Hate Groups Increase Nationwide in 2008; Decline in Michigan

Hate Groups Rise Nationwide in 2008

A new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center documents a continued rise in the number of hate groups in the United States.

The organization says that in 2008 there 926 hate groups active in the United States. These groups range from neo-Nazi skinheads to Ku Klux Klan groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups has grown from 602 in 2000 to 926 in 2008.

The organization sees the potential for a further increase in hate groups–which were motivated in the past few years by the debate over immigration–with the election of President Barack Obama and the continued economic crisis.

This year, the report lists 23 hate groups in Michigan, down from 26 last year

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s report comes a few days after a government report that raised the prospect of an increase in rightwing extremism and violence.

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KKK Member Elected as Republican Precinct Delegate Removed

Randy Gray–a member of the Ku Klux Klan who has been actively involved with the group in Michigan for several years–has been removed following his election as a Precinct Delegate in August. The Midland County GOP issued a statement saying that Gray’s views were out-of-touch with the Party’s values.

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Randy Gray–a Ku Klux Klan member who was elected as a Republican Precinct Delegate in Midland County–has been removed from his post.

The Midland County GOP removed Gray via a resolution before the Midland GOP convention last month. When Gray came to the convention, he was turned away at the door and handed a copy of the following resolution detailing his outster:

“A RESOLUTION REMOVING RANDY GRAY FROM THE MIDLAND COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY

WHEREAS the platform of the Republican National Committee states that: “From the time of Lincoln, equality of individuals has been a cornerstone of the Republican Party. Our commitment to equal opportunity extends from landmark school-choice legislation for the students of Washington D.C. to historic appointments at the highest levels of government. We consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin to be immoral, and we will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes. We ask all to join us in rejecting the forces of hatred and bigotry and in denouncing all who practice or promote racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, or religious intolerance

WHEREAS the Midland County Party fully supports this platform, adopting it as its own.

WHEREAS the actions of Mr. Gray are in direct conflict with the basic tenants of this platform, and therefore the ideals and beliefs of the Republican Party, and are strongly condemned by this organization.

And WHEREAS now is time for our country to come together to solve the many important issues that face our nation and our party.

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED, on this day, November 20th, 2008, the executive committee of the Midland County Republican Party, hereby removes and no longer recognizes Randy Gray as a Precinct Delegate, or in any way a member of the Midland Republican Party.”

The Midland County Republican Party’s legal council has assured them that Gray’s removal was legal, but Gray intends to seek legal recourse according to media reports.

Gray–who has been active with the Ku Klux Klan since 2002–was previously ousted from Republican Ron Paul’s campaign once his affiliation with the Klan became known.

MediaMouse.org broke the story of Gray’s election as precinct delegate back in September. However, the story received little attention beyond an article published by the Michigan Messenger. In that article, Midland County Republican Chair Diane Bristol said of Gray, “If, in fact, he’s associated with the KKK, [then] yes, it troubles me.” However, an article in the Saginaw News seems to indicate that it was Gray’s decision to protest Obama’s election in Klan robes that led to his expulsion, not his affiliation with the Klan.

Michigan KKK Member Protests Obama Election

On the day after Obama’s election, Michigan Ku Klux Klan member Randy Gray took to the streets to protest Obama’s election and what Gray sees as the “oppression” of white people.

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Randy Gray–a Midland, Michigan member of the Ku Klux Klan and a Republican Party precinct delegate–took to the streets of Midland to protest the election of Democrat Barack Obama.

According to various reports in the corporate media, Gray was standing at an intersection dressed in Klan robes while carrying an American flag. The police were called when Gray refused to leave the property of a local car dealership. After talking with Gray–and reviewing the permit for the handgun that he was carrying–they concluded that he was “harmless” and that there was nothing he can do.

News reports featured a few quotes from Gray, who said:

“white people feel more oppressed. We’re told as white people we can’t have any organizations. We’re ruled by communists. … I can’t allow my country to be ruined. It is not just about Barack Obama, it goes deeper than that. If I have to be the last man standing, why not?”

