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Heidi Beirich: President Trump is stoking white …

He has not only shamelessly exploited a horrible tragedy in Iowa but tweeted out his intention to put the full force of the U.S. State Department behind a white nationalist conspiracy theory.

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The idea of a silent, worldwide genocide against white people has long been a lodestar for white supremacist groups at home and abroad. Trumps tweet last night about South African farmers a complicated situation that racist propagandists reduce to a canary in the coal mine scenario for white people is one of the most startling examples of this president indulging in racist thinking. Three years ago, it was white supremacist Dylann Roof who cited the white genocide fantasy to justify his mass murder of African Americans in Charleston. Today, its the president of the United States.

Since he stepped on the political stage, Donald Trump has electrified the radical right. Through his words and actions, he continues to deliver for what he clearly sees as his core constituency. As a consequence, weve seen a rise in hate crimes, street violence and large public actions organized by white supremacist groups that have been further emboldened by the presidents statements about shithole countries and his policies targeting refugees and immigrants of color.

Elected officials need to condemn this dangerous behavior and do everything in their power to rein in a president who has demonstrated time and time again that there is no level to which he wont sink.

The damage of this presidency will be long-lasting.

Heidi Beirich leads the SPLCs Intelligence Project, which publishes the award-winning Intelligence Report and the Hatewatch blog. She is an expert on various forms of extremism, including the white supremacist, nativist and neo-Confederate movements as well as racism in academia. www.splcenter.org

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September 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

SPLC’s Heidi Beirich: A Character Assassin Under the Banner …

Before Heidi Beirich began working at the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1999, she was a left-wing ideologue preparing for a career in the academy. She was a graduate of UC Berkeley and had earned a doctorate in political science from Purdue, where she pursued her interest in the maladies of “white nationalism and neo-fascism”. She was steeped in the ideology of postmodernism, which regards the history of Western Civilization especially in the United States as an endlessly dreary tale of oppression in the service of white supremacy. As Beirich told ABC News, “I think sometimes Americans forget that this country was founded on white supremacy.”

Those of us who are now alarmed at the extremism of the SPLC should not forget that it once did heroic work against the Ku Klux Klan, winning lawsuits that drove several branches of the hooded fanatics into bankruptcy. From its base in Montgomery, Ala., its fundraising materials solemnly invokea vision of “peace, respect, and understanding”. That is the voice of the admirable SPLC.

Heidi Beirich has been instrumental in building the contemptible side of the SPLC, the side, which, as we reported in 2010, is marked by “a poverty of ideas, a dependence on dishonesty, and a lack of fundamental decency.” She routinely engages in distortion, half-truths, cheap shots, smears, and character assassination. She is the SPLC’s princess of darkness. She is the reason why National Review has written that while the SPLC was “once valuable”, it has become “hateful and vile”.

Beirich directs the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which oversees the Hatewatch blog, which monitors white supremacist and other extremist groups. She also directs the research for the SPLC’s annual list of “hate groups”. It is a well-publicized blacklist, a hall of shame, including some truly awful people like the Klan. But over the past decade Beirich has led an aggressive expansion of the list for the purpose of shaming mainstream socially conservative groups like the Family Research Council and the Center for Immigration Studies (whose staff also includes some moderate liberals like me who think the Democrats have lost their way by renouncing long-held concerns about illegal immigration). As Mark Potok, Beirich’s long-time partner at the SPLC said, “[O]ur aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them.”

Beirich applies the hate-group smear with all the precision and of a juvenile delinquent spray-painting obscenities on a schoolyard wall. She is equally reckless in her designation of extremists. As RealClearPolitics reported last year, “You can find yourself on the SPLC’s ‘hate map’ if you haven’t gotten fully aboard on gay marriage or the Democratic Party’s immigration views. In other words, the [SPLC] classifies individuals and organizations as purveyors of ‘hate’ for holding the same view on marriage espoused by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton until mid-2012.”

Despite her record of reputational rampage, Beirich is highly regarded on the campuses of such elite institutions as Middlebury College. Last year, students at the Vermont school went on a tear after reading the SPLC’s designation of conservative intellectual Charles Murray, whose first wife was Asian-American, as a white nationalist. Chanting insults, setting off fire alarms and shouting Murray down, the students drove him off campus. They also put Middlebury in the center of a discussion on the rise of intolerance for conservative ideas and free speech at colleges across the country.

Looking Behind the Curtain

Despite this record, Beirich and the SPLC are still treated as credible by some elite reporters, most prominently at the New York Times. But other, less ideologically invested reporters, have looked behind the curtain of tolerance at the SPLC’s Montgomery, Ala., headquarters, which is so lavish that locals call it “the poverty palace”.

“Is tough immigration control really a form of hate, or just part of the political conversation?” Politico’s Ben Schreckinger asked last year. “At a time when the line between ‘hate group’ and mainstream politics is getting thinner and the need for productive civil discourse is growing more serious, fanning liberal fears, while a great opportunity for the SPLC, might be a problem for the nation.”

Politico quoted this observation from Cornell law professor William Jacobson: “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. 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. … It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them.”

That of course, was the point of two recent SPLC stunts that prodded two Democrat members of the House of Representatives into demanding that officials in the Department of Homeland Security cancel interviews with the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughan.The interviews, part of the CIS Newsmaker series, were held at the National Press Club, where they were open to the press. They were a June event with ICE acting director Tom Homan and one last week with USCIS director Francis Cissna.

New York Rep. Joseph Crowley and Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer expressed outrage that the officials would meet with a “hate group”. Their protests were shameless, sycophantic exercise in political cowardice. Crowley, who objected to the Homan event, still lost his Democratic primary race a few weeks later, taken down by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But Hoyer, a 79-year-old facing criticism from young guns in his party who say he’s too old and tired to be part of the Democratic leadership, is clinging to power. His vulnerability has made him eager to please the activists who have pushed his party over the immigration-policy cliff by attacking last week’s Cissna interview.

A Case Study of Beirich’s Flagrant Distortions

If you want to understand the nature of Beirich’s effort to reduce the national immigration debate to a shambles, a battleground of character assassination and tribal warfare, a good place to begin is the show of jaw-dropping mendacity that SPLC came up with to prod Hoyer to parrot Beirich’s hate-group designation of CIS.

This stunt involved a flagrant distortion of a 2008 CIS Backgrounder written by David Seminara of CIS. Seminara’s paper detailed the widespread use of sham marriages to obtain a green card, the visa that signifies the right for permanent residence and a path to citizenship.

Seminara was certainly qualified to write about the problem. He had learned about various types of visa fraud during his service as a consular officer in Hungary, Macedonia, and Trinidad. His report included these bullet points:

and

Seminara’s report was a fine piece of investigative reporting. It identified a serious problem that had received little public attention. The issue of marriage fraud leaped into headlines last year when the sister-in-law of one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack that killed 14 and injured 22 was convicted on charges that she had helped arrange the marriage of a couple who had never had a marriage ceremony and never even lived together.

Seminara’s report was a public service. But not to Heidi Beirich, who saw it as an assault on immigration. In her moral universe, to speak unkindly of those who engage in visa fraud is hate speech, an intolerable offense against inclusivity and diversity. And so the SPLC’s condemnation of last week’s CIS interview uncorked the accusation that CIS “staffers and leadership have referred to immigrants as ‘Third-World gold-diggers.'” (Emphasis added.)

It was a distortion based on the cynicism and contempt for basic standards of honesty and decency that are standard procedure for Heidi Beirich and her Hatewatch comrades.

