The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Last night, on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” I tried to explain how a note written by alleged LAX shooter Paul Ciancia contained several hallmarks of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement’s animating “New World Order” conspiracy theory. My remarks were based on references to the Federal Reserve and “fiat currency” that were exclusively reported by Hatewatch over the weekend.
My jousting partner in the exchange was Michael Medved, a conservative radio show host, frequent television commentator and columnist. Medved told the audience that my comments were “very dangerous” and “unforgiveable,” that I was “completely unfair” to use the word “Patriot” in describing a key sector of the radical right, and that I was “try[ing] to tar” the political right with the Nov. 1 shooting that left one TSA agent dead “when the clear problem is mental illness.”
Even as Medved spoke, the FBI was, in effect, backing me up with its own suspicions about Ciancia’s motives. The Associated Press reports the FBI obtained a warrant yesterday to search Ciancia’s cell phone for, in the words of its request, materials reflecting his “views on the legitimacy or activities of the United States government, including the existence of a plot to impose a New World Order.” ( continue to full post… )
The world of right-wing extremism produces people who so deeply believe in conspiracy theories woven out of fantasies that they stop being able to distinguish between reality and fantasy – or, in some cases, satire.
And in the case of Dearborn, Mich., this week, satire was mistaken for reality by a large number of such people. An article published at a satirical website mocking right-wing paranoia about Shariah law (Muslim religious law) being imposed in the United States – headlined “City in Michigan First to Fully Implement Sharia Law” and informing readers that Dearborn was now under Muslim control – was mistaken by a large number of people for the real thing.
Spread widely through social media, the story published at the National Report satire site – which publishes fake news in the manner of The Onion, though perhaps more obliquely – sparked an outpouring of outrage from conservatives who have been warned by a number of conspiracist anti-Muslim organizations that Islamic radicals intend to begin imposing “Sharia Law” in the United States. Thousands of phone calls and E-mails came pouring in to Dearborn City Hall. ( continue to full post… )
William A. White, a one-time Virginia real estate czar who had a second career as a rabid neo-Nazi specializing in making threats over the Internet, now faces the likelihood of another 16 years or more in a federal prison.
On Nov. 1, an anonymous jury in Roanoke, Va., found White guilty of four federal crimes — three counts of making a threat with the intent to extort and a fourth count of sending a threatening E-mail. The convictions are only White’s latest on similar charges and apparently will result in his designation as a “career offender,” meaning he will likely face a harsher prison term than he otherwise might have.
The newest convictions were related to threats White made via E-mail to his ex-wife in May and June 2012 after she stopped mailing him $400 a month payments while he was a federal fugitive living in Mexico. He fled there after being convicted of making threats related to his involvement in the now-defunct American National Socialist Workers Party, a neo-Nazi group he started in 2006. ( continue to full post… )
The 23-year-old man who allegedly killed a TSA official at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday was carrying a one-page “manifesto” that included references to the “New World Order,” the Federal Reserve and “fiat currency,” according to a knowledgeable source with ranking law enforcement contacts.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, who allegedly wounded three other people before being shot and critically wounded himself, also expressed antagonism toward the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its chief until she resigned in August, Janet Napolitano, the source said. Ciancia’s note called former Secretary Napolitano a “bull dyke” and contained the phrase “FU Janet Napolitano,” the source said.
Ciancia’s language and references seemed to put him squarely in the conspiracy-minded world of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. The New World Order refers to a longstanding conspiracy theory that today, in its most popular iteration, claims that global elites are plotting to form a socialistic “one-world government” that would crush American freedoms. Often, the root of the alleged conspiracy is traced to the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve and the adoption of fiat currency — paper money that is not backed by gold, as it was once was in the U.S.
So-called Patriots also increasingly see the DHS, which produces intelligence assessments of extremists that are distributed to other law enforcement agencies, as an enemy and even a collaborator in the New World Order conspiracy. Many believe DHS has targeted their movement and is somehow connected to the alleged construction of concentration camps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purported camps are thought to be meant for those Americans who resist a coming national seizure of all weapons from U.S. citizens. ( continue to full post… )
Tennessee State Senator Frank Niceley will be a featured speaker tomorrow at the “sixth session” of the Southern National Congress. Despite Niceley’s denials, the group is in fact an offshoot of the League of South, a neo-Confederate hate group that calls for a second secession.
The Southern National Congress first met in Montgomery, Ala., with the stated aim of creating “a permanent forum for the expression of distinct Southern interests, Southern grievances, and Southern solutions.” The Associated Press reported at the time that the “League of the South, a Southern independence group that is viewed as marginal and extremist by critics, is organizing the event.”
The two groups are tightly linked to this day. The current Southern National Congress chairman, Rev. David O. Jones, also chairs the Tennessee chapter of the League of the South, and so on. Nonetheless, Niceley has taken to Twitter to say the groups have little, if anything, to do with one another.
Whether or not Niceley understands the connection between the groups, he has much in common with both. As the Tennessean reported yesterday, he is broadly supportive of Southern secession:
He agrees with the group’s idea that the South might one day be its own nation, like each of the 13 colonies after the American Revolution.
“They delegated a little power to central government. When that fails, we go back to being independent nations,” he said. “We could team up with New Jersey and Oregon if we wanted to.”
Niceley will use his time tomorrow with the neo-Confederates to propose an end-run around the Seventeenth Amendment, which provides the direct election of US Senators. His proposal would reportedly end party primaries, thereby “allowing the legislature’s partisan caucuses to pick the candidates instead.”
As described in the Southern National Congress newsletter (which misspelled Niceley’s name), the proposal would “change the electoral dynamics of the US Senate as the Senators would have to be more responsive to the States rather than that nebulous concept of ‘the people.’”
