Archive for the ‘Southern Poverty Law Center’ Category

Another Corporate Gift for the Southern Poverty Law Center – National Review

The Wall Street Journal:

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co is planning up to $2 million in donations to human and civil-rights organizations following the recent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. The largest U.S. bank by assets will donate $1 million split between the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League to further their work in tracking, exposing and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations, according to an internal bank memo sent Monday that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

I blogged a bit last week about the decision by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, to spend $1m of shareholders money on a gift to the Southern Poverty Law Center in the wake of those clashes and Trumps less than impressive(to put it mildly) response to them.

Yes, it has been alleged in a series of articles in Harpers Magazine that, for all its undoubted achievements in the past, the SPLC has its, well, issues, but my real focus in last weeks post was the organizations Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists and in particular the inclusion of two names on that list:Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Heres some more on Maajid Nawaz, this time from an article in the Tablet by Lee Smith:

I spoke to Nawaz on the phone in London to ask for his reaction. A bunch of first-world, comfortable liberal Americans who are not Muslims have decided from their comfortable perch to label me, an activist who is working within his Muslim community to push back against extremism, an anti-Muslim extremist.

On the face of it, its difficult to understand why Nawaz was listed as such. As he told me, hes a proud Muslim. I learned Arabic in order to read my holy book, he said. In an Intelligence Squared debate, I defended the proposition that Islam was a religion of peace. This was the same week that the man who attempted to bomb Times Square was sentenced so it wasnt the friendliest New York audience. I hosted Morgan Freeman in a mosque for his documentary The Story of God.

Nawaz takes the SPLC blacklist seriously, he told me, because he believes that it has put his life in danger. Theyve put a target on my head, he said. This is what putting people on lists does. When Theo Van Gogh was killed in the Netherlands, a list was stuck to his body that included Ayaan Hirsi Alis name. It was a hit list. When Bangladeshi reformers were hacked to death by jihadist terrorists, they were working off lists. Only fascists produce lists.

And its not as if SPLC needs the cash.

Politico:

The organization has been criticized for spending more of its money on fundraising and overhead and less on litigation than comparable groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. And it has taken flak for amassing a huge endowmentmore than $200 millionthat is disproportionately large for its operating costs. SPLC President Richard Cohen defends the endowment as necessary to ensure the group can survive legal battles that might last for years. (As for Dees himself, he made $337,000 in 2015, according to the watchdog group Charity Navigator; Cohen made $333,000 the same year.) In 1994, the local paper, the Montgomery Advertiser, ran a series investigating the groups marketing, finances and personnel practices that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. (Dees respondedaccording to a transcript from a 1999 Nieman Foundation discussion on journalism about nonprofitsby mobilizing prominent liberal politicians for whom he had raised money to lobby the Pulitzer Board not to award the prize to the Advertiser.)

Other critics say the SPLC picks its causes with its bottom line in mind. In the 1980s, the groups entire legal staff quit to protest Dees obsession with the remnants of the KKKwhich still captured the imagination of the groups liberal donor baseat the expense of lower-profile but more relevant targets. In its marketing, the SPLC still touts seven-figure judgments it has won against Klan organizations, even though the plaintiffs have been able to recoup only a tiny fraction of that from the groups, which possessed paltry assets

And then theres that freedom of expression thing (my emphasis added):

William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell and critic of the SPLC, says the group has wrapped itself in the mantle of the civil rights struggle to engage in partisan political crusading. Time and again, I see the SPLC using the reputation it gained decades ago fighting the Klan as a tool to bludgeon mainstream politically conservative opponents, he says. For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC hate group or extremist designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers, Jacobson adds. It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them.

I suppose defenders of free speech should be grateful that J.P. Morgan Chase has only chosen to throw $500,000 of its shareholders money this organizations way.

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Another Corporate Gift for the Southern Poverty Law Center – National Review

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I9: Southern Poverty Law Center stands behind claims of neo-nazi group in Amana – KCRG

AMANA, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) — The Southern Poverty Law Center is standing behind the accuracy of their “hate group” map. On the SPLC’s map they list, what they call, three hate groups in Iowa. Two of those groups are neo-nazi organizations and they say one, called the Daily Stormer, has a “book club” in Amana. The Executive Director of the Amana Convention and Vistors Bureau, David Rettig, has called on the SPLC to remove their community from the map but at this time it appears the organization has no plans to do so.

SPLC Senior Investigative Writer, Ryan Lenz says there is indeed a neo-nazi group in Amana and adds Rettig’s claims to the contrary are, “wrong.”

Last week I9 discovered documents involving conversations between Daily Stormer members discussing plans to hold a meeting at a restaurant in Amana in 2016. From what I9 has been able to find thus far, the members were not from Amana and only met one time. But still, Lenz says it is fair to say there is an active hate group in Amana.

“The Daily Stormer has designated the Amana book club,” said Lenz. “It is a recognized location where people meet to discuss racist ideas. It doesn’t so much matter where these people are from.”

Lenz says the reason neo-nazis have chosen Amana as a place to visit is because, “they think they can hide there.”

