The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Three alleged members of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan who are current and former Florida Department of Corrections employees were arrested today on charges they plotted to kill a former black inmate.
Thomas Jordan Driver, 25, David Elliot Moran, 47, and Charles Thomas Newcomb, 42, were all arrested on one state count of conspiracy to commit murder, Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a prepared statement.
Driver and Moran worked at the Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler at the time of their arrest, and Newcomb is a former employee of the state corrections department, said Whitney Ray, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office.
“The defendants plotted the murder as retaliation for a fight between the inmate, who is African American, and Driver,” the statement from the attorney general’s office said.
The attorney general’s office identified the group the men allegedly belonged to as the Traditional American Knights of the KKK. But there is no such known group, and the authorities almost certainly meant the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK, which is based in Potosi, Mo., and last year had a second chapter in Prattville, Ala. A year earlier, it listed seven chapters, the Missouri headquarters and another six in Texas. The group is not known to have a Florida chapter.
The Traditionalist American Knights has gotten much media attention in the last year for distributing propaganda pamphlets. But it received far more scrutiny after its national leader, Frank Ancona, sent out pamphlets threatening to use “lethal force” against protesters in Ferguson, Mo., if any of his members who went there were threatened.
Inside the tempestuous Klan world, Ancona is also known for the attacks on him by other Klan leaders, who accuse him of being secretly Jewish.
The Florida case is the latest instance of KKK members holding positions of authority in law enforcement and the criminal justice system in Florida and elsewhere. Although such cases were once fairly common, they are very unusual in recent years.
There have been a number of cases over the years of racist prison guards, a few of whom were Klan members.
Last summer, two officers with the Fruitland Park, Fla., police department were identified as Klan members. One of them was the deputy chief. One resigned and the other was fired, as prosecutors quickly reviewed their prior criminal cases for bias. There has been some dispute as to whether or not they really were Klansmen.
In 2009, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the 2006 firing of a State Patrol trooper who claimed he had a 1st Amendment right to belong to the Knights Party, another name for the Arkansas-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The state’s high court said the firing of trooper Robert Henderson was justified because he voluntarily associated with an organization that uses violence and terror to oppose the state’s founding principles of equality and tolerance.
Henderson, a trooper for 18 years, was dismissed in 2006 after he admitted that, two years earlier, he had joined Knights Party.
“One cannot simultaneously wear the badge of the Nebraska State Patrol and the robe of a Klansman without degrading what that badge represents when worn by any officer,” Justice John Gerrard wrote.
In the new Florida case, court documents associate with the arrests have not been unsealed, so other details of the case are not yet publicly available. The case will be prosecuted in Florida’s Columbia County, officials said.
Following on the heels of a significant white nationalist conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, this past weekend, another overseas event featuring European, Russian and American racists is set to take place in Belgium next month. On April 18, the far-right Flemish student movement Nationalistische Studentenvereniging (Nationalist Student Union), along with the white nationalist publishing house Arktos, has organized a colloquium titled “Europe, Beyond the West.”
The event, just the latest example of the ongoing international bridge-building on the radical right, is to take place at Antwerp University’s Flanders campus.
Here is a rundown of the extremist speakers scheduled to address the gathering:
Alexandr Gelyevich Dugin is a Russian political scientist and fascist who supports a Eurasian empire made up of Russia and former Soviet republics such as the Ukraine and set against “North Atlantic interests.” Dugin has close ties to the Kremlin and serves as an adviser to Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of the Duma, the Russian parliament. He has set up nationalist political parties including the National Bolshevik Party, National Bolshevik Front and the Eurasia Party. During this year’s conflict in the Ukraine and Crimea, Dugin was in regular contact with pro-Russian separatist insurgents. In 2014, he was removed from his teaching position at Moscow State University, reportedly for his extremist views. Dugin is regular speaker at far-right gatherings across Europe.
Manuel Ochsenreiter is editor-in-chief of the German monthly news magazine ZUERST! (meaning “first”), which is “committed to the life and survival interests of the German people and the precious heritage of our European culture.” The magazine describes other media as controlled by “foreign interests.” According to The Interpreter, an English-language website specializing in Russian news, ZUERST! burnishes “the image of the Third Reich in popular culture” and opposes “what it regards as the humiliating legacy of denazification.” Just after the magazine began publishing in 2010, workers for its distributor, Bauer Media, threatened to strike, calling it a pro-Nazi magazine. Bauer dropped the publication. Ochsenreiter also is an on-air correspondent for the conspiracy-minded television channel, Russia Today. He is close to Alexandr Dugin and supports Russian interests in the Ukraine. He recently gave an interview to Iran’s Press TV, a blatantly anti-Semitic news outlet that often gives a platform for American anti-Semites to express their views.
