The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
It has been quite the year at Hatewatch. We’ve identified those who hide in anonymity while financing the racist right. We’ve kept you abreast of events that have plotted the course of the antigovernment movement as it tries to make headway into the mainstream. And we’ve documented in detail the fallacies spread far and wide by major anti-LGBT leaders, especially as they move to advance their agenda abroad.
Before we take a break, we thought we’d give you something of a year in review—the posts on Hatewatch in 2014 that were the most pivotal in understanding the future of the radical right. But don’t worry, Hatewatch will return on Jan. 1, 2015 with more impactful coverage and analysis.
So, until then …
- The nightmare that began last year for a small North Dakota town finally came to an end in what might have been one of the spectacular falls from racist fame in recent history. Craig Cobb, who last year came to national prominence when this blog uncovered his plans to turn Leith, N.D., into a white supremacist enclave, was sentenced to four years probation after pleading guilty to charges he terrorized residents. He also, surprisingly, went on national television and found out he was 14 percent sub-Saharan African. Since then, Cobb has become a laughing stock for the racist right and his plans have ended. Leith has returned to normal, too. A documentary on the ordeal called Welcome to Leith, by filmmakers Mike Nichols and Chris Walker, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
- And how can we leave out Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who in April stood down the federal government in an event that inspired dozens of imitators across the West? Owing the Bureau of Land Management more than $1 million in past grazing fees, the federal government moved to confiscate Bundy’s cattle that had been grazing illegally on public lands. They were met by armed militiamen and ranchers on April 12, who threatened bloodshed if the federal government didn’t leave.The BLM abandoned its roundup, and let Bundy stand in defiance of a U.S. District Court Order while he turned his Ranch into an armed compound with the help of the Oath Keepers and other antigovernment groups. In the time since, Bundy has become a folk hero for the radical right, and even a political spokesman.
- This was also the year in which the anti-LGBT movement attempted to make major strides abroad. Judith Reisman, while not being well-known outside the anti-LGBT echo chamber, was tapped to serve as an “expert witness” in Jamaica in a court case challenging the constitutionality of the country’s 1864 anti-sodomy statute. Jamaica has a long history of homophobia, and its anti-LGBT policies have created a climate of violence and fear. Hatewatch also revealed how anti-LGBT groups employed the discredited Regnerus study overseas. A Russian lawmaker cited it in conjunction with a proposed bill to deny gay and lesbian parents custody of their children and the rabidly anti-LGBT French group Manif Pour Tous cited it on its website while a Polish youth group with neo-Nazi ties included reference to it in one of its fliers.
- And speaking of a climate of fear, 2014 also saw the neo-Confederate League of the South turn rhetoric into action. While publicly it has paid for billboards that cry “SECEDE,” privately LOS leaders have encouraged members to begin preparing for a war with the federal government. In 2014, it went even farther. A Hatewatch investigation found that the LOS had begun forming a secret paramilitary militia called the “Indomitables” for the purposes of protecting Southern Nationalists for federal tyranny.
- And unfortunately, we saw this year just how quickly rhetoric can turn to violence when, in April, Frazier Glenn Miller, the former “grand dragon”of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, killed three people in a violent rampage at two Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City. He was arrested without incident and shouted “Heil Hitler!” through the window of a police car. Last week, a Kansas prosecutor said he would seek the death penalty against Miller, who is suffering from lung disease. But Miller wasn’t the only lone wolf who caused bloodshed. Inspired by the Bundy showdown with the federal government, Jerad and Amanda Miller embarked on a shooting spree in Las Vegas that left three people dead. Witnesses said they shouted “This is a revolution!” and draped the officer with a Gadsden flag—a symbol of liberty used by both the antigovernment movement and many Tea Parties—before killing themselves.
- And last, but not least, Hatewatch learned this year that Eric Gliebe, a former boxer who in the ring billed himself as “The Aryan Barbarian,” was forfeiting his title as chairman of the National Alliance, once America’s leading hate group. His announcement came during a court hearing over a $2 million civil lawsuit, in which former NA members had accused him of a “myriad of instances of malfeasance, misfeasance, illegalities and irregularities.” We were in the courtroom to see it happen.
