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Dale Robertson, the vitriolic founder and president of TeaParty.org, blasted out a mass E-mail today that seemed meant to convince doubters that his movement is, after all, racist at its core.
Attacking President Obama for traveling home to Chicago for the Memorial Day weekend — rather than staying in Washington to lay a wreath in Arlington Cemetery as many presidents have done — Robertson falls into a string of contemptuous and racially charged terms.
Obama is going home to spend time with “his homies in the Chicago hood,” writes Robertson, who is white. The taxpayers will be footing the bill for the president to “bump and grind in the hood.” While he’s gone, Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife “will step into Obama’s sneakers” to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Obama, meanwhile, will be “shooting hoops, smoking cigarettes and goofing-off with his homies.”
Robertson, who is a contributor to the right-wing Washington Times’ “Tea Party Report” blog (and is identified there as “the Founder of the modern day Tea Party movement”), has never been a study in sensitivity. He has written that everyone who voted for the national health care reform bill is a “national socialist” — a Nazi, like those who murdered millions in the gas chambers. He says that “illegal aliens” are coming to impose socialism on the United States. But now, Robertson has gone one step further, describing Obama as the kind of person who has “homies” in the “hood,” who wears “sneakers” and “shoots hoops,” and who “bumps and grinds.” We wonder just what type of person Dale Robertson is thinking of.
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The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is an immigration restriction organization that insists that it does not “discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, or creed.” But many have questioned that claim since revelations that FAIR’s legal arm essentially wrote the highly controversial Arizona law that critics say is certain to lead to racial profiling of Latinos.
Now comes another clue to the true nature of the organization behind the Arizona statute, which requires law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of people they come into contact with if there is reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally. Critics, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, have pointed out the law will lead to Latinos, including U.S. citizens, being repeatedly questioned by police and forced to continually prove their status.
FAIR files archived in the Gelman Library at George Washington University include a Jan. 9, 1990, note from Sidney Rawitz, then a board member of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), FAIR’s legal arm. Rawitz, who once served as counsel to the government’s Immigration and Naturalization Service, was reacting angrily to an apparently overly favorable news story discussing the Cubans who came to Miami in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. Rawitz was writing to Richard “Dick” Higgins, who was then IRLI’s executive director.
“What infuriates me most about this article is the use of Marielitos as examples of beneficial immigration,” Rawitz wrote to the IRLI leader. “There are facts and statistics galore about the criminals, homosexuals and defectives whom Castro visited upon this country when he opened up Mariel. Prisons, hospitals, and welfare rolls are heavily burdened by this influx — as you well know.”
Quite apart from Rawitz’s eyebrow-raising description of “criminals, homosexuals and defectives” — a phrase eerily reminiscent of the Nazis’ descriptions of their own enemies — the note revealed a high level of ignorance on the IRLI board member’s part a full decade after the boatlift. Although there was much publicity during the boatlift suggesting that the Marielitos were serious criminals being dumped in the United States by Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the reality is that only about 2%, or some 2,746, of the 125,000 refugees were ultimately determined to be serious or violent criminals. Large numbers, in fact, were simply people who disagreed with aspects of the Castro regime. Economist David Carr also found that the boatlift entailed no negative effect on wages for any groups in Miami. ( continue to full post… )
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Maybe you didn’t catch the news last week: President Obama was convicted by an American jury of fraud and other charges. It was easy to miss, what with The New York Times, television and cable news networks and major Internet news sites — with the exception of Salon — ignoring what one far-right group called the “greatest trial in American history.”
The trial — more like a theatrical production, actually — was not held in a courtroom, but in ATLAH World Ministries Church in Harlem. Its black pastor, James David Manning, organized the event and prosecuted the case. Columbia University was Obama’s co-defendant. The judge was a guy seeking the Republican nomination in a New York congressional district. A supposed indictment charged Obama and Columbia with, among other things, conspiring to conceal the fact that Obama is not a natural born citizen. That’s the stale staple of the “birther” movement, which maintains — without a shred of evidence — that Obama was not born in America, and therefore is not legally serving as president. ( continue to full post… )
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A columnist for the white nationalist website VDARE appeared as a guest on Fox News this week.
