The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
New York Times: President Obama calls for end to ‘gay conversion’ therapies for LGBT youth.
The Daily Beast: Hawaii has no hate crimes, officially – and why the statistics showing that are so screwy.
Springfield (MO) News Leader: Emotions run high as voters repeal LGBT protections in anti-discrimination statute.
Salon: When America criminalizes black teachers, the racist underbelly of ‘education reform’ is laid bare.
Southern Maryland News: ‘Sovereign’ citizen claims sheriff violated his civil rights by impounding car, files lawsuit.
AlterNet: Why is a pro-Israel group at Rutgers partnering with an extreme ant-Semitic Christian organization?
KHOU-TV (Houston): Suburban Richmond teacher accused of giving students anti-Muslim handout.
Think Progress: Notorious Islamophobe Geert Wilders, who wants to ban the Koran, to address members of Congress.
Right Wing Watch: James Dobson warns that same-sex marriage will lead to civil war.
Appeals Court Declines to Hold Up Simcox Child-Molestation Trial, Clearing Way for Him to Query Alleged Victims
Prosecutors in the child molestation trial of erstwhile Minuteman leader Chris Simcox were rebuffed by a three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals in their attempt to appeal the trial judge’s ruling allowing Simcox to cross-examine his alleged victims on the witness stand.
The ruling, following a teleconference between three appeals-court jurists, means that Simcox’s trial will get under way this week. It also means that Simcox, who has insisted on representing himself in this trial, will certainly be permitted to directly cross-examine the two young girls he is accused of molesting – ages 8 and 7, now, and one of them his daughter.
Maricopa County deputy prosecutor Keli Luther argued strenuously against forcing the girls to face cross-examination from their alleged molester, insisting that they could be potentially victimized a second time. Luther requested the judges issue a stay until a full hearing could be held on whether permitting Simcox to engage his alleged victims would be psychologically traumatizing. Padilla had previously dismissed assertions by the girls’ mothers that such a situation would be traumatic for them, but Luther warned of a “very real risk of irreparable harm” by forcing the girls to “endure the defendant’s cross-examination without the buffer of defense counsel.”
She noted that:
Children who are victims of sexual abuse already re-experience that abuse when they are forced to testify in a courtroom in the presence of the accused. The trial court’s order inappropriately subjects the victims in this case to additional trauma by allowing the very man who victimized them to question them on the stand. This issue undoubtedly raises a question of public importance. The harm to the victims and society can only be stopped by preventing Defendant from personally cross-examining the victims and allowing advisory counsel to conduct the cross-examinations – a remedy recognized by several jurisdictions including the United States Court of Appeals in Fields v. Murray. Fields v. Murray, 49 F.3d 1024, 1035 (4th Cir. 1995).
The judges overruled her request, but set a hearing for oral arguments on the underlying issues for April 29. They conceded that the trial may well have concluded by then, making the argument moot.
Simcox was arrested in July 2013 and charged with molesting three young girls at his home earlier that year, when the girls were ages 6 and 5. After a grand jury declined to indict him for any crime involving the third girl, who he allegedly enticed to expose her genitals in exchange for candy, those charges were dropped. However, that girl is expected to testify as a witness for the prosecution.
According to the papers filed by prosecutors, Simcox “is alleged to have digitally penetrated his biological daughter’s [vagina] on two occasions, penetrated her vagina with an object on [one] occasion and to have fondled the genitals of his daughter’s friend on two occasions.
Simcox had initially been offered a plea bargain that would have required him to serve 10 years in prison, but he refused and insisted on taking the case to trial. Eventually, after months of disputes with his court-appointed attorneys, Simcox decided to assert his constitutional right to defend himself in court. Padilla granted him that.
However, prosecutors then sought to require Simcox to relay questions to the alleged victims through his associate attorneys, but Simcox fought them, insisting he be given the right to directly confront the girls. Judge Padilla sided with Simcox.