Lenz told I9 he would send us additional documentation that shows the Daily Stormer has a designated book club in Amana but we’re still waiting to receive those documents. I9 also reached out to Rettig concerning what Lenz told us and he maintains they, “do not have a hate group in Amana”.

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I9: Southern Poverty Law Center stands behind claims of neo-nazi group in Amana – KCRG

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Process servers for Southern Poverty Law Center can’t find founder of neo-Nazi website – ABA Journal

Trials & Litigation

Posted August 21, 2017, 12:35 pm CDT

By Debra Cassens Weiss

Andrew Anglin. Photo by BFG101, via Wikimedia Commons.

Process servers hired by the Southern Poverty Law Center are looking for Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer.

They have so far been unsuccessful, but it wasnt for lack of trying, the New York Times reports. Process servers have spoken with his brother, visited his fathers counseling office, driven to his sisters church and staked out an apartment affiliated with him. Papers sent through certified and regular mail have been returned as undeliverable.

The next step will be to publish a notice in a local newspaper, according to David Dinielli, an SPLC lawyer.. The circumstances in which these steps are normally taken is someone owed $7,000 on their credit card bill, Dinielli told the Times. This is not what happens in nationally prominent civil rights litigation.

The SPLC lawsuit claims Anglin unleashed a troll storm against a Jewish real estate agent by publishing articles about her, along with her contact information, and by telling readers to take action against her, according to prior New York Times coverage.

The Montana real estate agent, Tanya Gersh, had asked the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer to disavow her son. She also offered to sell a building owned by the woman.

Its not the only suit against Anglin, according to the Times. Two women injured in the Charlottesville protest sued Anglin and other organizers, while another suit filed by a SiriusXM radio host says he was falsely accused of being the mastermind behind a terrorist bombing, according to a previous New York Times story.

Anglins lawyer, Marc Randazza, told the Times that his client should be easy to find and no one had looked hard enough. Randazza, a First Amendment advocate, says the stories were protected speech.

Theres this belief among the modern left that free speech is for me but not for thee, he told the Times.

Anglin told the Times in an email that he only deals with serious reporters and used an anti-Semitic epithet to describe the newspaper.

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Process servers for Southern Poverty Law Center can’t find founder of neo-Nazi website – ABA Journal

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/21/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

Mother Jones: Tens of thousands of people just showed Nazis what really makes America great.

American Prospect: Why white supremacists stand by Trump, and why he returns the favor.

Think Progress: Rush Limbaugh says white supremacists and the KKK are not the problem, warns of second civil war.

New York Times: In their own words, what some of the key Charlottesville marchers stand for.

Talking Points Memo: Ex-DHS chief Jeh Johnson warns that Confederate statues are now rallying point for hate groups.

Washington Post: The whole point of Confederate monuments is to celebrate white supremacy.

Politico: Some 1,503 Confederate monuments are on display across America, and 179 are in black majority counties.

Salon: Our troll-in-chief has a deep affinity with the alt-right and its Nazi ancestors.

ProPublica: Despite disavowals, leading tech companies help extremist sites monetize hate.

TechCrunch: Google and ProPublica team up to build a national hate-crime database.

BuzzFeed: Twitter grapples with verified white supremacists as other tech companies crack down on hate speech.

Huffington Post: Its not just Trump, federal law enforcement is not very focused on white supremacism.

Raw Story: Is the Trump administration hiring people of color to hold signs at his Phoenix rally?

Right Wing Watch: Kentucky governor links Charlottesville violence to removal of Bible study from schools.

WISN-TV (Milwaukee, WI): Mayor speaks out against planned anti-Muslim rally led by ACT for America.

Seattle Times: Resurgent hate groups have a long history in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest.

Oregonian: Notorious Oregon neo-Nazi takes credit for anti-Semitic freeway signs ahead of 2017 eclipse.

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/21/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

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Lyft partners with Southern Poverty Law Center – The Hill

Lyft is partnering with the Southern Poverty Law Center to protect drivers from white supremacists.

The driving service said in a message to drivers that they were partnering with the nonprofit to provide educational resources for drivers.

Lyft represents all people, including the 66 percent of drivers who identify as a minority and every ride is an opportunity to bring people of different backgrounds together, the company wrote. With white supremacists planning rallies nationwide, we want to share an update on resources to keep drivers said.

Lyft sent a note to some drivers about white supremacists rallies and safety, says it’s partnering with SPLC pic.twitter.com/1ZSkI0DFTa

Uber also sent a message to drivers Friday condemning white supremacists and the violence in Charlottesville, Va., and promised to continue banning supremacists from the service.

uber letter sent to drivers and employees re: nazis pic.twitter.com/1GpG3O0yUj

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Lyft partners with Southern Poverty Law Center – The Hill

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Trump’s Attorney Forwards Email with Neo-Confederate Views – Southern Poverty Law Center

Attorney John Dowd forwarded to conservative media outlets the email he received from Jerome Almon, whose government-conspiracy websites promote the belief that the FBI has been infiltrated by Islamic terrorists, the newspaper said.

The email depicts Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms, equating him to George Washington, The Times reported, and it also likens the Confederacy to the American Revolution against England. Such views are the boilerplate of numerous neo-Confederate and racist groups.

