Archive for the ‘Mark Potok’ Category

Anti-Semitism and the myth of misbehaving teenagers – St. Louis … – St. Louis Jewish Light

The vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City in February took place just a mile from our home. And yet, it seemed so distant, both in time and place.

The destruction of Jewish headstones and gravestones evoked thoughts of the Eastern Europe that my ancestors fled many generations ago; not present-day St. Louis.Being Jewish and observing Jewish holidays and traditions, I understand the disease of anti-Semitism that has followed and pursued the Jewish people across generations and geographies.But this understanding was always from a historical perspective, rather than from a first-hand experience.

To my knowledge, I never experienced anti-Semitism, first-hand.I never felt targeted or mistreated for being Jewish.Among my friends and community members, being Jewish was a part of my identity, but it was not a foundation for fear.This was the United States after all: a melting-pot of religious, ethnic and racial diversity.

In other words, the spate of recent attacks and threats against Jewish institutions is something that I have not seen in my lifetime.And I do not seem alone.Other community members, reflecting on decades of history, cannot recall a similar outbreak of anti-Semitic threats and vandalism.

Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, echoed these sentiments, stating that he had not seen anything like this in his more than 20 years at the organization.

After the vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and Rochester were targeted. After the vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, 31 bomb threats were called into various Jewish community centers around the country, although a 19-year old Israeli-American is suspected of being behind the bulk of the threats.

The Anti-Defamation League recently reported that anti-Semitic incidents in the United States rose by more than one-third in 2016. The organizations annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released in late April, reported a total of 1,266 incidents (including assaults, vandalism and harassment) during 2016. Almost a third of those occurred in November and December.

All of this is, quite obviously, deeply troubling and upsetting. But the ease with which a few individuals, using various technologies, can anonymously telephone and target institutions makes these threats at least comprehensible. There will always be the intolerant and hateful. They have always lived among us and always will. This is unfortunate, but it is, all the same, understandable.

What I cannot understand, however, is the utter reluctance of some when repeatedly confronted with such acts of intolerance and hate to dismiss and downplay these acts. After each cemetery was vandalized, the skeptics arose, calling for patience, calling for deliberation. This may not be anti-Semitism. This may not be a hate crime. This could just be teenagers.This could just be youthful indiscretion and intoxication. This could even be a false-flag attack.

In the face of three, successive cemetery attacks and dozens of bomb threats, these arguments are specious at best. But more troubling than the merits of these arguments is the message that it sends to the Jewish community. The message being one of disinterest and abandonment. Absent an arrest, we dont believe you. Call us when there is a confession.

This is not community. Faced with a rash of burglaries, a neighbor does not tell a victimized homeowner that, just maybe, movers emptied the wrong house. Or accuse the homeowner of insurance fraud. The burden of brotherhood should not be so heavy.

These crimes are difficult to solve and, at last glance, investigators had nothing new to report. It is possible, then, that the individuals behind these crimes may never be discovered or caught. But that does not erase what happened. And in the absence of any arrest or confession, it is that much more important to destroy the myth of some misbehaving adolescent. This is all the more so because vandalism against Jewish cemeteries has long been one of the principal arrows in the anti-Semitic quiver. Barring an arrest in the case, those who cling to the notion of innocent unruliness are themselves guilty of perpetuating a dangerous myth.

Charles N. Insler is an attorney and resident of University City.

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Anti-Semitism and the myth of misbehaving teenagers – St. Louis … – St. Louis Jewish Light

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May 12, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Attacks on LGBT Texans are everywhere. Here’s what you can do. – Houston Chronicle

Photo: Rogelio V. Solis, STF

Two dozen anti-gay bills have been filed thus far, seeking to discriminate against LGBT Texans in every sphere, from health care to public accommodation to employment.

Two dozen anti-gay bills have been filed thus far, seeking to…

The message that greeted travelers last week at the bus stop near Montrose and Westheimer was blunt and brutal: “FOLLOW YOUR FELLOW FAGGOTS.”

The homemade poster plastered on the wall of the shelter also featured an image of a lynched man hanging by his neck from a noose, a rainbow butterfly emblazoned on his chest, with his feet dangling below him.

Underneath the incendiary headline, the poster listed several statistics on LGBT suicide rates, which trend significantly higher than those for heterosexuals. The poster contained a logo at the bottom, branding it as the work of “Fascist Solutions.”

A Metro rider told OutSmart Magazine he spotted this anti-gay flier affixed toabusshelter at Westheimerand Stanford in Montrose.

A Metro rider told OutSmart Magazine he spotted this anti-gay flier…

It could only be interpreted as an exhortation for LGBT people to take their own lives.

And as shocking as the image and language might be, they are entirely consistent with the wave of homophobic legislation surging through the current session of the Texas legislature.

TWO DOZEN anti-gay bills have been filed thus far, seeking to discriminate against LGBT Texans in every sphere, from health care to public accommodation to employment.

To read this article in one of Houston’s most-spoken languages, click on the button below.

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The most infamous, Senate Bill 6, seeks to police the restrooms that transgender Texans use, effectively barring them from public spaces. Senate Republicans have been relentless in their pursuit of this legislation, despite the fact that it is vigorously opposed by the Texas Association of Business, the state’s leading business lobby, and that it could cost the state $3 billion in tourism revenues.

When questioned by a fellow legislator about the number of public safety incidents involving transgender individuals, the bill’s champion, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), was forced to admit that there were none.

The Lone Star State’s child welfare system is in crisis, and it desperately needs more foster parents to care for the 22,000 children in the system. Yet HB 3859 would allow faith-based service providers to discriminate against loving LGBT families, preventing them from serving as foster parents. (The bill would also permit providers to refuse to provide services to LGBT foster children.)

And Senate Bill 522 would empower county clerks to refuse to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a clear violation of the equal protection clause.

The lege is lurching toward the home stretch. Because they have been unable to pass standalone bills, lawmakers have been begun to hijack unrelated legislation by loading it down with “religious refusal” amendments. These legislative last gasps provide a dubious fig leaf to cover discrimination, premised on the misguided concept that “religious liberty” allows individuals to pick and choose which laws that they will obey.

AND IN this pitched cultural war being played out on streets of Montrose and in the Texas legislature, transgender Texans have emerged as special targets for vilification.

At a public hearing on Senate Bill 6, the first dozen speakers invited by legislators to testify in support included two organizations classified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center: Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council. The testimony of those speaking in favor of the bill attacked and demeaned the humanity of transgender Texans.

“Listening to elected officials and others tell trans folks that we are less than and that we don’t deserve the same equality as our peers, as our community members, takes a devastating toll on trans Texans,” observes transgender activist Lou Weaver of Houston.

“Listening to elected officials and others tell trans folks that we are less than and that we don’t deserve the same equality as our peers, as our community members, takes a devastating toll on trans Texans,” says activistLou Weaver.

“Listening to elected officials and others tell trans folks that we…

“When our trans students hear that they are not the same as their peers, that their peers should be afraid of them, that they should not be allowed in the same spaces, that takes a psychological toll on them. That affects how they do in school, and that affects their future.”

“When they call us men in dresses, when they accuse us of being predators, molesters or rapists, and they are not stopped, it hurts,” observes Meghan Stabler, a transgender leader in Austin who serves on the national board of The Human Rights Campaign.

“We know who we are, and why. Unless you are trans, you cannot know the journey or struggle. We just ask that others use civility to see us, and not chide us, or bully us, or kill us.”

Such rhetoric can also lead directly to violence and death. In February, Chyna Doll Dupree Gibson, a popular Houston performer in Montrose clubs, was shot 10 times and left to die in the parking lot of a strip mall in New Orleans. Eight transgender Americans have been murdered this year. Last year was the deadliest on record, with 27 transgender American being murdered, the majority of whom were people of color.

An ominous wind is blowing through the Lone Star State, and it doesn’t disquiet only the LGBT community.

AT THE end of April, the Anti-Defamation League released a report showing that hate incidents have jumped 50 percent this year in the southern part of Texas. They cited a “disturbing trend” that included swastikas, Nazi salutes and bomb threats. Nationwide, the ADL has tracked an 86 percent increase in hate incidents in 2017.

In the 34 days following the presidential election, the SPLC tracked 1,094 hate incidents. The largest number of incidents occurred the day after the election, and 37 percent of them directly referenced Trump, his campaign slogans or his infamous remarks about sexual assault.

“The campaign language of the man who would become president sparks hate violence, both before and after the election,” observed SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok.

With his vilification of Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapists, his denigration of women and their appearances, his retweets of white supremacist messages (including one that falsely claimed that black people were responsible for 80 percent of the murders of whites), his promises to block Muslims from entering the country and his encouragement of his supporters in beating up black protesters at his rallies, Trump provided an extraordinary platform for this type of hate speech.

As the standard bearer of a major political party who received wall-to-wall media coverage, he normalized this vicious rhetoric, emboldening extremists to come forward with the kind of hate speech seen on the poster at the Montrose bus stop.

In the Age of Trump, there are still some elected officials who provide inspiration with their examples of courage, integrity and leadership. Prior to the beginning of this legislative session, State Senator Sylvia Garcia vowed to “fight like hell” to keep anti-transgender legislation from passing. She’s lived up to her word, displaying a gutsiness and tenacity that would have made Ann Richard proud.

WHEN FACING the current tsunami of discriminatory legislation and hate speech, LGBT Texans and people of conscience everywhere must take heart from the example of leaders like Senator Garcia.

We must step boldly forward and make the time to do the following:

1) Call your member of the Texas House of Representatives and encourage him or her to vote against HB 2899, the house’s version of the anti-transgender bill, which would also remove protections for the elderly and veterans; and HB3859, which would allow discrimination in child welfare services.

2) Educate yourself at the website of the advocacy group Equality Texas. Sign their pledge to work for a Texas in which all people are treated with dignity and respect and receive legislative alerts when anti-LGBT legislation is coming up for a vote.

3) Join the Texas Freedom Network, a stalwart grassroots organization that has been indefatigable in shining a powerful spotlight on the pernicious effects of legislation discriminating against the LGBT community. They have also assembled a coalition of faith leaders from across the state who have powerfully testified that the concept of religious liberty cannot be perverted to serve as a cover for discrimination against queer Texans.

Sign up for their daily email alerts on recent developments and the latest news articles about hot civil liberties topics.

Andrew Edmonson has served as chair of the Houston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and on the board of the American Marketing Association’s Houston chapter.

Bookmark Gray Matters. It would have made Ann Richards proud.

