The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
As Fury Mounts Over Obama Actions on Immigration, SPLC Releases Major Report on Nativist Movement Rebirth
Just a day after President Obama announced a series of executive actions meant to allow millions of undocumented residents to remain in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center is releasing a major report on the apparent rebirth of the nativist extremist movement that swept the country between 2005 and 2011.
Today’s release of “Back to the Border,” the cover story of the new issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, comes amid a rising din of anti-immigrant fury from both the mainstream and the radical right about Obama’s moves, unilateral actions that an array of enraged nativists claim could set political violence. The new report traces the resurgence of the movement to early July, when a furious mob turned back buses carrying undocumented and unaccompanied minor immigrants to a Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, Calif. The new edition of the quarterly investigative journal carrying the story can be read at www.splcenter.org.
The confrontation in Murrieta led to a series of similar nativist outbursts around the country and the massing of antigovernment militias and other radical groups on the U.S.-Mexican border in the months that followed. The movement grew large enough that it sparked worries about the return the Minuteman and other nativist groups that harassed undocumented immigrants in recent years. Now, with Obama’s Thursday night speech on immigration already setting off a renewed round of enraged attacks on the president, the threat of a major nativist resurgence seems strong.
“The success of a howling mob in turning back buses filled with undocumented immigrant children bound for a shelter was the first spark to reignite the nativist extremist movement,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC and author of the new report. “Now, with the new executive action initiative announced last night by President Obama, that spark may turn into a conflagration.’
This issue of the Intelligence Report also examines another radical movement experiencing a revival — the racist music industry. Racist bands are using iTunes, the world’s largest music vendor, to distribute their music following the collapse of several racist music labels and distributors. Although its terms of service appear to make iTunes off limits to these groups, the Report found that the music of at least 54 well-known racist bands was being sold by the music service this fall.
“The racist music industry, long a major source of money and new recruits for the white power movement, had been in decline in recent years,” Potok said. “But the discovery of iTunes by racist bands, and the fact that iTunes seems unwilling to move against them, has helped this industry find new hope and profits.”
Also in this issue of the Intelligence Report:
- “Warrior for God” profiles retired three-star general William “Jerry” Boykin, a longtime anti-Muslim activist now serving as executive vice president of the Family Research Council.
- “War Dreams” investigates how the neo-Confederate League of the South is forming a secret paramilitary unit called “The Indomitables,” another step in its continuing radicalization. The group now appears to include white supremacists, former Klan members and neo-Nazis.
- “East of Eden” examines how a small group of racists are promoting the Orthodox Church as a home for fascism. Although the church has its share of extreme-right officials, it vigorously rejects any association with such groups.
- “Redeemed” is an interview with Yvette Cantu Schneider, a woman who worked in religious-right “ex-gay” ministries for years, but recently joined other former activists in renouncing the movement.
The new issue of the Intelligence Report released today contains an in-depth look at the racist skinhead group Volksfront, whose worldwide network is collapsing as it approaches its 20-year anniversary. Revelations of its activities in the United Kingdom and other countries by the Southern Poverty Law Center appear to have brought its international operations to a screeching halt. This follows the official dissolution of its 17 U.S.-based chapters last year, meaning the Volksfront era may now finally be over.
The Winter 2012 issue also includes:
• Conspiracy Act exposes the conspiracy-mongering activities of actor Richard Belzer, who is known to millions of Americans as television’s John Munch, the acerbic detective in “Law & Order: SVU.” The popular actor is an increasingly florid conspiracy theorist and author who recently has come to describe the United States as a “fascist” country ruled by “sociopaths.”
• ‘Village of the Damned’ looks at white supremacist Craig Cobb’s efforts to take over the near-ghost town of Leith, N.D. Cobb plans to create a “Pioneer Little Europe” — an all-white community he’d like to rename Cobbsville.
• End Game examines the state of the National Alliance, which once dominated the U.S. neo-Nazi scene. The group has fallen on increasingly hard times and has recently announced that it is no longer a membership organization.
• Terror’s Measure details studies of domestic terrorism compiled since 9/11.
• First Blood explores the extremely violent racist skinhead group known as Die Auserwählten, or Crew 41, that has left a wake of bloody violence in two states.
• The Velvet Glove examines the growing radicalization of the League of the South.
The new issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, released today, contains an in-depth look at the decades-long war between white supremacists and “anti-fascists” – highlighted by the bloody battle that erupted last year at suburban Chicago restaurant.
The May 19, 2012, incident in Tinley Park, Ill., involved as many as 18 anti-racists in a fast and furious attack that resulted in five men pleading guilty to armed violence and receiving prison sentences as long as six years. The long history of violence between white supremacists and self-described “anti-fascists” also includes the 1998 murder of two anti-racist skinheads in a neo-Nazi plot. The latest incident has some anti-racists asking how things could have been different. It also underscores the challenge law enforcement faces in preventing such violence.
