The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Saying Kevin W. Harpham hasn’t accepted responsibility for planting a potentially deadly bomb along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day unity march in Spokane, Wash., a federal judge on Tuesday sentenced the white supremacist to 32 years in prison.
“I’m distressed that you’re not the least bit apologetic or accepted responsibility,” U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush told the 37-year-old racist bomb builder. “Kevin Harpham,” the judge continued, “you’ve made a terrible mistake by letting your racist prejudices control your actions.”
The federal judge handed down the 32-year prison term after Harpham attempted to withdraw two guilty pleas he entered in September as part of a plea deal to avoid spending his entire life in prison. Under the deal, he faced a sentencing range of 27 to 32 years, and the judge gave him the maximum. ( continue to full post… )
Another year, another horror. As we close out another 12 months of mayhem, criminal violence and just plain stupidity on the radical right, it’s time, once again, to compile our annual year-end roster of winners of Hatewatch’s Smackdown Awards. And this year’s been a doozy — from neo-Nazis trying to hide their past to irrepressible birthers and on to all manner of other hypocrites of the extreme right. So, without further ado and with apologies to Keith Olbermann, here are the awards as picked out by Hatewatch’s 5th Annual Smackdown Awards Committee. ( continue to full post… )
If you Google the phrase “FEMA camps,” the first several links that come up will be websites like far-right conspiracist Alex Jones’ InfoWars (“Because there is a war on for your mind”) and the United American Freedom Foundation (“Providing International News From An Extreme Right Viewpoint”). Click around a bit and you’ll find a bevy of far-right outfits fretting that, any day now, federal agents will start hauling off law-abiding, God-fearing Americans to secret “concentration camps” run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
But if you search long enough, you may notice something strange: The theory – which began almost three decades ago with a warning from the extreme-right, anti-Semitic Posse Comitatus that “hardcore Patriots” would be imprisoned in FEMA detention camps – is no longer solely the province of the radical right. ( continue to full post… )
The suspect who shot and killed a Pennsylvania police officer and wounded a second policeman over the weekend died himself Monday in a gunfight with lawmen who surrounded his house in Webster, Pa.
Eli Franklin Myers III, 58, died in a hail of gunfire after he exited his home on Logan Street, firing a large-caliber handgun at Special Response Team officers who had identified him as the suspect in the deadly police shooting the previous night. ( continue to full post… )
The latest round of legal problems for August B. Kreis III, the self-appointed director of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, is over now that a judge in South Carolina handed down a six-month sentence for his efforts to defraud the federal government.
Kreis was sentenced yesterday to six months in jail –– time he has already served –– in addition to six months of house arrest and two years of probation. But ever defiant, despite pleading guilty in August, Kreis remained unapologetic for his actions and the life he has led. “I don’t preach to hurt anybody, except the Jews, and I’ll keep doing that,” he said. “But that’s my First Amendment rights. As long as I obey God’s laws, I don’t care about anything else.”
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Avoiding controversy was the stated aim when Lowe’s, the home improvement giant, bowed to pressure from a Florida evangelical group by pulling its ads from a TV reality show that makes Muslims look like ordinary Americans rather than terrorists.
But now the chain’s act of enabling bigots has boomeranged into a black-eye controversy, a PR nightmare: The company faces an accelerating deluge of attacks in social and traditional media, outrage from political and religious leaders, and on-site protests scheduled for at least one of its stores in a heavily Muslim community. ( continue to full post… )
A 22-year-old man who shouted slurs at a lesbian couple before breaking the windshield of their car soon found himself in a vulnerable position – pinned to the ground by one of the targets of his vitriol.
According to police, William Adam Lane confronted two women after seeing them embracing romantically outside a bar early Sunday, yelling “Fucking faggots. You fucking lesbians.” He then smashed the rear window of their car, according to the arrest report.
That’s when one of the women jumped into action. She went after Lane and held him down, while a bouncer from a nearby bar came to help until police arrived. But Mark Young, a spokesman for the Bellingham Police Department, said it wasn’t quite as simple as keeping the man from running. ( continue to full post… )
No one knows for sure what was going through the head of 18-year-old Joaquin Luna Jr. when he committed suicide last month. His family told reporters they suspect he was motivated by despair over the limitations posed by his status as an undocumented immigrant. His suicide note (which the family had not yet seen when they made their initial comments to the press), included no reference to immigration status – though in a letter addressed to Jesus Christ, Luna reportedly asked for forgiveness and wrote, “I’ve realized that I have no chance in becoming a civil engineer the way I’ve always dreamed of here … so I’m planning on going to you and helping you construct the new temple in heaven.”
Luna’s half-brother, Diyer Mendoza, 35, told reporters that Luna, who was an infant when his parents brought him from Mexico to the United States, was in despair over the obstacles to education and employment his immigration status posed. “We lived with him, so we know, and it doesn’t matter what other people say,” he said. “Every time he would put in an application, the first thing that would pop up was ‘Are you a U.S. citizen?’ No. ‘Resident?’ No. ‘Social Security number?’ No. It was all just mounting and mounting on top of him. I truly believe that if that Dream Act would have already passed, he would still be here today.”
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Amid mounting criticism, home improvement giant Lowe’s Cos. Inc. is sticking by a decision to pull its ads from the TV reality show “All-American Muslim,” caving to pressure from the Florida Family Association, a conservative evangelical group that boasts it has persuaded more than 60 companies to cancel their ads too.
The weekly show on TLC depicts the lives of five Muslim families living in Dearborn, Mich. Show spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg says it has slightly over a million viewers per episode.
By depicting Muslims as ordinary Americans, the program “riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values,” the Florida Family Association (FFA) website says. The site was hacked into and shut down by Anonymous today. ( continue to full post… )
A man with an antigovernment past was going to be arrested on multiple counts of child rape and child molestation a day after he killed two women and turned his southwestern Washington home into a bullet-sprayed inferno.
Steven Douglas Stanbary had been told by his attorney to surrender on Dec. 8 to detectives with the Washougal Police Department. He would have faced multiple counts of rape of a child and child molestation, Sgt. Allen Cook told Hatewatch today.
“It was an active investigation, and he would have been arrested, booked into jail, based on probable cause to believe he had committed these crimes,” Cook said. ( continue to full post… )