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Attacks on LGBT Texans are everywhere. Here’s what you can do. – Houston Chronicle

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May 9, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

This Student’s Defense of These Neighborhood Signs is Excellent – ATTN:

“Hate Has No Home Here” may seem like an uncontroversial message that doesn’t need to be defended. But when the time came to stick up for those words, seventh grader Luke Macannuco was ready.

It all started when local resident John Natale submitted a letter to the editor to the Winchester Star questioning neighbors who put signs bearing the “Hate Has No Home Here” message. Natale said the sentiment “is totally uncalled for because it says that Winchester has a hate problem.”

“Mr. Natale is incorrectly assuming that the owners of the sign are finding it necessary to state that there is no hate in their home,” Luke wrote. “But, as the American flag depicted on the sign signifies, the posters are referencing the entire U.S.A., a country that does not tolerate hate in spite of its current leadership.”

1. Question: Who are the haters that you, the sign owner, are referring to? Answer: Bigots who are trying to take away protections for transgender students, deport refugees and build a very expensive wall to keep illegal immigrants out (which is completely pointless and not helping your cause, but I digress).

2. Question: What, or whom, do the haters hate? Answer: Perfectly innocent human beings who happen to be different from the haters.

3. Question: What is the evidence that there is significant hate in our community? Answer: Me getting called homosexual slurs by students and adults alike.

4. Question: Obviously, you are so morally superior that you may declare everyone who disagrees with you a hater (side note: this first part is a statement, not a question). Where, when, and how did you become the Lord High Decider of Morality? Answer: Never. We just put a lawn sign down. Calm down, dude.

The Southern Poverty Law Center found that hate groups defined by the SPLC as any group whose ideology considers another group of human beings as lesser but doesn’t necessarily commit hate crimes are on the rise, climbing from 892 hate groups in 2015 to 917 last year.

The number of anti-Muslim hate groups tripled during that time span, from 34 to 101 in just one year. Mark Potok, an expert in extremism at the SPLC, told ATTN: in an earlier interview that this trend is due to a combination of terrorist attacks committed by Islamic extremists and President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.

From a policy perspective, Luke pointed to several administrative actions that he described as hateful and thus warrant the signage. Those policies include Trump’s proposed travel ban, which would bar immigration from six predominantly Muslim countries and put an indefinite hold on the U.S. refugee program, as well as his pledge to construct a “very expensive wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border in a questionable effort to deter illegal immigration.

Mr. Natale, if youre going to ask us to do you a favor and take the signs down, do humanity a favor and take down your Trump signs,” Luke wrote.

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This Student’s Defense of These Neighborhood Signs is Excellent – ATTN:

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May 3, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Documenting Hate – Weld for Birmingham (blog)

‘Weld’ joins a growing list of news organizations around the country charting the rise of hate speech and acts.

Photo by Harry Metcalfe/Flickr Commons.

It is a well-documented fact that in the days after the presidential election, incidents of hate speech, internet-based threats, or outright real-life violence increased.

In the immediate aftermath of the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) noticed a dramatic jump in hate violence and incidents of harassment and intimidation around the country. At the same time, a wave of incidents of bullying and other kinds of harassment washed over the nations K-12 schools, wrote Mark Potok of the SPLC in the organizations Intelligence Report under the title The Trump Effect.

In its post-election first study, looking at harassment and intimidation in the first 10 days after Trumps election, the SPLC counted 867 hate incidents, some of them amounting to hate crimes, around the country. It collected information from media reports, social media, and through a #ReportHate page set up on the SPLC website, excluding incidents found to be hoaxes.The results were disheartening.Incidents were reported in nearly every state. The largest portion (323 incidents) occurred on university campuses or in K-12 schools. The incidents were dominated by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim incidents (together, 329), but included ones that were anti-black (187), anti-Semitic (100), anti-LGBT (95), anti-woman (40) and white nationalist (32). A small sliver of them (23) were anti-Trump, but the vast majority appeared to be celebrating his election victory.

The SPLC wasnt the only organization to take note of the rise in explicit expressions of hate. For instance, ThinkProgress, a news site offering a progressive perspective, has also been documenting acts of hate connected to the presidents rhetoric. In an article posted February 10, ThinkProgress Senior Religion Reporter Jack Jenkins wrote that Three months ago, ThinkProgress began tracking the wave of hate incidentsthreatening or harassing actions targeted against individuals because of their identitiesthat swept the country in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trumps election as President of the United States. Our goal was to investigate the severity of the vitriol, giving readers a heavily scrutinized, researched vision of what hate looks like in the Trump era. What we found disturbed us: Since November 9, 2016, we have tracked 261 hate incidents across the country.

The most incidents of hate were reported in New York (33), California (27), Texas (25) and Florida (18), ThinkProgress noted. Although ThinkProgress pointed out that its methodology of counting incidents differed from that of the SPLC, resulting in a substantially lower total, yet the number, scope, and severity of hate incidents remains staggering.

Its not surprising, then, that journalists and journalism organizations across the country have taken an interest in documenting the rise of hate. The nonprofit ProPublica began Documenting Hate, a project which the investigative news site explains, arose from the changing climate in America:

The 2016 election left many in America afraid of intolerance and the violence it can inspire. The need for trustworthy facts on the details and frequency of hate crimes and other incidents born of prejudice has never been more urgent.

At this point, there is simply no reliable national data on hate crimes. And no government agency documents lower-level incidents of harassment and intimidation, such as online or real-life bullying. Documenting and understanding all of these incidents from hate-inspired murders to anti-Semitic graffiti to racist online trolling requires new, more creative approaches.

Thats why we have marshaled a national coalition of news organizations, civil-rights groups and technology companies intent on creating a database of reported hate crimes and bias incidents.

The growing list of organizations more than 50 so far contributing to the Documenting Hate project include The New York Times, The Guardian, PBS Newshour, The Boston Globe, NBC News, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, New America Media and, as of this week,Weld: Birminghams Newspaper.

ProPublica has created a form to make it possible for witnesses or victims of hate incidents to report their experience. Reports will be verified before entering a national database that will be made available, with privacy restrictions, to newsrooms and civil rights organizations across the country. The form is not a report to law enforcement or any government agency, as New America Media reported in March. You can find the form at the top of our website as of the publication of this story.

In addition to providing the embedded tool, allowing Weld readers to feed their experiences into the collective database, Welds reporting on hate speech, violence, and other criminal activity will be made available to the national audience through the Documenting Hate initiative.

ProPublica pointed out that with thousands of police departments failing to report alleged or even confirmed hate crimes to the FBI, we lack foundational information about how many such crimes occur in any given year, where they might occur the most and least, who the targets of such crimes tend to be, and how this has changed over time It is impossible to tackle a problem without good data on which to base decisions.

Documenting Hate will help arm citizens and lawmakers with the facts. Reliable data will help local policymakers and law enforcement understand the problem; reporting will make it hard for them to ignore it.

To access the reporting tool, see below.

To learn more about Documenting Hate, visit newamericamedia.org/2017/03/new-tool-helps-track-document-rise-in-hate-incidents.php and projects.propublica.org/graphics/hatecrimes#hatecrime-coverage.

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Documenting Hate – Weld for Birmingham (blog)

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May 3, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Part 2: How three elite journos went along with the SPLC’s ridiculous hate group smear – Immigration Blog (blog)

Part 2: How three elite journos went along with the SPLC’s ridiculous hate group smear

“The press can’t simply report flatfooted a smearing accusation against someone’s loyalty,” said Murray Marder, who did some of the sharpest reporting on [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy in the Washington Post. “The press should ask the accuser, ‘What do you mean? What justification do you have?’ That’s real work, and it’s called journalism.” The Age of Anxiety, by Haynes Johnson

Neither book takes on these complexities nor reflects the vitality that makes immigration such an exciting topic. Worst of all, the authors, especially [Jorge] Ramos, believe that those favoring enforcement of the border and immigration law are racists. This is tripe, an ad hominem attack by authors who can’t face the nuances of the issue they’ve taken on. Sam Quinones in a 2002 Los Angeles Times review of books by Jorge Ramos and Joseph Nevins

Last week we conducted a thought experiment about how journalists would respond if a prominent conservative organization launched an inflammatory attack on the character and morality of a rival liberal group. We said reporters would demand evidence to support the charge. If it proved bogus they would expose the sham, opinion columnists would be primed for outrage, and investigative teams would check for patterns involving similar distortions in the past.

Of course, we should expect the same response if the scenario’s political poles were reversed. But that would be unwise. If you don’t think so, please consider the story of how Jonathan Blitzer of the New Yorker, Nicholas Kulish of the New York Times, and Joel Rose of National Public Radio reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s recent induction of the Center for Immigration Studies to its “hate group” hall of shame.

All three reported the attack as if it were the well-considered and intellectually respectable evaluation of a neutral judge. None subjected it even to the most rudimentary credibility check. None was willing to examine the evidence that the SPLC assembled to justify its claim.

Not the New Yorker, with its usually rigorous fact-checking process. Not the New York Times, whose mission is to present “all the news that’s fit to print”. Not National Public Radio, which professes its reporters’ duty to “rigorously challenge … the claims we encounter” and to “take special care with news that might cause grief or damage reputations.”

The explicit purpose of the hate group tag is to inflict grief and damage reputations. The SPLC’s Mark Potok acknowledged as much in a speech about the radical hate groups strategy: “Our goal is to destroy these groups,” said Potok, who has long been given the too-good-to check treatment by such normally thoughtful members of the east coast media as Terry Gross, host of the popular “Fresh Air” radio program on many NPR stations.

Now come Blitzer, Kulish, and Rose, three sophisticated journalists who have produced a great deal of admirable work. All are Ivy Leaguers Blitzer and Kulish from Columbia and Rose from Brown. All are based in New York. All aided and abetted the SPLC’s latest publicity stunt by simply passing on the smear rather than checking it out.

As a former reporter, and as a contrarian liberal who believes that immigration must be restricted if it is to be successful for our country, I think their work on this story is a case study of the hidebound liberal bias that has long prevailed in New York media’s work on immigration and other social issues. I wish they would come out of their bubble and try to understand the problem Sam Quinones identified in the quote at the top of this post.

Daniel Okrent, the first public editor at the New York Times addressed the underlying problem in a 2004 column. Referring to the paper’s coverage of social issues, he wrote, “If you think the Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you’ve been reading the paper with your eyes closed.”

This slanted view is an expression of a particular sensibility. It is sometimes called the Upper West Side sensibility because its intellectual and cultural home is that part of Manhattan, which not coincidentally is the home of Columbia University.

