The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
In the weeks following the terrorist attacks in France, major players in the American anti-Muslim movement have unleashed a tirade of bigotry and renewed their energies in attacking the federal government. But not to be left out, prominent anti-immigrant figures and politicians have also joined the show.
Former congressman Tom Tancredo called for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States, and rabid far-right commentator Ann Coulter said the same for France, suggesting that it might be a good time for the French to “take a little pause in Muslim immigration for a while.”
But that was only the beginning of their outrage, which quickly turned to focus on criticizing Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), for his appointment to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Carson is the first Muslim to sit on the committee.
Robert Spencer, who runs the website Jihad Watch and is closely tied to anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller, questioned Carson’s position and lamented that he “already has entrée to highly sensitive areas” of the federal government. The anti-Muslim blog “Creeping Sharia” called Carson “delusional” and “dangerous” and claimed, “he does not belong on any intel committee.” A post about Carson on the website of the increasingly extreme American Thinker also concluded, “With radical Muslims parading in and out of the White House over the past six years, installing Carson on a national security committee is more proof that the Islamic threat we face is inside our own government.”
The fallacy in the Thinker’s argument — that all Muslims are radicalized and bent on destroying the West — is only the beginning in this new round of anti-Muslim hate. Others have reacted to the Jan. 7 attack in Paris by ratcheting up completely fabricated concerns, like so-called “no-go zones” in the United States and United Kingdom where non-Muslims are no longer welcome and, in fact, targeted upon visiting.
The idea has received considerable airtime thanks to repeated statements from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who recently doubled down on his claims that these areas exist in a interview with CNN, stating, “I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go. They absolutely know there are neighborhoods where they wouldn’t feel comfortable.”
Even before Jindal’s remarks, though, anti-Muslim activist Steve Emerson told Fox News that Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city, is “totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.” Emerson’s comments prompted an angry response from British Prime Minister David Cameron who branded him “a complete idiot.” (Fox News issued an apology for Emerson’s comments soon after.)
But anti-immigrant leader Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a nativist think tank, echoed Jindal and Emerson’s comments in a tweet on January 20. “OF COURSE there are no-go zones in many of Europe’s Muslim neighborhoods,” the tweet said.
Krikorian is no stranger to anti-Muslim sentiment, once writing, “I’m afraid that in the Islamic world democracy faces the problem of a vicious people, one where the desire for freedom is indeed written in every human heart, but the freedom to do evil.”
It doesn’t stop there. There has also been increased hand-wringing about Sharia law supplanting Constitutional law. A litany of anti-Muslim leaders signed a letter penned by Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy praising Jindal for his recent comments about Sharia. Other notable signatories included Brigitte Gabriel, head of the anti-Muslim ACT! for America and Tony Perkins, president of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council.
Then, last week, some in the anti-Muslim movement decided to take to the streets to voice their opposition to Islam.
On January 17, a “Stand with the Prophet” event aimed at combatting Islamophobia took place in Garland, Texas. In response, Muslim-basher Pamela Geller organized a demonstration that attracted a number of extremists, including representatives from the anti-Muslim group The United West and Ruben Israel, part of the Los Angeles-based hate group Official Street Preachers. In an interview with The United West at the protest site, Geller stated, “The Islamic leadership in this country is holding a conference to restrict our free speech. It’s the same exact premise, it’s the same ideology, it’s the same system of governance, the Sharia, that was behind those murders (in Paris).”
There are voices that disagree. In a recent op-ed in The Tennessean, for example, Paul Galloway, executive director of the American Center for Outreach, which works to bring Muslim voices to the Tennessee political stage, wrote that, “More and more people are starting to see the symbiotic relationship between Muslim terrorists and the anti-Muslim propaganda machine.” This is certainly the case, but the propaganda from anti-Muslim quarters continues to spread.
Right Wing Watch: Bobby Jindal’s extremist prayer rally brings together prophets, bigots, and far-right activists.
Raw Story: Jindal explains to ABC viewers that his hate-group prayer rally was part of a ‘time-honored tradition.’
