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Jean Philippe Rushton, a psychology professor and probably the most important race scientist in North America, died of cancer Tuesday night in Canada. The man who sparked a firestorm of controversy and protest in the late 1980s with his theories about the correlation between genital size and intelligence, and in later years was the head of a right-wing fund that has long supported the research projects of academic racists from around the world, was 68.
“He’s the end of an era of academic racists of his style and notoriety,” Barry Mehler, professor of history and director of the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism at Ferris State University in Michigan, said today. “I don’t think we’ll see that again.’’ ( continue to full post… )
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Antigovernment activists and far-right extremists are waxing hysterical over yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold President Obama’s signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Mike Vanderboegh, an antigovernment activist who in 2010 reacted to the imminent passage of the health care law by calling on Americans to break the windows of local Democratic Party offices around the country, predicted on his blog that the court’s ruling would result in violence.
“The health care law carries … the hard steel fist of government violence at the center,” Vanderboegh wrote, “If we refuse to obey, we will be fined. If we refuse to pay the fine, we will in time be jailed. If we refuse to report meekly to jail, we will be sent for by armed men. And if we refuse their violent invitation at the doorsteps of our own homes we will be killed – unless we kill them first. ( continue to full post… )
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The American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was dealt a blow last year when several organizations withdrew over the inclusion of a gay conservative group, GOProud, on its roster of sponsors. Having officially banished all gays who so much as make a peep about their rights, however, the annual right-wing shindig is back in business and conservative as all get-out, featuring representatives of a dizzying array of anti-gay, anti-tax, anti-abortion and anti-Muslim organizations, including hate group leaders like Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of American (SIOA) and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC).
No guest better illustrates CPAC’s refreshed commitment to hard-line conservatism than Peter Brimelow, founder of VDARE, a race-baiting hate group that warns against the pollution of America by non-whites, Catholics, and Spanish-speaking immigrants. Brimelow, an unabashed white nationalist who argues that white Americans should demand U.S. immigration law be changed to allow in mostly whites, today participated in a CPAC panel on “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity.” ( continue to full post… )
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Today at noon, a group of the nastiest gay-bashers in America plans to hold a press conference in front of the Montgomery, Ala., offices of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which publishes this blog. Claiming that the SPLC is engaged in a “campaign to demonize adherents of traditional Judeo-Christian morality,” the white organizers of the press conference are bringing along a set of black pastors in a presumed bid to embarrass the SPLC, a 40-year-old anti-racist civil rights organization.
The irony is that SPLC has named five of the participating organizations as hate groups precisely because they demonize LGBT people, using a series of well-worn lies to paint gays and lesbians as perverts, pedophiles and worse. Despite the claims of the groups, the SPLC is not attacking anyone’s morality. Instead, our hate group listings reflect the fact that they regularly propagate known falsehoods. ( continue to full post… )
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More than a little rhetorical contortionism is required to follow their logic, but according to several better-known leaders of the religious right, responsibility for the recent wave of suicides of gay teens rests largely with… gay-rights activists.
The argument goes something like this: Young homosexuals who are relentlessly bullied and taunted commit suicide because gay-rights advocates (eager to “recruit” new homosexuals and to make the world gay-friendly) encourage acceptance of homosexuality among normal (meaning straight) children, which confuses them about their own sexual “preference.” That, added to gay-rights activists’ purported efforts to “bully” Christians to prevent them from condemning homosexuality, creates an intolerable level of emotional stress, leading to tragedy.
Five teenagers nationwide committed suicide during a three-week span in September after being bullied, taunted or outed as homosexuals. Seven student suicides — at least four of which apparently involved anti-gay bullying — rocked a single Minnesota school district during the last year. On Tuesday, a 19-year-old Oakland University student who had reportedly been bullied since revealing that he was gay, took his own life. (Earlier this month, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a 40-minute documentary on the subject, “Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History,” that is being offered free to schools around the country.)
But even the occasion of these young suicides — something that has horrified most Americans and received intensive media attention — has been taken by some right-wing commentators as merely one more opportunity to bash gays. ( continue to full post… )
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Conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter’s decision to be the featured speaker next month at a “Homocon” gathering of homosexual conservatives has gotten her axed as a keynote speaker at a meeting of prominent far-right personalities. Joseph Farah’s decision to cut Coulter from his Taking America Back National Conference in Miami next month is only the latest pushback by some on the far right who are incensed and worried by recent gains made by the gay rights movement.