Nevertheless as a former reporter in Washington, I can affirm that this sensibility is well established there, as well, as we noted in 2013. It is a matter of intuitive liberal convictions that are deeply held and enforced with righteous indignation against those who dissent, particularly if the dissenters are social conservatives.

On stories of immigration, it often dulls reportorial instincts and deadens the capacity for skepticism toward groups of co-religionists like the National Council of La Raza or the Southern Poverty Law Center. As we documented in 2010, the NCLR and the SPLC have teamed up in the defense of illegal immigration. They launched a campaign to “stop the hate” that they claimed was responsible for the defeat of a sweeping immigration reform bill. That campaign was financed with millions of dollars from Manhattan-based charitable foundations, particularly the Carnegie Corporation.

Heidi Beirich Gets the Kid-Gloves Treatment: A Case Study

So now that we have a case study, let’s study the case of the three reporters.

Jonathan Blitzer was the first to report the “hate group” attack. He noted it in passing, in a February story about the newly aggressive Border Patrol under President Trump.

The New York Times was last in, with Nicholas Kulish reporting last week: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has been quick to point out how the Center for Immigration Studies has circulated articles ‘penned by white nationalists, Holocaust deniers, and material from explicitly racist websites’ and added the immigration center to its list of active hate groups.”

In between those two reports came one from NPR’s Joel Rose, who sounded a brief note of skepticism when he posed an obvious question to Heidi Beirich. Beirich has become a darling of liberal groups in her role as SPLC’s hate monitor, hate maven, and chief practitioner of the Orwellian art of “rectifying” a story to make it seem to say whatever fits the message of the day.

But alas, Rose’s check of the accusation went no farther than the accuser: He reported, with all the journalistic rigor of a stenographer in a kangaroo court: “Heidi Beirich says that’s because CIS puts out a weekly newsletter that links to articles the law center considers racist and anti-Semitic.”

At National Public Radio, apparently, what Beirich says needs no examination.

Beirich Targets a Listserv. So you might wonder: What about that newsletter? Well, it’s actually a listserv, an electronic compilation of dozens of opinion pieces about immigration presenting a wide range of views.

The listservs where Beirich claimed to find her smoking-gun proof of CIS hate were transmitted on January 22 and June 1, 2016. They listed dozens of opinion pieces from across the political spectrum. Most were written by immigration skeptics at CIS and elsewhere. Some expressed the views of immigration enthusiasts on the opposite side of the debate from CIS.

The column that Beirich found intolerable in the January 22 listserv was written by a controversial retired psychology professor named Kevin MacDonald, whom The Times of Israel described as “notorious for his theories of Jewish and manipulation of control.”

MacDonald is not the kind of fellow that I would want on my side of any public debate. But the piece on the CIS listserv was not an anti-Semitic rant. It was a critique of the decision by several Jewish organizations to encourage European nations to take in Syrian refugees.

MacDonald wrote: “The major Jewish organizations have certainly been in the forefront welcoming Syrian refugees. … This seems bizarre, given the well-known anti-Jewish, anti-Israel sentiments common among Muslims.”

Here is How Beirich, indignant that CIS “promoted” MacDonald by including the article in the listserv, voiced her objection: “McDonald asks why ‘Jewish organizations’ are promoting ‘the refugee invasion of Europe.'”

Beirich apparently found the term “refugee invasion” repellent. Well, it certainly was harsh. But her attempt to use it as proof that CIS is a hate group cannot pass the laugh test of any serious, fair-minded person. It is silly season material.

By Beirich’s standard that same day’s CIS listserv, by including an article by economist Giovanni Peri, also “promoted” work that contradicted CIS research on the effects of immigration on the labor-market prospects of American workers. And if, as Beirich claims, CIS never says anything nice about immigrants, why did that day’s listserv include a piece titled “How Immigration Has Changed the World For the Better”?

Finally, let’s take a look at the June 1, 2016, CIS listserv and see how it fits the bill for molten lava spewed from the CIS volcano of hate.

Beirich aimed her outrage at item 22 of that day’s 42 opinion pieces. It was written by an obscure fellow named John Friend and published on the website of the right-wing American Free Press.

In order to show the distortion of Beirich’s critique, we include here the section that drew her ire. We use bold to indicate language cited by Beirich :

With the influx of foreigners, many of whom lack basic skills and have almost no education, Western nations have seen increasing crime rates and a total failure of the integration process. So-called refugees are committing rape and other horrific crimes against European women and men in increasing numbers.

After taking offense at Friend’s alarm, Beirich engaged in some sleight of hand as she cited Friend’s claim that the holocaust was “a manufactured narrative full of a wide variety of ridiculous claims.” This is nasty, reprehensible stuff. But it was not in the article listed in the CIS listserv. It was in an entirely different publication.

Moreover, according to Beirich’s risible standard, that same day’s listserv “promoted” a New York Times editorial that condemned Donald Trump’s claim that Mexican-American judge Gonzalo Curiel was biased against him. Of course, Beirich was not about to give CIS credit for promoting the New York Times.

What NPR Left Out. The success of the SPLC gambit to get the press to recite its hate group nonsense is a sad commentary on the willingness of elite reporters to be seduced by culture warriors of the left. They seem incapable of understanding that we at CIS make a conscientious effort to present our immigration skepticism responsibly and honestly, in the spirit of civil, well informed, and rigorous debate.

It is in that spirit that I conclude with an excerpt from Joel Rose’s interview with Mark Krikorian. Rose, who contented himself with Beirich’s malicious charge that CIS promoted anti-Semites, chose not to present Krikorian’s defense as he responded to Rose’s question about the charge:

I couldn’t care less what Heidi thinks. She’s in no position to judge anybody. But of course, anti-Semitism is evil and hating people for not being born here or whatever other characteristic. It is morally wrong. It’s a sin. It’s a manifestation of the sin of pride, the first of the seven deadly sins.

Millions of readers and listeners, lacking the time to do extensive research on complex social issues, take their cues from the New Yorker, the New York Times, and National Public Radio. The story of how these reporters handled the SPLC hate group smear is a story of failure that I believe is deeply rooted in elite journalism circles. That failure fuels the resentment and distrust of many Americans who resent being branded as rubes or fools or haters.

No one would deny that there are truly nasty, malicious, hateful people who want to restrict immigration. But as an old reporter now working at CIS, I think it is discouraging to see that journalists who often show great intelligence and skill in reporting on stories around the world miss the mark so badly on the immigration story here at home. It is a big story, endlessly fascinating in its political, cultural, economic, moral, demographic, and historic dimensions.

Those of us on the restrictionist side of the debate believe we bring an important element of public-interest skepticism to a story that would otherwise be dominated by commercial and ethnic interest groups that are far larger and better financed. Fundamentally, we believe that for immigration to be successful, it must have limits, and if those limits are to mean anything they must be enforced.

We would like to see more rigorous work from reporters who now accept at face value the attempts of groups like the SPLC to reduce us to a rabble of snarling nativists.

Lance Morrow of Time magazine identified the guilt-by-association fallacy way back in 1980, when he wrote: “Ku Klux Klansmen have paraded around Florida lately, dispensing their old nativist bile and giving a bad name to an argument that has more thoughtful and respectable proponents.”

The positions of CIS should certainly be subject to critique by those on the other side of the immigration debate. But they should be more thoughtful and respectable than those of Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok of the SPLC.

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Part 2: How three elite journos went along with the SPLC’s ridiculous hate group smear – Immigration Blog (blog)

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

How Oklahoma City bombing changed a nation – NEWS.com.au

The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995 is the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history; this documentary explores how a series of deadly encounters between American citizens and federal law enforcement – including the standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco – led to it.

Oklahoma City police pay tribute to those killed in April, 1995.

NAVIGATING through the tangled wires, and coagulated pools of blood, in what used to be the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, police inspector Jerry Flowers knew that everything had changed that day.

The date was April 19, 1995, and the event was the Oklahoma City bombing; the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history.

We could hear people screaming. We could hear them screaming, we could hear them crying. You just couldnt see them because it was so dark, inspector Flowers said in Oklahoma City, a critically-acclaimed documentary just released on Netflix 22 years after the attack.

In total, 168 people lost their lives that day, 19 of those were children who were in daycare.

Sheriff Dept. personnel assist a child and woman injured in the bomb blast. Picture: Steve Gooch.Source:AP

The attack changed how Americans perceived terrorism at the time and shaped a new era of terrorist activity.

In the early, confused days after the bombing, the media was quick to lay blame on foreign suspects, however Americans were soon shocked to discover the perpetrator was one of their own Timothy McVeigh, a man driven by anti-government sentiments.

Experts say todays youth have much in common with him.

That us against them mentality very much plays out today, Dr Clarke Jones, a terrorism expert at Australian National University, told news.com.au.

People try and create this picture that theyre under siege by minority groups. There seems to be a real push in the conservative right, and people who are like Timothy McVeigh.

As McVeigh was lead from the Noble County Sheriffs office to a more secure location, and his face was broadcast around the world, a sobering realisation quickly set in.

Journalist Mark Potok told documentary makers that for many, this was the first time they had seen McVeigh.

We understood in a kind of flash there were enemies within this country. Not foreign terrorists, but red-blooded Americans who were engaged in a war against America, he said.

Dr Jones said this realisation shaped America.

The Oklahoma bombing was one of the first considerable instances where a large explosive came from an internal perpetrator.

National security was very much externally focused in relation to threats from foreign countries and there was a realisation that threats could come from within.

For most Americans, this created a sense of betrayal.

MOTIVES FOR THE ATTACK

The news of Timothy McVeighs arrest left the country reeling. He didnt do it on his own Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction but McVeigh was the engineer of the attack and the focus of Americans fury.

The idea that two of their own had knowingly taken the lives of men, women and children was hard to comprehend.

Many questioned how McVeigh went so wrong he felt he needed to attack his own country and countrymen.

Timothy McVeigh is escorted to a waiting van from the Noble County Courthouse in Perry, Oklahoma by FBI agents and local police.Source:News Corp Australia

Timothy McVeigh, hated bullies, and loved guns.Source:News Limited

McVeigh was shaped in large part by his environment.

A tall, skinny kid at school, he was nicknamed Noodle McVeigh. He loved superheroes, had a large comic collection, hated bullies, and absolutely loved guns.

He was extremely passionate about his right to bear arms, but surprisingly he didnt relish the idea of killing. Not until later.

After finishing high school, McVeigh entered the army, where he quickly excelled. However, after being deployed to Iraq for the first Gulf War, he began to question things he didnt feel exhilarated killing Iraqi soldiers.