As Media Matters reported, Allan Wall, a longtime VDARE contributor, spoke with Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy on Monday about immigration. Doocy introduced Wall as a U.S. citizen who lived in Mexico for 17 years while teaching English. At the end of the interview, Doocy mentioned that Wall writes for VDARE but failed to provide any information about the website.
In fact, VDARE features articles by extremists such as Jared Taylor, editor of the racist American Renaissance magazine; Kevin MacDonald, a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, who argues that Jews are genetically driven to undermine the power of whites; and the late Sam Francis, who edited the newspaper of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. Founded in 1999, VDARE raised about $53,000 from donors during an emergency appeal this spring after a major foundation cut off its funding.
Wall’s columns are preoccupied with what he sees as a Hispanic takeover of America. “If present population trends continue, within about three decades, the historical White, English-speaking majority will no longer be the majority, due to mass immigration and the high birthrate of U.S. Hispanics,” he wrote in a March 23, 2009, column. “As a people, we never directly chose this destiny, nor were we even asked about it. But we’re expected to pay for it, and be happy about it, as our nation is transformed into part of Latin America before our very eyes.”
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On his radio program last Friday, Fischer read a passage from Numbers 25 in the Bible — pointed out to him by his wife, he says — in which a man named Phineas kills an amorous man and woman of differing tribes at a time when “the nation had lapsed into rampant sexual immorality. “I don’t know if that sounds familiar to you — it certainly does to me — and Phineas … did something very decisive,” Fischer said. Phineas “found an Israelite in flagrante with a Philistine woman and he ran them both through with a spear, pinned them both to the ground inside their tent, ran his spear through both of them, right into the ground,” Fischer said. “And that shook up the nation, it got their attention and they transformed … they turned from that kind of behavior and renewed their commitment to follow God.” ( continue to full post… )
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Poor Ron Edwards. Even racist skinheads don’t want to hang out with the former Klan leader.
Edwards — the Imperial Klans of America (IKA) founder who defended himself against a successful lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center — was arrested last week on federal drug charges, including methamphetamine distribution.
That was too much for the Supreme White Alliance (SWA), a skinhead group that had been assisting the IKA with its annual hate rock gathering, Nordic Fest. Less than a week before this year’s Nordic Fest — planned for Memorial Day weekend at Edwards’ compound in Dawson Springs, Ky. — the SWA announced it would no longer be involved with the event. “The Supreme White Alliance drops it’s [sic] support of the Imperial Klans of America, Ron Edwards, and Nordic Fest due to current events,” SWA Vice President Richard Kidd, a former IKA member, wrote on Sunday. “Even though innocent until proven guilty, in order to preserve our reputation as a club for our members, the SWA has always been a drug free club and always will be. This is not intended to disrespect Ron Edwards or the IKA, but we will not be affiliated with them until all legal charges have been dropped.” ( continue to full post… )
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The founder of a once-thriving Klan group has recently battled a major lawsuit, money woes and, now, federal drug charges.
Ron Edwards, the 50-year-old former leader of the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), appeared in U.S. District Court in Owensboro, Ky., today on charges of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of controlled substances, including methamphetamine, according to court documents. He was also charged with possession of a firearm to further a drug trafficking crime. Edwards’ girlfriend, Christina “Chrissy” Ann Gillette, was charged with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine.
The drug charges will likely further damage Edwards’ reputation in the white supremacist movement, where some supporters have accused him of keeping donations meant for his Klan group.
Edwards, of Dawson Springs, Ky., led a particularly dangerous Klan group that welcomes violent skinheads and declares on its website that it “hates Muds, spics, kikes and niggers.” In an effort to cripple the organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center sued Edwards in 2007, after members of his Klan group were convicted of attacking a 16-year-old U.S. citizen of Panamanian descent because they thought he was an “illegal spic.”
Edwards showed up to a deposition with the words “Fuck S.P.L.C.” tattooed on his head. In November 2008, a jury awarded a $2.5 million judgment to the victim; the verdict is currently under appeal. Last year, the group had five groups in four states, down from 23 chapters in 17 states in 2006. Though smaller, the IKA remains active and continues to hold Nordic Fest, its annual hate rock gathering held on Memorial Day weekend at its compound and headquarters in Dawson Springs.
