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

California Man Caught With Explosives May Be ‘Sovereign Citizen’

By Ryan Lenz on October 30, 2012 - 5:17 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime, Sovereign Citizens

A man who was found with more than 145 pounds of explosives in Brisbane, Calif., might have connections to the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement, an extremist ideology whose adherents believe they don’t have to obey most laws or pay taxes.

Police said William Harrell, 46, completed a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing in Kentucky that listed himself as a debtor to himself in 2010, a tactic used by some sovereigns in an attempt to free themselves of financial obligations. Yet investigators remain unsure whether Harrell is a true believer in the ideology, or rather someone who has merely dabbled in sovereign tactics. ( continue to full post… )

Super-Storm Sandy Spawns Plethora of Conspiracy Theories

By Hatewatch Staff on October 30, 2012 - 3:48 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Antigovernment, Conspiracies

Even before the winds of Hurricane Sandy began to moderate, conspiracy theorists of a variety of bents got busy explaining the real meaning of the storm. Because, of course, a monster storm can’t just come from something like “weather” or “climate.” No, a storm like that just must be the product of nefarious or, perhaps, spiritual forces too big for most of us to understand. And so, while millions of Americans deal with the aftermath of what has become the largest Atlantic tropical storm in recorded history, lots more are busy explaining what’s behind all that wind.

Here, gathered over the last few days, is a sampling of their views. ( continue to full post… )

Paranoid Prognosticators Fear Doom Under Second Obama Term

By Booth Gunter on October 30, 2012 - 1:37 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Propaganda, New World Order

The far right does not like President Obama. He’s been depicted as a Muslim (he’s not) and a terrorist sympathizer. He’s been called a fascist and compared to Hitler. He’s been pegged as a socialist and even a communist. And, of course, an entire cottage industry has been built around the false accusation that he’s not even an American.

His 2008 election also helped fuel an explosive resurgence of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, whose sympathizers indulge themselves in all sorts of wild conspiracy theories about the federal government: It’s building concentration camps for dissidents, it’s selling out Americans to the dreaded “New World Order,” it’s planning to institute martial law, confiscate everyone’s guns and send in U.N. troops to keep order.

Of course, none of these fantasies have come true in the last four years. But therein lies the rub. The first term was nothing but an elaborate ruse to get re-elected. The second term, now that’s when everything hits the fan. Freedom itself, maybe even all of civilization, hangs in the balance. ( continue to full post… )

Neo-Nazi’s Conviction for Threatening Juror is Reinstated

By Mark Potok on October 29, 2012 - 12:56 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, Extremist Crime, Neo-Nazi

Neo-Nazi Bill White spent years pushing the limits of the First Amendment. Last week, thanks to a ruling by a federal appeals court, the First Amendment pushed back.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Friday reinstated White’s 2011 conviction for soliciting violence against a jury foreman who helped convict another white supremacist in Chicago, The Roanoke (Va.) Times reported over the weekend. White, an infamous white supremacist and former anarchist who once led a group called the American National Socialist Workers Party, now faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on a date that has yet to be set. ( continue to full post… )

Holocaust-Denying Bishop Ejected from Schismatic Catholic Sect

By Leah Nelson on October 29, 2012 - 10:45 am, Posted in Holocaust Denial, Radical Traditionalist Catholic

The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a schismatic “radical traditionalist” Catholic group that broke with the Vatican over the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), has ejected from its ranks a bishop whose outspoken Holocaust denial has long been source of embarrassment for both SSPX and Rome. ( continue to full post… )

FBI May Investigate Apparent Hate Murder of White With Black Friends

By Bill Morlin on October 25, 2012 - 8:25 am, Posted in Anti-Black, Hate Crime

If a white man is attacked and murdered because he was “hanging out” with black friends, should that be investigated as a federal hate crime?

That question looms in Louisiana after 24-year-old Michael Luke “Boulon” Darby was fatally stabbed earlier this month outside a bar in Lafayette, where he had gone with two friends who are African-American. ( continue to full post… )

‘Sovereign’ President: ‘I Am in Jail Because I Stood for Righteousness’

By Ryan Lenz on October 24, 2012 - 4:15 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime, Sovereign Citizens

James Timothy Turner, the enigmatic president of the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” group Republic for the united States of America (RUSA), has told his followers that despite his incarceration on federal tax charges, he is still very much their leader. And as for his legal problems? That’s simply the federal government squashing the “righteous” truth.