CNN: Sarah Palin and Donald Trump both tell Iowa gathering they’re interested in running for the presidency.
The Oklahoman: To ‘protect’ court clerks from having to recognize same-sex unions, legislation would put an end to all marriage licenses.
Think Progress: Powerful ad shows Redskins football without the racist name.
Talking Points Memo: NAACP president visits Colorado Springs chapter after bombing of offices.
Daily Kos: Perhaps ‘no-go zone’ Jindal would like to discuss ethnic enclaves in the United States.
Talking Points Memo: Rep. Keith Ellison invites FRC’s Tony Perkins to come visit mythical Minneapolis ‘no-go zones.’
Breitbart Unmasked: Following the trail of Mark Weber’s Holocaust-denial money all the way back to the Church of Scientology.
KCRA-TV (Lodi, CA): Students at basketball game begin chanting ‘U-S-A!’ when Pakistani player for rival school shoots.
Salon: Fertility a ‘disease’? How extremists fundamentally misunderstand contraception.
Think Progress: Extremist gun lobbyist Larry Pratt’s GOA wants veto power over new attorney-general nominee.
USA Today: When bakery refuses to make cakes with anti-LGBT hate messages, client files a complaint.
Right Wing Watch: Religious-right activist admits that same-sex marriage bans are like anti-miscegenation laws.
A police lieutenant in Charleston, W.Va., resigned yesterday just before he was scheduled to appear at a termination review hearing for producing racially insensitive videos involving his daughter dancing to KKK music.
Those who have seen the seven videos made by Lt. Terry Shawn Williams describe them as “disgusting and unspeakable,” Charleston station WCHS reported today.
“I knew when … I heard about [the videos] and when I saw them, this police officer was never going to wear a gun and a badge in the city of Charleston ever again,” Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said Wednesday. “They’re a whole lot more than racially insensitive.”
The videos, stored on Williams personal computer, surfaced last year as he was going through a divorce, the West Virginia MetroNews Network reported.
They reportedly show Williams’ young daughter dressed like a police officer and dancing to KKK music. The videos were shown privately to some Charleston City Council members in December, three months after Williams was placed on administrative leave. The mayor said he doesn’t regret that decision or a judge’s order sealing the tapes.
The mayor said the city didn’t leak word of the videos, which he suggested came from one of the “many people who were privy to the divorce.” Now, Jones said, “We don’t have to show them in a hearing and hopefully no one will ever see them again unless it’s in his divorce hearing.”
Williams’ decision to resign came on the eve of a hearing before a city police appeals board where he sought to appeal a decision by the department to fire him. The police officer, who frequently acted as the department’s media spokesman, has said he believes the investigation was politically motivated and that he knows about other incidents of racism within the police department.
To that, the mayor said Williams “was just trying to shed blame. He can go out … and make all the allegations he wants against us. Now, all he can do is go back to his klavern,” a reference to a KKK chapter.
“I knew he couldn’t win this case and apparently he finally did, too,” the mayor told MetroNews. “I think it’s a sad chapter in our history that’s finally come to an end.”
In his resignation letter to Police Chief Brent Webster, Williams said: “It is clear to me and most of the general public that I will not be able (to) resolve my personal problems based upon the way in which this administration has strategically ‘leaked’ and handled my internal investigation. In my sixteen years of service to this department, I have never before witnessed the ‘leaks’ from an internal investigation such as mine. Therefore, I feel that resigning is in the best interests for my family.”
Jones suggested the resignation also is in the city’s best interest, and now he vows to see that Williams’ police certification is revoked so he can’t become a police officer elsewhere.
Robert Ransdell, the neo-Nazi who ran for U.S. Senate in Kentucky last year under the slogan “With Jews We Lose” – he didn’t win, by the way – was arrested in the Blue Grass State as he prepared to protest a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in the small city of Florence.