Earlier this year, Gray was active in the Ron Paul presidential campaign. He was dismissed once it became public that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Unfortunately, while the media and the police determined that Gray was “harmless” the same cannot be said for the racist right that he is politically aligned with. Shortly before the election, two white supremacists were arrested for allegedly planning to assassinate Barack Obama following a racially motivated killing spree. The two men were members of the Supreme White Alliance, a skinhead group active in the Midwest and the Upper South.

Ku Klux Klan Member Elected as Republican Precinct Delegate in Midland

Randy Gray–a Ku Klux Klan member who has spoken at a variety of racist events and who has worked on the Ron Paul campaign–has been elected as a Republican Precinct Delegate in Midland, Michigan.

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Randy Gray, a racist activist from Michigan and a member of the Knight’s Party of the Ku Klux Klan, has been elected as a Republican Precinct Delegate in the city of Midland, Michigan. According election results from the August 5 primary election in Midland, Gray was one of three candidates elected in a race in which three positions had to be filled.

According to Randy Gray, all he had to do was put his name on the ballot; there was no need for campaigning. Indeed, according to a document distributed by the Michigan Republican Party about Precinct Delegates, the process is pretty simple. Candidates declare their candidacy with their County, City, or Township Clerk and following a review of their “Affidavit of Identity,” their name appears on the ballot. Once they are elected, the parties are notified. The only qualifications are that the person is at least 18 years old and lives in the precinct.

The Michigan Republican Party defines the position as:

“A Precinct Delegate is an elected representative to the local political party from the precinct. Every precinct has at least one Republican Delegate, and some have more. The local party determines the number of delegates based on the number of Republican votes in that precinct in the previous election.”

The same document says that precinct delegates have the primary responsibility of attending all County Conventions during their two-year term. Additionally, there are often other duties such as distributing yard signs, literature drops, get-out-the-vote phone calling, and absentee voter programs.

While it is unlikely that anyone in the Republican Party knows of Gray’s affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, a simple Internet search shows a post on the white supremacist website Stormfront.org in which Gray announces his victory. Additional searches quickly turn up a local newspaper article in which he admits to being a member of the Klan.

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Aside from his work with the Knight’s Party of the Ku Klux Klan, Gray has been active in other white supremacist causes. He has spoken at a national Ku Klux Klan gathering and at a racist rally held in the summer of 2007 in Kalamazoo with other white supremacists. Gray has actively used public access television to promote white supremacist messages. In Midland, he has aired the show “This is the Klan” on public access, as well as the program “Yahweh’s Truth” which is hosted by the Michigan-based Christian Identity pastor James Wickstrom. Christian Identity is a religion that is practiced by a significant portion of the racist right. Gray also runs a white supremacist website called WNN News.

Previously, Randy Gray worked on the campaign of third party presidential candidate Ron Paul. Gray was removed as a coordinator after it became public knowledge that Gray was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Gray is purported to be shown below in his Klan robes in a grainy photo from a racist website that is critical of the Knight’s Party of the Ku Klux Klan:

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While it would be wrong to conclude that simply because Gray was able to get elected as a Republican Precinct Delegate that the Republicans are sympathetic to his racist views, Gray’s election is important because he is a racist. It is important to be aware of such individuals–however much they may seem to be on the fringe–as they often make inroads when people are not paying attention, as seen in Gray’s election and in his earlier role as a coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign.

Michigan Klan Member Involved in Ron Paul Campaign

A Michigan leader and member of the Ku Klux Klan is involved in Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s Michigan campaign according to a recent article published at DailyKos.com. The Klan member–Randy Gray–was listed as campaign coordinator for the city of Midland.

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A Michigan leader and member of the Knight’s Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan is involved in Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s Michigan campaign according to a recent article published at DailyKos.com. The Klan member–Randy Gray–was listed as campaign coordinator for the city of Midland.

Pictures from Ron Paul’s Michigan website show Gray with Paul:

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Gray–who posts on the racist website Stormfront.org–recently described his campaign activities on behalf of Paul:

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According the post, Gray has gone door-to-door, organized rallies, and attended meetings. Similarly, the post makes quite clear Gray’s connections to the Ku Klux Klan, with it listing the airtimes for the “This is the Klan” program that he airs on Midland public access television as well as a reference to Michigan-based “Pastor” James Wickstrom. Wickstrom is a Christian Identity (a white supremacist religion) preacher who has advocated the annihilation of the Jewish people.