An FBI affidavit indicates that Edwards’ was allegedly dealing drugs shortly after his civil trial in Brandenburg, Ky. The affidavit gives the following account: On Jan. 6, 2009, Edwards pocketed $800 after selling 120 prescription Lortab pain pills to an undercover officer during a meeting in Bardston, Ky. (The pills contained hydrocodone, a controlled substance.) During the drug sale, Edwards kept a semi-automatic pistol concealed under his leg and then behind his back. On Aug. 13, 2009, Gillette, Edwards’ girlfriend, sold methamphetamine for $300 to a “cooperating witness” who met with her in Central City, Ky. On Sept. 2, 2009, in Dawson Springs, Edwards did the same, earning $500. And on Jan. 16, 2010, Edwards and the cooperating witness met again in Dawson Springs, where Edwards gave the witness 70 Lortab pills in exchange for $560.
Both Edwards and Gillette were released today on $25,000 bond issues. The conditions of release require them to remain under home detention and to avoid contact with each other. They are scheduled to appear in court again on June 24.
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Jerry Ralph Kane Jr., the man who was killed with his son Thursday after apparently gunning down two West Memphis, Ark., police officers, traveled the country before the encounter giving classes in “redemption foreclosure mortgage fraud” — an apparent variation on a scheme common among antigovernment “Patriots.”
According to a blurb on a website called Pro Blog: Blog for Professionals, that was the title that Kane gave to an all-day class he gave on Aug. 29, 2009, in Fontana, Calif. In several YouTube videos of the Fontana class, Kane can be heard discussing such Patriot theories as the idea that only gold and silver are real money.
In addition, another website, My Private Audio, carried a tribute to Kane and his son and also included links to information about “redemption.”
Redemption theory varies across the country but arose in the Patriot movement, which generally sees the federal government as an evil entity involved in various conspiracy theories aimed at ordinary Americans. In its best known version, redemption theory claims that every U.S. citizen has a “straw man,” or secret legal twin, that the government uses to capture the economic value of citizens unknowingly sold into slavery to a banking cabal. Redemptionists often claim that by filing certain documents individuals can reclaim their sovereignty and the money that was deposited into a special account at their birth. Kane appeared to be teaching a variant of the theory that supposedly allowed people who have lost their homes to foreclosure to get them back at a fraction of their value.
In addition, the My Private Audio site, apparently written by a friend of Kane and his son, talks about how Kane was pulled over in New Mexico last month for not having a driver’s license. Many Patriots who call themselves “sovereign citizens” do not believe they are required to carry driver’s licenses, pay taxes, or obey most laws. The site also carried other signs of Patriot beliefs, including discussions of implantable microchips and the Council of Foreign Relations, an object of much Patriot conspiracy theorizing.
According to reports, the minivan driven by Kane during Thursday’s shootout — which also left two other police officers injured — was registered to an address in New Vienna, Ohio, called House of God’s Prayer. The building once housed the Ohio headquarters of the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations, which was sometimes known as the Church of Jesus Christ Christian. The Ohio unit was headed by a violent white supremacist named Ray Redfeairn, who died in 2003. The church is reportedly owned by a man named Hoge Tabor of Middletown, Ohio.
The New Vienna Aryan Nations operation was infiltrated in the late 1990s by an FBI informant named Dave Hall, who wrote a 2008 book — Into the Devil’s Den — with his FBI handler, Tym Burkey. In the book, Hall writes that Tabor had been a Klansman for close to five decades. In an interview today with Hatewatch, Hall reiterated that Tabor was a long-time Klansman who actually had a calming influence on Redfeairn, who once shot and nearly killed a police officer. “I saw Hoge talking a few times with Redfeairn, saying he ought to tone down his sermons a little bit and discuss the positive side of being white,” Hall said. He also recalled that the House of God’s Prayer building was once a Klan meeting hall, long before Tabor acquired it and Redfeairn began using it as an Aryan Nations office.
It’s not yet known what connection Kane and his son, Joseph Taylor Kane, may have had to Tabor or Aryan Nations. What is clear, however, is that the elder Kane was involved in a world of Patriot conspiracy theories and had spent much time traveling the country and teaching them to others.
