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

New ‘Patriot’ Group Begins First ‘Border Watch’ Operation

By David Holthouse on September 30, 2009 - 8:48 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

The Patriots Coalition, a new antigovernment ‘Patriot’ group founded by the former vice president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, is carrying out its first border vigilante operation targeting Latino immigrants and drug smugglers.

Along with Patriots Coalition members, the month-long event, dubbed Operation Spike, is drawing volunteers from other Minuteman splinter factions such as Minuteman of One.

Patriots Coalition founder and president Al Garza identifies the group as part of the Tea Party tax protest movement. The Patriots Coalition website is loaded with “birther” conspiracy theory materials and jokes about assassinating President Obama.

The Sierra Vista Herald reported that on Saturday, Sept. 26, there were 45 participants stationed in just one of several Operation Spike ‘border watch’ sectors. All the sectors are within a 50-mile radius of Palominas, a Cochise County, Ariz., border town located just east of Coronado National Forest.

Garza estimated that 200 to 300 border watchers would take part in the operation, which began Sept. 19 and is scheduled to conclude Oct. 19, though Garza said he may extend it to the end of October, depending upon turnout and results.

Operation Spike participants told the Herald they’d reported groups of 15 and 17 individuals along the border, as well as a larger group of 65 individuals, some of them carrying backpacks, accompanied by four “ninja-dressed” men armed with AK-47s.

“We are seasoned and we know what to look for,” Garza told the Herald. “We know what to find. We know when we see something what to expect of it.”

A Border Patrol spokesman in Tucson served up the agency’s standard Minuteman disclaimer: “We don’t encourage people going out and actively looking because they are not trained as Border Patrol agents are trained. If something happens, they might put themselves in danger or they might endanger somebody else.”

Von Brunn Moved to Prison in North Carolina for Competency Evaluation

By Rob Waters on September 29, 2009 - 1:17 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist

James von Brunn, the elderly white supremacist charged with killing a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in June, has been transferred to a federal prison in North Carolina for an evaluation to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. He arrived at the Butner Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., on Friday, The Associated Press reported. A judge ordered the evaluation, which was requested by von Brunn’s lawyer despite his client’s objections.

Von Brunn, 89, is accused of shooting the guard, Stephen Johns, on June 10. He was previously held at the D.C. jail.

Read the SPLC’s report from the day of the shooting about von Brunn’s neo-Nazi ties.

Read the article from the latest Intelligence Report on von Brunn’s hunger for an audience for his virulent anti-Semitic screeds.

Patriots Coalition Begins First Border Watch Operation

By Hatewatch Staff on September 29, 2009 - 8:57 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The Patriots Coalition, a newly formed group led by former Minuteman Civil Defense Corps officers, launched “Operation Spike,” a month-long border watch operation in Cochise County, Ariz., that’s bringing in dozens of volunteers.
Read full article

Brown Berets Plan Anti-Minuteman Protest

By Hatewatch Staff on September 29, 2009 - 8:56 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The Brown Berets de Aztlan, a Chicano nationalist group, announced plans to rally against Minuteman border watch groups in response to murders allegedly carried out by members of Minuteman American Defense.
Read full article

Judge Orders Psychiatric Examination for Nativist Accused of Rape

By Hatewatch Staff on September 29, 2009 - 8:56 am, Posted in Uncategorized

A Superior Court judge ordered anti-immigration activist and cable television call-in host John McGowan to undergo a psychiatric exam to determine whether he’s capable of standing trial for first-degree sexual assault.
Read full article

Immigrants Out to Destroy U.S., Washington Times Columnist Warns

By Heidi Beirich on September 24, 2009 - 4:20 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino

This past weekend, The Washington Times featured a column filled with apocalyptic visions of a white America overrun by a “massive invasion” of immigrants. This is certainly not the first racially insensitive column printed by The Times, but it is the first since the organization went through a thorough housecleaning in 2008 that involved the removal of high-level staffers who published white nationalists.

The column was penned by Jeffrey T. Kuhner, who heads the Edmund Burke Institute, which is described by the paper as a “Washington-based think tank.” Taking a page out of the white nationalist playbook, Kuhner frets that the Obama administration plans a massive amnesty that will allow the “army of illegal immigrants” to wipe out America’s European “roots.”

Kuhner sees an America suffering from an immigrant “invasion,” a “bleeding sore” of a Southern border, “overwhelmed” hospitals and Mexican cartels running amok. He sees America’s jails filling up with these foreigners — “one-third of the federal prison population is composed of illegal immigrants”— a falsehood common among anti-immigrant propagandists (for how wrong Kuhner is, read here). He worries that our “uncontrolled immigration” is causing the “bonds of national union” to be “torn apart.”

