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

News Roundup for June 21, 2011

By Hatewatch Staff on June 21, 2011 - 3:39 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim, Sovereign Citizens

The anti-Muslim hate group Stop the Islamization of America has announced its first “Trans-Atlantic Conference” to be held in Strasbourg, France, on July 2. Participants include representatives of various far-right groups, including Stop the Islamisation of Europe, the English Defence League and the German-based Pax Europa.

A Kansas City couple will serve 13 months in prison without parole on charges of fraud after attempting to withdraw funds from a fictitious account and use the money to pay off more than $220,000 in debt. Defendant Roderick Moore claimed the account had been assigned to him by the U.S. Treasury at birth. Such accounts are part of the bizarre belief system of antigovernment “sovereign citizens.”

Four Wisconsin teens were arrested on hate crime charges for allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old girl after making derogatory remarks questioning her sexual orientation. ( continue to full post… )

Pittsburgh Jury Won’t Hear Alleged Cop-Killer’s Racial Slurs

By Bill Morlin on June 21, 2011 - 1:48 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, Extremist Crime

A Pennsylvania man was yelling racial epithets as he fatally shot three Pittsburgh police officers, but a jury hearing the case won’t be allowed to listen to those slurs, a judge ruled today, the second day of trial.

Richard Poplawski, who faces the death penalty if convicted, is accused of murdering officers Eric Kelly, Paul Sciullo Jr. and Stephen Mayhle when they responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in April 2009 at a Pittsburgh home the defendant shared with his mother.

Allegheny County Deputy District Attorney Mark Tranquilli said Poplawski’s statements to police will reveal a racist bent. The 24-year-old defendant’s racial slurs sounded “almost as if he was proud of what he had done. It was his one chance to make the history books,” Tranquilli told the jury, according to various media reports. Officer Kelly was black. ( continue to full post… )

News Roundup for June 20, 2011

By Hatewatch Staff on June 20, 2011 - 4:57 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-LGBT, White Supremacist

Today’s collection of news items from the world of hate and extremism …

William Bolton, a member of Battalion 14, Connecticut’s largest white supremacist group, attempted to sell a sawed-off rifle to someone he believed to be a Ku Klux Klan member.

Marten Joseph Brandel, described by police as a transient and parolee, was arrested and charged with hanging a noose in the doorway of a Southern California gay rights organization in October.

Zachrey Harris will serve 20 days in jail and spend two years on probation for using racial slurs against a Nigerian student during an alcohol-fueled attack near the University of Colorado in Boulder last September. Prosecutors believe it is the first case in Colorado of someone convicted of a hate crime for using words alone. A co-defendant, Joseph Coy, will be sentenced June 27 to up to 18 years in prison for punching the Nigerian student  the face and fracturing several of bones in his face.

A Parade of Anti-Gay Figures Joins Texas Governor’s Prayer Rally

By Ryan Lenz on June 17, 2011 - 4:16 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

For more than a week now, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been under fire for his plans to lead a prayer rally in Houston later this summer that is sponsored by the American Family Association (AFA), a particularly virulent gay-bashing group. A petition is circulating demanding that Perry abandon the event. But its organizers are moving defiantly forward with a new and expanded cast of some of the most charismatic figures in the anti-gay circuit endorsing the governor’s prayer rally.

The event, which has been billed as “The Response,” boasts endorsements from a veritable Who’s Who of the anti-gay movement. Among them is Cindy Jacobs, the Generals International pastor who claims that catastrophic natural events are the product of God’s anger over the acceptance of homosexuality, most famously when she attributed the mass death of blackbirds in Arkansas to divine wrath. “What happens when a nation makes a decision that is against God’s principles? … Nature itself will begin to talk to us,” Jacobs said. ( continue to full post… )

DOJ Study Finds Decline in Hate Crimes Over Last Decade

By Mark Potok on June 17, 2011 - 2:45 pm, Posted in Hate Crime

The Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday released a major new report showing that hate crimes have decreased nationally since 2003 — a trend that mirrors a general drop in all kinds of violent crime over the same period.