I used to think of Beirich as a culture-wars version of “Saturday Night Live’s” Church Lady, a comic caricature of piety who always had her nose in the air, sniffing for the presence of Satan. But Beirich’s influence with liberals makes that relatively benign assessment impossible. Her hate-group attacks have provoked normally well-intentioned people not only to despise those of us who want to limit immigration, but also to donate millions to support the SPLC’s campaign to drive ideological foes out of the forum of public debate. With her latest stunt, Beirich has reduced two members of Congress to the level of the students who brought shame to Middlebury College.

Now I have a much darker view of Beirich. Her dirty work has convinced me that her historic soulmates did their workfor the notorious French revolutionary tribunals, the bloodthirsty zealots who sent infidels to the guillotine. Now she is limited to the dark but bloodless pleasure of issuing hate-group decrees and watching her stooges rise in furious protest at those who dare to suggest that immigration should not be unlimited.

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UnAmerican Struggle | Movie Clip | Heidi Beirich – YouTube

Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center explains how America was an overtly racist nation until the 60s.

To see the Alt-Right talking about these ideals is not that weird. We have a history of all of these kinds of bigotries, xenophobia, racism. It’s part of our DNA. We don’t like to think about it, but it’s the truth. If you talk to leaders, white nationalist leaders or they call themselves the Alt-Right, the way they will explain themselves is this.

They’ll say, “The things I believe in, a white nation for white people, white supremacy is the way this country always was. In other words, I’m not proposing some kind of new and radical idea, I’m asking to go back to what it was supposed to be, how it was founded, how it was run for a couple of hundred years. What is inexplicable is not that I want this to be a white nation, what’s inexplicable is that you don’t.”

UNAMERICAN STRUGGLE features Heidi Beirich and Naomi Tsu of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Angeles Valenciano of the National Diversity Council, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Executive Director of the Georgia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Sir Maejor Page, President of Greater Atlanta Black Lives Matter.

WRITER/DIRECTOR: Ric Osuna

COMING to DVD and STREAMING on DECEMBER 19th!

Visit The Unamerican Struggle WEBSITE:www.theunamericanstruggle.comVisit The UnAmerican Struggle Facebook page:http://bit.ly/UmAmericanStrglVisit The UnAmerican Struggle Twitter:@UnAmericanStrgl

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August 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Unite the Right rally 2018: Women changing face of white …

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville on Wednesday declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of a violent white nationalist rally that left one person dead and dozens of others injured. (Aug. 8) AP

White nationalist groups gather at Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, for a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017.(Photo: Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar)

The controversial “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year broughttogether a cadre of white nationalists and Neo-Nazis. But, one genderwas noticeably underrepresented: the women of the far-right.

The lack of female supportersat the August 2017 event, which ended in the death of one counterprotester and dozens of injuries, could be attributedto a variety of reasons, including how the leadership of far-right groups hasportrayed women in the media anda culture of excluding women from certain groups and in certain instances advocating for violence against women.

Alt-right activist Richard Spencer, whospoke at theCharlottesville protest,has said he is not sure women should havethe right to vote and tweeted that women are too “vindictive” to handleforeign policy. Andrew Anglin, founder ofthe far-right website The Daily Stormerwho helped publicize last year’s rally,has along historyof posting sexist comments online many of them unsuitable to repeat here.

So, why are women getting more involved this year for the second Unitethe Rightrally Sunday in Washington?

For AvialaeHorton, one of the event’s lead organizers, this year’srally is a way to change the “rhetoric” of the far-right.”Weve wanted everything to be different in terms of our tactics and our approach to this situation than it was last year,” Horton said.

Hortonand “three or four” female friends made up the majority of the women present at last year’s rally where Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car crashed into a crowd. Horton said she wants to make Sunday safer.

“No violence should ever be necessary at any of these events, regardless of your political affiliation and beliefs,” she said.”No violence should ever be instigated, and certainly no one should ever have to lose their lives over a political disagreement.”

Multiple women have been instrumentalinplanning this year’s rally, Horton said.The 21-year-oldsaid the12-person team is almost split between men and women.

Jason Kessler, who obtained the permit for both last year’s and this year’s rally, said having women on the “front lines” of the movement is “invaluable.”

“I’m happy to include exceptional women in volunteer and leadership positions. I’ve been fortunate to have a variety of female volunteers this year,” Kessler said. “I’m proud of the women who’ve volunteered their time and effort to helping make this year’s event possible.”

“Weve wanted everything to be different in terms of our tactics and our approach to this situation than it was last year,” says AvialaeHorton, 21, one of Unite the Right 2018’s lead organizers.(Photo: Courtesy of Avialae S. Horton)

Women getting involved in the leadership of far-right movements such asUnite the Right is still rare, even if they agree with the movement’sbeliefs, said Heidi Beirich, director of theIntelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“In some parts of the movement right now, in the alt-right, the misogyny is so rampant that its even worse than just thinking that women should stay at home and raise a family,” Beirich said. “Theres talk of things like legitimate rape and really egregious misogynistic comments about women. So its interesting to see women playing a role in this Unite the Right reboot.

Beirich said women might be getting involved in the rally because many of the groups who participated last yeararen’t returning this year. Multiple groups facedlawsuitsand other repercussions because of their involvement, in addition to being removed fromsocial media and fundraising platforms. Thatabsence could leave room forwomen to take on leadership roles, Beirich said.

People have definitely left the field, and there are a lot of folks in the alt-right who are not happy with Kessler and, looking back on it, dont think the rally was worth it for the price they paid,” Beirich said. “That opens up some space for other people to be involved, and perhaps thats part of whats happening with these women.

The2017 rally addressed a broad range of racial issues, such as illegal immigration andthe backlash against Confederate statues and memorials. This year’s rally will focus on “white civil rights,” according to Kessler’s permit.

Horton, who identifies as a conservative and a nationalist, said she is willing to work with extreme groups, even thoughsomehavesexist ormisogynistic views, becausethey can all be united behind causes like freedom of speech.

More: One year after Charlottesville tragedy, Heather Heyer’s mother talks about daughter’s death

More: White nationalists have entered mainstream conversation

More: Charlottesville declares state of emergency for rally anniversary

More: What is the alt-right? And how is it using social media to spread its message?

“It isnt necessary for us to agree on every single thing because we have this moderate understanding that were able to have a civil conversation and work together and cooperate without having to agree on all of these ideological differences,” Horton said.

Horton said the shift in this year’stonewill attract different activists on the right, including more women. Shesaid the new rules organizers institutedthis year also will help tone down the event. Attendees are not allowed to bring any weapons this year, and they can carry only American and Confederate flags.

“I think we are appealing to a larger number of people due to the fact that were saying, ‘Hey, were only going to this event to have a civil demonstration, and that is the only intention we have,'” Horton said. “We are not in any way, shape or form encouraging any kind of violence or radicalized rhetoric at this event.”

Kessler agreed.

“Hopefully bringing in more women for European-American advocacy will bring some of the testosterone-fueled fight culture surrounding these rallies down a notch,” Kessler said.

But Beirich called the shift nothing more than a”less obnoxious rebranding” for far-right groups and a tacticto engagemore protesters this year.

Im sure Kessler is thinking, What can we do to attract people to the movement that doesnt seem like scary robes and crosses and torches like last time around?’ Beirich said. “This is just a way to couch what is white supremacy as being less threatening.

Beirich conceded, however, that women holding so many leadership positions in a far-right rally is a shift for white nationalists.

Thats a striking situation, and something you never see, Beirich said.That shows a really different dynamic for Unite the Right this time.

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Hate groups: Critics question SPLC’s list, fundraising …

The hate group meets in a beige strip mall. Its pastor sports an Abe Lincoln beard. The congregation sits in chairs instead of pews. Sometimes they have potlucks after Sunday services.