Back in July, Media Mouse profiled Gray before he spoke at a rally in Kalamazoo organized by the prominent racist radio host Hal Turner. We documented Gray’s longtime involvement with the Klan and his history of racist and homophobic statements. As an example, it is worth noting that Gray has referred to people of color as “savages” and “animals:”

“… [S]o many of these savages, according to our statistics, they’re murdering our people, on a daily basis, and there’s nobody in our legal system that would dare say, “Bring back the rope! Bring back the electric chair!” Instead, they take our tax dollars and they feed these animals at the cost of our race!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you have been lied to about diversity and multiculturalism. The immigration crisis that’s being pushed upon us by the race traitors of Washington, D.C. — they don’t care about our people, they’re too concerned about the homosexual rights! They’re too worried about protecting the rights of the Highlander communist school in New Market, Tennessee, that pushes this immigration, this race problem in our nation today — comes right out of the communist school. It was closed down originally in 1960 by the state of Tennessee, but they are in New Market, Tennessee, and we were up there yesterday taking photo pictures.”

According to the author of the original piece on DailyKos.com, Paul’s campaign has had no comment on the involvement of a Ku Klux Klan leader with the campaign. Over the past several months, the campaign has repeatedly downplayed Paul’s connections to the racist right and allegations of his own racism.

Researcher Speaks on Hate Group Activity at Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes Conference

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center delivered the keynote address at the “Michigan Response to Hate: Building United Communities” conference today in Lansing. Potok examined how the racist right has used immigration to grow its ranks in recent years.

Today, Mark Potok, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project and editor of the organization’s Intelligence Report magazine spoke about hate group activity in the United States. The lecture took place during the lunchtime plenary of the a conference titled “Michigan Response to Hate: Building United Communities” in Lansing put on by the Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

Potok prefaced his comments by explaining that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s goal is not simply to “monitor” hate group activity but rather they seek to destroy hate groups. He further explained that he was not going to focus on the activity of hate groups in Michigan, mentioning only briefly that Michigan has about 25 hate groups according to the SPLC’s count, ranking the state 10th in the nation. He explained that there is a history of these groups being active in Michigan, mentioning briefly the Michigan Militia and reminding the audience that the state provided Terry Nichols and also John Tanton who is in many ways the architect of the nativist anti-immigrant movement.

He further explained that while Michigan ranks third highest in the number of hate crimes in the nation, the numbers might be skewed because Michigan reports particularly well compared to other states. He emphasized that reporting is currently voluntary and asserted that in many ways, how data is collected is more important than anti-hate crimes legislation, because more accurate data would support the case for a more focused hate crime policy. He cited a 2005 Justice Department study focusing on victim reports to suggest that the actual number of hate crimes is closer to 191,000 per year, which is twenty to thirty times the number that is most frequently cited.

Potok began his discussion of the racist and radical right by explaining that such groups thrive in “crisis” situations. As an example, he briefly covered the three eras of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), mentioning that in the 1860s the KKK formed in reaction to black empowerment, that it had a resurgence in the 1920s over fears of immigration, and that in the 1950s it grew in response to Brown vs. the Board of Education. Potok explained that in the 1980s the Posse Comitatus movement grew in response to the farm crisis and channeled legitimate concerns about dislocation into anti-Jewish/anti-Semitic directions. The militia movement similarly grew in the 1990s, motivated by fear and a series of conspiracy theories that had as their basis concern about an overreaching federal government.

Following the rise and fall of the militia movement, Potok explained that there has been a rise in “race-based” hate groups particularly in the post-9/11 climate. These groups have been motivated by fears about the United States no longer being a majority white nation, although it has been 9/11 and immigration that have been the driving factors accounting for growth in the movement. Racist groups have been able to take advantage of a general climate of anti-immigrant and xenophobic sentiment to develop a movement centered on immigration. Potok asserted that this movement is “pretty well thriving” and has grown dramatically in the past five years.

Potok explained that the Southern Poverty Law Center first noticed this phenomenon in 1998. That year there was an anti-immigration rally held in Alabama that featured the burning of a Mexican flag. The rally was put on by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) a group that positions itself as a “mainstream” entity despite its historic relationship with the racist movement. At that rally–which numbered only fifteen people–Potok explained that there was an unrobed member of the Ku Klux Klan as well as a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens.