Ransdell, who was carrying a sign that read, “Happy Machin’ Lootin’ Killin’ Day,” was taken away by police on Monday shortly before the event was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., a spokesman for the Florence Police Department told Hatewatch today. Ransdell was charged with trespassing in a city owned government building.
“I feel depressed at the fact that I was arrested,” Ransdell told the neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer. “I have been able to walk that line over the years and it is something I have taken pride in, getting out there balls to the wall and at the same time not being shackled for doing so.”
Ransdell said he was arrested after police – “agents of the Jew-Negro Occupation government,” according to the website – asked him to leave the building and he refused. “It was just the record of token harassment I have got from this city in particular for my political activity in the past,” he said, “that moved me to just refuse to be bullied around anymore.”
Ransdell said he was released on his own recognizance and had to walk more than 10 miles back to his car. All the way, he told the website, he held up his sign to passing motorists, continuing his protest against “this rotten, phony, hypocritical, Jew-controlled, non-White infested shithole of a country.”
He said he is scheduled to be in court on the case Feb. 3 and faces a $250 fine.
It was the first time, Ransdell told the website, that he had been arrested in his 10 years as a white nationalist activist. He added that he remains committed to the cause and will be back protesting in no time. “We have hoax remembrance day coming very soon,” he said, referring to Holocaust Remembrance Day, “so there will not be long to wait.”
Ransdell is a former regional coordinator for the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is now a coordinator for the like-minded National Alliance Reform & Restoration Group (NARRG). He is one of six NARRG members suing the now former chairman, Erich Gliebe, for $2 million and for control of what’s left of the Alliance.
But Gliebe resigned last October and William W. Williams, known as “White Will,” was elected chairman of the Alliance. Williams responded in the comment section of The Daily Stormer to Ransdell’s recent arrest. “He’s a self-centered grandstander who now finds himself a defendant in a minor criminal matter,” Williams said. “That’s what he wanted. He’ll milk the situation for all it’s worth but it will ultimately gain nothing for the cause.”
Calling Ransdell “a self-centered grandstander” is mild compared to how he was described last fall by white nationalist Internet “comedian” Paul Ramsey, aka RamZPaul.
“He’s a walking cliché,” Ramsey said in a You Tube video. “He says all the cliché, neo-Nazi, white supremacist, white nationalist things.”
He called Ransdell a “fake” whose shtick is “so over the top” and asked “why are all these guys who are so obsessed with the Jews, why do they look so Jewish?”
Ramsey said the media loves Ransdell because he makes it look like everyone associated with white nationalism is “a fucking kook.”
“I consider this guy trash,” Ramsey said.
The title of the video was “With Clowns We Go Down.”
Right Wing Watch: Sandy Rios claims that President Obama used subliminal Islamic messages in State of the Union speech.
The Vane: ‘Weather hoaxer’ who chases chemtrails threatens National Weather Service, yells at FBI agents.
Raw Story: Oath Keeper sheriff from upstate New York encourages residents to ignore state’s new gun-registration law.
Dallas Voice: California ‘general hate’ group tries spreading the poison in visit to Texas to protest Muslims.
The Monitor (McAllen, TX): Border militia member faces hearing to determine competency to stand trial in weapons case.
Coeur d’Alene Press (ID): Ku Klux Klan fliers show up in Post Falls neighborhoods.
East Oregonian: Pendleton police arrest fourth man in Aryan gang’s crime spree.
Pink News: Mike Huckabee says states should simply ignore the Supreme Court if it upholds gay marriage.
My racially charged silly billboard file is getting thicker and thicker these days.
The radical right loves the relatively cheap to rent outdoor signs. For more than a year, billboards with racially provocatie, anti-diversity or white nationalist messages have been popping up along the highways of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
The billboards have been sponsored and supported by anonymous online segregationists, predicting “white genocide,” and old-fashioned racists such as members of the Ku Klux Klan, desperate to be relevant. But the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) has been especially billboard-happy. Since 2014, the League or its individual members can be tied to at least six billboards, usually plastered with one word, “Secede.”
