The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Late last week, on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, a hooded individual distributed fliers and hung posters declaring a war on immigration. Using the most recent covers of Charlie Hebdo as a backdrop, the flier was intended to be a call to action and an ominous warning: “America is ours, and we are tomorrow.”
The group behind the campaign, the National Youth Front, was no secret. It’s the newly formed youth wing of the white nationalist American Freedom Party, and it is only the latest in a growing number of racist organizations targeting youth on college campuses.
In recent years, groups like Youth for Western Civilization, formed by Kevin DeAnna, and the Traditionalist Youth Network, which emerged from a chapter of YWC founded on Towson University’s campus by Matthew Heimbach, have dominated the campus extremism landscape. At one point, YWC boasted 13 chapters, and TYN was making regular headlines for its racist activism at Towson and Indiana University.
But while those organizations have ties that run deep into the white nationalist movement, particularly to Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance, neither have ever served as a direct pipeline to a well-established hate group. NYF does exactly that, hoping that those they recruit in college, between the ages of 18 and 35, will help rejuvenate an already aging landscape.
According to William Johnson, AFP’s chairman, “NYF is an independent organization that will send members to the AFP. The end goal of recruitment is to make them [NYF members] nationalists and racially conscious.”
From the styling of its fliers to the sleek recruitment videos on its website, NYF seems to be modeling itself after other successful white nationalist youth movements, such as Generation Identitaire, the youth wing of France’s far-right, nationalist movement Bloc Identitaire, known for its large street demonstrations targeting the Muslim community in France. According to its former chairman, Caleb Shumaker, NYF is “march[ing] to take back our streets not by words but with action.”
“Our goal is to take power from those who have weaponized our institutions against us. To put an end to the invasions of our nations. To stop the ongoing defamation of our people. … To eliminate the endless ideological subversion of our nations most precious gift. Its youth,” read NYF’s stated goals. And according to the NYF posters found at ASU, “This is a declaration of war” – another line lifted directly from Generation Identitaire.
But that war hit a snag last month when Caleb Shumaker was forced out of his position as chairman.
“Due to recent attacks against me, my family and by those whom I believed would support and appreciate what we are doing, I feel it best to step down from my position as chairman of National Youth Front, and step away entirely from the organization,” wrote Shumaker in his resignation letter on the NYF website on January 6.
Johnson, in his discussions with Hatewatch recounted the reasons for Shumaker’s departure from the group differently. “Caleb Shumaker was forced out because of his interracial marriage,” Johnson said. “I was working with him closely, but there was a lot of backlash [because of his marriage] … from people who were not involved [in NYF].”
Shumaker, who declined to comment, was replaced by Angelo John Gage, a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, who has previously run for the U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey as a candidate for AFP.
Gage has a long history of racism and anti-Semitism, including stints on The White Voice, a white nationalist website, and Stormfront, where he has written about realizing “the real Jewish question and the whole ww2 and hitler [sic] truth.”
At the time of Shumaker’s resignation, NYF had nine active chapters. Hatewatch has so far confirmed the existence of five: Asheville, N.C., Baltimore, Hammond, La., Indianapolis, and Phoenix.
Texas-based white supremacist and activist Preston Wiginton, best known for bringing racists to college campuses, is at it again, this time sponsoring anti-LGBT pastor James Manning to speak at Texas A&M University next month.
The topic of Manning’s speech will be “The True State of Black America”—an interesting title considering Manning is African American speaking at the invitation of a man who once claimed, “beating down a mud [person of color] when they try to poisen [sic] one of our own or when they try to seduce one of our [white] girls may not be God inspired, but rather a righteous act of collective preservation.”
My racially charged silly billboard file is getting thicker and thicker these days.
The radical right loves the relatively cheap to rent outdoor signs. For more than a year, billboards with racially provocatie, anti-diversity or white nationalist messages have been popping up along the highways of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
The billboards have been sponsored and supported by anonymous online segregationists, predicting “white genocide,” and old-fashioned racists such as members of the Ku Klux Klan, desperate to be relevant. But the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) has been especially billboard-happy. Since 2014, the League or its individual members can be tied to at least six billboards, usually plastered with one word, “Secede.”
Now comes word that a “mystery donor” has stepped forward to help keep the billboard campaign going well into the southern summer and maybe beyond. “An offer too good to refuse,” is the way the president of the League, Michael Hill, put it yesterday on the group’s Facebook page.
