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

Felon, Angry at ‘Left-Wing’ Drift, Said to Shoot at Police

By Larry Keller on July 20, 2010 - 4:14 pm, Posted in Antigovernment

A California felon whose mother said he was disgruntled by “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items,” was shot several times and arrested after he allegedly began shooting at highway patrol officers who stopped him for a traffic citation.

Byron Williams, 45, of the central California town of Groveland, shot it out for about 15 minutes with California Highway Patrol officers early on Sunday after they stopped him for traffic violations in his Toyota Tundra on an interstate in Oakland, according to authorities.

Williams is a federal parolee who was released from prison two or three years ago after serving time for a California bank robbery in 2002. He also had earlier convictions in Washington state for assault, property destruction, drunken driving and hit-and-run, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The unemployed carpenter was frustrated at his inability to find work, his mother, Janice Williams, told reporters.

“He’s been upset with the direction the country is going,” she told Sacramento’s News10. “He feels the people of this country are being raped by our government and politicians.” She added that her son blamed politicians for destroying the U.S. economy.

As officers approached Williams’ truck, they said he picked up a handgun and began shooting at them. Officers returned fire and radioed for assistance. Ten officers in all fired at Williams, who also had a rifle and a shotgun.  He was hit several times but was wearing a bulletproof vest and survived. He was hospitalized in stable condition. A bomb squad also detonated a suspicious object found in Williams’ truck. No officers were shot, but two were treated for injuries from flying glass.

Oakland police are investigating the incident. They have not offered a motive for Williams’ alleged actions, but say they are executing search warrants in other cities and looking for possible accomplices.

Williams’ mother said that, unknown to her, her son took her truck and weapons she had legally bought and kept locked in a safe in her house. She told the San Francisco Chronicle she had the guns because “eventually, I think we’re going to be caught up in a revolution.” She added that she had told her son many times that “he didn’t have to be on the front lines” of that revolution. ( continue to full post… )

Another Long, Hot Black Nationalist Summer at Fox News

By Alexander Zaitchik on July 19, 2010 - 4:50 pm, Posted in Media Extremism

It must be July, because Fox News is once again hyperventilating over a racially charged non-story. One year ago, it was Glenn Beck’s crusade against Van Jones, the White House environmental advisor who, the host charged, day after day and against all available evidence, was a black nationalist using green jobs as a form of “stealth reparations.”

One year later, the channel’s marquee hosts and anchors are tag-teaming a new fear-mongering race fantasy — the idea that the New Black Panther Party, with the assistance of the Obama Administration, is currently hanging its black militant fangs directly over the arteries of the republic.

On nearly 100 occasions since June 30, Fox News anchors and hosts have breathlessly discussed the marginal group and the “scandal” of the Justice Department’s dismissal of a voter intimidation case filed against two of its members who were videotaped standing outside a Philadelphia poll station on Election Day 2008. (For more sober accounts of the events, read here and here and here.)

Nobody familiar with the Fox network’s long history of crude and transparent race-baiting should be surprised by the conclusion of Abigail Thernstrom, a conservative George W. Bush appointee on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. “This doesn’t have to do with the Black Panthers,” Thernstrom told Politico. “This has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration.”

And what better way to do that than play sensationalized loops of militant-looking black men with zero political power or connections to the White House? ( continue to full post… )

Former Wheaties Spokesman Said to Back Racist Party

By Larry Keller on July 15, 2010 - 8:30 am, Posted in Anti-Black, White Nationalism

Bob RichardsThere was a time when former Olympic athlete Bob Richards seemed the personification of the all-American man: A two-time gold medal winner in the pole vault, he was the first jock to appear on the front of boxes of Wheaties — “the breakfast of champions” — as well as the first spokesman for the cereal.

But for some, Richards is the all-American white gentile man. In a message posted on the website of the white supremacist American Third Position — the A3P — chairman William Daniel Johnson says that he met recently with Richards at the latter’s sprawling ranch west of Dallas. “Bob Richards has joined our cause,” Johnson proclaimed. Hatewatch’s calls to Richards’ ranch yesterday seeking comment were not returned.

That A3P’s cause is to “represent the political interests of White Americans,” according to its mission statement. The California-based organization hopes to unite disaffected racists and field candidates for political offices across the United States.