The number of antigovernment “Patriot” groups on the American radical right hit an all-time high in 2012, the fourth straight year of explosive growth, according to a report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). As the new year began, serious talk of gun control, prompted by a Connecticut school massacre in December, fueled even more rage on the right, and the threat of violence loomed .
The new report, contained in the latest issue of the quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report, found that the conspiracy-minded Patriot groups, which numbered only 149 in 2008, soared over the first four years of Barack Obama’s presidency to 1,360 in 2012 — an astounding 813% increase. At the same time, it found that hate groups remained at near-record levels of over 1,000 (see interactive map and state-by-state lists of 2012 hate groups here).
The resurgence of militias and other Patriot groups and an uptick over recent years in non-Islamic domestic terrorism caused SPLC President Richard Cohen today to write (letter pdf) U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to request the creation of a new interagency task force to assess the adequacy of federal resources devoted to the threat. “As in the period before the  Oklahoma City bombing,” Cohen wrote, “we are now seeing ominous threats from those who believe that the government is poised to take their guns.” ( continue to full post… )
When Wade Michael Page strode into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and began to kill, it was the culmination of more than a decade in the neo-Nazi movement. The best evidence suggests that Page came to his racist beliefs while serving at a North Carolina Army base that was then a hotbed of white supremacist activity — beliefs that were further honed by years on the white power music scene.
The Southern Poverty Law Center today released the latest issue of its investigative magazine Intelligence Report, and its cover story analyzes the background and ideological development of Page, who murdered six people and wounded four others last August before putting a bullet in his own head. An accompanying sidebar details the modern history of right-wing extremism in the American military, and a related editorial traces the growth of political violence aimed at Muslims.
“Wade saw the military as a transformational time in his life,” one expert who was also a personal acquaintance of Wade told the Intelligence Report. “He always said, ‘If you don’t go in the military a racist, you’re sure to leave as one.’”
Other stories in the newly released Report: ( continue to full post… )
Steve Klein, the leader of a California hate group, says that Islam is a “penis-driven religion” whose followers have “no choice but to hunt Jews and Christians down, torture us and murder us.”
Klein of Hemet, Calif., who has a long history of ties to militant Christian organizations, has been identified as one of the brains behind the anti-Muslim film that triggered violence in northern Africa, including a rocket attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the murder of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya. ( continue to full post… )
Steve Klein, who served as a consultant for the Islam-bashing film that sparked the deadly assault on a U.S. Consulate in Libya, is a longtime religious-right activist who has helped train paramilitary militias at a secretive church in California.
Four American citizens, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed by mobs enraged by the depiction of the prophet Muhammad in the film “Innocence of Muslims” produced by Sam Bacile, a California real estate developer.
Klein is a Marine veteran who served in the Vietnam War and is based in Hemet, Calif. He believes that his state is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells “who are awaiting the trigger date and will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can,” according to an article in the Spring 2012 issue of the SPLC Intelligence Report. ( continue to full post… )
Are U.S.-born vigilantes murdering Latino immigrants near the U.S.-Arizona border?
The Southern Poverty Law Center today released its latest issue of the Intelligence Report, and the magazine’s cover story sifts through some of the evidence suggesting that undocumented immigrants may have been killed by nativist extremists in Arizona.
While the story is not conclusive, it cites internal law enforcement documents focusing on the murders of four people in two 2007 incidents near Eloy, Ariz., that say that “[i]t appears that the same group of individuals is working in concert to intentionally kill IAs [illegal aliens].” The story also examines the remarkably similar murders of two people this April in the same remote area of the state. ( continue to full post… )
Shipwreck: Ten years after the death of its founder, the once-dominant National Alliance has become the joke of the neo-Nazi movement
Five years ago today, we kicked off the Hatewatch blog with a post marking the fifth anniversary of the July 23, 2002, death of William Luther Pierce, the founder and leader of what for three decades was the most important hate group in America. Now, exactly 10 years after Pierce’s death, the neo-Nazi National Alliance is widely seen as a joke on the neo-Nazi scene and has lost most of its members, almost all of its income, and all of its once-substantial prestige. Here is an investigative story on the Alliance that will also be published in the August issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report.
The number of antigovernment “Patriot” groups grew at an astounding pace last year, as it has in all three years of the Obama presidency, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) annual count of extremist groups, released today. The number of these groups rose from 824 in 2010 to 1,274 last year.
This dramatic expansion of the radical right was driven by fears related to economic dislocation, the country’s changing racial makeup, and the prospect of four more years under our first black president. The campaign season, with its vitriolic rhetoric, has also contributed to the overheated atmosphere that is fostering these groups. In addition, many politicians and other public figures increasingly have been pushing conspiracy theories and demonizing rhetoric into the political mainstream.
The report on SPLC’s annual count and review of the last year in American extremism may be found here. The table of contents for the entire new issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report is here. What follows are synopses of the major stories found in the new edition. ( continue to full post… )