The donor has offered to match up to $10,000 in donations to the League’s “general billboard fund” between now and Feb. 20. “This is an offer too good to let pass without taking maximum benefit from it,” Hill wrote. “Think about what we could do with $20,000 seed money in a League billboard fund.”
The League advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans.” On its website, the group says that if “the South is going to survive, especially against a flood tide of massive Third World immigration and leftist attempts to destroy her very cultural and political foundations, she is going to have to seek her independence and govern herself.”
“We in the League,” the group adds, “believe that we must secede to survive.”
One of the places the League sponsored a “Secede” billboard last year was in Montgomery, Al. It was taken down within days after the billboard company received complaints and some businesses said they would discontinue renting the space in the future if the sign was not removed.
Before the sign came down, AL.com asked Hill if southern states did secede would black southerners be treated as citizens with equal rights. “That is the kind of thing in our ideal world that would be left up to individual states,” Hill replied.
A few weeks later, a League member independently purchased space on a billboard near Leeds, Al. That sign quoted the white nationalist mantra, “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.” That sign came down after a few weeks, too. “I guess even racist idiots have freedom of speech,” David Miller, the mayor of Leeds, told Hatewatch. “As soon as it went up, we hopped on it and condemned it.”
This month, an anonymous group of segregationists, calling themselves the White Genocide Project, sponsored a racially charged billboard in Springville, Al. It read: “Diversity Means Chasing Down The Last White Person.” It came down five days later after the billboard owners were flooded with complaints, and, they said, some threats.
On the League website, Hill called the removal of the Springville sign “censorship,” which he said, “has a way of breeding more of what the censors attempt to sensor.”
“So don’t be surprised,” he continued, “if you see more billboards and other forms of ‘unapproved dissent’ springing up all across the South.”
For some Americans, there is a boogeyman rampaging through the land. His name is “Demographics.”
By 2050, experts predict the United States will be a majority-minority country, a rainbow nation. Most of the rainbow, however, will still be white. According to Pew Research, by 2050 “non-Hispanic whites, who made up 67 percent of the population in 2005 will be 47 percent in 2050.” Hispanics will go from 14 percent to 29 percent, blacks will hold steady at about 13 percent by the time 2050 and Asians will go from 5 percent to 9 percent.
On the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, someone calling him/herself “Steve Goode” responded by email to an interview request and explained his reasons for the billboard.
“We started the site because we wanted to voice our concern about the trends towards a White minority across dozens of White majority countries,” Goode wrote. “If trends towards a White minority status were isolated to just one or two countries, we would be less inclined to believe it was about getting rid of White people as a race.”
Goode said the group was started in January 2013, and the way he described its operations, WGP sounds like it may have well adopted the “leaderless resistance” approach made popular by Louis Beam, an iconic figure of the radical right who helped guide the white supremacist movement into the computer age.
“In our movement there are no bosses telling employees what they should do,” Goode wrote. “Much of our activity is by individuals who agree with us and want to help spread the message in their own way. In other words, everyone is their own boss.”
Goode said the members of the group are anonymous out of fear of being fired or beaten up, “because many bad things can come of publicly being pro-White.”
“Several people have written to me that they support us,” Goode said, “but say they are afraid of what will happen to them if they go public.”
It is a bizarre position for something that is so glaringly public.
On Jan. 9, the small city of Springville, Al., about a 30-minute drive from Birmingham, discovered a new and unsettling billboard along I-59. It read, “Diversity Means Chasing Down The Last White Person.” Goode said the phrase was first featured in a blog post on Bob Whitaker’s site devoted to “fighting white genocide.” Whether Whitaker came up with it or someone else, Goode said he did not know.
Whitaker, a longtime segregationist, is the author of a piece called “The Mantra,” which includes the phrase “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white” and has become a touchstone for nearly all manner of white supremacist.
The phrase has appeared on several billboards across the country; it has been written on sheets hung from highway overpasses; for a time it even appeared on white supremacist Craig Cobb’s house in Leith, N.D. The phrase also was used on a billboard recently near Leeds, Al., before the sign was taken down after a few weeks of considerable protest and pressure from city officials. Goode said his group of online segregationists had nothing to do with that billboard.
The owners of the billboard personally took it down and refunded the money, several thousand dollars. The owners told a television station from Birmingham that they were not racist and had been bombarded with angry telephone calls, including some threats.