Judge Padilla is no stranger to controversy. In 2009, he came under harsh criticism for having refused to allow a Phoenix woman named Dawn Axsom to move herself and her son out of state to avoid violence she feared would come at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, who a short while later shot and killed both Axsom and her mother before killing himself.
Simcox was warned by a previous judge in the case (the trial has been delayed nine times) not to mount a “grand conspiracy” defense predicated on fanciful claims of a nefarious plot to persecute him for his long history of anti-immigrant activism on the Arizona border.
That long history, as the SPLC reported in 2005, includes previous allegations of sexual misbehavior with another daughter, not to mention a well-established record of erratic behavior as the leader of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps prior to its demise in 2010, as well as allegations of abuse by his third ex-wife, the mother of his current accuser.
Authorities say a Michigan couple – both school bus drivers – face assorted felony charges after they allegedly embezzled money to purchase an arsenal of weapons that included a machine gun and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Steve Nick, 33, and his wife, Sarah, 32, of Davison Township, both belong to the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell told reporters at a news conference Tuesday. Steven Nick is a gunner for the militia and Sarah Nick is as a medic and grenadier, WNEM-TV in Saginaw reported.
The couple was arrested on March 27 on a combined total of 15 felony charges, including embezzlement, larceny by conversation, unlawful use of a credit card and possession of an illegally shortened firearm. The arrests came after an 8-month investigation that started when law enforcement received a tip about the abuse of an elder.
The Nicks were released on bond and are scheduled to appear tomorrow at a probable cause hearing.
“In all my 16 years this is probably the most unusual case we’ve had,” the sheriff told the Saginaw television station. “If they were going to attack they would have been well armed and would have out manned any police agency in Genesee County.”
The sheriff said the couple allegedly embezzled more than $50,000 from Sarah Nick’s 67-year-old mother to buy the arsenal they stored in a bunker in the basement of their home. The arsenal included a 50-caliber machine gun, a sniper rifle with a suppressor, 17,000 rounds of ammunition, various firearm accessories and bulletproof vests, including one for their 9-year-old daughter.
The sheriff’s office investigating the couple began in August 2014 after an elder abuse task force discovered that the suspects allegedly were writing checks to themselves drawn on accounts belonging to Sarah Nick’s mother, who was ill.
Pickell said detectives discovered the weapons in a bunker, accessible through a wall in the basement, and a Gadsden “Liberty or Die” flag hanging in their bedroom.
The suspects worked as school bus drivers for Davison and Flint school districts.
After her arrest, Sarah Nick was fired from her job. Steven Nick’s current status with the Davison school district is unknown, according to media reports.
Every day, in thousands of small, rural towns across the American South, the local barber has generally been among the best-informed and one of the most influential opinion shapers in the community. He knows a few town secrets, probably has a few himself. And in Harrison, Ark., barber Freeland Roy Dunscombe is no exception.
On one recent weekday, just after 9 a.m., there was a steady stream of foot traffic at Dunscombe’s single-chair barbershop in a former gas station in downtown Harrison. He was holding court, as usual, regaling his patrons with talk of psychology, philosophy, history and race — as if he were married to the Ku Klux Klan.
And in more ways than one, he is.
“From an evolutionary perspective,” Dunscombe opined that day, “tribalism is a great strategy, and it far defeats nationalism.” He stepped back to run a brush through his electric clippers. “A guy who will go jump on a grenade to save his nation doesn’t have very good reproductive success.”
Such thinly-veiled racist conversation from a barber may be what many have come to expect in Harrison, population 13,324, a city whose Klan presence has put it on the map as one of the more racially divisive towns in America. But Dunscombe is much more than a garrulous barber who can riff on anything from politics to pomade.
For an hour each weekday morning, before he opens shop, Dunscombe assumes the name “Truck Roy” on Stormfront Radio as a co-host to former Klansman Don Black, who broadcasts a two-hour radio show from his dining room table in West Palm Beach, Fla. Dunscombe’s role with Black, however, is much more than a verbal sparring partner.