Whether A3P’s overwhelmingly young male members and sympathizers have even heard of or care about an octogenarian whose popularity waned decades ago remains to be seen.

The A3P became active in January and has recruited some of the leading lights of the contemporary radical right. One of its directors is Kevin MacDonald, a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, who has written a trilogy of anti-Semitic books. Another is James Edwards, host of the racist Tennessee radio program, “The Political Cesspool.” As for Johnson, the chairman, he’s a veteran white supremacist who has been cozy with Klansmen and neo-Nazis. The Los Angeles lawyer has advocated stripping the citizenship of and deporting millions of non-whites — indeed, anyone with a “discernible trace of Negro blood” — from America.

That Richards, 84, apparently is sympathetic to the A3P isn’t all that surprising, despite the squeaky clean image he enjoyed as a gold medal athlete (1952 and 1956), Wheaties icon, reverend in the conservative Church of the Brethren and motivational speaker. In 1984, he was the presidential candidate of the newly formed U.S. Populist Party created by Willis Carto, a racist, Holocaust-denying publisher. Richards and his running mate received 66,324 votes out of more than 92 million cast. The Populist Party’s presidential standard-bearer four years later, in 1988, was ex-Klansmen and anti-Semite David Duke; in 1992, it was onetime Green Beret James “Bo” Gritz, an antigovernment zealot who has fretted about gays, feminism and Jews. The Populist Party folded before it could field a candidate for the 1996 election. ( continue to full post… )

The FAIR Files: Attacks On Multiculturalism Will Help

By Heidi Beirich on July 14, 2010 - 1:57 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, White Nationalism

In 1991, Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) sent a report to his board of directors under the subject line: “The Defenders of American culture Rise to the Call to Arms.” In the memo, which is archived at George Washington University’s Gelman Library, Stein, who was then FAIR’s executive director and today is the organization’s president, celebrated a new “disdain” in the media and among intellectuals for “the political agenda of those who openly attack the contributions of Western Civilization.” He was particularly happy that “multicultural and Politically Correct” school curricula had come under criticism.

Stein’s report expressed the hope that mounting criticism of multiculturalism would eventually lead to attacks on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended years of racist immigration policy (under a national origins quota system heavily skewed against non-whites and even darker-skinned Europeans) and initiated a wave of non-white immigration to the U.S. For Stein, the 1965 Act was “a key mistake in national policy” and a “source of error.”

Stein is not the only key FAIR leader concerned that today’s immigrants are harmful to Western civilization. FAIR founder and board member John Tanton has repeatedly made the argument that a declining white population will end in American cultural ruin. In a Dec. 10, 1993, letter to Garrett Hardin, a controversial ecology professor, he said: “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” On Jan. 26, 1996, he wrote Roy Beck, head of the immigration-restrictionist group NumbersUSA (and then an employee of Tanton’s foundation U.S. Inc.), questioning whether Latinos were capable of governing California. Referring to the changing demographics in California’s public schools, Tanton wondered “whether the minorities who are going to inherit California (85% of the lower-grade school children are now ‘minorities’ — demography is destiny) can run an advanced society?”

Tanton went so far as to propose creating a “League for European-American Defense, Education and Research” or, to use Tanton’s acronym, LEADERs. LEADERs would defend “ourselves and our tradition against attacks,” counter “the denigration of Western culture” which Tanton wrote is “under siege,” and stop the “reduction of the European-American demographic and cultural majority to minority status.”

The way back to that promised land, apparently, is to erase the legacy of the 1965 Act. As shown in Tanton’s correspondence, which is stored at the Bentley Historical Library at University of Michigan, the FAIR founder is a big fan of the Immigration Act of 1924, which kept the vast majority of non-whites from immigration to the U.S. In a Nov. 3, 1995, memo to Stein and the entire FAIR board of advisers, Tanton mocked the idea that the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned Chinese immigration to the U.S. and ultimately was subsumed into the 1924 Act, was racist. He also defended the infamous “White Australia” policy that restricted non-white immigration into that country from 1901 to 1973, saying it was not racist, but intended to protect native-born labor. The Australians disagreed, passing the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act to outlaw racially based immigration quotas in the island nation. ( continue to full post… )

Hate Groups Donate to Arizona Law’s Defense

By Heidi Beirich on July 13, 2010 - 2:35 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, White Nationalism

This morning, the white supremacist political party American Third Position (A3P) proudly announced its donation to the fund recently established by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to defend that state’s controversial new immigration law. “The American Third Position has just made a triple-digit donation to Arizona’s Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund,” the group announced in an E-mail alert. In describing its own mission, A3P says it “exists to represent the political interests of White Americans.”

