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

Old South Slavery Defender to Speak at Conference Hosted by Major Christian Right Leader

By Heidi Beirich on July 22, 2009 - 12:01 pm, Posted in Christian Right

The senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, a major Minneapolis-based congregation with more than 6,000 worshipers, has invited extremist preacher Doug Wilson to speak at an upcoming national conference commemorating the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth. John Piper, who preaches at Bethlehem and runs Desiring God, an outfit that promotes his religious beliefs, is regarded as a mainstream evangelical, and Bethlehem is a member of the Baptist General Conference.

Wilson, based in Idaho, is anything but mainstream. He has written that Old South slavery was “a life of plenty” and has said he believes adultery should, in certain circumstances, be punished by execution.

This is the second time this year that Wilson has found favor in mainstream Christian circles. In June, on the bill of a conference Wilson hosted was Charles 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 in connection with the Watergate scandal.

Wilson runs an extreme right religious empire in Moscow, Idaho, that includes a church, Canon Press, and New Saint Andrews College. Popular in neo-Confederate circles as well, he co-wrote a partly plagiarized booklet, Southern Slavery, As It Was, defending Old South slavery; his co-author was Steve Wilkins, a founding member of the neo-secessionist and racist League of the South. ( continue to full post… )

Charge Against Neo-Nazi Dropped

By Sonia Scherr on July 21, 2009 - 4:59 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi

A judge has dismissed a felony charge against neo-Nazi Bill White in connection with his alleged encouragement of violence against the foreman of a Chicago jury.

White, the leader of the American National Socialist Workers Party, had been scheduled for trial next month in federal court in Chicago. He was charged with soliciting violence against the foreman of the jury that in 2004 convicted white supremacist Matt Hale of soliciting the murder of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow.

Carol Blue, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, confirmed the dismissal this afternoon. “We are reviewing the opinion, and we will consider our options,” said Blue, who declined to elaborate. ( continue to full post… )

Dobbs Joins ‘Birthers,’ But CNN Pushes Back

By Sonia Scherr on July 21, 2009 - 4:50 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda

CNN’s Lou Dobbs rarely lets the facts get in the way of defaming immigrants, so perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that he has also jumped on the “birther” bandwagon by suggesting that President Barack Obama has yet to prove he’s a U.S. citizen.

“The first thing is to determine whether or not his birth certificate is valid,” Dobbs said on the July 15 edition of his radio show. “And what I don’t understand is why that has not been released and given over to the public record.”

That wasn’t a throwaway comment, either. As Media Matters for America documented, Dobbs repeatedly questioned the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate last week on both his radio show and television program. In doing so, he aligned himself with a far-right fringe movement that claims Obama hasn’t shown he is eligible to serve as president. The so-called birthers have filed numerous (thus far unsuccessful) lawsuits questioning Obama’s citizenship.

Problem is, Dobbs’ own colleagues at CNN have refused to give credence to the suggestion that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii. ( continue to full post… )

Minuteman Reportedly Confesses To Murders

By Hatewatch Staff on July 21, 2009 - 8:41 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Minutemen American Defense gunman Jason Bush confessed to a double murder in Arizona and suggested other culprits remain at large, according to Pima County authorities.
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Accused Minuteman Killer’s Criminal History Includes Teen Prostitution

By Hatewatch Staff on July 21, 2009 - 8:41 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Minutemen American Defense leader and alleged murderer Shawna Forde’s criminal record dates back to age 11 and includes convictions for burglary, shoplifting and prostitution.
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G-20 Welcome Board Donor Supported Nativist Hate Groups

By Hatewatch Staff on July 21, 2009 - 8:41 am, Posted in Uncategorized

A welcome committee for the upcoming G-20 summit in Pittsburgh accepted money from a foundation that in the past has donated millions of dollars to anti-immigration organizations including hate groups.
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Randall Terry Warns of ‘Horrific Consequences’ if Abortion is Publicly Funded

By David Holthouse on July 20, 2009 - 3:06 pm, Posted in Anti-Abortion

Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry and other militant anti-abortionists announced yesterday their plans to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the National Press Club, a Washington, D.C., organization that’s become the venue of choice for a rogue’s gallery of white supremacist hate groups, anti-immigration extremists and other right-wing extremists.

According to a press release, Terry plans to “discuss what he and other pro-life leaders will and will not do if healthcare passes and includes paying for child-killing, and what convulsions follow.”

Terry has been criticized in recent weeks for his organization’s vicious demonizing and targeting of Wichita, Kan., abortion provider George Tiller right up to the day Tiller was gunned down in May in his own church, allegedly by a man with a long history of antigovernment and anti-abortion extremism. Despite the heat he caught following Tiller’s murder, Terry shows no signs of toning down his rhetoric.

In fact, if anything, he’s ratcheting it up. A statement attributed to him in the press release about tomorrow’s presentation is loaded with fiery tax resister rhetoric, thinly veiled threats and warnings of violent retribution against elected officials and others who support abortion rights.

“Let all those in government be warned: They cannot order people to pay for the murder of babies, and betray God Himself, without horrific consequences,” Terry states. ( continue to full post… )

Religious Right Promotes Falsehoods in Last-Ditch Attempt to Stall Federal Hate Crimes Bill

By Sonia Scherr on July 17, 2009 - 3:19 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

In the days leading up to yesterday’s Senate approval of far-reaching federal hate crimes legislation, religious right anti-gay groups were ramping up their rhetoric in a last-ditch attempt to defeat it.

