The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
After begging for money for weeks, raging anti-Semite Alex Linder announced today that his Vanguard News Network will shut down at midnight after a failed fundraising campaign that asked his supporters to contribute $2,500 each quarter to keep the forum up and running.
“I am begging. It’s humiliating as hell, but I am,” Linder said two weeks ago in a post claiming he could no longer pay the bills.
Pointing to the usual target of his hatred, the post said, “You want to fight jews [sic]? I have the will and ability to do so, as proved over two decades.”
Though clearly broke, Linder defiantly proclaimed, “I believe VNN has made a difference so far, and will continue to do that in the future. I see more and more stuff taking a VNNlike [sic] line, and that is very heartening. It shows that we are right, and if we just keep going, we are ginning up more and more people…Things are going our way.”
Speaking of “ginning up” people, VNN provided a forum for many famous racists, perhaps most notably Frazier Glenn Miller, the raging anti-Semite who went on a shooting spree in April that killed three people in Overland Park, Kan. He posted thousands of times on VNN using the name “Rounder.”
This morning Linder was $700 short of the $2,500 he needed to pay the Website’s bill. It remains unknown if VNN will return, though Linder has claimed VNN will go down long enough “for people to think about things.”
Unfortunately, his hate career will continue over at alexlinder.com.
The hacker collective Anonymous has launched a campaign to target the Ku Klux Klan following the group’s claim they will use “lethal force” against protestors in Ferguson, Mo., where racial tensions have boiled for months after police killed a black teenager there.
The operation, known on Twitter as #OpKKK, has targeted local Klan members by publicly identifying them through social media, as well as taking over the Missouri Klan group’s Twitter account. As of today, for example, the information on the Klan’s twitter account read, “Under anon control as of 16 NOV 2014 09:11:47. You should’ve expected us.”
In a video statement posted to YouTube, Anonymous claimed the KKK was targeted because of its threats to use violence in the town where Michael Brown was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in August, not because of the Klan’s white nationalist beliefs.
“Due to your actions we started Operation KKK,” Anonymous claimed in a video. “The aim of our operation is nothing more than Cyber Warfare. Anything you upload will be taken down, anything you use to promote the KKK will be shut down.”
The action comes in the wake of the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK distributing fliers in Ferguson saying that protestors had “awakened a sleeping giant,” and that demonstrators have threatened the lives of law enforcement, the community and their families, Huffington Post reported.
“We will not sit by and allow you to harm our families, communities, property nor disrupt our daily lives. Your right to freedom of speech does not give you the right to terrorize citizens,” the flier read. “We will use lethal force as provided under Missouri Law to defend ourselves. … You have been warned by the Ku Klux Klan! There will be consequences for your actions against the peaceful, law abiding citizens of Missouri.”
Frank Ancona, the leader of the KKK chapter in Missouri, defended the Klan’s objective to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes by explaining, “There are remedies under the law. The flier, if you read it, it says ‘defend,’ it talks about defense. So, in order to defend yourself, that means you’re being attacked.”
This isn’t the first time the hacktivist group has gone after the racist radical right. In 2012, Anonymous declared “Operation Blitzkrieg” against neo-Nazi and other hate group websites—a program that inflicted unprecedented damage on many of the racist sites and releasing an avalanche of personal information about supporters.
John Abarr has an idea for the Ku Klux Klan that has attracted a lot of attention: He says he wants to reform the hate group to make a more “inclusive” KKK open to Jews, black people, and gays and lesbians—a “Rainbow Klan,” as it were.
There’s just one problem: While Abar has had no problem attracting media coverage, his Rocky Mountain Knights of the Ku Klux Klan doesn’t appear to have followers beyond a handful, and he has zero credibility within the national Klan organizations.
Word of Abarr’s idea appeared in a story in the Great Falls Tribune, which featured Abarr holding forth on the idea of a kinder, gentler Ku Klux Klan: “The KKK is for a strong America,” he told the paper. “White supremacy is the old Klan. This is the new Klan.” The story then appeared in USA Today, and inspired a round of stories in the Washington Post, the U.K.’s Daily Mail, the International Business Times, The Forward and Think Progress.
