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

Conspiracy Theories Fan Fears of Race War, With Alex Jones Leading the Parade

Posted in Antigovernment, Birther Extremism, Conspiracies by David Neiwert on December 4, 2014 - 2:39 pm

In the wake of last week’s black riots in Ferguson, Mo., conspiracy theorists from the far-right antigovernment movement have whipped themselves into a frenzy over the prospect of a nationwide “race war,” though it is difficult to tell whether they fear such a prospect or are actively hoping for it.

In truth, the notion that Obama is inciting a race war in America has been floating around the extremist right almost since the beginning Obama’s presidency. Right-wing pundit Wayne Allyn Root theorized along similar lines when the situation in Ferguson first erupted this summer. Gun-rights extremist Larry Pratt has argued for some time that Obama’s immigration policies are intended to provoke a race war. Some anti-immigration extremists accused Obama of intending to spark such a conflict with his executive order on immigration.

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But leading the parade has been Alex Jones, whose radio broadcasts for the past week have focused on the civic unrest erupting nationally after a grand jury ruled not to indict a white police officer for the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson this summer.

Jones’ theory is that President Obama and the media are combining forces to stir up so much racial unrest that it will give them a pretext to declare martial law and impose a dictatorship. Joining Jones in this theory have been right-wing pundits such as Austin Miles at Renew America; radio host Rick Wiles; onetime presidential candidate Alan Keyes; and Glenn Beck, who has been pitching a version of the theory for over a year now.

Jones laid out his version of the theory for listeners on Monday, noting that he had been issuing warnings about this possibility for some time:

They [globalists] want to cause a civil war in order to go confiscate the guns, and then we are forced to defend ourselves and then it kicks off, and the police and military get taken out, along with the Patriots, in a civil war against each other. … This is the grand game. This is divide and conquer. This is what I have warned you about thousands of times, no exaggeration.

Jones, citing a Time magazine op-ed piece justifying riots as an expression of civic anger, explained that the media has been complicit in this conspiracy, using race to attack Obama’s critics while whipping up anger in the black community:

 That’s what’s going on: Media nationwide is pushing race war. That’s all they’ve got. Don’t like Obamacare, you’re a racist. Don’t want to turn your guns in, you’re a racist. Michael Moore – ‘if you own guns and you’re white, it’s because you’re scared of black people.’ That’s a quote from CNN. This is all they’ve got, while these big foreign banks that own the country loot the treasury with bailout money, Obamacare scamming everybody, Obama opening the borders up, giving free welfare to tens of millions of people, all these unconstitutional scams happening. And all they’ve got is getting us to fight with each other.

Jones has frequently attacked law enforcement around the nation for their supposed attacks on American civil liberties, typically in cases involving gun owners and right-wing extremists. At the same time, most of his reporting about Ferguson has focused on the supposed violent depravity of the demonstrators and the need for police intervention.

Jones-PopularIndeed, the most popular stories at Jones’ InfoWars website so far have featured such headlines as “Blacks Screamed ‘Kill the White People’ Before Brutal Murder of Zemir Bergic” and “Rap Star ‘Jokes’ About ‘Killing Crackers’ in Their Sleep.” The effect of this barrage of dubious information is to whip up fear of an imminent civil war featuring hordes of rampaging black people.

And there are others with variations of the idea.

  • Miles’ theory includes the idea – also promoted by would-be presidential candidate Ben Carson – that Obama intends to cancel the 2016 election: “If all works according to plan, there will be no further presidential elections. Obama will declare a crisis (he can pick from a large number of those) so he can use Executive Privilege to declare himself President for Life, which he fully intends to do.” Miles contends that Obama is the product of a long-running Communist conspiracy (indicated by his “lack” of a birth certificate) to control America. “The Communists are scheming for the Ferguson, Missouri incident to be the fuse that explodes into a national race riot,” he said. “That is what Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are hoping to accomplish since this would put citizens at war with themselves in a new civil war while at the same time sapping the strength out of America, making her easier to control.”
  • Wiles used one of Alex Jones’ pet concepts—the “false flag” operation in which a violent incident is actually a government-fabricated media event—to explain the situation in Ferguson: “I was thinking how easily something like this could get out of control and there’s gunfire in the cities, if they go into the suburban neighborhoods and begin burning buildings and upsetting cars, homeowners are going to come out with their firearms and begin defending their property,” he said. “And that sets the stage for Emperor Obama to say, ‘We have to get guns off the streets and this Congress has refused to implement my gun control legislation, therefore by executive order I am doing this, this and this.’ ”
  • Keyes, meanwhile, has accused Obama of “exploiting this situation by way of threatening the Republicans, saying that there will be massive unrest if they don’t knuckle under to his will and trying to prove that he’s got the power to turn our cities into powder kegs that will explode in the face of anybody who opposes him.” He went on to describe it as “a Hitlerian situation.”

