Posts Tagged ‘Southern Poverty Law Center’

Southern Poverty Law Center releases map of hate groups

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

The Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual report on the number of hate groups operating in the U.S.

The group found the number of anti-government “patriot” groups has reached an all-time high for the fourth year in a row.

Debates of gun control measures are cited as reasons patriot groups have taken off.

Right now, the SPLC said there are 1,360 patriot groups in the U.S.
Florida is home to 59 recognized hate groups, making it the third highest in the nation behind California and Texas.

We took a look locally to see which groups the SPLC says are operating in our area.

There are 9 groups in Jacksonville and Gainesville. In Jacksonville:

-American Third Position, which is considered a white nationalist group

-The Confederate Hammerskins, a racist skinhead group

-Council of Cconservative Citizens, another white nationalist group

-European-American Unity and Rights organization, also a white nationalist organization

-League of the South, Neo-confederate

-Nation of Islam, black separatist

-New black panther party, also black separatist

In Gainesville:

American College of Pediatricians, an anti-gay group

Dove World Outreach Center,classified as an general hate group.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/article/301632/6/Southern-Poverty-Law-Center-releases-map-of-hate-groups

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Phil Rushton’s Credo and the New Dark Age

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Four days after Professor J. Philippe Rushton’s death on October 2,Salon regurgitated uncritically the $PLC’s postmortem smear(Leading race ‘scientist’ dies in Canada, by Don Terry, originally posted on the Southern Poverty Law Center website October 5.). This quoted Ferris State University professor and Marxist ideologue Barry Mehler [Email him]: “He’s the end of an era of academic racists of his style and notoriety”.

The $PLC’s recycled smear was the usual abuse: “Rushton’s infamous theory about race and intelligence,” “prominent elder [of] academic racism,” Rushton’s “monstrous” ideas, “Rushton’s ‘highly suspect’ research,” “author of a handful of academic tomes,” “Rushton was pushing old-fashioned racism,” and (best of all!) Rushton “often published on racist websites, including the anti-immigrant hate site VDARE.com”. [VDARE.com note: link proudly added].

The $PLC’s Terry concluded his tirade of hate with a swipe at Rushton’s ratings based on student comments posted at RateMyProfessors.com. He noted that, although a few students posted favorable ratings, a “majority of the reviewers rated him ‘poor quality’”.

But the comments quoted (here and here) reflected ideological disagreement rather than poor instruction. And, typically, the $PLC failed to disclose Barry Mehler’s own mediocre ratings also posted at RateMyProfessor.com:

“This guy is so incredibly hard to follow, it’s ridiculous…. He made us buy two books, one of which we NEVER used and the other which was more of a novel spreading propaganda about how America is an evil empire”; “I dropped this class after the first day! He did not say a word about History and rambled on about how our country was thriving when everyone smoked Camel cigarettes”; “horribly boring”; “Dr. Mehler is one of the worst teachers I’ve ever had! He re-wrote the text book online so everything is his opinion, and if you don’t agree you fail”.

As Rushton often said, racial egalitarian academics are held to different standards.

There have been notably few MSM comments on Rushton’s death outside of Canada. The New York Times, which in 1994 published a joint notice of his masterwork Race, Evolution, and Behavior along with The Bell Curve  on the front page of its Book Review, [What Is Intelligence, and Who Has It?, By Malcolm W. Browne,  October 16, 1994] has said nothing. National Review, which under John O’Sullivan’s editorship published Rushton’s devastating critique of Stephen Jay Gould (The Mismeasures of GouldSeptember 15, 1997), has not even mentioned him since 2007.

Unquestionably this is due to cowardice—to the chilling effect of the relentless Cultural Marxist assault on Rushton. He well described the “moralistic aggression” of his adversaries in a paper published back in 1990 in Psychologische Beiträge:

I can personally attest to the extreme egalitarianism that dominates and censures this area. On January 19, 1989, I presented the r/K theory of racial group differences at a Symposium on Evolution at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco. The news media picked this up making a short report of it in the United States. In Canada, however, the story created a firestorm. An enterprising reporter took a version of my views to a local activist group, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations,and asked them for their opinion. Predictably enough, they said I should be fired for promoting hatred. This madeheadlines and I became a target for moralistic aggression.