A recent ABC News piece, however, cast a skeptical note, quoting Rachel Carroll-Rivas, co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network, who has monitored Abarr’s various activities since he distributed racist flyers agitating for “white homeland” in the Northwest, and ran for Congress as a Klan candidate.
Carroll-Rivas told Hatewatch that, as far as her organization can tell, Abarr is pretty much just a one-man bandwagon.
“We’ve seen no evidence that he has a membership or following as far as any version of a KKK group, affiliated or not,” she said. “I think Abarr primarily is pretty much by himself.”
This is not Abarr’s first foray in grabbing headlines, however. In 1989, when he was the 19-year-old campaign spokesman for white-supremacist candidate William Daniel Johnson during a failed bid for the Wyoming congressional seat of Dick Cheney, Abarr told reporters then that the Klan was “basically a civil rights organization that stands up for the rights of white people.”
Twenty-two years later, Abarr ran for Congress in Montana, though he shuttered his campaign after only six months. More recently, Abarr again grabbed headlines by holding a meeting with members of the NAACP at a hotel in Wyoming, claiming he wanted to find a way to get along with blacks.
“They’re all media gimmicks,” Carroll-Rivas said. “Clearly it’s not real. He’s just trying to figure out a way to get in there between the lines.”
The “inclusive” Klan notion is risible, she added.
“I think he’s a farce in terms of what he’s saying right now,” she said. “What he’s doing is somewhat self-promotion, but I also think he’s happy to spread the word of hate, and find a way to bring it attention.”
Indeed, Abarr’s concept was largely met with roars of laughter and general disbelief at the white-supremacist website Stormfront, where a thread devoted to the Tribune story attracted a large number of comments:
What can I say? This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard of. What next? (Corn Feed White Boy)
This is crazy, you sure this is a real kkk ? (laidbackguy71)
Even looks like a fag. Kick him out in the black part of Denver…with his “robe” on, assuming they even retain that. (Buzz)
Sounds like some pervert joined a klan under false pretenses and got tired of wearing women’s clothing behind closed doors and going to gay bars with fake mustaches. (Paladin Steel)
One group doesn’t speak for all, this is nothing but anti-Klan propaganda and anyone falling for this is a fool. (Central Michigan)
One Stormfront commenter queried among his fellow white supremacists whether any from Montana even knew of Abarr or had heard of them. One, a “white nationalist” from Columbia Falls, replied: “Nope, he has nothing to do with anyone I know.”
Carroll-Rivas observed that the reason Abarr is able to manipulate the press is that people are well aware what the Klan really stands for.
“It goes to show how strong that label still is, the KKK,” she told Hatewatch. “And I think he understands the power that that label has. And it should, because it instills fear in people, for real reasons.”
Phoenix New Times: Ex-Minuteman leader Chris Simcox spurns plea deal, will proceed with trial on child-molestation charges.
Orlando Sentinel: Former Zimmerman supporter Frank Taaffe says he hopes grand jury testimony can help ‘make amends.’
City Pages (Minneapolis): KSTP doubles down with new report defending ‘Pointergate’ report on mayor and supposed gang sign.
Liberaland: Arizona-based ‘open carry’ activist issues ugly threats to moms’ gun-control group.
Raw Story: Anonymous responds to KKK’s Twitter taunts by hacking, taking over their account.
AlterNet: Here are 12 extremist right-wing cartoon characters we just voted into office.
Media Matters: Here’s how far-right gun extremist Larry Pratt keeps getting himself invited onto TV programs.
Two members of a Georgia-based militia group were each sentenced today to serve 10 years in prison for their involvement in an antigovernment plot to make the deadly poison ricin and disperse it in several cities.
Samuel J. Crump, 71, and Ray H. Adams, 58, were convicted by a federal jury last January in Gainesville, Ga., on a pair of charges connected to possession of ricin for use as a weapon. Both men faced possible life terms. Prosecutors recommended they each serve 20 years.
“This is not some laughing old guys talking kind of thing,” U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story told the defendants at the sentencing hearing, The New York Times reports. The judge said the defendants clearly were involved in criminal conduct “that could have hurt innocent people if you had been able to carry it out.”