Almon apparently hoped his email would end up in front of President Trump after his explosive and divisive statements this week in the aftermath of last weekends historic and deadly racist confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trumps comments drew praise from former KKK leader David Duke and other racists, but there was quick criticism from several top business executives who abandoned the president, abruptly quitting their spots on two presidential manufacturing and jobs advisory boards, over his views they labeled as racist and divisive.

Meantime, the national discussion continues, with an increasing number of cities from Baltimore to Helena, Montana taking unprecedented steps to remove Confederate War monuments.

The email sent to the White House from Almon, whos African American, said, You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington. There literally is no difference between the two men.

Its unclear if Almons email made it to the Oval Office, but its theme was echoed this week in the explosive comments Trump made about the events in Charlottesville, triggered by an Alt-Right gathering of extremists opposed to the citys planned removal of a Gen. Lee statute.

Dowd received Almons email late Tuesday, after the presidents comments, The Times reported. The presidents personal lawyer then forwarded the email to more than two dozen recipients, including a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security, The Wall Street Journal editorial page and journalists at Fox News and The Washington Times.

This week it’s Robert E. Lee, Trump said, suggesting there was equal blame to be shared between hate group extremists and Alt-Right leaders and counterprotesters representing various ideologies at Charlottesville.

I notice that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down, Trump said. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really have to ask yourself: Where does it stop?

That view from the nations chief executive largely matches the philosophy of the neo-Confederate League of the South and various Klan groups that have protested often with violence the planned removal of Confederacy statues throughout the South.

Almons email, circulated by Dowd, went on to blame the Black Lives Matter movement for deadly violence against police and baldly contended, without a factual basis, that the group is being directed by terrorists, The Times report said.

Photo credit:REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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Will ACT for America Provide An Outlet for the ‘Alt-Right’ Post … – Southern Poverty Law Center

With a spate of event cancellations such as a protestagainst Google and scheduled appearances by Richard Spencer at two major universities ACT for America’s nation-wide America First rallies slated forSeptember 9 may bring the Alt-Rightto the streets once again.

In June, ACT for America thelargest anti-Muslim group in the United States organized simultaneousMarch Against Shariah events across the country which wereattended by a plethora of racist groups, including two of the more prominent groups to appear in Charlottesville: The “blood and soil” fascist group Vanguard America (VA),and the white nationalist Identity Evropa (IE).Always quick to distance itself from racism, ACT sent an email to its followers denouncing the violence in Charlottesville,while at the same time promoting its rallies on September 9, claiming, any organizations or individuals advocating violence or hatred towards anyone based on race, religion, or affiliation are not welcome at this rally.

At the New York City march on June 10, Richard Rivera, a Vanguard Americaspokesperson, attended and spoke to media, telling the Washington Post, I dont believe in having Muslims in the United States. Their culture is incompatible with ours. James Alex Fields, the alleged driver of the car that killed one and injured 20 when he plowed into counter-protesters in Charlottesville was pictured marching with Vanguard America, donning their attire and holding a shield with the VA logo.

Fields with shield second from left.

Identity Evropa, which hada heavy presence in Charlottesville, also attendedvarious ACT rallies on June 10. Identity Evropa is lead by Nathan Damigo, a former Marine corporal who discovered his inner white nationalist by reading the work of Holocaust-denying ex-Klansman David Duke while serving five years for armed robbery (while drunk, he put a gun to the head of a cab driver he thought was Iraqi and stole $43). At ACT’sIndianapolis March Against Shariah, Identity Evropas regional coordinator Jason Richardson spoke. In Orlando, IE members held up a large banner while listening to Holocaust-denier Augustus Sol Invictus and others speak. Damigo himself attending the Roseville, Californiarally.

Nathan Damigo, founder of the white nationalist/identitarian group Identity Evropa, at an ACT For America rally in June.

What attracts white nationalist groups to ACT is the groups vehemently anti-Muslim views. While ACT warns about Sharialaw replacing the Constitution and how Europe is being overrun by Muslims, the rallying cry for the racists who descended on Charlottesville was, You will not replace us! White nationalist Jason Kessler, the organizerof the rally took to Periscope in the week leading up to Charlottesville and stated, These people are trying to replace us with third-world immigrants, they are trying to replace us with Muslims. The closed Facebook group used in part to organize the ACT rallies not only contains posts that are sympathetic to Charlottesville, but also plenty of racist material.

This is not the first time ACT hasattemptedto distance itself from white nationalist groups. Billy Roper, aprominent neo-Nazi for decades, had been officially charged with organizinga JuneACT rally inBatesville, Arkansas; ACTdropped him after the SPLC exposedhis racist past and current beliefs. In March, ACT was forced to fire a prominent chapter leader after remarks about killing Muslims were made public. Considering the common ground between overtly racist groups and ACTfor America, there is very little to indicate that Vanguard America, Identity Evropa and other white nationalists wont flock to the ACT rallies, which will betaking place in over 50 cities across the country.

A flyer designed by Vanguard America (VA). VA was responsible for over 40 flyering drops in 2017 featuring flyers like this one. VA appeared at an ACT For America rally in June, along with other racist ‘alt-right’ groups.

