The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
The Republican National Committee is heading to the Holy Land, compliments of a hate group that has denigrated Muslims, African Americans, the LGBT community and even Jews.
But the RNC isn’t answering any questions about its American Family Association-funded trip, scheduled to begin tomorrow. Email and telephone messages left Friday with Kirsten Kukowski, the RNC’s national press secretary, were not returned. Presumably the trip is still on despite a week of bad press for the AFA.
Last week, the SPLC wrote to all 168 members of the RNC urging them not to accompany the AFA on the trip because of the group’s long track record of bigotry and hate. The SPLC has named the AFA as a hate group due to its history of making false, demonizing statements about the LGBT community.
Longtime AFA Bryan Fischer, for example, has claimed that “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler … the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” He has also characterized African Americans as “people who rut like rabbits.”
The AFA responded by seeking to distance itself from Fischer and redefine its character by removing him from his duties as its chief spokesman and director of issues analysis. Fischer, however, will remain as a talk show host on the AFA’s radio network – a bullpen of bigoted pundits known for incendiary statements.
In a letter this week to the Southern Poverty Law Center, AFA general counsel Patrick J. Vaughn wrote, “AFA has concluded that it must renounce some statements made by American Family Radio talk-show host Bryan Fischer. In its 37-year history, AFA has never held these views and wishes to clarify that it still rejects such sentiments.”
SPLC President Richard Cohen responded in a letter, “[T]he AFA’s 11th-hour disavowal of Mr. Fischer appears to serve only one purpose: to give the AFA a degree of plausible deniability while it continues to spew hateful rhetoric. It’s a shell game and a transparent one at that.”
While the AFA has taken a job title away from Fischer, he isn’t the only mouthpiece spewing hate on its network. AFA officials, including its president, Tim Wildmon, and founder, Don Wildmon, also have made similarly bigoted statements. “Hollywood and the theater world is heavily influenced by Jewish people,” Don Wildmon once said.
The RNC has predictably chosen to remain nearly silent on these developments, and at least presumably, some of its members are still planning to make the trip to Israel. Kukowski told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that they were “glad AFA has severed ties with him.”
But just like the AFA trying to weather the storm by “rejecting” Fischer’s statements while keeping him on the payroll, the RNC not talking about the trip won’t make the questions about its relationship with a known hate group go away.
Rather than risk a second jury trial, a woman described as a ringleader of an Orange County, Calif., white supremacist gang pleaded guilty this week to charges of kidnapping, extortion and aggravated assault.
Ruthie Christine “Big Mama” Marshall, a 45-year-old bartender who lived in Garden Grove, Calif., faces 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in March, the Orange County Register reported.
Marshall is the wife of Wayne Jason “Bullet” Marshall, identified as a “shot-caller” with a lengthy record of violence and ties to the white supremacist gangs in Southern California.
The Marshalls were among three dozen reputed white supremacy gang members arrested in Orange County in late 2010 in a multi-agency task force called “Operation Stormfront.” The operation targeted white racist prison and street gangs whose criminal reach spanned from the prisons and county jails to the streets.
Right Wing Watch: Bryan Fischer says he’s merely ‘given up’ his position as AFA’s analysis chief, will keep doing broadcasts.
Salon: David Duke threatens to run against ‘sellout’ Rep. Steve Scalise.
Jim Romenesko: Idaho publisher explains why state’s biggest paper ran front-page anti-gay sticker ad.
St. Louis American: Police-union spokesman Jeff Roorda pushes young black woman at public hearing on civilian review.
Daily Kos: Native American schoolchildren taunted with racial slurs, sprayed with beer at South Dakota hockey game.
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA): Augusta County supervisor refers to black reporter as ‘boy,’ then apologizes.
Tulsa World: Final defendants in large Aryan Brotherhood drug-trafficking case plead guilty.
News-Press (St. Joseph, MO): Maryville man charged with hate crime for harassing, threatening black waitress.
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains, Harrison, Ark., has a refurbished old-time town square and a steadily growing community college. Yet, like scores of small cities and towns across the country, the town could always use more tourist dollars and new businesses.
What the largely white city of 13,000 residents does not need is another racially provocative billboard, churning up its ghosts and scaring away potential industry and employees. But that is exactly what Harrison got Tuesday when the neo-Confederate Alabama-based League of the South (LOS) unveiled its latest billboard, once again plastered with the group’s one-word silent scream, “#Secede.”