The movement continued to grow, with Potok pointing a case a few years later in which a rancher named Roger Barnett received considerable media attention for claiming that he stopped 12,000 undocumented immigrants crossing the border. The media coverage almost universally portrayed Barnett as a victim, despite allegations that he was behaving in a racist manner and profiling people. Barnett’s actions and the coverage of them in part motivated the formation of the larger nativist movement.

The tactic of portraying themselves as “victims” of an onslaught of undocumented immigrants has been repeated by many nativist groups, including the Minutemen who’s founder Chris Simcox spoke in Lansing earlier this year. Potok explained that Simcox has repeatedly portrayed himself as the “victim” while appearing extensively in the media, including twenty times on CNN’s Lou Dobbs show alone. Simcox has been portrayed as a reputable source–a self-professed “good guy”–despite the fact that he claims he has seen the Chinese army on the United States-Mexico border and that he has been silent on the issue of white supremacists operating within the Minutemen. During the Minutemen mobilization in 2005, Simcox claimed that the FBI would do background checks to “vet” white supremacists, although no such checks occurred. An SPLC reporter covering the mobilization rather quickly uncovered two members of the National Alliance who admitted that they were participating in part to scout for “sniping” positions to be used in “future operations.” The Minutemen’s initial action got fairly “good” press from their perspective and further motivated additional nativist groups as well as anti-immigrant politicians such as Colorado Representative and current Republican Party presidential candidate Tom Tancredo according to Potok.

Since the Minutemen’s initial operation, the Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked the formation of 250 anti-immigration groups, including 144 that the Center describes as “nativist extremist.” This category includes groups that believe in directly confronting undocumented immigrants and harassing them, with an example being the San Diego Minutemen. Over the past few years, the Center has worked to expose racists and white supremacists within the movement, reporting on Minutemen co-founder Jim Gilchrist’s tolerance for neo-Nazis in his campaign and the fact that he ran on the ticket of George Wallance’s American Independence Party, Proposition 187 campaigner Barbara Coe’s involvement with the Council of Conservative Citizens, Arkansas anti-immigrant activist Joe McCutchen’s anti-Jewish rhetoric and speeches before the Council of Conservative Citizens, and Virginia Abernathy in Arizona who is associated with the Council of Conservative Citizens. Additionally, Potok mentioned how the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has formed a network of “fake” groups to try to show that it is not racist including Choose Black America and You Don’t Speak for Me.

As an example of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “success” in fighting these groups, Potok discussed the Center’s role in the dismantling of the National Alliance. Potok set the context by explaining that the National Alliance had a thirty-year run as a prominent racist group and that its leader–William Pierce–was a fairly sophisticated organizer. However, in July of 2002 Pierce died unexpectedly of cancer and shortly after the Center received a copy of a video in which Pierce railed against other white supremacist groups calling them “freaks and weaklings” and explaining that they were essentially too pathetic to constitute a “movement.” In an article in the Intelligence Report, the Center quoted these comments and similar comments made by his successor at length in an attempt to drive a wedge in the group. This setup a climate of infighting, especially since the organization was funded primarily through the sale of white power music via the groups Resistance Records whose core customer base was repeatedly insulted by Pierce. This article, coupled with a revelation that the group’s “Girls of Resistance Records” calendar featured strippers near the group’s headquarters rather than the exemplarily “Aryan girls” that it claimed, played an important role in fomenting the organization’s split and decline.

Potok concluded his remarks by explaining that it is important to use the media as a way of exposing racist groups and asserting that the media can be an important ally to grassroots groups fighting organized racists. Potok also sees the Southern Poverty Law Center in a similar “ally” role, explaining that they offer resources and background to grassroots organizations that are doing the organizing.

Michigan Klan Member to Speak at Kalamazoo White Supremacist Event

Randy Gray, a Midland County resident who is speaking at Hal Turner’s August 4 white supremacist gathering in Kalamazoo, is a frequent attendee and organizer of white supremacist protests as a member of the Knight’s Party of the Ku Klux Klan.