John Morgan is the American editor-in-chief of Arktos Media, a co-sponsor of the colloquium. Morgan, a supporter of extremist political parties in Europe, says the publishing outfit is named to evoke “ancient European tradition” and “northernness.” Arktos publishes a fully catalog of radical books by prominent fascists, including Dugin, as well as handbooks on the Identitaire movement’s racist and anti-Muslim ideology. Some of Arktos’ works are particularly radical. Guillaume Faye and the Battle for Europe is a compilation of postings from American neo-Nazi websites including Vanguard News Network and National Vanguard. The publishing house also sells a translated version of The Culture of Critique, written by American anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald. Arktos moved to Budapest from the India in 2014 and will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in May. Morgan has been published on the American racist website Counter-Currents and is often found speaking on the racist circuit in the United States. Since his move from India to Eastern Europe, Morgan has sought to build relationships with European radicals across the continent. While he may not yet be a known name in European far-right circles like Dugin and Ochsenreiter, Morgan is close to joining them.
Salon: How right-wing bigots managed to invent a white-supremacist Jesus, battling under a banner of ‘religious freedom.’
Talking Points Memo: Yelp users troll owners of Indiana pizzeria who vow not to cater same-sex weddings.
Times Union (Albany, NY): Reputed Klansman facing federal charges in alleged anti-Muslim X-ray plot asks judge to dismiss charges.
WWSB-TV (Sarasota, FL): Bradenton restaurant receives disturbing message from self-proclaimed KKK member.
Crooks and Liars: Ex-Rep. Michelle Bachmann compares President Obama to deranged Germanwings pilot for negotiations with Iran.
Raw Story: Florida chef fires back at KKK threats over his interracial marriage, describes caller as a ‘coward.’
Daily Journal (Park Hill, MO): Appeals court denies KKK group’s effort to overturn pamphlet-distribution ban.
Los Angeles Times: Cliven Bundy and his posse tackle the U.S. government again, this time with official help.
MassLive: Scott Lively announces he’s expanding his anti-LGBT operations to Southern California.
Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a report on “Stormfront Radio,” a racist and anti-Semitic broadcast that can be heard in the United States and on a satellite feed in Europe. Aired by the anti-Semitic Rense Radio Network, the two-hour show is hosted by Stormfront founder Don Black, a longtime white supremacist, and features a host of his likeminded racist allies.
Each hour of the show starts with a two-minute news broadcast, usually read by Bob Agnew of Salem Radio Network (SRN). The news segment, which provides an unearned air of legitimacy to Don Black’s hate-filled broadcasts, is produced by Salem Media Group, one of the largest and most successful Christian-based radio content providers in the country. Black has said SRN’s news makes his program sound “like a real radio show.”
But there’s a problem for Black. And Jeff Rense, who runs Rense Radio Network. SRN has not sanctioned them to run their programming.
Tom Tradup, SRN’s vice president of news and talk programming, is very upset with the situation. Tradup said in a voicemail left with the SPLC that the network knew “nothing” about this and “had not given them permission” to run the news feed. Tradup told the SPLC that Stormfront “kidnapped our news” and “we want nothing to do with them.” According to Tradup, the issue has been referred to SRN’s legal department, which plans to address the matter with the Rense Radio Network.
The use of SRN news on Stormfront radio is all the more abhorrent because Black’s program has viciously attacked SRN syndicated talk show host Michael Medved. Don Advo, who often co-hosts on “Stormfront Radio,” once accused Medved on air of being a racist Jew who was pro-choice to “cull the goyim herd” of white babies.
Attempts to contact Don Black and Jeff Rense were not responded to.
Two months after a representative for PayPal requested a list of radical right groups and individuals using its services to raise money from Hatewatch, the company has not moved to restrict the groups’ usage of the service to promote racism. That stands in great contrast to other web-based services such as Spotify and iTunes that have moved swiftly to drop hate content once notified.
PayPal’s own “acceptable use policy,” which governs the use of its services, prohibits “use [of] the PayPal service for activities that … relate to transactions involving items that promote hate, violence, [or] racial intolerance.”
Yet, as the Washington Post reported last month, repeated requests for PayPal to enforce its own guidelines have been met with obstinacy, if acknowledged at all. This effectively means that PayPal, the largest online payment system, has given a tacit blessing for white supremacists to use their services as an unofficial banking system.
Federal civil rights charges are pending against a former student at the University of Mississippi who is accused of hanging a noose and Confederate flag on a statue of James Meredith, the first black student to attend Ole Miss.
