The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is questioning Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio over his alleged links to far-right extremists.
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Shawna Forde, 41, the nativist extremist who was arrested on Friday in Arizona on two counts of first-degree murder, is known as the leader of Minuteman American Defense (MAD), a hard-line group opposed to undocumented immigration. But three years ago, appearing on a televised immigration roundtable organized by a local Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate in Washington state, Forde was repeatedly identified as a representative of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — an organization that has repeatedly stressed its mainstream credentials and is, in fact, regularly quoted in the media and asked for expert testimony in Congress. The PBS show’s producer told Hatewatch that Forde presented herself as a FAIR representative.
(UPDATE: On Tuesday, June 16, FAIR denied it ever had any association with Forde, writing in a press release that “the SPLC and organizations advocating mass amnesty and open borders” were engaging in a “smear campaign.” Forde’s claims of a link to FAIR were also written up in several major blogs other than Hatewatch.)
Since late 2007, the Southern Poverty Law Center (which publishes this blog) has listed FAIR as a hate group. Among the reasons: Key staff members of FAIR have ties to white supremacist groups, including writing for their publications and speaking at their functions; the group accepted more than $1 million from a racist foundation dedicated to the study of racial differences in intelligence; its founder’s ties to racists and the racist movement; and other matters detailed here and here.
Earlier today, the Immigrant Rights blog was the first to notice Forde’s appearance on the Nov. 14, 2006, KYVE-TV show. Taped in Yakima, Wash., a city with a large number of Mexican immigrants, the show profiles local immigration advocates and opponents. When the camera rolls on Forde, the host describes her as “a member of the Minutemen and a representative for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a national group concerned about border security, illegal immigrants and our immigration policies.” In the video, Forde wears glasses and long black hair, noticeably different from her current look of short blond hair and contacts. She appears just after the five-minute mark, with an identifier that reads, “Minuteman & Activist, FAIR.”
Contacted by Hatewatch, Enrique Cerna, the host of the show and an executive producer, said it’s difficult to remember all the production details of a segment produced three years ago. Still, he said his producers had contacted FAIR, asking for a representative to appear on the show. That representative cancelled at the last minute and was replaced by Forde, who identified herself as a FAIR official. “We wouldn’t have identified her with that organization if she hadn’t said she was speaking on their behalf,” said Cerna. On the show, Forde claims that the state of Washington spends $500 million on illegal immigration. “It’s pretty easy … if you hire somebody who is illegal, it’s a crime,” Forde replied when asked what is to be done about illegal immigration. “What makes this a wonderful nation and one of the greatest nations on earth is we are a nation of laws.”
Forde’s June 12 arrest on two counts of first-degree murder stems from a May 30 home invasion robbery in Arivaca, Ariz., which she allegedly carried out to get drugs and cash to fund her group’s operations. (It’s not known whether the invaders found either cash or drugs.) Shot and killed in the invasion were resident Raul Flores, 29, and his 9-year old daughter Brisenia. Flores’ wife was also shot, but returned fire, wounding Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, a member of MAD, Forde’s organization. Also arrested on Friday was MAD operations director Jason Eugene “Gunny” Bush, 34, who has been accused by law enforcement of being the alleged triggerman in the murders. Bush was additionally charged today with the 1997 murder of a Latino man in Wenatchee, Wash. According to the Wenatchee, Wash., police, Bush, “had long standing ties to Aryan Nations groups that commonly believe in white superiority over other races and have been known to be violent towards non-white races.”
The leader of Minutemen American Defense (MAD), a nativist extremist group that conducts vigilante patrols on the Arizona-Mexico border, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder Friday for her alleged role in the May 30 slayings of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter in Pima County, Ariz.
MAD Executive Director Shawna Forde, 41, allegedly orchestrated a home invasion robbery of a suspected narcotics trafficker because she was seeking drugs and cash to fund her group’s vigilante operations, law enforcement authorities said. The murders, including the killing of the child, were part of the plan, said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. “She’s, at best, a psychopath,” Dupnik said of Forde in comments quoted by the Green Valley News & Sun.
