The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A man identified as a member of the violent, racist Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) gang will spend 25 years in prison after confessing to fatally stabbing his wife in the neck in a Texas bar last October.
William Chet Stewart, 35, of Ropesville, Texas, agreed to waive his right of appeal as part of the plea agreement to serve at least 25 years in prison, various media outlets have reported. He pleaded guilty to murdering his wife, Holly Combs, 24, who bled to death in the bar as friends and witnesses vainly tried to save her life after Stewart fled.
Stewart and Combs, who had lived together for two years, were married shortly before the murder. On the night of the stabbing, they drove to meet friends at the 6th Street Saloon in Amarillo, KVII-TV in Amarillo reported. The couple had been arguing for days prior to the stabbing, and investigators said Stewart believed Combs was going to leave him.
Every day, in thousands of small, rural towns across the American South, the local barber has generally been among the best-informed and one of the most influential opinion shapers in the community. He knows a few town secrets, probably has a few himself. And in Harrison, Ark., barber Freeland Roy Dunscombe is no exception.
On one recent weekday, just after 9 a.m., there was a steady stream of foot traffic at Dunscombe’s single-chair barbershop in a former gas station in downtown Harrison. He was holding court, as usual, regaling his patrons with talk of psychology, philosophy, history and race — as if he were married to the Ku Klux Klan.
And in more ways than one, he is.
“From an evolutionary perspective,” Dunscombe opined that day, “tribalism is a great strategy, and it far defeats nationalism.” He stepped back to run a brush through his electric clippers. “A guy who will go jump on a grenade to save his nation doesn’t have very good reproductive success.”
Such thinly-veiled racist conversation from a barber may be what many have come to expect in Harrison, population 13,324, a city whose Klan presence has put it on the map as one of the more racially divisive towns in America. But Dunscombe is much more than a garrulous barber who can riff on anything from politics to pomade.
For an hour each weekday morning, before he opens shop, Dunscombe assumes the name “Truck Roy” on Stormfront Radio as a co-host to former Klansman Don Black, who broadcasts a two-hour radio show from his dining room table in West Palm Beach, Fla. Dunscombe’s role with Black, however, is much more than a verbal sparring partner.
An ideologue with a finger on the pulse of the movement, he serves as a bridge connecting Black to a new generation of anti-Semites, Klansmen, race conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers –– a bridge that Stormfront’s patriarch so desperately needs as younger racists look elsewhere online for a steady stream of hate.
Every Friday, for example, Dunscombe anchors a feature on Black’s program on the Rense Radio Network called “Five for Friday” to discuss issues of race and, more often, “white genocide.” During one such moment in March focusing on “white tribalism,” Black and Dunscombe discussed what exactly white genocide meant. Did everyone have to die, Black wondered, for genocide to be the right word? Dunscombe responded, “There are still Tutsis left.” (The Tutsis are the second largest population group in Rwanda targeted for genocide by the majority Hutus.)
Their conversations on the radio are not always so … dynamic. In fact, there are times when enough tension is apparent between Dunscombe and Black to suggest their relationship may be one not of friendship, but of shared objectives –– racists from opposite sides of the generational divide and united by a crooked branch on a racist family tree.
Raised and homeschooled in Palomar Mountain, Calif., Dunscombe, 38, spent his early years living the nomadic life of a truck driver. He worked for Rock Solid Chugcreek Trucking in Wyoming before going to barber school in North Dakota. He then moved to Harrison, Ark., where – as he told the Southern Poverty Law Center – he moved “to follow a girl.”
Not just any girl, though.
On Nov. 12, 2009, Dunscombe married Charity Pendergraft, the granddaughter of Thomas Robb, an Arkansas-based Christian Identity pastor and head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. They wed not quite six months after she turned 18, according to their marriage license. Dunscombe was 32 at the time.
With that marriage, Dunscombe earned a direct family relationship to one the country’s most infamous racists, and by luck or deliberate design, a connection to nearly every former head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. His grandfather-in-law now leads the Klan group, which David Duke started before handing the reins over to Dunscombe’s boss, Black, who ran the group until he was he was arrested for violating the Neutrality Act by plotting to invade a Caribbean island in 1981 and sent to prison.
But by the time of his wedding, Dunscombe had already been a fixture on Black’s Stormfront radio – a predecessor to the program broadcast on Rense. On that network, he hosted a show called “Riding Shotgun with Truck Roy.” With infamously racist in-laws, it was there that Dunscombe seemed to find a mouthpiece and truly started to talk.