Scenes from Americas early days rifle-bearing pilgrims walking to church through the snow, the first prayer of the Continental Congress decorate the walls, clues to the churchs stance on the Second Amendment and the role of religion in government. Pastor Warren Mark Campbell is not shy about sharing his beliefs: For example, he says gays who flaunt their sexuality should be prosecuted.

This is Lordship Church. Regional human rights watchdogs seem unaware that it exists. But the Southern Poverty Law Center has named it one of 12 hate groups in Idaho under the category general hate alongside infamous, sometimes violent organizations like the KKK and neo-Nazis.

Founded to fight racism and poverty, the SPLC helped bring about Idahos biggest human rights victory: the court ruling nearly 20 years ago that bankrupted the Aryan Nations. But it has also aroused mistrust over how it compiles the Hate Map, a unique online guide to the locations and ideologies of 954 U.S. groups.

The center, a nonprofit based in Montgomery, Alabama, has grown rich. It has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly from donations solicited online and by mail. The bulk of that money sits in reserve accounts, some of it parked in places like the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, according to the most recent federal tax records available.

Co-founder Morris Dees and President Richard Cohen draw salaries of more than $350,000, according to those records, last updated in 2015. At least nine executives earn more than $140,000 a year.

The SPLCs opulence has drawn criticism for decades. Outsiders and former employees say the practice of putting violent and nonviolent groups on the same list allows Dees and his cohorts to exaggerate the number, power and threat of hate groups. The goal, they say, is to scare donors, especially uninformed liberals, into parting with their money.

Basically, the Southern Poverty Law Center is a fraudulent operation, said Stephen Bright, a Yale University law professor and former director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which focuses on the death penalty, mass incarceration and other issues. The mailings they send out make it seem like, We need your help. And they have all these celebrities who sign off. Oh man, its sad. Because those people are being duped.

And the centers targets accuse the organization of waging war against conservative, politically active Christians.

The SPLC uses hate as a wedge to marginalize us as Christians, Campbell said.

Thats nonsense, said Heidi Beirich, director of the centers Intelligence Project, which monitors extremism and hate activity across the country.

The range of conservative thought is pretty broad in the United States, Beirich said. If we were to list groups on that basis, which these folks always allege, imagine the number of churches. We would list thousands and thousands and thousands of groups.

Supporters point to the SPLCs accomplishments, such as desegregating the Alabama State Police, forcing the city of Montgomery to pave roads in black neighborhoods, and securing health protections for cotton mill workers. Dees and the SPLC should be feared, they say, but not by honest, tolerant people.

Ive seen Nazis, and you mention Morris Dees, and they start shaking like a leaf, said Norm Gissel, a Coeur dAlene attorney who worked alongside Dees in a 1999 case that bankrupted the Aryan Nations. A, because he is Satans child, and B, because they fear him so much. They just start shaking.

Gissel called Dees very nearly the smartest person Ive ever met and impeccably honest. He wouldnt call all of the organizations on the SPLCs list hate groups, though.

My criteria would be, if theyre not committing a crime, well meet in the marketplace of public policy and have dialogue, he said. Im very Jeffersonian. I believe that my principles freedom, equality, fairness and the rule of law ultimately are going to prevail over any religious set of views that set one group of people over another.

Idaho Statesman efforts to contact Dees were unsuccessful.

Many states have more groups on the Hate Map than Idahos 12. Just in the West, Washington has 26. California has 75.

But in February, financial news blog 24/7 Wall Street examined our population and declared this the state with the most hate groups per capita. Last year, the blog had Idaho at No. 2.

News media regularly share the maps contents without question. It drew major attention last August, shortly after violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia left one dead.

It categorizes hate groups by ideologies ranging from neo-Nazi to Black Nationalist. (The latter is this years leading category, with 233 total organizations listed.)

The SPLC says it lists groups that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. These groups vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines.

Researchers compile information from groups own publications and websites, as well as news reports and law enforcement reports, to determine whether they belong on the Hate Map, Beirich said. If theres any question as to whether an organization should be considered a hate group, Beirich said, she reviews the information herself and might talk to other leaders, such as Cohen.

Its unclear if the center contacts the leaders of hate groups as part of this process. Campbell said he never heard from them.

The process is not foolproof. In February, Politico documented an Illinois towns efforts to get off the list after local officials couldnt verify the SPLCs claims. After months of futile appeals, Politico wrote, the town was removed.

Story continues below

How we did this storyThis story comes out of Idaho’s history with hate groups. It’s a history that isn’t yet behind us, and one we continue to confront.Like most news outlets across the country, the Statesman last summer reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, N.C.Some parts of the map – a guide to the locations and ideologies of 954 U.S. groups – raised questions. How, for example, did a group that sought a public vote to end refugee resettlement in Twin Falls County end up on equal footing with the KKK? Why was an unknown Coeur d’Alene church on the list? We set out to learn more.Of all the Idaho groups on the list, Lordship Church was the most interested in speaking with us. A reporter and photographer/videographer traveled to north Idaho in March to visit that and another church in person. They also spoke with a lawyer who with the SPLC, helped boot the Aryan Nations from their Hayden Lake compound nearly 20 years ago. And they talked to others in the community about how hate issues have changed in the years since that successful lawsuit.We spoke to a top SPLC official about how it identifies hate groups, and read the organization’s public research on certain groups in the Northwest.And we pored over a mid-1990s series on the SPLC by the Montgomery Advertiser, the organization’s hometown newspaper, that examined its evolution, motivations and fundraising. We studied reports published as recently as this February by Politico and others.What we learned is published here. For all the SPLC’s successes, it is still dogged by questions about its motivation for mixing small, nonviolent groups with more serious threats on the annual Hate Map. Some of those groups are completely unknown, while others seek out attention. But with the Aryan Nations in fragments, Idahoans are more likely to have to confront hate speech rather than violence these days – and there’s no outside consensus on a better way to track it.

According to the SPLC, most of Idahos hate groups proclaim racist or anti-Semitic views. Lordship Church is different.

Campbell took over the church from his son after moving to Athol in 2015. Before that, he shepherded the Church at Kaweah near Visalia, California, which his father founded in the 1960s.

In 2012, the SPLC published a blog post accusing the California-based church of ramping up paramilitary activities and forging alliances with racist groups, patrolling the banks of the Kaweah River and conducting joint exercises with Minuteman groups along the Mexican border.

Campbell said the groups claims were inaccurate. Yes, he and several Kaweah church members operated like a militia, conducting firearms training at a shooting range on church property. But they never patrolled the banks of the Kaweah River, he said.

And Campbell said he went on his own to the Mexican border to watch for people entering the United States illegally, but it was not a joint exercise with Minuteman groups. Its difficult to confirm how the SPLCs Minuteman claim originated; several other online mentions of it refer back to the organizations post.

Lordship Church Pastor Warren Mark Campbell’s belief that people should be prosecuted for displays of homosexuality alarmed the Southern Poverty Law Center. If youre advocating for criminal penalties, criminalization for gay people, youre going to get on our list, said Heidi Beirich, head of the centers Intelligence Project.

Katherine Jones kjones@idahostatesman.com

Now, Campbell said, its absurd to call his church a hate group. He points out that its members include ethnic minorities. He objects to Islam, but not to Muslims ethnicity. He does not believe in using violence against anyone who disagrees with his creed.

I believe that Christianity wins in the marketplace of ideas, Campbell said. We have Gods word. Lets take it out. Lets talk. Lets engage people.

His congregation does not include anyone whos openly gay. I would not baptize a Sodomite, he said. I would call them to repentance.

And, he told the Statesman, he believes anyone displaying overtly gay behavior should face criminal charges.

