The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
State Sen. Dan Claitor, a Baton Rouge Republican, threw his name into the race for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district this week. That’s the same district that Tony Perkins has been openly coveting. Perkins, of course, is head of the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group.
It wasn’t by coincidence, then, that Claitor expressed concern about another potential candidate who has “questionable associations with certain hate groups.” As Lauren McGaughy reported in the Times-Picayune, Claitor also likened Perkins to former Louisiana state legislator and KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke and cautioned that he doesn’t want the state to “become the focus of the national media because we have extremists running for a particular office.”
The reference to Duke is an interesting one. Perkins, to be sure, is no David Duke. But he did purchase Duke’s supporter list in 1996 and then tried unsuccessfully to cover it up. He was later fined by the Federal Elections Commission.
Then in 2001, Perkins was photographed addressing a gathering of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. The group, a direct descendent of the segregationist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s, has called African Americans a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins, who later denied knowledge of the group’s racist views, spoke in front of a Confederate flag (seen here, courtesy of Right Wing Watch):
The following year, Perkins ran for the U.S. Senate and finished in fourth place in the Republican primary with just 9% of the vote. Perkins apparently believes that his years spent at the helm of the FRC will put him in better position. He may be right, but he’s also established himself as an anti-gay hardliner at a time when the country is moving toward moderation and acceptance. As we’ve detailed, Perkins and the FRC are viciously anti-gay and falsely link pedophilia and homosexuality to portray gays as sexual predators.
Perkins spends most of his time in D.C., but he has worked to create the impression that he still lives in Baton Rouge. Governor Bobby Jindal recently appointed Perkins to serve on the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement. He managed to land the nomination despite not bothering to show up for the other commission he sits on – the Commission on Marriage and Family, no less!
It’s encouraging that Perkins’ record of extremism is drawing scrutiny even before he enters the race. He’s going to find, if he hasn’t already, that attacking gays is no longer a form of career advancement.
I’m reminded of something Perkins once said about the “It Gets Better” series of videos. In his words, the videos are “aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better.” He derided that mission as “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit them into that lifestyle.”
What must have upset him so is that the corollary is also true. For anti-gay dead-enders like Perkins, it gets worse.
Former Klansman and veteran anti-Semite David Duke was expelled from Italy after a court there deemed him “socially dangerous” for allegedly planning to create a pan-European neo-Nazi group. According to press reports, a Venice court upheld a decision denying Duke renewal of his residency permit after he was found living under “false pretenses” near the northern Italian town of Belluno.
Duke reportedly entered Italy on a student visa in 2011 using his middle name, Ernest. The following year, Belluno authorities discovered the mistake and moved to have him removed. Belluno deputy police commissioner Luciano Meneghetti said Duke was supposedly conducting research in the Cadore Valley in the Italian Alps. According to the Venice court decision, he was also found by “official reliable sources” to be establishing “an organization aiming to exterminate the black and Jewish races in Europe.”
“We consider him as a highly dangerous individual due to his infamous racist theories,” Meneghetti told International Business Times UK. The paper also reported that Duke’s Italian lawyer, Filippo Augusto, said Duke was evaluating whether to lodge a further appeal and that he had left Italy. Augusto was unaware of his current location. ( continue to full post… )
Craig Cobb, the racist activist who was working to build an all-white enclave in the tiny town of Leith, N.D., until he was arrested on charges of terrorizing the townsfolk last month, has been sent to a state mental hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, police said.
Cobb’s hospitalization last week came after he stopped eating as part of what he said was a spiritual journey. According to Sheriff Dean Danzeisen in Mercer County, where Cobb was being held, he was only drinking water. When he was asked if he needed to see a doctor, he agreed to a psychiatric evaluation.
“So, just like any other prisoner, we took him to the doctor,” Danzeisen told Hatewatch. “It wasn’t like he was drugged or in a straitjacket.” ( continue to full post… )
Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes is back in the news. We last wrote about Forbes in October when he was set to fundraise for an anti-gay hate group, the American Family Association (AFA). Now he’s pushing to deny money to gay Republican candidates for Congress – because they’re gay. Unfortunately for Forbes, his anti-gay bigotry is undercutting his effort to become chair of the powerful House Armed Services Committee.
Austin Wright and Jake Sherman at Politico report that Forbes “is causing friction with some of his colleagues” by waging a “lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee” to not support two promising, but openly gay, candidates. Those candidates are Richard Tisei in Massachusetts, who narrowly lost in 2012, and Carl DeMaio in San Diego.
We were hopeful that his decision to skip the hate group event signaled a shift away from anti-gay bigotry. We were wrong. ( continue to full post… )
The police department in Suffolk County, N.Y., has reached a tentative agreement with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) to enhance the training of its officers and improve the way it investigates hate crimes and bias incidents, resolving a federal investigation into the county’s policing practices that followed revelations of rampant anti-Latino violence in the county.
