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 3rd Annual Smackdown Awards

By Mark Potok on December 31, 2009 - 1:19 pm, Posted in Year-End

It’s that time of the year again, and Hatewatch’s intrepid staff is just now climbing out of the protective moonsuits needed to trawl through the year’s worst from the filth-spewing hate-mongers and fellow travelers who populate the radical right in America. Once more, we’ve done our best to go beyond the merely off-putting or revolting — the workaday nastiness that regular readers of Hatewatch already know so well — in search of the truly grotesque lowlights of the last year. While it hasn’t been easy getting here, the Hatewatch 3rd Annual Smackdown Awards Committee (earlier editions are here and here) is pleased to officially unveil its annual year-end countdown of the worst of 2009.

10. Schlockiest Neo-Nazi ‘Art’ Award
It’s not like we didn’t know that former Klan chieftain David Duke is a cad, an egomaniac who rips off his followers and chases their womenfolk whenever he isn’t busy getting plastic surgery in hopes of taking in even more people. We knew all about his neo-Nazi pronouncements on “Jewish supremacist power,” his description of AIDS as “the only disease that turns fruits into vegetables,” and his opinion that black people (not the word Duke used) “are primitive animals.” But we were grievously undereducated on one key point — it turns out that “Dr.” Duke (the Ph.D. comes from a Ukrainian diploma mill) “has a wonderful photographic and artistic ability.” That is, at least, if you’re into picture postcard-type schlock photos of places like Moscow and Salzburg, Austria (both meccas for white people, apparently), snapped by the big man himself and then retouched “to make a truly beautiful photo-artwork that will captivate and inspire you,” in the words of Duke’s pitch. The cost to collectors for prints signed by the Dukester? Just $99 a pop, or six for $500.  Long live bad art for white people!

9. Whiniest Mass Murderer Award
Terry Nichols always was a complainer. Well, yes, he did help Timothy McVeigh build a bomb that left 168 people, including 19 small children, dead in the 1995 attack on the Oklahoma City federal building — but he really wasn’t all that into the bombing, he didn’t actually accompany McVeigh that day, and he only helped out because his old Army pal just wouldn’t quit hassling him. He did also help buy the bomb’s components and rob weapons from a gun dealer to finance it, but, hey, he was just trying to be agreeable and not cause a stir. Now comes Nichols, a man who failed in his Army career, his marriages and just about everything else, to tell a court that the food he’s fed in Supermax, where he’s serving a life sentence on 161 counts of premeditated murder, is constipating him. And he wants it stopped. From now on, he insisted after a cringe-inducing description of his problematic bowel movements, he requires a high-fiber daily diet of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit (oh, and $4.5 million for his suffering, too). But a federal judge — apparently a pawn not only of the evil government but also of the evil refined food industry — disagreed, noting that Nichols faces no immediate danger and, anyway, only objected to white bread after four years of eating it.

8. Most Intrepid Researcher Award
This category had a crowded field of contenders — especially among the host of mendacious Christian Right groups that claim homosexuals routinely rape children, “recruit” in schools, and push a hate crimes law that they say will result in pastors being sent to prison — but in the end all votes went to Ann Coulter. Sure, we all knew that Coulter had called Al Gore a “total fag,” labeled Muslims “ragheads” and said that Americans should “kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” But Coulter went one better last January in her latest bestselling hissy fit, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, where she reported the results of her research into the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). Most of us knew the CCC as a group that has written that blacks are “a retrograde species of humanity,” run photographic comparisons of pop singer Michael Jackson and a chimpanzee, and whined about “Jewish power brokers” and “perverted sodomites.” Gosh, they even say right in their “Statement of Principles” that they “oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind.” But Intrepid Annie set us straight, revealing that despite its bad rep, the CCC has been defamed and is merely “a conservative group.” ( continue to full post… )

Judge Denies Scott Roeder’s ‘Necessity Defense’

By Larry Keller on December 23, 2009 - 11:53 am, Posted in Anti-Abortion

A Wichita, Kan., judge has denied Scott Roeder’s bid to use a “necessity defense” when he is tried for the murder of late-term abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller. Sedgwick County Judge Warren Wilbert pointed out Tuesday that the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in a previous case regarding blocking an entrance to an abortion clinic that the necessity defense cannot be used.