In Oklahoma City, Mark P otok said: He took a very, very long sniper shot and killed an Iraqi soldier. And he describes seeing this mans head explode. And he could not see the reason for it. He could not really understand what the United States was doing there.

McVeigh was conflicted. He became disillusioned with the government. This was compounded after he returned home and washed out of the Armys Ranger School.

His growing anti-government sentiment and love of guns saw him fall in with the radical right; a mix of white supremacists, extreme Christian fundamentalists and armed survivalist militias.

Two big events turned a reluctant soldier into a man willing to kill.

The Oklahoma City bombing was a direct response to Ruby Ridge in 1992 and the Waco Siege in 1993. At both, radicalised right ideology came under direct attack and armed Christian fundamentalists lost their lives.

If Ruby Ridge was the spark, Waco was the flame.

The Oklahoma bombing took place on the second anniversary of the Waco fire, which marked the end of a 51-day standoff between Branch Davidians and federal agents. The fire was deliberately lit by the Christian fundamentalists 76 people were killed, including over 20 children. Picture: Ron Heflin.Source:AP

Dr Jones believes McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing were influenced by a number of environmental factors.

Their sense of fear and conspiracy, the sense that American ideals were under attack, the way (McVeigh) thought America was under siege, that the country wasnt doing enough to protect citizens hence their belief in their right to carry arms those were the broad things, he said.

McVeigh was executed on the June, 11, 2001, by way of lethal injection. Nichols remains in maximum security at the ADX Supermax in Colorado.

NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT

The idea that an American was behind the countrys worst domestic terror attack is a sobering one. But even more sobering is the fact that history seems to be repeating itself.

Dr Jones said the world is once again buying into the dangerous rhetoric of nationalism.

What the world is doing now, particularly if you think about Donald Trump, is theyre creating this perceived environment that the US is under attack, whether it be from Mexicans coming up from the south or whether it be from Muslim community groups within.

This strategy of focusing anger outwards, I think is deliberate in part. When you get a legitimising of this belief, and its really starting with Trump, theyre creating this nationalistic perspective and this is what really feeds people similar to Timothy McVeigh.

When nationalism, disenfranchisement and anti-government sentiment are mixed it can prove dangerous as McVeigh showed. This mix can lead white supremacists, and other members of the radicalised right, to lash out.

Dr Jones said nationalism legitimises and accentuates the radicalised rights actions. They say, Well if the President is saying were under siege then we need to take action. I dont think theyre taking enough action, so I will. Ill do it now.

Dr Jones believes we will see more attacks in the future.

We will see, in fact we are, the rise of frustrated young people. Youre seeing youths no longer able to cope with whatever their grievances are. If you add that to feelings of insecurity, a nationalistic perspective and theyre legitimising attacks on Muslim groups then well see a lot more of this; not necessarily large scale attacks like the Oklahoma bombing but certainly smaller scale attacks on minority groups.

You cant protect everybody, theres lots of soft targets such as shopping centres, transport networks and the like. Attacks will sort of go hand-in-hand; when you get a young kid kill a police officer, then youd get the retaliatory attack when people think Well we really are under siege from minority groups and we need to take action to protect our country.

Oklahoma City is available to stream on Netflix.

Continue the conversation on Twitter with @raffaella_cicc.

Originally posted here:

How Oklahoma City bombing changed a nation – NEWS.com.au

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Pro-White Fliers Found Call the Cops and Mark Potok …

Andrew Anglin Daily Stormer February 7, 2017

The Holocaust didnt start with lampshades and soap. It started with fliers.

Weve got a new Holocaust on our hands here, people.

No joke.

People are putting out fliers saying that white people have a right to exist!

CALL THE COPS!

First in Connecticut

Norwalk Daily Voice:

Some Newtown Avenue residents found a disturbing sight when they discovered white supremacist fliers on their driveways Monday morning, police said.

Norwalk Police said the fliers were reported to them around 10:30 a.m. Monday.

There is an ongoing investigation, Lt. Terry Blake said. At this point we dont believe these residents were targeted.

He said five fliers were found.

Playing on President Donald Trumps campaign theme of Make America Great Again the fliers called to Make America White Again. The fliers said the white races existence and the future of white children must be secured.

It also printed the website address of a website run by Mike Enoch, who the Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes as an alt-right extremist.

Hm.

I wonder why no one puts out Daily Stormer fliers.

Are you all lazy?

Get on it, promoting us, fam.

Heres another human tragedy, this time in Virginia.

Spotsylvania County resident Gina Terry discovered a white supremacist flier on the way to her childrens school bus stop Monday morning.

The printout had been placed at the end of her driveway, inside a plastic bag held down by two rocks. She said it appeared that the entire neighborhood received copies.

I thankfully didnt open it up until the kids were on the bus, said Terry, 42, who lives in the Creekside subdivision off State Route 3 near Chancellorsville Battlefield.

The flier, which touts a neo-Nazi group called New Order and depicts an image of a swastika, proclaims: Make America WHITE again-and greatness will follow.

It refers to President Donald Trumps promise to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, and states the purpose of the wall is to keep the non-White invaders out. The flier says it is not a bad idea, but militarizing the US/Mexico border would be faster, cheaper and more effective.

The Spotsylvania Sheriffs Office had received four reports of the fliers as of Monday afternoon, Maj. Troy Skebo said. Three Creekside residents called authorities, as did a homeowner on Willow Woods Drive. In addition, a resident of the Smoketree neighborhood near Harrison Crossing told The Free LanceStar that the leaflets had been distributed there.

We are currently investigating the situation, Skebo wrote in an email.

Investigating it for what reason?

This is America, not Deutschcuckistan.

They could literally be printing and distributing KILL ALL NIGGERS fliers and there would be nothing to investigate.

The Fredericksburg Police Department and the Stafford County Sheriffs Office had not received reports of similar fliers.

Terry said a neighbor has organized a town hall-style meeting with the Spotsylvania Sheriffs Office Thursday to discuss the incident.

She and Kate Stafford, 38, who also got the flier, told The Free LanceStar that the Sheriffs Office advised them to simply throw away the leaflets. Terry said a deputy also told her the department would increase patrols in the area.

Im appalled, Terry said. We have a wonderfully diverse neighborhood full of people with different backgrounds and different beliefs. This is a hateful thing to wake up to.

Mark Potok, a senior fellow for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said his organizationwhich tracks hate groupsis seeing more and more of what he called cowardly leafleting by white supremacists. He said there is not much authorities can do because the First Amendment protects such content.

HAHAHAHA!

Cowardly leaflets!

WHAT!

WHAT POTOK??

The fliers reflect the energy that these groups feel after the Trump victory, Potok said, but added that they also show weakness. The great saviors of the white race are basically courageous enough to anonymously throw a pamphlet on someones lawn and run away with their tails between their legs, he said.

Potok, you kike piece of shit.

People lose their jobs because of you.

I run a website that should be making $60,000 a month in ads, but youve blocked my income.

I cant even receive normal donations because of you.

You shut down my mailing address and my bitcoin.

And youre going to call people who resist this cowards?

These boys are heroes. You are the coward, attacking people you know you can get away with attacking, and getting paid huge sums of money to do it. If youre not a coward, why wont you agree to a celebrity boxing match with this writer?

Would you call the anonymous Jews who did terrorism against the Third Reich cowards, I wonder?

The fliers delivered in Spotsylvania include a number for a post office box in Milwaukee. They came with a card featuring a link to New Orders website.

Stafford, whose home is near Chancellor Elementary School, said her husband found the flier at the end of their driveway as he left for work Monday morning. Her neighbors got them, too.

I hope it is just a few racists, but Im worried that its not, she said. Im worried that its much more than that.

Its not a few.

Its millions and rising.

The jig is up.

By the way, I dont know what New Order is, but they sound great.

Id be happy to promote them, they appear to be doing great work.

I think this is their website.

Read more from the original source:

Pro-White Fliers Found Call the Cops and Mark Potok …

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April 29, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Militias, Hate Groups Grow in Response to Minority …

The number of radical hate groups and militias has exploded in recent years in reaction to the changing makeup of America, and new census figures showing the majority of babies born in 2011 were non-white could fuel those simmering tensions, experts who track hate groups warned.

“White supremacist groups have been having a meltdown since the census bureau predicted that non-Hispanic whites would lose the majority by 2050,” said Mark Potok, spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. “The demographic change in this country is the single most important driver in the growth of hate groups and extremist groups over the last few years.”

The data released this week revealed a tipping point in the country’s demographic shift. For the first time in the country’s history, more minority children were born than white children, setting the stage for an eventual non-white majority in America’s population.

The census found that 50.4 percent of births in 2011 were of Hispanic, black, Asian, and other minority children. White babies accounted for 49.5 percent of the country’s newborns.

In addition, more than 49 percent of all children under 5 years old are minorities, the report said.

For white supremacist and radical right-wing groups, the data is especially troubling, and made all the more apparent by the fact that a black man was elected president, Potok said.

“This very real and very significant change is represented in the person of Barack Obama. We’ve of course seen the most remarkable growth in the radical right since 2008, precisely coinciding with Obama’s first three years as president,” he said.

According to the SPLC, the number of radical “anti-government” militia groups increased from 150 to 1,274 during the years of the Obama presidency. There have been more homegrown domestic terrorism attacks by right-wing groups than by international terrorists during his presidency as well, Potok noted.

Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said white supremacist groups have increased their efforts to recruit and plot based on the changing racial makeup of America.

“I think that what we’re seeing is that hate groups, particularly white supremacist groups, are talking a lot about the fact that whites will soon be a minority in this country, that their goal at all costs is to preserve the white race in civilization, which spurs them to recruit more, and have more incendiary rhetoric,” Mayo said.

Mayo cited two recent plots by radical groups in Florida and Minnesota that involved stockpiling weapons for racially-motivated attacks against other Americans.

“These are just examples of people who feel like they are at a point where they have to take action because soon whites will lose power and authority and they have to protect the white race from extinction,” she said.

“We’re not saying that patriot militia groups are made up of klansman,” he said, referring to the Ku Klux Klan. “It’s more diffuse than that. It’s a generalized feeling that ‘this is not the country my Christian white forefathers built. We’ve got to take this country back.’ It’s not rancid straight ahead race hate, but it is very closely tied to race and the changing look of the country.”

The changes in demographic will challenge the political and social landscape of the country, he said. In California, the shift to a non-white majority in 2000 resulted in changes to the Republican Party, which had to shift left to appeal to non-white voters, he said.