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In the hours since a federal judge struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage yesterday, religious-right organizations have sent up an angry howl of protest, accusing the judge of doing everything from overruling the Constitution to laying the groundwork for a contemporary version of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Tim Wildmon, leader of the American Family Association, called the decision “tyrannical, abusive and utterly unconstitutional” and said it “cavalierly trashed” the votes of some 7 million Californians who voted to approve Proposition 8 in 2008. “It’s also extremely problematic that Judge [Vaughn] Walker is a practicing homosexual himself. … His situation is no different than a judge who owns a porn studio being asked to rule on an anti-pornography statute.” Wildmon went on to demand that the U.S. House of Representatives impeach Walker.
Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, which worked to support the proposition during the 2008 campaign, sounded a similar theme, saying that the ruling dealt a “terrible blow” to the country and that the “biased, homosexual judge” had “imposed his own homosexual agenda.” Bishop Harry Jackson, leader of Stand4MarriageDC, called the judge’s ruling a “slur” against those who had voted for Prop 8. And former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the judge’s “notorious decision” showed “outrageous disrespect for the Constitution.”
In fact, Walker found that Proposition 8 merely asserted “the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples” without any rational basis. “The Constitution cannot control private biases, but neither can it tolerate them.”
But that’s not the way most religious-right organizations and activists saw the decision. On the contrary, they seemed to believe that it was them who were being discriminated against. Maggie Gallagher, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, for example, said that the decision would lead the government, “almost Soviet-style,” to reeducate American children. Andy Pugno, general counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund that represented supporters of the proposition, said the judge had “literally accused the majority of California voters of having ill and discriminatory intent” in voting for it. Robert George of the American Principles Project said his decision was a “usurpation of democratic authority” and described same-sex marriage supporters as having a “revolutionary sexual ideology.” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council blamed “the far Left” for pushing judges to such decisions, and said that “this dangerous decision” had to be appealed. And David E. Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, said that “radical forces” and “tyrants who threaten to destroy this country” were to blame. ( continue to full post… )
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So you thought McDonald’s was a huge fast-food restaurant chain making huge profits and reaping some criticism in the process over the healthiness of its food?
Well, think again. The company whose 31,000 outlets serve nearly 47 million people a day actually is a full-fledged font of evil. It is “hell bent on using its resources to promote subversive moral, social, and political views about homosexuality to our children.” It “hoists high the rainbow colors of the homosexual movement that points to the substitution of the worship of man for the worship of God and leads to depravity and destruction.” McDonald’s, in a phrase, “promot[es] the homosexual agenda.”
Or so says Laurie Higgins, the slightly mad director of the “Division of School Advocacy” at the Illinois Family Institute, a particularly virulent anti-gay, religious-right organization. McDonald’s, the intrepid Higgins insisted in a furious “Call to Action” issued last Friday and entitled “McDonald’s Promotes Homosexuality, Again,” “has once again revealed it true colors.”
And what’s all the fuss about? Ms. Higgins, you see, is mad, really, really mad, because McDonald’s is airing an ad in France, entitled “Come as you are,” that depicts a teenage boy talking to his boyfriend on a cell phone at the restaurant. The whole scene is just, well, a little too normal-looking for the “school advocate.”
“[P]lease,” Higgins implores, “do not use your resources to support McDonald’s.”
Of course, this is Laurie Higgins speaking — the same woman who, in one of her rabid weekly rants, recently fumed about President Obama’s “commitment to radical, subversive change.” In a white-hot lather over Obama’s proclamation of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, Higgins raged about the proclamation, fulminated about Obama’s signing of the 2009 federal hate crimes bill — a statute that many religious-right leaders falsely claim could lead to pastors being jailed for merely condemning homosexuality as unbiblical — and concluded angrily that the president is “implicitly … embrac[ing] heresy.” ( continue to full post… )
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It’s that time of the year again, and Hatewatch’s intrepid staff is just now climbing out of the protective moonsuits needed to trawl through the year’s worst from the filth-spewing hate-mongers and fellow travelers who populate the radical right in America. Once more, we’ve done our best to go beyond the merely off-putting or revolting — the workaday nastiness that regular readers of Hatewatch already know so well — in search of the truly grotesque lowlights of the last year. While it hasn’t been easy getting here, the Hatewatch 3rd Annual Smackdown Awards Committee (earlier editions are here and here) is pleased to officially unveil its annual year-end countdown of the worst of 2009.
