The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
On the day he was sentenced, a 28-year-old neo-Nazi skinhead who viciously stabbed a black man in the head with scissors had an surprising epiphany.
“We have more in common than we don’t,” Ryan Zietlow-Brown told his victim in court, apologizing for the hate crime he committed in downtown Santa Barbara, Calif., in August 2011.
Zietlow-Brown was sentenced on Tuesday to 22 years and 4 months in prison after pleading no contest in early January to felony charges of attempted murder and mayhem with a hate crime motivation, the Santa Barbara Independent reported today.
Defense attorney Steven Andrade told the court that Zietlow-Brown had been awake for five days, high on methamphetamine, and that he suffered from a “brain irregularity” causing impulsive behavior. Andrade argued that the crime was more a consequence of Zietlow-Brown being “angry and out of control” rather than being racially motivated.
Prosecutor Kim Siegel said Zietlow-Brown was involved in multiple racially based fights prior to his arrest, showing “complete disregard for human safety and life,” the newspaper reported. She disagreed with a defense claim that the young man has given up his white supremacist affiliations.
Addressing the court, the defendant also apologized his mother, Shelya Rosenbaum — who is Jewish and of African-American descent — for his beliefs.
After sentencing, she told the newspaper she and her husband had spent tens of thousands of dollars on boot camps and therapy, but “no amount of treatment or money can overcome addiction.” She also apologized to the victim and gave him a hug as they left the courtroom.
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Oregonian: Suspected white supremacists gang members accused of torturing ‘snitches,’ including injecting drugs into man’s neck.
GQ: A close-up look at some of the leading ‘thinkers’ and their true believers in the men’s rights movement.
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Huffington Post: Polling reveals that Muslim Americans are widely seen as victims of discrimination.
Houston Chronicle: After Republic of Texas leaders send bizarre summons, meeting gets raided by FBI, Texas Rangers, and local police.
Five white supremacist gang members in Portland, Ore., are accused of kidnapping and torturing two men they suspected of cooperating with authorities in “Operation White Christmas,” a major investigation that subsequently led to more than 70 arrests in Oregon.
The massive investigation — resulting in charges including murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, drug possession and identity theft — is a case study in the relationship between white supremacists and outlaw motorcycle gang members on the streets and in prisons.
Authorities say criminal enterprises identified in the investigation include the Gypsy Jokers outlaw motorcycle gang and five street- and prison white supremacist gangs: the Rude Krude Brood; European Kindred (EK); All Ona Bitch (AOB); Fat Bitch Killers (FBK) and Insane Peckerwood Syndicate (IPS).
Criminal charges against 70 defendants have been filed in state and federal courts. “We’ve also seized over 100 guns as part of this investigation,” Multnomah County Sheriff’s Detective Joshua Zwick told Hatewatch today.
Most of the crimes, investigators say, involved gang members victimizing other gang members, including those suspected of cooperating with investigators.
In the first incident, David Ray Bartol, 34, and David Bruce Corbit, 47, are accused of kidnapping a man at gunpoint from his Gresham, Ore., home on Dec. 21, 2012, and taking him to Tom’s Auto Painting & Body Shop in southeast Portland. There, the attackers stripped the victim, struck him with bats and used a belt sander on his left upper arm, the Oregonian reports.
The attackers then are accusing of putting a helmet on the victim’s head and firing a silencer-equipped rifle, striking the man’s head four or five times. They then injected the victim with heroin and dumped the unconscious man in the street about a mile away.
The second incident occurred Feb. 12, 2013, in the same auto body shop. Four suspects, Michael Philip Donald O’Malley, 25, Michael O. Newcomb, 27, and Joseph Gerald Schwab, 51, and Bartol are accused of torturing, robbing and twice shooting another man in a spray booth in the auto shop before dumping him on Southeast Powell Boulevard. That victim was hospitalized for several months and sustained permanent injuries, investigators say.
Corbit, an admitted heroin addict, is an enforcer in for the Rude Krude Brood white supremacist gang and co-owner of the auto shop where the alleged attacks took place, the Portland newspaper reported.
Bartol is named in a 14-count state indictment related to the two body shop assaults. He is charged with attempted aggravated murder, four counts of first-degree kidnapping, first- and second-degree assault, four firearms counts and two counts of forcing another to ingest a controlled substance.
For his role in the first kidnapping, Corbit pleaded guilty in January to unauthorized use of a weapon, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault and injecting drugs into the victim.