“We have no plans for any projects like this at the moment,” Goode wrote in a separate email, “but we will offer our support to any people who agree with us and want to spread our message.”
In The New York Times on Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday, Jelani Cobb, an associate professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut, wrote about how the “growing fears of struggling whites” could impede civil rights advances.
“A democracy in which the traditionally empowered class is outnumbered is traditionally a less liberal place, not more…” he wrote, adding. “…It’s no coincidence that the super-heated opposition to immigration reform coincides with the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act, and with public opinion polls in which a substantial number of whites say they believe they are the primary victims of racism in the United States. If anything, demographic trends will intensify these dynamics.”
The small city of Springville, Al., got an early Martin Luther King Jr. Day present this week.
On Wednesday, an anti-diversity billboard, apparently paid for by a group of anonymous segregationists calling themselves the White Genocide Project, was removed just five days after it went went up along I-59.
In the final moments of a year marked by disorganization, personal attacks, and dramatics on the white nationalist right, leaders of the movement haven’t failed to disappoint with one last public dispute.
Greg Johnson, editor of Counter-Currents, a white nationalist publishing house, penned an article just days before the New Year, titled “Rethinking the White Nationalist Conference.” In that essay, Johnson claims that national conferences have become exercises in self-congratulation and resource squandering for many on the racist right.
“The days when American White Nationalists could court global media attention by holding public conferences at private facilities are over,” wrote Johnson, lamenting the loss of coverage by “major media” like CSPAN and National Public Radio.
And Johnson has a point. White nationalist conferences have become obsolete. As more news sources appear in the Internet age, the message that was once so incendiary that it would attract the attention of major television and newspaper outlets has been drowned out by Internet static. What Johnson recommends in response is an effort to refocus resources on local events to build the base, instead of massive national conferences.
Predictably, other white nationalist organizers, including some writing for Johnson’s own site, disagree.
Matthew Parrott, co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, immediately took issue with Johnson’s claims that national conferences are an inefficient use of what funds are available to white nationalists.
“Greg’s correct that the political backdrop has changed dramatically in the decades since the first conference,” Parrott wrote. “But the mainstream media is much smaller and much less respected than it was then. The past twenty years have been far more kind to AmRen than it’s been to the media weasels set against it.”
The site’s ability to raise money has allowed Johnson to operate as one of the only full-time white nationalist activists. However, the privileged position from which he peddles his brand of pseudo-intellectual extremism has not stifled his complaints that the sums raised at the American Renaissance conference would be more than enough to hire a several full-time staffers to promote white nationalism.
Johnson doesn’t trumpet his successful fundraising while making these points. Neither do Parrott and Brad Griffin of the white nationalist blog Occidental Dissent, who also published a rebuttal. Instead, he takes issue with Johnson’s focus on intellectualizing and abstracting white nationalism.v
“The inevitable result of retreating from the real world into cyberspace will be to rely even more on anonymity,” Griffin wrote. “[It] will strengthen the taboos, generate more fear, cowardice, and conspiratorial paranoia in our ranks, exacerbate points of disagreement, and further impoverish the already low state of social capital in the movement.”
Faced with an exploding crisis sparked by the revelation that the No. 3 Republican in the House gave a speech to a well-known group of white supremacists and neo-Nazis a dozen years ago, the GOP in Rep. Steve Scalise’s home state of Louisiana is doubling down, calling the entire episode a mere “manufactured blogger story.”
Really? A manufactured blogger story?
Scalise claimed yesterday that he had no idea of the views promoted by the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), whose workshop he addressed in 2002 at a hotel in Metairie, La. And he was backed by an array of Louisiana Republicans including state GOP chair Roger Villere Jr., who described Scalise as “a man of great integrity who embodies his Christian faith in his life.” Villere dismissed the story broken by Louisiana blogger Lamar White Jr. as “an attempt to score political points by slandering the character of a good man.”
But Scalise’s claim of ignorance is almost impossible to believe. He was a state representative and an aspiring national politician at the time, and Louisiana-based EURO already was well known as a hate group led by America’s most famous white supremacist.
EURO was founded two years before Scalise agreed to speak to its conference by Louisiana resident David Duke, a media-friendly neo-Nazi and onetime grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who had made a national name for himself by running repeatedly for office. He won his first elected office in 1989, when he became a state representative, garnering local headlines across Louisiana. In 1990, he won more than 600,000 votes in an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate, and in 1991, he took almost 700,000 votes in a run for governor. Newspapers around the world wrote about his ultimately losing fight against the scandal-dogged Edwin Edwards and the bumper sticker it engendered: “Vote for the crook, it’s important.”