Thats over the line, Beirich said.

If youre advocating for criminal penalties, criminalization for gay people, youre going to get on our list, she said. We think that its particularly hateful if youre going to go down the road of throwing people in jail for private sexual behavior. In fact, thats a lot worse than saying gay people are diseased. You want to put them in handcuffs.

One of the churchs minority members, Puerto Rico native Ed Reillo, objected to his church being lumped in with all these crazy right-wing extremists.

All that we have experienced here is love from this congregation, Reillo said. I would like to know where (the SPLC is) getting all their facts… I havent seen any crazy guy running around with a pointy hat.

Dees, now 81, grew up on a cotton farm about 25 miles east of Montgomery. He always had a knack for getting money, from selling pigs as a youngster to fundraising for presidential candidates.

Morris Dees

Amanda Edwards Getty Images for Discovery Communications

He earned a law degree in 1960 from the University of Alabama and ran a successful business selling cookbooks, tractor cushions and other products, according to his autobiography and news reports. He sold the business in 1969 for $6 million about $40 million in todays money.

Dees and fellow lawyer Joseph Levin founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971. The centers attorneys, often led by Dees himself, won several landmark civil rights cases. They successfully argued for better representation of blacks in the Alabama Legislature and helped force the Montgomery Police Department to open all of its jobs to female candidates.

There were hiccups. Lawsuits between Dees and another attorney, Millard Farmer, drew public attention amid a dispute over a project aimed at keeping people off death row. The center helped start the Team Defense project in 1976 but backed out the following year.

They quit funding us, Farmer told the Statesman. They called me to Atlanta, very politely, and everything and said, Listen were not making any money with this project. … I said, What do you mean were not making any money? How do you think were going to make money? And they said, Oh yeah, we make money on our projects.

Dees claimed Farmer spread the funds among more cases than the pair had agreed to and wanted a better accounting of the money, according to an Associated Press report from 1977.

Death row and civil rights cases put the SPLC on the map. The next decade, the Ku Klux Klan made Dees a star.

In 1981, two KKK members in Alabama grabbed Michael Donald, a young black man. They beat him with a tree branch, cut his throat and hung his body from a tree on a residential street in Mobile. The murderers, Henry Hays and Tiger Knowles, were convicted.

With the SPLC representing her, Beulah Mae Donald, Michaels mother, sued the United Klans of America in 1984. She won a $7 million judgment against the Klan and several individual members in February 1987.

She collected less than $52,000 because the Klan declared bankruptcy. But the SPLC, which featured the case on fundraising mailers for years, saw a windfall. Between 1985 and 1989, its reserve accounts grew from $12.2 million to $30.6 million, according to numbers the center provided the Statesman.

Bright, the Yale professor, said his colleagues at the center were frustrated by what they saw as a misguided obsession with the KKK.

Thats what you could convince northern liberals, and Jewish people particularly, of that the Ku Klux Klan was still a force to be reckoned with, he said. When, in fact, it wasnt, and there were other kinds of basic things like roads not being paved in the black community and other kinds of discrimination against African Americans. But Dees had no interest whatsoever in pursuing because it didnt have any fundraising potential.

The SPLC formed Klanwatch in 1979 to track the KKK. In 1990, that effort expanded to include other hate groups, eventually growing into the Hate Map.

The centers coffers have also grown. It claimed more than $432 million in its endowment funds net assets on Oct. 31. 2017, according to its annual financial statement.

Donald Trump and the fear of extremism his presidency has stoked has been good for fundraising. The SPLC received $44.2 million from donors in 2015 and $49.1 million in 2016, according to figures obtained by the Statesman. Last year, it raised $129.7 million.

Income from the endowments investments generate tens of millions of dollars every year to sustain the SPLCs litigation and other programming.

Morris had always said, Well, when we get to $50 (million), were going to stop. When we get to $100 (million), were going to stop. But of course, they just breezed right past those, Bright said.

The center no longer has a finite goal for its endowment, according to an email from the organization.

Hate and extremism, poverty, and discrimination, unfortunately, are long-term problems, and our goal is to help as many people as possible, for however long it takes, according to the email. Our donors share the same goal.

Farmer, Bright and other critics say the SPLC uses todays rhetoric and publications, including the Hate Map, the same way it used the Donald case in the 1980s: to hype the powers of relatively toothless groups and attract well-intentioned donors cash.

I reject that criticism completely, said Beirich, director of the SPLCs Intelligence Project. If we wanted to hype the threat, why would we report many times that the numbers (of hate groups) have gone down? It just doesnt make any sense on that front. This is our accurate read of the problem faced in this country.

A few miles west of Coeur dAlene, between the Idaho border and Spokane, Washington, Pastor Shahram Hadian gathers the Truth in Love Christian Fellowship congregation in a small, nondescript event center that mightve hosted a wedding reception just a few hours earlier. Energetic and demonstrative, Hadian talks a mile a minute as he sets up the churchs props: American and Israeli flags, the Ten Commandments and a big-screen image of Truth in Loves sword-heart-Bible symbol.

Hadian himself is caught between two swords. In America, the SPLC has named his ministry a hate group. In his birth country of Iran, he said, hes an apostate a traitor to Islam and could be marked for death if he ever returned.

Hadians family fled Iran at about the time the SPLC was starting Klanwatch.

His father served in the Shahs military until December 1978 three months before the Shah was overthrown in the Iranian Revolution. Hadian said his father could see what was coming. Though the family was Muslim, they were not devout, and his father didnt want to live under the Islamic theocracy the revolution promised.

He just came home one day and said, Weve got to pack our bags. Were leaving, Hadian said. And literally we caught the next flight out.

Hadian was 8 years old when his family arrived in the U.S. He became a Christian in 1999 and a pastor in 2002. He also entered politics, running for governor of Washington in 2012. In 2015, he lectured Idaho lawmakers on his belief that Islamic law could soon apply to Americas courts, contributing to fears that killed a bill on collecting child support and forced lawmakers to hold a special session to fix the problem.

He founded Truth in Love in 2010, moving it to Spokane Valley in 2014. Last year, the church appeared on the Hate Map, labeled as anti-Muslim.

Hadian speaks with conviction about the America he sees: a country and culture under attack from an alien ideology that seeks to overthrow Christianity and undermine the foundations of this nation. He predicts that Islams leaders, left unchecked, will exert Sharia law in the U.S., no matter what the Constitution says. Christians who try to be inclusive of Islam are simply enabling that treachery, he said.

Absolutely, Islam is a false religion, Hadian said. And its not just a religion. Thats the other part of this equation that we are having a hard time embracing here in the West. … It is a political, totalitarian ideology.

But like Campbell, Hadian says hes not anti-Muslim.

If somebody whos supporting our ministry ends up putting something online about hate or wanting to go harm anybody, Ill be the first one to denounce them, he said. We must love individual Muslims and seek to share the truth with them. I want to see them … rescued out of an ideology that is destructive.

Hadian believes the SPLC shares the motivation of Islamic leaders or has at least become their pawn. Due in part to being identified as a hate group, he said, his church has a team of members who greet the congregation and double as an armed security force. They have to pass background checks and obtain permits to carry concealed weapons, he said.

Beirich called Campbells and Hadians anti-Islam, pro-Muslim stance a distinction without a difference.

An SPLC post last year on Hadians ministry included criticism from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose executive director in Seattle said Hadians inflammatory speech leads to kids being bullied in schools, adults being taunted at work, vandalism of property and hate crimes.

Hadian said the quote borders on libel because he knows of no evidence that hes ever directly incited attacks.

The landscape that Campbell and Hadian inhabit has changed since the Aryan Nations collapsed.