Ah yes, “the people” is such a nebulous concept. Better to let the Republican legislative caucus decide instead of those pesky voters. That’s what real democracy looks like to a secessionist.
When it formed six years ago, the founders of the H.L. Mencken Club envisioned a simple forum for the “intellectual right” to be filled with “young thinkers and activists” ready to tackle the tough issues confronting the country. In reality, though, the club was a gathering place for the country’s most prominent white nationalists.
And this weekend, the Club is at it again, gathering to discuss topics ranging from the state of immigration in the United States, to the so-called war on masculinity and the traditional family.
Speakers at this year’s conference, which is being held at “a hotel near Baltimore-Washington International Airport,” according to the website, include John Derbyshire, the white nationalist fired from the National Review for writing a piece for a separate publication suggesting that white and Asian parents should warn their children that black people pose a threat to their safety. He plans to give a speech with the puzzlingly bland title, “Politics and Intelligence.” William Regnery, who founded the racist journal The Occidental Quarterly and co-founded the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, is scheduled to give a presentation titled “Thrown Off the Bus.”
Stephen Baskerville is also speaking this year. Baskerville is an associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and a former research fellow at the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. One of the Howard Center’s most prominent projects is its anti-LGBT World Congress of Families (WCF), which recently held a planning committee meeting in Moscow for its 2014 gathering there. The WCF has been extremely busy globalizing homophobia and supporting anti-LGBT laws abroad. Baskerville is the second person from Patrick Henry College to address the gathering. The first was Gene Veith, the college provost and literature professor who spoke in 2009. ( continue to full post… )
The rural Florida sheriff whose arrest and trial on misconduct charges became a cause celebre among the “constitutionalists” of the antigovernment Patriot movement this summer was acquitted by a jury yesterday.
Nick Finch, the Liberty County sheriff who was arrested and suspended in June and accused of tampering with the arrest record of a man in custody on a weapon-concealment charge, was found not guilty by a six-person jury in Bristol.
Gov. Rick Scott, who had signed the arrest warrant for Finch and named his interim replacement, immediately announced that Finch would be returned to office. “Sheriff Nick Finch will be reinstated immediately,” Scott announced. “I would like to thank the members of the jury in Liberty County for their service in this trial. I would also like to thank Interim Sheriff Buddy Money for his service to the state of Florida.” ( continue to full post… )
The sandy-haired boy who was 10 when he shot his neo-Nazi father in the head two years ago will be the youngest inmate in a California juvenile justice facility, “surrounded,” his lawyer told the Los Angeles Times, “by gang members and older kids who have committed sexual offenses.”
Now 13, the boy was ordered Thursday by a judge in Riverside County to spend up to10 years in a state-run juvenile justice facility for killing his father, Jeff Hall, a West Coast leader of one the country’s largest neo-Nazi groups, the National Socialist Movement (NSM).
The child’s lawyer, Punam Grewal, blasted the sentence, according to the Times, calling it a “miscarriage of justice.” ( continue to full post… )
Bryan Fischer wears a number of hats around the American Family Association (AFA). He is the group’s lead spokesperson, radio personality and attack dog.
Fischer also serves as the id of the Religious Right, saying “things that a lot of people on the conservative side of things think but they won’t say.” That observation is from someone who should know – Buster Wilson, the former general manager of AFA’s talk radio network.
But Fischer is so outrageous at times that it’s hard to know if people, even privately, agree with him. Right Wing Watch caught a great example of this on Monday.
Fischer was ranting on his AFA radio program about a briefing at Camp Shelby in Mississippi when he went off the rails. That briefing listed AFA as a hate group – which it is.
Fischer claimed that the U.S. “military is being conditioned to use weapons on the American Family Association.” American soldiers could one day surround the AFA, he claimed, because they’re “being conditioned in their brains to think of evangelicals, Tea Partiers, the American Family Association and the Family Research Council as domestic enemies that may have to be neutralized by lethal force.”
Fischer has a history of outrageous and inflammatory rhetoric. And, as Right Wing Watch pointed out, he has a history of claiming that the Obama administration is planning to use the military to vanquish its political opponents. In March he warned that “we’re not that far away from having an armed federal military-style presence in the streets of our cities,” and almost a year earlier he claimed that the Department of Homeland Security was hoarding ammunition to use against Americans.
I think it’s safe to say that Fischer is either willfully misleading his listeners or has a loose grasp on reality. Regardless of his reasons, the corrosive impact of his rhetoric is the same.
Trial of Florida Sheriff on Misconduct Charge Draws Wrath of ‘Constitutional Sheriffs’ and Oath Keepers
The trial of a Florida sheriff on a charge of official misconduct is attracting the attention of so-called “constitutional sheriffs” and the far-right Oath Keepers, who claim that the sheriff – Nick Finch of Liberty County – was only standing up for the Second Amendment when he “nullified” the arrest of a citizen on a concealed-weapon charge.
Those activists see the Finch trial as a showdown between their “constitutionalist” belief that the county sheriff is the highest authority in the nation and state and federal authorities intent on imposing their “tyranny” on the citizenry. In reality, Finch was arrested for allegedly tampering with the arrest record of a man on a concealment charge because he believed enforcing the law violated the Second Amendment.
Finch was arrested in June by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and charged with one count of official misconduct, a third-degree felony, for having “destroyed or removed official arrest documents” and making it appear an arrest had never occurred, including whiting out the suspect’s name in the booking log. His trial in Bristol began today.
Finch, 50, first elected in 2012, has been suspended and could be permanently removed from office. ( continue to full post… )