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

SPLC to O’Reilly: You Lose Dobbs Bet

By Richard Cohen on November 16, 2009 - 1:22 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

To: Bill O’Reilly
The O’Reilly Factor
Fox News Network

Dear Bill,

You lost the bet. Time to pay up!

When I appeared on your show in July, you were so certain that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s call for CNN to fire Lou Dobbs was a waste of time that you bet $10,000 (with the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity) that it wouldn’t happen.

“CNN’s never going to fire him – you know that,” you said.

I told you that I disagreed, because I wasn’t as cynical as you.  I believed that if enough people spoke out – and they did – that CNN would do the right thing.

I expect you will argue that Lou didn’t get fired – that he got fed up and quit the network he had been with for three decades.

But as a litigator, I’d like to present Exhibit A:  Dobbs’ $8 million severance package, which was reported today by the New York Post.  I think you’ll agree that Mr. Murdoch’s Post would never report such a thing were it not, indeed, a fact.

And would CNN fork over $8 million – enough money to pay for 13 miles of electric border fence – to an employee who simply wanted to walk away from his multimillion-dollar contract because he couldn’t constrain his opinions on a news show?

I doubt it!

Maybe your fall-back position is that it wasn’t a real bet.  I don’t know.  But I think that if you’ll stop spinning for a moment, you’ll agree that in the court of public opinion, you lose.  I know it hurts deeply to be wrong.  (Although Lou won’t admit it, it happens to the best of us.) You can be assured that your loss will be a big win for a family in need of housing.

CNN did the right thing. Now it’s your turn!

Sincerely yours,

J. Richard Cohen
President, Southern Poverty Law Center

‘Tea Parties Against Amnesty’ Planned in 50 Cities Tomorrow

By Sonia Scherr on November 13, 2009 - 5:15 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

In 1773, American colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation under British rule. If they were around today, the colonists might be surprised by the array of perceived ills around which their modern-day counterparts have been rallying at symbolic “tea parties” across the country: the Wall Street bailout, the income tax, big government, President Barack Obama, and now, the possibility of citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Nativist leader William Gheen has joined the tea party frenzy by organizing “Tea Parties Against Amnesty and Illegal Immigration,” scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 14, in more than 50 towns and cities nationwide. Gheen, who heads Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, said in a news release that the event is just the prelude to more tea parties and other anti-amnesty campaigning in the spring. Also sponsoring tomorrow’s protests are the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a nativist extremist group, and, according to the event website,

The local organizers of the anti-amnesty tea parties include some prominent nativists, according to In Chicago, Rosanna Pulido served as a regional field coordinator for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group in part because of its ties to white supremacists. She also formed the Chicago and Illinois chapters of the Minuteman Project and represented the FAIR-financed front group You Don’t Speak for Me! In Hazleton, Pa., Dan Smeriglio heads the Voice of the People, which organized an anti-illegal immigration in Shenandoah, Pa., six weeks after Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez was murdered there.

Often featuring nativist speakers and signs, tea parties have provided a forum for anti-immigrant sentiment since their inception early this year. This spring, Gheen E-mailed leaders of allied organizations asking them to join a coalition of anti-immigrant groups planning to attend tea parties. But tomorrow’s tea parties are different in that they’re solely targeting illegal immigration. In addition, while the tea party movement has attracted some blatantly racist groups, such as the Council of Conservative Citizens, Gheen states on that the protests are open to those who “share our nonviolent and nonracist multiethnic and bipartisan support for secure borders and immigration enforcement.” He added: “Any groups, individuals or materials that are not appropriate will not be allowed in our permitted areas.”

Let’s hope that’s the case. Information about the rallies appears on the websites of former Klan boss David Duke and the racist National Policy Institute in Augusta, Ga. Posters on Stormfront, the leading white supremacist website, are also urging members to attend.  “This is great news!” wrote “ronatvan” on Tuesday. “All Stormfronters should join these huge Tea Parties! Prepare yourselves with big banners to spread our message.”

Child Rapist and Anti-Catholic Cult Boss Gets 175 Years

By Larry Keller on November 13, 2009 - 4:41 pm, Posted in Anti-Catholic

Cult evangelist Tony Alamo was ordered today to spend his remaining years in a place that nobody will confuse with heaven. A federal judge in Texarkana, Ark., sentenced him to 175 years in prison for transporting young girls he called his “brides” across state lines for sex. Before being sentenced, Alamo, 75, testified briefly and praised God. “I’m glad I’m me and not the deceived people in the world,” he said.