“The only reason why our people have been disheartened and disillusioned and have been tricked into not standing up for themselves is because our controlled media and our society as a whole has tried to beat us down and tried to make the White race seem petty. And of course we’re not petty. We’re the grandest thing that’s ever happened to this planet,” Dunscombe said during one broadcast on May 28, 2008.
But those early radio days –- when he was also broadcasting on Intercept Radio under the registered amateur radio handle of “KF5NBP” –- were only a glimpse of Dunscombe’s racist activism to come. After settling down in Arkansas, he started working hard to live up to the expectations of his Klan in-laws.
By 2012, Dunscombe had started to exhibit the beginnings of political ambitions. He ran as an independent candidate for justice of the peace in Boone County, hoping, it seemed, that a sprinkling of folksiness might sugarcoat his history. “I have never run for political office before, but as a barber I listen to a lot of folks,” he told the Harrison Daily.
While claiming not to be a member of the Klan, he couldn’t hide that three years earlier he had spoken at the Knights Party National Congress, held conveniently by his in-laws. In an interview he gave the Carroll County News in November 2012, four days before the election, Dunscombe’s views came into clearer focus.
“Our enemy is not black. Our enemy is not brown or Mexican. Our enemy looks just like us but has no loyalty to us,” Dunscombe said.
He lost handily to Ann Kimes, a Republic incumbent, who mocked Dunscombe for believing his views would have widespread appeal. “I really can’t take credit for winning the election. I just give him credit for committing political suicide,” Kimes told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette after Election Day.
But with the blessing of Black and Robb, political pitfalls did not slow Dunscombe’s rise on the radical right.
In 2013, at Stormfront’s annual retreat in Tennessee, Dunscombe shared the dais with David Duke, Sam Dickson and Timothy Murdock, the man behind White Rabbit Radio and the proliferation of The Mantra – a 221-word mini-manifesto written by Robert Whitaker, an aging segregationist with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Murdock had been using his online radio platform to spread The Mantra far and wide, and it wasn’t long before it found its way to Harrison.
On Oct. 15, 2014, a bright yellow billboard with bold black letters appeared overlooking a well-traveled street in Harrison. The sign proclaimed in black letters, “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White,” the final and most frequently quoted section of Whitaker’s screed.
It remains unknown who paid for the billboard. But eight months earlier, Dunscombe, Robb and others attended a meeting at the local library for the Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations, established to repair Harrison’s tarnished image as a stomping ground for those who promote racial hatred. During the meeting, Robb chastised the city, as usual, for its characterization of his racist beliefs. But it was his grandson-in-law, Dunscombe, who stole the show.
“It’s only white countries where people get called racist, and then as penance for their sin of being white, they have to bring in tens of millions of non-whites into their country,” Dunscombe said indignantly at the meeting.
On his chest he wore a sticker with a message no one had seen before –– Whitaker’s Mantra – and an exact image of the billboard that eight months later no one would claim, in the end not even Dunscombe.
The Washington Post today published a major story documenting hate groups’ pervasive use of three leading Internet companies to drum up money — an apparently flagrant violation of those companies’ own stated policies on acceptable content. The article was largely based on a series of earlier investigative reports by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
As the article by Caitlin Dewey notes, the SPLC over the last year has repeatedly contacted PayPal, Amazon, Spotify, among others, about these potential violations without result. While companies like Facebook have been proactive in enforcing their own policies against hate speech, others have remained obstinate. As of January 2015, PayPal alone was servicing over 60 known hate groups – effectively acting as the banking system of the hate movement.
The American Freedom Party (AFP) has a ticket for the 2016 presidential election. And its message is The Mantra.
Kenn Gividen of Indiana, a former Libertarian candidate for governor of Indiana in 2004, will run for president, while Robert Whitaker, an aging segregationist with a history of drug abuse, will run for vice president. The announcement was made on Jamie Kelso’s Stormfront radio program on Sunday.
Despite the bizarre reality that Gividen and Whitaker claim they will run separate campaigns, the ticket has already excited the racist right, in no small part because of Whitaker’s role in drafting The Mantra.
A 221-word attack on multiculturalism peppered with cries of “white genocide,” The Mantra has grown wildly popular on the racist right, with sections appearing on banners hanging from Interstate overpasses and on billboards. Even Craig Cobb, who tried to take over a small North Dakota town several years ago, painted it on his house.