Potok pointed out that more young people than ever before, hovering around 95 percent of young voters, approve of interracial relationships and marriage. Though the country is going through a “backlash” against demographic changes, newer generations will come to accept the changes, he said.

“The thing I think to understand is that the radical right is not entirely composed of people who are insane. These are people reacting to real changes in the real world around them,” Potok said.

See the article here:

Militias, Hate Groups Grow in Response to Minority …

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April 25, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

US facing tough times due to changing demographics: American expert – CanIndia News

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Link:

US facing tough times due to changing demographics: American expert – CanIndia News

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April 25, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Anti-Semitism and the myth of misbehaving teenagers – St. Louis … – St. Louis Jewish Light

The vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City in February took place just a mile from our home. And yet, it seemed so distant, both in time and place. The destruction of Jewish headstones and gravestones evoked thoughts of the Eastern Europe that my ancestors fled many generations ago; not present-day St. Louis.Being Jewish and observing Jewish holidays and traditions, I understand the disease of anti-Semitism that has followed and pursued the Jewish people across generations and geographies.But this understanding was always from a historical perspective, rather than from a first-hand experience. To my knowledge, I never experienced anti-Semitism, first-hand.I never felt targeted or mistreated for being Jewish.Among my friends and community members, being Jewish was a part of my identity, but it was not a foundation for fear.This was the United States after all: a melting-pot of religious, ethnic and racial diversity. In other words, the spate of recent attacks and threats against Jewish institutions is something that I have not seen in my lifetime.And I do not seem alone.Other community members, reflecting on decades of history, cannot recall a similar outbreak of anti-Semitic threats and vandalism. Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, echoed these sentiments, stating that he had not seen anything like this in his more than 20 years at the organization. After the vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and Rochester were targeted. After the vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, 31 bomb threats were called into various Jewish community centers around the country, although a 19-year old Israeli-American is suspected of being behind the bulk of the threats. The Anti-Defamation League recently reported that anti-Semitic incidents in the United States rose by more than one-third in 2016. The organizations annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released in late April, reported a total of 1,266 incidents (including assaults, vandalism and harassment) during 2016. Almost a third of those occurred in November and December. All of this is, quite obviously, deeply troubling and upsetting. But the ease with which a few individuals, using various technologies, can anonymously telephone and target institutions makes these threats at least comprehensible. There will always be the intolerant and hateful. They have always lived among us and always will. This is unfortunate, but it is, all the same, understandable. What I cannot understand, however, is the utter reluctance of some when repeatedly confronted with such acts of intolerance and hate to dismiss and downplay these acts. After each cemetery was vandalized, the skeptics arose, calling for patience, calling for deliberation. This may not be anti-Semitism. This may not be a hate crime. This could just be teenagers.This could just be youthful indiscretion and intoxication. This could even be a false-flag attack. In the face of three, successive cemetery attacks and dozens of bomb threats, these arguments are specious at best. But more troubling than the merits of these arguments is the message that it sends to the Jewish community. The message being one of disinterest and abandonment. Absent an arrest, we dont believe you. Call us when there is a confession. This is not community. Faced with a rash of burglaries, a neighbor does not tell a victimized homeowner that, just maybe, movers emptied the wrong house. Or accuse the homeowner of insurance fraud. The burden of brotherhood should not be so heavy. These crimes are difficult to solve and, at last glance, investigators had nothing new to report. It is possible, then, that the individuals behind these crimes may never be discovered or caught. But that does not erase what happened. And in the absence of any arrest or confession, it is that much more important to destroy the myth of some misbehaving adolescent. This is all the more so because vandalism against Jewish cemeteries has long been one of the principal arrows in the anti-Semitic quiver. Barring an arrest in the case, those who cling to the notion of innocent unruliness are themselves guilty of perpetuating a dangerous myth. Charles N. Insler is an attorney and resident of University City.

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May 12, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Attacks on LGBT Texans are everywhere. Here’s what you can do. – Houston Chronicle

Photo: Rogelio V. Solis, STF Two dozen anti-gay bills have been filed thus far, seeking to discriminate against LGBT Texans in every sphere, from health care to public accommodation to employment. Two dozen anti-gay bills have been filed thus far, seeking to… The message that greeted travelers last week at the bus stop near Montrose and Westheimer was blunt and brutal: “FOLLOW YOUR FELLOW FAGGOTS.” The homemade poster plastered on the wall of the shelter also featured an image of a lynched man hanging by his neck from a noose, a rainbow butterfly emblazoned on his chest, with his feet dangling below him. Underneath the incendiary headline, the poster listed several statistics on LGBT suicide rates, which trend significantly higher than those for heterosexuals. The poster contained a logo at the bottom, branding it as the work of “Fascist Solutions.” A Metro rider told OutSmart Magazine he spotted this anti-gay flier affixed toabusshelter at Westheimerand Stanford in Montrose. A Metro rider told OutSmart Magazine he spotted this anti-gay flier… It could only be interpreted as an exhortation for LGBT people to take their own lives. And as shocking as the image and language might be, they are entirely consistent with the wave of homophobic legislation surging through the current session of the Texas legislature. TWO DOZEN anti-gay bills have been filed thus far, seeking to discriminate against LGBT Texans in every sphere, from health care to public accommodation to employment. To read this article in one of Houston’s most-spoken languages, click on the button below. Get Gray Matters sent to your inbox. Sign up now! The most infamous, Senate Bill 6, seeks to police the restrooms that transgender Texans use, effectively barring them from public spaces. Senate Republicans have been relentless in their pursuit of this legislation, despite the fact that it is vigorously opposed by the Texas Association of Business, the state’s leading business lobby, and that it could cost the state $3 billion in tourism revenues. When questioned by a fellow legislator about the number of public safety incidents involving transgender individuals, the bill’s champion, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), was forced to admit that there were none. The Lone Star State’s child welfare system is in crisis, and it desperately needs more foster parents to care for the 22,000 children in the system. Yet HB 3859 would allow faith-based service providers to discriminate against loving LGBT families, preventing them from serving as foster parents. (The bill would also permit providers to refuse to provide services to LGBT foster children.) And Senate Bill 522 would empower county clerks to refuse to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a clear violation of the equal protection clause. The lege is lurching toward the home stretch. Because they have been unable to pass standalone bills, lawmakers have been begun to hijack unrelated legislation by loading it down with “religious refusal” amendments. These legislative last gasps provide a dubious fig leaf to cover discrimination, premised on the misguided concept that “religious liberty” allows individuals to pick and choose which laws that they will obey. AND IN this pitched cultural war being played out on streets of Montrose and in the Texas legislature, transgender Texans have emerged as special targets for vilification. At a public hearing on Senate Bill 6, the first dozen speakers invited by legislators to testify in support included two organizations classified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center: Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council. The testimony of those speaking in favor of the bill attacked and demeaned the humanity of transgender Texans. “Listening to elected officials and others tell trans folks that we are less than and that we don’t deserve the same equality as our peers, as our community members, takes a devastating toll on trans Texans,” observes transgender activist Lou Weaver of Houston. “Listening to elected officials and others tell trans folks that we are less than and that we don’t deserve the same equality as our peers, as our community members, takes a devastating toll on trans Texans,” says activistLou Weaver. “Listening to elected officials and others tell trans folks that we… “When our trans students hear that they are not the same as their peers, that their peers should be afraid of them, that they should not be allowed in the same spaces, that takes a psychological toll on them. That affects how they do in school, and that affects their future.” “When they call us men in dresses, when they accuse us of being predators, molesters or rapists, and they are not stopped, it hurts,” observes Meghan Stabler, a transgender leader in Austin who serves on the national board of The Human Rights Campaign. “We know who we are, and why. Unless you are trans, you cannot know the journey or struggle. We just ask that others use civility to see us, and not chide us, or bully us, or kill us.” Such rhetoric can also lead directly to violence and death. In February, Chyna Doll Dupree Gibson, a popular Houston performer in Montrose clubs, was shot 10 times and left to die in the parking lot of a strip mall in New Orleans. Eight transgender Americans have been murdered this year. Last year was the deadliest on record, with 27 transgender American being murdered, the majority of whom were people of color. An ominous wind is blowing through the Lone Star State, and it doesn’t disquiet only the LGBT community. AT THE end of April, the Anti-Defamation League released a report showing that hate incidents have jumped 50 percent this year in the southern part of Texas. They cited a “disturbing trend” that included swastikas, Nazi salutes and bomb threats. Nationwide, the ADL has tracked an 86 percent increase in hate incidents in 2017. In the 34 days following the presidential election, the SPLC tracked 1,094 hate incidents. The largest number of incidents occurred the day after the election, and 37 percent of them directly referenced Trump, his campaign slogans or his infamous remarks about sexual assault. “The campaign language of the man who would become president sparks hate violence, both before and after the election,” observed SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok. With his vilification of Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapists, his denigration of women and their appearances, his retweets of white supremacist messages (including one that falsely claimed that black people were responsible for 80 percent of the murders of whites), his promises to block Muslims from entering the country and his encouragement of his supporters in beating up black protesters at his rallies, Trump provided an extraordinary platform for this type of hate speech. As the standard bearer of a major political party who received wall-to-wall media coverage, he normalized this vicious rhetoric, emboldening extremists to come forward with the kind of hate speech seen on the poster at the Montrose bus stop. In the Age of Trump, there are still some elected officials who provide inspiration with their examples of courage, integrity and leadership. Prior to the beginning of this legislative session, State Senator Sylvia Garcia vowed to “fight like hell” to keep anti-transgender legislation from passing. She’s lived up to her word, displaying a gutsiness and tenacity that would have made Ann Richard proud. WHEN FACING the current tsunami of discriminatory legislation and hate speech, LGBT Texans and people of conscience everywhere must take heart from the example of leaders like Senator Garcia. We must step boldly forward and make the time to do the following: 1) Call your member of the Texas House of Representatives and encourage him or her to vote against HB 2899, the house’s version of the anti-transgender bill, which would also remove protections for the elderly and veterans; and HB3859, which would allow discrimination in child welfare services. 2) Educate yourself at the website of the advocacy group Equality Texas. Sign their pledge to work for a Texas in which all people are treated with dignity and respect and receive legislative alerts when anti-LGBT legislation is coming up for a vote. 3) Join the Texas Freedom Network, a stalwart grassroots organization that has been indefatigable in shining a powerful spotlight on the pernicious effects of legislation discriminating against the LGBT community. They have also assembled a coalition of faith leaders from across the state who have powerfully testified that the concept of religious liberty cannot be perverted to serve as a cover for discrimination against queer Texans. Sign up for their daily email alerts on recent developments and the latest news articles about hot civil liberties topics. Andrew Edmonson has served as chair of the Houston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and on the board of the American Marketing Association’s Houston chapter. Bookmark Gray Matters. It would have made Ann Richards proud.