The anti-Catholic, pro-polygamy, gay-bashing evangelist — whose birth name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman — was convicted in July on 10 counts of taking girls across state lines for sex over a period of 14 years. His stepdaughter, Christhiaon Coie, wasn’t among them but, in an earlier interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, said she was raped by Alamo when she was in her teens. “I want to thank [the SPLC] for demanding justice when so many others turn a blind eye to so many pathetic cowards who hide behind Bibles, sheets and children,” she said in an E-mail today as she awaited news of Alamo’s sentence.

Alamo met and married Coie’s mother, Edith — a name she soon changed to Susan — in 1966 and the couple began Tony Alamo Christian Ministries three years later in California. Followers say they were punished with beatings and food deprivation, and threatened with losing their spouses and children. Among other things, Alamo blamed the Catholic church for communism, Nazism and the two world wars.

The Alamos moved the cult’s headquarters to Arkansas in 1975. When Susan Alamo died of cancer in 1982, her husband kept her embalmed body in the dining room of their home for several months in the expectation that she would rise from the dead. Her casket eventually was interred in a heart-shaped mausoleum.

Alamo served four years in prison in the 1990s for income tax evasion. He resumed his ministry when he got out. Last year, federal agents raided his 15-acre compound in the town of Foulke, Ark., near the Texas state line, looking for evidence of sexual activity with underage girls. One teenager told the FBI that Alamo “married” and had intercourse with her when she was 9. An informant told agents that she saw Alamo sometimes take more than one girl at a time to his bedroom, where he kept candy bars and a Barbie doll collection. ( continue to full post… )

Earth to Lou: It Could Have Been Different

By Mark Potok on November 12, 2009 - 3:38 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

It didn’t have to end this way for Lou Dobbs. He could have been a contender.

But Dobbs, a supremely self-confident man who often mentions his Harvard education in private conversation, just wouldn’t listen. Time after time, as the “Lou Dobbs Tonight” show he has hosted on CNN since 2003 grew more rabidly critical of undocumented immigrants, he was warned of the kind of people he was putting on his show. He was told that many of the “facts” he was presenting just weren’t so. At first, he was gently called out for his defamations of Latino immigrants, then, as his tone grew sharper still, he was subjected to all kinds of public criticism from human rights groups, the journalism trade press, even a leading New York Times financial columnist. Instead of righting his course, or even slightly moderating his tone, Dobbs called his critics “commies” and “fascists.” He fudged facts, defended earlier falsehoods, and promoted racist conspiracy theories. He fumed.

It all ended last night, when Dobbs announced on his program that he was resigning from CNN effective immediately. In a moment of supreme irony, he complained that public political debate was now overtaken with “partisanship and ideology,” and promised to use “the most honest and direct language possible” in whatever future role he plays in public life. For once, he did not attack his critics.

My colleagues at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and I were some of those critics, and early ones at that. I began speaking to Lou Dobbs in 2004, not many months after he started airing virtually nightly segments entitled “Broken Borders.” By that time, he had already run “reports” complaining about “illegal aliens” getting free medical care, educating their children in public schools, committing sex crimes, getting breaks on college tuition, filling the prisons and spreading diseases. ( continue to full post… )

Violate the Constitution? Christian Right Group Says Yes

By Larry Keller on November 12, 2009 - 9:17 am, Posted in Anti-Muslim, Christian Right

The American Family Association (AFA) usually frets about homosexuals and pornography, but in the aftermath of the shootings at Fort Hood last week, the ultraconservative religious right group has a new concern: Muslims in the U.S. military. Ban them, urges Bryan Fischer, AFA director of issues analysis.

The day after Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an American-born Muslim, is alleged to have shot and killed 13 people at the Texas army post and wounded more than two dozen others, Fischer posted his anti-Muslim screed on the AFA website.

“It is time, I suggest, to stop the practice of allowing Muslims to serve in the U.S. military,” Fischer wrote. “The reason is simple: the more devout a Muslim is, the more of a threat he is to national security. Devout Muslims, who accept the teachings of the prophet as divinely inspired, believe it is their duty to kill infidels. Yesterday’s massacre is living proof.”

Fischer conceded that most U.S. Muslims don’t shoot their fellow soldiers. No matter, because “the more devout a Muslim is, the more likely he is to lie to you through his teeth,” Fischer writes. “You invent a jihadi-detector that works every time it’s used, and we’ll welcome you back with open arms. This is not Islamophobia. It is Islamo-realism. The barbarians are no longer at the gate. They’re inside the fort, and it’s time for the insanity to stop.”

Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said that barring Muslims from serving in the U.S. military would violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment that ensures equal application of laws among people regardless of their race, faith and the like. “That’s a bigoted, racist, vile position,” Weinstein said of the AFA article. “It’s un-American. It’s inhuman. It violates our Constitution.” ( continue to full post… )

After Immigrant Killed in NY, Others Tell of Abuse

By Hatewatch Staff on November 10, 2009 - 11:02 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The year since the Lucero slaying has put a national spotlight on race relations here has seen the U.S. Justice Department launch a probe of hate crimes and police response to them. A national civil rights group released a study that found “a pervasive climate of fear in the Latino community” in Suffolk County.
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Neo-Nazi Rallies Provoke ‘Anger, Fear’

By Hatewatch Staff on November 10, 2009 - 11:02 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group, held two rallies in Arizona and Minnesota to demonstrate against illegal immigration. Similar rallies in Riverside, Calif., near Los Angeles, have led to violent clashes with counter-protesters.
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Dangerous Liaisons: Congressmen to Join Nativist Hate Group Today

By Heidi Beirich on November 6, 2009 - 11:03 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

At noon today, five members of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a press conference at the House Triangle with Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR has been listed as an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2007.

Stein will discuss “loopholes” in pending health care legislation that he claims will allow benefits to go to “illegal aliens.”

All five House members meeting with FAIR — Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Nathan Deal (R-Ga.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) — are members of the hard-line House Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC). The IRC is headed by U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), who is a former lobbyist for FAIR. In 2002, Bilbray told a group of anti-immigrant activists, “We are creating a slave class that criminal elements breed in.” He also warned, “We could have a terrorist coming in on a Latin name.”

FAIR has a decades-long history of anti-immigrant hatred. The group has employed key staff members with ties to white supremacist groups, accepted more than $1 million from a racist foundation dedicated to the study of racial differences in intelligence, and promoted racist conspiracy theories about Mexico’s secretly coveting the American Southwest. In 2006, a top official of FAIR in met with former members of a Belgian political party banned by that country’s highest court for “racism and xenophobia.” For more on FAIR’s long track record of hate, read here. ( continue to full post… )

Man Killed in FBI Shootout Said to Lead Terror Cell

By Sonia Scherr on November 6, 2009 - 8:28 am, Posted in Muslim Extremism

A Detroit man fatally shot last week by FBI agents was a high-ranking leader of a nationwide separatist group that advocated violence and denigrated Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims, according to an FBI complaint.

Luqman Ameen Abdullah (also known as Christopher Thomas), 53, was killed during a government raid on Oct. 28 when he refused to surrender and fired his weapon, according to an FBI news release. A convicted felon, Abdullah helped lead what the FBI characterized as a “radical fundamentalist Sunni group” called Ummah (“the brotherhood”). The group consists mostly of African Americans, some of whom converted to Islam while in prison. Its main goal is to create a sovereign state within America’s borders that would be governed by Islamic law and ruled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (the former H. Rapp Brown), who’s serving a life sentence for murdering two police officers in Georgia. Abdullah was among 11 men linked to Ummah who were charged with conspiracy to commit an array of federal crimes, including theft from interstate shipments and illegal possession and sale of firearms.

Last week’s raid followed the eviction in January of Ummah members from their former mosque after they failed to pay property taxes. Inside that building, Detroit police found two firearms, roughly 40 knives and martial arts weapons, empty shell casings, and a concrete wall that had served as a shooting range.

Abdullah’s death led to criticism from several Muslim groups who say he was not the violent extremist that the FBI claimed. More than 1,000 people attended Abdullah’s funeral on Saturday at Detroit’s Muslim Center, where some speakers demanded an investigation into the shooting. Abdullah was imam (leader) of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit, which called the FBI allegations “utterly preposterous,” according to The Associated Press. ( continue to full post… )

Immigrant Jail Tests U.S. View of Legal Access

By Hatewatch Staff on November 3, 2009 - 10:07 am, Posted in Uncategorized

A startling petition arrived at the New York City Bar Association in October 2008, signed by 100 men, all locked up without criminal charges in the middle of Manhattan. In vivid if flawed English, it described cramped, filthy quarters where dire medical needs were ignored and hungry prisoners were put to work for $1 a day.
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