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The State Press (Tempe, AZ): Students, residents call for ASU officials to provide response to white-supremacist groups’ threats.
American Prospect: How will the 2016 GOP candidates deal with the anti-Islamic bigotry within their own party?
Sanctity of Marriage-Alabama held another rally against marriage equality this past Saturday on the steps of the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery. The rally featured several speakers who not only decried the January federal court ruling that struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage, but also homosexuality in general. This is the second rally the group has held this month (the first was Feb. 7) and the second time that theocrat John Eidsmoe was a speaker. He was the keynote at the first.
Eidsmoe is listed as “senior counsel and resident scholar” at the Foundation for Moral Law (FML) a Montgomery-based organization founded in 2002. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was president of the FML until he stepped down in 2013 to run for the position he now holds. His wife, Kayla Moore, is currently the president.
Eidsmoe also has notable ties. In 2005, he addressed the national conference of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens. He is a favorite of the neo-Confederate League of the South, which calls for a society run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate African Americans and other minorities.
Moore, who received myriad accolades at the second rally as well as the first, is at the center of a controversy that erupted after U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional in January. Moore has stated publicly that Alabama judges need not honor the ruling and warned of a “confrontation” with the federal courts. The Southern Poverty Law Center has since filed an ethics complaint against Moore, arguing that he has committed ethical violations and encouraged lawlessness by attempting to assemble state officials and judges to oppose the federal judiciary.
In keeping with Moore’s theme, Eidsmoe claimed that state courts “are not bound by federal district and circuit court opinions.” But he also read, aloud, the beginning of the 1987 biting satirical essay “The Homosexual Manifesto,” which is used by anti-LGBT groups to “prove” the existence of a “gay agenda” and to link gay men to pedophilia. The manifesto was written under the name “Michael Swift,” possibly a pen name and an homage to Jonathan Swift, who also wrote satire. The first line, which anti-LGBT groups ignore, is, “This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.”
After reading the short passage, Eidsmoe exhorted the crowd to Google the essay to read it for themselves.
Other speakers included Alabama Republican state representative Will Ainsworth, who linked same-sex marriage to polygamy when he said, “Allowing the whims of our pop culture to redefine marriage is a slippery slope that could lead to polygamy. Where does the definition stop? Think about that.” He then quoted Isaiah 5:20, which states, in part, “woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.”
Pastor Aaron Motley of Montgomery’s Miracle Deliverance Temple of Christ had stronger words, linking homosexuality to perversion when he claimed that it’s an “insult” to compare LGBT rights to the civil rights movement because “one seeks to protect our rights as human beings under the U.S. Constitution and moral laws and the other seeks the acceptance of a perverted lifestyle.” He further claimed that the “gay agenda is designed to undermine all that the civil rights movement set out to do.”
The crowd, which appeared to be around 200 people (some estimates are higher), included members or supporters of the League of the South, some of whom carried flags that featured a red cross with white stars on a blue background, which looks a lot like the 3rd Kentucky Mounted Infantry Regiment flag, used also as a battle flag for Confederate general John Breckinridge’s division, though the cross also carries religious symbolism.
This isn’t the first time the League has expanded its traditional, secessionist mission to protest same-sex marriage. Last year, members gathered outside the SPLC offices and also in Richmond, Virginia.
Federal authorities arrested a financially troubled 44-year-old carpenter last week in connection with an explosion in Colorado Springs, Colo., last month outside a building that housed an office of the NAACP.
But it appears the venerable civil rights organization was not the target of the blast as some initially feared.
The suspect, Thaddeus Murphy of Colorado Springs, reportedly told investigators after he was taken into custody on Feb. 19 that he was targeting a tax preparation business that shared the single-story building with the NAACP at the time of the explosion — around 10:45 in the morning of Jan. 6.
In an affidavit, a federal agent said Murphy confessed to setting off a pipe bomb at the building in a dispute with his accountant over his tax records. “Murphy stated he ‘flipped out,’” the affidavit said, “because of his financial problems.”
On Friday, according to ABC News, a judge ordered Murphy held without bond pending a hearing scheduled for this Wednesday.
The explosion knocked items off the walls of the NAACP office and rattled nerves and churned up imagines and memories of the past. Over the decades, the NAACP has often been a target of violence. In a Tweet hours after the explosion, Cornell Brooks, the president of the NAACP, said, “Thankfully no one was hurt in a suspicious explosion at our Colorado Spring #NAACP office. We remain vigilant.”
