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 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.
Tomorrow marks 20 years that the white supremacist Web site Stormfront has been serving up all forms of hate to its racialist and often violent audience. To mark this occasion, Hatewatch will be running a series of stories about the hate site, its activities, its principals and its funders. We start today with an exposé about Stormfront radio, which the site’s founder Stephen “Don” Black launched about a year ago on the Rense Radio Network. Beamed into 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.
The newest up and comer in the heated competition to rule the hate web is The Daily Stormer, named for prominent Nazi Julius Streicher’s virulently anti-Semitic weekly newspaper The Stormer (Der Stürmer). With over-the-top headlines like “All Intelligent People in History Disliked Jews” and “Adolf Hitler: The Most Lied About Man of All Time,” the site has quickly built a substantial readership since its founding in July 2013.
And its success is generating envy among white supremacists, if the information and opinions about the site’s owner received by Hatewatch are any indication.
Daily Stormer is the brainchild of neo-Nazi hotshot Andrew Anglin, a 30-year-old who grew up in Ohio but has lived in Asia and Europe. Anglin is a self-professed National Socialist who told Hatewatch, “I believe strongly that European people have a right to a continued existence as an independent culture and ethnic group.” In an interview with Vocativ, Anglin explained why he needed to create the site: “The present situation is so unsettling that it’s necessary to have an extreme response.”
In 2012, Anglin launched the website Total Fascism. There, according to Vocativ, he wrote in depth pieces on Hitler’s art, the Greek neo-Nazi political party Golden Dawn and critiques of the radio host and conspiracist Alex Jones, whom Anglin despises for not hating Jews. Anglin decided the length of the articles were cutting back his audience, hence the zippier and more epithet-ridden Daily Stormer.
And it has worked. The Daily Stormer has in the last six months often topped the oldest and largest hate site on the web, Stormfront, in terms of reach and page views, based on Alexa data. Its readers spend more time on the site than they do on Stormfront and, on a slow day, more than 10,000 log on. Daily Stormer also reaches a younger and wealthier demographic. ( continue to full post… )
Right Wing Watch: Mike Huckabee warns that gay marriage ‘lies’ are reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
Raw Story: Georgia pastor launches into anti-LGBT rant about ‘Adam and Steve’ straight out of old comedy routine.
AlterNet: Think Islamists are the only religious terrorists? Here are some famous killers for Christ.
Crooks and Liars: Right-wing judge says people who claim Bush lied America into the Iraq war are just like Nazi propagandists.
Daily Kos: Rep. Steve King tweets a cartoon of President Obama dressed in a turban.
Kansas City Star: Head lawyer for Glenn Miller’s defense team packs his things and steps down.
Gavin Seim, the self-described “liberty speaker” who organized last month’s “We Will Not Comply” rally in Olympia to protest a recently approved gun-control law in Washington state, was arrested earlier this month for disrupting court proceedings.
Seim, 29, an ardent proponent of far-right “Patriot” movement theories on constitutional law and a frequent critic of police behavior, was taken into custody along with his 59-year-old father, Grant, by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies on Jan. 15 after a group of about ten protesters disrupted the courtroom of Judge Judith L. McCauley in East Wenatchee.
The protesters were there to observe the proceedings in a traffic case involving Tavis Shasteen, 19, who had been cited in October after being briefly arrested for refusing to give his license information to a deputy who had pulled him over for speeding. Since, Seim had turned the case into an antigovernment cause celebre.
American Family Association repudiates chief spokesman’s racist and anti-LGBT statements before hosting Israel trip for RNC members
In a letter to SPLC officials, the American Family Association (AFA) has disavowed a series of racist and bigoted statements made by its chief spokesman in recent years.
The repudiation of Bryan Fischer’s statements came just two days before members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) are scheduled to embark on a trip to Israel sponsored by the AFA.
Last week, the SPLC wrote to all 168 members of the RNC urging them not to accompany the AFA on the trip because of the group’s long track record of bigotry and hate. The SPLC has named the AFA as a hate group due to its history of making false, demonizing statements about the LGBT community, including Fischer’s contention that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust.
SPLC President Richard Cohen, in a letter to the AFA today, wrote that “it’s difficult to see the AFA’s disavowal as anything other than an effort to quell the negative press attention you’re receiving in connection with your sponsorship of an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel for members of the Republican National Committee.”