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32 Hate Groups Call Illinois Home, Southern Poverty Law Center Says – NBC Chicago

At a press event that was supposed to focus on infrastructure, President Donald Trump answered questions about violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. He again blamed both sides for violence and described counter-protesters as the “alt-left.” (Published Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017)

From a white power record label in Burbank to an Aryan motorcycle club in Canton, there are 32 active hate groups in the state of Illinois, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centera nonprofit advocating against extremism.

While the nations history is wrought with examples of racism and bigotry, groups like the SPLC are sounding the alarm over current eventssuch as the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. A 32-year-old woman was killed and 15 people were injured after a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters.

Another nonprofit, the Anti-Defamation League, expressed concern ahead of the so-called Unite the Right rally and said it was possibly the largest white supremacist gathering in a decade.

Illinois is no stranger to such demonstrations. In 1978, a neo-Nazi group planned to march in Skokie where a large Jewish population, including Holocaust survivors, resides. The Nazis instead marched in Marquette Park in Chicago where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once lived.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was among those rallying against the Nazis at the time, called it a political awakening in a recent statement rebuking President Donald Trumps failure to squarely blame white supremacists for Virginias spate of violence.

The SPLCs digital Hate Map, an interactive feature on its website cataloging what it calls extremist and fringe groups, has been circulated widely on social media in recent days in response to the events in Charlottesville.

SPLC officials did not respond to request for comment. On its website, the organization details why it has included the groups on its map.

Lonnie Nasatir, the Midwest regional director for the ADL, says hate groups in Illinois today are fluid, often quickly dissolving and hard to track.

Theyre very hard to quantify, he said in a phone interview, adding that the 32 listed by the SPLC is a good ballpark number.

The ADL says white supremacists and extremists have renewed attempts to insert their hatred in a number of towns and cities across the country, placing much of the blame on rhetoric coming from the Trump White House.

The president has faced heavy criticism since his insistence that the Charlottesville violence was stoked by both sides, though he has denounced Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists in scripted comments. Trumps statements, however, have garnered the praise of former KKK grand wizard David Duke and white nationalist icon Richard Spencer.

Unfortunately we didnt get the denunciation we were looking for from the president, Nasatir said. My fear is that theyve (white supremacists) again been emboldened and are feeling empowered to go to the next rally.

Nasatir said groups like the ADL and SPLC are staying vigilant in the fight against extremism and hate. He said his organization is communicating with law enforcement about its findings all the time.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says it does at times investigate domestic hate groups but does not actively track them.

Our focus is not on membership in particular groups or adherence to particular ideologies or beliefs but on criminal activity, said FBI spokeswoman Diane Carbonara. The FBI cannot initiate an investigation based solely on an individuals race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of the First Amendment or other Constitutional rights, and we remain committed to protecting those rights for all Americans.

In interviews given since the chaos in Charlottesville, some marchers said they were only there to protest the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Leewhile others openly professed their racist beliefs.

Still, not everyone agrees with the SPLCs findings. The village of Gurnee, reportedly home to a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, has requested to be removed from the Hate Map.

Gurnee police told the Lake County News-Sun there has been no record of Klan activity in the area since 1987.

The American Family Association, a conservative advocacy group defending natural marriage and resisting the aggressive, radical, homosexual agenda, vehemently denied it is a hate group in a statement Thursday.

Organizations like the AFA, which has two facilities in Illinois, have also said the SPLC lumps right wing organizations in with hate groups.

Nasatir says, citing ADL analysis, a majority of recent extremism-related deaths in America are a result of conservative fringe group activity, but concedes left-leaning organizations are capable of violence and hate as well.

Theres no question there are left forces that are dangerous and we need to be mindful of that, he said. You cant just focus on one.

Published at 9:45 PM CDT on Aug 18, 2017 | Updated at 12:56 AM CDT on Aug 19, 2017

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32 Hate Groups Call Illinois Home, Southern Poverty Law Center Says – NBC Chicago

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Southern Poverty Law Center identifies ‘hate groups’ in Utah – Deseret News

Screenshot, SPLC

Last week, chaos erupted in Charlottesville, Va., when a white nationalist group rallied, sparking protests and violence.

Last week, chaos erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a white nationalist group rallied, sparking protests and violence. Three people were killed, including one protester who was hit by a car and two police officers who died in a helicopter crash.

The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center recently unveiled a map of what it identifies as “hate groups” in America, breaking them down by states.

Ryan Lenz, a senior investigative reporter for the law centers Hatewatch project, told KFOR in Oklahoma City that his team constantly looks for hate groups across the nation.

The team complies the list using publications and websites, law enforcement and civilian reports, and news reports. The groups include anti-LGBT organizations and those who dont believe in interracial marriage.

All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics, the law center explains.

There are 917 “hate groups” nationwide and Utah has three, according to the law center. They are the American Vanguard, the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and the National Socialist Movement.

For comparison, Texas has “55 active racist and separatist groups,” according to The Downtown Austin Patch.

American Vanguard is defined as a white nationalist group, while the National Socialist Movement is a neo-Nazi and National Socialist Movement group.

The FLDS group, listed as being headquartered in Hildale, Utah, is defined by the website as general hate, which means they espouse a variety of rather unique hateful doctrines and beliefs that are not easily categorized, according to the law center.