Roeder told the Associated Press last month that he shot and killed Tiller at the doctor’s church on May 31 because “pre-born children’s lives were in imminent danger” and there was “the necessity to defend them.”

Roeder’s own attorney had already said that a necessity defense — sometimes called the “choice of evils” defense–was not a viable option when Roeder personally filed a lengthy motion seeking to rely upon it at his trial, scheduled for Jan. 11, on charges of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

Prosecutors also asked the judge on Tuesday to bar Roeder’s attorneys from claiming his alleged actions were justified because they were in the defense of another, in this case the unborn. Wilbert said he will consider arguments later on that argument. He also delayed ruling on a defense request to move the trial outside Wichita because of pretrial publicity. Wilbert said he was optimistic that an impartial panel could be picked, but said he would revisit the issue if that proved to be difficult.

Pacifica Forum Speaker Celebrates National Socialism

By Sonia Scherr on December 23, 2009 - 10:16 am, Posted in Neo-Nazi

The speaker blamed “Jewish lies” for the Iraq War, praised the swastika as a symbol of white people, showed a neo-Nazi propaganda video, and led several audience members in an enthusiastic Nazi salute.

No, this wasn’t an assembly of America’s largest neo-Nazi organization, the National Socialist Movement (NSM). Rather, it was the weekly gathering of the Pacifica Forum, a formerly left-wing discussion group that has met for years at the University of Oregon. Although the forum has been hosting prominent Holocaust deniers and far-right extremists for more than two years, it ratcheted up the vitriol during its Dec. 11 meeting.

Titled  “The National Socialist Movement: An Inside View of America’s Far Right,” the event basically amounted to a recruitment pitch for National Socialism, complete with sieg-heiling. The event provoked an outcry from community members. “Friday night was really wretched,” said Michael Williams, who has monitored Pacifica Forum for six years. “It was a lot like attending a Nazi rally.” ( continue to full post… )

Jury Finds Bill White Guilty on Four Counts

By Sonia Scherr on December 18, 2009 - 6:13 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi

A federal jury today agreed with some but not all of the government’s allegations that former neo-Nazi leader Bill White made threats against various people with whom he disagreed.

White was found guilty of threatening a Citibank employee, intimidating tenants of a Virginia Beach, Va., apartment complex, threatening a University of Delaware administrator and threatening a Canadian human rights lawyer, according to The Roanoke Times. He was acquitted of threatening the Citibank employee with the intent to extort, threatening Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts and threatening a New Jersey mayor.

The jury reached its verdict late this afternoon after deliberating for less than four hours. During the eight-day trial in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Va., the jurors heard testimony from victims who said they were terrified by the blog posts, telephone calls and E-mails that White used to target them. The defense, which did not call any witnesses, argued that White’s communications were protected free speech under the First Amendment.

White, 32, was the self-described commander of the American National Socialist Workers Party, a neo-Nazi group, and ran the hate website Overthrow.com until his arrest last fall. He could be sent to prison for up to 40 years.

Suspect in Two Canadian Hate Bombings Arrested

By Sonia Scherr on December 17, 2009 - 3:46 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime

After a two-hour standoff at a home in Winnipeg, police arrested a notorious Canadian neo-Nazi who’d been on the lam for weeks after two bombing attempts in Calgary.

McKeeKyle Robert Mckee, 24, was taken into custody early yesterday and faces two counts of attempted murder, along with weapons charges. Police began searching for him after they found two homemade bombs outside an apartment in northeast Calgary. A 17-year-old who also faces charges in connection with the Nov. 21 attempted bombing was arrested two days later as he stepped off a bus in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. (That individual cannot be named under Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act.)

McKee has been a key member of the Aryan Guard, a neo-Nazi group that garnered considerable media attention for annual “white pride” marches through downtown Calgary in 2008 and 2009. Shortly after the failed bombings, the group announced on its website that it was disbanding, then reversed itself in a subsequent online posting. The first statement suggested that a romantic spat led to the bombing that allegedly involved McKee. “A boiling point was reached among the group when a bombing attack was launched against the former girlfriend of the obsessed John Marleau – an associate of the Aryan Guard,” read the notice. “We were further disappointed when allegations surfaced against one of the founding members [McKee] for their alleged role in the attack. It’s sad to see how a group founded on hard work and good intentions of so many can be spoiled by the rash actions of so few.” (In a post on the blog Anti-Racist Canada, Marleau said he was investigated after the attack, but does not currently face charges.) Although Aryan Guard members have been linked to violent attacks on minorities, none of that was mentioned in the announcement, which waxed nostalgic about the group’s “family camping trips, barbecues … and even karaoke at the local pub.”

