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 judge this week granted Chris Simcox, the former nativist extremist known sarcastically among those on the border as the “Little Prince” because of his arrogant bearing, the right to represent himself in his forthcoming trial in Phoenix for child molestation — charges that could put him away for life.
Simcox’s trial was rescheduled on Monday for March 16 by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jose Padilla, who stipulated several rules for Simcox’s plans to conduct a self-represented (pro se) defense on three counts of child molestation and two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.
All this means that Simcox likely will be personally cross-examining his two young victims, who were ages 6 and 5 in 2013 at the time of their alleged abuse. According to the papers filed by prosecutors, Simcox “is alleged to have digitally penetrated his biological daughter’s [vagina] on two occasions, penetrated her vagina with an object on [one] occasion and to have fondled the genitals of his daughter’s friend on two occasions.
Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, told Hatewatch that victim advocates with backgrounds in dealing with sexual abuse cases involving children had been assigned to the two young girls.
But cases in which the victims of a sexual assault are required to face their accused attackers on the witness stand are relatively rare. Even rarer, according to legal experts consulted by Hatewatch, are pro-se cases involving child sex assault victims. In fact, allowing accused perpetrators of a sexual assault to directly cross-examine their alleged victims remains a controversial component of American jurisprudence. The practice recently came under intense scrutiny when a rape victim in Seattle, distraught with the prospect of having to face the man she said attacked her when she was a child, threatened suicide at the courthouse, after he won the right to represent himself.
“Judges can be very creative about this, but the fundamental constitutional right of somebody to represent themselves in trial is pretty strong,” said Patty Eakes, a former prosecutor now with the Seattle firm Calfo Harrigan Leyh & Eakes. “So it’s always a tricky position for a judge when someone decides they want to go pro se, and when they go pro se, then technically he has the right to examine the person.”
This often throws the courts into a balancing act between the rights of the victims and the rights of the accused. In any event, Eakes observed, Simcox was dooming his chances in court, as well as closing off at least one avenue of appeal (inadequate representation), by asking the court to represent himself.
“He may have delusions of grandeur about what a great job he’s going to do, but he’s going to have two strikes against him with that jury before he stands up, just because he chose to do this, right?” Eakes said.
Simcox had initially been offered a plea bargain that would have required him to serve 10 years in prison, but he refused and insisted on taking the case to trial. According to a report by Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times, Simcox engaged in a tense back-and-forth with Judge Padilla during the hearing to determine if Simcox would represent himself.
“In a sense, I kind of welcome the trial,” Simcox said at the time. “I would relish the opportunity for the truth to come out.”
The developments are the latest in a long and twisted road to trail for Simcox, who previously had suggested he would present a “grand conspiracy” defense that he had been targeted for prosecution, and the evidence against him invented, because of his prominent role as a leader and co-founder of the nativist extremism group called the Minutemen.
At the height of the border movement, Simcox was president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a nationwide, anti-immigration vigilante organization with armed “citizen border patrols” in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, along with a smattering of states on the Canadian border where Minutemen had deployed to protect America from northern invaders. Never modest, the cigar-chomping Simcox was a hyper and relentless self-aggrandizer who came across with the smug egotism that quickly earned him the nickname “The Little Prince.”
But even then, there were allegations of sexual abuse.
As the SPLC reported in 2005, Simcox was accused by his first wife of molesting another daughter when she was a teenager, though no complaint was ever made to police. His second wife also sought custody of their teenage son because, she said, Simcox had become violent and unpredictable. His third wife — the mother of his current accuser — took out a restraining order against Simcox in 2010 when she divorced him.
When Hatewatch contacted Simcox then, he refused to answer four direct questions about the allegations.
“I would never answer those questions to you. You can’t ask those questions,” he said. “You’re on a witch hunt and you’re trying to discredit our movement, which is to secure the borders. … My personal life has nothing to do with anything that goes on here.”
Daily Oklahoman: Legislation to protect ‘gay conversion’ therapy passed Oklahoma House committee.
Right Wing Watch: State legislator bravely moves to eliminate ‘no go zones’ in Tennessee.
WIS-TV (Columbia, S.C.): Racist KKK political fliers urging voters to turn out the ‘nigger lovers’ show up in people’s mailboxes.
Salon: Former Georgia attorney general acknowledges that ‘religious liberty’ laws are ‘an excuse to discriminate.’
Media Matters: Rush Limbaugh claims that President Obama’s race gives him ‘blanket amnesty’ to push ‘illegal executive amnesty.’
