The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus fired off a memo and letter to MSNBC today announcing a boycott of the network by all RNC staff and surrogates. Priebus seized upon a tweet sent out by MSNBC yesterday that taunted conservatives by suggesting they would hate a new Cheerios ad featuring a biracial family. The ad generated a racist backlash online when it first ran last year.
MSNBC has deleted the tweet and apologized, but Priebus says there has been a “troubling streak” of “comments that belittle and demean Americans without furthering any thoughtful dialogue.” He is promising to boycott until the head of MSNBC personally apologizes and takes “corrective action.”
This seems like a good time to remind Priebus that he appeared – not quite three weeks ago – on a hate radio network, American Family Radio. The network is run by an anti-LGBT hate group – the American Family Association – whose spokesperson Bryan Fischer makes a sport of attacking women, Muslims and LGBT people on his show. He wants them removed from the military and public office. He’s also said that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” who “plunder of the wealth of the United States” and that African-American women “rut like rabbits” to get more welfare money. ( continue to full post… )
It’s sometimes hard to know just exactly what the American Family Association, the rabidly anti-gay group based in Tupelo, Miss., believes. It’s obviously against the advancement of any rights for the LGBT community, and it clearly harbors substantial fears about a secular government. But when it comes to matters of race? That’s when things get murky.
This week, on the AFA’s radio network, American Family Radio, host Sandy Rios went wild with a twisted view of racism after a listener accused her of being a racist. Rios, who is also a Fox News Channel contributor, quickly offered a surprising and completely inaccurate assertion – that white people have moved beyond racism, except in response to black racism.
“The American Anglo-Saxon crew really has moved past racism. They did it quite a long time ago. I mean, they did elect Barack Obama – twice,” Rios said last week in comments reported yesterday by Right Wing Watch. “But racism seems to be raging in the black community.”
She added, “What’s causing it is people like Barack Obama and Eric Holder who can’t say enough and stir the pot enough to create anger and hatred and bitterness.”
This isn’t the first time the AFA, through its various mouthpieces, has demeaned black Americans or other minorities. ( continue to full post… )
A horrific tragedy in which hundreds could have died was narrowly averted in Seattle on New Year’s Eve, stopped by patrons of an iconic gay bar who managed to extinguish a raging arson fire at the bar’s entrance before the flames spread. Now Seattle police are investigating the case as a possible hate crime, although they say that so far there is no evidence that it was one beyond the fact that gay people appear to have been targeted.
The fact that the bar was a famous Capitol Hill nightclub called Neighbours immediately raised suspicions in Seattle. In 1990, the same establishment was targeted by a group of neo-Nazis from Idaho who plotted a bombing attack there intended to kill large numbers of people.
The New Year’s Eve arson was thwarted by the swift action of a patron who found the stairway into Neighbours engulfed in flames shortly after midnight. The patron grabbed a fire extinguisher and managed to douse the worst of the flames; at about the same time, someone pulled a fire alarm and set off the building’s sprinkler system. Everyone managed to evacuate the building safely, and the damage caused by the flames and the water was relatively minor. ( continue to full post… )
The U.S. Army, in its guide on extremist activities, notes that the “Department of Defense has a longstanding policy of intolerance for organizations, practices, or activities that are discriminatory in nature.” It also notes that “[h]igher and more restrictive standards of conduct distinguish military personnel from their civilian counterparts.” As a result, “[p]articipation in extremist organizations and activities by Army personnel is inconsistent with the responsibilities of military Service.”
Unfortunately, recent actions by Army Secretary John McHugh have worked to undermine this standard. Facing sustained pressure from prominent anti-LGBT hate groups, McHugh has thrown open the doors for service members to actively participate in such groups – and worse.
McHugh and the Army came under fire in October when Todd Starnes, a commentator on Fox News Radio, wrote an article about an equal opportunity briefing at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. The briefing, which apparently drew from Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) materials, correctly listed the American Family Association (AFA) as a hate group.
Starnes’ sensationalized pieces suggested that the Army had “labeled Christians as extremists” “because of their support for traditional marriage.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. First off, it’s laughable for Starnes to equate all Christians with a viciously anti-LGBT group. Secondly, the SPLC’s designation of AFA as a hate group had nothing to do with biblical beliefs or opposition to same-sex marriage and everything to do with the group’s demonization and lies about LGBT people. The group routinely smears gays as pedophiles and claims, incredibly, that “homosexuals in the [German] military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” ( continue to full post… )
Almost four months after Hatewatch broke the story about a black Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employee operating a virulently racist website bashing gays and predicting a race war, Ayo Kimathi is no longer employed by the sprawling agency charged with protecting Americans from terrorism, a DHS spokesperson said late today.
The spokesperson said the last day at the agency for the man who called himself the “Irritated Genie” was Dec. 6. He had been on leave since shortly after Hatewatch’s first story on Aug. 21.
It’s unclear whether Kimathi was fired or quit. The spokesperson, Gillian M. Christensen, said privacy policies benefited her from providing any details about his departure. ( continue to full post… )
This past weekend, Peter LaBarbera, founder of the Naperville, Ill.-based anti-gay hate group Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), was in Jamaica pushing his extremist views. “Do not be like us, do not be like Britain, do not sit idly by as so-called ‘LGBT activists’ manipulate words and laws to achieve dominance in your country,” LaBarbera told a conference of Christian conservatives in the Caribbean country this weekend according to BuzzFeed.
