The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
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.
Today marks the 20-year anniversary of the white supremacist web site, Stormfront. Since its creation in 1995, Stormfront has been creating and dispersing all forms of hate to its racialist and often violent audience of nearly 300,000 registered members.
“For 20 years now, Stormfront has been pushing hate propaganda around the world,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project. “The problem isn’t just the racist material Don Black and company have been publicizing, it’s the body count, too. Nearly 100 people have been killed by Stormfront users in the last few years. Stormfront isn’t only vile, it’s dangerous.”
To mark the occasion, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog will be running a series of stories about the hate site, its activities, its principals and its funders.
The first story published yesterday is an exposé about Stormfront radio, which the site’s founder Stephen “Don” Black launched about a year ago on the Rense Radio Network. Heard by hundreds of thousands of homes across North American and Europe, Stormfront radio is now one of the largest purveyors of hate propaganda in the world.
In addition to the expose, an interactive timeline of the site and a short video that highlights Stormfront’s most infamous members is available. Our 2014 report White Homicide Worldwide documented the murders committed by Stormfront members.
One section of the Web forum is dedicated to watching black men die, while another is called “CoonTown” and features users wondering if there are any states left that are “nigger free.” One conversation focuses on the state of being “Negro Free,” while another is about how best to bring attention to the assertion that black people are more prone to commit sexual assaults than whites.
But these discussions aren’t happening on Stormfront, which since its founding in 1995 by a former Alabama Klan leader has been the largest hate forum on the Web. They’re taking place on Reddit, a huge online bulletin board owned by mass media giant Condé Nast, which also owns Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and 20 other print and online publications that reach an estimated 95 million consumers. Reddit has been hailed as the last bastion of free speech on the Internet, an unregulated and vibrant community of users who post whatever they want and rely on the community around them to police their content.
The world of online hate, long dominated by website forums like Stormfront and its smaller neo-Nazi rival Vanguard News Network (VNN), has found a new — and wildly popular — home on the Internet. Reddit boasts the 9th highest Alexa Internet traffic ranking in the United States and the 36th worldwide. Many of Reddit’s racist subreddits are among its most popular.
Reddit is a news site that hosts user-submitted links and discussion, organized into specific communities of interest comprised of “subreddits,” which are ranked by votes from users. If a reader believes content is a constructive contribution, he or she can “upvote” it, pushing the content further up the page. Conversely, if a user thinks that content is either off-topic or is not constructive, it can be “downvoted,” causing it to sink further down the page.
Content on Reddit is “moderated based on quality, not opinion,” according to the working document that dictates community guidelines, called “Reddiquette.” This idea of user-policed communities that contain high-quality, diverse content is part of the ethos Reddit has worked hard to project. “We power awesome communities,” reads the graphic atop its “about” page.
But awesome communities for whom?
Along with countless others with entirely different interests, Reddit increasingly is providing a home for anti-black racists — and some of the most virulent and violent propaganda around. In November 2013, a hyper-racist subreddit called “GreatApes” was formed. Users posted epithet-strewn links to “news” stories of dubious origin that riffed on long established stereotypes about the black community. GreatApes was wildly popular and grew quickly, expanding into a much larger Reddit network called “the Chimpire,” which was organized by a user known only by his or her posting name of “Jewish_NeoCon2.”
“We feel it’s time to expand our sphere of influence and lebensraum [the Nazi term for “living space”] on reddit. Thus we have decided to create ‘the Chimpire,’ a network of nigger related subreddits,” Jewish_NeoCon2 wrote at the time. “Want to read people’s experiences with niggers? There now is an affiliated subreddit for it. Want to watch chimp nature documentaries? We got it. Nigger hate facts? IT’S THERE. … Oh yes you bet we got videos of ghetto niggers fighting each other. Nigger drama on reddit? There’s a sub. Sheboons? Gibsmedat.”
