Some residents in a Mobile, Ala. neighborhood found white supremacist newspapers on their front lawns Thursday morning, five days after the racially charged beating of a white man by a group of about 20 African Americans.
According to witnesses, the attack on Matthew Owens, 40, came after Owens confronted and displayed knives to children who had chased a loose basketball into his yard. But witnesses also said one of the attackers said, “Now that’s justice for Trayvon,” a reference to Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida.
One of the racist newspapers obtained by WPMI-TV was a 2009 copy of The Aryan Alternative, a periodical originally published by Alex Linder, founder of the white supremacist website Vanguard News Network, and Glenn Miller, a former Klan leader.
Linder seems to be unaware of who distributed the newspapers. Yesterday, on Vanguard News Network, he asked if anyone on the forum knew anything about it. He said that “we haven’t published it [The Aryan Alternative] in years” but that he’s “certainly in favor of the paper being distributed there and everywhere.”
A former member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, Linder was arrested in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2007 after he attacked a police officer during a neo-Nazi rally. He was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, vandalism and assault on a police officer. He reportedly pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and got six months’ probation. Since leaving the NA, Linder has worked closely with other white supremacists and has a particular interest in protesting what he claims are “anti-white hate crimes.”
Miller was one of the first white supremacists to use paramilitary tactics with his group, the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (based in North Carolina), which later evolved into the White Patriot Party. In 1986, Miller went underground after mailing a letter to 5,000 people calling for “total war” against the feds, blacks and Jews. He was also in violation of a court order that stemmed from a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center that prohibited Miller from operating a paramilitary organization. He was arrested after a nationwide manhunt but served only three years in prison because he testified against 14 other leading white supremacists in a 1988 sedition trial in Arkansas.
Mobile police have arrested Terry Rawls, 44, in the beating of Owens. Police said today that three or four more arrests are possible.
Rawls and Owens have a history of conflict dating back to 2009. Mobile police spokesman Christopher Levy said the beating was a result of bad blood between the two men and had nothing to do with Trayvon Martin’s death. Owens, who remains in the hospital, has been upgraded from critical to serious condition.