The University President gave a press conference to argue that academic freedom protected me and that I was a serious scholar. Students and activist groups were not satisfied and daily demanded a public forum to air my iniquities. Newspapers ran cartoons of me with a Ku Klux Klan hood on and having a telephone conversation with a delighted Adolf Hitler. The Premier of the Province, while acknowledging that he did not have the power to do so said that he would fire me if he could. David Suzuki, a well-known Canadian geneticist and media person challenged me to a two hour TV debate which was held at my university in front of 2,300 people, in which he emotionally called for me to be fired. Radical professors from nearby universities came to denounce me and social activist groups organized sit-ins and demonstrations, once even bringing in a spokesperson from the African National Congress to berate the university for supporting me and apartheid in South Africa. Campaigns were mounted for me to be investigated—my ethical clearance for previous studies, my grant applications, my completion of bureaucratic forms on previous projects, etc. It bordered on becoming a witch-hunt and I was the centre of media and political attention for many weeks.

[Why we should study race differences, J. Philippe Rushton, Psychologische Beiträge, (pay archive) Band 32, 1990: 135]

One particularly egregious example of the difficulties that Rushton encountered: the nine-month hold-up of a shipment of Race, Evolution, and Behavior by Canadian customs officials. The book was “widely available in university bookstores in Canada,” according to The Globe and Mail. Mary Curtis, executive vice president and publisher of Rushton’s U.S. publisher Transaction, said, “It’s unbelievable. I can’t remember another incident when anything of this nature has ever occurred”. Eventually Canada Customs conceded that it was not “hate literature”. [See The New Enemies of Evolutionary Science, by J. Philippe Rushton, Liberty, March 1998;Customs officials delayed Rushton book for 9 months, By Rudy Platiel, Toronto Globe and Mail, January 3, 1996 (not online)];Contemptible Canadian Customs LawsAmerican Renaissance, March 1996.

I well remember Phil Rushton as the featured banquet speaker at the second bi-annual American Renaissance conference in Louisville, Kentucky (back in the days when AR was allowed to have conferences). His address captivated the AR attendees. He began with slides of slanderous cartoons published in the Canadian press, receiving thunderous applause when he revealed that the threat of a lawsuit halted additional depictions of him in Klan garb. (Order on video from Amren.com).

Afterwards, a number of us had the opportunity to meet Rushton informally. He answered the questions of well-informed admirers, who covered a full range of related academic topics involving race differences, the validity of Carleton Coon’s multiregional theory of evolutionary racial origins, his own relationship with other notable researchers, and a range of mutually interesting topics. He was always gracious and polite—a true gentleman and scholar. Even enemies acknowledged this—including Mehler, who admitted in theSalon piece quoted above, “he never got flustered”.

Similarly, in the highly-publicized 1989 debate with geneticist David Suzuki, Rushton delivered the case for genetic-based race differences in a calm, rational way, in dramatic contrast to the disheveled, emotion-driven Suzuki.

A number of prominent academics defended him in the 1989 crisis: C. Davis Ankney, University of Western Ontario; Jack Block, University of California at Berkeley; Arthur R. Jensen, University of California at Berkeley; Richard Lynn, University of Ulster; Hiram P. Caton, Griffith University, Australia; Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Max Planck Institute for Human Ethology, Germany; James R. Flynn, University of Otago, New Zealand; Barry R. Gross, CUNY; Richard J. Herrnstein, Harvard University; Henry L. Roediger, Rice University; Ronald C. Johnson, University of Hawaii; David K. B. Nias, City of London Polytechnic; Gerald M. Phillips, Pennsylvania State University; Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University; James Q. Wilson,UCLA; David C. Rowe, University of Arizona; Lee Sechrest, University of Arizona; Pierre L. van den Berghe; University of Washington, etc.

One frequent charge echo-chambered by Rushton’s critics was that his thesis on race differences is uncorroborated by other scientific studies. But the distinguished psychologist Arthur R. Jensen, answered this definitively in a May 11, 1989 letter to the Ontario Press Council:

I wish to register my strongest possible condemnation ofThe Toronto Star’s grossly vicious and malicious defamation of Professor J. Philippe Rushton. I refer especially to The Star’s editorials of March 9 and March 26, 1989. I doubt that I have ever before seen such a patently libelous attack on a scientist or scholar, with its charges of “charlatan”, “discredited”, “academic fraud”, and “racism”. This seems especially reprehensible when it is so unwarranted and is combined with flagrant misrepresentation of Professor Rushton’s position. The Star’s articles, editorial, and cartoon on Rushton were obviously calculated to discredit him and to inflame its readers, rather than to accurately inform them.

