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

Student Hate Group in Michigan Gets New Faculty Adviser

By David Holthouse on July 29, 2009 - 2:24 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

Michigan State University (MSU) mechanical engineering professor Indrek Wichman made international headlines in February 2006, when, using his faculty E-mail account, he sent a blistering E-mail to the university’s Muslim Student Association, calling on Muslim students to either accept Western cultural standards or return to their “ancestral lands.”

“I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems … [i]f you do not like the values of the West — see the 1st Amendment — you are free to leave,” Wichman wrote. “I hope for God’s sake that most of you choose that option.”

Although Provost Kim Wilcox formally admonished Wichman, the anti-Muslim professor remained on the MSU faculty. Now, he’s apparently taken on a new role in the MSU campus community: faculty adviser for the MSU chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, or MSU-YAF, an extreme-right student organization. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated MSU-YAF a hate group for its hosting of white supremacist lecturers and repeated bigoted statements against Muslims and Latinos, among other groups.

According to the MSU Department of Student Life guide for the upcoming academic year, Wichman has replaced William Allen, a professor of political philosophy, as MSU-YAF’s faculty adviser. ( continue to full post… )

Yes, Neo-Nazi Turner Was an FBI Informant, His Lawyer Confirms

By Sonia Scherr on July 29, 2009 - 1:56 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi

Neo-Nazi talk-radio host Hal Turner served as a paid FBI informant, his lawyer confirmed this week.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has previously reported that Turner was on the FBI payroll. In 2008, unidentified hackers posted E-mail correspondence between Turner and an FBI agent who appeared to be his handler. The FBI refused to comment at the time on Turner’s relationship with the agency.

Now, Turner’s defense attorney, Michael Orozco, has told Hatewatch that Turner served as an FBI informant for roughly five years beginning in 2002. “I think when it comes out in the future as to what kind of role he had, people will be greatly surprised,” Orozco said.

He said Turner revealed information about a possible assassination plot against Obama. Orozco said the same thing at a bond hearing for Turner in Chicago on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. Turner is charged with threatening to murder three federal judges. ( continue to full post… )

Why I Urged CNN to Take Dobbs Off the Air

By Richard Cohen on July 28, 2009 - 3:47 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda

Yesterday, I went on the “O’Reilly Factor” to discuss our call for CNN to take Lou Dobbs off the air for Dobbs’ latest conspiracy-mongering. Bill O’Reilly said we shouldn’t take Dobbs too seriously. After all, Bill said, it’s all just for ratings. But in our view, the matter is an extremely serious one, because the ratings game Dobbs is playing is very dangerous.

For years, Dobbs has been trading in baseless, conspiratorial claims that originate on the radical right. Most recently, he’s given credence to the utterly discredited claim that President Obama was not born in this country and so is not eligible to be president. It’s a claim that’s been debunked many times over. CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called it “a joke.” But it’s a claim that continues to circulate in radical right circles. James von Brunn, the neo-Nazi accused of killing the Holocaust Memorial Museum guard, for example, promoted the claim on the Internet and berated the media for not taking it seriously.

The reason Dobbs’ ratings game is so dangerous is that there is a segment in our society that is not ready to accept the fact that we have a black man in the White House. At the extreme, people are striking out, killing others as a result. In Okaloosa, Fla., two sheriff’s deputies were murdered by a man who was upset over Obama’s election. In Pittsburgh, three police officers were murdered by a man who was convinced that Obama was going to ban guns. The Secret Service has reported a record number of threats against the new president. By knowingly trading in unsubstantiated, conspiratorial claims that undermine the president’s legitimacy, Dobbs is stirring a boiling pot. Just like he’s been stirring the pot of anti-Latino rage for years.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Dobbs bears legal responsibility for the right-wing violence that has greeted the Obama presidency. But I am saying that Dobbs bears a degree of moral responsibility for pouring fuel, in the form of baseless accusations, on a raging fire. Because Dobbs can’t help himself – and because he has a history of promoting false claims that originate on the radical right – we have called on CNN to remove him from the air. Merely telling those who are offended to turn the channel is not going to solve the problem. ( continue to full post… )

Sheriff Arpaio Launches Another Crime Sweep

By Hatewatch Staff on July 28, 2009 - 10:16 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office launched a 200-deputy “crime suppression” sweep despite an ongoing Department of Justice racial profiling investigation and pending civil rights litigation.
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Kanjorski Reintroduces ‘Secure America’ Bill