LaBarbera spoke on Dec. 7 at a conference organized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society and the Christian Lawyers’ Association in Kingston. These groups have lobbied against a possible repeal of a colonial-era law that bans same-sex intercourse, commonly referred to as the “buggery law.” ( continue to full post… )
State Sen. Dan Claitor, a Baton Rouge Republican, threw his name into the race for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district this week. That’s the same district that Tony Perkins has been openly coveting. Perkins, of course, is head of the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group.
It wasn’t by coincidence, then, that Claitor expressed concern about another potential candidate who has “questionable associations with certain hate groups.” As Lauren McGaughy reported in the Times-Picayune, Claitor also likened Perkins to former Louisiana state legislator and KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke and cautioned that he doesn’t want the state to “become the focus of the national media because we have extremists running for a particular office.”
The reference to Duke is an interesting one. Perkins, to be sure, is no David Duke. But he did purchase Duke’s supporter list in 1996 and then tried unsuccessfully to cover it up. He was later fined by the Federal Elections Commission.
Then in 2001, Perkins was photographed addressing a gathering of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. The group, a direct descendent of the segregationist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s, has called African Americans a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins, who later denied knowledge of the group’s racist views, spoke in front of a Confederate flag (seen here, courtesy of Right Wing Watch):
The following year, Perkins ran for the U.S. Senate and finished in fourth place in the Republican primary with just 9% of the vote. Perkins apparently believes that his years spent at the helm of the FRC will put him in better position. He may be right, but he’s also established himself as an anti-gay hardliner at a time when the country is moving toward moderation and acceptance. As we’ve detailed, Perkins and the FRC are viciously anti-gay and falsely link pedophilia and homosexuality to portray gays as sexual predators.
Perkins spends most of his time in D.C., but he has worked to create the impression that he still lives in Baton Rouge. Governor Bobby Jindal recently appointed Perkins to serve on the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement. He managed to land the nomination despite not bothering to show up for the other commission he sits on – the Commission on Marriage and Family, no less!
It’s encouraging that Perkins’ record of extremism is drawing scrutiny even before he enters the race. He’s going to find, if he hasn’t already, that attacking gays is no longer a form of career advancement.
I’m reminded of something Perkins once said about the “It Gets Better” series of videos. In his words, the videos are “aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better.” He derided that mission as “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit them into that lifestyle.”
What must have upset him so is that the corollary is also true. For anti-gay dead-enders like Perkins, it gets worse.
Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes is back in the news. We last wrote about Forbes in October when he was set to fundraise for an anti-gay hate group, the American Family Association (AFA). Now he’s pushing to deny money to gay Republican candidates for Congress – because they’re gay. Unfortunately for Forbes, his anti-gay bigotry is undercutting his effort to become chair of the powerful House Armed Services Committee.
Austin Wright and Jake Sherman at Politico report that Forbes “is causing friction with some of his colleagues” by waging a “lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee” to not support two promising, but openly gay, candidates. Those candidates are Richard Tisei in Massachusetts, who narrowly lost in 2012, and Carl DeMaio in San Diego.
We were hopeful that his decision to skip the hate group event signaled a shift away from anti-gay bigotry. We were wrong. ( continue to full post… )
The California-based Ruth Institute (RI), a former project of the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund, split off from NOM and became independent on Nov. 1. Like NOM, while ostensibly working to strengthen marriage (for heterosexuals), it works against marriage equality. And like NOM, the RI has tried to soften its anti-LGBT image through tactics like selectively quoting from virulently anti-gay sources and claiming to support LGBT individuals while simply opposing their right to marry.
The RI’s founder and president, Jennifer Roback Morse, whose academic background is in economics, has mostly steered clear of the kind of vicious anti-LBGT rhetoric employed by some on the religious right. She has, for example, referred to “our brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attraction” as victims of the “sexual revolution.” Nonetheless, she has earned an entry in GLAAD’s commentator accountability project for anti-LGBT statements she has made over the years.
The RI claims that it is “Making Marriage [for heterosexuals] Cool.” The tagline on its website banner states “One Man One Woman For Life.” Thus, heterosexual marriage is the only “proper” context for sex and childrearing. The RI encourages “respect of contributions of men to the family” and using “lifelong spousal cooperation” as a “solution to women’s aspirations for career and family.” ( continue to full post… )
December is upon us. And the first mortar rounds in the annual “War on Christmas” have been fired.
Last night, Christmas sentry Bill O’Reilly invited a fellow Christmas-defending warrior from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to join him on his Fox News show to preview the upcoming battle.
O’REILLY: So once again this year, I will keep an eye on the situation. Helping me is the Alliance Defending Freedom organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have been very successful in defending traditional rights in the courts. Therefore I say to them, ‘God bless you, each and every one,’ with apologies to Dickens.
What O’Reilly fails to mention is that while defending Christmas in the fake war at home, the ADF is waging a vastly different and very real legal war abroad: an aggressive effort to imprison LGBT people. ( continue to full post… )