Within a year, the Chimpire network had grown to include 46 active subreddits spanning an alarming range of racist topics, including “Teenapers,” “ApeWrangling,” “Detoilet,” and “Chicongo,” along with subreddits for both “TrayvonMartin” and “ferguson,” each of them dealing with the controversial and highly publicized shooting deaths of unarmed black teenagers.
Then, last November, Reddit’s most racist community evolved once again, adding the subreddit called CoonTown in the aftermath of a dispute between several top moderators at GreatApes. In just four days, CoonTown had reached 1,000 subscribers. And its popularity continues to grow.
According to Reddit Metrics, as of Jan. 6, there were 552,829 subreddits. CoonTown, with its 3,287 subscribers, ranked 6,279th, placing it in the top 2% of subreddits. It is the 680th fastest-growing subreddit on the site despite — or because of — violently racist material including a large number of threads dedicated to videos of black-on-black violence.
These gruesome videos show black men being hit in the head repeatedly with a hammer, burned alive, and killed in a variety of other ways. The subreddit’s banner features a cartoon of a black man hanging, complete with a Klansman in the background. One fairly typical user, “Bustatruggalo” applauded the graphic violence as “[v]ery educational and entertaining.” He or she continued on a separate thread: “I almost feel bad for letting an image like this fill me with an overwhelming amount of joy. Almost….”
Others, like user “natchil,” were looking for still more. “Where is watchjewsdie?” this user wondered.
‘Remember the Human’
There are some limits.
“No calls for violence,” the CoonTown subreddit’s description reads. “It’s prohibited by Reddit’s site-wide rules.”
Everything up to violence, however, is very much there, including the horrific content found on other Chimpire subreddits like “WatchNiggersDie” — content which is rarely, if ever, matched on forums like Stormfront and VNN, which worry about being shut down or driving off potential allies.
That’s despite the Reddiquette section’s first rule, which implores Reddit users to “Remember the human.” “When you communicate online, all you see is a computer screen,” it says. “When talking to someone you might want to ask yourself ‘Would I say it to the person’s face?’ or ‘Would I get jumped if I said this to a buddy?’”
If Reddit’s rules seem relaxed, that’s because they are meant to be. Still, although users are asked to “remember the human,” there is little humanity in the way the subjects of subreddits like CoonTown are treated.
In June 2013, however, after an extended, public controversy, Reddit did ban the subreddit “Niggers” when large numbers of its denizens began overrunning another subreddit, “BlackGirls,” with racist posts that were apparently not being policed by its moderators. “Brigading” — when large groups of people from one subreddit gang up to downvote comments on another subreddit that they don’t normally visit — is prohibited by Reddit. Users of the Niggers subreddit also engaged in “vote manipulation,” which falsely raises the popularity of a post by soliciting like-minded users to blindly upvote it. After repeated warnings and “shadow-banning,” or making a user’s posts invisible to everyone but the author, the subreddit was finally banned. According to Jewish_NeoCon2, more than a few former members of the Niggers subreddit have now taken up residence at CoonTown.
A Reluctance to Intervene
Condé Nast, one of the largest mass media companies in the United States, acquired Reddit in 2006, although the Internet company still operates independently. The stability of such a well-established and respected media firm, as well as the funding of many high-profile investors, including a $50 million investment from the rapper Snoop Lion this October, appears to guarantee Reddit’s future.
A request for comment on the Chimpire was directed to Patricia Rockenwagner, a member of Condé Nast’s public relations department, but she referred it to Victoria Taylor, Reddit’s head of communications. Taylor did not respond to requests for comment.
Last year, however, Yishan Wong, Reddit’s CEO, took to the subreddit “TheoryofReddit,” to explain that Reddit was in the red. He revealed that in exchange for its relative operational independence from Condé Nast, the site was responsible for its own bills. The site’s goal, according to Wong, is to pay its own way and its primary engine for accomplishing that is through ads, a premium subscription option, and the Reddit gift exchange.
Racist websites and organizations do sometimes benefit from racist subreddits like the Chimpire. That’s because subreddit users often post links to other racist sites, and those links drive traffic to those other sites, which in turn typically sell merchandise in addition to pushing racist ideology and recruiting.