Conflicts between so-called sovereign citizens and law enforcement are common, probably because such people do not believe they need driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations and so are often pulled over. In June 1995, for instance, a Frazeyburg, Ohio, police officer shot and killed Michael Hill, a sovereign citizen activist. Hill tried to shoot the officer after being pulled over.
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William Gheen, the obstreperous head of the nativist group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, has pulled his group out of all June Arizona rallies backing that state’s controversial new illegal immigration law. Gheen said he is doing so because former Colorado Republican congressman Tom Tancredo, one of the country’s most hard-line opponents of illegal immigration, is supporting one event in which racist skinheads and neo-Nazis may be involved.
That rally, scheduled for June 5 in Phoenix, is being organized by Dan Smeriglio, founder of Voice of the People USA, an anti-illegal immigration group based in Pennsylvania. Gheen says it could hurt, not help, the efforts of those supporting SB 1070, the bill signed last month by Gov. Jan Brewer giving police wide latitude to detain anybody they think may be in the country illegally and making failure of non-citizens to carry immigration documents a crime. Critics say the law will subject Latinos, whether citizens or not, to racial profiling and police harassment in a state whose population is 30% Hispanic. President Obama, among others, has criticized the law, and a number of cities around the country have voted to protest it by halting business travel to Arizona and banning contracts with businesses there.
Gheen supports the law and initially favored the June 5 rally. But he notified supporters on Tuesday that ALIPAC won’t be attending or promoting any rallies scheduled next month in Arizona to support SB 1070. “We will have no future dealings with Dan Smeriglio or retired Congressman Tom Tancredo due to the neo-Nazi connections and this disaster they have cooked up in Arizona that puts our issue at risk,” Gheen wrote.
Gheen became concerned after a Philadelphia-based anti-hate group called One People’s Project criticized ALIPAC for associating with Smeriglio, who it said was working with racist skinheads. Gheen checked and concluded that was true. He learned, for example, that among the “friends” that Smeriglio listed on his Facebook page was Steve Smith, a regional coordinator of Keystone United, a Pennsylvania racist skinhead group with several chapters. Smith’s Facebook page also indicated he’s a fan of a Swedish white nationalist singer named Saga, whose ditties have included “Goodbye, David Lane.” Lane, a convicted terrorist who died in 2007 while serving a 190-year prison sentence, remains one of the most revered figures in the white nationalist movement. He came up with the famous “14 Words” slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.” ( continue to full post… )
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A firearms and explosives expert suspected of involvement with two white supremacist brothers in the sending of a bomb to the office of a municipal diversity officer was sentenced to 6½ years in prison in Missouri on Tuesday.
Robert Joos Jr., an antigovernment zealot and pastor of a church of “apocalyptic Christians,” was convicted in January of being a felon in possession of firearms and a felon in possession of explosives. He had a prior conviction for unlawful use of a weapon.
Joos, 56, was indicted last year along with twin brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon, following a lengthy investigation into the delivery of a mail bomb to the office of Scottsdale, Ariz., diversity officer Don Logan in 2004. Logan, who is black, needed extensive surgery for injuries to his hands and arms. His secretary suffered injuries to her face and eyes. The Mahons are awaiting trial.
Investigators began looking at Joos after phone records the morning of the bombing showed that the first telephone call that Dennis Mahon made after the attack was to a cell phone in Joos’ name. During the subsequent investigation, the brothers allegedly said that Joos’ 200-acre property in rural McDonald County, Mo., was used as a training facility for white supremacists.
Joos told undercover agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he had caches of weapons, food and water in caves on his property where he would go to avoid capture or attack, authorities said. One undercover agent told Joos he was having trouble with “Kenites” — a word that is apparently used to denote Jews by some anti-Semitic Christian Identity pastors — and Joos mailed him instructions for making a homemade bomb, along with a detailed drawing, according to federal prosecutors. (Most Christian Identity adherents maintain that Eve had sex with Satan and produced a child, Cain, from whom Jews are descended.)
Five shotguns, five hunting rifles and five pistols were recovered from Joos’ property, along with more than 19,000 rounds of ammunition and bomb-making components such as fuses and blasting caps.