The pair, along with alleged ringleader Frederick W. Thomas, 73, Emory Dan Roberts, 67, were arrested by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2011, after two informants secretly taped 400 hours of discussions of plans for dispersing ricin powder from speeding cars in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., and New Orleans.
Roberts and Thomas both pleaded guilty in April 2012 to charges of conspiring to possess explosives and firearms and both were sentenced to five-year prison terms.
Federal investigators say Adams had the key ingredient to make ricin – castor beans – hidden in his Toccoa, Ga., home, and that Crump had provided a sample to an FBI informant during the investigation.
The underlying motivation, beyond the defendants’ sheer antigovernment agenda, was never fully made public. Neither Crump nor Adams took the stand in their own defense during their jury trial. The panel returned its guilty verdicts in just 90 minutes.
Charging documents said Thomas expected some kind of action by the federal government that would require a response from citizen militia groups.
On the recordings, Thomas discusses his “bucket list” of government employees, politicians, corporate leaders and members of the media” he believed needed to be assassinated to save the country, the documents alleged. The secretly made tape recordings revealed that list included U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Thomas also was fascinated with an antigovernment novel, Absolved, written by longtime Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh. The book describes a small group of Americans who assassinate federal officials.
At sentencing, both men told the court they never really intended to use the deadly poison.
“I would not have hurt anyone,” Adams told the judge, according to the Times report. Adams added, “I get angry at the government sometimes, but no more than anyone else.”
Crump was more defiant and asked the judge for a new trial, claiming the government’s informants had credibility issues. “There were only words, no actions,” he said. “The only thing I did was talk,” Crump told the court, according to the Times.
Raw Story: Ku Klux Klan leader Frank Ancona defends threat of lethal force against Ferguson ‘terrorists.’
The IND: Add ‘misogynist’ to the bigoted resume of Louisiana school board candidate ‘Coach Don.’
Right Wing Watch: Glenn Beck warns that ‘revolutionaries will come and they will pull you out of your car and they will shoot you.’
Reuters: Frazier Glenn Cross has court hearing on Kansas murders as attorney asks for more time for evaluation.
Think Progress: Mayor, council ban abortion clinics from Georgia city to avoid the ‘drama’.
Fox 32 News (Chicago): ‘Sovereign citizen’ squatters take over, then are evicted from Chicago home.
New Statesman: Nicki Minaj’s Nazi-themed new music video so misguided, it only succeeds in offending everyone.
A judge in Kansas has ordered a mental competency evaluation for Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., a former neo-Nazi and KKK leader accused of assassinating three people last April at two Jewish community facilities in Kansas.
Johnson County District Judge Kelly Ryan ordered the evaluation Wednesday at the request of defense attorneys who filed the motion just before a planned preliminary hearing for Miller, who is also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, the Kansas City Star reported in today’s editions.
The mental exam will attempt to determine if Miller, 73, of Aurora, Mo., is competent to aid in his own defense if the death-penalty case proceeds to a jury trial. If he’s found mentally incompetent, he will be sent to the Larned State Hospital in Kansas and could be held there indefinitely or until he is found competent, the newspaper reports.
The defense request for the competency examination came Wednesday as prosecutors were ready to present probable cause evidence against Miller in an attempt to convince the court there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
After postponing that hearing, the judge scheduled a Dec. 18 hearing to discuss results of the competency evaluation. The delay prompted an outburst from Miller who said he wanted a speedy trial, the newspaper reported.
“Too long. Way too long,” Miller said in court. “I don’t want it drawn out.”
Miller is charged with capital murder for the gunshot killings of Terri LaManno, 53, William Lewis Corporon, 69, and Reat Griffin Underwood, 14. If convicted, the 73-year-old life-long racist faces the death penalty.
Miller, an avowed anti-Semite, mistakenly thought he was shooting Jews when, in fact, all three victims were Christians.
After the shootings, the FBI searched Miller’s home and found a copy of Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, three boxes of ammunition, a red t-shirt with a swastika symbol and a file folder titled, “Going underground and declaring war against the government.”