For over twenty years I have been doing research on several of the topics that enter into Professor Rushton’s research on the nature and explanation of racial differences in a variety of traits. My own studies of individual and group differences in human mental abilities have been published in five books and nearly 300 articles in reputable scientific and scholarly journals, and there are two books by other authors concerning my work.

I have read virtually everything that Professor Rushton has written on the issues in question. Rushton’s research papers have appeared in reputable, refereed psychological journals, have been exposed to published critiques by other scholars, and is itself based on an impressive quantity and quality of scholarship, generally of greater thoroughness and accuracy than that of its critics. Having read all of the published critiques of Rushton’s theory and its supporting evidence, I can say that The Toronto Star’s claim that it has been “discredited” is simply false.  Although not everyone accepts every point of Rushton’s work, and Rushton himself openly recognizes the gaps and anomalies in the evidence related to certain points in his theory, it is a fact that informed psychologists, geneticists, and sociobiologists consider Rushton’s work worthy of serious consideration. It has been, and is still being, discussed and debated at scientific meetings here and abroad, just as other controversial topics on the frontiers of science are being debated. Professor Rushton operates within this well-established scientific tradition.

Anyone who is at all familiar with this venerable scientific tradition and with Rushton’s scientific work would, I’m sure, agree that the use of such terms as those used by The Starin reference to Professor Rushton or his research publications as “charlatan” and “fraud” is absolutely outrageous and wholly uncalled for…

Phil Rushton’s problems were not limited to the MSM. He had to contend with Politically Correct elements within the scientific community.

In February 1989, three past presidents, the treasurer, and secretary of the Behavior Genetics Association (J. C. DeFries, D. W. Fulker, S. G. Vandenberg, G. Carey, and J. R. Wilson) expressed “concern about recent articles on human race differences published by BGA member J. Philippe Rushton”. They asserted:

The study of individual differences deepens our understanding and respect for human individuality. Compared to the range of human variation observed within groups, group differences are relatively small. Rushton’s compilations of group differences and his attribution of them to heredity fuel the fires of prejudice. We find this to be both insensitive and repugnant. Thus, we disavow unequivocally any support for the theory espoused in these [referenced] articles or in his more recent public pronouncements.

Rushton responded to this critique with a detailed reply to the BGA on April 27 1989:

It goes without saying but it is necessary to say that I believe that the average differences that I am observing provide no grounds for social discrimination among races, and that people must be judged on their merits. I have taken great pains to emphasize, although this is often ignored by my opponents, that there are wide differences within races and individual should not be judged on the basis of racial averages or indeed any of my findings. Nor have I suggested any policy that should flow from my research.

In seeking an understanding of the genetic and evolutionary basis of individual and group behavior I have found it useful to study race differences. Ultimately the study of racial differences may help us to appreciate more fully the nature of human diversity as well as the binding commonalities we share with other species. That, too, would be one of the legacies of the Darwinian perspective.

With respect to differences in sexuality, Weinberg and Williams (1988) have confirmed many of my observations with respect to black-white differences in attitudes and behavior, and Harvey and May (1989) have verified Oriental-white differences in genital morphology. It will not do to cast anger or ridicule on these statements, not to turn away in embarrassment, for there are sobering consequences. Both inter- and intra-national comparisons show that the world-wide prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and herpes is Oriental < white < black. Since this is also the pattern for the deadly HIV-1 pandemic, the implications of the group differences in correlated traits should not be underestimated (Rushton & Bogaert, 1989).

New ideas that have the capacity to disturb the established orthodoxy almost necessarily provoke concern and spirited resistance. That across populations brain size negatively correlates with gamete production (indexed, for example, by dizygotic twinning rate), and that both covary with a suite of life history attributes, the whole being predicted on the basis of evolutionary theory backed by empirical studies of animals and plants, is unlikely to be credibly dismissed by appeals to authority and morality.