Also arrested were MAD Operations Director Jason Eugene “Gunny” Bush, 34, the alleged triggerman in the murders, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, a local member of MAD. Along with the two murder counts, Forde and her two associates were charged with one count of first-degree burglary and one count of aggravated assault.
MAD has been conducting vigilante patrols in southern Arizona since mid-May. Sheriff Dupnik reportedly said that between the time of the killings and her arrest, Forde remained in the area “still trying … to get together a large amount of money to further sophisticate the type of operation she’s interested in.”
Forde denied the charges against her. “No, I did not do it,” she told reporters as she was led out of the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.
According to investigators, Forde and at least two armed men broke into a trailer occupied by Arivaca, Ariz., resident Raul Flores, his wife, and their daughter Brisenia. Bush allegedly shot and killed Raul Flores and Brisenia before Flores’ wife, who was also shot in the incident, returned fire, wounding Gaxiola. It’s unclear whether the alleged killers found any money or drugs. ( continue to full post… )
Some white supremacists are bemoaning Wednesday’s fatal shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
But it’s not because they feel sorry for the security guard who died or take issue with the virulent anti-Semitism of James von Brunn, the 88-year-old white supremacist who’s been charged with his murder. Rather, they’re concerned that the violent act could hurt their movement.
“The responsible white separatist community condemns this,” John de Nugent, a self-described white separatist, told the Washington Post. “It makes us look bad.”
Only days before he allegedly shot and killed a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, James von Brunn transferred the domain name of his racist website to a man in Michigan. Records show that von Brunn, 88, created holywesternempire.org in October 2000, and that Steve Reimink of West Olive, Mich., acquired the domain name around June 1 of this year. The website was designated a hate website by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2003.
Reimink’s E-mail address, “email@example.com” includes the symbolic number 1488. In white supremacist circles, 14 refers to the very popular 14-word slogan coined by the late neo-Nazi David Lane: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The letter H is the eighth letter in the alphabet, and 88 often stands for “Heil Hitler.” Reimink’s cell phone was not accepting messages, and he did not respond to an E-mail request for comment.
Relinquishing the domain name may have signaled von Brunn’s intent to soon “go out with his boots on,” as he once told his former wife. He was about to give away his computer and was living hand to mouth, The Washington Post reported.
Von Brunn is said by police to have entered the Holocaust Museum Wednesday afternoon, where he shot the security guard, and then was shot and critically wounded by other guards. Police say they found a notebook in von Brunn’s car with a list of possible other targets, including the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the National Cathedral and The Washington Post. According to myfoxdc.com, witnesses said he was wearing a confederate soldier’s cap and a long coat, which he may have worn to conceal what police describe as an early-1900s rifle.
Von Brunn wrote racist and anti-Semitic screeds for many years. He worked over the years as an ad agency copywriter and business owner, an artist and a real estate agent, according to his website. He has lived in New Hampshire, California, Florida and most recently, Annapolis, Md. He worked at the anti-Semitic publisher Noontide Press in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Noontide Press was founded by Willis Carto, who also started the anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby and the Institute for Historical Review, a Holocaust denial outfit.
Von Brunn also lived in Hayden, Idaho, a few years ago with a racist named Stan Hess, who has claimed that the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks were orchestrated by a rogue faction of the federal government. Hess also started a group called the European-American Human Rights Task Force and wanted to designate October as “European-American Heritage Month,” the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported.
Conservatives were all talk and no action, according to von Brunn. On his website he complained, “The American Right-wing with few exceptions is totally Pacifist. The [right wing] does NOTHING BUT TALK. MORAL: America dies for want of men.”
Law enforcement officials have identified the suspect in the Holocaust Museum shootings as James Wenneker von Brunn, born in 1920, from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. D.C. Police Spokeswoman Traci Hughes reportedly said the suspect walked into the museum at about 1 p.m. ET with a rifle and shot a guard.
Von Brunn runs the website holywesternempire.org, which was listed in 2008 as a hate site by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Von Brunn has a long history of associations with prominent neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. In the 1980s or early 1990s, von Brunn was employed by Noontide Press, a part of the Holocaust denying Institute of Historical Review, which was then run by Willis Carto, one of America’s most prominent anti-Semites.