The mainstream LDS Church, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is headquartered in Salt Lake City and has 15 million members worldwide. This past week, the LDS Church condemned racism and “white supremacist attitudes.”

“We must strive to love one another as Christ loves us; to love all of our neighbors as ourselves, and to put that love into concrete action against violence, hatred and injustice,” the church said in a statement.

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Another Corporate Gift for the Southern Poverty Law Center – National Review

The Wall Street Journal: J.P. Morgan Chase & Co is planning up to $2 million in donations to human and civil-rights organizations following the recent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. The largest U.S. bank by assets will donate $1 million split between the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League to further their work in tracking, exposing and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations, according to an internal bank memo sent Monday that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. I blogged a bit last week about the decision by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, to spend $1m of shareholders money on a gift to the Southern Poverty Law Center in the wake of those clashes and Trumps less than impressive(to put it mildly) response to them. Yes, it has been alleged in a series of articles in Harpers Magazine that, for all its undoubted achievements in the past, the SPLC has its, well, issues, but my real focus in last weeks post was the organizations Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists and in particular the inclusion of two names on that list:Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Heres some more on Maajid Nawaz, this time from an article in the Tablet by Lee Smith: I spoke to Nawaz on the phone in London to ask for his reaction. A bunch of first-world, comfortable liberal Americans who are not Muslims have decided from their comfortable perch to label me, an activist who is working within his Muslim community to push back against extremism, an anti-Muslim extremist. On the face of it, its difficult to understand why Nawaz was listed as such. As he told me, hes a proud Muslim. I learned Arabic in order to read my holy book, he said. In an Intelligence Squared debate, I defended the proposition that Islam was a religion of peace. This was the same week that the man who attempted to bomb Times Square was sentenced so it wasnt the friendliest New York audience. I hosted Morgan Freeman in a mosque for his documentary The Story of God. Nawaz takes the SPLC blacklist seriously, he told me, because he believes that it has put his life in danger. Theyve put a target on my head, he said. This is what putting people on lists does. When Theo Van Gogh was killed in the Netherlands, a list was stuck to his body that included Ayaan Hirsi Alis name. It was a hit list. When Bangladeshi reformers were hacked to death by jihadist terrorists, they were working off lists. Only fascists produce lists. And its not as if SPLC needs the cash. Politico: The organization has been criticized for spending more of its money on fundraising and overhead and less on litigation than comparable groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. And it has taken flak for amassing a huge endowmentmore than $200 millionthat is disproportionately large for its operating costs. SPLC President Richard Cohen defends the endowment as necessary to ensure the group can survive legal battles that might last for years. (As for Dees himself, he made $337,000 in 2015, according to the watchdog group Charity Navigator; Cohen made $333,000 the same year.) In 1994, the local paper, the Montgomery Advertiser, ran a series investigating the groups marketing, finances and personnel practices that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. (Dees respondedaccording to a transcript from a 1999 Nieman Foundation discussion on journalism about nonprofitsby mobilizing prominent liberal politicians for whom he had raised money to lobby the Pulitzer Board not to award the prize to the Advertiser.) Other critics say the SPLC picks its causes with its bottom line in mind. In the 1980s, the groups entire legal staff quit to protest Dees obsession with the remnants of the KKKwhich still captured the imagination of the groups liberal donor baseat the expense of lower-profile but more relevant targets. In its marketing, the SPLC still touts seven-figure judgments it has won against Klan organizations, even though the plaintiffs have been able to recoup only a tiny fraction of that from the groups, which possessed paltry assets And then theres that freedom of expression thing (my emphasis added): William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell and critic of the SPLC, says the group has wrapped itself in the mantle of the civil rights struggle to engage in partisan political crusading. Time and again, I see the SPLC using the reputation it gained decades ago fighting the Klan as a tool to bludgeon mainstream politically conservative opponents, he says. For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC hate group or extremist designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers, Jacobson adds. It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them. I suppose defenders of free speech should be grateful that J.P. Morgan Chase has only chosen to throw $500,000 of its shareholders money this organizations way.

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I9: Southern Poverty Law Center stands behind claims of neo-nazi group in Amana – KCRG

AMANA, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) — The Southern Poverty Law Center is standing behind the accuracy of their “hate group” map. On the SPLC’s map they list, what they call, three hate groups in Iowa. Two of those groups are neo-nazi organizations and they say one, called the Daily Stormer, has a “book club” in Amana. The Executive Director of the Amana Convention and Vistors Bureau, David Rettig, has called on the SPLC to remove their community from the map but at this time it appears the organization has no plans to do so. SPLC Senior Investigative Writer, Ryan Lenz says there is indeed a neo-nazi group in Amana and adds Rettig’s claims to the contrary are, “wrong.” Last week I9 discovered documents involving conversations between Daily Stormer members discussing plans to hold a meeting at a restaurant in Amana in 2016. From what I9 has been able to find thus far, the members were not from Amana and only met one time. But still, Lenz says it is fair to say there is an active hate group in Amana. “The Daily Stormer has designated the Amana book club,” said Lenz. “It is a recognized location where people meet to discuss racist ideas. It doesn’t so much matter where these people are from.” Lenz says the reason neo-nazis have chosen Amana as a place to visit is because, “they think they can hide there.” Lenz told I9 he would send us additional documentation that shows the Daily Stormer has a designated book club in Amana but we’re still waiting to receive those documents. I9 also reached out to Rettig concerning what Lenz told us and he maintains they, “do not have a hate group in Amana”.