The study by the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) was based on detailed surveys of a statistically representative sample of the population. It found an annual average of 195,000 hate crime victimizations between 2003 and 2009, with the numbers bouncing around from year to year but declining overall, from 239,400 in 2003 to 148,400 in 2009. An earlier BJS study, using the same survey methodology but examining hate crimes during the 2000-2003 period, found an average of 210,000 hate crime victimizations per year.

The decline, Northeastern University criminology professor and hate crimes expert Jack McDevitt told Hatewatch, follows a similar national decline in violent crime overall. The apparent reasons for that decline, which likely apply to hate crimes as well, include the shrinking of the national population of 16- to 24-year-olds, who are by far the most crime-prone population cohort; the rise of effective community policing strategies around the country; and the diminished use of particularly crime-associated drugs like crack cocaine and methamphetamines, he said. ( continue to full post… )

Farrakhan Assails the ‘Murderer in the White House’

By Leah Nelson on June 16, 2011 - 4:52 pm, Posted in Anti-Semitic, Anti-White, Black Separatist

Some spiritual leaders distinguish themselves by speaking truth to power. Louis Farrakhan, head of the black separatist hate group Nation of Islam (NOI), instead harangues it with deluded half-truths and hate-laced rhetoric. Lately, his rage has been piqued by U.S. intervention on behalf of Libya’s opposition – whose embattled dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, is a long-time benefactor of NOI.

Speaking at a press conference today near the United Nations building in New York City, Farrakhan showed yet again that he considers no institution too powerful to take on. “What has Muammar Qaddafi done to deserve what this united coalition of demons is putting on him?” he said, according to The Associated Press. President Obama, “surrounded by people who are Zionist-controlled or Zionist,” is making a terrible mistake and putting himself on the wrong side of history, he declared.

Remarkably, this is not the worst thing Farrakhan has said about the nation’s first black president. “We voted for our Brother Barack. Beautiful human being with a sweet heart. And now, he’s an assassin,” he declared in Harlem’s Salem United Methodist Church last month, pausing for the applause of the 500 American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) members in the audience. (The ACLC is affiliated with the Unification Church, a Christian-based new religion founded by Korean clergyman Rev. Sun Myung Moon. NOI and the Unification Church have worked together before, most notably on Farrakhan’s “Million Family March” in 2000.) You’ve been deceived. You talk about a man killing his own people when you lied to the American people, saying that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. When you lie and then take innocent young men who have come to serve their country and send them to Iraq and Afghanistan over lies. That’s a murderer in the White House. Who will say it? I will!” ( continue to full post… )

Major Campus Group, Holding First National Conference in Capital Area Tomorrow, Has Racist Roots

By Mark Potok on June 16, 2011 - 11:36 am, Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-LGBT, White Nationalism

Editor’s Note: This lengthy story is slated for publication in a future issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, but is published early here because the group it focuses on, Youth for Western Civilization, is holding its first national conference this Friday through Sunday at an undisclosed location in the Washington, D.C., area. To read a summary of the report’s key findings, see here.

By Mark Potok and Evelyn Schlatter

Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) — a 5-year-old ultraconservative student group whose national conference in Washington, D.C., this Friday is being billed by its leader as the organization’s “real birth” — asserts that it is “not a racist group.” Its only purpose, says the group that claims a swelling presence on U.S. campuses and even abroad, is to defend “Western civilization.”

But what exactly does YWC mean by that?

The answer to that question was never clearer than this April, when racist ideologue Jared Taylor wrote a cover letter to his subscribers asking for support for YWC and its leader, Kevin DeAnna (pictured at right), who Taylor described as “an eloquent and distinguished young man who knows how important our cultural identity is.”

After reminding his backers that “race and race conflict” are at the core of the problems the West faces, Taylor said DeAnna “has agreed to continue our struggle on college campuses throughout the nation and dedicated himself to reaching our children and grandchildren.” For his part, DeAnna warned in an accompanying letter of the perils of “radical multiculturalism,” boasting that he had “defended western culture” against the “far left” that is trying to “destroy our people and culture.”