Video of the 2005 EURO conference.
That’s not all.
Newspapers at the time of the EURO conference reported that a minor league baseball team from Iowa had changed hotels after learning that it would be held where they planned to stay. A hotel official also told a local paper that the company “did not share the views” of EURO, according to the Huffington Post.
And Scalise’s claims met with skepticism even from some well-known out-of-state conservatives. “How do you not know? How do you not investigate?” asked Erick Erickson, a former Louisiana resident, on his RedState blog yesterday. “By 2002, everybody knew Duke was still the man he had claimed not to be. EVERYBODY. How the hell does somebody show up at a David Duke organized event in 2002 and claim ignorance?”
In an interview with NOLA.com yesterday, Scalise reiterated the claim that he had no idea what EURO was and said that he “went and spoke to any group that called.” That prompted Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin to ask the obvious question: “Would he have spoken to a KKK rally? To the American Nazi Party?”
The fact is that Scalise may have had some real affinities with EURO. In 1999, Roll Call reported that Scalise “said he embraces many of the same ‘conservative’ views as Duke, but is more viable.” To the extent that he had a problem with Duke, it appears it was only that he was unelectable. “Duke has proven he can’t get elected,” Roll Call quoted Scalise as saying, “and that’s the first and most important thing.”
In 1999, Scalise voted against making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a state holiday, one of just three state representatives to do so. And in 2004, two years after the EURO conference, he was one of six to vote against the holiday.
There appears to be no transcript of Scalise’s speech to EURO, but blogger Lamar White Jr., who first broke the story on Sunday, found postings on the neo-Nazi Stormfront Web forum that described it. In one, a user said Scalise “brought into sharp focus the dire circumstances pervasive in many important, under-funded needs of the community at the expense of graft with the Housing and Urban Development Fund, an apparent giveaway to a selective group based on race.”
A colleague at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich, actually attended EURO conferences in 2004 and 2005. The venues were adorned with Confederate flags and racist slogans and offered racist merchandise.
Scalise, a politician who already had national aspirations at the time of the 2002 EURO conference, certainly should have known what his dalliance with open white supremacists might cost him. In 1998, a scandal erupted when it was revealed that U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Georgia) and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) had endorsed and spoken to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a major white supremacist hate group. In late 2002, after singing the praises of segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), Lott was forced to resign his leadership post.
Now Steve Scalise should do the same.
A faction of what remains of the Aryan Nations is planning a triple cross burning later this month in Mississippi to raise money for a former Aryan Nations member who joined the white nationalist paramilitary group The Order.
The event, dubbed “Christmas with the Klan” and scheduled at an undisclosed location near Holly Springs, Miss., is being organized by Shaun Patrick Winkler, who calls himself an “Imperial Wizard” with the Aryan Nations Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Winkler, a protégé of Aryan Nations founder Richard G. Butler, lists a post office address in Potts Camp, Miss., not far from where “all pro-white groups” are invited for the event the weekend of Dec. 27.
And what’s in store for such a perverse gala? Winkler promises “free gifts for all children,” and “no alcohol, drugs or drama allowed.” All proceeds are slated to the Gary Yarbrough Legal Fund.
Yarbrough was a member of The Order, a white nationalist revolutionary organization founded by Robert J. Mathews in late September 1983. The group was set on fomenting a race war and a revolution against the U.S. government, which it believed to be controlled by a secret Jewish cabal.
The legal fund is raising money to the challenge the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for rescinding Yarbrough’s parole after he allegedly posted to various racist online forums, including Stormfront.
Other members of The Order who are still in prison are: Randolph George “Randy” Duey, 63, scheduled to be released in 2047; Richard J. Scutari, 67, scheduled for release in 2025; and David C. Tate, 52, who is serving a life sentence without parole
Earlier this week, the home addresses and telephone numbers of two reporters for The New York Times and a CNN correspondent appeared across a spectrum a racist websites—an apparent response to the Times publishing the personal information of Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.
Known as “doxing,” Michael Carothers, the username for Michael Weaver, who has been affiliated with several neo-Nazi groups and a long criminal history, posted the journalists’ personal information on Stormfront, the Internet’s largest racist message board. But very soon afterward, the information appeared elsewhere, on Occidental Dissent, in a piece written by a contributor pseudonymously known as “Jack Ryan.”