Adding to the uncertainty and fear that the NAACP might have been the target immediately following the blast was the description of a suspect seen leaving the scene — a heavyset, middle-aged white man in a white truck.
Murphy told investigators that he placed the small pipe bomb near his accountant’s office as a warning, according to the affidavit. He said his accountant refused to return his tax records from 2006 to the present. He said he had once declared bankruptcy and needed his records “because of his financial issues.”
According to the affidavit, when investigators searched Murphy’s home they discovered a pistol, several rifles, two shotguns, fuse and 3½ pounds of commercially available binary explosives.
This is not Murphy’s first run-in with the law. The affidavit said he has a criminal record that includes felony theft, felony burglary and fraud by check and in 2009 he was sentenced to five years in prison for theft.
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FBI Arrests West Virginia Man Who ‘Hated Government’ for Plotting to Blow Up Courthouse, Other Targets
A West Virginia man who authorities say “regularly espouses venomous anti-government, anti-law enforcement rhetoric” was arrested on Valentine’s Day on charges of possessing stolen explosives that he allegedly intended to use in attacks on a federal courthouse, a local festival, and a bank.
Jonathan Leo Schrader, 30, of Elkins, was arrested by FBI agents on Feb. 14 after a search warrant for his home revealed a bomb cache that included C-4 explosive compound and a half-stick of dynamite.
According to the West Virginia MetroNews, the investigation began when a cooperating witness began alerting sheriff’s deputies to Schrader’s activities, which included obtaining C-4 from a juvenile whose father had used the compound on a job. The witness also told deputies that Schrader had blown up a stump with some of the C-4, had altered an AK-47 to fire automatically, and had left a fake pipe bomb near police barracks in order to gauge their response.
Schrader intended to use the C-4 to blow up the Jennings Randolph Federal Center in Elkins, the witness said, as well as to attack the crowd at the local Mountain State Forest Festival, which is held every fall in the town. On another occasion, Schrader told the man he wanted to blow a hole in the wall of a local bank to get at its money, according to the FBI affidavit.
The man also intended to use a sniper rifle to shoot first responders at the scenes of the explosions, according to the witness, who also regularly relayed information about the man’s hatred of the government and law enforcement.
A detention hearing on Friday in Clarksburg was scheduled by U.S. Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull, who ordered Schrader held in the U.S. Marshals’ custody until the hearing. It was not clear if Schrader had an attorney.
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Right Wing Watch: Allen West says he isn’t a conspiracy theorist, he just wants to know why Obama helps America’s enemies.
Miami Herald: Hate messages appear on homes, fences and mailboxes in Miami Gardens.
Media Matters: Fox News gets duped by yet another bogus anti-gay horror tale spun by noted anti-LGBT hate group.
Talking Points Memo: Tucker Carlson blames bizarre ‘Kill All the Jews’ headline on an editor with a hangover.
Think Progress: Washington state judge tells anti-LGBT florist that her religious beliefs are not an excuse to break the law.
Members of the Maryland-Virginia chapter of the League of the South (LOS) are set to host an event celebrating John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
The event, organized by Shane Long, the Vice Chairman of the Maryland-Virginia LOS, is scheduled to take place in Baltimore on April 11th.
“The Maryland-Virginia League of the South commemorates the actions of Mr. John Wilkes Booth of Maryland who, motivated by the tyranny his Southern people faced, answered his calling with courage and fortitude,” states the Facebook page for the event.
The event is just one more example of the type of inflammatory rhetoric that has become the norm during the recent evolution of the LOS from a would-be heritage organization to a full-blown bastion of neo-confederate extremism perhaps best exemplified in September of last year, when a Hatewatch investigation revealed that after a year of regular street demonstrations and activism, LOS leadership had authorized the formation of a paramilitary militia known as the “Indomitables.”
The John Wilkes Booth celebration will be the third event held by LOS in 2015, following a recent demonstration held in Gainesville, Fla. and a protest scheduled in Vidalia, Ga. for late March. Both events have been titled “Immigration Hurts Southern Workers,” a strategy repeatedly utilized by LOS in 2014 in order to appeal to more moderate Southerners, though whether the celebration of the murder of a U.S. president is a “traditional conservative value” remains to be seen.
“This 14th of April will mark the 150th anniversary of John Wilkes Booth’s execution of the tyrant Abraham Lincoln,” wrote LOS president Michael Hill. “A century and a half after the fact,” writes Hill, “The League of the South thanks Mr. Booth for his service to the South and to humanity.”