Many have noted that nothing can be more chilling to science than moralistic judgment. As Fermi remarked, “Whatever nature has in store for mankind, unpleasant as it may be, men must accept, for ignorance is never better than knowledge”. The danger comes when we violate Fermi’s adjuration (often with humanitarian arguments), not when honest scholars discuss ideas freely and openly.

Phil Rushton stood firm in his conviction that ultimately what mattered was scientific truth. In “The Equalitarian Dogma Revisited”, he outlined four core principles, attributing them to fellow IQ researcher Linda Gottfredson:

1. Seek the truth and speak it as you know it, directly and not in code.

2. Do not speculate about motives unless you have very good grounds for doing so. Integrity is the only character trait that is of concern when evaluating ideas and their impact.

3. Do not apologize for or act embarrassed about racially-sensitive research or its results. To do so lends credence to the belief that you think you are doing something wrong.

4. Zealously protect freedom of scientific inquiry.

This credo is Phil Rushton’s legacy in what, it is increasingly apparent, is a new Dark Age.

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Stepmother: Alleged Sikh shooter had ‘normal’ childhood

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The stepmother of the man accused of opening fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin talked to media Tuesday providing a better picture of who Wade Page really was.

“It was a very normal childhood,” Laurie Page said. “And as a teenager, his life was very normal too.”

Investigators are trying to determine if Sunday’s attack was a hate crime.

Six people were killed and three others critically wounded.

Now, the Southern Poverty Law Center says Wade Page, an Army veteran, played with skinhead bands linked to white supremacist groups.

Wade’s stepmother says when he lived with her, he was friends with everyone.

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Southern Poverty Law Center Silent on Family Research Center Shooting

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Heading over to the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s website, you’ll be faced with a header page of ominous, angry-looking “White Supremacists” whom the SPLC suggests are going to rise up, kill all non-Whites and overthrow the government, usually with little or no evidence.

Below, in their featured articles section, you will still be able to read all about the Sikh Shooting Massacre, which of course was perpetrated by a “Neo-Nazi” hater, as well as other articles highlighting the rise of Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism and Neo-Nazi conspiracy theories. Again, usually with little or no evidence

At the time of this writing on Thursday, August 16, 2012, you will not be able to read on the SPLC’s website about the Family Research Center Shooting. The shooting was apparently perpetrated by a volunteer of an LGTB group, and at this time, the shooting appears to be a politically motivated hate crime.

This should come as no surprise as the SPLC has labelled the Family Research Center a “hate group,” and many media outlets have sourced the SPLC when referring to the Family Research Center in their articles. Apparently, the SPLC claims that the Family Research Center has an anti-gay bias and takes any and every opportunity to link the organization to “hate crimes” and other politically incorrect activity.

This hypocrisy by the SPLC and all of the media outlets that regulary quote the organization as a legitimate source is quite outstanding.

It should also be noted, especially considering that in the past the SPLC’s main spokesperson Mark Potok, can often be seen on various media outlets using any shooting to smear any of the organization’s political enemies on behalf of the LGTB and anti-2nd amendment groups, whether they had anything to do with the shooting or not.

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Northstar Center to feature photos of hate groups from Michigan journalist

Friday, April 6th, 2012

The Northstar Center announced that for the entire month of April it will feature the photographs of Todd A. Heywood. The photos have been taken over the course of the last decade and document a variety of hate groups and hate ideologies, from Neo-Nazis in Jackson to Terry Jones the Koran burning Florida pastor to anti-gay activists.

“I have thousands of photos and videos from hate groups from around the state,” said Heywood. “But I kept thinking ‘What good are they doing on a hard drive in my office?’ Part of fostering a conversation about hate is also putting images in the public’s mind about what hate looks like. And I can tell you, it isn’t always as easy to identify as one might think.”

Heywood began writing about anti-gay and other hate groups in the early 1990s while at Lansing Community College. His investigative reporting has been instrumental in the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s listing of two Michigan organizations as hate groups in their annual hate map. The first group was Young Americans for Freedom at Michigan State University which was listed in 2007, becoming the first university recognized and supported hate group in the Center’s history. More recently, Heywood helped to uncover and identify a new Neo-Nazi group, Battalion 14, in Jackson.

“These images are powerful because they remind us how present hate and bigotry are in our world,” said David Mitchell of Northstar Center. “We need to see these images, and to be informed. Ignoring racists and outright fascists, only gives them room to grow.”