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When racist radio show host Hal Turner hosts his so-called “rally” in Kalamazoo on August 4, joining him on the list of speakers will be Midland County resident Randy Gray. Gray, on whom the Southern Poverty Law Center said it had no information in a recent article in Between the Lines, is a Ku Klux Klan organizer with the Knight’s Party. As Media Mouse has with Hal Turner and the Michigan-based Christian Identity pastor James Wickstrom, Media Mouse did some research into Randy Gray’s background and his involvement with the organized white supremacist movement.

Randy Gray is referenced in our Far Right in West Michigan Database due to a speech he delivered at the fiftieth anniversary of the Knight’s Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan. Gray spoke on the use of public access television as a recruiting and organizing tool for the white supremacist movement. Since 2005, Gray has filed the paperwork necessary to air the program “This is the Klan” on Midland Community Television. The program, hosted by Thomas Robb and Rachel Pendergraft, is a thirty minute program designed primarily for viewing on the Internet. Additionally, Gray maintains a website listing upcoming programs of interest to the racist movement. On that page the program “Yahweh’s Truth” by Michigan racist James Wickstrom is also listed.

Gray has attended various racist events with and without the Ku Klux Klan in recent years as well. He is quoted in a May 2004 article in the Tennessean in which the Ku Klux Klan planned a rally against a “Gay Day” event at the “Dollywood” theme park. Gray is quoted in the article stating that he organized the protest because the “Gay Day” event is “totally opposite of what theme parks are for,” expressing concern that somehow the theme park was no longer for “families.” That article also says that Gray has organized Klan rallies and protested city council meetings in Newport, Tennessee. Gray was twice (1, 2) kicked out of city council meetings for protesting the city’s permitting process in relation to a Klan protest against the Martin Luther King holiday.

In May of this year, Randy Gray organized a Midland, Michigan “Gas Out” protest (1, 2). In the footage available online Gray did not identify as a klansman, although it did appear linked on a white supremacist news site. The protests that Gray organized in relation to the “gas out” and the “Gay Day” at Dollywood show the degree to which white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan frequently try to steer other conservative movements in a racist direction. This tactic has recently been seen with the white supremacist movement’s focus on the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom. The racist right has taken the murders and shifted made them a “racial” issue, despite police assertions that the murders had nothing to do with race and comments from Christian’s parents that race was not a motivating factor.

Despite this, the case has been taken up by a number of white supremacist groups and is being used as a means of instilling fear of African-Americans in white people. The rhetoric by the racist movement has claimed that the case is an example of “rampant” “black on white crime” that could mean “genocide” for the white race.

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Gray has taken an active role in promoting this view, both speaking at and promoting a rally held in June in Knoxville, Tennessee organized and attended by various white supremacist groups. In a video posted on YouTube to promote the rally, Gray made several racist statements. Gray asserted that America is “becoming a third world cesspool” and arguing that “it is time to wake up white people” to his view. Gray said that the video:

…is an invitation to all of our white brothers and sisters in the United States or in the world, this is an invitation to you to come to Knoxville, TN June 16 from 1 to 3 at the court house and the reason why we are doing this is because we are protesting the black on white crimes that are happening to our people in the United States of America and the world and the media cover-up.

Gray attempted to use fear of allegedly rampant crime epidemic to promote racist conclusions. In the video, Gray holds up a copy of a booklet called “The Color of Crime” by the “New Century Foundation” that purports to prove that African-Americans are more likely to commit violent crimes than white people. However, Gray fails to tell the viewer that the New Century Foundation publishes American Renaissance, a racist publication that has historically functioned as a vehicle for “intellectual” racists and white supremacists to argue and attempt to prove the alleged genetic and moral inferiority of people of color. Gray argues that:

It’s time that people wake up and realize diversity and multiculturalism is a plague on our society. It’s been a plague ever since it started in this country.

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Finally, like the other white supremacists joining Gray at Hal Turner’s upcoming, Gray has not been afraid to argue that violence may perhaps be needed to “protect” the white race:

You really need to, if you don’t already, have a concealed weapon, you need to get one. You need to get the license, you need to get the gun, and our people need to quit becoming the victims and we need to protect our families even if that means having to defend them and having to kill somebody else for self-defense. If that’s what is going to take, then so be it, cause we’re becoming the victims when we’re unarmed.