It’s hard to dispute that Reddit does offer a venue for remarkably lively and unbridled conversation, and that dissident commentary that might not be tolerated elsewhere finds a welcome home there. Richard Spencer, a racist ideologue who heads the National Policy Institute, held an “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit last November, and although his views are widely regarded as loathsome, he was calm and understated in his discussion of far-right European politics. Unlike in WatchNiggersDie, there were no links to videos of brutal killings or other visual images meant to degrade the humanity of minorities.
Reddit is often hailed as one of the last bastions of truly free speech, and its owners’ hesitance to jeopardize that status is understandable given the loyal following it has inspired. Reddit has removed content that has been illegally appropriated from commercial interests, such as the revelations that emerged from the November hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The Internet is awash in racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and other hateful content, but much of it is relatively tame. Subreddits such the Chimpire offer a window on to just how awful some of the darkest corners of the Web really are.
This story also was published in the Spring 2015 issue of the Intelligence Report.
Texas-based white supremacist and activist Preston Wiginton, best known for bringing racists to college campuses, is at it again, this time sponsoring anti-LGBT pastor James Manning to speak at Texas A&M University next month.
The topic of Manning’s speech will be “The True State of Black America”—an interesting title considering Manning is African American speaking at the invitation of a man who once claimed, “beating down a mud [person of color] when they try to poisen [sic] one of our own or when they try to seduce one of our [white] girls may not be God inspired, but rather a righteous act of collective preservation.”
The Utah State Supreme Court has taken what it describes as a “drastic measure” in forfeiting a convicted racist killer’s right to an attorney for a pending appeal.
Curtis Michael Allgier has forfeited his right to an attorney — paid for by taxpayers — because he “has repeatedly engaged in extreme dilatory, disruptive and threatening conduct,” the state’s highest court said in an 8-page ruling on Friday. Specifically, Allgier threatened the lives of his court-appointed defense attorneys, even mailing a letter to the home of one of them, the ruling said.
Forfeiture of the constitutional right to a court-appointed defense attorney “is a drastic measure,” the state high court ruling said, and a “defendant must engage in extreme conduct” before it may be imposed. “We conclude that making threats to the welfare of appointed counsel may constitute extreme conduct justifying a forfeiture of counsel,” the ruling said.
Allgier faced a possible death penalty for the 2007 shooting death of Utah corrections officer Stephen Anderson, who was killed with his own service revolver as he escorted Allgier to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. But in a plea deal, prosecutors removed the death penalty in exchange for Allgier’s pleas in 2012 to charges of aggravated murder, disarming a peace officer, aggravated escape, aggravated robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon.
A judge sentenced Allgier to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Almost immediately, he appealed, arguing he had ineffective assistance of counsel.
Allgier — whose body is covered with neo-Nazi and white supremacist tattoos — was given a court-appointed attorney from the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association for the appeal. But shortly thereafter that attorney filed a motion to withdraw because of an “irreparable breakdown in attorney-client relationship,” the Supreme Court ruling said.
To bolster his request to withdraw, the defense attorney said Allgier had filed a bar complaint against him and threatened “it [would] get very ugly” if the attorney didn’t bow out. Allgier’s bar complaint said he was “trying to be nice, but [would] resort to other means of removal” if the defense attorney wasn’t removed.
“He don’t [sic] want to learn how much I don’t give a damn,’’ Allgier said in the complaint.
Once that attorney was released, two new court-appointed attorneys were named to represent Allgier, but within a few weeks he filed his own motion demanding their removal, too. The convicted killer said he “refuse[d] these quacks forced upon [him]” and asked for another defense attorney appointed by a different judge.
The court denied that motion, but that didn’t stop Allgier from filing three more pro se motions, demanding removal of the two new defense attorneys without providing adequate documentation to support his claims, the Supreme Court justices said.
