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

House Judiciary Subcommittee Continues Invite Anti-Immigrant Voices to Testify

By Hatewatch Staff on February 11, 2015 - 11:22 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Hate Groups, Neo-Confederate

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security will hold yet another hearing this afternoon, and no surprise —members of the anti-immigrant right are once again itching to have their voices heard.

For the second time in just over a week, the Subcommittee has stacked the day with testimony from some of the most hardline immigration opponents in the debate. And if it’s anything like before, what they’ll say will be more of what we’ve come to expect from the anti-immigrant right: worries based more on fear than fact.

The published list of witnesses scheduled to be called for testimony include so-called immigration experts who have spent years demonizing immigrants, warning that they spread disease, take jobs from U.S. citizens and responsible for increases in crime, a dubious fact with little statistical support.

Among them is Sheriff Sam Page of Rockingham County, N.C., a longtime ally of some of the most established anti-immigrant groups in the country, including the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

This past summer, Page took part in a two day “fact-finding”trip to McAllen, Texas, compliments of FAIR. The trip took place as panic mounted on the right-wing over children escaping violence across Central America and showing up on the U.S. border. He also is a regular attendee at FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire”event in Washington, D.C., an event that brings together anti-immigrant activists, right-wing radio hosts and politicians to bolster outrage over immigration.

Sheriff Sam Page, left, with Michael Peroutka, right.

Sheriff Sam Page, left, with Michael Peroutka, right.

Page has taken part in a number of events organized by the Constitutional Sheriff’s & Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), a group founded by former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, a leading figure in the antigovernment movement. At a 2014 CSPOA event, Page was pictured shaking hands with Michael Peroutka, a former board member of the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS).

Dan Cadman, a CIS senior fellow, and Frank Morris, a CIS board member, are also testifying this afternoon.

Morris has been involved in the anti-immigrant movement for decades, serving on the board of numerous groups including FAIR and Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) — the group he is representing today. He was also led attempts to appeal to the African-American community through the creation of front groups such as the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA) and its predecessor, Choose Black America (CBA). Both groups, now defunct, sought to divide communities of color over the issue of immigration by promoting the falsehood that immigrants are taking jobs from African Americans.

Though Morris and Cadman do not have a history of racist statements, the organization they both hold title with, CIS, most certainly does.

Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, CIS executive director Mark Krikorian wrote, “My guess is that Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough.”In 2008, CIS published a report in which it called immigrants who marry U.S. citizens “Third-World gold-diggers.”And Jessica Vaughan a CIS staffer who spoke at last week’s immigration hearing on Capitol Hill, wrote in 2008 that one legacy of the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) program, “has been its contribution to the burgeoning street gang problem in the United States.”

Hatewatch Headlines 2/11/15

By Hatewatch Staff on February 11, 2015 - 7:29 am, Posted in Hatewatch Headlines

New York Times: History project tries to leave markers at sites of some of the 4,000 names identified as victims of lynchings.

AlterNet: Inside the strange, paranoid world of the far-right Oath Keepers.

KALB-TV (Pineville, LA): Residents on edge after Ku Klux Klan fliers appear in yards.

Independent (U.K.): Anti-LGBT leader Scott Lively, architect of international laws, plans run for U.S. Congress.

Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA): City councilman Mike Fagan questions need for vaccines, is schooled by top public health official.

Right Wing Watch: Alabama chief justice Roy Moore is a modern-day Martin Luther King, according to Bryan Fischer.

WIBW-TV (Topeka, KS): Gov. Sam Brownback strips all LGBT state workers of anti-discrimination protections.

Washington Post: Jeb Bush’s chief technology officer steps down because of racially inflammatory comments on website.

Klan Group Issues ‘Call To Arms’ Over Alabama Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

By Keegan Hankes on February 10, 2015 - 2:55 pm, Posted in Hatewatch Headlines, Klan

klanIn a latest attempt to capitalize on political and racial controversy, a Ku Klux Klan faction from Mississippi has initiated a “Call to arms in Alabama” in response to federal courts ruling that an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

 

The post, which appeared on the United Dixie White Knights’ (UDWK) website and later on Stormfront — the largest online white supremacist forum — championed Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore for defying federal courts and called for Klansmen to leave their robes behind and take to the streets in protest.

“The Mississippi Klan salutes Alabama’s chief justice Roy Moore, for refusing to bow to the yoke of Federal tyranny,” Brent Waller, the UDKW’s imperial wizard, wrote in a Stormfront post. “The fudge packers from Hollywood and all major news networks are in shock that the good people from the heart of Dixie are resisting their Imperialist, Communist Homosexual agenda!”