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May 9, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

This Student’s Defense of These Neighborhood Signs is Excellent – ATTN:

“Hate Has No Home Here” may seem like an uncontroversial message that doesn’t need to be defended. But when the time came to stick up for those words, seventh grader Luke Macannuco was ready. It all started when local resident John Natale submitted a letter to the editor to the Winchester Star questioning neighbors who put signs bearing the “Hate Has No Home Here” message. Natale said the sentiment “is totally uncalled for because it says that Winchester has a hate problem.” “Mr. Natale is incorrectly assuming that the owners of the sign are finding it necessary to state that there is no hate in their home,” Luke wrote. “But, as the American flag depicted on the sign signifies, the posters are referencing the entire U.S.A., a country that does not tolerate hate in spite of its current leadership.” 1. Question: Who are the haters that you, the sign owner, are referring to? Answer: Bigots who are trying to take away protections for transgender students, deport refugees and build a very expensive wall to keep illegal immigrants out (which is completely pointless and not helping your cause, but I digress). 2. Question: What, or whom, do the haters hate? Answer: Perfectly innocent human beings who happen to be different from the haters. 3. Question: What is the evidence that there is significant hate in our community? Answer: Me getting called homosexual slurs by students and adults alike. 4. Question: Obviously, you are so morally superior that you may declare everyone who disagrees with you a hater (side note: this first part is a statement, not a question). Where, when, and how did you become the Lord High Decider of Morality? Answer: Never. We just put a lawn sign down. Calm down, dude. The Southern Poverty Law Center found that hate groups defined by the SPLC as any group whose ideology considers another group of human beings as lesser but doesn’t necessarily commit hate crimes are on the rise, climbing from 892 hate groups in 2015 to 917 last year. The number of anti-Muslim hate groups tripled during that time span, from 34 to 101 in just one year. Mark Potok, an expert in extremism at the SPLC, told ATTN: in an earlier interview that this trend is due to a combination of terrorist attacks committed by Islamic extremists and President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. From a policy perspective, Luke pointed to several administrative actions that he described as hateful and thus warrant the signage. Those policies include Trump’s proposed travel ban, which would bar immigration from six predominantly Muslim countries and put an indefinite hold on the U.S. refugee program, as well as his pledge to construct a “very expensive wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border in a questionable effort to deter illegal immigration. Mr. Natale, if youre going to ask us to do you a favor and take the signs down, do humanity a favor and take down your Trump signs,” Luke wrote.

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May 3, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Documenting Hate – Weld for Birmingham (blog)

‘Weld’ joins a growing list of news organizations around the country charting the rise of hate speech and acts. Photo by Harry Metcalfe/Flickr Commons. It is a well-documented fact that in the days after the presidential election, incidents of hate speech, internet-based threats, or outright real-life violence increased. In the immediate aftermath of the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) noticed a dramatic jump in hate violence and incidents of harassment and intimidation around the country. At the same time, a wave of incidents of bullying and other kinds of harassment washed over the nations K-12 schools, wrote Mark Potok of the SPLC in the organizations Intelligence Report under the title The Trump Effect. In its post-election first study, looking at harassment and intimidation in the first 10 days after Trumps election, the SPLC counted 867 hate incidents, some of them amounting to hate crimes, around the country. It collected information from media reports, social media, and through a #ReportHate page set up on the SPLC website, excluding incidents found to be hoaxes.The results were disheartening.Incidents were reported in nearly every state. The largest portion (323 incidents) occurred on university campuses or in K-12 schools. The incidents were dominated by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim incidents (together, 329), but included ones that were anti-black (187), anti-Semitic (100), anti-LGBT (95), anti-woman (40) and white nationalist (32). A small sliver of them (23) were anti-Trump, but the vast majority appeared to be celebrating his election victory. The SPLC wasnt the only organization to take note of the rise in explicit expressions of hate. For instance, ThinkProgress, a news site offering a progressive perspective, has also been documenting acts of hate connected to the presidents rhetoric. In an article posted February 10, ThinkProgress Senior Religion Reporter Jack Jenkins wrote that Three months ago, ThinkProgress began tracking the wave of hate incidentsthreatening or harassing actions targeted against individuals because of their identitiesthat swept the country in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trumps election as President of the United States. Our goal was to investigate the severity of the vitriol, giving readers a heavily scrutinized, researched vision of what hate looks like in the Trump era. What we found disturbed us: Since November 9, 2016, we have tracked 261 hate incidents across the country. The most incidents of hate were reported in New York (33), California (27), Texas (25) and Florida (18), ThinkProgress noted. Although ThinkProgress pointed out that its methodology of counting incidents differed from that of the SPLC, resulting in a substantially lower total, yet the number, scope, and severity of hate incidents remains staggering. Its not surprising, then, that journalists and journalism organizations across the country have taken an interest in documenting the rise of hate. The nonprofit ProPublica began Documenting Hate, a project which the investigative news site explains, arose from the changing climate in America: The 2016 election left many in America afraid of intolerance and the violence it can inspire. The need for trustworthy facts on the details and frequency of hate crimes and other incidents born of prejudice has never been more urgent. At this point, there is simply no reliable national data on hate crimes. And no government agency documents lower-level incidents of harassment and intimidation, such as online or real-life bullying. Documenting and understanding all of these incidents from hate-inspired murders to anti-Semitic graffiti to racist online trolling requires new, more creative approaches. Thats why we have marshaled a national coalition of news organizations, civil-rights groups and technology companies intent on creating a database of reported hate crimes and bias incidents. The growing list of organizations more than 50 so far contributing to the Documenting Hate project include The New York Times, The Guardian, PBS Newshour, The Boston Globe, NBC News, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, New America Media and, as of this week,Weld: Birminghams Newspaper. ProPublica has created a form to make it possible for witnesses or victims of hate incidents to report their experience. Reports will be verified before entering a national database that will be made available, with privacy restrictions, to newsrooms and civil rights organizations across the country. The form is not a report to law enforcement or any government agency, as New America Media reported in March. You can find the form at the top of our website as of the publication of this story. In addition to providing the embedded tool, allowing Weld readers to feed their experiences into the collective database, Welds reporting on hate speech, violence, and other criminal activity will be made available to the national audience through the Documenting Hate initiative. ProPublica pointed out that with thousands of police departments failing to report alleged or even confirmed hate crimes to the FBI, we lack foundational information about how many such crimes occur in any given year, where they might occur the most and least, who the targets of such crimes tend to be, and how this has changed over time It is impossible to tackle a problem without good data on which to base decisions. Documenting Hate will help arm citizens and lawmakers with the facts. Reliable data will help local policymakers and law enforcement understand the problem; reporting will make it hard for them to ignore it. To access the reporting tool, see below. To learn more about Documenting Hate, visit newamericamedia.org/2017/03/new-tool-helps-track-document-rise-in-hate-incidents.php and projects.propublica.org/graphics/hatecrimes#hatecrime-coverage.

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May 3, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Part 2: How three elite journos went along with the SPLC’s ridiculous hate group smear – Immigration Blog (blog)

