The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Joseph Francis Farah, a leading ‘birther’ who runs the right-wing, conspiracy website WorldNetDaily, was reportedly caught by TSA agents on Sunday with a loaded .38-caliber revolver in his carry-on bag as he passed through security at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.
Farah, who denounced TSA screening practices in a 2010 column, faces a class 1 misdemeanor charge for carrying a gun in an airport terminal, according to a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. He was released pending a summons.
The Washington Post first reported the incident yesterday but described the individual in question as Joseph Farah, 49, of Centreville, Va. Hatewatch confirmed with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority today that in fact Joseph Francis Farah, who is 59, was cited for the weapon charge.
Farah founded WorldNetDaily with his wife in 1997 and serves as publisher and editor-in-chief. The site is a leading platform for far-right, fringe conspiracy theories, particularly about President Obama.
Farah and arch-birther Jerome Corsi have used the site to spin wild conspiracies about the president. Corsi not only claims that Obama was born overseas but that he’s gay and Muslim and may have orchestrated the murder of his former gay lovers.
WorldNetDaily, among other things, has blamed gays for the Holocaust, promoted the idea that white Americans should gather together and secede, predicted Obama would meet in person with Osama bin Laden if elected and said that LGBT people seek the “active recruitment of children.” Notably, Farah argued last year that Obama’s proposals to fight gun violence could lead to “mass-murdering tyranny.”
And in a 2010 column entitled “My own little TSA mini-nightmare,” Farah denounced what he described as TSA’s “systematic violations of Americans’ constitutional rights.” He described pat-downs as “gate rape” and said the full body scanners perform “virtual strip searches.”
Farah, who said at the time that he was avoiding flying until TSA changed its procedures, had purchased a “brand new, expensive rolling bag” and was outraged when he saw that “the zipper had been broken off.” He found two TSA inspection notices inside the bag from TSA. And get this, they didn’t even sort and repack his clothes just so:
I had carefully folded my clothes before placing them in my bag. I had carefully separated the clean clothes from the dirty clothes. But what I found in my bag was that someone had pulled everything out and then stuffed it all back in with little regard for my future cleaning and laundering bills.
Farah apparently takes packing very seriously and has thought a great deal about TSA’s screening practices. One wonders then what he was doing with a loaded revolver in his carry-on luggage. Regardless, he just illustrated why we have TSA screenings in the first place.
In the wake of Sunday’s deadly attacks in North Las Vegas, at the hands of two antigovernment “Patriot” extremists, Infowars host Alex Jones warned his listeners that the media would soon start claiming that there’s a connection between his conspiracist media operation and the killers.
As a matter of fact, Jerad Miller – the 31-year-old Indiana man who led the attack, assisted by his 22-year-old wife, Amanda – liked to post on the Infowars member forum. And he constantly promoted Infowars on his Facebook page.
In one of his Infowars posts, Miller even speculated about whether or not he should kill police officers.
“The emerging narrative in the Las Vegas shooting now includes Alex Jones,” the Infowars site complained shortly after news of the shootings broke. In short order, Jones began calling the shootings a “false flag operation” secretly staged by nefarious federal government operatives who set it up to look like it was a crime committed by domestic terrorists.
“The incident is custom-made to demonize the patriot movement,” the Infowars site claimed. “The Southern Poverty Law Center has consistently attempted to forge a link between white supremacists and members of the patriot and constitutional movements.”
Jones became downright imaginative, explaining to his listeners, in one rant, how he would go about setting up the murders if he were a government agent, and then warning that the shootings mean that “civil war is coming”. He also began assigning responsibility for the “false flag operation.” In one rant, he accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of being behind the crimes. In another, it was the work of President Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Jones’ wild claims must be intended to distract from the fact that, as Media Matters reported, Miller avidly posted Infowars links on his Facebook page and urged his readers to the website – saying, in one such post, to “get informed or get stupid”.
What those claims fail to explain is why, beginning in May 2012, Jerad Miller became an Infowars forum member and began posting long pieces there. In all, he appears to have published five posts, though one of them titled “A Short Story About Protesting” is no longer available. ( continue to full post… )
Some person or group in rural Missouri with an apparent hatred of President Obama managed to briefly shut down morning traffic on Interstate 70 on Monday by hanging an effigy of the president from an overpass.
According to local news reports, the effigy – a mannequin wearing a rubber Obama mask – was spotted hanging from an I-70 overpass on Lefholz Road, near Grain Valley in the rural outskirts of Kansas City, at about 5:30 a.m. Deputies responded to remove the display and found what they feared might be a bomb attached to it.