Allgier said his court-appointed attorneys “are the dumbest ass clowns I’ve ever had the EXTREME dishonorable displeasure of being forced to know.” He called them incompetent and ineffective and said “NEVER will they have the honor of being in my Aryan GOD presence or having any kind of contact with me, period!”
When those new attorneys attempted to withdraw from representing Allgier, the issue was appealed to the Utah State Supreme Court. The attorneys said as part of the “irreparable breakdown in attorney-client communication,” Allgier had removed the attorneys from his visiting list and refused delivery of their correspondence. Their motion also said Allgier has “leveled threats against counsel,” including statements that he “knows how to find people outside of prison” and has mailed documents to the home address of one of his new attorneys, an address that wasn’t provided to the inmate.
Court-appointed defense attorneys “perform an indispensable service to the administration of the criminal justice system,” the Supreme Court ruling said. Some defendants “may be very difficult to work with and unwilling to accept responsibility for their own actions” and others “may mistakenly assume that they are entitled to the appointed counsel of their choosing,” the ruling said.
“This is work that warrants gratitude from a client, yet it is work that actually may receive less gratitude, and doing it may require an exceptionally thick skin,” the court said. Even so, “appointed defense attorneys should not be required to fear for their own safety or that of their professional associates or families.”
In too many corners of the country, calling President Obama racially charged names has become a kind of party game.
In Nebraska, partygoers are learning the game might not be so much fun anymore.
A long list of educators, civil rights advocates and elected officials, including the Republican governor, are calling for the resignation of Nebraska State Board of Education member and GOP veteran Pat McPherson after his conservative blog described the president as a “half-breed.”
“It is clear that this controversy will hinder the State Board of Education from accomplishing its goals,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement. “Pat should tender his resignation and allow the board to get back to work on its goals of improving achievement outcomes for all students.”
But for more than a week, McPherson, a former Republican Party county chairman, has stubbornly “rebuffed calls for his resignation,” according to NebraskaWatchdog.org, not only from the governor, but also from “two U.S. senators, two congressmen, the NAACP, the state teachers union, the Omaha school board,” Omaha city council members and “his colleagues on the State Board of Education.”
“Most are Republicans,” the Watchdog added, “as is McPherson.”
In Nebraska these days, the question is: Who doesn’t want him gone?
Today, the Omaha City Council is expected to vote on a formal but nonbinding resolution demanding McPherson step down immediately. On Wednesday, the State Board of Education, according to the Omaha World-Herald, is scheduled to discuss the issue at what could be a crowded meeting filled “with passionate critics” of McPherson, who was elected just last November.
In a written statement, McPherson refused to resign, disavowed “the racist comment,” and denied writing the post, which appeared about two weeks ago on the blog he founded and co-edits, Objective Conservative.
“I do not intend to resign,” he said in the statement. “Doing so would be a tacit admission of the false accusations being made that I am a racist. I am not.”
He “disavowed the racist comment made on the blog” and said his resignation would “reward the partisan political efforts of the Nebraska Democratic Party.”
McPherson said he did not write the post and had not even seen it before it went up. “I certainly don’t condone or accept what was written,” he told the Journal Star. “They do not reflect my views.” He said there are several regular contributors to the site but he declined to name them.
McPherson has taken the blog down.
But the Internet is forever and reporters began searching the Web for the blog’s past and discovered “a long line of inflammatory posts,” Nebraska Watchdog said, including at least five posts, dating back to 2011, in which the president was called a “half-breed.” McPherson told the World-Herald that he did not author any of the posts, blaming them on a contributor with access to the blog.
The “half-breed” comment that has cost McPherson so much grief comes in a rant about Obama’s proposal for free tuition at two-year community colleges, his “nanny-state promise for everyone.”
The post begins, “Now our great Black Leader (actually, if he were a Republican the liberals would call him what he is – a half-breed) in Washington wants to give everyone a free community education.”
Nancy Fulton, the president of the Nebraska State Education Association, which represents 28,000 teachers, told the Journal Star that she was “appalled that a State Board of Education member hosts a blog that espouses racist ideals.”