“The Lord has called for and annointed [sic] me for this position,” Turner says in a handwritten letter dated Oct. 15 and recently posted to the RuSA website. “His annointing [sic] has not been removed because I have been incarcerated.”

Last month, a federal grand jury indicted Turner on a host of tax charges, including allegations that he attempted to pay his own taxes with a fictitious $300 million bond and tried to assist others who wanted to get out paying taxes with similar bonds ranging from $10 million to $300 million. ( continue to full post… )

Bogus Louisiana Hate Crime Report Illuminates Trend

By Mark Potok on October 24, 2012 - 8:59 am, Posted in Hate Crime

It happened again this week. A woman in Louisiana told police that she had been set afire in a horrifying hate crime Sunday — only to have police, after a full-tilt investigation, say yesterday that she had fabricated the story.

Sharmeka Moffit, 20, set herself on fire in a park in Winnsboro, La., Police Chief Lester Thomas told a news conference late yesterday. She earlier told police that she had been attacked by three men of unknown race who were wearing “T-shirt hoodies.” A racial slur and the letters “KKK” were found daubed on her car when police arrived within one minute of her call to 911. A major investigation involving the Winnsboro Police Department, the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office and the state police was launched.

Her story, like those of several other people who fabricated stories about hate crime attacks recently, was odd from the start. Despite the very rapid response of police, they found no suspects or vehicles at the park when they arrived. Moffit also called her sister after her 911 call, a remarkable thing for a woman who was supposedly already on fire, and who is now in critical condition with third-degree burns over 60% of her body. In addition, both black and white town officials said that Winnsboro enjoyed remarkably good race relations. ( continue to full post… )

Possible Hate Attack on Black Woman Roils Louisiana Town

By Don Terry on October 23, 2012 - 2:57 pm, Posted in Hate Crime

Update: Late Tuesday afternoon, authorities in Louisiana said Sharmeka Moffitt, a 20-year-old African-American woman, set herself on fire in a park in Winnsboro, La., Sunday night and faked what appeared to be a brutal, racially motivated hate crime. The alleged attack rattled the small city of 5,000 residents, dredging up memories of the state’s racially violent past. Moffitt had told police three men doused her with a flammable liquid and set her ablaze. “It’s been a very disturbing case for everyone involved,’’ the Franklin News quoted Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas as saying at a news conference Tuesday. The authorities said that Moffitt’s fingerprints were on the cigarette lighter and the lighter fluid recovered near the crime scene, adding that a racial slur and the letters KKK that were written in toothpaste on Moffitt’s car were linked to female DNA. “I’m speechless,’’ Winnsboro City Council member Betty Johnson told Hatewatch after hearing the attack was a lie. “You know we will continue to pray for her. She needs a lot of help.’’

The small Louisiana city of Winnsboro was filled with shock, rumors and prayers Tuesday as residents anxiously waited for law enforcement officials to determine who set a 20-year-old African-American woman on fire in a local park Sunday night – and why.

“We’re hoping the police will handle this before it escalates any further,” Betty Johnson, a member of the Winnsboro City Council told Hatewatch Tuesday, adding that “some of the younger people in town” are saying “somebody is going to pay for this.”

“But we don’t know who did it,” Johnson said. “We don’t know for sure what happened.” ( continue to full post… )

WorldNetDaily Now Peddling White Nationalism

By Leah Nelson on October 23, 2012 - 9:12 am, Posted in White Nationalism

WorldNetDaily (WND) says it opposes racism in any form. That’s why the online publication has added a series of articles on “black mob violence” to its usual fare of antigovernment conspiracy theories, gay-bashing, anti-Muslim propaganda, and End Times prophecy.

The series, which began in mid-2012, is penned exclusively for WND by one Colin Flaherty, who according to an editor’s note posted at the top of his pieces, “has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse.”

“WND,” the editor’s note says, “considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.” ( continue to full post… )