The images on display include photos from the Aug. 4, 2007 “Rally Against Black Crime” in Kalamazoo, several events sponsored by Young Americans for Freedom at Michigan State University, photos of various anti-gay leaders, and images of anti-gay protesters at the annual gay pride event in Lansing.

Heywood is currently Senior Reporter for the American Independent. The American Independent is a publication of the non-profit news group The American Independent News Network. The photos in the exhibit are the result of Heywood’s work for The American Independent News Network, Between The Lines Newspaper and YAF Watch.

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Head of school that hosted anti-gay band resigns

Friday, March 16th, 2012

The principal of an Iowa secondary school that allowed members of a Christian rock band to espouse their anti-gay, anti-abortion views while showing students images of fetuses that had apparently been aborted is resigning, the district superintendent said.

Mike Cooper, who oversees grades 7-12 at the school in Dunkerton, will tender his resignation Monday and remain on the job through the end of the school year, Dunkerton Superintendent Jim Stanton told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier for a story published Tuesday.

Cooper declined to comment to the newspaper Tuesday about his pending departure, and he did not immediately respond Wednesday to a phone message left at his office by The Associated Press.

Stanton said Cooper’s decision is not related to Cooper’s recommendation that the district invite the band Junkyard Prophet to perform at last week’s assembly, and said the plan had been “in the works” for nearly a month.

“He simply wants to be a superintendent,” Stanton said, acknowledging that the timing of the announcement suggested there might be more to it.

Several students and parents said they were puzzled at why the band was invited to the school in Dunkerton, which is 70 miles northwest of Iowa City. The band is affiliated with a Minnesota group, You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, that describes itself as a Christian ministry and that states its extremely conservative views on social issues on its website. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies it as a hate group.

Students said the March 8 assembly kicked off with a performance by the band and discussion about how some music can negatively influence young people. They said the group then tried to impress upon students that homosexuality, sex and abortion are wrong, displaying images of aborted fetuses on a screen above the stage.

Jennifer Littlefield told the La Crosse Tribune, of Wisconsin, that her daughter Alivia, who is a junior at the school, called her crying so hard after the assembly that she could barely understand her.

“They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren’t virgins,” said Littlefield, who also said she didn’t appreciate what she described as gay bashing.

“They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42. It just blows me away that no one stopped this,” she said.

Stanton apologized to students last week and said he shocked by the group’s message, which he says contradicts the message of tolerance and acceptance that the district stresses.

At a special board meeting Tuesday night, Stanton outlined a plan for the district to deal with the fallout from the assembly and prevent similar problems in the future, including providing counseling for students and faculty members who request it, bolstering the district’s diversity curriculum, notifying parents before future assemblies and vetting future performers more thoroughly.

Some parents said the changes weren’t enough and they called on Stanton to resign as well.

“The kids are suffering over this deal and, Mr. Stanton, you signed the checks,” Tim Westergreen said. “I respectfully ask for your resignation.”

Stanton said he does not plan to quit, and several school board members, including its president, Alen Nagel, said they had no interest in seeing Stanton resign.

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The pro-white movement needs diversity

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

 

Organizations such as the SPLC and ADL often accuse pro-white organizations of harboring openly hateful people, anti-Semites and lunatics.  Unfortunately, this often turns out to be true.  If a pro-white person, of healthy demeanor, wishes to join other pro-whites as an organization, he will discover that neo-Nazis* are also pro-white and also wish to attach themselves to these organizations.

What is one to do when he is privy to important truths – but the vast majority of other people who recognize those truths are social pariahs?  Should he avoid all contact with any of them?  If he takes this path, then he will be lonely indeed.  He will find himself on a small rowboat in rough seas with no land in sight and all other boats and ships inhabited by the enemy.  He will find that his avoidance of them will  do him little good; he will still be considered an extremist and lumped in with the rest.  If he chooses to avail himself of the networks built by those pariahs, then he will be lumped together with them in the eyes of the rest of humanity and his associations with them will be brought up over and over again as proof of his hate and ignorance.