“This is not the type of person we want serving in a leadership position at any level,” Fulton added, “much less on the State Board of Education.”
Update: The RNC voted yesterday to censure its member Dave Agema for posting material on social media that is insensitive to gays, Muslims and African Americans. Ironically, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is working closing with a group, American Family Association, that could be described in the exact same way.
It’s only been a few weeks since we learned that majority whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) had spoken to a white supremacist group in 2002, and again the Republican Party has a scandal about race on its hands.
As the RNC gathers today in San Diego for its annual strategy meeting to draft plans for its future, particularly how it will improve its outreach to minorities, another prominent GOP lawmaker has been discovered to be a fan of white supremacist thinking.
Dave Agema, a member of the Republican National Committee from Michigan, republished an essay by the white nationalist publication American Renaissance in a New Year’s Eve Facebook post. The racist article, par for the course for American Renaissance, said “blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.”
Agema reportedly found it “very enlightening.” Can that possibly be true?
Agema has since pulled the piece down, but he refuses to apologize or resign from the RNC. And this isn’t his first racist rodeo.
According to the National Journal, Agema has a well-documented history of making inflammatory and false remarks, such as that President Obama is a Muslim. The Journal points to another Agema Facebook faux pas. He apparently shared what he called an “eye opening” essay that posed the question: “Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?”
At least in this case, some in the RNC have reacted appropriately by calling for Agema to resign or be removed. They include RNC head Reince Priebus and Michigan’s entire GOP delegation. That’s all well and very good, but where’s the outrage from Priebus or other prominent Republicans over Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s plan to hold a prayer rally with the American Family Association (AFA)? Emails to Priebus’ and Jindal’s offices asking for comment were not returned.
On Jan. 24, Jindal, with AFA backing, will be praying at Louisiana State University in an event billed as “The Revival.” His partner, AFA, has defamed immigrants, the LGBT community and women. And just like American Renaissance, it has had horrible things to say about black people.
Let’s take a look at Jindal’s prayer partners.
- An AFA leader has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.”
- The same staffer said African Americans “rut like rabbits” and women have no place in politics or the military.
- Another has argued that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come to the United States to “plunder” our country.
- And the group has repeatedly made the point that non-Christians are second-class citizens—“we are a Christian nation, and not a Jewish or Muslim one.” (Find a comprehensive look at AFA’s extremist statements and positions here).
Given a track record like that, I have to ask where’s the outrage from Jindal’s fellow Republicans? American Renaissance is clearly racist, but so are these statements about black people and Latinos. Shouldn’t they be condemned as well? And what about blaming gay people for the Holocaust?
So, if Agema is the big Republican elephant in the room stalking the GOP’s efforts to reach out to minorities, isn’t that true as well of any politician who is close to AFA?
Sadly the hypocrisy goes much deeper. As RNC Chair Priebus has berated Agema, rightly saying, “The tone and rhetoric from Agema is consistently offensive and has no place in politics or any rational conversation,” the chairman is also working closely with AFA.
At the end of this month, Priebus is leading an all expenses paid trip to Jerusalem for RNC members. So far, about 60 members (about 36 percent) of the RNC have accepted the offer, according to Haaretz.
And guess who is picking up the tab for this “incredible opportunity” Priebus is offering his fellow RNC members? You guessed right: the AFA.
The recent scandal that erupted over Rep. Steve Scalise’s speaking appearance before David Duke’s white-supremacist organization, the European-American Union and Rights Organization (EURO), inevitably meant that mainstream media would be turning to Duke himself for answers to their questions. And indeed, Duke was interviewed on several media outlets early this month, on CNN and on Fox News.
And as usually occurs when Duke gets airtime, he parlayed the interview into an opportunity to propagandize and sell both his twisted worldview and his books. Most of all, Duke performed his specialty, which is to sell outright falsehoods and self-serving distortions.