Several days later, a second notice appeared on the group’s website announcing that it was not folding after all. “The recent statement of dissolution by a few rogue ex-council members in no way heralds the end of the Aryan Guard,” it said. “If anything, we will function far more efficiently without the bureaucratic, half-assed diplomacy of three tired old farts who have no stomach for street life.” The new leaders adopted a more militant tone than their predecessors, lashing out at immigrants and race traitors and promising “a new day of carnage and brutality.”

That’s if the group manages to stay together. Founded in 2006 with help from Canada’s two most prominent white supremacists, the Aryan Guard has been dogged by infighting; it almost collapsed in late 2008. Earlier this year, one of its members was convicted of assaulting a Japanese visitor.

Indictments Detail Alleged Police Cover-up in Beating Death

By Sonia Scherr on December 16, 2009 - 7:22 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

At about 11:30 on the night of July 12, 2008, six teenagers brutally assaulted a Latino man in a Shenandoah, Pa., park while yelling “Fucking spic, “Go back to Mexico” and “Tell your fucking Mexican friends to get the fuck out of Shenandoah.”

As they gathered at one of their homes after the attack, according to court documents, the mother of assailant Brandon Piekarsky arrived to tell them they needed to “get their stories straight” because she had heard from her boyfriend that the victim might die. Before they left the house that night, they allegedly agreed not to tell police that Piekarsky had kicked the man or that they had attacked him because of his ethnicity.

As it turned out, the mother’s boyfriend was Jason Hayes, a Shenandoah patrolman who had stopped several of the attackers as they fled. His connection to Piekarsky is one example of the links between the attackers and three Shenandoah police officers who tried to cover up the teenagers’ involvement in the crime, according to federal indictments unsealed yesterday. ( continue to full post… )

Racist Skinhead’s Wife Behind European ‘News’ Website

By Larry Keller on December 16, 2009 - 5:45 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi

The online news site European Union Times (EUT) — which recently “broke” a story about President Obama preparing for an imminent civil war — is being cited as a credible source by several libertarian bloggers who are hyping the story.

It turns out the EUT was created in October and is registered to the wife of a racist skinhead gang member who was involved in a bizarre stabbing incident last month.

The story began on Dec. 9 when the EUT reported that Obama has ordered 200,000 troops to be redeployed to the U.S. Northern Command in preparation for a civil war within the United States before the end of winter.

Since then, it has been cited by blogger Michael Gaddy on LewRockwell.com and by former Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin on his own website.

Gaddy, a regular on the racist “Political Cesspool” radio program, wrote that the EUT story shows a financial collapse or a confiscation of firearms may be imminent. Baldwin said the supposedly ominous events described in the EUT story explain the construction of detention camps to hold U.S. citizens, even though there is no evidence that camps exist. ( continue to full post… )

Pennsylvania Police Officers Indicted in Cover-Up of Immigrant’s Killing

By Larry Keller on December 15, 2009 - 2:45 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Indictments were unsealed today against three police officers in Shenandoah, Pa., including the chief, on obstruction of justice and other charges in connection with the beating death of an undocumented Mexican immigrant there in July 2008. A fourth officer was indicted on unrelated corruption charges, meaning that more than half of the seven officers on the force, including its three highest-ranking, face federal criminal charges. “Those four have been taken away and there’s just the three of us left,” an officer answering the phone said today.