Now comes word that a “mystery donor” has stepped forward to help keep the billboard campaign going well into the southern summer and maybe beyond. “An offer too good to refuse,” is the way the president of the League, Michael Hill, put it yesterday on the group’s Facebook page.
The donor has offered to match up to $10,000 in donations to the League’s “general billboard fund” between now and Feb. 20. “This is an offer too good to let pass without taking maximum benefit from it,” Hill wrote. “Think about what we could do with $20,000 seed money in a League billboard fund.”
The League advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans.” On its website, the group says that if “the South is going to survive, especially against a flood tide of massive Third World immigration and leftist attempts to destroy her very cultural and political foundations, she is going to have to seek her independence and govern herself.”
“We in the League,” the group adds, “believe that we must secede to survive.”
One of the places the League sponsored a “Secede” billboard last year was in Montgomery, Al. It was taken down within days after the billboard company received complaints and some businesses said they would discontinue renting the space in the future if the sign was not removed.
Before the sign came down, AL.com asked Hill if southern states did secede would black southerners be treated as citizens with equal rights. “That is the kind of thing in our ideal world that would be left up to individual states,” Hill replied.
A few weeks later, a League member independently purchased space on a billboard near Leeds, Al. That sign quoted the white nationalist mantra, “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.” That sign came down after a few weeks, too. “I guess even racist idiots have freedom of speech,” David Miller, the mayor of Leeds, told Hatewatch. “As soon as it went up, we hopped on it and condemned it.”
This month, an anonymous group of segregationists, calling themselves the White Genocide Project, sponsored a racially charged billboard in Springville, Al. It read: “Diversity Means Chasing Down The Last White Person.” It came down five days later after the billboard owners were flooded with complaints, and, they said, some threats.
On the League website, Hill called the removal of the Springville sign “censorship,” which he said, “has a way of breeding more of what the censors attempt to sensor.”
“So don’t be surprised,” he continued, “if you see more billboards and other forms of ‘unapproved dissent’ springing up all across the South.”
A body recovered last weekend in a fire-ravished mobile home in Buchanan, Mich., was that of Theodore William Lanser, 24, who lived at that location, the Michigan State Police said yesterday. Positive identification was made through fingerprints on file with the FBI and the South Bend, Ind., Police Forensics Lab. Lanser died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, an autopsy revealed, police Lt. Michael Dawson said. Additionally, the preliminary investigation showed accelerants were used to start the fire, Dawson said.
A man described as a “doomsday-prepper” died last weekend after shooting at neighbors’ homes and setting his own house on fire during a fiery standoff with police in Buchanan, Mich.
Pending autopsy results, authorities said they believe a charred body recovered from the ruins is that of Ted Lancer, who may have committed suicide during the siege. He had been involved in a domestic dispute earlier in the day with a female companion, who had left the home, various media outlets reported.
As many as 3,000 bullets exploded during the fiery siege, with slugs striking the homes of two neighbors. No one was injured, but neighbor Kalyn Dobrzykowski said he and one of his four children, a teenage daughter, were nearly killed when a bullet shattered a window and passed between their heads.
“If we would have been one inch more either way, one of us wouldn’t be here today,” Dobrzykowski told reporters from WSJV-TV based in nearby Elkhart, Ind.
Melissa Dobrzykowski, his wife, told South Bend, Ind., station ABC57-TV that the gunman had been “acting really weird,” accused her husband of being a cop and claimed he heard helicopters overhead. “The only thing I know about this guy is that he is a ‘doomsday prepper,’” she said.
Police responded to the River Estates mobile home park about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when neighbors reported gunshots were being fired from inside a mobile home located on Lot 76. After some neighbors were evacuated, the mobile home erupted into flames with the ensuing fire igniting bullets, holding police and firefighters at bay.
It’s not clear if the gunman, who was firing at his neighbors’ homes, actually fired at officers who responded, Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Dawson told Hatewatch.