10. Schlockiest Neo-Nazi ‘Art’ Award
It’s not like we didn’t know that former Klan chieftain David Duke is a cad, an egomaniac who rips off his followers and chases their womenfolk whenever he isn’t busy getting plastic surgery in hopes of taking in even more people. We knew all about his neo-Nazi pronouncements on “Jewish supremacist power,” his description of AIDS as “the only disease that turns fruits into vegetables,” and his opinion that black people (not the word Duke used) “are primitive animals.” But we were grievously undereducated on one key point — it turns out that “Dr.” Duke (the Ph.D. comes from a Ukrainian diploma mill) “has a wonderful photographic and artistic ability.” That is, at least, if you’re into picture postcard-type schlock photos of places like Moscow and Salzburg, Austria (both meccas for white people, apparently), snapped by the big man himself and then retouched “to make a truly beautiful photo-artwork that will captivate and inspire you,” in the words of Duke’s pitch. The cost to collectors for prints signed by the Dukester? Just $99 a pop, or six for $500. Long live bad art for white people!
9. Whiniest Mass Murderer Award
Terry Nichols always was a complainer. Well, yes, he did help Timothy McVeigh build a bomb that left 168 people, including 19 small children, dead in the 1995 attack on the Oklahoma City federal building — but he really wasn’t all that into the bombing, he didn’t actually accompany McVeigh that day, and he only helped out because his old Army pal just wouldn’t quit hassling him. He did also help buy the bomb’s components and rob weapons from a gun dealer to finance it, but, hey, he was just trying to be agreeable and not cause a stir. Now comes Nichols, a man who failed in his Army career, his marriages and just about everything else, to tell a court that the food he’s fed in Supermax, where he’s serving a life sentence on 161 counts of premeditated murder, is constipating him. And he wants it stopped. From now on, he insisted after a cringe-inducing description of his problematic bowel movements, he requires a high-fiber daily diet of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit (oh, and $4.5 million for his suffering, too). But a federal judge — apparently a pawn not only of the evil government but also of the evil refined food industry — disagreed, noting that Nichols faces no immediate danger and, anyway, only objected to white bread after four years of eating it.
8. Most Intrepid Researcher Award
This category had a crowded field of contenders — especially among the host of mendacious Christian Right groups that claim homosexuals routinely rape children, “recruit” in schools, and push a hate crimes law that they say will result in pastors being sent to prison — but in the end all votes went to Ann Coulter. Sure, we all knew that Coulter had called Al Gore a “total fag,” labeled Muslims “ragheads” and said that Americans should “kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” But Coulter went one better last January in her latest bestselling hissy fit, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, where she reported the results of her research into the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). Most of us knew the CCC as a group that has written that blacks are “a retrograde species of humanity,” run photographic comparisons of pop singer Michael Jackson and a chimpanzee, and whined about “Jewish power brokers” and “perverted sodomites.” Gosh, they even say right in their “Statement of Principles” that they “oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind.” But Intrepid Annie set us straight, revealing that despite its bad rep, the CCC has been defamed and is merely “a conservative group.” ( continue to full post… )
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In the days leading up to yesterday’s Senate approval of far-reaching federal hate crimes legislation, religious right anti-gay groups were ramping up their rhetoric in a last-ditch attempt to defeat it.
But while their tone was shriller, their tune hadn’t changed: As they’ve done for months, these organizations were falsely claiming that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act would protect pedophiles and inhibit religious expression. Many of the religious right groups issuing alerts in recent days — including the Illinois Family Institute and the Liberty Counsel — seem not to have read the bill at all.
An E-mail sent Tuesday from Rick Scarborough, head of Vision America, exhorted supporters to “KEEP THE HATE CRIMES PRESSURE ON!” It referred to the bill as the “Pedophile Protection Act” because of its “inclusion of pedophiles as a protected class under the proposal that protects homosexuals from hate crimes.” In fact, while the law would allow prosecution of crimes motivated by bias against gays or transgendered people, it would not extend hate crimes protections to pedophiles.
The next day, the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) posted an “urgent” message on its website telling supporters to contact their senators. The proposed legislation was “anti-Christian, pro-LGBT [lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender]” and “threatens religious liberty, free speech and makes at least 30 different sexual orientations into federally protected minority groups.” According to the TVC, these sexual orientations include incest, voyeurism and bestiality. That’s false; “sexual orientation” refers only to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. The TVC, in fact, has been listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for years, largely because of its routine promotion of known falsehoods to demonize homosexuals.
Not to be outdone, long-time anti-Semite Ted Pike of the National Prayer Network posted an update yesterday on his website urging followers to call Senate offices. Earlier, he’d lamented that “patriots” weren’t doing enough to defeat the “homosexual lobby.” But if they don’t act, he wrote, “Let me remind you how infinitely more wearying it will be to exist night and day, year after year, shivering and starving in the gulags of the New World Order. If we allow this bill to first take away our free speech, then all other freedoms are going down the drain. Once that happens, there will be nothing to restrain mass arrest, imprisonment, deportation, and murder of probably millions.” In fact, the bill has no bearing on speech. ( continue to full post… )