“The item that we had, we thought possibly could have been explosive, so we went ahead and shut down I-70 is both directions to ensure that if it was explosive there was nothing that was going to cause a hazard to any passerbys, and once we removed that from the scene we opened up I-70 almost immediately,” Sgt. Ronda Montgomery, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, told reporters.
The item turned out not to be a bomb, and the interstate was reopened after a couple of hours. The sheriff’s office continued investigating the incident.
“We are talking with neighbors and canvassing the neighborhood,” Montgomery said. “We are putting the pieces of the puzzle together.”
Political science professor Max Skidmore of the University of Missouri-Kansas City told WDAF-TV that political dissent is protected by the First Amendment but this action may have crossed the line by threatening the president. “It’s some person who is simply vicious and whose hatred overwhelms what little good sense he or she may have,” he said.
Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, a book by a well-known science writer was published by Penguin Press that seemed to support many of the claims made by academic racists over the years. Because of the importance to the proponents of racism and anti-Semitism of the controversial assertions made in A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, Hatewatch asked Jon Phillips, a graduate student and free-lance writer who studies the history of science with a focus on politics and evolutionary biology, to review the 278-page book and its claims.
Nicholas Wade’s new book, A Troublesome Inheritance, is only the latest in a long line of works arguing that humans can be divided into discrete races, and that between those races, there are differences in behavior, temperament, intelligence, and even political and economic structures. Although the specifics of the arguments change, what remains constant is the idea that white people of European descent are inherently smarter, better, more “civilized” than members of other races, especially black Africans and their descendants. Wade’s work is no exception.
This book’s failure as a work of popular science has been well documented by biologists and anthropologists. This review will focus on another problem with Wade’s book, one just as damning as its scientific errors: its uncritical reliance on and legitimization of fringe racist theories masquerading as mainstream biology.
Wade, a former science writer for The New York Times, attempts to fabricate a sense of scientific credibility for his outlandish theories with the division of his book into two very different sections. The first half is intended as a survey of the history and science of research into human evolution, race, and genetics, and Wade supports most of his claims with citations to scientific literature.
In the second, more ”speculative” half of the book, Wade’s claims about human genetics and evolution continue, but the scientific sources disappear. It is in this part of the book, for example, that Wade explains modern history through the claim that “European populations” have a genetic predisposition to “open societies and the rule of law to autocracies,” while the Chinese are inherently “drawn to a system of family obligations, political hierarchy, and conformity.” He posits that white Europeans and East Asians are innately more intelligent than Papuans or members of other “Stone Age societies” because “intelligence can be more highly rewarded in modern societies because it is in far greater demand.” Although he acknowledges at the outset that these portions of the book are intended to be speculative, in the text he presents these racist, hackneyed ideas as though they are simple facts, uncontroversial and incontrovertible. ( continue to full post… )
Gun Owners of America: USDA Buying Guns, Armor to Prepare for ‘Confrontation with American Citizens,’ Dictatorship
There have been a number of conspiracy theories in recent years about ammunition shortages. More often than not, these theories lay the blame for the low ammo supplies at the feet of, you guessed it, President Obama.
Now a spokesman for Gun Owners of America (GOA), a far-right gun lobby organization, has a new twist on these theories: The government, notably the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is buying up ammunition in preparation for a “confrontation with American citizens,” the next step in establishing an Obama dictatorship.
“We suspect that the federal government is anticipating and preparing for confrontation with American citizens,” Mike Hammond, GOA’s legislative counsel, told the American Family Association website OneNewsNow. Hammond then wondered aloud “if President Obama is preparing for a dictatorship.”
“What are the characteristics of a dictatorship?” Hammond said. “An individual who is bound not by the law, but by his own desires and his own goals. And that may be where we are now.”
According to OneNewsNow, Hammond wondered “if the USDA closely watched the Cliven Bundy confrontation in Nevada” and questioned ammo purchases by the U.S. Postal Service and the Social Security Administration (both of which employ investigators and special agents who work with law enforcement agencies to fight theft and fraud).
Hammond also falsely claimed that “the Obama administration is making it increasingly difficult for American citizens to obtain ammunition,” a claim that was recently discussed at length by conspiracist website Newsmax – in an article featuring GOA.
“There is no doubt that the president’s anti-gun agenda has driven the sale of guns and ammunition through the roof,” Erich Pratt, spokesman for Gun Owners of America, told Newsmax. “President Barack Obama can truly be known as the gun salesman of the decade.”
Indeed, increased sales of both guns and ammunition have been closely associated with Obama’s election in 2008 – though not, from the evidence, due to any action on the part of the president, who generally avoided discussion of gun violence issues prior to the horrific massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut in December 2012.