Shenandoah is the racially tense Pennsylvania coal town where three white teens were charged in the fatal beating of Luis Ramirez while shouting racial epithets. In May, an all-white jury acquitted Brandon Piekarsky, then 17, of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation, and Derrick Donchak, 19 at the time, of aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation. Each was convicted of a misdemeanor assault charge and sentenced to a maximum of 23 months imprisonment, setting off angry criticism from immigrant rights groups who saw them as having gotten away with murder. Another defendant, Colin Walsh, pleaded guilty to a civil-rights charge and testified at the other defendants’ trial that he threw a punch that knocked Ramirez unconscious. Ramirez, 25, died two days later. Prosecutors alleged that Piekarsky delivered a fatal kick to Ramirez’s head after he was knocked down. Donchak was convicted of corrupting minors by providing alcohol to the others before the fight.

After the verdicts, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggesting that the Justice Department pursue civil rights charges. Donchak and Piekarsky also were named in indictments unsealed today.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment last week that charged Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor, Lt. William Moyer and Officer Jason Hayes with conspiring to obstruct justice during the federal probe of Ramirez’s beating. The indictment, unsealed today, also charges Moyer with witness and evidence tampering, and with lying to the FBI. If convicted, the officers face 20 years in prison on each of the obstruction charges, plus five years for conspiring to obstruct justice. Moyer also faces five years for making false statements to the FBI. ( continue to full post… )

Lew Rockwell’s Website Warns of Coming U.S. Civil War

By Larry Keller on December 14, 2009 - 4:24 pm, Posted in Conspiracies

You thought President Obama had his hands full sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan? That’s small potatoes compared to the other big military plan on his agenda: returning 200,000 troops from other countries to the U. S. Northern Command in preparation for an imminent civil war at home.

At least that’s the word from some on the right wing-fringe — in this case, LewRockwell.com and pastor and former presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin. And from where did they get this surprising information? The European Union Times (EUT). In the likely event you’re unfamiliar with it, that online publication carries links to American white supremacist publications like American Renaissance (whose editor says black people cannot sustain civilization) and carries section headings that include “European Pride” and “Survival.” Among the stories in the first category are pieces about Christians in Moldavia tearing down an outdoor menorah, and the decline of mixed marriages in Russia. Stories featured in the “Survival” section include another citizens’ “grand jury” planning to “indict” Obama — this time in Tennessee — and the “great victory” in Switzerland, where voters recently backed an arguably referendum to ban the erection of minarets. A third section carries a litany of accounts of black-on-white crimes.

The EUT claims that Obama has issued orders to “begin immediately” preparing for a 200,000-troop increase to the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based U.S. Northern Command, formed seven years ago to oversee homeland defense. That’s so it can prepare for “an expected outbreak of civil war within the United States before the end of winter,” the EUT claims. The supposed implosion of the nation’s banking system will foment this explosion of violence. “Russian military analysts” are the source for this shocking news, as well as “reports,” which claim that there are “over 220 million American people armed to the teeth and ready to explode.” Of course, no actual analysts or reports are named. But that didn’t stop somebody named Michael Gaddy writing for LewRockwell.com, and Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party’s presidential candidate in 2008, from hyping the story.

Rockwell is a libertarian commentator and blogger and former aide to U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), as well as current chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Auburn, Ala. Gaddy is a contributor to his website. Gaddy’s only qualifications appear to be that he is an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada and Beirut. “Either the government is anticipating a total financial breakdown, there are plans to confiscate firearms, a new false flag event is in the works, or any combination of the three,” he concludes from the EUT story. ( continue to full post… )

Columnist Describes Barrage of Threats from Nazi Leader

By Sonia Scherr on December 11, 2009 - 7:56 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi, Trial Updates

ROANOKE, VA. — Pulitzer-prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts told the jury this afternoon that his “blood ran cold” when he received an E-mail from white supremacist Bill White with his home address, telephone number and a reference to his wife.

When he clicked a link in the E-mail and saw that White had also published the information on the Internet, he realized it was now available to anyone who accessed White’s website, including potentially violent extremists who share White’s ideology. “It’s terrifying because it makes you vulnerable in a way you haven’t been before,” he said.

Pitts, who spoke with little emotion, spent nearly three hours on the stand during the second day of testimony at White’s federal trial. The former neo-Nazi leader is charged with threatening various people with whom he disagreed, including Pitts, a writer for The Miami Herald whose column is syndicated in some 250 newspapers. White was infuriated by a June 3 Pitts column taking white supremacists to task for their propaganda about a black-on-white murder case. ( continue to full post… )