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

Strange Bedfellows: Like Christian Right Groups, Anti-Semitic Imam Lies About Hate Crime Bill

By Sonia Scherr on May 21, 2009 - 7:16 am, Posted in Anti-Semitic

It’s not only the religious right that’s telling tall tales about a proposed new federal hate crimes law.

Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a Muslim cleric who frequently speaks on California campuses, falsely claimed last week that the law would prevent Americans from expressing negative views about Israel or Jews. As Ali tells it, none other than “the Zionists” are behind this attempt to crush free speech.

Amir Abdel Malik Ali

“Y’all know Rahm Emanuel, the Zionist Jew?” Ali asked a crowd of roughly 70 during his May 14 speech at the University of California, Irvine. “He’s the chief of staff for President Obama. For our non-Muslim friends, when President Obama chose Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, the Muslims knew just what was happening. As soon as he chose Rahm Emanuel, we said ‘Uh-oh, oh, Barack is owned. He’s owned by the Zionists.’”

Ali contends it’s Emanuel who’s pushing the hate crimes bill, which is chock full of perks for Jews. “Since it’s Rahm Emanuel, if this bill is passed — listen to me! — if this bill is passed, it will be a crime to criticize Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, it will be a crime to report the extraordinary influence of AIPAC [the pro-Israel lobby], it will be a crime to doubt any aspects of the Holocaust.”

In fact, Ali asserted that those who question that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust could go to prison under the proposed law. What’s more, “If you talk about the disproportionate numbers of Jews, Zionist Jews, in the media, in finance and foreign policy, that’s a crime. That’s a crime! So what you’re talking about, if this bill is passed, is that you can criticize any country in the world except the apartheid state of Israel. That’s under the Hate Prevention Act of 2009 [sic].”

While Ali’s diatribe received applause, it’s completely untrue. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act would not curtail any of the free speech rights that Americans currently enjoy, including the right to deny the Holocaust or trot out anti-Jewish canards. Rather, the act would increase funding for state and local authorities to prosecute hate crimes, including those based on sexual orientation. It would also allow federal authorities to investigate and prosecute hate crimes when state or local agencies don’t do so. ( continue to full post… )

Pennsylvania Racist Leader Dies at 69

By Sonia Scherr on May 20, 2009 - 7:01 am, Posted in Klan

Roy E. Frankhouser Jr., a veteran Ku Klux Klan leader, died Friday of natural causes at a nursing home in southeastern Pennsylvania, Berks County Coroner Dennis J. Hess confirmed earlier this week.

The 69-year-old Frankhouser found himself in legal trouble repeatedly during his decades-long involvement with hate groups and twice served time in federal prison. “[Frankhouser] at various times proclaimed himself to be a leader of the American Nazi Party and several Ku Klux Klan organizations, and was a member of at least four dozen right-wing parties,” wrote John D. Forester Jr. in a column published Sunday in Frankhouser’s hometown newspaper, the Reading (Pa.) Eagle. “He also claimed to be an undercover agent for several federal spy and law enforcement agencies and had ties to some of the most notorious crimes of the past century.”

In recent years, Frankhouser was best known for settling a housing discrimination complaint brought against him by a white woman and her biracial daughter. Bonnie Jouhari, who helped victims of discrimination file complaints as a housing specialist for a government-funded group in Berks County, contended in the 1998 complaint that Frankhouser loitered outside her office and photographed her, among other intimidating behavior.

Jouhari, who was represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, left Pennsylvania with her teenage daughter and moved to Seattle, where she says the harassment continued. The 2000 settlement required Frankhouser to attend sensitivity training, perform community service, broadcast fair housing public service announcements on his “White Forum” public access television show, and read an apology to Jouhari on his show. He was also supposed to pay 10% of his income to Jouhari and her daughter, though Jouhari said she has never received any money from Frankhouser.

Jouhari told Hatewatch that “he’s caused a lot of harm and a lot of pain to a lot of people,” but added that she hopes his death will lead the community to come together and learn to forgive. “This is an opportunity to close the book on a very bad part of Berks County’s history,” she said.

Part of that history occurred on Halloween, 1965, when Frankhouser, then the 25-year-old grand dragon (state leader) of the United Klans of America, hosted several Klansmen, including 28-year-old Daniel Burros. Upset about a front-page New York Times story that revealed his Jewish heritage, Burros shot himself in Frankhouser’s Reading home. As reported in Abe Rosenthal and Arthur Gelb’s One More Victim: The Life and Death of a Jewish Nazi, Frankhouser eulogized Burros at a Maryland Klan gathering, saying Burros had separated himself from the bad Jews. “To the good Jews, we offer our love and respect and understanding,” he said. ( continue to full post… )

Once Again, the Religious Right Lies About Hate Crimes Law

By Casey Sanchez on May 19, 2009 - 9:04 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT

A proposed new federal hate crimes law would allow prosecution of crimes motivated by bias against homosexuality or “gender identity,” among other characteristics, and provide funding for the feds to go after hate criminals who local authorities fail to investigate or prosecute. But in their alternate universe, religious-right anti-gay groups have seized upon the act’s language protecting Americans of all “sexual orientations” to claim that it’s all a stealth operation aimed at legally protecting people with deviant sexual fetishes, including necrophilia and bestiality.