The agreement announced yesterday, which still requires the approval of the county legislature, conforms to DOJ recommendations issued in 2011.
The Suffolk County Police Department came under scrutiny in the wake of the 2008 killing of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcel Lucero by a group of teens engaging in what they called “beaner-jumping.” In 2009, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a report, Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y, that documented widespread hatred and violence directed at the county’s Latino immigrants. The report also showed how certain political leaders in the county had added fuel to the fire by ignoring the problem and using inflammatory rhetoric. ( continue to full post… )
The California-based Ruth Institute (RI), a former project of the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund, split off from NOM and became independent on Nov. 1. Like NOM, while ostensibly working to strengthen marriage (for heterosexuals), it works against marriage equality. And like NOM, the RI has tried to soften its anti-LGBT image through tactics like selectively quoting from virulently anti-gay sources and claiming to support LGBT individuals while simply opposing their right to marry.
The RI’s founder and president, Jennifer Roback Morse, whose academic background is in economics, has mostly steered clear of the kind of vicious anti-LBGT rhetoric employed by some on the religious right. She has, for example, referred to “our brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attraction” as victims of the “sexual revolution.” Nonetheless, she has earned an entry in GLAAD’s commentator accountability project for anti-LGBT statements she has made over the years.
The RI claims that it is “Making Marriage [for heterosexuals] Cool.” The tagline on its website banner states “One Man One Woman For Life.” Thus, heterosexual marriage is the only “proper” context for sex and childrearing. The RI encourages “respect of contributions of men to the family” and using “lifelong spousal cooperation” as a “solution to women’s aspirations for career and family.” ( continue to full post… )
December is upon us. And the first mortar rounds in the annual “War on Christmas” have been fired.
Last night, Christmas sentry Bill O’Reilly invited a fellow Christmas-defending warrior from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to join him on his Fox News show to preview the upcoming battle.
O’REILLY: So once again this year, I will keep an eye on the situation. Helping me is the Alliance Defending Freedom organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have been very successful in defending traditional rights in the courts. Therefore I say to them, ‘God bless you, each and every one,’ with apologies to Dickens.
What O’Reilly fails to mention is that while defending Christmas in the fake war at home, the ADF is waging a vastly different and very real legal war abroad: an aggressive effort to imprison LGBT people. ( continue to full post… )
A former Ku Klux Klan leader in Alabama and his mother, who also was a Klan member, face federal charges related to a 2009 cross burning in a predominantly black neighborhood.
Steven Joshua Dinkle, 28, was arrested by FBI agents on Nov. 25 in Mississippi following the arrest four days earlier of his mother, Pamela Morris, 45, the former secretary of a Klan chapter in Ozark, Ala., the Justice Department said in a statement.
Dinkle, the former “exalted cyclops” of the Ozark chapter, is named in a five-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to violate housing rights, criminal interference with the right to fair housing, using fire to commit a federal felony and two counts of obstruction of justice.
The indictment alleges Dinkle and another person, who’s not publicly identified, built a 6-foot cross, wrapped it in jeans and towels and set it afire on May 8, 2009, on Johntown Road, near the entrance to a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Ozark. ( continue to full post… )
Craig Cobb, the mixed-race white supremacist jailed and charged earlier this month with terrorizing the tiny North Dakota town that he hoped to turn into a little Aryan settlement on the prairie, now wants to play “let’s make a deal” with government officials.
In exchange for dropping criminal charges that could send him to prison for up to 35 years, the Associated Press is reporting that Cobb said he is willing to sell his house in Leith, N.D. – his separatist dreamland – and leave the state forever.
“I’ll be glad to get out of the state,” Cobb, 62, told the AP Tuesday from the Mercer County Jail in Stanton. “And I’ll never come back to North Dakota.”
Cobb has been in the jail since being arrested and charged on Nov. 16 along with another aspiring Aryan warrior with four felony terrorizing counts after he confronted several town residents while brandishing a rifle. Cobb told the AP he has not eaten in six days as part of a journey of spiritual enlightenment that ends in death. ( continue to full post… )
Federal prosecutors now have guilty pleas from fully half the 36 members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) who were indicted last year for committing multiple acts of murder, robbery, arson, kidnapping and narcotics trafficking.
To date, 18 of the defendants have entered guilty pleas, and the remaining 18 are scheduled to stand trial May 12 in U.S. District Court in Houston. Other guilty pleas likely could occur between now and the trial date.
The ABT is considered one of the most violent crime syndicates in the United States – responsible for crimes both in and out of prisons. It was established in the early 1980s within the Texas penal system, modeling itself around the white supremacist philosophy of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang formed in that state’s prison system during the 1960s. ( continue to full post… )