Right Wing Watch: Republican National Committee teams up with anti-LGBT extremists on Israel project.
Los Angeles Times: Anti-immigration extremists look beyond California for action.
Talking Points Memo: Female lawmakers in Montana criticize prudish new dress code for House floor as ‘discriminatory.’
Salon: Video scam artist James O’Keefe tries to cash in on racial tensions in latest fundraising attempt.
Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Family Research Council now silent about hatemonger pastor it once defended.
Huffington Post: Swastika wrapping paper marketed for Hanukah pulled from Walgreens’ shelves.
USA Today: Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn warns that an Obama immigration order could spark reactionary violence.
Right Wing Watch: Larry Pratt tells Alan Colmes that threatening politicians ‘is what the Second Amendment is all about.’
Media Matters: Laura Ingraham advises Republicans to dismantle the 14th Amendment’s ‘birthright citizenship nonsense.’
Breitbart Unmasked: Invisible Empire? Racist police play a major role in the KKK’s 2014 recruitment drive.
MSNBC: The new culture war will revolve around the campaign for ‘religious freedom’ to discriminate.
The Daily Beast: Vatican’s under-the-radar anti-LGBT symposium suggests Pope Francis is backpedaling on gay rights.
Talking Points Memo: Secret Service arrest man with rifle, ammunition in car near White House.
Raw Story: Louisiana TV station owner’s Facebook rants warn that convenience stores are being taken over by terrorists.
Kevin Lyndel “K.C.” Massey III, the current self-described “commander” of the gathering of border militiamen near Brownsville, Texas, dubbed Camp LoneStar, was arrested by federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on Monday.
Massey, a 48-year-old from Quinlan, Texas, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a federal offense.
According to a report from KGBT-TV in Brownsville, Massey was convicted of burglary in 1988, when he was 21 years old. Paroled in 1993, his record has remained clean since then.
Massey appeared in a number of the videos that emerged from the border watch at Camp LoneStar this past summer, but he was never seen carrying a weapon in them. A number of photos were posted on the camp’s Facebook page and elsewhere on social media showing a number of Camp LoneStar participants carrying weapons and wearing masks.
Massey described detaining border crossers in the Facebook comments to one of the Camp LoneStar videos, which showed militiamen detaining border crossers at gunpoint and cuffing them with their hands behind their backs with zip ties. “Sorry we had to ‘Detain’ them,” Massey, wrote. “[B]ut they were wore out and just fell down and gave up while the other 7-8 ran like gazelles!”
He later remarked: “One of the guys pissed himself!” Another chimed in, “Dude pissed himself bad.”
According to KGBT, Massey’s family posted on Facebook that ATF agents had arrived suddenly at their North Texas home and seized all their weapons.
Massey was arraigned Tuesday morning in Brownsville before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan, who denied bond until a Friday morning hearing. He remains in custody.
The Camp LoneStar page was mum about Massey’s arrest, but one of Massey’s main supporters, the North Carolina-based Secure Our Border, suggested in a Facebook post that Massey was only being arrested because of corruption within federal border law-enforcement operations. Referencing a 2012 report of supposed Border Patrol corruption, it fumed:
2012 but do you think it has stopped? Think again ….. you think the Corruption in The Border Patrol doesn’t go deep and run as rampant as the stream of invaders of our Nation Think AGAIN! You think that KC Massey III was arrested for the reasons in the post below? THINK AGAIN!
KC, Archie and the Rest of Camp Lonestar are killing their Cash Cow …. making it difficult for The Border Patrol to do Obama and his Puppeteers dirty work, making it difficult to supplement their Federal Salary and keep the Cartels and The Blow Hard Blow Heads in DC Happy and their drug habits Satisfied!
A former participant at the camp named Rob Chupp told Hatewatch that he and others decided to leave the camp when it became clear that the overseers were not particular about whether or not felons could participate in the camp, nor whether illegal weapons might be in use there. It was a Camp LoneStar participant, John Frederick Forrester, who drew gunfire from a Border Patrol officer in pursuit of a fugitive recently. Forrester, in fact, is a convicted felon.
Chupp, who was involved in organizing an ill-fated “Patriot” border-crossing event, said he and a number of other border watchers pulled out because of concerns about the legality of the operation.