What brought all this end times worrying on? Kuhner’s attendance at a radio talk show event put on last week in Washington by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which was listed as an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2007. ( continue to full post… )

Out and In Again; Court Sends Neo-Nazi White Back to Jail

By Rob Waters on September 24, 2009 - 9:01 am, Posted in Neo-Nazi

Neo-Nazi Bill White’s taste of freedom was brief. Last week, as we reported here, a federal judge allowed him to post bond and go to his home in Roanoke, Va., to await his Dec. 9 trial on charges of threatening a newspaper columnist and assorted others over the Internet and by phone. Prosecutors objected, however, and on Wednesday a three-judge panel at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond granted their stay and ordered White back to jail.

Hate-Music Songbird Takes Issue With Our Review

By Sonia Scherr on September 24, 2009 - 8:31 am, Posted in Racist Music

Charity Pendergraft has responded to our earlier post about her white-power sister act.

Pendergraft’s verdict: “I found the article very amusing.”

She didn’t intend it as a compliment. Pendergraft, 18, and sister Shelby, 16, singing as Heritage Connection, have released two CDs and perform at white nationalist events. Among other things, Charity Pendergraft took umbrage at our description of the sisters’ “thin, quavering voices.” “[T]hose who have heard us sing live would agree that our music, lyrics and vocals are anything but ‘quavering,’” she wrote on the sisters’ blog.

She also didn’t like the way we poked fun at her fondness for Mexican cuisine. (Charity had written in an earlier blog post that she’d eaten enchiladas for dinner and loved “Spanish” food.) “Doesn’t she [the author] know the difference between Mexican food and Spanish food?” she sniffed. “Or for that matter the difference between Mexicans and Spaniards? First Spaniards are white and second Mexicans are a mix of indian, white, and negro. I believe she needs to do more research. True native food in Mexico was a mixture of roasted and/or boiled lizard, rat, and boiled root vegetables. No, I’m not trying to be mean, just telling the truth. It took the creativity of the white Spaniards to make the food of ‘Mexico’ edible.”

We took Pendergraft up on her suggestion that we do more research and contacted Jeffrey Pilcher, a history professor at the University of Minnesota and the author of ¡Que vivan los tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity. ( continue to full post… )

Huge Bust in Los Angeles Targets Anti-Black Street Gang

By Sonia Scherr on September 23, 2009 - 4:43 pm, Posted in Anti-Black

Police mounted a large-scale raid this week aimed at weakening a violent Los Angeles street gang that regularly targets blacks.

Some 1,300 local, state and federal law enforcement officials were involved in the pre-dawn sweep on Tuesday that followed a year-long investigation and led to the arrest of more than 45 people connected to the Avenues gang. A far-reaching federal indictment named 88 members or associates of the Avenues who were wanted on charges that included murder, attempted murder, drug dealing, witness intimidation and money laundering.

The Avenues is a largely Hispanic gang controlled by the Mexican Mafia from within the California state prison system. The 222-page indictment unsealed Tuesday describes how the group tries to terrorize blacks who venture into its territory in Northeast Los Angeles. “Neighborhoods controlled by the Avenues gang are frequently ‘tagged’ with racist threats directed against African-Americans that are intended to intimidate African-Americans and prevent African-Americans from living in the neighborhood,” it said. “Avenues gang members also confront African-Americans with threats of violence and murder in order to intimidate and prevent African-Americans from residing in or entering the neighborhoods controlled by the Avenues gang.”

The indictment also noted several specific incidents of violence and intimidation directed at blacks. In a Sept. 5, 2000, incident, gang members including Sam Vega (also known as “Fox”) pulled a gun on a black man and said, “This is Avenues gang, what’s up nigger?” ( continue to full post… )

California Officer Guilty of Hate Crimes for Ethnic Slurs

By Larry Keller on September 23, 2009 - 8:39 am, Posted in Anti-Latino, Hate Crime

In what the prosecutor says might be the first case of its kind, a California Highway Patrol officer has been convicted of a hate crime. Four counts, no less.

Seth Taylor, 35, pleaded guilty on Friday to four misdemeanor counts of disturbing the peace, admitting in each case special allegations that the offenses were hate crimes. A judge dismissed a fifth misdemeanor charge, attempted criminal threat, that upon conviction would have prohibited Taylor from possessing a firearm. That would have effectively ended his CHP career. He is assigned to administrative work pending a review by the CHP.

Taylor was sentenced to three years of probation, and must attend an eight-hour course offered by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles that is geared toward people convicted of hate crimes. He also must complete 50 hours of community service. Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney Karen Wold says she hasn’t heard of another police officer in the United States who has been convicted of a hate crime, although it’s not something she has researched. ( continue to full post… )