Waller’s reason for his fellow Klansman to wear plain clothes is simple. “We have made the decision that we don’t want to distract attention away from the issue, as anytime the Klan rides, we are made the issue by the zionist controlled media,” he wrote. Not that wearing robes and hoods has been a consideration before.

Klan groups in recent months have sought to capitalize on already tense situations by appearing with a word of commentary and disappearing. Klan members have called for “corpses” on the Arizona-Mexico border, tried to raise money for the legal defense of the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and even distributed candy as a recruiting ploy in South Carolina. But their rush to the spotlight this time may be different.

Alabama on Monday became the 37th state in the country to recognize same-sex marriage after a federal judge struck down the “Sanctity of Marriage” amendment to the state’s constitution as unlawful. Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore responded by ordering Alabama probate judges not to comply with the federal ruling, throwing the state into a heated controversy involving states’ rights and federal reach.

In his post, and in subsequent email exchanges with Hatewatch, Waller speculated as to whether the federal government will send “Jack Booted thugs” — a comment meant to invoke Civil Rights era struggles and draw comparisons between the razing of Southern states during the Civil War and what the Imperial Wizard sees as the destruction of Southern values through marriage equality.

“We as White Christians intend to see that no outside agitators bully or intimidate the White Christian majority in the State of Alabama,” Waller told Hatewatch on Tuesday. “We salute those like the chief justice for standing against the Immoral, Ungodly and activist Federal Judges.”

Former Detective Arrested on Charges Related to ‘Sovereign’ Activity

By Bill Morlin on February 10, 2015 - 8:38 am, Posted in Antigovernment, Sovereign Citizens

A man who spent 26 years wearing a badge and enforcing the law in Florida now thinks he’s above the law as a self-described “natural, free-born sovereign citizen.”

James Michael Sims, 56, was arrested late last month and will be arraigned on Feb. 27 in Manatee County Circuit Court on three felony charges: two counts of grand theft and a third count of intimidating a public official.

Sims, a former deputy and detective for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, allegedly rented foreclosed properties, intimidated his former fellow law enforcement officials and attempted to file $100 million in bogus liens against judges — a common act among many sovereigns who believe they are immune from courts, judges and licensing requirements.

The judges who Sims targeted with liens previously had entered foreclosure orders on several homes he owned so banks could initiate legal actions to claim their full ownership when he failed to make timely payments.

Court documents say even though a bank had recovered ownership of one home and changed the locks, the locks and realty signs were removed and Sims continued renting the property, fraudulently collecting monthly payments.

Sims’ actions “forced the bank” to take its foreclosed property off the sale market because its officials “feel the situation is way too dangerous for realtors and the public to go view the property,” court document say. Meanwhile, the bank is losing money by not having the property on the market.

Sims worked as a commissioned officer for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office from 1985 until 2011, the Bradenton Herald reported. The following year, court documents say, Sims filed an affidavit with the county clerk “where he made it known that he [now] was a natural free-born Sovereign individual.’’

Dave Bristow and Randy Warren, public information officers for the sheriff’s office, did not immediately return phone calls for comment.

Court documents say when questioned by Detective Mark Franczyk of the Manatee Sheriff’s Office, Sims told the investigator “he was wrong” and that if charges were pursued Sims “was going to probably come after everybody.” The sheriff’s office subsequently received a “packet” of legal claims from Sims.

Hatewatch Headlines 2/10/15  

By Hatewatch Staff on February 10, 2015 - 8:13 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Right Wing Watch: Mike Huckabee warns that gay marriage ‘lies’ are reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

Raw Story: Georgia pastor launches into anti-LGBT rant about ‘Adam and Steve’ straight out of old comedy routine.

AlterNet: Think Islamists are the only religious terrorists? Here are some famous killers for Christ.

Crooks and Liars: Right-wing judge says people who claim Bush lied America into the Iraq war are just like Nazi propagandists.

Daily Kos: Rep. Steve King tweets a cartoon of President Obama dressed in a turban.

Kansas City Star: Head lawyer for Glenn Miller’s defense team packs his things and steps down.

Anti-LGBT Hate Group to Represent Alabama Judges Refusing to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

By Hatewatch Staff on February 9, 2015 - 3:31 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

The Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT hate group, has entered the already intense debate over same-sex marriages in Alabama by saying it will represent probate judges who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The news, which came late last week, is only the latest development in a series of tense events regarding same-sex marriage in the state that began on Jan. 23, when U.S. District Judge Callie Granade struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to extend the stay, and same-sex couples began applying for marriage licenses today.

“At this time, no Alabama probate judge is bound by Judge Granade’s order. This sole federal judge does not have jurisdiction to order all state probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples,” the Liberty Counsel wrote in a news release on Feb. 6.