Arpaio Considered ‘Citizens Grand Jury’ for Obama Birth Certificate Probe, But ‘It’s a Little Tough’

Posted in Birther Extremism by David Neiwert on August 5, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Joe Arpaio, the controversial sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County, recently told a Tea Party gathering in California that he considered resorting to the “sovereign citizens” tactic of calling for a so-called “citizens grand jury” while he was conducting an investigation of the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate.

Joe_Arpio ( continue to full post… )

They Came, They Saw, They Went Home Again

Posted in Antigovernment, Birther Extremism, Extremist Propaganda by Mark Potok on November 20, 2013 - 12:03 pm

Larry Klayman’s Reclaim America Coalition, which converged in a park across from the White House yesterday to begin a “second American Revolution,” didn’t succeed in getting the “tyrant evil fool” President Obama to “come out with his hands up” and agree to “leave town,” as he had promised.

Not even Klayman’s call for U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), “the half-sober House speaker,” to return “to his tanning salon in Georgetown” was heeded.

But, drawn by a roster of almost 25 leading luminaries of the far, and sometimes completely nuts, right, the event did draw about 100 people, according to reporters who were there. Some people with the kinds of ideas that Klayman espouses might have been pleased with that turnout, but an optimistic Klayman had promised that at least 2 million would attend. That’s 20,000 times the number that actually did.

Rally organizer Larry Klayman in glasses at the podium.Rally organizer Larry Klayman in glasses at the podium. (Photo by Dan Chung)

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Larry Klayman and Friends to Give Obama ‘Last Chance’ on Nov. 19

Posted in Antigovernment, Birther Extremism, Extremist Propaganda by Leah Nelson on November 15, 2013 - 8:27 am

On Sept. 18, 2013, a “citizens grand jury” in Ocala, Fla., found President Barack Obama guilty of “defraud[ing] … the American people into electing an illegal person for the Office of President of the United States.”

In a verdict signed by local tea party activist and “Citizens’ Grand Jury Judge” Randal C. Fritz, the jury sentenced the president to 10 years imprisonment and demanded that he “forthwith surrender himself into the custody of the American people and the people of Florida.”

That didn’t happen. So on Oct. 13, self-declared “Citizens’ Prosecutor” Larry Klayman, who convened the so-called grand jury, appeared on the steps of Washington, D.C.’s World War II Memorial and called on a cheering crowd to “wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town … to put the Koran down and … come out with his hands up.” The date he set for Obama’s “last chance” was Nov. 19. ( continue to full post… )

Militia-Leading Penn. Police Chief Suspended After Videos Go Viral

Posted in Antigovernment, Birther Extremism, Militias, New World Order, Patriot by Ryan Lenz on August 1, 2013 - 5:08 pm
Mark KesslerVideo: Mark Kessler rants on YouTube

The police chief of a tiny borough in Pennsylvania’s coal country, who also heads a militia formed to oppose any new federal gun control measures, has been suspended for 30 days after he posted a series of profanity-laced videos to YouTube in which he angrily fires several automatic weapons and uses the word  “libtards” in reference to liberals.

The Gilberton Borough Council voted 5-1 during an executive session last night to suspend Mark Kessler, saying he did not have permission to use the weapons he fired in the videos, The Patriot-News reported. The council did not suspend him because of the content of his videos. “It was just the misuse of borough property,” Gilberton Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said. ( continue to full post… )

WND Not Happy, Appeals Dismissal of Esquire Suit

Posted in Birther Extremism by Ryan Lenz on June 12, 2012 - 3:01 pm

It seems there’s room for WorldNetDaily (WND) to have one more obsession related to President Obama’s birth certificate, though this time it has little to do with Obama himself.