“After the whole shooting thing, we figured out that some of them were felons,” Chupp said. “We asked several of the guys to leave that we found out were felons. Because yeah, we have a Second Amendment to protect your right to bear arms, but we are also a nation of laws, and there’s a reason we don’t let felons own guns. … And it came to be a problem, and it was loud, and ‘We don’t care what the gun laws are,’ and ‘If we want to have this weapon even if it’s illegal, we’re gonna have it.’ It just turned south, and we pulled out.”
Right Wing Watch: Larry Klayman sues President Obama for not instituting Ebola travel ban, blames anti-white racism.
Crooks and Liars: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley defends Confederate flag at Statehouse, since ‘not a single CEO’ complained.
The Guardian: ‘Gamergate’ reflects not an apolitical consumer movement, but a swelling of vicious right-wing conspiracism.
Wall Street Journal: Anti-gay marriage group alleges appeals-court hearings rigged in favor of LGBT rights advocates.
TwoCare: U.S. evangelicals with virulent anti-Obama views form network of alliances with Putin’s inner circle.
Raw Story: Fox pundit’s ugly racial rant blames Obama’s ‘affiliation’ with Africa for Ebola in the U.S.
SoundCloud, one of the world’s largest online audio distribution platforms, has banned an account registered by the neo-Nazi National Alliance Reform and Restoration Group (NARRG). The account hosted recordings from the National Alliance’s (NA) late founder, Dr. William Pierce, interspersed in an interview with his brother, Sanders Pierce.
Musab Mohammad Masmari, the man who tried to burn down a popular gay bar in Seattle on a packed New Year’s Eve, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The sentence, handed down on Thursday, was considered exceptionally stiff, after Masmari had agreed to a plea bargain on arson charges only, meaning he would not face the federal hate-crime charges that were considered in the case. According to the Seattle Times, the sentence more than doubled the time agreed to in the plea bargain.
Masmari, a 30-year-old American citizen of Libyan extraction and upbringing, was caught on camera as he carried a container filled with gasoline through Neighbours, a popular bar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, on New Year’s Eve. Shortly afterwards, patrons smelled smoke and found the container on the landing to a set of stairs engulfed in flames; their prompt action quickly doused the fire.
An estimated 750 people were in the bar at the time, and the matter quickly became a hate crime investigation. “It was just a great thing that people acted as fast as they did to put out the fire,” a police spokesperson said. “We could have had mass, mass casualties, and we’re very lucky that that didn’t happen.”
Some of the people present at the bar that night were in the courtroom during Masmari’s sentencing hearing on Thursday. Shaun Knittel, a Seattle LGBT-community activist, said he and others in the community were “disgusted” with the plea bargain’s five-year sentence. Neighbours, he said, was packed that night with “people who are irreplaceable to us.”
“This was a blatant attack on our lives,” he said.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez told the courtroom he would use his discretion to impose the exceptional sentence because Masmari had clearly targeted his victims because they were gay, and because of the possibility of a huge loss of life.
Masmari, who claimed in a presentencing statement that he had blacked out that night after drinking a bottle of whiskey, did not speak during the hearing. His attorney said the stiff sentence was not entirely a surprise, “due to the political nature of this case.”
Yahoo News: Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu defends his role in anti-immigrant protest.
AlterNet: How conservative media forced a Texas charity to cancel plans to house child refugees.
The Gadsden Times (AL): Law-enforcement officers to receive training on how to deal with domestic extremists.
Right Wing Watch: Sandy Rios suggests treating child refugees like lepers, warns they will cause death ‘in large numbers’.
The Alternative Press: Ted Nugent’s planned performance in Montclair, N.J., stirs controversy.
Indiana Lawyer: Sovereign citizen who was convicted of kidnapping his daughter loses court appeal.
Think Progress: Ted Cruz says he won’t support funding for refugees unless President Obama deports DREAM Act youth.
Hatewatch wants to hear from you. Do you have a tip about hate and extremism or a news story you think we should see? You can send it to us here: hatewatch at splcenter.org.
OK, time for a survey. First question: How much danger do you think liberty is in right now as a result of President Obama’s policies, actions and agenda for America’s future? ( continue to full post… )