But while their tone was shriller, their tune hadn’t changed: As they’ve done for months, these organizations were falsely claiming that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act would protect pedophiles and inhibit religious expression. Many of the religious right groups issuing alerts in recent days — including the Illinois Family Institute and the Liberty Counsel — seem not to have read the bill at all.

An E-mail sent Tuesday from Rick Scarborough, head of Vision America, exhorted supporters to “KEEP THE HATE CRIMES PRESSURE ON!” It referred to the bill as the “Pedophile Protection Act” because of its “inclusion of pedophiles as a protected class under the proposal that protects homosexuals from hate crimes.” In fact, while the law would allow prosecution of crimes motivated by bias against gays or transgendered people, it would not extend hate crimes protections to pedophiles.

The next day, the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) posted an “urgent” message on its website telling supporters to contact their senators. The proposed legislation was “anti-Christian, pro-LGBT [lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender]” and “threatens religious liberty, free speech and makes at least 30 different sexual orientations into federally protected minority groups.” According to the TVC, these sexual orientations include incest, voyeurism and bestiality. That’s false; “sexual orientation” refers only to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. The TVC, in fact, has been listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for years, largely because of its routine promotion of known falsehoods to demonize homosexuals.

Not to be outdone, long-time anti-Semite Ted Pike of the National Prayer Network posted an update yesterday on his website urging followers to call Senate offices. Earlier, he’d lamented that “patriots” weren’t doing enough to defeat the “homosexual lobby.” But if they don’t act, he wrote, “Let me remind you how infinitely more wearying it will be to exist night and day, year after year, shivering and starving in the gulags of the New World Order. If we allow this bill to first take away our free speech, then all other freedoms are going down the drain. Once that happens, there will be nothing to restrain mass arrest, imprisonment, deportation, and murder of probably millions.” In fact, the bill has no bearing on speech. ( continue to full post… )

Trial of Anti-Catholic Cult Leader on Sex Charges Opens

By Sonia Scherr on July 15, 2009 - 10:12 am, Posted in Anti-Catholic

The federal trial of Tony Alamo, who led a notorious anti-Catholic cult, began this week in Texarkana, Ark. Alamo, 74, has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of transporting underage girls across state lines for sex. His trial comes nearly two years after the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report published an expose on Alamo that detailed allegations of physical abuse, statutory rape and polygamy.

The magazine reported that Alamo had lost a $1.4 million civil lawsuit brought by the family of an 11-year-old boy whom Alamo allegedly had ordered beaten. The SPLC’s Fall 2007 report also revealed that Alamo contended girls should marry as soon as they begin menstruating, even if they’re as young as 10; in a 2006 radio broadcast, Alamo justified this view by claiming that “God impregnated Mary when she was about 11 years old.” In a 2007 broadcast, he said that first graders should be allowed to marry because they’re having sex anyway.

In addition to his alleged sexual proclivities, Alamo frequently denigrated Catholics. He has blamed them for “every filthy thing,” including communism, Nazism, the two world wars, the Jonestown massacre, drugs, prostitution and pornography. He also spewed hatred toward gays, referring in a defense of polygamy to “these bastards, these homosexual Vaticanites, they condone homosexuals and they condemn marriage.” The SPLC lists his Tony Alamo Christian Ministries as a hate group.

Alamo’s headquarters in Fouke, Ark., was raided last fall by dozens of federal and state law enforcement agents searching for evidence of child abuse. He was arrested on Sept. 25 at an Arizona motel. It’s not the first time he’s faced significant jail time: Alamo was convicted on tax evasion charges in 1994 and served four years of a six-year prison sentence.

Pittsburgh Foundation Funded Hate Groups

By Heidi Beirich on July 14, 2009 - 10:11 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

A recent story by veteran reporter Dennis Roddy at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette uncovered something odd: a major Pittsburgh foundation that has long supported prominent white nationalist and anti-immigrant haters has also given money to the welcoming committee for the September G-20 summit to be held in Pittsburgh. Supporting the summit, a gathering of finance ministers from 20 countries including Mexico, seemed an odd move for a foundation that also backs groups who claim Latinos are invading the U.S. when they come looking for work.

Roddy’s article showed how the Colcom Foundation, founded by Cordelia Scaife May, a now-deceased heir to the Mellon banking fortune, had given money to extremists such as Samuel Francis, a white nationalist who edited a newsletter for the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a group that has advocated racial separation and believes blacks to be a “retrograde species of humanity.” The foundation started by May, who died in 2005, also donated massive amounts of money over several decades to the various anti-immigrant institutions created by John Tanton, a retired Michigan ophthalmologist who is the orchestrator of the modern nativist movement. Two Tanton-linked organizations listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups — the Social Contract Press and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — are among those that received funds in the past from Colcom.

Roddy’s article exposed something else of interest: that Colcom’s vice president for philanthropy is John Rohe. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Rohe was Tanton’s right-hand man at his foundation, U.S., Inc., which runs The Social Contract Press, serving for years on its board and as CEO in the mid-2000s. Rohe also wrote an over-the-top biography of Tanton and his wife, Mary Lou and John Tanton: A Journey into American Conservation, that depicts them as saints.

Seeing Rohe at Colcom perhaps should not be surprising. Tanton had long been close to May, whom he affectionately called “Cordy” in his personal correspondence. Tanton shared many of his extremist beliefs with May, sending her, for example, anti-Semitic material by Kevin MacDonald in 1998, so that she would gain “a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life, which explains a large part of the Jewish opposition to immigration reform.” They would talk strategy, with Tanton once explaining in a letter that “for credibility” he had decided to separate the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) from FAIR in 1986 so it would appear independent. ( continue to full post… )