The League, which advocates for a second secession—like the first went so well—and a society dominated by “European Americans,” has previously placed billboards in Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. But this is apparently its first foray into Harrison, the site since 2013 of a war of words and billboards that has pitted white nationalists against the city and the Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations.
Gavin Seim, the self-described “liberty speaker” who organized last month’s “We Will Not Comply” rally in Olympia to protest a recently approved gun-control law in Washington state, was arrested earlier this month for disrupting court proceedings.
Seim, 29, an ardent proponent of far-right “Patriot” movement theories on constitutional law and a frequent critic of police behavior, was taken into custody along with his 59-year-old father, Grant, by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies on Jan. 15 after a group of about ten protesters disrupted the courtroom of Judge Judith L. McCauley in East Wenatchee.
The protesters were there to observe the proceedings in a traffic case involving Tavis Shasteen, 19, who had been cited in October after being briefly arrested for refusing to give his license information to a deputy who had pulled him over for speeding. Since, Seim had turned the case into an antigovernment cause celebre.
Texas-based white supremacist and activist Preston Wiginton, best known for bringing racists to college campuses, is at it again, this time sponsoring anti-LGBT pastor James Manning to speak at Texas A&M University next month.
The topic of Manning’s speech will be “The True State of Black America”—an interesting title considering Manning is African American speaking at the invitation of a man who once claimed, “beating down a mud [person of color] when they try to poisen [sic] one of our own or when they try to seduce one of our [white] girls may not be God inspired, but rather a righteous act of collective preservation.”
American Family Association repudiates chief spokesman’s racist and anti-LGBT statements before hosting Israel trip for RNC members
In a letter to SPLC officials, the American Family Association (AFA) has disavowed a series of racist and bigoted statements made by its chief spokesman in recent years.
The repudiation of Bryan Fischer’s statements came just two days before members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) are scheduled to embark on a trip to Israel sponsored by the AFA.
Last week, the SPLC wrote to all 168 members of the RNC urging them not to accompany the AFA on the trip because of the group’s long track record of bigotry and hate. The SPLC has named the AFA as a hate group due to its history of making false, demonizing statements about the LGBT community, including Fischer’s contention that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust.
SPLC President Richard Cohen, in a letter to the AFA today, wrote that “it’s difficult to see the AFA’s disavowal as anything other than an effort to quell the negative press attention you’re receiving in connection with your sponsorship of an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel for members of the Republican National Committee.”
Fischer has claimed, for example, that black people “rut like rabbits”; that the First Amendment applies only to Christians; that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come to the U.S. to “plunder” the country; that Muslims should not be permitted to build mosques in the United States; that an underground railroad is needed to protect children from gay parents; and more.
In the Jan. 28 letter to the SPLC, AFA general counsel Patrick Vaughn listed a series of offensive comments from Fischer and said the organization “has never held these views and wishes to clarify that it still rejects such sentiments.”
Vaughn also wrote that Fischer would no longer serve as an AFA spokesperson or its director of issue analysis. However, Fischer will continue to host his two-hour, daily Focal Point radio show and write blog posts. Vaughn wrote that the AFA’s radio network provides a “diversity” of viewpoints but that Fischer’s statements do not represent the views of the AFA.
In response, Cohen wrote, “The fact that the AFA is continuing to allow Mr. Fischer to host a daily radio show and blog on its website also makes us question the AFA’s sincerity. Sponsoring Mr. Fischer’s racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred of the Muslim and the LGBT communities in the name of ‘diversity’ says as much about the AFA as it does about Mr. Fischer.
“Is there nothing beyond the pale in the AFA’s view? Does the AFA believe that statements such as these have a place on its airwaves? Is this what the AFA considers ‘diversity’?”
Cohen noted that other AFA officials, including its president, Tim Wildmon, and founder, Don Wildmon, also have made statements “that reflect narrow-minded bigotry” and that AFA printed materials have demonized the LGBT community.
“Without ending Mr. Fischer’s talk show, without apologizing for the bigoted statements that he, Mr. Wildmon, and others associated with the AFA have made, and without making it crystal clear that the AFA will not tolerate any such statements in the future, the AFA’s 11th-hour disavowal of Mr. Fischer appears to serve only one purpose: to give the AFA a degree of plausible deniability while it continues to spew hateful rhetoric,” Cohen wrote. “It’s a shell game and a transparent one at that.”