This week, WND announced its plans to appeal a federal judge’s decision to dismiss its $250 million lawsuit against Esquire magazine. At issue is a satirical piece executive editor Mark Warren wrote that claimed, quite comically, that WND editor-in-chief Joseph Farah was pulping the first print run of Jerome Corsi’s Where’s the Birth Certificate? The case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President. The book, which WND had trumpeted as the definitive work on the question of Obama’s provenance, was about to go on sale when Obama released his long-form birth certificate last year – a fact that, for most, ended the “birther” debate. ( continue to full post… )

WND Lawsuit Against Esquire Over ‘Birther’ Parody Dismissed

Posted in Birther Extremism by Ryan Lenz on June 5, 2012 - 12:14 pm

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., this week dismissed a lawsuit that WorldNetDaily (WND) Editor-in-Chief Joseph Farah filed against Esquire over a satirical article the magazine posted online claiming that Farah had recalled 20,000 copies of Jerome Corsi’s “birther” book.

The article, tagged as “humor,” said that WND was pulping Corsi’s Where’s The Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President. The book was about to go on sale when Obama released his long-form birth certificate, in effect making Farah, WND, Corsi and the title of Corsi’s book look ridiculous. WND’s complaint accused Esquire, reporter Mark Warren and parent company Hearst Communications Inc. of defaming WND and demanded nearly $250 million in damages.

This week, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer saw otherwise, ruling that Esquire’s article was protected under the First Amendment as satirical expression related to a matter of public interest. ( continue to full post… )

Corsi: Obama’s Father May Have Been an American Communist

Posted in Birther Extremism by Leah Nelson on May 1, 2012 - 2:42 pm

Orly Taitz is not happy. For the past several years, the California-based swimsuit model-turned-lawyer has poured her heart and soul into an endless series of lawsuits alleging that President Obama is not a U.S. citizen and is therefore ineligible for office. Now, she says, Jerome Corsi – the devoted birther and conspiracy-monger who authored last year’s ill-timed Where’s the Birth Certificate? – is ruining everything.

“JEROME CORSI IS DESTROYING THE CASE ON WHICH I WORKED FOR 4 YEARS 24/7/365,” reads a headline posted Sunday on Taitz’ website. “HE IS GRATUITOUSLY MAKING UP AN AMERICAN FATHER FOR OBAMA.”

Actually, what Corsi is doing is a little lazier than that. Perhaps realizing that the “birther” fad is winding down despite the release, last November, of his e-book Where’s the REAL Birth Certificate, the relentless right-wing attack dog has tentatively embraced someone else’s alternative theory of Obama’s provenance. In a recent article for WorldNetDaily, Corsi suggested that a new documentary makes a “compelling case” that the president’s real father was not Kenyan-born Barack Obama Sr. at all. ( continue to full post… )

Alaska Birther Launches ‘Sovereign’ Attack on ‘Mulatto’ Obama

Posted in Birther Extremism, Neo-Confederate, Sovereign Citizens by Leah Nelson on February 24, 2012 - 5:01 pm

An Alaska man who is challenging President Barack Obama’s eligibility for office on the grounds that the president is a “mulatto” based his complaint on an argument common to the neo-Confederate and antigovernment “sovereign citizen” movements, Hatewatch has learned.

In a complaint filed Tuesday with the Alaska Division of Elections, Gordon Warren Epperly of Juneau argued that Obama isn’t eligible for office because, as a person of mixed-race descent, he is not a “natural-born citizen” of the United States. ( continue to full post… )

Birther Farce Proceeds in Georgia, Minus President and Basis in Reality

Posted in Birther Extremism by Leah Nelson on January 26, 2012 - 12:20 pm

Adding an extra layer of surreality to the already farcical Georgia proceedings regarding President Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office, neither the defendant nor his counsel appeared at this morning’s hearing before an administrative law judge.

Yesterday, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp refused a last-minute request by the president’s attorney to cancel the hearing. Arguing that the administrative judge, Michael Malihi, has “exercised no control whatsoever over this proceeding,” Obama lawyer Michael Jablonski asked Kemp to “bring an end to this baseless, costly and unproductive hearing” before it further debased his office and the reputation of Georgia.

Kemp declined, writing that “if you and your client choose to suspend your participation in the … proceedings, please understand that you do so at your own peril.” ( continue to full post… )