On May 5, for instance, the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) issued a claim that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act would extend legal protections to pedophiles and necrophiliacs — those who are sexually attracted to children and human corpses, respectively — along with people with 545 other paraphilias. (Paraphilias are psychosexual disorders, typically involving sexual interest in non-human objects, non-consenting partners, or pain and humiliation. They do not include homosexuality, which is not considered a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association or any similar association of medical experts.)

The act says no such thing.  After being contacted by writers at BoxTurtleBulletin, a blog that fact-checks anti-gay propaganda, the group issued a May 12 correction, though it did not bother to edit or delete the offending article on its website.

They weren’t the only ones. Exodus International, an “ex-gay” umbrella group that advocates so-called “conversion therapies” for homosexuals, formerly claimed on its website that the “APA [American Psychological Association] recognizes 30 human sexual orientations” including, among others, incest, prostitution and “telephone scatalogia.” That message appeared as a pop-up any time a reader scrolled over the word “orientation” on the Exodus website. After being reached by Ex-Gay Watch, a website that critically monitors the ex-gay movement, Exodus silently corrected pop-ups on its website to note, like IFI, that “sexual orientation,” in fact, refers to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. Period.

Other anti-gay groups simply keep on lying. The Liberty Counsel, a legal advocacy firm founded by the late Jerry Falwell, still claims that “[t]he hate crimes bill does not limit ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘gender identity’ and, thus, includes all these disorders and fetishes.” The far-right news site World Net Daily published a May 4 article headlined, “Next on Senate agenda? ‘Pedophile Protection Act’/‘Hate crimes’ law definitions would protect 547 sex ‘philias.’” Citizenlink, the magazine of the Focus on the Family, the nation’s largest Christian Right organization, didn’t mince words: “Even more concerning, the legislation could create special protection for pedophiles.” James Dobson, the group’s founder and president took the smear one step further, saying in a broadcast: “We have to assume that protection under the law would be extended to the 30 sexual disorders identified as such by American Psychiatric Association.” Dobson then went on to read a list that included incest and voyeurism. “I have to ask,” Dobson fulminated. “Have we gone completely mad?  We’re going to protect all 30 of these forms of sexual perversion?” ( continue to full post… )

Court Rules Day Laborers Can’t Sue Fox News

By Hatewatch Staff on May 19, 2009 - 8:52 am, Posted in Uncategorized

A state appellate court ruled that seven day laborers can’t sue Fox News for defamation, despite the fact that anti-immigration activist John Monti accused them of assault in a Nov. 2006 appearance on “Hannity & Colmes.”
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Restaurant Owners Clash With Minutemen Over Cinco de Mayo Protest

By Hatewatch Staff on May 19, 2009 - 8:49 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Minuteman Project members complained to Upland, Calif. officials about the owner of an Italian restaurant who yelled at them for holding an anti-Cinco de Mayo celebration protest outside his place of business.
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Ku Klux Klan Holds Anti-Immigration Rally

By Hatewatch Staff on May 19, 2009 - 8:47 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Outfitted in black military-style garb, 17 Klan members from Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana and Wisconsin rallied against non-white immigrants and racial equality during a demonstration outside a county courthouse .
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Racial Tensions Boiling In Shenandoah Two Weeks After Verdicts

By Hatewatch Staff on May 19, 2009 - 8:44 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Racially charged incidents, including threats, fights and vandalism, are intensifying in Shenandoah, Pa., a coal town where two white teenagers were recently found not guilty of the most serious charges in the beating death of Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez.
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Key Nativist Leader Quits Group to Run for Senate

By Sonia Scherr on May 18, 2009 - 11:58 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Chris Simcox, a leading figure in the nativist extremist movement, has resigned as leader of the vigilante group Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) to run for U.S. Senate.

The 48-year-old Simcox, who once insisted that his future plans did not involve a bid for public office, announced his departure from MCDC in a newsletter sent to supporters late last month. “I now leave the MCDC, technically speaking,” he wrote. “I have resigned from the board of directors; I am no longer a partner in the non-profit corporation; I am no longer president or official spokesperson for MCDC.

“I am, however, a strong and vocal advocate for your efforts and will always continue to bring attention to the valiant and honorable efforts of all MCDC patriot volunteers across the country.”

Simcox founded MCDC, which conducts armed patrols of the border, in April 2005. As president of that organization, the former kindergarten teacher became a prominent spokesman for anti-immigration activists, appearing on major TV networks and testifying before Congress. For the past three years, however, Simcox has been widely denounced by former followers within the movement for alleged financial mismanagement, including failing to account for $600,000 the MCDC reportedly raised in 2006 for an “Israeli-style” border fence that has yet to be built. Simcox declined to comment for this story. ( continue to full post… )

Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Based On Swine Flu Continues To Spread

By Hatewatch Staff on May 12, 2009 - 9:01 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Conservative radio talk-show hosts and anti-immigration activists are still branding undocumented workers as carriers of the H1N1 virus.
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Oklahoma Defends Law Targeting Immigrants

By Hatewatch Staff on May 12, 2009 - 9:01 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Attorneys for Oklahoma argued before a federal appeals court in favor of a law that requires companies doing business with the state to use the controversial “E-verify” system.
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