Undoubtedly, that fame has helped drive AFP’s decision to pick Whitaker as a candidate.
A self-professed “genius,” Whitaker has a history in politics, though a dubious one. While he claims on his blog to have been the message man in the Reagan administration responsible for crushing communism, bringing down the Berlin Wall and saving the Hubble Space Telescope, Whitaker is closer to a hard-drinking grandfatherly Forest Gump. He once claimed to have an amphetamine habit that dropped his IQ to 100.
“I’m running for vice president because I know a lot about vice,” Whitaker said in an audio interview about his candidacy posted to his Website.
His bumbling demeanor aside, Whitaker’s intended candidacy has already generated widespread excitement in white supremacist circles, with many pledging their full support to Whitaker and his followers, who refer to themselves individually as “BUGSERS” and collectively as the “SWARM.”
“With Bob at the helm and his hardened foot soldiers willing to Work [sic], this new playing field is a great opportunity to bring our White Genocide message to new heights,” wrote a user identified as Laura on Whitaker’s website. “Coach, you’re not alone anymore, You [sic] have a whole cavalry with you now.”
And he might need it.
In his interview, Whitaker wasn’t sure if what he was doing was even legal in some states, and he told his interviewer several times that they could visit “library information services” at a local college in Columbia, S.C. to find out if it was. “Unless we want to look it up on the Kindle,” Whitaker added.
Although Whitaker and AFP both share white nationalist views, they have never worked together this closely before.
Gividen recently joined AFP’s leadership as a director. His personal website, DailyKenn.com, focuses heavily on discussing black-on-white crime, writing articles such as “Black History They Don’t Want You To Know.” In that article, Gividen states that beating black slaves in the South was “extremely uncommon,” along with a litany of revisionist history surrounding the antebellum South.
But Gividen is perfectly clear about his own racist positions. “Of course I’m pro-White. And you should also be as well.” His website includes links to videos of well-known white nationalists such as Jared Taylor and Virginia Abernathy, who was AFP’s vice presidential candidate in 2012 alongside presidential candidate, Merlin Miller, a filmmaker with a well-documented history of anti-Semitic and white supremacist views. The pair received only 2,307 votes with ballot access in Colorado, New Jersey, and Tennessee.
The Gividen-Whitaker ticket, however, marks a significant change in the profile the party is seeking to project. Gividen has fared poorly in his own campaigns, but he has some experience. Coupled with Whitaker’s proven ability to mobilize a somewhat sizeable, grassroots base, the ticket represents a disconcerting reminder of how popular the Mantra has become.
As Stormfront Radio host “TruckRoy” told “Laura” after Whitaker’s announcement, “This candidacy could be huge for the Mantra.”
In a rural corner of Oregon — a microcosm of what once was the Wild West — local authorities decided they wouldn’t wait for “the feds” to put the snare on a gang of white supremacists that had been shooting up the town, causing mayhem.
Umatilla County Sheriff Stuart Roberts and District Attorney Daniel Primus took their case against members of the United Aryan Empire to a county grand jury last week and returned with three state racketeering indictments.
The grand jury, composed of local citizens, heard evidence against the white supremacist gang in a secret session in Pendleton, a western-theme community of 16,000 best known for an annual rodeo called the “Pendleton Roundup.”
The racketeering indictment is a “roundup” of its own sort — one that encompasses multiple alleged criminal acts in one charging document.
Named in separate indictments were Jeremiah Jerome Mauer, 30, the alleged founder of the United Aryan Empire, and members Warren Gerald Browning, 35, and Gregory Charles Tinnell, 43, all of Pendleton. Because of their prior records, they each face lengthy prison terms if convicted.
The racketeering indictments were returned less than three weeks after Pendleton police arrested the three felons on charges of shooting into occupied homes, detonating an explosive device and involvement in a large gang fight. At least five firearms, including an illegally sawed-off shotgun, were recovered during the investigation. Two other affiliates of the gang, Steven Ray Grangood, 22, and Sarah Frankfort, 30, also were arrested and face related criminal charges.
Federal authorities were made aware of the investigation and, at a minimum, easily could have brought federal firearms charges against the three defendants. But the federal investigative timeline, involving assistant U.S. attorneys in Portland and a federal grand jury, is a much longer one.
Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts made it clear in an interview with Hatewatch earlier this month that his department was aggressively pursuing the gang of white supremacists and was uncovering new crimes that had gone unreported for fear of reprisals.