Instead, the National Rifle Association and other gun-lobby groups, abetted by right-wing pundits such as Glenn Beck, began claiming even before Obama became president that he intended to take their guns away. That immediately resulted in a huge spike in sales of both weapons and ammunition. ( continue to full post… )
How did a bipartisan set of education standards developed by the National Governors Association and state school superintendents get to be one of the most hotly contested issues in public life? A new report out today from the Southern Poverty Law Center – “Public Schools in the Crosshairs: Far-Right Propaganda and the Common Core State Standards” – takes a hard look at the extremists behind the right-wing effort to destroy the Common Core, which they’ve dubbed “Obamacore.”
Common Core is being implemented in 44 states and has widespread backing among Republicans, Democrats, educators and big business. Notwithstanding legitimate concerns and questions from many corners, there is a level of consensus around the standards that is virtually unheard of in contemporary politics. But extremists on the far right are fast at work dismantling it. And their ultimate goal is dismantling public education itself.
Common Core sets standards for literacy and math skills that all children in public school should achieve at every grade level – nothing more, nothing less. Contrary to the claims by right-wing pundits, the standards don’t mandate any particular texts or courses of study.
But to the far right, the standards are a Trojan horse intended to set the stage for mass indoctrination of America’s children and the destruction of traditional values. The goal, they say, is to separate children from their parents and communities, render them unable to think for themselves and put them on a path to dependency on big government for the rest of their lives.
The right-wing propagandists have created an alternate universe of lies and deceptions, and not for the first time. Obamacare had “death panels,” and now Obamacore has “government indoctrination camps” to turn children into “green serfs” who will serve the “New World Order.”
It may all sound crazy – and it is – but the anti-Common Core propaganda could have real political consequences. In late March, Indiana became the first state to pull out of Common Core. And roughly 100 bills have been introduced around the nation that would slow or reverse adoption of the standards.
It’s a crucial moment in the political debate over Common Core, and you can’t make sense of it without understanding the lies and distortions coming from the far right as well as their true goal – the dismantling of the public education system itself. Be sure to check out the full “Public Schools in the Crosshairs” report.
After a raucous and jam-packed City Council meeting last night, the mayor of Marionville, Mo., officially resigned early this morning. Dan Clevenger was under fire for making anti-Semitic remarks shortly after his old friend, neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller, was arrested for allegedly killing three people at two Jewish community facilities in suburban Kansas City on the eve of Passover.
Clevenger, 59, announced his resignation as the leader of the largely white city of 2,200 residents in southwestern Missouri last night as the Marionville City Council voted 4-to-1 to begin impeachment procedures.
“I’m very proud of my city,” John Horner, a high school teacher and a leader of the effort to remove the mayor, told Hatewatch today. “The meeting was a little bit chaotic because people were so emotionally charged about Marionville being portrayed by the mayor’s comments as a racist place and that’s not who we are.”
Two days after Miller, who is also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, was arrested for the deadly April 13 shooting spree, Mayor Clevenger told television station KSPR that he “[k]ind of agreed with him on some things, but I don’t like to express that too much.”
“There are some things that are going on in this country that are destroying us,” he added. “We’ve got a false economy and it’s, some of those corporations are run by Jews because the names are there. The fact that the Federal Reserve prints up phony money and freely hands it out, I think that’s completely wrong. The people that run the Federal Reserve, they’re Jewish.”
Those words set off a firestorm.
For a typical Marionville City Council meeting, maybe half a dozen residents attend. Last night, according to the deputy city clerk, there were between 75 and 100 residents crowded into the council chambers. There also was a heavy police presence.
“Supposedly people have been getting death threats on both sides,” Horner said. “People are scared of retaliation, of violence.”
Horner has not received any threats. But if he does, he said he would not back down. “I’m a homosexual man in my 40s,” he said. “I have been bullied my entire life. I am like, ‘Bring it.’”
While most who spoke at the council meeting last night asked for the mayor’s resignation or impeachment, he did have some supporters, defending his First Amendment right to say whatever he wanted.
“I have seen a lot more hatred from some of you people than I have seen out of Dan Clevenger,” resident Gene Smith said, pointing at the mayor’s critics, according to the Springfield News-Leader. “I thought we had free speech in America.”
Clevenger mostly sat quietly while the city debated his fate. When asked by the News-Leader if he was hurt by the criticism and calls for his resignation, Clevenger simply said, “Yes, it does.”
The former mayor, who also runs a local repair shop, has known Miller for years. Miller, 73, lives just outside of Marionville.
About a decade ago, according to the television station, Clevenger wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper in a nearby town in support of Miller. ( continue to full post… )
It wasn’t the flood of scorn and derision, which Kyle Hunt says he fully expected last month when he announced his nationwide “White Man’s March” – in which small clusters of white supremacists popped up in various locales bearing banners with the slogan “Diversity = White Genocide” – that most discouraged him. No, it was the astonishingly vicious reaction by his would-be allies within the white power movement that really rocked his world.