Graeme Phillip Harris, 20, of Alpharetta, Ga., was arrested on Friday by deputy U.S. marshals, two days after being indicted by a federal grand jury in northern Mississippi. He was released on an unsecured $10,000 bond after an initial court appearance.
Salon: Robert Jeffress tells Liberty University students that 9/11 terrorist attacks were God’s punishment for abortion.
Right Wing Watch: Glenn Beck warns that criticism of Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law will lead to concentration camps.
New York Daily News: Plainclothes NYPD officer caught on video trying to humiliate Uber driver for being an immigrant.
WFAA-TV (Dallas, TX): Dallas mayoral candidate arrested, charged with tagging LGBT community with ‘666’ graffiti.
Access ADL: White supremacists stage protests across the nation against purported ‘white genocide.’
KRGV-TV (Rio Grande Valley, TX): Onetime border militiaman Kevin Massey seeks dismissal of felony gun-possession charges.
Think Progress: Arkansas could soon become nation’s most anti-LGBT state if governor signs ‘religious freedom’ bill.
As part of our ongoing campaign to mark the 20th anniversary of Stormfront, the Internet’s first hate site, the Southern Poverty Law Center is today releasing updated profiles on Stormfront and Don Black, the site’s founder. To read our full profile on Black and Stormfront, see below. Be sure to watch our short video explaining Stormfront and see our extensive interactive timeline mapping the site’s development over the past twenty years. Check back with Hatewatch in the coming weeks for more Stormfront-related content.
Profile: Don Black – Stormfront founder
A former Klan state leader and long-time white supremacist, Don Black is best known for creating Stormfront.org, the first major Internet hate site. While the site remains popular in racist circles today, Black came under criticism in 2008 from other white supremacists for toning down its offensive content and for the claimed renunciation of racism made by his wife, Chloe Black, to a reporter.
To read the full profile, click here.
Profile: Stormfront – The Internet’s first hate site
Created by former Alabama Klan boss and long-time white supremacist Don Black in 1995, Stormfront was the first major hate site on the Internet. Claiming more than 130,000 registered members (though far fewer remain active), the site has been a very popular online forum for white nationalists and other racial extremists.
To read the full profile, click here.
Right Wing Watch: Indiana activist urges state officials not to ‘clarify’ that ‘religious freedom’ bill doesn’t legalize discrimination.
Crooks and Liars: Montana ‘Patriot’ figure arrested for buying an illegally altered machine gun.
American Prospect: America’s willful ignorance of our history of lynching feeds modern-day racial hatred
Think Progress: Nevada lawmaker proposes new anti-transgender bill pushed by out-of-state lobbyist.
Raw Story: Connecticut college cancels classes over ‘No Niggers’ warning scrawled in bathroom.
Talking Points Memo: Ex-Gov. John Sununu accuses President Obama of ‘inciting’ birthers by planning trip to Kenya.
Montgomery Advertiser: Despite what some leaders claim, the Constitution, not the Bible, is the supreme law of the land.
Accused racist killer Frazier Glenn Miller, who has been in jail a year since three fatal shootings in Overland Park, Kan., has been granted one of his two wishes: He will get a speedy trial. He won’t get Internet access in his jail cell.
Johnson County District Judge Kelly Ryan set a trial date of Aug. 17 on Friday after Miller, 74, shouted “Hell, no,” when asked if he wanted to waive his right to a speedy trial, the Kansas City Star reports.
Miller entered not guilty pleas during the same hearing on charges of first-degree capital murder in the deaths of William Corporon, 69, his 16-year-old grandson Reat Underwood and Terri LaManno, 53.
Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., has said he was targeting Jews when he opened fire outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom care center on April 13 of last year. All three victims were Christians.
Miller’s defense attorneys strenuously objected to the early trial date, arguing that they need substantially more time to prepare for a death penalty case. They asked that a trial date be set in March 2016.
“I want to have my day in court,” Miller told the court. He also has asked to act as his own attorney, but was given a court-appointed defense attorey.
Miller and his attorneys also asked the judge to grant him Internet access in jail so “he could have contact with ‘like-minded individuals’ who shared his political beliefs,” the Kansas City newspaper reported.
One of Miller’s attorneys told the court that other “like-minded individuals” may be called to testify about “Miller’s state of mind at the time of the shootings,” the newspaper reported.
“There has not been a showing of need other than the defendant’s wishing to have the same access he had before being placed in custody,” the judge responded in denying the request.
After a two-day hearing earlier this month, the judge ruled there was probable cause to believe Miller had committed the murders and deemed him competent to stand trial.