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Process servers for Southern Poverty Law Center can’t find founder of neo-Nazi website – ABA Journal

Trials & Litigation Posted August 21, 2017, 12:35 pm CDT By Debra Cassens Weiss Andrew Anglin. Photo by BFG101, via Wikimedia Commons. Process servers hired by the Southern Poverty Law Center are looking for Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer. They have so far been unsuccessful, but it wasnt for lack of trying, the New York Times reports. Process servers have spoken with his brother, visited his fathers counseling office, driven to his sisters church and staked out an apartment affiliated with him. Papers sent through certified and regular mail have been returned as undeliverable. The next step will be to publish a notice in a local newspaper, according to David Dinielli, an SPLC lawyer.. The circumstances in which these steps are normally taken is someone owed $7,000 on their credit card bill, Dinielli told the Times. This is not what happens in nationally prominent civil rights litigation. The SPLC lawsuit claims Anglin unleashed a troll storm against a Jewish real estate agent by publishing articles about her, along with her contact information, and by telling readers to take action against her, according to prior New York Times coverage. The Montana real estate agent, Tanya Gersh, had asked the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer to disavow her son. She also offered to sell a building owned by the woman. Its not the only suit against Anglin, according to the Times. Two women injured in the Charlottesville protest sued Anglin and other organizers, while another suit filed by a SiriusXM radio host says he was falsely accused of being the mastermind behind a terrorist bombing, according to a previous New York Times story. Anglins lawyer, Marc Randazza, told the Times that his client should be easy to find and no one had looked hard enough. Randazza, a First Amendment advocate, says the stories were protected speech. Theres this belief among the modern left that free speech is for me but not for thee, he told the Times. Anglin told the Times in an email that he only deals with serious reporters and used an anti-Semitic epithet to describe the newspaper.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Hatewatch Headlines 8/21/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

Mother Jones: Tens of thousands of people just showed Nazis what really makes America great. American Prospect: Why white supremacists stand by Trump, and why he returns the favor. Think Progress: Rush Limbaugh says white supremacists and the KKK are not the problem, warns of second civil war. New York Times: In their own words, what some of the key Charlottesville marchers stand for. Talking Points Memo: Ex-DHS chief Jeh Johnson warns that Confederate statues are now rallying point for hate groups. Washington Post: The whole point of Confederate monuments is to celebrate white supremacy. Politico: Some 1,503 Confederate monuments are on display across America, and 179 are in black majority counties. Salon: Our troll-in-chief has a deep affinity with the alt-right and its Nazi ancestors. ProPublica: Despite disavowals, leading tech companies help extremist sites monetize hate. TechCrunch: Google and ProPublica team up to build a national hate-crime database. BuzzFeed: Twitter grapples with verified white supremacists as other tech companies crack down on hate speech. Huffington Post: Its not just Trump, federal law enforcement is not very focused on white supremacism. Raw Story: Is the Trump administration hiring people of color to hold signs at his Phoenix rally? Right Wing Watch: Kentucky governor links Charlottesville violence to removal of Bible study from schools. WISN-TV (Milwaukee, WI): Mayor speaks out against planned anti-Muslim rally led by ACT for America. Seattle Times: Resurgent hate groups have a long history in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest. Oregonian: Notorious Oregon neo-Nazi takes credit for anti-Semitic freeway signs ahead of 2017 eclipse.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Lyft partners with Southern Poverty Law Center – The Hill

Lyft is partnering with the Southern Poverty Law Center to protect drivers from white supremacists. The driving service said in a message to drivers that they were partnering with the nonprofit to provide educational resources for drivers. Lyft represents all people, including the 66 percent of drivers who identify as a minority and every ride is an opportunity to bring people of different backgrounds together, the company wrote. With white supremacists planning rallies nationwide, we want to share an update on resources to keep drivers said. Lyft sent a note to some drivers about white supremacists rallies and safety, says it’s partnering with SPLC pic.twitter.com/1ZSkI0DFTa Uber also sent a message to drivers Friday condemning white supremacists and the violence in Charlottesville, Va., and promised to continue banning supremacists from the service. uber letter sent to drivers and employees re: nazis pic.twitter.com/1GpG3O0yUj

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Trump’s Attorney Forwards Email with Neo-Confederate Views – Southern Poverty Law Center