Retired Lockheed aircraft engineer Richard Butler formed the group in 1977 in Hayden Lake. He admired Adolf Hitler and preached about creating a homeland for whites. His followers became known for vandalism, harassing families and children, and for setting off a bomb in 1984 at Congregation-Ahavath Israel Synagogue in Boise.

In July 1998, Victoria Keenans Datsun Honey Bee backfired on Rimrock Road outside the groups 20-acre compound north of Hayden Lake. Guards at the compound, reportedly drunk, thought the noise was a gunshot. They piled into a pickup and chased Keenan and her son, Jason, for more than a mile firing at her, running her off the road, beating her and threatening her before fleeing when another car approached.

Keenan told her story to local attorney Gissel, whod already become alarmed at the Aryan Nations increasingly sinister activities. Gissel turned to Dees, who brought star power and deep pockets to bear against the Nazi-sympathizing Aryans.

In September 2000, the Keenans won a $6.3 million judgment, bankrupting the Aryan Nations and forcing the group to turn its compound over to the plaintiffs. Echoing Beulah Mae Donald, the Keenans sold the property to Idaho philanthropist Greg Carr, who destroyed all of the buildings and donated the land to North Idaho College. It lies undeveloped to this day.

I dont doubt that theres still people around that have some of those beliefs, but theyre without any kind of organization, said Jared Reneau, a detective for the Coeur dAlene Police Department. They dont meet and get together, at least that we know about. And Im not saying that we dont have any problems, but we dont see the same problems that we did 10 years ago.

Reneau said hed never heard of Lordship Church.

Today, neo-Nazis and the related Patriot Front groups are the most common hate ideologies in the Northwest, said Dave Neiwert, an SPLC correspondent and author of the book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.

The Patriots arent nearly as virulent and problematic as the neo-Nazis are, although the huge numbers that we see in the Patriot movement in the interior Northwest are very much a problem, Neiwert said.

Statesman efforts to contact several other organizations listed as hate groups in Idaho and western Montana were unsuccessful.

Beirich said she doesnt know of any violent behavior on the part of either Truth in Love or Lordship Church. That doesnt mean theyre not dangerous, though, she said in comments that recall how Butler inspired his supporters to action.

People are often critical of us and say, You shouldnt put nonviolent groups on the list, she said. The problem for us is the ideology of the nonviolent groups often ends up justifying violence, right?

If (white nationalist magazine) American Renaissance tells you black people are psychopathic killers, even though no one in that group has committed violence, we know Dylann Roof read American Renaissance and went and killed people.

Here are the 12 groups currently listed on the Hate Map, their location and how the SPLC categorized each.

Endangered Souls RC/Crew 519: Statewide, neo-Nazi

Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan: Statewide, KKK

Crew 38: Statewide, racist skinhead

True Cascadia: Statewide, white nationalist

Northwest Hammerskins: Statewide, racist skinhead

Committee to End the CSI Refugee Center: Buhl, anti-Muslim

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Chat Site for Gamers Got Overrun by the Alt-Right. Now It …

Discord wanted to create a chat platform for gamers. Instead its attracted a community of white supremacists.

Discord is a free voice and text app with invite-only chat rooms, but those private servers quickly found a new fanbase with hate groups, who wanted to discuss plans in secret. After white supremacist groups were revealed to have used Discord to plan the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, Discord started banning those groups en masse. But purging hate from the private chat rooms is no easy task.

In early April, the media collective Unicorn Riot leaked more than a year of Discord logs leaked from the now-defunct neo-Nazi group The Traditionalist Worker Party. The leaked logs showed the TWPs dramatic implosion after an affair and alleged assault among the partys leaders in March. The chat logs also show a splinter group of former TWP members starting their own Discord chat room to discuss launching a new white supremacist group.

The chat logs were the latest in a series of leaked messages from neo-Nazi Discord chat rooms, called servers. But those servers shouldnt have been online at all. After the Unite the Right rally, Discord shut down chat rooms associated with the rally and announced action against white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate.

The public declaration put Discord ahead of larger social media platforms like Twitter, where white supremacist Richard Spencer was verified as recently as November. (He remains on Twitter, albeit without his verified status.)

Discord told The Daily Beast it has also begun working with the Southern Poverty Law Center to combat hate groups on the platform, although it did not specify the details of the arrangement.

Although some far-right extremists continue to return to the platform, Discords decision to ban the most well-known communities has deprived them of a place to openly organize, plan, and promote their poisonous ideologies, Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, said in a statement. Discords pledge to continue to combat extremist organizing on their platform is critical. This fight is not going to end tomorrow. Other tech companies who struggle with these same issues should know its always the right policy decision to reject organized hatred.

But unlike Facebook and Twitter, Discords semi-private nature lets more hate speech go undetected. Discord told The Daily Beast it does not read users messages, and relies on users to report behavior that violates the apps terms of service.

This fight is not going to end tomorrow. Other tech companies who struggle with these same issues should know its always the right policy decision to reject organized hatred.

Heidi Beirich, SPLC

Discord has a Terms of Service (ToS) and Community Guidelines that we ask all of our communities and users to adhere to, a spokesperson said. These specifically prohibit harassment, threatening messages, calls to violence or any illegal activity. Though we do not read peoples private messages, we do investigate and take immediate action against any reported ToS violation by a server or user. We will continue to be aggressive to ensure that Discord exists for the community we set out to supportgamers.

The reliance on users to report abuse appears to have led some neo-Nazis to think of the platform as a safe space.

I think the alt-right has relied on Discord as a means of communication across distances, with the expectation that whats happening, or what they can talk about is secure, Ryan Lenz, a senior investigative reporter with the Southern Poverty Law Center, told The Daily Beast.

Even after alt-right Discord logs leaked last August, revealing how neo-Nazis planned the Unite the Right rally, some groups still believed their messages were safe on the chat app.

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Dont let reporters know what platform we communicate on, Zaine Deal, a former TWP member wrote on Discord on Christmas Day, 2017.

Other extremist groups also lingered on the platform. In February, ProPublica reported on a Discord server for the Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group that has been implicated in four murders in recent months. The ProPublica report revealed Atomwaffen members celebrating the most recent murder, that of Jewish teenager Blaze Bernstein.

Shortly after the report, Discord banned Atomwaffen and other white supremacist groups, including the Nordic Resistance Movement, Iron March, and European Domas.

But keeping the groups off Discord is another matter. The Daily Beast observed one 4chan-affiliated Discord group shuffle across at least three Discord servers, always posting a link to a backup chat room in case their primary room was banned.

I think time and time again, especially in the aftermath of Charlottesville, weve seen that Discord is not as secure as the alt-right thought it would be, Lenz said, and that many of their unsavory ideas or true intentions have been laid bare by leaks and otherwise communications on the platform.

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Less Than a Year After Charlottesville, the Alt-Right Is …

Some have turned federal informant. Others are facing prison time. More are named in looming lawsuits. All of them are fighting.

Last summer, the American alt-right was presenting itself as a threatening, unified front, gaining national attention with a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The collection of far-right and white nationalist groups proclaimed victory after President Donald Trump hesitated to directly condemn them and instead blamed both sides and the alt left for the violence. But less than a year after Charlottesville, the alt-right is splintering in dramatic fashion as its leaders turn on each other or quit altogether.

Matthew Heimbachs arrest in a March trailer park brawl with members of his neo-Nazi groupsome of whom he was allegedly screwingfelt like a too-obvious metaphor. Heimbach was the head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a youth-focused white supremacist group that floated to the front of media coverage and hate rallies in the run-up to Donald Trumps election.

