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

Apparent Eco-Terrorist Holding Hostages at TV Building

By Mark Potok on September 1, 2010 - 2:52 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

The gunman holding hostages in the Silver Spring, Md., headquarters of the Discovery Channel has been tentatively identified as James Jay Lee, an apparent eco-fascist who thinks that immigrants are breeding “filthy human children” and helping to wreck the planet. Lee, 43, had been arrested in February 2008 at a rally he organized outside the same building to demand the channel help find solutions to the global population explosion and the extinction of many animal species.

Authorities said the man — who they said they had not positively identified yet —walked into the building early this afternoon with a gun and what appeared to be explosive canisters attached to his body. At about 3:15 p.m. Eastern, police said they were negotiating with the man, who was holding “a small number of hostages.” They said they knew of no injuries, despite an early unconfirmed report that at least one shot was fired during the incident.

In a list of demands he apparently posted before invading the Discovery building, Lee, whose MySpace page identifies him as a Silver Springs resident, repeatedly spoke of “parasitic human infants” and “unwanted pollution babies” and furiously argued that humans were destroying the planet with pollution, war and over-population. But unlike earlier eco-terrorists like Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Lee zeroed in on immigrants as a primary evil. He spoke of “anchor baby filth,” a reference to babies born in the United States to undocumented immigrants.

“NO MORE BABIES!” he wrote in his list of demands. “Population growth is a real crisis. Even one child born in the US will use 30 to a thousand times more resources than a Third World child. It’s like a couple are having 30 babies even though it’s just one. If the US goes in this direction maybe other countries will too!”

The argument that immigration fuels environmental degradation has become increasingly popular in nativist circles. In late July, in fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a special report — “Greenwash: Nativists, Environmentalism & the Hypocrisy of Hate” — that detailed how right-wing immigration restrictionists were attempting to appeal to environmentalists to join their battle. The report suggested that most of those making such appeals were disingenuous about their interest in the environment, and were merely cynically seeking allies.

That doesn’t seem to be the case with Lee, who seems to have started out as an environmentalist, but one who became more and more extreme. On his MySpace page, he calls for “REVOLUTION!” and describes himself as an atheist. In his set of demands, he says: “Nothing is more important than saving … Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, Squirrels. The humans? The planet does not need humans.”

According to his set of demands, Lee invaded the Discovery building in an attempt to force the network to introduce programming pushing for population control and against warfare that is destructive to the planet.

  • Kepler


    Perhaps the SPLC doesn’t deserve a pass because the consistently try to find a racist and/or violent extremist under every Tea Party beach chair, but consistently failing to discuss the genuine racial hatred being promulgated by people like Jeremiah Wright. OK, fine, so they list a couple of black extremist groups; nevertheless the bulk of the SPLC’s efforts are wasted (WASTED!) on the Tea Party. I myself am somewhat Tea Party aligned. I am proud of the undeniable fact that every Tea Party event I have attended looks very much like a cross section of America: whites, blacks, Asians, Latin Americans…everyone. Without exception, the kooks are forced to the sidelines. Unfortunately, the sidelines are where the media usually remain. Unless someone has actually been to a Tea Party Rally himself or herself, you have no real knowledge of what they are about. Anyone who relies on what the media says about the Tea Party is a rube.

    So, give the SPLC credit? Not until they actually report facts, rather than lies and distortions. The SPLC are not much better than the hate and fear mongers they occasionally report about.

  • Mr_wave

    Its funny that wing-nuts never give the the SPLC credit when they criticize nuts like this who probably fall on the other side of the aisle. If they bother to look on the intelligence report they would see plenty of black and non-white hate groups on the intelligent map. I guess it doesn’t fit in their troll propaganda so they will close their eyes, ears, and mouth and act like it doesn’t exist.

  • Ryan

    Can we get one thing clear? He wasn’t a racist, he was a misanthrope: he was quite clear that he hated everyone.

  • Tango4

    Daemonesslisa: Once again, you swing the debate over to the Tea Party. Were you burned by a cup of hot tea as a child?

  • Shadow Wolf

    Phillip–“What part of hostage taking is not extreme?”

    What part of what I said did you not understand?. “hostage taking” is not rhetoric, nor is it an idealogy. Its a desperate criminal act under desperate circumstances.

  • Snorlax

    One of the claims against the SPLC is that they only keep tabs on conservative whackos and only sue white supremacist groups. They claim the SPLC is partisan.

    You can plainly see black supremacist groups and other groups on the SPLC map and Intelligence Report. This should disabuse anyone of the notion that the SPLC takes a partisan political stance to terrorism. They don’t.

    The SPLC has even noted when Jewish fellers go off the deep end. And they’re noting this eco-freak going nuts. They really don’t take sides in this at all. They do their job.

    When people go off the deep end and join a terrorist group or just go lone nut psycho, they come in all shapes and sizes, colors and creeds. We need to keep close watch on ALL of them. Our very civilization depends on it.

  • Philip

    ShadowWolf : “I’m confused as to why he is on the Hatewatch news, since the eco-lunatic isn’t an extremist,”

    What part of hostage taking is not extreme?

  • daemonesslisa

    Reproduction is one of those social gray areas.

    The bottom line is that you can’t tell people how often they should reproduce and expect them to comply. It’s simply human nature.

    So the best thing you can do is to push contraception, make it a trend.

    Except…then you get religious people involved and they have the funds to stop any kind of contraception ad campaign. And some of these religious people take root in the tea parties who want to do away with female reproductive rights in general, as well as racialist movements that only want white women to give birth (contraception/sterilization for the rest).

    The only real solution is to let nature take its own course. All humans eventually die.

  • Shadow Wolf

    It isn’t clear if the man was racist. He did have concerns for overpopulation and rightfully so. And expressed his disdain for “Humans”, which isn’t exactly a race. “Immigrants” (excluding Natives) can be anyone who isn’t indigenous to the U.S. And ironically, he was inspired by the environmental rhetoric of former Vice President Al Gore.

    I’m confused as to why he is on the Hatewatch news, since the eco-lunatic isn’t an extremist, a White Supremacist, or a hatemonger from the far right. So I assumed, the SPLC is now including–Eco-Terrorists?

    On a second note, I actually agree with some of the notions expressed by Al Gore. And that “humans”, particularly those in power and in capitalistic corporate energy industries(such as B.P. for instance) are doing alot of damage and destruction to Mother Earth.Including those who promote such further destruction, as exemplified by the likes of that wacky wonder from Wahsilla–Sarah Palin: “drill baby drill”. I think the environment issue will be on everyone’s mind in the coming years.

  • Carter

    Not only was the fellow crazy but he’s been in the city too long.
    When idiots bomb “abortion clinics” they kill the very babies they are speaking of saving. Who dies in those conditions? Pregnant mothers.
    When man looses his mind and kills to save life he doesn’t recognize that nature is a very special thing. Sometimes it takes some quite time alone to realize that every life is precious.
    However the man was seriously impaired and thankfully no one but the homicidal jerk got hurt.
    When an idiot attacks a TV station that has more than sit-coms and blathering mind-numbing crap, he defeats his won purpose.

    The one issue this should hopefully bring to the fore is that we have some individuals who really need help. We are in a deep “Catch 22″ in that those individuals who display aberrant behavior have every right to do so. Who would be the deciding Judge to demand an inquisition of sorts on someone who does not agree with the status quo?