The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Croatian Extremist Joins White Hate Group Leadership

By Larry Keller on March 24, 2010 - 9:39 am, Posted in Anti-Semitic, White Supremacist

A popular speaker at gatherings of white supremacists and anti-Semites has joined the board of directors of the nascent white nationalist political party, American Third Position (A3P).

Tomislav Sunic, who describes himself as a former professor, Croatian diplomat and author, has spoken on multiple occasions to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) and the Institute for Historical Review (IHR). The CCC is a racist hate group directly descended from the White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s that were once famously described by future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall as the “uptown Klan.” The IHR is a Holocaust-denying organization and publisher. He has also spoken at events organized by the neo-Nazi National Alliance, including a February 2003 “Euro-Fest” in Sacramento, Calif., where his central theme was that Europe has been repeatedly invaded by “alien” peoples and that whites have become a minority in Western Europe. He railed on about non-white immigrants, ending with the Turkish workers who have moved to Germany. “The Turks,” he said, “are enslaving white people in Germany.”

Sunic spoke this March 6 at an IHR gathering in California that was attended by William Daniel Johnson and Kevin MacDonald, the chairman and director, respectively, of the A3P. In that appearance, Sunic lamented what he characterized as vindictive treatment of Germans in the aftermath of World War II.

Johnson, a lawyer who has been a white supremacist activist for nearly three decades, has run for offices in three states, losing badly each time. MacDonald is a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, who is best known for his anti-Semitic writings. Johnson and MacDonald formed the A3P last October and hope to eventually run candidates for political offices across the United States. The party’s simple mission statement: “The American Third Position Exists to represent the political interests of White Americans.” ( continue to full post… )

Former Militiaman in Alabama Called for Breaking Dems’ Windows

By Mark Potok on March 23, 2010 - 2:34 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Patriot Groups

It wasn’t quite the shot heard around the world, but the sound of glass shattering at Democratic Party offices around the country has put the spotlight on former militiaman Mike Vanderboegh, who furiously called on followers last Friday to protest health care reform by breaking Democratic windows.

Vanderboegh posted his message on his blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars, calling for “all modern Sons of Liberty” to break the windows of local Democratic Party offices. Since that time, Democratic offices across the country have reported windows smashed in an apparent response to health care reform. Vanderboegh called health care reform backers “collectivists” and added that they “certainly do not hear the soft ‘snik-snik’ of cleaning rods being used on millions of rifle barrels in this country by people who have decided their backs are to the wall.”

“[I]f you wish to send a message that [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows,” the Pinson, Ala., blogger wrote. “Break them NOW. Break them and run to break again. Break them under cover of night. Break them in broad daylight. Break them and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience. Break them with rocks. Break them with slingshots. Break them with baseball bats. But BREAK them.”

Vanderboegh seemed to take credit for instigating at least some of the attacks in interviews. He told the Kansas City Star that his call was meant “to get everyone’s attention.” To the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle, he said: “If it takes a few bricks and broken windows for people to understand how close we are to widespread violence in this country then the bricks in the windows will have been worth it.”

Vanderboegh’s blog has been used to promote the Three Percenters, an antigovernment “Patriot” group that claims to represent 3% of U.S. gun owners. The name is inspired by the 3% of American colonists believed to have actively opposed England. Vanderboegh describes himself as “the alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters.” In the 1990s, he was associated with radical groups including the Alabama Constitutional Militia, the Tri-States Militia and the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, Constitutional Militia. ( continue to full post… )

Nativists Work to Counter Sunday’s Pro-Immigrant March

By Sonia Scherr on March 19, 2010 - 4:59 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Nativist Extremist

As thousands of people prepare to rally in Washington, D.C., this Sunday for immigration reform, nativist extremist groups are unleashing their own campaigns to counter the event.

NumbersUSA today launched “S.T.O.P. Amnesty in Four Days,” a drive to derail any immigration reform package that includes a citizenship provision for undocumented immigrants. During the four-day campaign, NumbersUSA supporters will lobby members of Congress by faxing, calling and visiting their offices. The group, including its president and founder Roy Beck, will also have a presence at the march and will feature a live webcast of the event on its homepage.

