The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
As the health care reform debate intensifies, anti-immigrant activists are using the issue to whip up fear and anger toward immigrants by portraying them as a burden on society.
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Prosecutors said they intend to seek the death penalty against Minuteman American Defense leader Shawna Forde and two other border vigilantes charged with the home invasion murders of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter.
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Latino ministers and congregants held a prayer rally to protest the federal 287(g) agreement between Homeland Security and the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department.
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Globetrotting white supremacist financier and organizer Preston Wiginton (at right, showing the flag at a 2007 white nationalist rally in Moscow) was barred from entering the United Kingdom last week by Home Office authorities at London’s Heathrow Airport. Wiginton, a U.S. citizen, was trying to enter the U.K. to address the racist throngs at the tenth annual “Red, White and Blue” summer festival put on by the neofascist British National Party, or BNP.
The Home Office stated that it denied entry to Wiginton because it deemed his presence in the U.K. would not have been conducive to the common good. Wiginton has a close relationship with BNP chairman Nick Griffin, as well as ultra-right politicians and white nationalist academics and activists in Russia, the Texas native’s adopted homeland. (Wiginton resides part of the year in a Moscow apartment he sublets from ex-Klan boss David Duke.) Wiginton also brags about friendships with the leaders of violent neo-Nazi skinhead gangs in Russia, and claims that he pumps $50,000 a year of his own money into the global white supremacist movement.
In the U.S. in recent years, Wiginton has appeared at racist skinhead gatherings and co-sponsored lectures with hate groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens and the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.
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The SPLC’s report, “The Second Wave: Return of the Militias,” released Aug. 12, has drawn a spirited response. Here’s a representative sampling of E-mails and comments. Names have been removed from all messages except the one from Mr. LUCIFER. A few of the longer ones have been edited for length, but otherwise they’re reproduced just as they came in.
LUCIFER L LUCIFER
999 HELL STREET
U/R DIRTY SHIT EATING COMMIE SLIME MAGGOTS, HATCHED FROM A KARL MARX TURD.
I’M WAITING FOR U DOWN HERE, GET READY, MAGGOTS.
What a load of crap! I think I will list the Southern Poverty Law Center on my list of hate groups.
Sorry I am not a hillbilly racist nazi, just a legal non-violent gun owner that knows your demonizing gun owners is completely evil propaganda… We know who the fall guys are…and as a American who believes in Liberty and Freedom for all can see the same old game the SPLC plays…and I am one of millions waking up to the evil lies that are written by .org’s as this one. You should cringe because your game is so transparent.
Three years ago, neo-Nazi Craig Cobb announced that he was moving to Estonia to help build a European white supremacist movement.
It didn’t quite go as planned. Cobb, who runs the white supremacist video-sharing website Podblanc, recently reported that he’s being kicked out of the country where he once hoped to form an International Office of White Diaspora. “My ‘crimes’ are, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs: Endangering public security, public order, public safety, moral standards, health, or some other relevant public interests,” he posted on Podblanc in an account laced with expletives and racial epithets.
It’s not the first country that’s given him the boot. On June 2, Cobb, 57, traveled to Helsinki, where he hoped to receive asylum from the Finnish government because of persecution based on religion (the racist World Church of the Creator), race (“indigenous White”), membership in white nationalist groups, and political opinion (“right wing secessionist-separatist and preservationist of our wonderful, extreme-technological-giving 8% White Precious Minority on the Teeming Dark Planet”). ( continue to full post… )
The 1990s saw the rise and fall of the virulently antigovernment “Patriot” movement, made up of paramilitary militias, tax defiers and so-called “sovereign citizens.” Sparked by a combination of anger at the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the movement took off in the middle of the decade and continued to grow even after 168 people were left dead by the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s federal building — an attack, the deadliest ever by domestic U.S. terrorists, carried out by men steeped in the rhetoric and conspiracy theories of the militias.
In the years that followed, a truly remarkable number of criminal plots came out of the movement. But by early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a new, highly conservative president.
As we report today (see complete report here), they’re back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country. “Paper terrorism” — the use of property liens and citizens’ “courts” to harass enemies — is on the rise. And once-popular militia conspiracy theories are making the rounds again, this time accompanied by nativist theories about secret Mexican plans to “reconquer” the American Southwest.
One federal law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia training groups — one of them made up of present and former police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda. “This is the most significant growth we’ve seen in 10 to 12 years,” says one. “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”
A key difference this time is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man. That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama.
At the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda, from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the president’s country of birth.
The latter claims from the so-called “birthers” first gained traction when far-right hard-liners like writer Jerome Corsi, politician Alan Keyes and Watergate felon and radio show host G. Gordon Liddy questioned the validity of the president’s birth certificate. But they have picked up speed thanks to the likes of Lou Dobbs, the CNN and radio host who has repeatedly demanded that Obama “show the documents” proving his citizenship — this despite the fact that the birther claims had been thoroughly debunked by a guest host of Dobbs’ own CNN show and by many others.
As Chip Berlet, an analyst of the radical right at Political Research Associates, said in a recent report: “The current political environment is awash with seemingly absurd but nonetheless influential conspiracy theories, hyperbolic claims and demonized targets. And this creates a milieu where violence is a likely outcome.”
Fifteen years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote then-Attorney General Janet Reno to warn about extremists in the militia movement, saying that the “mixture of armed groups and those who hate” was “a recipe for disaster.” Just six months later, Oklahoma City’s federal building was bombed.
Today, the Patriot movement may not have reached the level of white-hot fury that it did in the 1990s. But the movement clearly is growing again, and Americans, in particular law enforcement officers, need to take the dangers it presents seriously. That is equally true for the politicians, pundits and preachers who, through pandering or ignorance, abet the growth of a movement marked by a proven predilection for violence.
United for a Sovereign America (USA), a nativist extremist group best known for harassing immigrants outside Phoenix-area day labor centers, put its crude ideology on full display last week.
First, USA posted blatantly racist images of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on its website. The images consisted of a cartoon caricature of Obama captioned “Uncle Sambo,” and a digitally altered photograph of Michelle Obama wearing a kerchief, labeled “Aunt Jemima Breakfast Club.” (As first noted by Phoenix New Times blogger Stephen Lemons, the images looked awfully similar to the handiwork of inner-circle USA member “Buffalo” Rick Galeener, whose personal website is filled with similarly offensive imagery targeting Latino immigrants. Galeener’s site also advertises “Undocumented Illegal Alien Hunter” T-shirts designed by Galeener. Another shirt, ostensibly for Mexicans to wear, reads, “My back is still wet.”)
Then, last Saturday, Galeener and several other USA members staged a counter-demonstration along the route of the “Children’s Walk for Family Unity,” a march by about 150 persons, more than half of them children, to protest Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration round-ups, raids and nasty publicity stunts. At least two of the USA nativists were armed with holstered handguns.
Lemons, who covered the march for New Times, asked one middle-aged woman among the USA counter-protesters why they were packing heat. Wrote Lemons: “Looking suspiciously at the assembled children and adults, she muttered, ‘There could be killers in that crowd.’”
For Lemons’ full report on the march and the nativist extremist counter-protest, click here.
Members of United for a Sovereign America, at least two of them carrying holstered handguns, staged a counter-demonstration alongside a march by Latino children protesting the impact on families of immigration round-ups orchestrated by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
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Mayor Tom Stiehm said he refused to allow National Socialist Movement rally organizer Samuel Johnson to promote an anti-immigration petition at an Austin, Minn. city council meeting because, “We fought a war against the Nazis, and I am sure as heck not going to support anything they do.”
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