But by March, Heimbach and the TWP had spent the previous months embroiled in a series of online spats with other alt-right factions. On March 14, police in his Indiana hometown arrested Heimbach after he allegedly assaulted TWP spokesperson Matthew Parrott during a fight over their wives, both of whom Heimbach was allegedly sleeping with. Heimbachs wife is Parrotts stepdaughter.

The high-profile bust was an accelerant in what had been a slow-burning feud among the alt-right. Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, said the schism started after Unite the Right, a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. The rally turned deadly after a man affiliated with a white supremacist group plowed a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring more.

Matthew Heimbachs arrest in a March trailer park brawl with members of his neo-Nazi groupsome of whom he was allegedly screwingfelt like a too-obvious metaphor.

I think the splintering started there, but I have to say what happened in the last couple weeks has been at a much higher level, Beirich told The Daily Beast on Wednesday.

Threats from the far-right are by no means over. The SPLC recently released a map documenting 954 hate groups in the U.S., a rise in 20 percent since 2014. In a January report, the Anti-Defamation League found that white supremacists had killed 18 people in 2017.

But the alt-right has had a bad month. In recent weeks, as Beirich described, prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer has dropped a lawsuit against Kent State University and canceled his speaking tour, after anti-fascist protesters opposed him at every stop. Antifa is winning, Spencer conceded in a video. Days earlier, Kyle Bristow, an alt-right lawyer who has represented Spencer, announced he was quitting the movement after the Detroit Free Press wrote an article critical of him.

Heimbach was arrested days after Spencer canceled his tour.

The implosion of the Traditionalist Worker Party, its not exactly as though that was planned in some way, but its a spectacular implosion of a key player in this universe, Beirich said of the alt-rights terrible two weeks.

Even the TWPs diehards say its prospects are bleak.

There is no way for us to continue on with the TWP branding after what happened, Tony Hovater, a TWP leader, wrote on Gab, a social media platform popular among the alt-right. In November, Hovater was the subject of an arguably sympathetic New York Times profile. Now he was on Gab discussing his plans to start a new organization after Heimbachs arrest, which was without a doubt a shameful incident, he wrote. (Journalist Elizabeth King noted on Twitter that the TWP may have rebranded or splintered into something called the Nationalist Initiative.)

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I have no comment, Parrott, the former TWP spokesperson whose wife allegedly slept with Heimbach, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. I am no longer involved in the movement, and I have no stake in all the stupid shit going on in it.

Hes not the only one headed to the exits over infighting.

I am no longer involved in the movement, and I have no stake in all the stupid shit going on in it.

Earlier in Marchafter Bristow quit the movement, but before Spencer canceled his college tourHeimbach and the TWP acted as a security force for Spencer outside a speech to a handful of people at Michigan State University. They scrapped with counterprotesters, resulting in at least a dozen arrestsincluding that of Greg Conte, director of operations for an alt-right group, HuffPost reported.

The physical brawl turned into a Twitter feud between Spencer and Patrick Casey, the executive director of white supremacist group Identity Evropa. Identity Evropa participated in the violent clashes at Charlottesville. But after the deadly rally, and two leadership changes (leader Nathan Damigo quit after Charlottesville, and his successor Eli Mosely quit to join a Spencer-affiliated group before it was revealed that Mosely lied about serving in the Iraq War) Identity Evropa promoted Casey to its head and attempted to rebrand itself as clean-cut.

On Twitter, two days after the TWP got in a brawl while acting as Spencers security force, Identity Evropa claimed to be explicitly non-violent and peacefully effecting cultural change. In a press-friendly, but largely meaningless semantic ploy, the group denied being a white supremacist organization.

Spencer interpreted the tweet as an attack. In a tweet of his own, Spencer said he was baffled and shocked at the behavior of Casey, and accused him of expelling Identity Evropa members who had supported Spencer during the brawl outside Michigan State University.

The spat was the latest over the alt-rights optics, a divisive subject among the movement. The Unite the Right rally was so toxic for the alt-rights image that some members started arguing that in-person protests were bad publicity for the cause.

Currently the biggest divide is between people who believe in online activism versus real-world activism. Beirich said. After Charlottesville, Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, for example, posted things criticizing in-real-life protests When PayPal and Facebook started banning accounts, he was pointing out that these arent good things for us, taking to the streets isnt necessarily positive, the optics were bad.

I think theres also a lot of, maybe professional is the wrong word, but professional jealousies here.

Anglin is currently on the run and claims to be in Cambodia while he attempts to avoid a lawsuit by a Jewish woman whose address and phone number he posted online after she argued with Spencers mother. Anglin encouraged readers on his neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer to call the woman and visit her home, unleashing a campaign of harassment against her.

An opposing alt-right movement accuses people like Anglin of optics-cucking, a reference to a porn genre in which a man watches another man have sex with his wife. (The term was in vogue with the alt-right long before Parrott stood on a box outside a trailer to watch Heimbach have sex with Parrotts wife, according to a police report in the incident.) The anti-optics crowd accuses the pro-optics faction of trying to splinter the movement.

Among the optics-skeptical is Chris Cantwell, a white supremacist who featured prominently in a Vice documentary on the Unite the Right rally, and who later became a meme when he cried on camera. Since Charlottesville, Cantwell has produced a podcast, which ran on The Daily Stormer until Anglin allegedly removed it without telling Cantwell earlier this month.

As far as I can tell, thats whats going on and theyre just throwing barbs back and forth over it, Beirich said. I think theres also a lot of, maybe professional is the wrong word, but professional jealousies here. Cantwells blog or podcast gets more popular, that pisses off other members of the alt-right who want to be center-stage.

On Gab, Cantwell alleged a conspiracy.

I found out that new content was not being syndicated to [The Daily Stormer] when somebody asked about it in my Gab mentions. So I cant say with any certainty what the motivation was, Cantwell wrote last week. He suggested that the removal of his show and the flood of negative news about the TWP, in which he is not involved, was part of an effort to discredit the alt-right.

I smell subversion, he wrote.

Hovater, the remaining TWP leader who called Heimbachs arrest shameful, shared the post. Cantwells attack on The Daily Stormer soon landed him in trouble with other members of the alt-right, when one of the blogs contributors revealed that Cantwell was an FBI informant.

Andrew Auernheimer, a Daily Stormer contributor and hacker best known by his screen name Weev, posted screenshots of a conversation with Cantwell, in which Cantwell admitted to reporting members of Philadelphia ARA (anti-racist action groups) to authorities.

I talked to cops too. gonna talk to the feds soon most likely, Cantwell told Weev in the undated conversation, which references Cantwells pending felony case for alleged illegal use of tear gas at the Charlottesville rally. Im going after Philly ARA. Not throwing our people under the bus. We werent the bad guys last August, and Charlottesville is ignoring that fact. The feds want to bust Antifa and Im keen to help them.

Weev replied that if you hadnt talked to cops and media in the first place and had gotten scarce you wouldnt be facing 40 years in prison.

After Weev posted the screenshots, Cantwell confirmed their authenticity in a blog post of his own titled I Am A Federal Informant, in which he attacked Weev as a Jew in a foreign country in reference to rumors that the neo-Nazi blogger is actually of Jewish ancestry. Cantwell also confirmed that his attorney had spoken with the FBI. The admission set off a fresh volley of criticism from alt-righters who are opposed to communicating with law enforcement.

Cantwells attack on The Daily Stormer soon landed him in trouble with other members of the alt-right, when one of the blogs contributors revealed that Cantwell was an FBI informant.