Attorney John Dowd forwarded to conservative media outlets the email he received from Jerome Almon, whose government-conspiracy websites promote the belief that the FBI has been infiltrated by Islamic terrorists, the newspaper said. The email depicts Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms, equating him to George Washington, The Times reported, and it also likens the Confederacy to the American Revolution against England. Such views are the boilerplate of numerous neo-Confederate and racist groups. Almon apparently hoped his email would end up in front of President Trump after his explosive and divisive statements this week in the aftermath of last weekends historic and deadly racist confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trumps comments drew praise from former KKK leader David Duke and other racists, but there was quick criticism from several top business executives who abandoned the president, abruptly quitting their spots on two presidential manufacturing and jobs advisory boards, over his views they labeled as racist and divisive. Meantime, the national discussion continues, with an increasing number of cities from Baltimore to Helena, Montana taking unprecedented steps to remove Confederate War monuments. The email sent to the White House from Almon, whos African American, said, You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington. There literally is no difference between the two men. Its unclear if Almons email made it to the Oval Office, but its theme was echoed this week in the explosive comments Trump made about the events in Charlottesville, triggered by an Alt-Right gathering of extremists opposed to the citys planned removal of a Gen. Lee statute. Dowd received Almons email late Tuesday, after the presidents comments, The Times reported. The presidents personal lawyer then forwarded the email to more than two dozen recipients, including a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security, The Wall Street Journal editorial page and journalists at Fox News and The Washington Times. This week it’s Robert E. Lee, Trump said, suggesting there was equal blame to be shared between hate group extremists and Alt-Right leaders and counterprotesters representing various ideologies at Charlottesville. I notice that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down, Trump said. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really have to ask yourself: Where does it stop? That view from the nations chief executive largely matches the philosophy of the neo-Confederate League of the South and various Klan groups that have protested often with violence the planned removal of Confederacy statues throughout the South. Almons email, circulated by Dowd, went on to blame the Black Lives Matter movement for deadly violence against police and baldly contended, without a factual basis, that the group is being directed by terrorists, The Times report said. Photo credit:REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Will ACT for America Provide An Outlet for the ‘Alt-Right’ Post … – Southern Poverty Law Center

With a spate of event cancellations such as a protestagainst Google and scheduled appearances by Richard Spencer at two major universities ACT for America’s nation-wide America First rallies slated forSeptember 9 may bring the Alt-Rightto the streets once again. In June, ACT for America thelargest anti-Muslim group in the United States organized simultaneousMarch Against Shariah events across the country which wereattended by a plethora of racist groups, including two of the more prominent groups to appear in Charlottesville: The “blood and soil” fascist group Vanguard America (VA),and the white nationalist Identity Evropa (IE).Always quick to distance itself from racism, ACT sent an email to its followers denouncing the violence in Charlottesville,while at the same time promoting its rallies on September 9, claiming, any organizations or individuals advocating violence or hatred towards anyone based on race, religion, or affiliation are not welcome at this rally. At the New York City march on June 10, Richard Rivera, a Vanguard Americaspokesperson, attended and spoke to media, telling the Washington Post, I dont believe in having Muslims in the United States. Their culture is incompatible with ours. James Alex Fields, the alleged driver of the car that killed one and injured 20 when he plowed into counter-protesters in Charlottesville was pictured marching with Vanguard America, donning their attire and holding a shield with the VA logo. Fields with shield second from left. Identity Evropa, which hada heavy presence in Charlottesville, also attendedvarious ACT rallies on June 10. Identity Evropa is lead by Nathan Damigo, a former Marine corporal who discovered his inner white nationalist by reading the work of Holocaust-denying ex-Klansman David Duke while serving five years for armed robbery (while drunk, he put a gun to the head of a cab driver he thought was Iraqi and stole $43). At ACT’sIndianapolis March Against Shariah, Identity Evropas regional coordinator Jason Richardson spoke. In Orlando, IE members held up a large banner while listening to Holocaust-denier Augustus Sol Invictus and others speak. Damigo himself attending the Roseville, Californiarally. Nathan Damigo, founder of the white nationalist/identitarian group Identity Evropa, at an ACT For America rally in June. What attracts white nationalist groups to ACT is the groups vehemently anti-Muslim views. While ACT warns about Sharialaw replacing the Constitution and how Europe is being overrun by Muslims, the rallying cry for the racists who descended on Charlottesville was, You will not replace us! White nationalist Jason Kessler, the organizerof the rally took to Periscope in the week leading up to Charlottesville and stated, These people are trying to replace us with third-world immigrants, they are trying to replace us with Muslims. The closed Facebook group used in part to organize the ACT rallies not only contains posts that are sympathetic to Charlottesville, but also plenty of racist material. This is not the first time ACT hasattemptedto distance itself from white nationalist groups. Billy Roper, aprominent neo-Nazi for decades, had been officially charged with organizinga JuneACT rally inBatesville, Arkansas; ACTdropped him after the SPLC exposedhis racist past and current beliefs. In March, ACT was forced to fire a prominent chapter leader after remarks about killing Muslims were made public. Considering the common ground between overtly racist groups and ACTfor America, there is very little to indicate that Vanguard America, Identity Evropa and other white nationalists wont flock to the ACT rallies, which will betaking place in over 50 cities across the country. A flyer designed by Vanguard America (VA). VA was responsible for over 40 flyering drops in 2017 featuring flyers like this one. VA appeared at an ACT For America rally in June, along with other racist ‘alt-right’ groups.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