Granade’s ruling has cleared the way for all judges who issue marriage licenses to start performing same-sex marriages, and because they are agents of the state, they have been ordered to comply with the Constitution, according to Harvard law professor Noah Feldman in a piece he wrote for Bloomberg News.

“They’re state functionaries,” Feldman wrote on the role of probate judges. “Refusal to comply with the federal court judgment would be illegitimate resistance — akin to the resistance of governor Orval Faubus in Little Rock,” who famously refused to comply with school desegregation.

Mathew Staver.

Mathew Staver.

Founded in 1989 and based in Orlando, Fla., the Liberty Counsel is well known for its strident anti-LGBT rhetoric. Mat Staver, the group’s president, co-founder and former dean at the Liberty University School of Law, has claimed that with full marriage equality, everyone will decide to be gay and society will “cease to exist.” (He also has linked homosexuality to rampant increases in disease, falsely linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claimed that homosexuality is the result of childhood sexual abuse.)

Such claims, naturally, have made him a darling of the anti-LGBT movement, which sides with Staver.

Matt Barber, the editor of the virulently anti-LGBT Barbwire.com, is a frequent host of the Liberty Counsel’s Faith and Freedom Radio. Barber has Tweeted that “Fake ‘gay marriage’ is fake ‘consummated’ through squalid and feculent abuse of the reproductive and digestive systems.” He has called same-sex parenting a form of child abuse, and aid that HIV is a punishment from God for homosexuality, stating that “it is never good, healthy, normal or natural.” He also expressed support for Russia’s draconian anti-LGBT laws, saying that he would like to see laws that “stop homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.”

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, meanwhile, is in the middle of the fray. He sent out a letter last Wednesday to Alabama governor Robert Bentley, demanding that state probate judges refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore has falsely claimed that state law trumps federal law, a belief he has held for years and that has gotten him in trouble in the past. He was removed from the bench by Alabama’s judicial ethics panel in 2003 for defying a federal order to remove a Ten Commandments monument he’d erected in the state court building. On Sunday, Moore ordered probate judges to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

A day earlier, though, a group calling itself Sanctity of Marriage Alabama rallied on the capitol steps in Montgomery. Among the featured speakers were theocrat John Eidsmoe, a former law school professor and chief counsel for the Foundation for Moral Law, an Alabama group founded by Roy Moore and currently run by his wife, Kayla Moore. Eidsmoe addressed a conference of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens meeting in 2005, where he referred to Lester Maddox, the arch-segregationist former governor of Georgia as “Patriot of the Century.”

Already, Liberty Counsel is representing several probate judges, including Washington County Probate Judge Nick Williams, who has released a “declaration in support of marriage.”

In his declaration, Williams said he would “only issue marriage licenses and solemnize ceremonies consistent with Alabama law and the U.S. Constitution; namely, between one man and one woman only, so help me God.”

No Arrests as Planned Washington State Capitol Protest Fizzles

By David Neiwert on February 9, 2015 - 2:38 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Gun Extremism

The plan was for everyone carrying a gun into the chambers of the Washington House gallery on Saturday to get arrested — an antigovernment act of civil disobedience to call attention to the state’s new gun control law. But as the crowd of about 50 antigovernment gun owners gathered in the drizzle, waiting for the right moment to go it, the plan hit a snag.

The legislature was not in session. The governor was gone. The House gallery was closed and the doors to it locked. In other words, there was nothing there that the gun owners — who toted a variety of weapons to the protest — could do as an act of civil disobedience to protest a ban on citizens bringing weapons in the state House and Senate chambers.

“What’s the world coming to when there are people who want to break the law and they won’t let you do it?” Dave Grenier, 58, of Tumwater, a protest participant, told the Associated Press.

( continue to full post… )

Hatewatch Headlines 2/9/15

By Hatewatch Staff on February 9, 2015 - 7:28 am, Posted in Hatewatch Headlines

Raw Story: Alabama chief justice Roy Moore issues late-Sunday edict banning judges from issuing gay marriage licenses.

BuzzFeed: How men’s rights leader Paul Elam turned being a deadbeat dad into a moneymaking movement.

Edge Boston: Hate group leader Tony Perkins likens anti-LGBT bigots to ‘involuntary’ servants, threatens uprising.

WSFA-TV (Montgomery, AL): Former Ku Klux Klan leader sentenced to prison for perjury.

Los Angeles Times: Black Manhattan Beach family target of alleged arson, hate crime suspected.

IREHR: Inside the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention.

WLWT-TV (Cincinnati, OH): Ohio sheriff says he fired two deputies over racially charged text conversations.

Asbury Park Press (N.J.): Hitler-loving teens’ tweets on killing, bombing Jews deemed not a threat by a police.