Cantwell has good reason to try to deflect blame onto anti-fascist protesters. In addition to his pending criminal charges, he is named in two civil lawsuits against Unite the Right rioters. (He is only a defendant in one of the cases.) Between them, the lawsuits also name Spencer, the TWP, Identity Evropa, and the League of the South, the latter of which signed an agreement Monday not to host any future armed protests in Charlottesville.

Beirich said the two lawsuits will probably drive some other people to abandon the movement. They just dont want to get caught up in the legal fees.

In her extensive time tracking the far-right, Beirich has seen other similar movements grow and implode. She drew a parallel between the alt-right and the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group that, until the early 2000s, was the biggest neo-Nazi group in America. It was the main player.

But when the National Alliances leader William Pierce died in 2002, the group turned on itself.

Within a very short period of time, the whole group was essentially decimated. One year after Pierce was dead, that group was done and had splintered into a whole bunch of factions, Beirich said. That was the case where a leader died, and I imagine Heimbachs downfall is almost a death to the Traditionalist Worker Party.

Under the pressure of lawsuits, jail time, scandal, and shame, she imagines some current alt-righters will simply slink away, if they havent already.

Im sure were going to lose some people and were going to have some fighting over the crumbs that are left.

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Neo-Nazi Groups Explode Under Trump, Southern Poverty Law …

Neo-Nazi organizations saw the greatest growth among hate groups last year, according to a new report by Southern Poverty Law Center released Wednesday.

There were 954 active hate groups in the United States in 2017, SPLC found, the greatest total since 2011s record-breaking year. About half of the groups are white supremacist groups, including Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, white nationalists, skinheads, and Christian Identitarians. Almost one-quarter of 900 hate groups are black nationalists, and 114 groups are anti-Muslim. Other groups with specific hatred for the LGBTQ community, the government, and women have risen, albeit in smaller numbers.

Within the white supremacist movement, Neo-Nazi groups saw the greatest growthsoaring by 22 percent from 99 to 121, since 2016, according to the SPLC report.

The overall number of hate groups likely understates the real level of hate in America, SPLC said, because a growing number of extremists, particularly those who identify with the alt-right, operate mainly online and may not be formally affiliated with a hate group.

The report comes after a year of notorious violence by the so-called alt-right. In August 2017, white supremacists gathered for a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that led to the deaths of Heather Heyer and two local law enforcement officials. In January 2018, a California man who allegedly murdered his gay, Jewish high school classmate trained with Florida-based Neo-Nazi group Attomwaffen, ProPublica reported. In December 2017, a man who frequented alt-right forums and websites like The Daily Stormer killed three people including himself at a New Mexico school, The Daily Beast previously reported.

Since 2014, 43 people have been killed and 67 people have been injured by men associated with the alt-right or white supremacists, SPLC reported earlier this month. Dylann Roof, the man who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston nearly three years ago, regularly commented on The Daily Stormer and admitted to planning the race-based attack. “I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country, Roof wrote in a note used in his prosecution.

Neo-Nazi groups saw the greatest growthsoaring by 22 percent from 99 to 121.

Southern Poverty Law Center

SPLC also counted the murders of Elliot Rodger, the California man who killed seven people, including himself, as one of the first massacres killings carried out by the alt-right before the movement went mainstream. Nikolas Cruz, the alleged Florida school shooter who killed 17 people on Valentines Day, commented Elliot rodger will not be forgotten on a YouTube video last year. Law enforcement said it is investigating whether Cruz was affiliated with a white supremacist group in Florida that initially claimed he was a member.

In a first for the organization, SPLC added two male supremacy groups to its annual report on extremism: Texas-based A Voice for Men and Washington, D.C.-based Return of Kings. The vilification of women by these groups makes them no different than other groups that demean entire populations, such as the LGBT community, Muslims or Jews, based on their inherent characteristics, SPLC said in a statement.

Heidi Beirich, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said that the organization compares male supremacy groups’ methodsusing slurs and saying women are destroying mento white supremacist groups like the New Century Foundation, which publishes a magazine that focuses on the demonization of black people.

President Donald Trump blamed many sides for alt-right violence in Charlottesville, and the SPLC report says Trumps presidency has emboldened white supremacists. They believed they finally had a sympathizer in the White House and an administration that would enact policies to match their anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and racist ideas, the report stated.

The only hate group that decreased its chapters in 2017 was the Ku Klux Klan, the oldest hate group in the country. Its clear that the new generation of white supremacists is rejecting the hooded movement that was founded after the Civil War, the authors of the SPLC report wrote.

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Heidi Beirich, Author at CrimeFeed

Heidi Beirich leads the SPLCs Intelligence Project, one of the most respected anti-terror organizations in the world, according to theNational Review. She is an expert on various forms of extremism, including the white supremacist, nativist and neo-Confederate movements as well as racism in academia. She oversees the SPLCs authoritative, yearly count of the nations hate and hard-line, anti-government groups and is a frequent contributor to the SPLCs investigative reports and speaker at conferences on extremism. Prior to joining the SPLC staff in 1999, Heidi earned a doctorate in political science from Purdue University. She is the co-editor and author of several chapters ofNeo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, published by the University of Texas Press in 2008.

Please provide a Twitter Username.

The past year has been filled with a series of frightening, and possibly portentous, violent attacks from Americas radical []

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Heidi Beirich, Author at CrimeFeed

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Heidi Beirich: President Trump is stoking white …

He has not only shamelessly exploited a horrible tragedy in Iowa but tweeted out his intention to put the full force of the U.S. State Department behind a white nationalist conspiracy theory. Advertisement The idea of a silent, worldwide genocide against white people has long been a lodestar for white supremacist groups at home and abroad. Trumps tweet last night about South African farmers a complicated situation that racist propagandists reduce to a canary in the coal mine scenario for white people is one of the most startling examples of this president indulging in racist thinking. Three years ago, it was white supremacist Dylann Roof who cited the white genocide fantasy to justify his mass murder of African Americans in Charleston. Today, its the president of the United States. Since he stepped on the political stage, Donald Trump has electrified the radical right. Through his words and actions, he continues to deliver for what he clearly sees as his core constituency. As a consequence, weve seen a rise in hate crimes, street violence and large public actions organized by white supremacist groups that have been further emboldened by the presidents statements about shithole countries and his policies targeting refugees and immigrants of color. Elected officials need to condemn this dangerous behavior and do everything in their power to rein in a president who has demonstrated time and time again that there is no level to which he wont sink. The damage of this presidency will be long-lasting. Heidi Beirich leads the SPLCs Intelligence Project, which publishes the award-winning Intelligence Report and the Hatewatch blog. She is an expert on various forms of extremism, including the white supremacist, nativist and neo-Confederate movements as well as racism in academia. www.splcenter.org

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SPLC’s Heidi Beirich: A Character Assassin Under the Banner …