Fischer has claimed, for example, that black people “rut like rabbits”; that the First Amendment applies only to Christians; that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come to the U.S. to “plunder” the country; that Muslims should not be permitted to build mosques in the United States; that an underground railroad is needed to protect children from gay parents; and more.
In the Jan. 28 letter to the SPLC, AFA general counsel Patrick Vaughn listed a series of offensive comments from Fischer and said the organization “has never held these views and wishes to clarify that it still rejects such sentiments.”
Vaughn also wrote that Fischer would no longer serve as an AFA spokesperson or its director of issue analysis. However, Fischer will continue to host his two-hour, daily Focal Point radio show and write blog posts. Vaughn wrote that the AFA’s radio network provides a “diversity” of viewpoints but that Fischer’s statements do not represent the views of the AFA.
In response, Cohen wrote, “The fact that the AFA is continuing to allow Mr. Fischer to host a daily radio show and blog on its website also makes us question the AFA’s sincerity. Sponsoring Mr. Fischer’s racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred of the Muslim and the LGBT communities in the name of ‘diversity’ says as much about the AFA as it does about Mr. Fischer.
“Is there nothing beyond the pale in the AFA’s view? Does the AFA believe that statements such as these have a place on its airwaves? Is this what the AFA considers ‘diversity’?”
Cohen noted that other AFA officials, including its president, Tim Wildmon, and founder, Don Wildmon, also have made statements “that reflect narrow-minded bigotry” and that AFA printed materials have demonized the LGBT community.
“Without ending Mr. Fischer’s talk show, without apologizing for the bigoted statements that he, Mr. Wildmon, and others associated with the AFA have made, and without making it crystal clear that the AFA will not tolerate any such statements in the future, the AFA’s 11th-hour disavowal of Mr. Fischer appears to serve only one purpose: to give the AFA a degree of plausible deniability while it continues to spew hateful rhetoric,” Cohen wrote. “It’s a shell game and a transparent one at that.”
Letter to the American Family Association from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Thursday, January 29, 2015. Download (PDF).
Letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center from the American Family Association, Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Download (PDF).
A body recovered last weekend in a fire-ravished mobile home in Buchanan, Mich., was that of Theodore William Lanser, 24, who lived at that location, the Michigan State Police said yesterday. Positive identification was made through fingerprints on file with the FBI and the South Bend, Ind., Police Forensics Lab. Lanser died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, an autopsy revealed, police Lt. Michael Dawson said. Additionally, the preliminary investigation showed accelerants were used to start the fire, Dawson said.
A man described as a “doomsday-prepper” died last weekend after shooting at neighbors’ homes and setting his own house on fire during a fiery standoff with police in Buchanan, Mich.
Pending autopsy results, authorities said they believe a charred body recovered from the ruins is that of Ted Lancer, who may have committed suicide during the siege. He had been involved in a domestic dispute earlier in the day with a female companion, who had left the home, various media outlets reported.
As many as 3,000 bullets exploded during the fiery siege, with slugs striking the homes of two neighbors. No one was injured, but neighbor Kalyn Dobrzykowski said he and one of his four children, a teenage daughter, were nearly killed when a bullet shattered a window and passed between their heads.
“If we would have been one inch more either way, one of us wouldn’t be here today,” Dobrzykowski told reporters from WSJV-TV based in nearby Elkhart, Ind.
Melissa Dobrzykowski, his wife, told South Bend, Ind., station ABC57-TV that the gunman had been “acting really weird,” accused her husband of being a cop and claimed he heard helicopters overhead. “The only thing I know about this guy is that he is a ‘doomsday prepper,’” she said.
Police responded to the River Estates mobile home park about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when neighbors reported gunshots were being fired from inside a mobile home located on Lot 76. After some neighbors were evacuated, the mobile home erupted into flames with the ensuing fire igniting bullets, holding police and firefighters at bay.
It’s not clear if the gunman, who was firing at his neighbors’ homes, actually fired at officers who responded, Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Dawson told Hatewatch.
Neighbor Terry Walsh, a retired firefighter and fire inspector, told the South Bend Tribune, he heard as many as 3,000 rounds explode during the fire. Another neighbor, Lyle Wilson, told the newspaper he looked out his front door and saw the gunman firing a gun through his living room window at Wilson’s nearby mobile home.
“He was just shooting wild,” Wilson said. “We actually saw him firing at us, saw the bullets coming through a window. I had no doubt what I was seeing.”
Both Wilson and his son grabbed their own firearms and were ready to shoot the gunman if he came out of his mobile home, the newspaper reported.
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.