Right Wing Watch: Glenn Beck warns viewers that measles outbreak is an Obama conspiracy to get everyone to obey the government.

Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage Protest on Steps of Alabama Capitol

By Ryan Lenz on February 7, 2015 - 3:18 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Nullification

EidsmoeEditors’ Note: This story has been updated to clarify that the rally was organized by a new group calling itself “Sanctity of Marriage Alabama.” John Eidsmoe of the Foundation for Moral Law was the rally’s featured speaker.

On the eve of Alabama courts recognizing same-sex marriage, supporters of a constitutional amendment restricting marriage gathered on the steps of the Capitol to rally support in a brewing legal battle reaching into the upper levels of the state’s legal institutions.

They prayed and sang hymns, and waved signs declaring marriage as an institution between one a man and a woman or, as many others read, “81%”—a reference to the percentage of voters who approved an amendment to the Alabama Constitution that defined marriage as a “sacred covenant” between a man and a woman.

“Someone asked me if this is a political rally or a Christian rally. Well, it’s a Christian rally. There are no political aspirations here. No one is running for office. No one trying to make money. Just Christian people gathering together, because our hearts are torn and broken,” said Tom Ford, a Montgomery chiropractor and father of eight.

But the rally was much more than that.

( continue to full post… )

Meet the National Youth Front: The New Racists on Campus

By Keegan Hankes on February 6, 2015 - 12:48 pm, Posted in Academic Racism, White Nationalism

Late last week, on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, a hooded individual distributed fliers and hung posters declaring a war on immigration. Using the most recent covers of Charlie Hebdo as a backdrop, the flier was intended to be a call to action and an ominous warning: “America is ours, and we are tomorrow.”

National Youth Front flag. (Source: NYF.)

National Youth Front flag. (Source: NYF.)

The group behind the campaign, the National Youth Front, was no secret. It’s the newly formed youth wing of the white nationalist American Freedom Party, and it is only the latest in a growing number of racist organizations targeting youth on college campuses.

In recent years, groups like Youth for Western Civilization, formed by Kevin DeAnna, and the Traditionalist Youth Network, which emerged from a chapter of YWC founded on Towson University’s campus by Matthew Heimbach, have dominated the campus extremism landscape. At one point, YWC boasted 13 chapters, and TYN was making regular headlines for its racist activism at Towson and Indiana University.

But while those organizations have ties that run deep into the white nationalist movement, particularly to Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance, neither have ever served as a direct pipeline to a well-established hate group. NYF does exactly that, hoping that those they recruit in college, between the ages of 18 and 35, will help rejuvenate an already aging landscape.

According to William Johnson, AFP’s chairman, “NYF is an independent organization that will send members to the AFP. The end goal of recruitment is to make them [NYF members] nationalists and racially conscious.”

From the styling of its fliers to the sleek recruitment videos on its website, NYF seems to be modeling itself after other successful white nationalist youth movements, such as Generation Identitaire, the youth wing of France’s far-right, nationalist movement Bloc Identitaire, known for its large street demonstrations targeting the Muslim community in France. According to its former chairman, Caleb Shumaker, NYF is “march[ing] to take back our streets not by words but with action.”

“Our goal is to take power from those who have weaponized our institutions against us. To put an end to the invasions of our nations. To stop the ongoing defamation of our people. … To eliminate the endless ideological subversion of our nations most precious gift. Its youth,” read NYF’s stated goals. And according to the NYF posters found at ASU, “This is a declaration of war” – another line lifted directly from Generation Identitaire.

But that war hit a snag last month when Caleb Shumaker was forced out of his position as chairman.

“Due to recent attacks against me, my family and by those whom I believed would support and appreciate what we are doing, I feel it best to step down from my position as chairman of National Youth Front, and step away entirely from the organization,” wrote Shumaker in his resignation letter on the NYF website on January 6.

Johnson, in his discussions with Hatewatch recounted the reasons for Shumaker’s departure from the group differently. “Caleb Shumaker was forced out because of his interracial marriage,” Johnson said. “I was working with him closely, but there was a lot of backlash [because of his marriage] … from people who were not involved [in NYF].”

Shumaker, who declined to comment, was replaced by Angelo John Gage, a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, who has previously run for the U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey as a candidate for AFP.

Gage has a long history of racism and anti-Semitism, including stints on The White Voice, a white nationalist website, and Stormfront, where he has written about realizing “the real Jewish question and the whole ww2 and hitler [sic] truth.”

At the time of Shumaker’s resignation, NYF had nine active chapters. Hatewatch has so far confirmed the existence of five: Asheville, N.C., Baltimore, Hammond, La., Indianapolis, and Phoenix.