Neighbor Terry Walsh, a retired firefighter and fire inspector, told the South Bend Tribune, he heard as many as 3,000 rounds explode during the fire. Another neighbor, Lyle Wilson, told the newspaper he looked out his front door and saw the gunman firing a gun through his living room window at Wilson’s nearby mobile home.
“He was just shooting wild,” Wilson said. “We actually saw him firing at us, saw the bullets coming through a window. I had no doubt what I was seeing.”
Both Wilson and his son grabbed their own firearms and were ready to shoot the gunman if he came out of his mobile home, the newspaper reported.
Mint Press: White supremacy and homegrown terrorism pose a growing threat to United States.
Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.): Sentencing set for 10 white people in racial beatings that left a black man dead.
Inside Higher Ed: Vanderbilt’s Carol Swain wades into the swamps of anti-Muslim hate with column on Paris attacks.
Medium: Texas anti-Islamic event brings out the crazies.
Courthouse News: ‘Hutaree’ militiamen appear unlikely to secure approval to revive civil-rights claims against administration.
Salon: Frank Schaeffer recalls how he helped found the religious right’s home school conspiracy, and start a religious war.
Raw Story: Drunk ex-Navy SEAL who faked attack by ‘three black men,’ posts bizarre video of Obama ‘choke-out.’
Advocate: American Family Association wants two liberal Supreme Court justices removed from same-sex marriage case.
Crooks and Liars: At South Carolina Tea Party convention, Rick Santorum lashes out at legal immigrants.
Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) faxed and sent letters to every member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) regarding an upcoming trip to Jerusalem being organized by RNC Chair Reince Priebus.
The letters expressed concern about the organization paying for the trip, the American Family Association (AFA), which the SPLC has listed as an anti-LGBT hate group since 2010.
In particular, the letters asked RNC members not to lend their good offices to an organization with a long track record of making anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim and other hateful statements. An email to Priebus’ director of communications about this matter was not responded to.
As a follow up to our letters, SPLC staff also called all of the RNC state offices for comment about the trip. In particular, we wanted to ask if members were aware of AFA’s extremism. Here are some notable examples:
- An AFA leader has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.”
- The same staffer said African Americans “rut like rabbits” and women have no place in politics or the military.
- Another has argued that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come to the United States to “plunder” our country.
- And the group has repeatedly made the point that non-Christians are second-class citizens—“we are a Christian nation, and not a Jewish or Muslim one.” (Find a comprehensive look at AFA’s extremist statements and positions here).
In early December, Time reported that 60 members, or about a third, of the RNC had decided to travel to Israel. But you wouldn’t know that from the calls we made. We left dozens of voicemails and sent many, many emails, none of which were replied to.
In Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma and Tennessee, communications directors were unaware of the trip and promised to speak with RNC members and get back to us. They did not. Other state communications directors, like those in Maryland and Louisiana, said they knew nothing of the trip and could not answer questions. In Idaho, a communications staffer told us she had no idea what we were talking about, but that she would have known about a trip if there was one.
The communications director in New Mexico had not heard of the trip, but was shocked at AFA’s views. And the communications director in Utah was quite surprised about AFA’s views, but knew nothing about the trip. A communications staffer in Mississippi verified that none of his members would be traveling with AFA. No one from Massachusetts will be attending, nor will the chair of the Connecticut RNC.
The bulk of the states simply ignored our requests for comment, but in some cases, our calls were met with hostility. That happened in Wyoming, where a woman who answered the office phone refused twice to identify herself. She did say that no one from Wyoming was going on the trip and that she had “no idea who that group [AFA] is,” nor did she seem to care. Then she said “your argument [about AFA’s extremism] is kind of moot since no one is going” and hung up on me.
Meanwhile, AFA staffers continue to put out a stream of extremist propaganda. Just in the last few weeks, AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy Bryan Fischer has said you can’t support gay rights and call yourself a Christian, railed about a Muslim congressman being appointed to the House Intelligence Committee and claimed that Duke University is “inviting the Demons of the Abyss” onto its campus by planning a Muslim prayer rally. And those comments are only from the second half of January. Imagine what is to come in the rest of 2015.