The statute that Brewer signed into law in April, commonly known as SB 1070, is a harsh anti-immigration ordinance that would make the failure of non-citizens to carry immigration documents a crime and that obligates police to check the immigration status of those people they come into lawful contact with if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented immigrants. Last week, the Department of Justice announced that it would sue Arizona to block the law, saying it would encourage illegal racial profiling and also interfere with federal control over immigration policy. The new defense fund, which will help cover the state’s legal fees in the DOJ lawsuit, already has collected nearly $1 million, according to Brewer’s Facebook page.

Brewer claims SB 1070 will not target persons based on their skin color. But A3P begs to differ, seeing SB 1070 as a tool for the reinstatement of white political control. “We support all constructive endeavors by private citizens, businesses, local governments — or in this case a sovereign state — to stem and reverse the browning of America,” the A3P’s E-mail said. “Arizona’s enforcement statute represents the best current opportunity to reduce [brown-skinned immigration]. From its inception, A3P has been disseminating the nightmarish facts regarding the financial, social and demographic consequences of the unprecedented invasion from the south.”

The defense fund is also being pushed on, the largest and oldest white nationalist forum on the Web. Under the headline “Jan Brewer Sets Up SB1070 Defense Fund,” “Adolf Hitlist” admonishes his fellow extremists, “Money where your mouth is time!” ( continue to full post… )

The Ongoing Trial (and Tragicomic Tribulations) of Fallen Minuteman Leader Chris Simcox

By Alexander Zaitchik on July 12, 2010 - 2:03 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Nativist Extremist

In an Arizona Senate campaign in which immigration and border security have been center stage issues, it’s no surprise that Chris Simcox managed to insert himself back into local headlines. Since reinventing himself in 2002 as the charismatic founder of the vigilante border-watch group Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. (MCDC), Simcox has always found a way to command attention.

But the latest chapter in the Simcox saga has been more low-comedy soap opera than high-desert drama. It’s been years since Simcox was the subject of national media attention and a regular guest on Fox News and CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” He began his most recent attempt at a comeback with big ambitions, his goal nothing less than unseating sitting Republican senator John McCain. When his efforts went nowhere and he dropped out of the race, Simcox found himself back in the familiar position of issuing pleading E-mail messages to his remaining (and most gullible) supporters, begging them not to abandon him in his latest hour of financial and legal need.

As Hatewatch noted in early June, Simcox’s estranged wife, Alena Lyras Simcox, has accused him of threatening her and their children with loaded handguns on two occasions in late 2009. He also allegedly threatened to shoot police if his wife called them to their home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Although Simcox denies the allegations, in April a Phoenix judge ordered Simcox to move out of the Scottsdale house, surrender his guns and maintain a distance of 200 yards from his family. His next court hearing in the custody dispute is scheduled for August.

Now, in the July 9 edition of his increasingly self-pitying E-mail newsletter, “The Simcox Report,” Simcox accuses his wife of having been involved in an adulterous relationship with Stacey O’Connell, a former member of the MCDC with whom Simcox has been feuding for years, since November of 2009. (O’Connell has denied the allegation.) Simcox charges that ever since O’Connell was thrown out of the MDCD in 2007, the self-described (but unlicensed) “bounty hunter” has “been engaged in an obsessive, devious plan to ruin my personal life.” In mid-June, in fact, O’Connell’s Fugitive Recovery Services of Arizona issued a “Wanted” poster for Simcox, saying that O’Connell had been hired by Lyras to serve the protective ordered granted to Lyras by the court. In the E-mail, Simcox treats his supporters to a large selection of text messages he says O’Connell has sent him in recent weeks, including one taunting, “i chased your skinny little ass right out of the state, youre such a little man (sic).” ( continue to full post… )

The Recidivist: Mel Gibson Unleashes New Racist Rants

By Heidi Beirich on July 9, 2010 - 11:09 am, Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Latino, Anti-LGBT, Radical Traditionalist Catholic

Mel Gibson just can’t keep his mouth shut. The director and actor’s latest reported epithet-spewing rants (here and here) have slammed “wetbacks” and “niggers,” adding Latinos and African Americans to his hit list of those he is known to slur. Gibson has also been accused of gay-bashing based on comments he once made to a Spanish newspaper.