An ideologue with a finger on the pulse of the movement, he serves as a bridge connecting Black to a new generation of anti-Semites, Klansmen, race conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers –– a bridge that Stormfront’s patriarch so desperately needs as younger racists look elsewhere online for a steady stream of hate.
Every Friday, for example, Dunscombe anchors a feature on Black’s program on the Rense Radio Network called “Five for Friday” to discuss issues of race and, more often, “white genocide.” During one such moment in March focusing on “white tribalism,” Black and Dunscombe discussed what exactly white genocide meant. Did everyone have to die, Black wondered, for genocide to be the right word? Dunscombe responded, “There are still Tutsis left.” (The Tutsis are the second largest population group in Rwanda targeted for genocide by the majority Hutus.)
Their conversations on the radio are not always so … dynamic. In fact, there are times when enough tension is apparent between Dunscombe and Black to suggest their relationship may be one not of friendship, but of shared objectives –– racists from opposite sides of the generational divide and united by a crooked branch on a racist family tree.
Raised and homeschooled in Palomar Mountain, Calif., Dunscombe, 38, spent his early years living the nomadic life of a truck driver. He worked for Rock Solid Chugcreek Trucking in Wyoming before going to barber school in North Dakota. He then moved to Harrison, Ark., where – as he told the Southern Poverty Law Center – he moved “to follow a girl.”
Not just any girl, though.
On Nov. 12, 2009, Dunscombe married Charity Pendergraft, the granddaughter of Thomas Robb, an Arkansas-based Christian Identity pastor and head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. They wed not quite six months after she turned 18, according to their marriage license. Dunscombe was 32 at the time.
With that marriage, Dunscombe earned a direct family relationship to one the country’s most infamous racists, and by luck or deliberate design, a connection to nearly every former head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. His grandfather-in-law now leads the Klan group, which David Duke started before handing the reins over to Dunscombe’s boss, Black, who ran the group until he was he was arrested for violating the Neutrality Act by plotting to invade a Caribbean island in 1981 and sent to prison.
But by the time of his wedding, Dunscombe had already been a fixture on Black’s Stormfront radio – a predecessor to the program broadcast on Rense. On that network, he hosted a show called “Riding Shotgun with Truck Roy.” With infamously racist in-laws, it was there that Dunscombe seemed to find a mouthpiece and truly started to talk.
“The only reason why our people have been disheartened and disillusioned and have been tricked into not standing up for themselves is because our controlled media and our society as a whole has tried to beat us down and tried to make the White race seem petty. And of course we’re not petty. We’re the grandest thing that’s ever happened to this planet,” Dunscombe said during one broadcast on May 28, 2008.
But those early radio days –- when he was also broadcasting on Intercept Radio under the registered amateur radio handle of “KF5NBP” –- were only a glimpse of Dunscombe’s racist activism to come. After settling down in Arkansas, he started working hard to live up to the expectations of his Klan in-laws.
By 2012, Dunscombe had started to exhibit the beginnings of political ambitions. He ran as an independent candidate for justice of the peace in Boone County, hoping, it seemed, that a sprinkling of folksiness might sugarcoat his history. “I have never run for political office before, but as a barber I listen to a lot of folks,” he told the Harrison Daily.
While claiming not to be a member of the Klan, he couldn’t hide that three years earlier he had spoken at the Knights Party National Congress, held conveniently by his in-laws. In an interview he gave the Carroll County News in November 2012, four days before the election, Dunscombe’s views came into clearer focus.
“Our enemy is not black. Our enemy is not brown or Mexican. Our enemy looks just like us but has no loyalty to us,” Dunscombe said.
He lost handily to Ann Kimes, a Republic incumbent, who mocked Dunscombe for believing his views would have widespread appeal. “I really can’t take credit for winning the election. I just give him credit for committing political suicide,” Kimes told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette after Election Day.