He also faces three counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting at three other people during the gun rampage on April 13 outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom care center in Overland Park, Kansas. In addition, he is charged with aggravated assault and discharging a firearm into an occupied building.
Miller reportedly is gravely ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Earlier this year he reportedly told fellow racist Craig Cobb that he has “one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel.”
A letter to the editor of the local newspaper in Mountain Home, Ark., appears to have inspired a crudely written threat to the church’s leaders, according to local blog reports and the church’s Facebook page, and may have inspired an attack on the church itself.
Windows of the church were shot out, according to the WWJTD blog at Patheos, which was the first to report on the incident on Wednesday. (It did not specify how many windows were shot.) Someone also left a threatening note, written in all capital letters, and with multiple misspellings, including “socialist,” which somehow came out “scholiast”:
Mr. Billy Bob
Hello from your neighbors
You filthy white trash scum-billy!
Why don’t you move to Ferguson, MO.
Or Chi-Congo, IL. Since you like niggers and queers so well.
And you idolize the nigger commie, Muslin, scholiast destroying the USA
He’s the worst garbage to ever occupy the White House bar none.
See how long your white trash ass would last among them.
You brain dead bastard.
Just remember, we true Southerners know where you live asshole!
According to both that blog and the Arkansas Blog, the letter and the vandalism appear to have been a response to a letter to the editor published in the local newspaper, the Baxter Bulletin, in June, announcing that the congregation welcomed people of all backgrounds, including their LGBT neighbors:
From Alice Hurley, Minister,
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mountain Home:
While the Arkansas Supreme Court considers their position on same-sex marriage, let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of the separation of state and church. Arkansas state, as a representation of all people contained within its boundaries, cannot dictate the conduct of a church or fellowship of any religion or philosophy. It has a responsibility to ensure all citizens are treated equally under the law. Conversely, individuals and private organizations, religious or otherwise, do have the right of discrimination.
Once the state ensures everyone is represented equally, then individuals are free to choose, within the bounds of law, whom they befriend and what organizations hold their loyalty or membership. Individuals can be open to learning about different people and cultures, choosing to be inclusive and tolerant of their neighbors in a community, or they can choose to be insular and discriminatory.
We at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mountain Home choose not to discriminate. Our Fellowship Hall is open to all truth-seekers, regardless of race or sexual orientation. Please feel free to visit our fellowship and consider becoming part of our family. We respect the right of people to choose their marriage partners for themselves, and are happy to perform, for members or non-members, commitment ceremonies and same-sex marriages, as soon as the state of Arkansas realizes it cannot discriminate and must ensure that all of its citizens are equal under the law.
The Arkansas Blog reports that some of the church’s windows appear to have been shot with a pellet gun, and the church leaders – including Hurley, the author of the letter, and Bill Rhodes, the president of the congregation and the person to whom the letter was sent two weeks ago – were uncertain whether the vandalism was connected to the letter, since the church is located near a busy intersection.
“I think it was just somebody blowing off steam,” Hurley told the blog, adding that she’d like to get in touch with the writer of the anonymous note. “I’d arrange for him to have five to ten minutes of time to speak at our service Sunday. We’d be happy to listen to him. I won’t say we’d agree with him, but we’ll listen.”
Mountain Home is noted for having once been a “sundown town,” a city that once had a sign warning blacks – often with racist slurs — that they were not permitted to be within the town limits after sundown.
According to James Loewen’s survey of such towns, Mountain Home had a such a sign near the town entrance well into the 1940s, and the reputation has remained intact; indeed, today, the racial makeup of both Mountain Home and Baxter County is over 97 percent white.
Diversity Inc: Ferguson braces for grand-jury decision on whether to charge police officer in Brown’s death.
Riverfront Times: Missouri Ku Klux Klan leader claims the Ferguson protests are helping drive recruitment.
Right Wing Watch: Ben Carson will crack down on non-citizens by revoking their citizenship.
Phoenix New Times: Mesa’s ‘Red Mountain Tea Party’ hosts Bradlee Dean, the second hate group leader in a row.
The New Civil Rights Movement: Texas Tea Party state senator is working to enshrine religious discrimination in the state constitution.