Earlier this week, the gossip website Radar Online reported exclusively that it had a tape recording of a phone call Gibson made to ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, with whom he has an infant child who is the subject of a custody dispute. “You look like a pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault,” Gibson is said to have told Grigorieva, who recently alleged that Gibson punched her twice in the face and knocked out two teeth. Gibson added, “I am going to come and burn the fucking house down … but you will blow me first.” A day later, Radar reported it had obtained another taped phone call in which Gibson said of one of his staffers, “I will report her to the fucking people that take fucking money from the wetbacks.”

These minorities are only the latest to be targeted by the “Braveheart” star known for his uncontrollable temper. Gibson had already gone after Jews. Who can forget his outburst at a Malibu police officer in July 2006 that started with “Fucking Jews!”

It’s hard to know what drives Gibson, but his hate may be, at least in part, a Gibson family value. His father, Hutton Gibson, is a well-known Holocaust denier and anti-Semite with some seriously strange religious beliefs, at least some of them apparently shared by his son. ( continue to full post… )

Southern Heritage Group Offers Kids Unusual History Lessons

By Heidi Beirich on July 8, 2010 - 4:28 pm, Posted in Neo-Confederate

Each summer, a few lucky young folks, whose parents presumably have neo-Confederate sympathies, spend a week at a Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) Sam Davis Youth Camp. The camps are inspired by the words of a Confederate officer warning that a Southern loss in the Civil War meant its history would be “written by the enemy.

Now in their seventh season, the Southern heritage group’s youth camps are supposed to help parents take “responsibility” for teaching “our Southern history and culture.” They feature a week-long reeducation of sorts, one that is needed, says the SCV, because today’s youth run a “terrible gauntlet” and “many are struck down along the way by one or more of the politically correct influences which flourish in our schools.” The youth camps are meant to harden these youngsters so they can withstand “the liberal, politically correct view of history.”

SCV campers

The camps are heavily indebted to Kirk Lyons, a white supremacist lawyer who led a decade-long effort to recruit hate group members to the SCV (Lyons was at one time a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance). Lyons, who said in 2000 that his goal is “a majority European-derived society,” serves on the SCV committee that oversees the camps. He has lobbied to have SCV funds dedicated to camp scholarships and his own children have participated in the events.

Also serving on the camp’s oversight committee is Ron G. Wilson, a former SCV commander-in-chief (2002-2004) who once served on the board of Lyons’ legal firm. Working closely with Lyons during his tenure as commander, Wilson appointed racists and anti-Semites to key SCV posts, purged some 300 SCV members and leaders who opposed racism, and worked to turn the SCV into an actively neo-Confederate organization. The Sam Davis Youth Camps, which are programs held in various venues rather than specific physical locations, were inaugurated under Wilson’s leadership.

So what does the SCV teach today’s youth? Campers are exposed to various “truths” about what the SCV calls “the War for Southern Independence” and are given “thoughtful instruction” in a whole host of topics: “Southern history, the War Between the States, the theology of the South during the War, lessons on Southern heroes, examples of great men of the Faith, and for the first year, special programs and sessions for our Southern ladies!” ( continue to full post… )

Conspiracists Accuse Bill Gates of Seeking Mass Sterilization

By Heidi Beirich on July 7, 2010 - 11:54 am, Posted in Conspiracies, Patriot Groups

When most people think about Bill Gates, what comes to mind is his great technological success and his resulting great wealth. Many also have warm feelings toward him because of the decision by Gates and his wife to donate the bulk of their multibillion-dollar estate to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose slogan is “all lives have equal value.” The foundation has devoted itself to improving the health and education of children around the globe.