Either way, Hunt announced this weekend at the White Man’s March blog that he was handing off the reins of the “White Man’s March” to…no one in particular. He’s just resigning:
Of course animosity was to be expected from the anti-White media, but sadly many alleged pro-Whites have been launching vicious assaults upon me, trying to discredit the message and methodology of the White Man March by attacking my character and reputation. Sure, the aspersions are being cast by cowards and incompetents, but such tactics still help to discourage others from joining the cause. At this point, I consider having myself as a “leader” to be more of a hindrance to our cause than a help. I do not want to be a liability. I previously wrote that this is not an organization and there is no leader and now I am just making it official.
It’s not clear how, but Hunt apparently believes the concept will now continue anyway:
Now that the White Man March has taken off, you really do not need me anymore. You are your own leader. I look forward to seeing all of the things that you will accomplish.
Hunt is right about one thing: His ex-Google-guy-with-a-ponytail schtick went over like Malmolm X at a cross burning among the longtime white supremacist factions to whom he was a complete newcomer and stranger. One leading white power activist, who himself claims credit for the “Diversity” banner, called Hunt’s campaign “a hijack,” and numerous white nationalists denounced his efforts as a sideshow.
None of that seemed to have bothered Hunt until very recently, as far as we can tell. Earlier this month he published a long, cheery post titled “Game Planning for Future Marches” that included, among other bright ideas, invading children’s Easter celebrations by planting white supremacist messages in their plastic eggs: “You could buy some of those really cheap plastic Easter eggs, maybe put in something for a little bit of weight, and include a small strip of paper in there with some of our material printed on one side, with your favorite websites printed on the back.”
Hunt does make a disclaimer of sorts – “Since we are not targeting children, think of some ways to get these eggs into the hands of adults” – that overlooks the fact that Easter eggs are in fact targeted to children.
Retirement was probably a good idea for Kyle Hunt.
White supremacists began pointing fingers almost immediately after the lethal rampage at two Jewish community centers in Kansas by longtime white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller (aka Frazier Glenn Cross). Some supported Miller or blamed Jews for the attack, while others disavowed him.
Meanwhile on the mainstream right, several leading conservatives attempted to blame liberals for the massacre. Specifically, they pinned the blame on a single liberal journalist, Max Blumenthal, because Miller on a handful of occasions praised Blumenthal’s against-the-grain reporting on the right wing in Israel. From there, they blamed liberal organizations more broadly for the incident, including one for whom Blumenthal has not worked for since 2009.
Leading the charge was Rush Limbaugh, who on his widely syndicated radio show Monday cited a column by Ron Radosh at PJ Media – headlined: “Who Inspired the Nazi Klan Leader’s Actions in Kansas? The Answer Here” – that detailed a handful of Miller’s characteristcally expletive and hate-filled rants that approvingly cited Blumenthal’s criticism of Israeli policies.
Working off Radosh’s piece, Limbaugh attacked not just Blumenthal and his well-known father (Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal) but also Media Matters, the liberal organization that monitors right-wing media:
LIMBAUGH: Max Blumenthal is the son of Sidney Blumenthal, who is, of course, Hillary Clinton’s confidant. But Max Blumenthal, if I’m not mistaken, works at Media Matters for America. And Max Blumenthal is one of a cabal of left-wing journalists that despise Israel, and this guy found his way to things that these people had written, and he was inspired. He admits he was inspired by all this, and that’s why he took action against the three Jewish people in Kansas City.
This is preposterous and blatantly false. Where to begin? ( continue to full post… )
As part of Fox News’ eager coverage of the recent “range war” showdown over Cliven Bundy’s cattle grazing rights in Nevada, the network broadcast a segment from the scene Monday that was remarkable both for the reporters’ seeming embrace of the far-right antigovernment “Patriot” movement and for its subjects’ startling clarity on their strategy for confronting federal agents: using women as human shields.
Richard Mack, the erstwhile Arizona sheriff and longtime figure in the Patriot movement, was at the scene. He told Fox reporter William LaJeunesse that the people who gathered there to stop law enforcement from rounding up the illegally grazing cattle – which had grown to hundreds by the time the Bureau of Land Management caved in and returned many of the cattle – were prepared to lay their lives on the line in standing up to the government. Or more precisely:
We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they’re going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.
Mack’s radical Posse-Comitatus-based ideology, which claims that county sheriffs are the higest constitutional level of law enforcement, lines up nicely with Cliven Bundy’s antigovernment views. That explains why Mack has taken a lead role in helping promote Bundy’s cause in far-right media circles. ( continue to full post… )