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William Gheen, head of the nativist extremist group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), has certainly made a spectacle of himself this week. Shocked at the backlash from his proclamation Monday that “illegal and violent” “extra-political activities” might be the only way to save “white America” from “Dictator Barack Obama,” he is scrambling with all the effectiveness of a bug stuck on a pin to pretend he didn’t say what he said.
Gheen’s remarks, first reported Monday by Right Wing Watch, spread rapidly across the web, appearing on Media Matters, Daily Kos, Mother Jones, this blog, and myriad smaller venues. By Tuesday evening, he was in full defense mode, backpedalling and accusing the media of deliberately twisting his words.
Radio host Alan Colmes, who had linked to the interview with right-wing radio host Janet Mefferd on his own radio site under the headline, “William Gheen: Violent, Illegal Activities May Be Needed to Bring Down Obama,” Tuesday evening gave him an opportunity to clarify.
Breathless and agitated, Gheen told Colmes that that 80% of Americans agree with ALIPAC’s position on immigration, and that he himself has so thoroughly demonstrated his commitment to peace that it’s “ridiculous” that anyone would imagine he thought violence might be the only way to stop Obama.
Here’s a sample exchange:
Colmes: “Your words were, ‘violent’ and…”
Gheen: “I never said that was needed. I never said that was needed to bring down Obama like you said on your website.”
Colmes: “Well, tell me what you mean.”
Gheen: “I was reporting the condition of the American people.”
Colmes: “That’s not you said on that show.”
Gheen: “Well, I don’t have to!”
Colmes: “How am I supposed to know what you mean? What am I, psychic? … Mr. Gheen, I’m only repeating your own words.”
Ultimately, Gheen conceded: “I was speaking off the cuff and I should have prepared my comments a little bit better so they would not be exploited by my political opposition.” Colmes objected to the word “exploited,” but let him let him off fairly easy: “The rhetoric you used on this show seemed to probably not reflect what you truly in your heart believe, and thus you may have been misinterpreted, but they are your own words that you did use.”
Those weren’t Gheen’s only words. In the same Monday interview in which he suggested that those who wished to save “white America” from dictatorship might have to resort to violence, he also proposed that a military coup would do the trick.
“I didn’t say just impeachment. I said remove him from office because some people are also leaning to the words ‘treason’ and talking about the military coming in or somebody just coming in taking this guy into some form of arrest if we’re doing this,” he told Meferd.
“What does a nation do when this happens? We may have to try to gather in the streets and demand that Obama step down. But you know when you talk about doing that, you’re gonna gather in the streets of Washington D.C., which where Obama has a support rate of 88% of the blacks and Hispanics who live there.”
Strange words from a non-racist pacifist.
A “clarification” posted Tuesday on ALIPAC’s forum was more of the same. “What peaceful and political hope do we have for any future border or immigration enforcement in America? Those responsible for this well organized invasion and betrayal of the American citizenry know the answer to that…. NONE!”
He continued: “I am greatly saddened that anyone would place Americans in positions to chose between submission and violent revolt, but I am not the one creating that horrible situation, and I consider both options to be deplorable.”
Gheen has made himself perfectly clear. As he sees it, there is no “peaceful and political” way to resolve things, and violence is the only alternative for Americans who don’t want to submit to dictatorship.
Which is exactly what he said in the first place.
Perhaps it will comfort him to know that his rant brought in at least one new supporter. In a post titled, “Congratulations, William Gheen,” Hunter Wallace of the white nationalist hate site Occidental Dissent (motto: “Outlaw Conservatism in Black Run Amerika”) wrote yesterday: “I have quarreled with William Gheen in the past over his support for ‘legal immigration’ from Latin America and his tireless attempts to distance ALIPAC from ‘extremist groups,’ but I now believe that Mr. Gheen is starting to realize the true magnitude of the crisis we are facing.”