But with the blessing of Black and Robb, political pitfalls did not slow Dunscombe’s rise on the radical right.
In 2013, at Stormfront’s annual retreat in Tennessee, Dunscombe shared the dais with David Duke, Sam Dickson and Timothy Murdock, the man behind White Rabbit Radio and the proliferation of The Mantra – a 221-word mini-manifesto written by Robert Whitaker, an aging segregationist with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Murdock had been using his online radio platform to spread The Mantra far and wide, and it wasn’t long before it found its way to Harrison.
On Oct. 15, 2014, a bright yellow billboard with bold black letters appeared overlooking a well-traveled street in Harrison. The sign proclaimed in black letters, “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White,” the final and most frequently quoted section of Whitaker’s screed.
It remains unknown who paid for the billboard. But eight months earlier, Dunscombe, Robb and others attended a meeting at the local library for the Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations, established to repair Harrison’s tarnished image as a stomping ground for those who promote racial hatred. During the meeting, Robb chastised the city, as usual, for its characterization of his racist beliefs. But it was his grandson-in-law, Dunscombe, who stole the show.
“It’s only white countries where people get called racist, and then as penance for their sin of being white, they have to bring in tens of millions of non-whites into their country,” Dunscombe said indignantly at the meeting.
On his chest he wore a sticker with a message no one had seen before –– Whitaker’s Mantra – and an exact image of the billboard that eight months later no one would claim, in the end not even Dunscombe.
New York Times: South Carolina police officer charged with murder in death of black man caught on video.
AccessADL: Right-wing domestic terror attacks in U.S. approach levels last seen in the 1990s.
JoeMyGod: Family Research Council begins 21-day marriage prayer fast against ‘certain destruction’ of America.
Raw Story: Confederate group will fly 32 battle flags over MLK Drive at Civil War memorial in Orange, Texas.
Grist: Tea Party activists hire actors to feign indignation over plan to save Florida’s Everglades.
Associated Press: FBI investigating two possible hate crimes with alleged Ferguson references.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN): Federal civil-rights officials to visit St. Cloud high school over Somali students’ claims of anti-Muslim harassment.
Media Matters: Military suicide experts ridicule Ted Nugent’s claims that vets killing themselves because of Obama.
Raw Story: Black activist explains what white people don’t get about race after reporter shares racial slur horror story.
Think Progress: The story of a baker who refused to bake an anti-gay cake, and why that isn’t religious discrimination.
Salon: A gun lover sees the dark side of gun culture, with its white supremacists and Obama haters.
Ledger Independent (Maysville, KY): Ku Klux Klan group makes appearance in Maysville, then moves on to two other communities.
Media Matters: Bill O’Reilly compares anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people to forcing a black guest to attend KKK meeting.
AlterNet: Black activist faces charges of ‘lynching’ for her protest activities.
KOIN-TV (Portland, OR): Man charged in alleged kidnapping, freeway chase has apparent ties to white supremacist prison gang.
Right Wing Watch: Michael Savage warns that President Obama is inciting ‘the white man’ to revolt with his policies.
Right Wing Watch: ‘Constitutional sheriff’ Richard Mack says he’d like to arrest ex-IRS official Lois Lerner.
Altamont Enterprise (NY): A closer look at the little Ku Klux Klan cell operating in the Altamont, N.Y., community.
Media Matters: How Alex Jones, America’s leading conspiracy theorist, helped launch the career of Sen. Rand Paul.
AlterNet: Army of God? Here are six modern-day Christian terrorist groups you never hear about.
New York Times: San Francisco police officers to be dismissed over ‘white power’ racist and homophobic texts.
Raw Story: Rick Santorum quotes Fred Phelps’ ‘God Hates Fags’ slogan while defending Indiana anti-LGBT law.
An antigovernment extremist who espoused killing police officers, judges and using napalm to burn down a county courthouse has been arrested in Montana after buying a fully automatic shotgun during six-month FBI sting.