Being pro-white is an unpopular position to take and, the way things are going, it will remain so for quite some time.  But it is wrong to give up.  To continue the fight, we need organizations to represent us and those organizations need to represent a wide range of attitudes.  Some need to be geared toward suit-and-tie intellectuals while others need to be geared toward thuggish intimidation – depending on what is necessary at the time.  A suit-and-tie intellectual is not very useful to whites who need physical protection from non-white thugs who are out to get him; the law is of little use in such cases.  Send a group of tough street fighters and the situation might be diffused as the aggressors realize they picked the wrong fight.  But it would not be appropriate to send the same street fighters, dressed to intimidate, to a public protest or to an interview with the media.  Some organizations are more orientated toward racial science, while others would focus more on social issues.

An organizations might blend various approaches into one.  But there is one attitude that some pro-white organizations should take care to be clean of: hatred toward people based entirely on what they were born as.  It is one thing to have a distaste for blacks in general, but quite another to declare that one hates all blacks.  Many, in the pro-white movement, hate Jews – some hate all Jews, regardless of affiliation.  There is a reason the wider public disdains such hatred: it is stupid and wrong. By planting themselves in practically all pro-white organizations, these haters succeed in giving anti-white hate groups such as the SPLC ammunition to paint all pro-whites with the same brush.  Thus, in a sense, there is not enough diversity in the pro-white movement.

What we need is an organization that promotes the interests of whites and has no connection, whatsoever, to neo-Nazi groups, the KKK or any other group that is associated with hate (even if that association, in the eyes of the public, is based on ignorance).  Such a clean organization can then publicly boast that it opposes racial/ethnic hatred and that it is a strictly positive organization.  Of course, it would still be accused of being “racist” but it would be a lot easier for this organization to win converts.  The leaders of this organization would be very careful who they let in; anybody with past connections to “hateful groups” (I wish I had a better term) would have to go through a cleansing process of some sort and make public pronouncements that his motivation is to help people.  Not to hurt them.  There would be actual membership and dues would be paid.  There have been some organizations that approximate what I am talking about – such as the EAIF, which unfortunately does not appear to have much recent activity.

Of course, for those pro-whites who disagree with the above conditions and philosophy, there are plenty of other groups they can join.  While in Charlotte, some of us discussed founding such a group but, for the moment, it is only an idea.  We have a name and, possibly, even a logo – but I shall not divulge any of this yet.

*There is always a problem with labels.  When I say “neo-Nazi”, I mean somebody who hates all Jews and is not averse to violence.  I fully realize that there might be some who call themselves “neo-Nazis” who do not fit this description and there might be others who do, but call themselves something else.

 

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My Neighborhood White Supremacist & the Kosher Response to Hate

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

On Jan. 24, police arrested 19-year-old Anthony Graziano in connection with the recent firebombings of two New Jersey synagogues and a rabbi’s home. It’s the latest development in a busy season of anti-Semitic attacks that began in early November 2011, when a 40-year-old Jackson Heights man allegedly spray painted swastikas on several buildings in Queens. A few days later, someone added an “ew” on a sign at the Avenue J subway station so that the sign then read, “Avenue Jew.” On Nov. 21, a Jewish man was stabbed on a subway platform as his assailants allegedly yelled anti-Semitic slurs at him.

Among these very real acts of hatred in the New York area, Jews have been targeted in several allegedly “fake” incidents of hatred. The NYPD recently announced that the November firebombing of three cars in Midwood, Brooklynmay have been an insurance scam rather than a genuine hate attack. And David Haddad, whom police suspect may be responsible for a more recent spate of anti-Semitic graffiti, is Jewish. Police think he may have used the guise of anti-Semitism to settle personal vendettas.

 

Several days after the Midwood car fires, an “ew” appeared on a sign at the Avenue J subway station sign so that it read “Avenue Jew.” Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

These incidents are horrible, regardless of what motivates them, but they are manifestations of attitudes that are unfortunately all too prevalent even in the New York metro area, where an estimated 12 percent of individuals self-identify as Jewish, versus about 2 percent nationally, according to the most recent regional Jewish Community Studyand data from the North American Jewish Data Bank.

After an encounter with a white supremacist in my own neighborhood, I’ve realized just how commonplace intolerance can be in our daily life.

“Excuse me, but I think your shirt is racist,” I said to the stock clerk working the night shift at the Super Stop & Shop in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, as he placed items on the shelves.