But for radio host Alex Jones, the conspiracy-monger-in-chief of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, that is all complete malarkey. What the Gateses are really up to, Jones claims, is using their vaccines to sterilize and depopulate the world — a tactic that is part of a grand conspiracy by the global elite to seize control of just about everything.

The Alex Jones Show

Why is Jones suddenly so interested in Gates and his foundation’s work? In February, Gates gave a presentation about global warming and the impact humans have on carbon dioxide (CO2) production to the annual TED conference. TED is a small nonprofit that holds annual events that bring together experts in technology, entertainment and design. At the conference, Gates spoke hopefully about the impact of vaccines in the developing world, suggesting that poor families will not feel compelled to have as many children if more of their children are able to survive to adulthood, a view that many population specialists agree with. This would be beneficial in another way, Gates pointed out, because fewer people would ultimately mean lower CO2 emissions.

But that’s not what Alex Jones heard. During a March 2 radio segment in which Jones called Gates “a huge eugenicist” (eugenics is the discredited pseudo-science of creating a better human race through selective breeding), Jones alleged that Gates is part of a massive globalist conspiracy that plans to establish a “scientific dictatorship to control [Americans].” Gates’ aim in promoting vaccines, for Jones, has nothing to do with child health. It is a massive plan for sterilizing the population. ( continue to full post… )

Anti-Roma Violence in Europe: A Q&A With Gwendolyn Albert

By Alexander Zaitchik on July 6, 2010 - 8:34 am, Posted in Anti-Roma, Europe

On Friday, 26 June, CNN International broadcast a documentary called “Scars of Racism” (videos here, here and here). It told the story of a young Czech Roma (commonly known in the U.S. as a “gypsy”) named Natálka Kudriková and the neo-Nazis who almost burned her to death in an arson attack committed last year in the Czech town of Vitkov. It was a rare look by the international media into the anti-Roma violence that has plagued Central and Eastern Europe since the fall of communism two decades ago.

Violence against Roma has emerged as a leading human rights issue not just in the former Soviet bloc, but also across Europe. The perpetrators are often ideologically driven neo-Nazis, sometimes with ties to established political parties. Other times, they are local vigilantes taking the law into their own hands. In the past five years fatal attacks have been reported from Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Russia, Slovakia and Turkey. In Italy, six arsons over the last three years have resulted in multiple fatalities, including children.

Gwendolyn Albert is an American living in Prague who consulted with CNN on “Scars of Racism.” A resident of the Czech Republic since 1990, Albert has been reporting on the human rights situation of the Roma minority in Central and Eastern Europe for the past 15 years. She is currently consulting on research in this area for the Council of Europe’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and the European Roma Rights Centre. Hatewatch recently spoke with Albert about the rise in far-right violence against Roma, and whether international media attention like CNN’s recent documentary is making a difference.

Anti-Roma violence and racism has been a defining feature of post-communist societies since the early 1990s. Are governments finally getting more serious about tackling it?

No government is doing enough, not in Central and Eastern Europe, and certainly not in Western Europe. This violence is not limited to the former communist bloc. France and Italy are probably the worst places in Western Europe to be Roma right now. Italy has been the most publicized and most discussed case, but France has a number of discriminatory institutions in place that disproportionately impact Roma.

What are the most obnoxious elements of Italian policy?

Starting in 2006, cities across Italy have been adopting “Security Pacts” which give local officials the legal powers to target Roma for removal. These forced evictions of Roma have increased during 2010. The Italian police have been using disproportionate force during their evictions of Roma camps for at least five years. This has all been in response to Bulgaria and Romania acceding to the EU [European Union] in 2007 and the large outflow of Roma from both those countries to the West [migration within the EU is unrestricted].

In 2008, the Italian government declared a “state of emergency with regard to nomad community settlements”—this was a legal action unprecedented in post-WWII Europe, the declaration of a state of emergency with respect to a particular ethnic group. Their presence alone is defined as constituting the emergency and local authorities are empowered to fingerprint and photograph all residents of any “nomad community settlement,” including minors, to expel whom they choose, and to open up new camps and order people to live in them. Freedom of movement — of citizens, human beings, not just money and goods — between EU member states is one of the founding principles of the EU, but not where the Roma are concerned, at least not in Italy or France. ( continue to full post… )