Part 2: How three elite journos went along with the SPLC’s ridiculous hate group smear “The press can’t simply report flatfooted a smearing accusation against someone’s loyalty,” said Murray Marder, who did some of the sharpest reporting on [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy in the Washington Post. “The press should ask the accuser, ‘What do you mean? What justification do you have?’ That’s real work, and it’s called journalism.” The Age of Anxiety, by Haynes Johnson Neither book takes on these complexities nor reflects the vitality that makes immigration such an exciting topic. Worst of all, the authors, especially [Jorge] Ramos, believe that those favoring enforcement of the border and immigration law are racists. This is tripe, an ad hominem attack by authors who can’t face the nuances of the issue they’ve taken on. Sam Quinones in a 2002 Los Angeles Times review of books by Jorge Ramos and Joseph Nevins Last week we conducted a thought experiment about how journalists would respond if a prominent conservative organization launched an inflammatory attack on the character and morality of a rival liberal group. We said reporters would demand evidence to support the charge. If it proved bogus they would expose the sham, opinion columnists would be primed for outrage, and investigative teams would check for patterns involving similar distortions in the past. Of course, we should expect the same response if the scenario’s political poles were reversed. But that would be unwise. If you don’t think so, please consider the story of how Jonathan Blitzer of the New Yorker, Nicholas Kulish of the New York Times, and Joel Rose of National Public Radio reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s recent induction of the Center for Immigration Studies to its “hate group” hall of shame. All three reported the attack as if it were the well-considered and intellectually respectable evaluation of a neutral judge. None subjected it even to the most rudimentary credibility check. None was willing to examine the evidence that the SPLC assembled to justify its claim. Not the New Yorker, with its usually rigorous fact-checking process. Not the New York Times, whose mission is to present “all the news that’s fit to print”. Not National Public Radio, which professes its reporters’ duty to “rigorously challenge … the claims we encounter” and to “take special care with news that might cause grief or damage reputations.” The explicit purpose of the hate group tag is to inflict grief and damage reputations. The SPLC’s Mark Potok acknowledged as much in a speech about the radical hate groups strategy: “Our goal is to destroy these groups,” said Potok, who has long been given the too-good-to check treatment by such normally thoughtful members of the east coast media as Terry Gross, host of the popular “Fresh Air” radio program on many NPR stations. Now come Blitzer, Kulish, and Rose, three sophisticated journalists who have produced a great deal of admirable work. All are Ivy Leaguers Blitzer and Kulish from Columbia and Rose from Brown. All are based in New York. All aided and abetted the SPLC’s latest publicity stunt by simply passing on the smear rather than checking it out. As a former reporter, and as a contrarian liberal who believes that immigration must be restricted if it is to be successful for our country, I think their work on this story is a case study of the hidebound liberal bias that has long prevailed in New York media’s work on immigration and other social issues. I wish they would come out of their bubble and try to understand the problem Sam Quinones identified in the quote at the top of this post. Daniel Okrent, the first public editor at the New York Times addressed the underlying problem in a 2004 column. Referring to the paper’s coverage of social issues, he wrote, “If you think the Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you’ve been reading the paper with your eyes closed.” This slanted view is an expression of a particular sensibility. It is sometimes called the Upper West Side sensibility because its intellectual and cultural home is that part of Manhattan, which not coincidentally is the home of Columbia University. Nevertheless as a former reporter in Washington, I can affirm that this sensibility is well established there, as well, as we noted in 2013. It is a matter of intuitive liberal convictions that are deeply held and enforced with righteous indignation against those who dissent, particularly if the dissenters are social conservatives. On stories of immigration, it often dulls reportorial instincts and deadens the capacity for skepticism toward groups of co-religionists like the National Council of La Raza or the Southern Poverty Law Center. As we documented in 2010, the NCLR and the SPLC have teamed up in the defense of illegal immigration. They launched a campaign to “stop the hate” that they claimed was responsible for the defeat of a sweeping immigration reform bill. That campaign was financed with millions of dollars from Manhattan-based charitable foundations, particularly the Carnegie Corporation. Heidi Beirich Gets the Kid-Gloves Treatment: A Case Study So now that we have a case study, let’s study the case of the three reporters. Jonathan Blitzer was the first to report the “hate group” attack. He noted it in passing, in a February story about the newly aggressive Border Patrol under President Trump. The New York Times was last in, with Nicholas Kulish reporting last week: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has been quick to point out how the Center for Immigration Studies has circulated articles ‘penned by white nationalists, Holocaust deniers, and material from explicitly racist websites’ and added the immigration center to its list of active hate groups.” In between those two reports came one from NPR’s Joel Rose, who sounded a brief note of skepticism when he posed an obvious question to Heidi Beirich. Beirich has become a darling of liberal groups in her role as SPLC’s hate monitor, hate maven, and chief practitioner of the Orwellian art of “rectifying” a story to make it seem to say whatever fits the message of the day. But alas, Rose’s check of the accusation went no farther than the accuser: He reported, with all the journalistic rigor of a stenographer in a kangaroo court: “Heidi Beirich says that’s because CIS puts out a weekly newsletter that links to articles the law center considers racist and anti-Semitic.” At National Public Radio, apparently, what Beirich says needs no examination. Beirich Targets a Listserv. So you might wonder: What about that newsletter? Well, it’s actually a listserv, an electronic compilation of dozens of opinion pieces about immigration presenting a wide range of views. The listservs where Beirich claimed to find her smoking-gun proof of CIS hate were transmitted on January 22 and June 1, 2016. They listed dozens of opinion pieces from across the political spectrum. Most were written by immigration skeptics at CIS and elsewhere. Some expressed the views of immigration enthusiasts on the opposite side of the debate from CIS. The column that Beirich found intolerable in the January 22 listserv was written by a controversial retired psychology professor named Kevin MacDonald, whom The Times of Israel described as “notorious for his theories of Jewish and manipulation of control.” MacDonald is not the kind of fellow that I would want on my side of any public debate. But the piece on the CIS listserv was not an anti-Semitic rant. It was a critique of the decision by several Jewish organizations to encourage European nations to take in Syrian refugees. MacDonald wrote: “The major Jewish organizations have certainly been in the forefront welcoming Syrian refugees. … This seems bizarre, given the well-known anti-Jewish, anti-Israel sentiments common among Muslims.” Here is How Beirich, indignant that CIS “promoted” MacDonald by including the article in the listserv, voiced her objection: “McDonald asks why ‘Jewish organizations’ are promoting ‘the refugee invasion of Europe.'” Beirich apparently found the term “refugee invasion” repellent. Well, it certainly was harsh. But her attempt to use it as proof that CIS is a hate group cannot pass the laugh test of any serious, fair-minded person. It is silly season material. By Beirich’s standard that same day’s CIS listserv, by including an article by economist Giovanni Peri, also “promoted” work that contradicted CIS research on the effects of immigration on the labor-market prospects of American workers. And if, as Beirich claims, CIS never says anything nice about immigrants, why did that day’s listserv include a piece titled “How Immigration Has Changed the World For the Better”? Finally, let’s take a look at the June 1, 2016, CIS listserv and see how it fits the bill for molten lava spewed from the CIS volcano of hate. Beirich aimed her outrage at item 22 of that day’s 42 opinion pieces. It was written by an obscure fellow named John Friend and published on the website of the right-wing American Free Press. In order to show the distortion of Beirich’s critique, we include here the section that drew her ire. We use bold to indicate language cited by Beirich : With the influx of foreigners, many of whom lack basic skills and have almost no education, Western nations have seen increasing crime rates and a total failure of the integration process. So-called refugees are committing rape and other horrific crimes against European women and men in increasing numbers. After taking offense at Friend’s alarm, Beirich engaged in some sleight of hand as she cited Friend’s claim that the holocaust was “a manufactured narrative full of a wide variety of ridiculous claims.” This is nasty, reprehensible stuff. But it was not in the article listed in the CIS listserv. It was in an entirely different publication. Moreover, according to Beirich’s risible standard, that same day’s listserv “promoted” a New York Times editorial that condemned Donald Trump’s claim that Mexican-American judge Gonzalo Curiel was biased against him. Of course, Beirich was not about to give CIS credit for promoting the New York Times. What NPR Left Out. The success of the SPLC gambit to get the press to recite its hate group nonsense is a sad commentary on the willingness of elite reporters to be seduced by culture warriors of the left. They seem incapable of understanding that we at CIS make a conscientious effort to present our immigration skepticism responsibly and honestly, in the spirit of civil, well informed, and rigorous debate. It is in that spirit that I conclude with an excerpt from Joel Rose’s interview with Mark Krikorian. Rose, who contented himself with Beirich’s malicious charge that CIS promoted anti-Semites, chose not to present Krikorian’s defense as he responded to Rose’s question about the charge: I couldn’t care less what Heidi thinks. She’s in no position to judge anybody. But of course, anti-Semitism is evil and hating people for not being born here or whatever other characteristic. It is morally wrong. It’s a sin. It’s a manifestation of the sin of pride, the first of the seven deadly sins. Millions of readers and listeners, lacking the time to do extensive research on complex social issues, take their cues from the New Yorker, the New York Times, and National Public Radio. The story of how these reporters handled the SPLC hate group smear is a story of failure that I believe is deeply rooted in elite journalism circles. That failure fuels the resentment and distrust of many Americans who resent being branded as rubes or fools or haters. No one would deny that there are truly nasty, malicious, hateful people who want to restrict immigration. But as an old reporter now working at CIS, I think it is discouraging to see that journalists who often show great intelligence and skill in reporting on stories around the world miss the mark so badly on the immigration story here at home. It is a big story, endlessly fascinating in its political, cultural, economic, moral, demographic, and historic dimensions. Those of us on the restrictionist side of the debate believe we bring an important element of public-interest skepticism to a story that would otherwise be dominated by commercial and ethnic interest groups that are far larger and better financed. Fundamentally, we believe that for immigration to be successful, it must have limits, and if those limits are to mean anything they must be enforced. We would like to see more rigorous work from reporters who now accept at face value the attempts of groups like the SPLC to reduce us to a rabble of snarling nativists. Lance Morrow of Time magazine identified the guilt-by-association fallacy way back in 1980, when he wrote: “Ku Klux Klansmen have paraded around Florida lately, dispensing their old nativist bile and giving a bad name to an argument that has more thoughtful and respectable proponents.” The positions of CIS should certainly be subject to critique by those on the other side of the immigration debate. But they should be more thoughtful and respectable than those of Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok of the SPLC.

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

How Oklahoma City bombing changed a nation – NEWS.com.au

The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995 is the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history; this documentary explores how a series of deadly encounters between American citizens and federal law enforcement – including the standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco – led to it. Oklahoma City police pay tribute to those killed in April, 1995. NAVIGATING through the tangled wires, and coagulated pools of blood, in what used to be the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, police inspector Jerry Flowers knew that everything had changed that day. The date was April 19, 1995, and the event was the Oklahoma City bombing; the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. We could hear people screaming. We could hear them screaming, we could hear them crying. You just couldnt see them because it was so dark, inspector Flowers said in Oklahoma City, a critically-acclaimed documentary just released on Netflix 22 years after the attack. In total, 168 people lost their lives that day, 19 of those were children who were in daycare. Sheriff Dept. personnel assist a child and woman injured in the bomb blast. Picture: Steve Gooch.Source:AP The attack changed how Americans perceived terrorism at the time and shaped a new era of terrorist activity. In the early, confused days after the bombing, the media was quick to lay blame on foreign suspects, however Americans were soon shocked to discover the perpetrator was one of their own Timothy McVeigh, a man driven by anti-government sentiments. Experts say todays youth have much in common with him. That us against them mentality very much plays out today, Dr Clarke Jones, a terrorism expert at Australian National University, told news.com.au. People try and create this picture that theyre under siege by minority groups. There seems to be a real push in the conservative right, and people who are like Timothy McVeigh. As McVeigh was lead from the Noble County Sheriffs office to a more secure location, and his face was broadcast around the world, a sobering realisation quickly set in. Journalist Mark Potok told documentary makers that for many, this was the first time they had seen McVeigh. We understood in a kind of flash there were enemies within this country. Not foreign terrorists, but red-blooded Americans who were engaged in a war against America, he said. Dr Jones said this realisation shaped America. The Oklahoma bombing was one of the first considerable instances where a large explosive came from an internal perpetrator. National security was very much externally focused in relation to threats from foreign countries and there was a realisation that threats could come from within. For most Americans, this created a sense of betrayal. MOTIVES FOR THE ATTACK The news of Timothy McVeighs arrest left the country reeling. He didnt do it on his own Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction but McVeigh was the engineer of the attack and the focus of Americans fury. The idea that two of their own had knowingly taken the lives of men, women and children was hard to comprehend. Many questioned how McVeigh went so wrong he felt he needed to attack his own country and countrymen. Timothy McVeigh is escorted to a waiting van from the Noble County Courthouse in Perry, Oklahoma by FBI agents and local police.Source:News Corp Australia Timothy McVeigh, hated bullies, and loved guns.Source:News Limited McVeigh was shaped in large part by his environment. A tall, skinny kid at school, he was nicknamed Noodle McVeigh. He loved superheroes, had a large comic collection, hated bullies, and absolutely loved guns. He was extremely passionate about his right to bear arms, but surprisingly he didnt relish the idea of killing. Not until later. After finishing high school, McVeigh entered the army, where he quickly excelled. However, after being deployed to Iraq for the first Gulf War, he began to question things he didnt feel exhilarated killing Iraqi soldiers. In Oklahoma City, Mark P otok said: He took a very, very long sniper shot and killed an Iraqi soldier. And he describes seeing this mans head explode. And he could not see the reason for it. He could not really understand what the United States was doing there. McVeigh was conflicted. He became disillusioned with the government. This was compounded after he returned home and washed out of the Armys Ranger School. His growing anti-government sentiment and love of guns saw him fall in with the radical right; a mix of white supremacists, extreme Christian fundamentalists and armed survivalist militias. Two big events turned a reluctant soldier into a man willing to kill. The Oklahoma City bombing was a direct response to Ruby Ridge in 1992 and the Waco Siege in 1993. At both, radicalised right ideology came under direct attack and armed Christian fundamentalists lost their lives. If Ruby Ridge was the spark, Waco was the flame. The Oklahoma bombing took place on the second anniversary of the Waco fire, which marked the end of a 51-day standoff between Branch Davidians and federal agents. The fire was deliberately lit by the Christian fundamentalists 76 people were killed, including over 20 children. Picture: Ron Heflin.Source:AP Dr Jones believes McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing were influenced by a number of environmental factors. Their sense of fear and conspiracy, the sense that American ideals were under attack, the way (McVeigh) thought America was under siege, that the country wasnt doing enough to protect citizens hence their belief in their right to carry arms those were the broad things, he said. McVeigh was executed on the June, 11, 2001, by way of lethal injection. Nichols remains in maximum security at the ADX Supermax in Colorado. NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT The idea that an American was behind the countrys worst domestic terror attack is a sobering one. But even more sobering is the fact that history seems to be repeating itself. Dr Jones said the world is once again buying into the dangerous rhetoric of nationalism. What the world is doing now, particularly if you think about Donald Trump, is theyre creating this perceived environment that the US is under attack, whether it be from Mexicans coming up from the south or whether it be from Muslim community groups within. This strategy of focusing anger outwards, I think is deliberate in part. When you get a legitimising of this belief, and its really starting with Trump, theyre creating this nationalistic perspective and this is what really feeds people similar to Timothy McVeigh. When nationalism, disenfranchisement and anti-government sentiment are mixed it can prove dangerous as McVeigh showed. This mix can lead white supremacists, and other members of the radicalised right, to lash out. Dr Jones said nationalism legitimises and accentuates the radicalised rights actions. They say, Well if the President is saying were under siege then we need to take action. I dont think theyre taking enough action, so I will. Ill do it now. Dr Jones believes we will see more attacks in the future. We will see, in fact we are, the rise of frustrated young people. Youre seeing youths no longer able to cope with whatever their grievances are. If you add that to feelings of insecurity, a nationalistic perspective and theyre legitimising attacks on Muslim groups then well see a lot more of this; not necessarily large scale attacks like the Oklahoma bombing but certainly smaller scale attacks on minority groups. You cant protect everybody, theres lots of soft targets such as shopping centres, transport networks and the like. Attacks will sort of go hand-in-hand; when you get a young kid kill a police officer, then youd get the retaliatory attack when people think Well we really are under siege from minority groups and we need to take action to protect our country. Oklahoma City is available to stream on Netflix. Continue the conversation on Twitter with @raffaella_cicc.