Though NumbersUSA states on its website that it’s against immigrant-bashing, that’s apparently not true of all the group’s supporters. During last week’s NumbersUSA conference call to mobilize for S.T.O.P. Amnesty, one participant asserted that activists need to let Mexican immigrant women know that they are the new “welfare queens” because they rely on U.S. tax dollars to take care of their babies, according to the Colorado Independent. NumbersUSA’s director for social media marketing, Chad MacDonald, who was moderating the call, said he appreciated the point. “We will make a note of that,” he responded. “Thank you very much.” Another caller said the children of Mexican immigrants should be called dependents rather than babies. “They have dependents,” the caller said. “We have babies.”

Among those taking part in the S.T.O.P. Amnesty campaign is William Gheen’s Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), which “will be working around the clock this coming weekend,” according to a news release from ALIPAC. The group is also planning its own opposition to the pro-reform march, urging people to sign up for “Tea Party Against Amnesty” protests nationwide on April 15. (ALIPAC organized a first round of anti-amnesty tea parties last November.) ( continue to full post… )

Year in Hate and Extremism Webcast

By Hatewatch Staff on March 19, 2010 - 1:06 pm, Posted in Podcasts

Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen and Intelligence Project Director Mark Potok discuss the recently released annual count of hate and extremist groups.

Armed MCDC to ‘Forcefully Engage’ Border ‘Criminals’

By Sonia Scherr on March 19, 2010 - 7:39 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Nativist Extremist

The leader of the nativist extremist group Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) publicly repudiates the use of illegal tactics to secure the border against undocumented immigrants. “If one single individual steps over the line for their personal gratification, we are all stained with that irresponsible behavior, and labeled forever as a fringe element that embarrasses all who are counting on us to make a historic statement,” MCDC President Carmen Mercer wrote on the group’s website.

But Mercer doesn’t sound nearly so careful in a recent E-mail to Minutemen that repeatedly asks them to come to the border “locked and loaded” — military jargon for an assault rifle that’s ready for firing — and prepared to “forcefully engage” the “criminals” who try to cross without documentation. Monday’s “urgent alert” announced an armed border patrol operation that’s scheduled to begin on March 26 and to last until the U.S. military is deployed to secure the border.

“President Obama and John McCain have left us no choice – this March we return to the border locked, loaded and ready to stop each and every individual we encounter along the frontier that is now more dangerous than the frontier of Afghanistan,” Mercer wrote in part. “This operation will not be for the faint of heart. MCDC volunteers will work under an entire different SOP [standard operating procedure]; we will approach our duty as citizens as we should – we have a zero tolerance for any and all violations of our border and we will forcefully engage, detain, and defend our lives and country from the criminals who trample over our culture and laws. Long arms will be allowed and frankly, encouraged.”

Though MCDC has conducted armed border patrols before (and they’re perfectly legal under Arizona’s lenient gun laws), Mercer’s latest rhetoric is especially shrill. In the E-mail, she referred to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as “an unqualified buffoon who risks the lives of American citizens every day she is the head of DHS.” She also states that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has been more sympathetic to immigrants than many in his party, “is responsible for every death of an American citizen at the hands of illegal alien criminals and the drug cartels.”

Mercer, of Tombstone, Ariz., did not respond to an E-mail message sent yesterday seeking clarification of her statements. In addition, her voice mail was full and would not accept messages. A German immigrant and longtime Minuteman leader, Mercer was named in lawsuit filed by the Arizona attorney general’s last summer after a post office box she owned was included in a property tax solicitation aimed at scamming homeowners.  Mercer claimed that she had opened the post office box for a friend and didn’t know it would be used in the alleged fraud.

Ally: Minutemen Leader Knew Defamatory Video Was False

By Larry Keller on March 17, 2010 - 4:49 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

To hear San Diego Minutemen leader Jeff Schwilk’s crony and fellow nativist extremist Ray Carney tell it, Schwilk’s alleged defamation in December – for the second time – of a civil rights activist was no case of mistaken identity. In fact, Carney says, he warned Schwilk that a video in which a woman admitted she was a “prostitute” and a “hooker” was not in fact Joanne Yoon, a nemesis of both men. Schwilk sent a mass email with a link to the video anyway, Carney said.