Breitbart Unmasked: Sovereign citizen Hakeem El Bey crosses swords with Judge Richard Posner in court, and loses badly.
Raw Story: Here’s what to expect at CPAC’S annual right-wing carnival of guns, racism and God.
Editor’s Note: In light of the building controversy over the truthfulness of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, who has been accused of lying about reporting from a “war zone” and about hearing a friend of Lee Harvey Oswald commit suicide, Hatewatch has decided to republish a Feb. 27, 2014, post about the host of “The O’Reilly Factor.” The post describes two encounters between O’Reilly and Southern Poverty Law Center Senior Fellow Mark Potok, along with the details of a completely fictitious story aired by O’Reilly in 2007 that claimed the nation was being terrorized by gangs of pink pistol-toting lesbians.
Oh, Really, Bill? Once Again, O’Reilly Can’t Admit a Mistake
A week ago today, I went on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” show, where I was asked if anti-black racism was on the rise. I answered in what seemed to me a calm way, relying on actual research rather than offering a mere opinion.
“I think the best data shows that in fact anti-black racism has risen over the last four or five years,” I told Burnett, according to her website. “There’s polling that shows that both implicit and explicit anti-black attitudes among American whites have gone up quite significantly between 2008 and 2012, to the point where now more than half of white Americans have these anti-black attitudes.”
Over at Fox News, that didn’t go over so well with Bill O’Reilly. Here’s what O’Reilly said on “The O’Reilly Factor” the very next day, according to an E-mail his producer just sent me with the “official” transcript of the show: “No, it’s simply not true, all right. We looked at the AP study that Mr. Potok cited and it’s not even close to being true. So, we suggest that Mr. Potok reread the study and stop demonizing white America for being racist because that’s insane. There are racists — every color, every creed. But to the [sic] zero in that, somehow, in America, white people are becoming more anti-black when you don’t even read the study properly. I want everybody to go to the Associated Press and punch it up, pinhead of the week, all right.” And he designated me as his “Pinhead of the Week.”
Not even close to being true? Let’s check in first with the original 2012 report from The Associated Press, which commissioned the poll that was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
The AP story reporting the results was headlined, “The Big Story: AP Poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks.” And here’s the bottom line under that unambiguous headline: “In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election.”
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On the day he was sentenced, a 28-year-old neo-Nazi skinhead who viciously stabbed a black man in the head with scissors had an surprising epiphany.
“We have more in common than we don’t,” Ryan Zietlow-Brown told his victim in court, apologizing for the hate crime he committed in downtown Santa Barbara, Calif., in August 2011.
Zietlow-Brown was sentenced on Tuesday to 22 years and 4 months in prison after pleading no contest in early January to felony charges of attempted murder and mayhem with a hate crime motivation, the Santa Barbara Independent reported today.
Defense attorney Steven Andrade told the court that Zietlow-Brown had been awake for five days, high on methamphetamine, and that he suffered from a “brain irregularity” causing impulsive behavior. Andrade argued that the crime was more a consequence of Zietlow-Brown being “angry and out of control” rather than being racially motivated.
Prosecutor Kim Siegel said Zietlow-Brown was involved in multiple racially based fights prior to his arrest, showing “complete disregard for human safety and life,” the newspaper reported. She disagreed with a defense claim that the young man has given up his white supremacist affiliations.
Addressing the court, the defendant also apologized his mother, Shelya Rosenbaum — who is Jewish and of African-American descent — for his beliefs.
After sentencing, she told the newspaper she and her husband had spent tens of thousands of dollars on boot camps and therapy, but “no amount of treatment or money can overcome addiction.” She also apologized to the victim and gave him a hug as they left the courtroom.
Center for American Progress: Study examines the demographic state of the American electorate.
Raw Story: Anti-science conspiracy theorists are so credulous they can’t tell when they’re being duped.
MaddowBlog: Ron Paul says Congressional Black Caucus doesn’t support war because they want that money for food stamps.
Dale Hansen, WFAA: Students who held up racist signs in Texas game will grow and change, but not if we make excuses for them.
Oregonian: Suspected white supremacists gang members accused of torturing ‘snitches,’ including injecting drugs into man’s neck.
GQ: A close-up look at some of the leading ‘thinkers’ and their true believers in the men’s rights movement.
Crooks and Liars: Fox News’ favorite black ‘constitutionalist’ sheriff bashes Attorney General Holder again.
Huffington Post: Polling reveals that Muslim Americans are widely seen as victims of discrimination.
Houston Chronicle: After Republic of Texas leaders send bizarre summons, meeting gets raided by FBI, Texas Rangers, and local police.