As someone who prefers gentleness to confrontation, I’m still not sure what I was thinking when I decided to tell him that I found his “White Pride Worldwide” T-shirt objectionable. But there I was, steeped in righteous indignation.

A demonstrator representing a white nationalist group in Canada carries a flag depicting a Celtic cross surrounded by the phrase “White Pride Worldwide.” It’s the same logo that appeared on the stock clerk’s shirt and was popularized by Stormfront, a white nationalist website. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League classify Stormfront as a hate group. Flickr/Thivierr

He had bags under his eyes, a tattoo of a what appeared to be a naked woman on his forearm and an unkempt mop of gray hair.

He sized me up. “Do you shop here in February?” he asked. ”What’s the difference between me wearing this shirt and this store handing out pamphlets during Black History Month in February?”

“The symbol on your shirt is a symbol of hate, that’s the difference. That cross is on the flag of the Ku Klux Klan,” I said.

I wouldn’t find out until I looked it up later, but the Celtic cross with the slogan “White Pride Worldwide” is actually the symbol of Stormfront, a white nationalist website founded by a former Klansman. Stormfront is classified as a hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

“What do you know about the Ku Klux Klan? You need to read a history book about this country after the Civil War. This conversation is over, I’m not interested,” he said, before walking away. Not exactly a victory for open-mindedness near the deli counter.

What really shocked me was that the diverse group of other supermarket employees didn’t seem to see anything wrong with an employee wearing a shirt bearing a white supremacist slogan. His manager, a Latino man, told me that when the stock clerk plays military parade songs on a portable radio in his aisle, they mock him by goosestepping to the music.

The next day, I called the store’s manager, and identified myself as a neighborhood customer and described the stock clerk’s T-shirt. The manager said he was surprised to learn about his employee’s attire. I inquired about Super Stop & Shop’s employee dress code. If cashiers and deli counter attendants are required to wear uniforms, I asked, why shouldn’t that policy be extended to stock clerks, especially when their attire might offend customers? He apologized and asked me not to contact the regional manager until he spoke with the employee in question. He called me back as promised later to let me know that the stock clerk would not be allowed to wear offensive clothing in the future.

After a request for comment from MetroFocus, Stop & Shop corporate spokesperson Arlene Putterman wrote in an email, “…this issue took place months ago and there was a misinterpretation of the tshirt design.” She added that, “the person was instructed not to wear any logoed tshirt in the store in the future.”

As the days wore on after the incident, I wondered, was I perhaps taking this T-shirt too seriously? Maybe sometimes a T-shirt is just a T-shirt?

I got my answer on Nov. 20, 2011, about one week after the Midwood car fires. I found a flyer on my windshield advertising a protest against a neo-Nazi cell that was operating in south Brooklyn. Out of curiosity, I walked the 15 or so blocks from my apartment building to the address on the flyer in Gravesend, Brooklyn. When I arrived, about 30 protesters had already gathered. They were associated with the Jewish Defense Organization, a group that advocates militancy and arranges self-defense classes and gun training for Jewish people. Their logo is of the Star of David with an Uzi sub-machine gun emblazoned across it.

The protesters were there to call for the eviction of a man suspected of running a neo-Nazi cell out of a basement apartment.

It turns out that the man allegedly running the neo-Nazi cell was the stock clerk from my supermarket.

Mordechai Levy, who organized the protest, told me he linked the stock clerk’s Gravesend address to posts on Stormfront’s online forums. (Later I  found a bit more information online about the stock clerk. In 2010, he described himself to a local newspaper as a “white nationalist” committed to preserving “the white race.”)

About 30 protestors organized by the militiant Jewish Defense Organization rallied outside the home of a suspected neo-Nazi on Nov. 20, 2011. Organizer Mordechai Levy, left, said that Jews should keep guns at home for self-defense. MetroFocus/Daniel T. Allen

At the protest, Levy shouted into a bullhorn, “One does not debate Nazis, one destroys Nazis,” and encouraged Jews to obtain legal guns for their homes. “Where do we send Nazis? To the cemetery!” he shouted.

Other protesters at the rally told me that the way to respond to anti-Semitism is with street justice. Joel Mechila, 22, came from a nearby Jewish enclave in Borough Park to support the rally. He said he’s encountered anti-Semitism on the streets in other neighborhoods and that he also supports taking the law into his own hands. He invited me to view a YouTube video in which he shatters the passenger-side window of a car driven by two young women he said were shouting “heil Hitler!” at him in Williamsburg.