By Hatewatch Staff on July 28, 2009 - 10:15 am, Posted in Uncategorized

U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski is once again pushing legislation to “stop the job magnet that attracts illegal immigrants to the U.S.”
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Homeowner Posts ‘Hispanics Keep Out’ Sign

By Hatewatch Staff on July 28, 2009 - 10:15 am, Posted in Uncategorized

A 72-year-old Azle, Texas, resident said she posted a “Hispanics Keep Out” sign over her front door because she’s “upset about them coming over here illegally.”
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Mayor Invites SPLC to Discuss Anti-Immigration Extremism

By Hatewatch Staff on July 28, 2009 - 10:14 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon asked a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center to come to Arizona to help raise awareness about hate groups and white supremacists within the anti-immigration movement.
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Cult Evangelist Tony Alamo Convicted on Sex Charges

By Larry Keller on July 24, 2009 - 5:50 pm, Posted in Anti-Catholic, Anti-LGBT

Anti-Catholic, pro-polygamy evangelist Tony Alamo will likely be preaching from behind prison walls for the rest of his life, and perhaps nobody is happier than his stepdaughter, Christhiaon Coie.

“I started crying and screaming,” Coie told Hatewatch, upon hearing that Alamo was convicted today by a federal court jury in Texarkana, Ark., on all 10 counts of transporting underage girls across state lines for sex. Alamo, 74, faces up to 175 years in prison, plus fines that could total $2.5 million.

Coie says she was raped by Alamo when she was younger. “I’ve been in this fight, trying to stop him, for nearly 40 years.”

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SPLC Asks CNN to Remove Dobbs

By Mark Potok on July 24, 2009 - 11:57 am, Posted in Extremist Propaganda

As regular readers of this blog know, we’ve had a tangle or two with CNN’s in-house immigrant-basher, Lou Dobbs. In 2007, we had a major dustup with the host of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” over his wholly false claim that 7,000 new cases of leprosy had appeared in a recent three-year period in the United States, due at least in part to immigrants. (The reality was that about 400 new cases appeared during the period, and it’s not known if any of them were linked to immigrants.) The battle subjected Dobbs a series of humiliations, including being described by The New York Times as a man with “a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”

To the surprise of very few familiar with Dobbs, the CNN host is at it again. Now, he’s joined with the conspiracy nuts pushing the wholly unsubstantiated claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and therefore cannot legally hold the office of president. The fact that this claim has been disproved by CNN’s own reporters seems to mean nothing at all to Dobbs, who has come in for criticism in recent days from all kinds of quarters for joining hands with the “birthers.”

Today, Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, sent a letter to CNN President Jonathan Klein asking for action. “Respectable news organizations should not employ reporters willing to peddle racist conspiracy theories and false propaganda,” Cohen concludes in his letter. “It’s time for CNN to remove Mr. Dobbs from the airwaves.”

Cohen also wrote Klein in 2007 about Dobbs’ leprosy claims, but CNN took no action. Dobbs has also promoted a series of other falsehoods and conspiracy theories about immigrants.

Submit your thoughts to CNN.

First Amendment Protects Neo-Nazi’s Blog Post, Judge Rules

By Sonia Scherr on July 23, 2009 - 10:22 am, Posted in Neo-Nazi

A federal judge was unequivocal in his ruling that the government has no case against the neo-Nazi leader it accused of encouraging violence against a jury foreman.

In a decision that will likely influence similar cases, the judge ruled that the free speech protections of the First Amendment allowed Bill White to post the foreman’s personal information on his blog. The foreman had served on the federal jury that in 2004 convicted white supremacist Matt Hale of seeking the murder of a federal judge.

White, 32, heads the American National Socialist Workers Party, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a neo-Nazi hate group. He had been scheduled for trial in Chicago next month, but U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman this week dismissed the indictment charging White with soliciting harm against the juror. White still faces other federal charges in Virginia in connection with threats he allegedly made against other people.

“The posting of personal information about an individual involved in a judicial proceeding, even under circumstances that are intimidating or unsettling, cannot, absent a true threat or an incitement to imminent lawless action, be criminalized consistent with the First Amendment,” wrote Adelman in the 35-page decision.
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