Von Brunn is the author of the 1999 book, “Kill the Best Gentiles,” a racist and anti-Semitic tome that argues that whites are seeing “today on the world stage a tragedy of enormous proportions: the calculated destruction of the White Race and the incomparable culture it represents. Europe, former fortress of the West, is now over-run by hordes of non-Whites and mongrels.” A raging anti-Semite, von Brunn blames “The Jews” for the destruction of the West. The book is dedicated to prominent neo-Nazis and racists including Revilo Oliver and Wilmot Robertson.
In 2003, AP reported that von Brunn had painted a portrait of Rear Adm. John Crommelin, a raging anti-Semite who was a close associate of neo-Nazi William Pierce, whose book The Turner Diaries inspired Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
On his website, von Brunn also claims that in 1981, while wearing a “London Fog raincoat to conceal his weapons,” he attempted to put the whole Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve under “legal, non-violent citizens-arrest.” He wanted “to bind their hands and persuade them to appear on television.” The website says he was sentenced to 11 years for his actions.
A raging anti-Semitic and racist posting on the website arsenalofhypocrisy.com attributed to “James Von Brunn” says that “the Federal Reserve Act (1913) gave JEWS control of America’s Money.” It also says that “America is a Third-World racial garbage dump–stupid, ignorant, dead-broke, and terminal.” It ends with, “Prepare to die, Whitey.”
Douglas Wilson runs an extreme-right religious empire based out of St. Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. Popular in neo-Confederate circles as well, Wilson has co-authored a partly plagiarized booklet defending Old South slavery as a “life of plenty” with Steve Wilkins, a founding member of the neo-secessionist and racist League of the South. A serious hardliner, Wilson recently told reporters at Christianity Today that he’s in favor of the “exile [of] some homosexuals, depending on the circumstances and the age of the victim. There are circumstances where I’d be in favor of execution for adultery.”
Wilson’s now found a new friend in Chuck Colson, recipient of the 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal and a revered Christian Right leader for decades, dating back to 1975 when he founded the Prison Fellowship ministry after serving time for obstruction of justice after being caught up in the Watergate scandal. Later this month in Atlanta, Colson will be the featured speaker at Wilson’s annual conference of classical Christian educators and homeschoolers, known as the Association of Classical and Christian Schools. It’s a leap off the deep end for Colson, or as the Americans United for Separation of Church and State put it, “So let’s get this straight: Colson is happily speaking at a conference whose founder and guiding light celebrates theocracy, defends slavery as biblical and expresses regret that the Confederacy lost the Civil War.” ( continue to full post… )
MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan added to his decades-long history of racist activism by inviting a prominent white nationalist to speak at the upcoming national conference of Buchanan’s immigrant-bashing organization The American Cause (TAC), the white nationalist hate website Vdare.com announced earlier this week.
According to a bulletin on its homepage, Vdare.com owner Peter Brimelow is now scheduled to speak at The American’s Cause’s “Building A New Majority Conference” in McLean, Va., on June 20.
The conference plans to ponder the question, “Has the culture, economy, and demographics of our country passed a tipping point where Conservatives can no longer rule with a mandate?”
Although Brimelow’s name does not appear on The American Cause’s website, the keynote speaker for the conference is not identified, and Brimelow was a panelist at a symposium hosted by TAC last January.
Other speakers scheduled to appear at the upcoming conference, according to TAC’s website, include Hazleton, Pa., Mayor Lou Barletta, who has worked closely with the legal arm of the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform to enact anti-immigrant policies in a region suffering from escalating racial tensions and where a Latino immigrant was beaten to death last summer; and former Congressman Tom Tancredo, a longtime nativist firebrand who earlier this year argued in a speech at American University that Latinos and Muslims represent “problem cultures,” and that immigrants who fail to “become American” by adopting “white Anglo-Saxon culture” are a destructive force in America. ( continue to full post… )
A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a suburban St. Louis town’s ordinance prohibiting the hiring of undocumented immigrants.
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About a dozen members of the Minuteman Project rallied outside the downtown San Bernardino, Calif. office of Sen. Barbara Boxer to protest her support of immigration reform.
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