“I researched the video and found that the girl in question was in fact not Yoon and was done by some girl who resides in Canada,” Carney wrote in a letter to Yoon’s attorney in San Diego, Daniel Gilleon. “I notified Jeff of my findings and told him not to use the video … he did not listen to my advise [sic].”

Schwilk did not immediately respond to a Hatewatch request for comment. ( continue to full post… )

Answering Our Critics: SPLC ‘Smear’ Dissected

By Heidi Beirich on March 16, 2010 - 3:04 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino

This Thursday, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) — a Washington, D.C., think tank that describes itself as “pro-immigrant” but pumps out an endless stream of papers claiming that immigration is hurting America in a myriad of ways — plans to issue a “report” attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

According to CIS’ press announcement, the report will claim the SPLC “joined with the National Council of La Raza [a Latino civil rights organization] and others to launch a campaign to smear” three anti-immigration groups: CIS, NumbersUSA, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The press release charged that the key to this “smear” was SPLC’s listing of FAIR as a hate group. (The SPLC annually publishes a list of hate groups and a map with their locations.) The CIS and NumbersUSA were not listed, but CIS says SPLC intended to “taint” them, too.

The suggestion that the SPLC worked surreptitiously with La Raza and others to designate FAIR a hate group is false; the decision to list the organization was made by the SPLC alone, based on almost a decade of SPLC research. We make no apologies for sharing that research with others in the human rights community, including La Raza, which we consider an important ally.

FAIR, an organization that has been dominated for much of its life by its racist founder John Tanton, has probably done more to inject fear and bigotry into the national immigration debate than any other modern organization. Its demonizing propaganda, aimed primarily at Latinos, comes at a time when the number of hate groups continues a decade-long rise, fueled by anti-Latino hatred. At the same time, the FBI reported a 40% rise in anti-Latino hate crimes between 2003 and 2007. Those crimes decreased slightly in 2008, the latest year for which statistics are available.

What follows is a list of factors that resulted in the listing of FAIR as a hate group. More detailed information on FAIR and its founder may be found here and here.