Racists Planning Rally in Kalamazoo

A “Rally Against Black Gang Terrorism” has been announced for August 4 in Kalamazoo. It is being organized by the nationally known racist Hal Turner and features a line-up of speakers inclluding Michigan-based members of the Ku Klux Klan and the Creativity Movement. An open invitation has been extended by Turner to most prominent racist organizations in the United States.

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A group of white supremacists and other racists are planning a rally in Kalamazoo, Michigan on August 4. The rally–to be held at a currently undisclosed location–is being billed as a “Rally Against Black Gang Terrorism” in response to allegations of attacks on white males by groups of African-Americans.

The rally is being organized by Hal Turner, a nationally known racist who hosts an Internet radio show and who has a history of making extremely racist statements. Even on the comments thread announcing the rally, Turner argues that “Kalamazoo doesn’t need a White Patrol, just a couple Lynchings” in response to a query about whether or not there are White Citizen’s Patrols in Kalamazoo to protect white people until the rally. Turner has extended an invitation to most racist groups to participate in the rally, including the Ku Klux Klan, the National Socialist Movement, the Aryan Nations, White Revolution, the National Alliance, the National Vanguard, the Creativity Movement, and members of the prominent racist website Stormfront.org. Turner will speak at the rally along with other prominent racists including Alex Linder of the racist Vanguard News Network, Michigan-based Pastor James Wickstrom of the racist Christian Identity movement, and Paul Gellar, a talk show host on Hal Turner’s internet radio network. Additionally, a Ku Klux Klan member from Michigan, Randy Gray, will speak at the rally.

At this time, no protest plans have been announced, but it is likely that the rally will be met with significant opposition. Over the past decade, rallies organized by the Ku Klux Klan, the National Socialist Movement, the Council of Conservative Citizens, and other racist groups in Michigan have been largely drowned out by protestors. A 2006 rally at the capitol in Lansing by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement had only 60 NSM members compared to as many as 500 protestors.

The rally announcement appearing on Hal Turner’s website:

“RALLY AGAINST BLACK GANG TERRORISM”

IN KALAMAZOO, MI

15 ATTACKS BY BLACKS AGAINST WHITES CALLS FOR PRO-WHITE RALLY

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: SAT. AUGUST 4, 2007 1:00 PM!

The story which prompted this rally is linked below. Additional rally details as to specific location, hotel, motel, maps etc will be upcoming on this site.

Confirmed Speakers include:

Alex Linder of VNN

Pastor James. P. Wickstrom

Paul Gellar, host of “Think Tank” Radio Show on TRN

Hal Turner

Randy Gray from Michigan

FORMAL PUBLIC INVITATION

I have reached out to NSM, AN, KKK and a host of other speakers. I am now also publicly inviting:

The American National Socialist Workers Party and their Commander, Bill White who is also invited to give speech at the event. I want to use this occasion to put the past behind us, mend fences and get back to the issues we both know need fighting for the benefit of White folks.

In addition, I am also publicly inviting members of Stormfront including Jamie Kelso and Don Black both of whom are also invited to give speeches.

I also invite ALL SKINHEADS, regardless of affiliation or geographic location.

Continuing with the public invitations, I invite WHITE REVOLUTION and its founder Billy Roper who is invited to give a speech.

I invite members of the National Alliance and members of National Vanguard.

I have already confirmed that members of the CREATIVITY MOVEMENT support this effort and are coming. Creators are welcome to attend and I urge Creators in the Chicago area to use this event to reinvigorate your local crews after some troubles set you apart for awhile.

Finally, I invite all other pro-White groups not heretofore mentioned, and all unaffiliated pro-white individuals. I mean no disrespect by omitting group names, but all of you know the list can get huge!

Dress Code:

I prefer all attendess dress in regular, casual clothing. Whether you choose to wear organizational clothing or regalia is strictly up to you but for the benefit of everyone, let’s keep the dress code to what we as typical, hard-working Whites usually wear.

SIGNS:

You are encouraged to bring large signs expressing your views. Refrain from attaching those signs to any kind of stick or pole because sticks and poles can be used as weapons and we don’t want any of that.