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Pro-White Fliers Found Call the Cops and Mark Potok …

Andrew Anglin Daily Stormer February 7, 2017 The Holocaust didnt start with lampshades and soap. It started with fliers. Weve got a new Holocaust on our hands here, people. No joke. People are putting out fliers saying that white people have a right to exist! CALL THE COPS! First in Connecticut Norwalk Daily Voice: Some Newtown Avenue residents found a disturbing sight when they discovered white supremacist fliers on their driveways Monday morning, police said. Norwalk Police said the fliers were reported to them around 10:30 a.m. Monday. There is an ongoing investigation, Lt. Terry Blake said. At this point we dont believe these residents were targeted. He said five fliers were found. Playing on President Donald Trumps campaign theme of Make America Great Again the fliers called to Make America White Again. The fliers said the white races existence and the future of white children must be secured. It also printed the website address of a website run by Mike Enoch, who the Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes as an alt-right extremist. Hm. I wonder why no one puts out Daily Stormer fliers. Are you all lazy? Get on it, promoting us, fam. Heres another human tragedy, this time in Virginia. Spotsylvania County resident Gina Terry discovered a white supremacist flier on the way to her childrens school bus stop Monday morning. The printout had been placed at the end of her driveway, inside a plastic bag held down by two rocks. She said it appeared that the entire neighborhood received copies. I thankfully didnt open it up until the kids were on the bus, said Terry, 42, who lives in the Creekside subdivision off State Route 3 near Chancellorsville Battlefield. The flier, which touts a neo-Nazi group called New Order and depicts an image of a swastika, proclaims: Make America WHITE again-and greatness will follow. It refers to President Donald Trumps promise to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, and states the purpose of the wall is to keep the non-White invaders out. The flier says it is not a bad idea, but militarizing the US/Mexico border would be faster, cheaper and more effective. The Spotsylvania Sheriffs Office had received four reports of the fliers as of Monday afternoon, Maj. Troy Skebo said. Three Creekside residents called authorities, as did a homeowner on Willow Woods Drive. In addition, a resident of the Smoketree neighborhood near Harrison Crossing told The Free LanceStar that the leaflets had been distributed there. We are currently investigating the situation, Skebo wrote in an email. Investigating it for what reason? This is America, not Deutschcuckistan. They could literally be printing and distributing KILL ALL NIGGERS fliers and there would be nothing to investigate. The Fredericksburg Police Department and the Stafford County Sheriffs Office had not received reports of similar fliers. Terry said a neighbor has organized a town hall-style meeting with the Spotsylvania Sheriffs Office Thursday to discuss the incident. She and Kate Stafford, 38, who also got the flier, told The Free LanceStar that the Sheriffs Office advised them to simply throw away the leaflets. Terry said a deputy also told her the department would increase patrols in the area. Im appalled, Terry said. We have a wonderfully diverse neighborhood full of people with different backgrounds and different beliefs. This is a hateful thing to wake up to. Mark Potok, a senior fellow for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said his organizationwhich tracks hate groupsis seeing more and more of what he called cowardly leafleting by white supremacists. He said there is not much authorities can do because the First Amendment protects such content. HAHAHAHA! Cowardly leaflets! WHAT! WHAT POTOK?? The fliers reflect the energy that these groups feel after the Trump victory, Potok said, but added that they also show weakness. The great saviors of the white race are basically courageous enough to anonymously throw a pamphlet on someones lawn and run away with their tails between their legs, he said. Potok, you kike piece of shit. People lose their jobs because of you. I run a website that should be making $60,000 a month in ads, but youve blocked my income. I cant even receive normal donations because of you. You shut down my mailing address and my bitcoin. And youre going to call people who resist this cowards? These boys are heroes. You are the coward, attacking people you know you can get away with attacking, and getting paid huge sums of money to do it. If youre not a coward, why wont you agree to a celebrity boxing match with this writer? Would you call the anonymous Jews who did terrorism against the Third Reich cowards, I wonder? The fliers delivered in Spotsylvania include a number for a post office box in Milwaukee. They came with a card featuring a link to New Orders website. Stafford, whose home is near Chancellor Elementary School, said her husband found the flier at the end of their driveway as he left for work Monday morning. Her neighbors got them, too. I hope it is just a few racists, but Im worried that its not, she said. Im worried that its much more than that. Its not a few. Its millions and rising. The jig is up. By the way, I dont know what New Order is, but they sound great. Id be happy to promote them, they appear to be doing great work. I think this is their website.

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April 29, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Militias, Hate Groups Grow in Response to Minority …

The number of radical hate groups and militias has exploded in recent years in reaction to the changing makeup of America, and new census figures showing the majority of babies born in 2011 were non-white could fuel those simmering tensions, experts who track hate groups warned. “White supremacist groups have been having a meltdown since the census bureau predicted that non-Hispanic whites would lose the majority by 2050,” said Mark Potok, spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. “The demographic change in this country is the single most important driver in the growth of hate groups and extremist groups over the last few years.” The data released this week revealed a tipping point in the country’s demographic shift. For the first time in the country’s history, more minority children were born than white children, setting the stage for an eventual non-white majority in America’s population. The census found that 50.4 percent of births in 2011 were of Hispanic, black, Asian, and other minority children. White babies accounted for 49.5 percent of the country’s newborns. In addition, more than 49 percent of all children under 5 years old are minorities, the report said. For white supremacist and radical right-wing groups, the data is especially troubling, and made all the more apparent by the fact that a black man was elected president, Potok said. “This very real and very significant change is represented in the person of Barack Obama. We’ve of course seen the most remarkable growth in the radical right since 2008, precisely coinciding with Obama’s first three years as president,” he said. According to the SPLC, the number of radical “anti-government” militia groups increased from 150 to 1,274 during the years of the Obama presidency. There have been more homegrown domestic terrorism attacks by right-wing groups than by international terrorists during his presidency as well, Potok noted. Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said white supremacist groups have increased their efforts to recruit and plot based on the changing racial makeup of America. “I think that what we’re seeing is that hate groups, particularly white supremacist groups, are talking a lot about the fact that whites will soon be a minority in this country, that their goal at all costs is to preserve the white race in civilization, which spurs them to recruit more, and have more incendiary rhetoric,” Mayo said. Mayo cited two recent plots by radical groups in Florida and Minnesota that involved stockpiling weapons for racially-motivated attacks against other Americans. “These are just examples of people who feel like they are at a point where they have to take action because soon whites will lose power and authority and they have to protect the white race from extinction,” she said. “We’re not saying that patriot militia groups are made up of klansman,” he said, referring to the Ku Klux Klan. “It’s more diffuse than that. It’s a generalized feeling that ‘this is not the country my Christian white forefathers built. We’ve got to take this country back.’ It’s not rancid straight ahead race hate, but it is very closely tied to race and the changing look of the country.” The changes in demographic will challenge the political and social landscape of the country, he said. In California, the shift to a non-white majority in 2000 resulted in changes to the Republican Party, which had to shift left to appeal to non-white voters, he said. Potok pointed out that more young people than ever before, hovering around 95 percent of young voters, approve of interracial relationships and marriage. Though the country is going through a “backlash” against demographic changes, newer generations will come to accept the changes, he said. “The thing I think to understand is that the radical right is not entirely composed of people who are insane. These are people reacting to real changes in the real world around them,” Potok said.

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April 25, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

US facing tough times due to changing demographics: American expert – CanIndia News

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Fair Usage Law

April 25, 2017   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed


Fair Use Disclaimer

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."