•    The racism of FAIR’s founder. John Tanton, who founded FAIR in 1979 and remains a central player on its board today, has a decades-long history of making racist statements and pursuing his interest in eugenics (he once asked Michigan officials if forced sterilization was illegal, citing the case of “a local pair of sisters who have nine illegitimate children between them”). Tanton has said that unless U.S. borders are sealed, America will be overrun by people “defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs.” He has warned of a “Latin onslaught,” complained of Latinos’ allegedly low “educability,” and said Latinos “bring with them the tradition of the mordida [bribe]].” He has a long record of friendly correspondence with Holocaust deniers, former Klan lawyers, and leading white nationalist thinkers, including Jared Taylor. He wrote a major FAIR funder to suggest she read the work of a radical anti-Semitic professor — to “give you a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life” — and suggested that the entire FAIR board discuss his theories about the Jews. At one point, Tanton wrote that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” In a letter to FAIR board member Donald Collins, Tanton enthused over the work of John Trevor Sr. — a key architect of the racially restrictive Immigration Act of 1924 and a man who distributed pro-Nazi propaganda and warned shrilly of “diabolical Jewish control” of America — and said it should serve FAIR as “a guidepost to what we must follow again this time.”
•    Taking money from racists. FAIR solicited and accepted a total of $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund, a notorious organization set up by Nazi sympathizers in 1937 to fund studies of eugenics (selective breeding of humans to produce a “better” race) and race and intelligence. Saying it didn’t know about the fund’s background, FAIR stopped publicly seeking Pioneer money in 1994 after a barrage of embarrassing publicity. But that didn’t stop three FAIR board members from meeting privately three years later with the Pioneer Fund’s then-chairman, Harry Weyher, to discuss fundraising. Moreover, FAIR has apparently lost its shame about the Pioneer Fund, and now devotes two pages of its website to defending the foundation.
•    Views of FAIR’s president. Dan Stein, once the group’s executive director and now its president, has warned that immigrants are engaged in “competitive breeding” aimed at diminishing white power. He led efforts to win funding from the racist Pioneer Fund, saying in 1993 that his “job [was] to get every dime of Pioneer’s money.” Stein also served as editorial adviser to Tanton’s hate journal, The Social Contract, at a time when it ran its ugliest edition ever, “Europhobia: The Hostility Toward European-Descended Americans.” The issue’s lead article argued that multiculturalism was replacing “successful Euro-American culture” with “dysfunctional Third World cultures.” Stein has declined to offer any criticism of FAIR’s founder, instead characterizing Tanton last September as a “Renaissance man.”
•    Leading FAIR officials’ participation in racist groups. Rick Oltman, who for much of the 1990s was FAIR’s Western Regional Coordinator, spoke as part of a 1997 immigration panel put on by the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Council publications at the time listed Oltman as a member. Jim Staudenraus, FAIR’s Eastern Regional Coordinator, participated in an anti-immigration conference in 2002 with Jared Taylor, a “white nationalist” publisher who recently wrote, “When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” In 2007, a senior FAIR official met with leaders of Vlaams Belang, a Belgian political party that officials outlawed in a previous incarnation (Vlaams Blok) as a “criminal organization” because of its racist anti-immigrant views.
•    Bigotry on the board. FAIR board member Donald Collins writes frequently for the VDARE.com website, named after Virginia Dare, said to have been the first English child born in the New World. The site is dedicated to bashing immigrants and has published the work of a broad array of white nationalists and anti-Semites. Collins’ articles have focused on attacking the Catholic Church over its stance on immigration, one of them accusing Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony of selling out his country “in exchange for more temporal power and glory.” In another, Collins said bishops were “infiltrating and manipulating the American political process” to attack the separation of church and state. Another FAIR board member, Richard Lamm, once said that “new cultures” in America were “diluting what we are and who we are.”
•    FAIR programming. FAIR has produced television programming under the title “Borderline” that featured interviews with white nationalists like Jared Taylor, who later launched the racist American Renaissance magazine, according to the anti-racist Center for New Community. FAIR’s “Borderline” program also featured a televised interview with Sam Francis, who went on to become editor of the publication of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group prone to gutter racism like posting on its website photo comparisons of the late black pop singer Michael Jackson and a chimpanzee. ( continue to full post… )

Paleocon Starts New Extreme-Right Magazine

By Larry Keller on March 15, 2010 - 3:59 pm, Posted in Academic Racism

Hard to believe there’s a need for yet another far-right magazine or conference, but now there are both. Richard Spencer, who was editor at “Taki’s Magazine,” an online paleoconservative magazine, is now executive editor of a new online magazine called “Alternative Right.” He calls this venture “an online magazine of radical traditionalism” that hopes “to forge a new intellectual right-wing that is independent and outside the ‘conservative’ establishment.” It also is loaded with contributors who, like Spencer, have long lamented the white man’s decline.

Meanwhile, Joseph Farah, founder of the conspiracy-laden WorldNetDaily website, says he is organizing a conference to be held in September called “Taking America Back.” Farah says the conference is a response to what he describes as the shabby treatment accorded him by the director of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which was held last month. “This one is about the ultimate issues of God, the Constitution, the tea-party uprising, freedom and justice,” Farah wrote in a WorldNetDaily commentary.

At “Alternative Right,” Spencer’s senior contributing editors are Peter Brimelow and Paul Gottfried. Brimelow founded VDARE.com, an anti-immigrant website, and he has described “Alternative Right” as a project of the VDARE Foundation. Gottfried has been a contributor to “Taki’s Magazine” and has spoken at conferences of the white nationalist American Renaissance magazine, whose editor has written that black people are incapable of sustaining any kind of civilization. Gottfried gave a speech at the inaugural meeting of the H.L. Mencken Club in November 2008 titled, “The Decline and Rise of the Alternative Right.” Brimelow was the keynote speaker at that event, and Spencer the master of ceremonies. Spencer and Gottfried also appeared together last October on “The Political Cesspool,” a racist and anti-Semitic radio program.

