written by company blogger Joseph White, is obviously based on the gay obituary study, even though Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, thoroughly debunked the study in 1997 in the online magazine Slate. ( continue to full post… )

New FBI Report Confirms Extremist Activity in U.S. Military

By Mark Potok on July 18, 2008 - 12:01 pm, Posted in Extremists in the Military, Neo-Nazi

Two years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asking him to investigate the extent to which white supremacists had infiltrated the U.S. military and urging him to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on racist extremists.

We had just published “A Few Bad Men,” a report containing significant evidence that thousands of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads and other white supremacists were learning the art of warfare as members of the armed services. Pressure to meet manpower goals for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had led recruiters and commanders to relax the military standards designed to weed out these extremists.

Forty members of Congress joined our call for an investigation. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, also urged Rumsfeld to adopt a zero-tolerance policy. “Military extremists present an elevated threat to both their fellow servicemembers and the public,” Shelby wrote. “We witnessed with Timothy McVeigh that today’s racist extremist may become tomorrow’s domestic terrorist.”

Three months later, the Pentagon — apparently without any investigation whatsoever — responded by rejecting our findings as “inaccurate and misleadingly alarmist.”

This week, NBC News producer Jim Popkin uncovered a new, unpublished FBI report that reinforces our findings. In fact, it documents a sort of revolving door between the military and white supremacist organizations. According to Popkin, the FBI found that extremists are recruiting military veterans to their organizations and also encouraging their followers “to infiltrate the military as ‘ghost skins,’ in order to recruit and receive training for the benefit of the extremist movement.” ( continue to full post… )

American Legion Immigration Report Replete with Falsehoods

By Sonia Scherr on July 16, 2008 - 4:11 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Since its founding nearly 90 years ago, the American Legion has been a fixture of community life. It has hosted Memorial Day parades to remember those who died in America’s wars. It has held bingo nights and dances at its 14,000-plus posts worldwide. It has supported thousands of Boy Scout groups, sponsored a baseball program that’s produced numerous professional players, and helped children living in poverty or with special needs. From World War II to the war in Iraq, the legion has fought to improve benefits for veterans and their families.

Now, America’s largest veterans organization has launched another campaign — a hard-line attack on undocumented immigrants that’s at odds with the legion’s mainstream image. As part of this effort, the legion, which purports to speak for 2.7 million members, recently issued a booklet that regurgitates discredited and often completely false information about how “illegals” are bringing crime, disease, and terrorism to this country, even as they wreck the economy for natives.

The legion’s 34-page booklet, A Strategy to Address Illegal Immigration in the United States, asserts that “poverty, political instability, disease and war” are “on our back doorstep” because of porous borders and the failure of the government to stringently enforce immigration laws. But in making its case, the legion repeatedly cites dubious sources, ignores well-known facts and makes baseless claims — such as the false assertion that the undocumented infected more than 7,000 people in America with leprosy during a recent three-year period.

“They’re sort of trotting out old tropes to do with immigration,” said Richard Wright, a Dartmouth College geography professor who specializes in immigration. “These are hackneyed stereotypes that have no place in a policy document.” ( continue to full post… )

Save Our State Member Accused Of Harassment For ‘Deport Them All’ Sign

By Hatewatch Staff on July 15, 2008 - 1:18 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Save Our State activist Davi Rodriguez regularly cruises past day labor pick-up points towing a sign that reads, “Build the wall, deport them all,” mounted on a trailer.
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Nebraska Town Council Proposes Banning Illegal Immigrants

By Hatewatch Staff on July 15, 2008 - 1:13 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The Fremont, Neb. town council heard public testimony on a proposed ordinance to drive out illegal immigrants at a hearing that was marred by “racial and anti-immigrant remarks,” according to the Nebraska Mexican-American Commission.
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Immigration Sweeps Violated Federal Regulations

By Hatewatch Staff on July 15, 2008 - 1:10 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Recent immigration sweeps in Hispanic neighborhoods ordered by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in which SWAT teams arrested day laborers, violated federal regulations prohibiting racial profiling.
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Minuteman Founder Calls For U.S. To Send Troops To Mexico

By Hatewatch Staff on July 15, 2008 - 1:08 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist called for the U.S. to send “heavyweight U.S. Army Airborne brigades” to Mexico to battle drug cartels.
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Plot to Murder SPLC Founder Disclosed

By Mark Potok on July 14, 2008 - 9:02 am, Posted in Hate Groups, Klan, Lawsuits, Neo-Nazi, Podcasts

A new book details a formerly undisclosed 1999 plot to assassinate Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and possibly also to blow up the center. Written by FBI agent Tym Burkey and informant Dave Hall, Into the Devil’s Den describes how Hall, after penetrating the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations group in Ohio and Idaho, uncovered the plot shortly before the assassin was to head south to SPLC headquarters in Montgomery, Ala. The assassin was arrested on April 14, 1999, and had timed his attack to roughly coincide with the April 19-20 anniversaries of the fiery end of the 1993 Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Texas, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and the birthday of Adolf Hitler. The plot was apparently concocted by several men upset that Dees and the SPLC that year sued the Aryan Nations in an action that ultimately resulted in the sale of the group’s Idaho compound.

Ron EdwardsRemarkably, the book also identifies Ron Edwards, national leader of the Kentucky-based Imperial Klans of America (IKA), as a possible (but uncharged) conspirator. The SPLC is now preparing for a November trial against Edwards and IKA on behalf of a boy who was beaten by two of the group’s members. This February, when Dees went to Kentucky to take Edwards’ deposition, the Klan leader (above, right) showed up with a fresh tattoo on the side of his newly shaven head that read, “FUCK S.P.L.C.”

The 1999 plot, which was averted thanks to the work of Hall and Burkey, was only the latest attempt by extremists to assassinate Dees or attack the SPLC. More than 30 people have been sent to federal prison in connection with similar plots.

For more on this case, read an account of the plot here.