Duke appeared first on CNN with Michael Smerconish for his weekly news-interview program on Jan. 3, then on Jan. 5 for an appearance on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” with Bill O’Reilly. On both programs, Duke attempted to make the familiar claim that he isn’t a white supremacist or a racist.
“I have never supported white supremacism,” Duke told Smerconish.
“I was never a white supremacist,” he told O’Reilly. “I’m not a white supremacist at all. In fact the European American Unity and Rights Group was in fact a chartered civil rights organization and I in fact in Louisiana legislature sponsored a bill that forbid racial discrimination and these programs called Affirmative Action which are racial discriminations.” ( continue to full post… )
When an African-American man was assaulted and fatally run over with a pickup truck in Jackson, Miss., in 2011, it looked for a time like the crime may never be solved even though it was caught on surveillance camera and broadcast nationally.
Now, after an extensive 4-year investigation by the FBI, 10 young people have been convicted for their roles in the murder of James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old auto plant worker, and other similar racial attacks on victims that appeared homeless or intoxicated.
The latest guilty pleas came Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss.
John Louis Blalack, 20, of Brandon, Miss., pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Robert Henry Rice, 24, also from Brandon, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the act.
The statutory maximum sentence for these violations is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing for Blalack is set for April 23 and sentencing for Rice is set for April 30.
The case went all the way to the desk of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who released a statement today about the 10 arrests and convictions, calling it a “landmark case.”
“Justice has been served,” Holder said. “The hate crimes to which these defendants have pleaded guilty were as shocking as they were reprehensible—targeting innocent people for racially-motivated acts of violence that inflicted grievous harm and even claimed a life.”
Holder went on to say the Justice Department “will never rest in our pursuit of those who victimize their fellow citizens.”
“This landmark case should send a clear message: that anyone who commits an act of bias-motivated violence, or who violates the civil rights to which all Americans are entitled, will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Holder said.
Previously, Deryl Paul Dedmon, 22; John Aaron Rice, 21; Dylan Wade Butler, 23; Jonathan Kyle Gaskamp, 22; and Joseph Paul Dominick, 23, all from Brandon, and William Kirk Montgomery, 25, from Puckett, Miss., Shelbie Brooke Richards, 21, from Pearl, Miss., and Sarah Adelia Graves, 21, from Crystal Springs, Miss., pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in these offenses.
The FBI investigation revealed that beginning in the spring of 2011, Blalack, Robert Rice and others conspired with one another to harass and assault African-American people in and around Jackson.
On various occasions, the racist gang of young people “used dangerous weapons, including beer bottles, sling shots and motor vehicles, to cause, and attempt to cause, bodily injury to African-American people,” the Justice Department statement said.
The attackers “would specifically target African Americans they believed to be homeless or under the influence of alcohol because they believed that such individuals would be less likely to report an assault. The co-conspirators would often boast about these racially motivated assaults,” the statement said.
The attack on Anderson occurred after Blalack and others attended a birthday party and bonfire for a friend in Puckett, Miss. During the party, Blalack and others talked about going to Jackson to harass and assault African-American people, Justice Department officials said.
In the early morning hours of June 26, 2011, Blalack, Montgomery, Dedmon, John Aaron Rice, Butler, Richards and Graves agreed to carry out their plan to find, harass and assault African-American people. Robert Rice did not accompany his friends on that trip to Jackson.
At around 4:15 a.m., Blalack, Montgomery, John Aaron Rice, and Butler drove to Jackson in Montgomery’s white Jeep with the understanding that Dedmon, Richards and Graves would join them a short time later. Blalack and the other three occupants of the Jeep then drove around Jackson and threw beer bottles from the moving vehicle at African-American pedestrians.
At approximately 5:00 a.m., Blalack and the other three occupants in the Jeep spotted Anderson in a motel parking lot. The occupants of the Jeep decided that Anderson would be a good target for an assault because he was African-American and appeared to be visibly intoxicated, the Justice Department statement said.
Blalack and John Aaron Rice decided to get out of the Jeep to distract Anderson while they waited for Dedmon, Richards and Graves to arrive.