Talking Points Memo: Colorado lawmaker who performed exorcism on Obama warns that there’s an anti-Jesus backlash.
Breitbart Unmasked: Hate crime victim’s response to perpetrator of bashing goes viral.
Attorneys for the City of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, are asking a federal court to put a lawsuit on hold that was brought by the owners of a “Hitching Post” marriage “corporation” that refuses to marry same-sex couples.
The motion for a stay of the proceedings was filed Monday after city officials and their attorneys concluded they may be on shaky legal grounds if they attempted to use public accommodation provisions of an anti-discrimination ordinance to force two ordained ministers operating a “religious corporation” to conduct gay marriages.
The motion for the stay says the “parties are working towards a potential mutual resolution short
of litigation,” suggesting the city attorneys likely are drafting an agreement saying they won’t attempt
to prosecute the Hitching Post if it’s now a “religious corporation” as its owners contend.
“Accordingly, the parties hereby request a stay of the current proceedings until any
such resolution discussions are concluded. After which, the parties will inform the Court of any
result and to determine further proceedings, if necessary,” the newly filed motion says.
Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who own the Hitching Post in Coeur d’Alene, are represented in the suit by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an Arizona-based religious-right organization involved in a number of suits brought by conservative Christians who say they have a right to discriminate against gays and lesbians. ADF is also working to criminalize gay sex in other countries.
The ADF and the American Family Association – one of the biggest anti-LGBT organizations in the country – recently ran to the aid of the Knapps after they were told they might be subject to prosecution under a year-old Coeur d’Alene city law banning discrimination if they refused to conduct same-sex marriages.
On Sept. 12, the Knapps filed new documents with the Idaho Secretary of State, becoming a “limited liability corporation” known as “Hitching Post Weddings LLC,” public records show. On Oct. 6, another company the couple owned, DLK Enterprises Inc., was merged with Hitching Post Weddings LLC, also according to public records.
But those legal maneuvers — apparently designed to limited the couple’s business liability — didn’t stop ADF from filing a 63-page lawsuit on Oct. 17 in U.S. District Court against the City of Coeur d’Alene. The residents of Coeur d’Alene and the city’s insurance company will pay the costs of defending the suit.
The American Family Association, meanwhile, also weighed in, claiming the Knapps and their privately owned wedding business were being threatened by “homosexual bullies.” AFA used its web site and mailing lists to encourage hundreds of its supporters to flood the Coeur d’Alene mayor’s office with phone calls and e-mails.
The suit was filed even though the city had not initiated any legal action against the Hitching Post or its owners.
“This case is about the City of Coeur D’Alene unconstitutionally coercing two Christian ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies at The Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in violation of their religious beliefs, their ordination vows, and their consciences,” the ADF suit alleged.
It contended the city was “imposing a Hobson’s choice on the Knapps through” its city ordinance that bars sexual-orientation discrimination in public accommodations.
“The Knapps can either violate their religious convictions and ministerial vows by performing same-sex wedding ceremonies or follow their religious convictions and vows by declining to perform same-sex ceremonies and face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines,” the suit said.
On Oct. 20, Coeur d’Alene City Attorney Mike Gridley wrote a letter to the Knapps, saying “if they are operating as a legitimate not-for-profit religious corporation, then they are exempt from the (discrimination) ordinance like any other church or religious association,” The Coeur d’Alene Press reported.
But the Hitching Post is a for-profit operation run by two ordained ministers who say it’s a “religious corporation.”
Three days later, the city attorney wrote the Knapps a “clarification” letter, saying it was now the city’s position that if the Hitching Post is a “religious corporation” as the Knapps now claim, their refusal to conduct same-sex marriages “would be exempt under the ordinance if a complaint was received by the city.”
The city’s new position aligns with that of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.
The task force issued a statement saying the ministers operating the Hitching Post “are solely providing a service limited to wedding ceremonies.”
“When they are performing a religious activity like marrying people, ministers have the right to choose which marriages they will solemnize. That’s why we don’t think the public accommodation law applies to ministers making choices about performing marriages,” the human rights task force statement said.