William Krisstofer Wolf, 52, who broadcast his extremist views on a weekly webcast called “The Montana Republic,” was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents in Livingston, Mont., after paying $725 and taking possession of a sawed-off, fully automatic Russian Saiga-12 shotgun capable of shooting 10 rounds in two seconds, court documents say. His arrest came without incident.
The case will be presented to a federal grand jury for indictment while West remains in jail without bond on a charge of possession an illegal fully automatic machine gun.
Wolf allegedly expressed a desire to buy the illegal gun during a series of meetings he had, beginning last November, with an FBI informant who introduced Wolf to an undercover FBI agent, the documents say. It’s likely those conversations were secretly recorded by the FBI, although that’s not specifically detailed in public records.
During those meetings, Wolf also discussed building a “blowtorch gun” with a range up to 150 feet “for the purpose of protection against law enforcement officers wearing body armor.”
The court documents also say Wolf discussed using his blowtorch gun to destroy a “BearCAT” armored vehicle recently acquired by the Bozeman Police Department for use in SWAT operations. He allegedly said the most-effective way of destroying the police armored vehicle “would be cooking it from the inside.”
As the FBI continued monitoring West’s activities, agents learned that possession of the type of flamethrower described by Wolf wouldn’t violate federal law, the court documents disclose. But during those discussions, they say, Wolf also expressed his desire to acquire the Russian-made fully automatic shotgun.
Wolf began broadcasting “The Montana Republic” in November 2013 “to bring like-minded Patriots from across the country” together to discuss ways to counter local, state and federal officials who Patriots consider to be “overstepping on constitutional rights,” the documents say.
In several of his webcasts, West talked about “taking out bridges or power grids and seizing law enforcement vehicles and weapons,” they say.
“Over the next 12 months, Wolf repeatedly espoused his contempt for local judges, law enforcement, the county attorney, city and county commissioners and agents and agencies of the federal government,” the documents say.
When a “sovereign citizen” was arrested in Montana, Wolf urged his fellow Patriots to make citizen’s arrests of judges involved in the case and “stated his intention to use a means of force if necessary.”
Wolf advocated targeting police officers suspected of violating their oaths of office — comparing “shooting law enforcement officers to gopher hunting,” the documents allege.
Last October, in another broadcast, Wolf said federal judges who overturned gay marriage bans also “are now viable targets because they violated the Constitution.”
“As it sits folks, please understand, I firmly believe that all agents of the government, all judiciary, and all police officers are targets,” he said on the broadcast.
At a Patriots “committee of safety” meeting that Wolf hosted in late January, he discussed destroying the Gallatin County Courthouse in Bozeman, Mont. “My preferred method, I’m serious … would be to drop 500 pounds of napalm through the roof of the courthouse and burn it to the ground and roast some marshmallows on it.”
“I don’t believe in doing anything that’s not extreme and right now, wiping that place out would be my extreme movement and then my next [question] would be, ‘OK, which county, city building is going to be next?’”
When someone in the group urged West to exercise restraint and caution, the court documents say, he responded that if “they wanted to put him in jail, they had better bring a coroner and several body bags.”
The oft-delayed Arizona trial of erstwhile Minuteman leader Chris Simcox on child-molestation charges has blown up once again, thanks primarily to Simcox’s insistence on having the right to personally cross-examine his alleged victims — two young girls aged 7 and 8.
Simcox had previously raised the possibility that this might occur when he announced that he intended to represent himself at his trial, something he has a constitutional right to do. However, Maricopa County prosecutor Yigael Cohen requested before the trial began that Superior Court Judge Jose Padilla require that Simcox’s two “advisory” attorneys question the girls, one of whom is Simcox’s daughter.
Now, according to a report by Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times, Judge Padilla has conceded to Simcox’s counter-argument — namely, that he should be permitted to directly cross-examine the two girls because doing so is “a crucial cornerstone of his desire to present his best defense.” Padilla ruled in a hearing Thursday afternoon that Simcox would be allowed to question the girls, who were 5 and 6 years old when the crimes allegedly occurred.