32 Hate Groups Call Illinois Home, Southern Poverty Law Center Says – NBC Chicago

At a press event that was supposed to focus on infrastructure, President Donald Trump answered questions about violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. He again blamed both sides for violence and described counter-protesters as the “alt-left.” (Published Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017) From a white power record label in Burbank to an Aryan motorcycle club in Canton, there are 32 active hate groups in the state of Illinois, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centera nonprofit advocating against extremism. While the nations history is wrought with examples of racism and bigotry, groups like the SPLC are sounding the alarm over current eventssuch as the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. A 32-year-old woman was killed and 15 people were injured after a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters. Another nonprofit, the Anti-Defamation League, expressed concern ahead of the so-called Unite the Right rally and said it was possibly the largest white supremacist gathering in a decade. Illinois is no stranger to such demonstrations. In 1978, a neo-Nazi group planned to march in Skokie where a large Jewish population, including Holocaust survivors, resides. The Nazis instead marched in Marquette Park in Chicago where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once lived. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was among those rallying against the Nazis at the time, called it a political awakening in a recent statement rebuking President Donald Trumps failure to squarely blame white supremacists for Virginias spate of violence. The SPLCs digital Hate Map, an interactive feature on its website cataloging what it calls extremist and fringe groups, has been circulated widely on social media in recent days in response to the events in Charlottesville. SPLC officials did not respond to request for comment. On its website, the organization details why it has included the groups on its map. Lonnie Nasatir, the Midwest regional director for the ADL, says hate groups in Illinois today are fluid, often quickly dissolving and hard to track. Theyre very hard to quantify, he said in a phone interview, adding that the 32 listed by the SPLC is a good ballpark number. The ADL says white supremacists and extremists have renewed attempts to insert their hatred in a number of towns and cities across the country, placing much of the blame on rhetoric coming from the Trump White House. The president has faced heavy criticism since his insistence that the Charlottesville violence was stoked by both sides, though he has denounced Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists in scripted comments. Trumps statements, however, have garnered the praise of former KKK grand wizard David Duke and white nationalist icon Richard Spencer. Unfortunately we didnt get the denunciation we were looking for from the president, Nasatir said. My fear is that theyve (white supremacists) again been emboldened and are feeling empowered to go to the next rally. Nasatir said groups like the ADL and SPLC are staying vigilant in the fight against extremism and hate. He said his organization is communicating with law enforcement about its findings all the time. The Federal Bureau of Investigation says it does at times investigate domestic hate groups but does not actively track them. Our focus is not on membership in particular groups or adherence to particular ideologies or beliefs but on criminal activity, said FBI spokeswoman Diane Carbonara. The FBI cannot initiate an investigation based solely on an individuals race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of the First Amendment or other Constitutional rights, and we remain committed to protecting those rights for all Americans. In interviews given since the chaos in Charlottesville, some marchers said they were only there to protest the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Leewhile others openly professed their racist beliefs. Still, not everyone agrees with the SPLCs findings. The village of Gurnee, reportedly home to a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, has requested to be removed from the Hate Map. Gurnee police told the Lake County News-Sun there has been no record of Klan activity in the area since 1987. The American Family Association, a conservative advocacy group defending natural marriage and resisting the aggressive, radical, homosexual agenda, vehemently denied it is a hate group in a statement Thursday. Organizations like the AFA, which has two facilities in Illinois, have also said the SPLC lumps right wing organizations in with hate groups. Nasatir says, citing ADL analysis, a majority of recent extremism-related deaths in America are a result of conservative fringe group activity, but concedes left-leaning organizations are capable of violence and hate as well. Theres no question there are left forces that are dangerous and we need to be mindful of that, he said. You cant just focus on one. Published at 9:45 PM CDT on Aug 18, 2017 | Updated at 12:56 AM CDT on Aug 19, 2017

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Southern Poverty Law Center identifies ‘hate groups’ in Utah – Deseret News

Screenshot, SPLC Last week, chaos erupted in Charlottesville, Va., when a white nationalist group rallied, sparking protests and violence. Last week, chaos erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a white nationalist group rallied, sparking protests and violence. Three people were killed, including one protester who was hit by a car and two police officers who died in a helicopter crash. The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center recently unveiled a map of what it identifies as “hate groups” in America, breaking them down by states. Ryan Lenz, a senior investigative reporter for the law centers Hatewatch project, told KFOR in Oklahoma City that his team constantly looks for hate groups across the nation. The team complies the list using publications and websites, law enforcement and civilian reports, and news reports. The groups include anti-LGBT organizations and those who dont believe in interracial marriage. All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics, the law center explains. There are 917 “hate groups” nationwide and Utah has three, according to the law center. They are the American Vanguard, the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and the National Socialist Movement. For comparison, Texas has “55 active racist and separatist groups,” according to The Downtown Austin Patch. American Vanguard is defined as a white nationalist group, while the National Socialist Movement is a neo-Nazi and National Socialist Movement group. The FLDS group, listed as being headquartered in Hildale, Utah, is defined by the website as general hate, which means they espouse a variety of rather unique hateful doctrines and beliefs that are not easily categorized, according to the law center. The mainstream LDS Church, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is headquartered in Salt Lake City and has 15 million members worldwide. This past week, the LDS Church condemned racism and “white supremacist attitudes.” “We must strive to love one another as Christ loves us; to love all of our neighbors as ourselves, and to put that love into concrete action against violence, hatred and injustice,” the church said in a statement.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed


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