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Extremism Headlines: Uganda anti-LGBTQ law, Eastman disbarred, Politician claimed 'white genocide'

Every week, we highlight stories on extremism and the radical right from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. Here are stories that caught our attention through April 5.

Kentucky politician claimed Jewish people promote "white genocide"

  • TJ Roberts, a politician from Boone County, Kentucky, said he was "sick of [Jewish people] promoting white genocide” in a private 2017 chat that Hatewatch obtained. "White genocide," or the great replacement conspiracy theory, is the unfounded claim that elites are attempting to dilute white-majority nations with immigrants.
  • Roberts' political activism looks like it began in far-right libertarian circles. He was a contributor to the Liberty Hangout, a far-right libertarian outlet that used to collaborate with white nationalist Augustus Invictus' defunct website. He was also part of a university group that invited white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak at a conference in 2017. Roberts declined to comment. Hatewatch shared the conversation with Rep. Thomas Massie, who has supported Roberts. Massie responded that he would "double" his support for Roberts. 
  • In a statement to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Roberts said he remembered the chat but that his comment was taken out of context. On X, he denied making antisemitic comments. 

Texas Company paid over $20 million to antigovernment group to bus immigrants 

  • Hatewatch obtained documents that show Wynne Transportation, the company the state of Texas contracts to bus immigrants from the U.S.-Mexico border as part of "Operation Lone Star," paid antigovernment extremist Mayhem Solutions Group (MSG) tens of millions of dollars. A subcontractor who worked for Mayhem has called the conditions on these buses "inhumane." The documents also reveal a tangled web of limited liability companies that conduct the busing on behalf of Wynne Transportation. 
  • Hatewatch has previously reported on MSG's sometimes unlicensed activities as a private investigations and security firm across the U.S. 

John Eastman disbarred over 'unethical' acts

  • Former Trump team attorney John Eastman has been disbarred over "unethical" actions in relation to his legal attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Hatewatch reported. The California Bar's website listed him as "not eligible to practice law" as of April 2. Judge Yvette Roland recommended that "the serious and extensive nature of Eastman’s unethical actions, the most severe available professional sanction [disbarment] is warranted to protect the public and preserve the public confidence in the legal system." Eastman has appealed and it will be up to the California Supreme Court to issue a final order.

Professor 'hidden hand' behind far-right media platform

  • The Guardian has revealed that Scott Yenor, a professor at Boise State University and a scholar associated with the Claremont Institute, is the "hidden hand" behind Action Idaho, a far-right online media platform. The article reported that Action Idaho disseminated inflammatory right-wing commentary on Idaho politics, including attacks on LGBTQ individuals and Republicans deemed insufficiently right-wing. Notably, Yenor secured funding for Action Idaho from influential donors, including Thomas D. Klingenstein, the chair of the Claremont Institute board, according to The Guardian.

Uganda constitutional court upholds anti-LGBTQ law

  • Uganda’s constitutional court upheld an anti-LGBTQ law on April 3 that imposes severe penalties for consensual same-sex relations. Reuters reported. The law, signed into effect in May of last year, includes provisions such as life imprisonment for LGBTQ individuals engaged in consensual relationships. The court found that certain sections of the law violated the “right to health, privacy, and freedom of religion.” Despite this, the court declined to nullify the entire law. Additionally, the law prescribes the death penalty for cases of "aggravated homosexuality," which includes sexual relations involving people infected with HIV and minors. Petitioners against the law expressed disappointment, vowing to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • Hatewatch previously reported on Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and first lady Janet Museveni's April meeting with Family Watch International (FWI) leader Sharon Slater and others from FWI. FWI is an anti-LGBTQ organization that works in legislation and policy across the world.

Read last week's edition here: Extremism Headlines: Nazi imagery on Army Patch, Arizona braces for election threats

Above photo: A panel of five Constitutional Court Judges of Uganda led by the Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda Richard Buteera read their joint judgement at the Constitutional Court, where the Court upheld the anti-LGBTQ Law in Kampala, Uganda April 3, 2024. REUTERS/Abubaker Lubowa

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