But Padilla refused to remove himself from the trial, which Simcox had also requested.
According to The Associated Press, prosecutors plan to immediately file an appeal of Padilla’s ruling, meaning the trial — which had already been delayed nine times since Simcox’s arrest in July 2013 — is likely to last into the summer. Lemons reported that deputy county attorney Kelli Luther argued strenuously against allowing Simcox to “control his own victims in the courtroom,” pointing to U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate court rulings allowing for special accommodations to be made in similar instances.
However, Padilla said he would need evidence that the children are traumatized at the prospect of being interrogated by their alleged molester, and brushed aside letters from the girls’ mothers attesting to that effect: “With all due respect,” he said, “[the mothers] are simply not qualified to make that assessment.”
In the filing made this week, Simcox argues that the children “were never subjected to … harm in the first place,” so the county attorney is “asking the court to find the defendant guilty … before the trial has even begun.”
Simcox was originally charged with also molesting a third little girl, whom Simcox allegedly bribed with candy to expose her genitals, but those charges were dropped after the grand jury chose not to indict him in that case. However, that girl is expected to be a prosecution witness as well.
Simcox’s trial was most recently scheduled to begin March 24. However, when attorneys gathered in Padilla’s courtroom that day, they were informed that Simcox was in the hospital, for reasons that could not be disclosed under medical-privacy laws, and would be there for a week. At a pretrial conference on Thursday, Judge Padilla scheduled jury selection to begin on April 6.
But if the prosecutors proceed to take the ruling on the girls’ testimony to an appeals court, that schedule seems unlikely at best.
These developments are the latest in a long and twisted road to trial for Simcox, who previously had suggested he would present a “grand conspiracy” defense that he had been targeted for prosecution, and the evidence against him invented, because of his prominent role as a leader and co-founder of the nativist extremism group called the Minutemen. The judge later informed him that such a defense would not be allowed.
At the height of the border vigilante movement, Simcox was president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a nationwide, anti-immigration organization that led armed “citizen border patrols” in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, along with a smattering of states on the Canadian border where Minutemen had deployed to protect America from northern invaders. Never modest, the cigar-chomping Simcox was a hyper and relentless self-aggrandizer who came across with the smug egotism that quickly earned him the nickname “The Little Prince.”
He was known for over-the-top claims, like his repeated assertion that he had seen Chinese Red Army men at the Mexican border, preparing to attack the U.S. Nevertheless, he was featured repeatedly on Lou Dobbs’ CNN show and a plethora of shows on Fox News, where he was treated as a serious critic of immigration policy.
But even then, there were allegations of sexual abuse. As the SPLC reported in 2005, Simcox was accused by his first wife of molesting another daughter when she was a teenager, although no complaint was ever made to police. His second wife also sought custody of their teenage son because, she said, Simcox had become violent and unpredictable. His third wife — the mother of his current accuser — took out a restraining order against Simcox in 2010 when she divorced him.
Right Wing Watch: Ted Nugent goes on unhinged rant about shooting immigrants, ‘crushing’ Democrats, putting Hillary in jail.
Idaho Statesman: GOP leader from Idaho Falls warn of Muslims ‘inflitrating’ the state so they can ‘rise up and kill’.
Crooks and Liars: Wisconsin Lutheran pastor resigns after sending rape threat email to local blogger.
WNEM-TV (Saginaw, MI): Mid-Michigan couple in militia group accused of stealing money, stockpiling weapons.
Raw Story: Georgia florist says she will serve adulterers, but not gay people, since that’s ‘a different kind of sin.’
Talking Points Memo: Mike Huckabee warns that gay-rights movement won’t stop ‘until there are no more churches.’
Media Matters: Does MSNBC know that it’s giving a platform to a virulent anti-LGBT hate group?