Five white supremacist gang members in Portland, Ore., are accused of kidnapping and torturing two men they suspected of cooperating with authorities in “Operation White Christmas,” a major investigation that subsequently led to more than 70 arrests in Oregon.
The massive investigation — resulting in charges including murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, drug possession and identity theft — is a case study in the relationship between white supremacists and outlaw motorcycle gang members on the streets and in prisons.
Authorities say criminal enterprises identified in the investigation include the Gypsy Jokers outlaw motorcycle gang and five street- and prison white supremacist gangs: the Rude Krude Brood; European Kindred (EK); All Ona Bitch (AOB); Fat Bitch Killers (FBK) and Insane Peckerwood Syndicate (IPS).
Criminal charges against 70 defendants have been filed in state and federal courts. “We’ve also seized over 100 guns as part of this investigation,” Multnomah County Sheriff’s Detective Joshua Zwick told Hatewatch today.
Most of the crimes, investigators say, involved gang members victimizing other gang members, including those suspected of cooperating with investigators.
In the first incident, David Ray Bartol, 34, and David Bruce Corbit, 47, are accused of kidnapping a man at gunpoint from his Gresham, Ore., home on Dec. 21, 2012, and taking him to Tom’s Auto Painting & Body Shop in southeast Portland. There, the attackers stripped the victim, struck him with bats and used a belt sander on his left upper arm, the Oregonian reports.
The attackers then are accusing of putting a helmet on the victim’s head and firing a silencer-equipped rifle, striking the man’s head four or five times. They then injected the victim with heroin and dumped the unconscious man in the street about a mile away.
The second incident occurred Feb. 12, 2013, in the same auto body shop. Four suspects, Michael Philip Donald O’Malley, 25, Michael O. Newcomb, 27, and Joseph Gerald Schwab, 51, and Bartol are accused of torturing, robbing and twice shooting another man in a spray booth in the auto shop before dumping him on Southeast Powell Boulevard. That victim was hospitalized for several months and sustained permanent injuries, investigators say.
Corbit, an admitted heroin addict, is an enforcer in for the Rude Krude Brood white supremacist gang and co-owner of the auto shop where the alleged attacks took place, the Portland newspaper reported.
Bartol is named in a 14-count state indictment related to the two body shop assaults. He is charged with attempted aggravated murder, four counts of first-degree kidnapping, first- and second-degree assault, four firearms counts and two counts of forcing another to ingest a controlled substance.
For his role in the first kidnapping, Corbit pleaded guilty in January to unauthorized use of a weapon, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault and injecting drugs into the victim.
Media Matters: Fox News host Eric Bolling dismisses Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremist terrorism.
High Point News (N.C.): County officials combat fake, disruptive ‘sovereign citizen’ document filings.
Salon: Anti-vaccination Spokane councilman says ‘tinfoil-hat-wearing folks’ deserve representation too.
Think Progress: Prestigious journal tackles looming issue of medical racism and doctors’ preference for white patients.
KHQ-TV (Spokane, WA): Ku Klux Klan fliers focused on anti-Muslim sentiments found in Valley neighborhoods.
The State Press (Tempe, AZ): Students, residents call for ASU officials to provide response to white-supremacist groups’ threats.
American Prospect: How will the 2016 GOP candidates deal with the anti-Islamic bigotry within their own party?
Sanctity of Marriage-Alabama held another rally against marriage equality this past Saturday on the steps of the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery. The rally featured several speakers who not only decried the January federal court ruling that struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage, but also homosexuality in general. This is the second rally the group has held this month (the first was Feb. 7) and the second time that theocrat John Eidsmoe was a speaker. He was the keynote at the first.
Eidsmoe is listed as “senior counsel and resident scholar” at the Foundation for Moral Law (FML) a Montgomery-based organization founded in 2002. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was president of the FML until he stepped down in 2013 to run for the position he now holds. His wife, Kayla Moore, is currently the president.
Eidsmoe also has notable ties. In 2005, he addressed the national conference of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens. He is a favorite of the neo-Confederate League of the South, which calls for a society run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate African Americans and other minorities.
Moore, who received myriad accolades at the second rally as well as the first, is at the center of a controversy that erupted after U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional in January. Moore has stated publicly that Alabama judges need not honor the ruling and warned of a “confrontation” with the federal courts. The Southern Poverty Law Center has since filed an ethics complaint against Moore, arguing that he has committed ethical violations and encouraged lawlessness by attempting to assemble state officials and judges to oppose the federal judiciary.