But doesn’t calling for and responding to hatred with violence, even against white supremacists, perpetuate the cycle of hatred and violence? And, as the Midwood car burnings demonstrate, when there is even a possibility of “fake anti-Semitism,” do these types of reactions make sense?

It seems to me that Jews should respond to hate by working on strengthening our own community, rather than engaging with the haters.

Rather than lashing out at those who may be responsible for fomenting hatred, Jews should focus on celebrating and sharing our peoplehood. This sends a clear message to haters that we can be proud of our identity without discriminating or scapegoating others. In this way, we all become “brand ambassadors” — meeting violence with kindness and sharing the best our community has to offer rather than letting negative attention towards Jews dominate the headlines. This is the kosher response to hatred, and is the gold standard to which any community affected by bigotry must strive.

Several months after my initial encounter, I was walking home late one night and I nearly bumped into the stock clerk on the street. There was a tense moment as we looked at each other, as if we might finish then and there the exchange we started near the butcher’s block. Would he pick a fight? No. I think we both decided to let it be. We walked on.

What would be the point of provoking him further? He appeared closed to the idea that he could preserve his own identity in our pluralistic society without relying on symbols of hate. All I can do is live up to the ideals of my community and respect those of diverse backgrounds. And when I see those pamphlets being handed out at our supermarket during Black History Month, I’ll be sure to take one.

MetroFocus’ Daniel T. Allen is an active congregant of the Chabad of Sheepshead Bay and studied anti-Semitism and civil rights policy at the Baruch School of Public Affairs.

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David Lane

Monday, December 26th, 2011

 “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth.

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Social Issues About Face: Ex-Skinhead Endures 25 Surgeries to Remove Racist Tattoos

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Duke Tribble / MSNBC / AP

Duke Tribble / MSNBC / AP
This combination of eight photos provided by Bill Brummel Productions shows the progress of tattoo removal treatments for former skinhead Bryon Widner

With his face and body blighted by symbols of hate, Bryon Widner struggled to escape his past. But salvation came— from the very people he once tormented.

Widner’s story of reform, told in gripping detail by the Associated Press, began in 2006 after he married his wife, Julie. She was a was a member of the National Alliance, the white separatist political organization, and he had helped found the Vindlanders, a skinhead group notorious for having members with long criminal records. After marrying, they withdrew from the white power movement, had a baby and hoped to start over. But the swastikas and razor blades etched on Widner’s face cast a long shadow over his efforts: neighbors shunned him and potential employers balked when they saw the letters H-A-T-E tattooed on his knuckles.

The social isolation slowly took its toll, and Widner grew frenzied as he searched the Internet for solutions. As the AP reports, the couple had little money and no health insurance, and few doctors performed the complicated surgeries necessary to undo the extensive markings. “I was totally prepared to douse my face in acid,” he said.

(PHOTOS: Inside a Hitler Exhibition in Germany)

With her husband desperate for help, Julie made the bold move of contacting Daryle Lamont Jenkins, the founder of Philadelphia-based One People’s Project. His anti-hate group publishes the names and addresses of white supremacists, and publicizes white power demonstrations so that activists can stage counter-demonstrations. Jenkins didn’t turn his back on Widner, even if he was a notorious hate monger. “It didn’t matter who she had once been or what she had once believed,” he told the AP. “Here was a wife and mother prepared to do anything for her family.”

Jenkins’ suggestions eventually led Widner to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the civil rights law firm. Widner provided the firm with sensitive information about how specific skinhead groups operate and details about their internal structure. He also spoke at their Skinhead Intelligence Network conference, equipping police with knowledge to help them tackle white supremacist groups. In exchange the SPLC searched—and ultimately found—a donor to pay for Widner’s surgery.

From June 2009 until October 2010, Widner underwent 25 painful procedures at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Each procedure left him with a bruised and blistered face that took weeks to heal.  “I have to do it,” he remembers saying at the time. “I am never going to live a normal life unless I do.”

Even now, though, normalcy remains somewhat elusive: the Widners face retribution from skinhead groups for leaving the movement, and only a small number of friends and family can know where they live. Erasing those tattoos was tough, but erasing the past might prove to be impossible.

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