DeAnna’s fundraising partner, Jared Taylor, edits American Renaissance, a journal that specializes in issues of race, intelligence and the “psychopathology” of black people. In it, Taylor once mused: “When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” Taylor’s biannual conferences have featured a Who’s Who of radical-right leaders, including former Klan boss David Duke and an array of leading neo-Nazi activists.

YWC is not some tiny Klan group on the margins of society. It claims a presence at nearly a dozen American universities, along with others in Canada and the United Kingdom. It appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a key Washington political venue, in 2009 and 2011, when it sponsored a panel on immigration. In 2010, it launched its own Internet radio show, “Western Resistance Radio.” Its honorary chairman is former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo, a well-known immigration opponent and Tea Party favorite. Perhaps most worrying of all are YWC’s close ties to The Leadership Institute, an organization with a budget of some $10 million that claims to have trained close to 100,000 “future conservative leaders” — people like top Bush advisor Karl Rove — and that now employs DeAnna as a leading official of its campus leadership program.

The key question, as YWC attempts to organize new campus chapters through this week’s national conference, is whether it will continue to grow. ( continue to full post… )

Preparedness Expo Set in Area Where ‘Patriot’ Fugitive is Sought

By Bill Morlin on June 16, 2011 - 9:07 am, Posted in Extremist Commerce, Extremist Crime

Federal fugitive David Earl Burgert would likely find a survivalist, government-bashing event set for this weekend much to his liking. What’s more, it would probably be convenient — after all, it’s just down the road from a shootout he allegedly had last Sunday with deputies in western Montana.

On Saturday, a group of self-described constitutionalists and “Patriots” called the Flathead Liberty Bell will host a “Preparedness Expo” at Valley Victory Christian Church in Kalispell. That’s the same community where Burgert lived in 2002, when he headed a secret militia group called “Project 7” whose activities sent him to federal prison on weapons charges for eight years.

Those scheduled to speak at the survivalist gathering include antigovernment headliners Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, a group of law enforcement officers, members of the military and veterans with a conspiratorial bent; Chuck Baldwin, a former presidential candidate of the far-right Constitution Party; former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, a hero to many Patriots for challenging a 1990s gun control law; and “special guest” Randy Weaver, a white supremacist who engaged in a famous standoff on Ruby Ridge with federal authorities in 1992. ( continue to full post… )

Businessman, Using ‘Sovereign’ Tactics, Loses Control of Pizza Chain

By Robert Steinback on June 15, 2011 - 3:24 pm, Posted in Sovereign Citizens

This is a story for the “So you thought rich business owners are smarter than you are” file.

A man who epitomizes the American dream – a Greek immigrant who started out as a cook in a Giordano’s Pizza restaurant in Chicago and rose to become owner of the 45-location chain – is on the verge of losing it all, in part because he has resorted to pseudo-legal tactics favored by antigovernment “sovereign citizens.” ( continue to full post… )

Tea Party Patriots Wallow in Muslim-Bashing Gutter with Geller

By Leah Nelson on June 15, 2011 - 11:11 am, Posted in Anti-Muslim

The Tea Party Patriots has already gained notoriety as the Tea Party group that’s most willing to fraternize with some of the most extreme elements of the right. The group further cemented that reputation last weekend by hosting an address by Pam Geller, the shrill co-head of the New York-based Stop Islamization of America and a major force in turning Manhattan’s “Ground Zero Mosque” into a national controversy.

The Patriots received a heavy dose of Muslim-bashing and circle-the-wagons paranoia. A video of her speech is posted on her Atlas Shrugs website.

“The stealth jihad is very real,” the heavily made-up queen of Islamophobia told her Fort Lauderdale, Fla. audience. “I’m talking about the academic, the economic, the legal, the social, and the cultural jihad in this country. It is a covert operation, although increasingly more brazen under Obama.” ( continue to full post… )