Letter to the American Family Association from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Thursday, January 29, 2015. Download (PDF).
Letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center from the American Family Association, Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Download (PDF).
Rachel Maddow: American Family Association fires Bryan Fischer as analysis director ahead of RNC trip to Israel.
CNN: South Carolina judge throws out old convictions for sit-ins from Civil Rights era for ‘Friendship Nine.’
News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.): Police say traffic incident quickly escalated into racial assault on woman.
American-Statesman (Austin, TX): Aryan Brotherhood member faces felony theft charge after stealing snacks at Wal-Mart.
Right Wing Watch: Far-right activist Bill Federer warns of the Obama-Ferguson-Islamist-Homosexual plot to destroy America.
Raw Story: Seattle man needed state official’s help to deal with bogus charges for ‘walking while black.’
Idaho Statesman: Huge crowd, deep division at hearing for proposal to ban anti-LGBT discrimination in Idaho.
A man just arrested in Virginia on murder-for-hire charges has ties to racist Christian Identity and KKK groups that hosted a “whites only” gathering and cross burning in 2012 in Alabama, a television station reports.
Dallas W. Brumback Jr., 35, of Sterling, Va., was arrested on Jan. 22 by Loudoun County sheriff’s detectives on a charge of attempted capital murder. The suspect is accused of making a $2,500 down-payment last November to have his ex-wife murdered in a $5,000 deal with a hit-man, charging documents allege.
Brumback is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday for a bond hearing. The suspect’s attorney, Caleb A. Kershner, of Leesburg, Va., did not return telephone calls from Hatewatch seeking comment.
Julie Carey, the Northern Virginia bureau chief for NBC4 Washington who broke the story on Monday, reported that court documents and interviews with Brumback’s neighbors revealed his ties to a “whites-only Christian organization.”
In July 2012, Brumback helped organize a racist gathering near Birmingham, Ala. where Ku Klux Klan banners were displayed and only certain white Christians were allowed, the station reported.
During that three-day racist gathering, Brumback, who said he lived in Virginia, told ABC 33/40, a television station in Birmingham, that he was a “pastor” with Christian Identity Ministries.
“The Ku Klux Klan is a political organization for white Christians,” Brumback told the Birmingham station in explaining the purpose of the gathering and cross-burning. He appeared with short hair in the 2012 video, a stark comparison to long hair and a beard at the time of his arrest.
News video from that gathering shows a banner listing the Ku Klux Klan Realm of Virginia and a website that’s no longer active.
The NBC4 report said Brumback and the woman he allegedly wanted killed filed for divorce in 2006, with his then-wife complaining he was in the Ku Klux Klan and that he “threatened to commit suicide by cop, prompting her to call police because of his erratic behavior.”
Brumback denied the suicide claim but not his KKK ties before the couple’s divorce was finalized in 2007, the Washington station reported. It’s unknown what motivated the murder for hire plot.
Brumback lives with his new wife and 3 children in a home on Redrose Drive in Sterling. His mother, Fay Brumback, lives next door. She hung up and wouldn’t respond to question and hung up when contacted by Hatewatch today.
Her ex-husband and the suspect’s estranged father, Dallas W. Brumback Sr., who also lives in Sterling, told Hatewatch he didn’t participate in the 2012 racist gathering in Alabama and wasn’t aware of his son’s involvement with hate groups.
NBC4 also reported that said some of Brumback’s neighbors “considered a threat because he frequently fired his weapon in his yard, killing crows and other animals” and frequently wore camouflage clothing. Other neighbors told the station that his activities didn’t bother them, but they confirmed his ties to white supremacist groups.
Right Wing Watch: GOP witnesses for Loretta Lynch hearing include a number of far-right extremists.
Think Progress: How anti-LGBT conservatives plan to use a cake reading ‘God Hates Gays’.
Cook County Record: Judge calls out litigants for using ‘sovereign citizen’ theories in court, urges sanctions.
Salon: Gay Alabama legislator threatens to expose colleagues’ infidelities if they preach ‘family values.’
Spokesman-Review (Spokane): LDS Church announcement on protections for gays makes big waves in Idaho.
Pandagon: Superheroes vs. bigotry can be a powerful thing.