One of the bloggers at “Alternative Right” is Richard Hoste, who recently wrote that “low-IQ Mexican immigration is the greatest threat to America.” He also wrote: “Schools should stop wasting time trying to close achievement gaps. And not only do whites have nothing to feel guilty about, they are the best thing to ever happen to blacks. Even ignoring race, humanity will not move forward through equality or by raising up the really stupid to the level of just plain stupid.” Finally, Hoste had this pithy observation: “While there’s more miscegenation [interracial sex] than in the past … we should be heartened that white teenage girls aren’t passing themselves around in black neighborhoods.” ( continue to full post… )

The Unlikeliest Conspiracy-Monger: Colorado Public TV

By Sonia Scherr on March 11, 2010 - 1:11 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Conspiracies

Law-abiding U.S. citizens who express politically unpopular views are at risk of being rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps by a tyrannical government.

That’s according to a conspiracy theory that has long been popular within the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. Although recently debunked by Popular Mechanics, Newsweek (which called it “too silly to discuss”), CNN’s “American Morning,” the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report and even (after promoting it on several shows) FOX News host Glenn Beck, the myth that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is creating detention facilities for political dissidents is gaining traction on the far-right fringe.

Now, however, a mainstream media source is providing an uncritical platform for FEMA camp lore: KBDI Colorado Public Television aired the video “Camp FEMA: American Lockdown” twice last weekend and has scheduled another showing for March 13. The 90-minute film opens with newsreel footage of Japanese-Americans being forced into internment camps during World War II and then trots out conspiracy die-hards who suggest that freethinking Americans today may face the same fate. Those featured include syndicated radio host Alex Jones, who frets about one-world government at Infowars.com; longtime Patriot broadcaster John Stadtmiller, who insisted after the Oklahoma City bombing that the U.S. government was behind the mass murder; and James Lane of the Patriot group We Are Change, which does not believe that al-Qaeda perpetrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Not unreasonably, “Camp FEMA” producer Gary Franchi sees the recognition from a major PBS market as a coup for believers in the camps. “I think it definitely lends credence to the issue,” he told Hatewatch. (Though some Patriot movement beliefs have roots in white supremacy — including the FEMA camp story, whose early proponents included the anti-Jewish Posse Comitatus — Franchi said his group is not anti-Semitic, racist or antigovernment.)

Since its release last year, “Camp FEMA” has been available for purchase on its website (cost: $14.95). But during its March 6 public television debut as part of KBDI’s current fundraising campaign, the film had the potential to reach over 200,000 households, mostly in the Denver metropolitan area, according to KBDI Membership Director/Executive Producer Shari Bernson. In addition, Franchi, who heads the Illinois-based Patriot group RestoreTheRepublic.com, traveled to KBDI’s studios to discuss his film on air with Bernson and Denver-based talk show host Mike Zinna. “It was our most successful pledge program since we rolled out this pledge drive last Thursday,” Bernson said. “We were flooded with calls.” ( continue to full post… )

Second Hal Turner Trial Ends in Mistrial

By Sonia Scherr on March 10, 2010 - 8:54 pm, Posted in White Supremacist

The federal trial of hate blogger Hal Turner ended in a mistrial late this afternoon — for the second time.

After deliberating for three days in Brooklyn’s U.S. District Court, jurors decided they would not be able to reach a verdict, according to The Associated Press. Judge Donald Walter declared a mistrial and scheduled a third trial for April 12. Turner’s first trial in December also resulted in a deadlocked jury. An Internet radio host from New Jersey, Turner was charged with threatening to assault and murder three federal judges in Chicago after he wrote on his blog in June that they “deserve to be killed” because they had upheld a local handgun ban.

As during the first trial, the proceedings this month focused on whether Turner’s blog entries constituted a criminal threat or merely heated rhetoric that’s protected under the First Amendment. However, the second trial differed from the first in key ways, according to news accounts. This time, for instance, the judges that Turner targeted on his blog testified. In addition, Turner took the stand to describe his past work as a confidential FBI informant, claiming that the agency had encouraged his online vitriol to give him credibility with the extremists the FBI was trying to apprehend. Turner, whose FBI code name was Valhalla, said the agency paid him more than $100,000 during the four years he worked intermittently as an informant. He also insisted he was not a white supremacist.

If convicted, Turner faces up to 10 years in prison.