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

Hatewatch Investigation: Mississippi Lawyer Tied to Online Racist Screeds

By Ryan Lenz on September 20, 2013 - 8:15 am, Posted in Anti-Black, White Supremacist

Two days after a 15-year-old black girl died in a fiery crash along a rural Mississippi road in 2009, someone using the anonymous online identity “GENERAL_LEE” began posting rants on the racist, anti-Semitic Vanguard News Network (VNN) website. One of the crash victims, Dijonaise Rutledge, died when she was thrown from the vehicle. But General Lee, in his online musings, seemed less concerned with the tragedy and more concerned with the girl’s “weirdest nigger name.”

“Dijonaise. Get it? ‘Dijon’ as in mustard + ‘Aise’ as in mayonaise = Dijonaise. Cute yes?” General Lee wrote. He continued: “Well, Dijoinaise Rutledge, along with three fellow nogs met his [sic] final fate on the highways of Wilkinson County, Mississippi. So, we’re four niggers short.”

For almost a decade, General Lee has not only posted on VNN more than 3,500 times, but financially supported one of the most viciously racist Internet forums in the country, expounding on such topics as why he doesn’t tip black waitresses and entertaining such racist fantasies as wondering whether it is possible for a black person to procreate with a chimpanzee. Though he has posted a photograph of himself and his two sons, and once revealed that he uses the name “paulb” on another forum, he has closely guarded his identity.

A Hatewatch investigation, however, has determined that the man spreading hate online as General Lee the “Creepy Ass Cracker” is really a 50-year-old Hattiesburg, Miss., personal injury lawyer named Paul Bryant Caston. Several sources, all requesting anonymity due to their past relationships with Caston, confirmed that the photographs he posted of himself were Caston. Additionally, a username linked to Caston in 2009 has been tied to General Lee on VNN.

Though his affiliations with VNN were not previously known, his history on the racist right has been documented before. In 2009, One People’s Project in Philadelphia revealed that Caston had been posting on racist websites for years using the persona “shyster969,” though Caston denied that it was him.

When contacted by Hatewatch this week, Caston declined to confirm, but did not deny, that he was General Lee. Shortly afterward, all VNN posts tied to his username were deleted.

While Caston is hardly the only lawyer using the anonymity of the Web to spread racist rhetoric online, he has operated virtually unchecked for years. Black people are objects, animals or things, according to Caston, and he has frequently attacked fellow lawyers, including prominent civil rights attorneys such as Precious Martin in Jackson, Miss., who Caston called “it.”

“Yeah, we’ve got one here named ‘Precious.’ Precious Martin. It’s a lawyer in the nigger hell-hole that is Jackson, Mississippi. I refuse to address it by its name. … Hell will freeze over as solid as a gotdamned brick before I will ever address a nigger as ‘Precious,’” Caston once wrote.

Martin, when contacted by Hatewatch, was unaware of what Caston had said about him and seemed to be flabbergasted that anyone could be so hateful.

“I have a hard time hating any man,” Martin said. “I can’t understand why this guy hates me so, and I don’t even know him. He hates me for the work I’m doing trying to make the community a better place, and I just don’t understand that.”

  • majii

    It’s people like Caston, who say/do racist things and when caught, claim they’re not racists that causes me to not believe them. I can spot them a 100 yards away, and if I have an opportunity to speak with them for five minutes, I’ll know they’re a racist before the conversation ends. What ticks me off are those who defend folks like Caston and insult my intelligence by implying that I, who was raised under segregation, can’t spot a racist when I see one. You’d better believe I can spot them, every frigging time.

  • http://none robert j

    whether inborn or learned, or, (usually) both, a hateful person will always find a cause to hitch his wagon to, giving his hate legitimacy and providing a reason to fuel his hatred. its the worst aspect of humanity.

  • Sam Molloy

    It may be tangental to topic, but I sit here watching the 1962 movie State Fair looking for Black people. Nope. That state fair was integrated in 1962, the movie was filmed in 1961. Blacks were allowed on “their” day.

  • Kiwiwriter

    “concernedcitizen said,

    on September 20th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Let us all bow our heads and wish ignorant, racist ranting idiots into the cornfields.

    Amen.”

    I don’t wish them pain and suffering, unless they commit heinous acts and horrible crimes. I would rather wish that they contemplate the outcomes of their acts, the idiocies of their rhetoric, and the waste of their lives, and turn the talents and abilities all human beings have to more productive causes. He should learn his lesson.

    An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

    And yes, he is a bad advertisement for fathers, and I am amused at how the “united white race” wages soap opera flame wars that are greater than anything on a “Real Housewives” show.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee Critical Dragon1177

    Ryan Lenz,

    I hope Paul Bryant Caston is loses his job over this.

  • Sam Molloy

    The Cornfield thing is from an old B&W Twilight zone with Billy Mumy before he got Lost in Space. And Amen, that’s perfect for these clowns.

  • aadila

    What an unbelievably cruel thing to say (op. cit).

  • concernedcitizen

    Let us all bow our heads and wish ignorant, racist ranting idiots into the cornfields.

    Amen.

  • dinosaur

    Set aside lawyers, this guy is a bad advertisement for fathers. It’s heartbreaking to see children in the care of ignorant and hateful people like this.

    General Lee was one of Alex Linder’s favorites. Then he posted at least once on “rival” White Nations.

    It seems like the feud between the two boards is bringing all these unpleasant people into the open. It’s about time.

  • Sam Molloy

    A story recently told on a local radio talk show here in Louisville – a Conservative one – was about a recent visit further south. A small boy bought something at a convenience store from a Black cashier. As he walked away, the older, White customer next in line remarked ” You should say thank you” or words to that effect. The boy replied that he “never thanks a n——” . The cashier graciously said, ” that’s OK, I’m used to it.”

  • Reynardine

    Nope.

  • Reynardine

    Erika, I tried to concoct an irony symbol from characters assembled to look like a little flatiron, but it wouldn’t post. Let me try to make one again:

  • Reynardine

    Nobody who isn’t from Florida, Georgia, or (charitably) Alabama has any business styling himself a “Cracker”, though the rest of his sobriquet is surely correct. Meanwhile, why doesn’t somebody jerk his ticket?

  • Kiwiwriter

    This guy is a bad advertisement for the legal profession.

    As a personal injury lawyer, he may represent a lot of black people in cases…I wonder how he handles that? I wonder what his clients would do if they knew about this guy’s postings?

    His material is yet another example of how the racists are incapable of displaying the slightest empathy or humanity.

    I’d like to show these posts to some of these clowns who say their “White nationalism” is all about “love” and “heritage,” and that they’re not racists, just “fighting for the 14 words.”

    These people are just sickening. They can dress up their rhetoric all they want with garbage about “preserving white culture” and so on, but the bottom line is unbelievably clear. THey are just nasty, vicious, fanatical haters.

  • Erika

    this is just what we lawyers need to help our reputation to the general public.

    (what is that snark mark???)