In keeping with Moore’s theme, Eidsmoe claimed that state courts “are not bound by federal district and circuit court opinions.” But he also read, aloud, the beginning of the 1987 biting satirical essay “The Homosexual Manifesto,” which is used by anti-LGBT groups to “prove” the existence of a “gay agenda” and to link gay men to pedophilia. The manifesto was written under the name “Michael Swift,” possibly a pen name and an homage to Jonathan Swift, who also wrote satire. The first line, which anti-LGBT groups ignore, is, “This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.”
After reading the short passage, Eidsmoe exhorted the crowd to Google the essay to read it for themselves.
Other speakers included Alabama Republican state representative Will Ainsworth, who linked same-sex marriage to polygamy when he said, “Allowing the whims of our pop culture to redefine marriage is a slippery slope that could lead to polygamy. Where does the definition stop? Think about that.” He then quoted Isaiah 5:20, which states, in part, “woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.”
Pastor Aaron Motley of Montgomery’s Miracle Deliverance Temple of Christ had stronger words, linking homosexuality to perversion when he claimed that it’s an “insult” to compare LGBT rights to the civil rights movement because “one seeks to protect our rights as human beings under the U.S. Constitution and moral laws and the other seeks the acceptance of a perverted lifestyle.” He further claimed that the “gay agenda is designed to undermine all that the civil rights movement set out to do.”
The crowd, which appeared to be around 200 people (some estimates are higher), included members or supporters of the League of the South, some of whom carried flags that featured a red cross with white stars on a blue background, which looks a lot like the 3rd Kentucky Mounted Infantry Regiment flag, used also as a battle flag for Confederate general John Breckinridge’s division, though the cross also carries religious symbolism.
This isn’t the first time the League has expanded its traditional, secessionist mission to protest same-sex marriage. Last year, members gathered outside the SPLC offices and also in Richmond, Virginia.
Federal authorities arrested a financially troubled 44-year-old carpenter last week in connection with an explosion in Colorado Springs, Colo., last month outside a building that housed an office of the NAACP.
But it appears the venerable civil rights organization was not the target of the blast as some initially feared.
The suspect, Thaddeus Murphy of Colorado Springs, reportedly told investigators after he was taken into custody on Feb. 19 that he was targeting a tax preparation business that shared the single-story building with the NAACP at the time of the explosion — around 10:45 in the morning of Jan. 6.
In an affidavit, a federal agent said Murphy confessed to setting off a pipe bomb at the building in a dispute with his accountant over his tax records. “Murphy stated he ‘flipped out,’” the affidavit said, “because of his financial problems.”
On Friday, according to ABC News, a judge ordered Murphy held without bond pending a hearing scheduled for this Wednesday.
The explosion knocked items off the walls of the NAACP office and rattled nerves and churned up imagines and memories of the past. Over the decades, the NAACP has often been a target of violence. In a Tweet hours after the explosion, Cornell Brooks, the president of the NAACP, said, “Thankfully no one was hurt in a suspicious explosion at our Colorado Spring #NAACP office. We remain vigilant.”
Adding to the uncertainty and fear that the NAACP might have been the target immediately following the blast was the description of a suspect seen leaving the scene — a heavyset, middle-aged white man in a white truck.
Murphy told investigators that he placed the small pipe bomb near his accountant’s office as a warning, according to the affidavit. He said his accountant refused to return his tax records from 2006 to the present. He said he had once declared bankruptcy and needed his records “because of his financial issues.”
According to the affidavit, when investigators searched Murphy’s home they discovered a pistol, several rifles, two shotguns, fuse and 3½ pounds of commercially available binary explosives.
This is not Murphy’s first run-in with the law. The affidavit said he has a criminal record that includes felony theft, felony burglary and fraud by check and in 2009 he was sentenced to five years in prison for theft.
Salon: In celebrating Lincoln’s death, the hate-filled face of the most demented corners of the far right reveals itself.
JoeMyGod: White supremacists from League of the South join rally in Alabama against marriage equality.
Right Wing Watch: Richard Mack warns that ‘bloodshed’ may be needed if ‘state sovereignty’ is to be preserved.
Talking Points Memo: California mass killer Elliot Rodger researched Nazis, Hitler before embarking on rampage.
Think Progress: Congressman claims immigrants are netting $24,000 each from Obama’s immigration action.
Raw Story: Ax-wielding man who believed he was doing ‘God’s work’ burns down Michigan adult store.
Times-Picayune (New Orleans): Bobby Jindal to travel to Israel next fall with Tony Perkins’ anti-LGBT hate group.