The United Aryan Empire was a start-up white supremacist gang founded by Mauer, who failed in his attempt to join European Kindred, a neo-Nazi skinhead gang with multiple members in Portland and the state’s prison system, the chief said.
Mauer was charged with racketeering and 16 other counts, including conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot, unlawful use of a weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The racketeering count against him lists 15 separate crimes – “predicate acts” – he allegedly carried out as part of the gang’s enterprise.
Tinnell was charged with racketeering and 20 other counts, including two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot, six counts of recklessly endangering another person and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The racketeering count against Tinnell lists 18 separate crimes.
Browning is charged with 12 counts, including racketeering, listing nine separate criminal acts. The counts against him include conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The state “riot” charge brought against each of the defendants alleges they engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct recklessly creating a grave risk of causing public alarm.”
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… )
Think Progress: GOP leaders circle the wagons for House whip Steve Scalise over speech to white supremacists.
Huffington Post: David Duke warns politicians from both parties he might expose their ties to his organization.
Louisiana Voice: As Steve Scalise scandal grows, sordid details emerge about the dark underside of the white supremacist movement.
Right Wing Watch: The five craziest right-wing conspiracy theories of 2014.
The Root: Vandals hit Alabama grandmother’s home with broken windows, racist graffiti: “Move nigger now..”
Helena Independent-Record: Militia-promoting pastor Matthew Trewhella to deliver election sermon at Montana state capitol.
Idaho Statesman: Idaho appeals court overturns conviction of black man after prosecutor recited Confederate anthem.
Athens (GA) Banner-Herald: Georgia Ku Klux Klan group fighting to be able to join highway-cleanup program.
Mediaite: Fox’s Jesse Watters says that if police were really racist, they would just let blacks kill each other.
The Ku Klux Klan, which in recent years has been a shadow of its once monolithic self, has been trying to make a comeback. From handing out candy to children, appearing in robes on the U.S.-Mexican border to protest President Obama’s executive action on immigration—even raising money for Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.—it seems Klansman are everywhere.
Is the Klan growing?
This week, Vice published a video report on the Klan experiencing a rise in members, in part fueled by a strategy that targets veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In it, host Rocco Castoro talks with the SPLC’s Mark Potok about hate group recruitment often being tied to military conflict.
“There is a very high degree of interest on the part of Klan groups in returning military veterans with high end military skills that they think will be useful to them one day,” Potok said. “A lot of these men are coming back traumatized with serious PTSD and other problems. The economy is not good. They’re not getting jobs, so they come home to find a situation that is not very good for them. … What some veterans find in these groups is family.”
Watch the videos.
Police have arrested a 31-year-old white supremacist in connection with an ax murder last April of a fellow racist.
Christopher Paul Mason, of Phoenix, was arrested last Thursday. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bond on murder charges related to the death of Joshua Calkins, 35, also of Phoenix, The Arizona Republic reported.
The newspaper, citing court records, reported that both men were affiliated with an unidentified white supremacist prison gang.
Calkins’ body, wrapped in plastic, was dumped in an alley in northwest Phoenix and found later on April 16. His hands were tied behind his back, and bloody towels and bleach were discarded nearby, police said.
Calkins had extensive trauma and was nearly decapitated, leading a medical examiner to conclude he had been killed with an ax. “Interviews conducted in the coming months with more than 20 people would lead investigators to believe that the medical examiner’s guess was exactly right,” the Arizona newspaper reported.
Mason admitted to witnesses later interviewed by police that he had killed Calkins, saying, “I got him 13 times with an ax,” according to court records. Mason allegedly told some of the witnesses that he killed Calkins because he had robbed Mason’s former girlfriend at gunpoint.
In 2006, Mason pleaded guilty to forgery after attempting to cash a $700 stolen check to support his methamphetamine addiction.
A man who went on a shooting spree last week in Austin, Tex., firing at government buildings and a police headquarters, was a “homegrown American extremist” with “hate in his heart,” the city’s police chief said.
Larry Steve McQuilliams, 49, also appeared to have been a devotee of a doctrine known as the Phineas Priesthood, an ideology that believes violence to be divinely justified if used against race-mixers, gay people, abortion proponents and others.
“He is a homegrown American extremist,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said Monday at a news briefing in the Texas capital city. “Hate in his heart was part of his problem. … What keeps me up at night is these guys—the lone wolf.”