After Dedmon, Richards and Graves arrived in Dedmon’s Ford F250 truck, Dedmon and John Aaron Rice physically assaulted Anderson. Rice first punched Anderson in the face, knocking Anderson to the ground, and then Dedmon punched Anderson in the face multiple times while he was on the ground.
After the assault, Blalack, Montgomery, Rice and Butler left the motel parking lot in the Jeep. As they left, one of the occupants of the Jeep yelled, “White Power!” Prior to getting back into his truck, Dedmon responded by also yelling “White Power!”
“Once back in his Ford F250 truck, Dedmon deliberately used his vehicle to run over Anderson, causing injuries which resulted in his death,” the Justice Department statement said. Blalack’s guilty plea includes his role in that offense.
On a previous occasion, the Justice Department said, Blalack, Montgomery, Butler and Dominick drove around west Jackson to find and assault African Americans. Blalack and the other occupants of the vehicle purchased bottles of beer to drink and then threw the beer bottles at African Americans.
The occupants of the vehicle also purchased a sling-shot and used it “to shoot metal ball bearings out of the moving vehicle at African American pedestrians,” the statement said. Blalack pleaded guilty for his role in this offense.
Another racially motivated assault involving members of the gang occurred at or near a golf course in Jackson. On that evening, Robert Rice, Blalack, Montgomery, Gaskamp, Dedmon and John Aaron Rice were in a vehicle again searching for “vulnerable African-American men to assault,” the statement said.
When a potential victim was spotted, Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Gaskamp got out of their vehicle and chased the victim down. “The three men beat the man to the point that he begged for his life,” the Justice Department said. Investigators did not disclose if that victim was ever located or identified. Robert Rice’s guilty plea included his role in that offense.
In the final moments of a year marked by disorganization, personal attacks, and dramatics on the white nationalist right, leaders of the movement haven’t failed to disappoint with one last public dispute.
Greg Johnson, editor of Counter-Currents, a white nationalist publishing house, penned an article just days before the New Year, titled “Rethinking the White Nationalist Conference.” In that essay, Johnson claims that national conferences have become exercises in self-congratulation and resource squandering for many on the racist right.
“The days when American White Nationalists could court global media attention by holding public conferences at private facilities are over,” wrote Johnson, lamenting the loss of coverage by “major media” like CSPAN and National Public Radio.
And Johnson has a point. White nationalist conferences have become obsolete. As more news sources appear in the Internet age, the message that was once so incendiary that it would attract the attention of major television and newspaper outlets has been drowned out by Internet static. What Johnson recommends in response is an effort to refocus resources on local events to build the base, instead of massive national conferences.
Predictably, other white nationalist organizers, including some writing for Johnson’s own site, disagree.
Matthew Parrott, co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, immediately took issue with Johnson’s claims that national conferences are an inefficient use of what funds are available to white nationalists.
“Greg’s correct that the political backdrop has changed dramatically in the decades since the first conference,” Parrott wrote. “But the mainstream media is much smaller and much less respected than it was then. The past twenty years have been far more kind to AmRen than it’s been to the media weasels set against it.”
The site’s ability to raise money has allowed Johnson to operate as one of the only full-time white nationalist activists. However, the privileged position from which he peddles his brand of pseudo-intellectual extremism has not stifled his complaints that the sums raised at the American Renaissance conference would be more than enough to hire a several full-time staffers to promote white nationalism.
Johnson doesn’t trumpet his successful fundraising while making these points. Neither do Parrott and Brad Griffin of the white nationalist blog Occidental Dissent, who also published a rebuttal. Instead, he takes issue with Johnson’s focus on intellectualizing and abstracting white nationalism.v
“The inevitable result of retreating from the real world into cyberspace will be to rely even more on anonymity,” Griffin wrote. “[It] will strengthen the taboos, generate more fear, cowardice, and conspiratorial paranoia in our ranks, exacerbate points of disagreement, and further impoverish the already low state of social capital in the movement.”