WEAPONS:

If you hold a valid permit to carry a firearm, you may exercise your right to do so if it conforms with Michigan state law. Otherwise, DO NOT bring any weapons of any type. I’m certain there will be a huge police presence and we want the cops to feel safe. After all, WE aren’t the problem, the savages ARE!

Personality Conflicts:

There are a lot of strong personalities in our movement and as I can personally attest, some of us may not feel comfortable around certain others. I am putting aside any animosity I may have and if I can do it, we all can. So please don’t be put off by who is or might be coming. We must put all petty differences aside for the benefit of the cause.

For more on organized racism in Michigan, visit Media Mouse’s the Far Right in West Michigan database.

SPLC Releases Annual “Year in Hate” Review, Includes List of “Hate Groups” in Michigan

The Southern Poverty Law Center has released its annual “Year in Hate” report, documenting 844 hate groups in the United States. Of these 844 hate groups, 25 are located in Michigan.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has published its annual “Year in Hate” review. According to its research, there are now a total of 844 hate groups in the United States, a rise of 5% over the year before. This number is a 40% increase since 2000, with the Southern Poverty Law Center attributing much of this increase to the use of immigration as an issue to gain recruits. While much of the white supremacist right has been in disarray with infighting, deaths of old leaders, and no single group dominating the scene, there has been a “breathtakingly rapid rise of a right-wing anti-immigration movement made up of groups that are xenophobic but mostly stop short of the open racial hatred espoused by hate groups.” The report cites the formation of 250 nativist groups since 2005 and argues that these groups are becoming more violent.

Along with their annual review of hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has updated their “Hate Group Map” that documents hate groups across the United States. According to that map, Michigan is home to 25 hate groups (the second highest total in the Midwest after Ohio) encompassing groups ideologically aligned with the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi, white nationalist, Christian Identity, and “black separatist” movements. The latter category, has been a subject of some contention within the left, with some arguing that groups such as the Nation of Islam and other “black separatist” groups should not be included amongst historically violent groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. In response to these criticism, the Southern Poverty Law Center states that it “recognizes that much black racism in America is, at least in part, a response to centuries of white racism” and as such must be confronted.

Many of the groups listed in Michigan have been written about and profiled by Media Mouse over the past year as part of our “Far Right in West Michigan” database. Among the groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Media Mouse has documented activities by the Council of Conservative Citizens, the Ku Klux Klan, the National Socialist Movement, and Young Americans for Freedom. In addition, we have also documented activities by groups not mentioned in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report including the Heartside Boot Boyz, the European American Association, and the Nazi Low Riders.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s report also mentions the connections between the racist Council of Conservative Citizens and the anti-affirmative action Proposal 2 (Michigan Civil Rights Initiative) that was passed in Michigan. The report states:

Last fall, the CCC’s Michigan chapter head, the Rev. John Raternik, allied with Ward Connerly, a well-known black conservative, to back a state referendum to ban affirmative action. Connerly rejected calls to denounce the CCC, which has referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity.” The ban passed.

While the report is correct to cite the Council of Conservative Citizens as one of the few groups in Michigan supporting Proposal 2 (the other being the Ku Klux Klan), it gives too much credit to the Council of Conservative Citizens for their “role” in the passage of the measure. Aside from a rally overshadowed by protestors and a letter writing campaign that resulted in a few letters printed in newspapers, the Council of Conservative Citizens did little organizing around the issue. It also neglected to mention that Connerly made a weak public dismissal of the Council of Conservative Citizens in the media, although he did praise the Ku Klux Klan later in the campaign.

The report officially lists the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, the first student group to be listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It was added to the list in response to its anti-gay and anti-immigrant actions, as well as its efforts to eliminate organizations of color on Michigan State University’s campus.

Updates to Far Right Database

Today, Media Mouse made a number of updates to our database tracking the far right in West Michigan. Entries on the Ku Klux Klan and the Council of Conservative Citizens were updated to with more recent information about organizations. In addition, we added entries for two individuals that have been involved in the local religious right, Emilie Wierda and Edgar Prince. Both are members of Holland’s Prince family and have been supporters of the religious right through their individual activism and as part of the family’s Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation. An entry for Blackwater funder and West Michigan native Erik Prince was also updated.