“A new low in anti-White gutter journalism was reached this week,” Ryan wrote. “The New York Times published the home address of Officer Darren Wilson with the clear intent of aiding and abetting black lynch mobs to make good on their threat to attack and possibly murder Wilson and his new wife.”
In truth, the Times did not include the home address of Wilson, only the neighborhood and street name of Wilson’s home—information that was widely circulated in other media outlets including Yahoo News, USA Today, The Washington Post and others.
Still, “Jack Ryan” went ahead and “doxed” the three journalists who publish using genuine bylines, while hiding behind the name he has used for years to publish racist commentary across a wide swath of the white supremacist web.
“Of course it would be wrong to threaten or harrass [sic] these folks,” Ryan wrote. “[B]ut there’s nothing that says you can’t drop them a card or phone them to wish them happy holidays, or simply to let their neighbors and local law enforcement know how displeased you are with their unprofessional actions.”
It was a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer, surely. As far as racist web portals go, Stormfront remains among the worst. As the Southern Poverty Law Center noted in a special report earlier this year, Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the site was put up in 1995. In the past five years alone, Stormfront members have murdered close to 100 people. It’s not the kind of place one wants personal information posted.
So who is this Jack Ryan?
A Hatewatch investigation under way at the time of the doxing—including examining his extensive posting history on white nationalist sites like VDARE, American Renaissance, Alternative Right, and Occidental Dissent—found that “Jack Ryan” is actually John V. Ellis of Hyde Park, Chicago. An active supporter of the League of the South (LOS), a neo-Confederate hate group, Ellis first came to our attention after appearing at a demonstration in Murfreesboro, Tenn., last year. His vicious comments online almost immediately caught the attention of Hatewatch.
“Blacks are fairly predictable once you get to know the breed. Here are some tips: Never show fear, indecision. Blacks can smell this, same as dogs,” Ellis wrote on the American Renaissance website. “Always have some weapon that isn’t a gun. I highly recommend canemaster [sic] canes, $12 Target T Ball bat—carry in a gym bag along with ball and glove.”
In another article from Alternative Right, Ellis made some ugly statements about Muslims. “These Arab Muslim mobs are savage, barbarians. … I have a beautiful 23 year old White Daughter, I don’t want any of these filthy, urine colored Arab Muslim savages anywhere near my daughter.”
Ellis, who could not be reached for comment, claims to have have attended Vanderbilt University before completing an MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Interestingly, however, he says he works for a painting company in Chicago. He also claims to have frequented many white nationalist conferences, including the 2013 American Renaissance national conference and most recently the VDARE Christmas party in New York City .
Most recently, Ellis says he attended the VDARE Christmas party in New York City where he and featured guest Ann Coulter apparently didn’t get along. “Mean, disrespectful, didn’t recognize Occidental Dissent,” wrote Ellis after the event. “I was very, very close to stripping off her clothes and spanking her bare ass right there.” (Hatewatch could not confirm Ellis’, nor Coulter’s attendance. A telephone message left with Coulters’ publicist today was not returned, and Peter Brimelow, who runs VDARE, would not comment. )
Although Coulter didn’t recognize Ellis and the bigotry he spews at Occidental Dissent, hopefully others will now. He’s been long due for a real byline.
In early November, around a hundred leaders and supporters of one of the largest Ku Klux Klan groups in the United States held a secretive “summit” in what is called “all White east Tennessee.” The white supremacists ranted about minorities and Jewish conspiracies and raised more than $10,000 in donations and “registration fees” from the event. But they didn’t have to meet in the woods. The Klan gathering was held at a comfortable, taxpayer-funded Tennessee state park resort facility with an armed park ranger on duty to provide security.
After a catered dinner of “organic vegetables and grass-fed beef” the lights were dimmed, as attendees followed the Power Point slideshow and listened to the keynote address, titled “Death to America.”
It seems unlikely that Islamic Jihad or ISIS supporters would have been permitted to hold a “summit” meeting on Tennessee state property to discuss strategy or raise thousands of dollars, though their Power Point would have probably been similar.
Advertised for months on the racist Website, Stormfront, it remains unclear if anyone in Tennessee state government knew about the nature of the event, although it should have been obvious to Norris Dam State Park officials that this was no ordinary “family reunion.” ( continue to full post… )