Before Heidi Beirich began working at the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1999, she was a left-wing ideologue preparing for a career in the academy. She was a graduate of UC Berkeley and had earned a doctorate in political science from Purdue, where she pursued her interest in the maladies of “white nationalism and neo-fascism”. She was steeped in the ideology of postmodernism, which regards the history of Western Civilization especially in the United States as an endlessly dreary tale of oppression in the service of white supremacy. As Beirich told ABC News, “I think sometimes Americans forget that this country was founded on white supremacy.” Those of us who are now alarmed at the extremism of the SPLC should not forget that it once did heroic work against the Ku Klux Klan, winning lawsuits that drove several branches of the hooded fanatics into bankruptcy. From its base in Montgomery, Ala., its fundraising materials solemnly invokea vision of “peace, respect, and understanding”. That is the voice of the admirable SPLC. Heidi Beirich has been instrumental in building the contemptible side of the SPLC, the side, which, as we reported in 2010, is marked by “a poverty of ideas, a dependence on dishonesty, and a lack of fundamental decency.” She routinely engages in distortion, half-truths, cheap shots, smears, and character assassination. She is the SPLC’s princess of darkness. She is the reason why National Review has written that while the SPLC was “once valuable”, it has become “hateful and vile”. Beirich directs the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which oversees the Hatewatch blog, which monitors white supremacist and other extremist groups. She also directs the research for the SPLC’s annual list of “hate groups”. It is a well-publicized blacklist, a hall of shame, including some truly awful people like the Klan. But over the past decade Beirich has led an aggressive expansion of the list for the purpose of shaming mainstream socially conservative groups like the Family Research Council and the Center for Immigration Studies (whose staff also includes some moderate liberals like me who think the Democrats have lost their way by renouncing long-held concerns about illegal immigration). As Mark Potok, Beirich’s long-time partner at the SPLC said, “[O]ur aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them.” Beirich applies the hate-group smear with all the precision and of a juvenile delinquent spray-painting obscenities on a schoolyard wall. She is equally reckless in her designation of extremists. As RealClearPolitics reported last year, “You can find yourself on the SPLC’s ‘hate map’ if you haven’t gotten fully aboard on gay marriage or the Democratic Party’s immigration views. In other words, the [SPLC] classifies individuals and organizations as purveyors of ‘hate’ for holding the same view on marriage espoused by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton until mid-2012.” Despite her record of reputational rampage, Beirich is highly regarded on the campuses of such elite institutions as Middlebury College. Last year, students at the Vermont school went on a tear after reading the SPLC’s designation of conservative intellectual Charles Murray, whose first wife was Asian-American, as a white nationalist. Chanting insults, setting off fire alarms and shouting Murray down, the students drove him off campus. They also put Middlebury in the center of a discussion on the rise of intolerance for conservative ideas and free speech at colleges across the country. Looking Behind the Curtain Despite this record, Beirich and the SPLC are still treated as credible by some elite reporters, most prominently at the New York Times. But other, less ideologically invested reporters, have looked behind the curtain of tolerance at the SPLC’s Montgomery, Ala., headquarters, which is so lavish that locals call it “the poverty palace”. “Is tough immigration control really a form of hate, or just part of the political conversation?” Politico’s Ben Schreckinger asked last year. “At a time when the line between ‘hate group’ and mainstream politics is getting thinner and the need for productive civil discourse is growing more serious, fanning liberal fears, while a great opportunity for the SPLC, might be a problem for the nation.” Politico quoted this observation from Cornell law professor William Jacobson: “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. 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. … It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them.” That of course, was the point of two recent SPLC stunts that prodded two Democrat members of the House of Representatives into demanding that officials in the Department of Homeland Security cancel interviews with the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughan.The interviews, part of the CIS Newsmaker series, were held at the National Press Club, where they were open to the press. They were a June event with ICE acting director Tom Homan and one last week with USCIS director Francis Cissna. New York Rep. Joseph Crowley and Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer expressed outrage that the officials would meet with a “hate group”. Their protests were shameless, sycophantic exercise in political cowardice. Crowley, who objected to the Homan event, still lost his Democratic primary race a few weeks later, taken down by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But Hoyer, a 79-year-old facing criticism from young guns in his party who say he’s too old and tired to be part of the Democratic leadership, is clinging to power. His vulnerability has made him eager to please the activists who have pushed his party over the immigration-policy cliff by attacking last week’s Cissna interview. A Case Study of Beirich’s Flagrant Distortions If you want to understand the nature of Beirich’s effort to reduce the national immigration debate to a shambles, a battleground of character assassination and tribal warfare, a good place to begin is the show of jaw-dropping mendacity that SPLC came up with to prod Hoyer to parrot Beirich’s hate-group designation of CIS. This stunt involved a flagrant distortion of a 2008 CIS Backgrounder written by David Seminara of CIS. Seminara’s paper detailed the widespread use of sham marriages to obtain a green card, the visa that signifies the right for permanent residence and a path to citizenship. Seminara was certainly qualified to write about the problem. He had learned about various types of visa fraud during his service as a consular officer in Hungary, Macedonia, and Trinidad. His report included these bullet points: and Seminara’s report was a fine piece of investigative reporting. It identified a serious problem that had received little public attention. The issue of marriage fraud leaped into headlines last year when the sister-in-law of one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack that killed 14 and injured 22 was convicted on charges that she had helped arrange the marriage of a couple who had never had a marriage ceremony and never even lived together. Seminara’s report was a public service. But not to Heidi Beirich, who saw it as an assault on immigration. In her moral universe, to speak unkindly of those who engage in visa fraud is hate speech, an intolerable offense against inclusivity and diversity. And so the SPLC’s condemnation of last week’s CIS interview uncorked the accusation that CIS “staffers and leadership have referred to immigrants as ‘Third-World gold-diggers.'” (Emphasis added.) It was a distortion based on the cynicism and contempt for basic standards of honesty and decency that are standard procedure for Heidi Beirich and her Hatewatch comrades. I used to think of Beirich as a culture-wars version of “Saturday Night Live’s” Church Lady, a comic caricature of piety who always had her nose in the air, sniffing for the presence of Satan. But Beirich’s influence with liberals makes that relatively benign assessment impossible. Her hate-group attacks have provoked normally well-intentioned people not only to despise those of us who want to limit immigration, but also to donate millions to support the SPLC’s campaign to drive ideological foes out of the forum of public debate. With her latest stunt, Beirich has reduced two members of Congress to the level of the students who brought shame to Middlebury College. Now I have a much darker view of Beirich. Her dirty work has convinced me that her historic soulmates did their workfor the notorious French revolutionary tribunals, the bloodthirsty zealots who sent infidels to the guillotine. Now she is limited to the dark but bloodless pleasure of issuing hate-group decrees and watching her stooges rise in furious protest at those who dare to suggest that immigration should not be unlimited.

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August 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

UnAmerican Struggle | Movie Clip | Heidi Beirich – YouTube

Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center explains how America was an overtly racist nation until the 60s. To see the Alt-Right talking about these ideals is not that weird. We have a history of all of these kinds of bigotries, xenophobia, racism. It’s part of our DNA. We don’t like to think about it, but it’s the truth. If you talk to leaders, white nationalist leaders or they call themselves the Alt-Right, the way they will explain themselves is this. They’ll say, “The things I believe in, a white nation for white people, white supremacy is the way this country always was. In other words, I’m not proposing some kind of new and radical idea, I’m asking to go back to what it was supposed to be, how it was founded, how it was run for a couple of hundred years. What is inexplicable is not that I want this to be a white nation, what’s inexplicable is that you don’t.” UNAMERICAN STRUGGLE features Heidi Beirich and Naomi Tsu of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Angeles Valenciano of the National Diversity Council, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Executive Director of the Georgia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Sir Maejor Page, President of Greater Atlanta Black Lives Matter. WRITER/DIRECTOR: Ric Osuna COMING to DVD and STREAMING on DECEMBER 19th! Visit The Unamerican Struggle WEBSITE:www.theunamericanstruggle.comVisit The UnAmerican Struggle Facebook page:http://bit.ly/UmAmericanStrglVisit The UnAmerican Struggle Twitter:@UnAmericanStrgl About CINEMA LIBRE STUDIO: Cinema Libre Studio is known around the world for its production and distribution of high-caliber, indie, arthouse feature films and social issue documentaries. Subscribe to CLS Youtube channel: http://bit.ly/CLSsubscribeSubscribe to CLS NEWSLETTER: http://bit.ly/CLSnewsVisit CLS WEBSITE: http://cinemalibrestudio.com/Like CLS on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/cinemalibres…Follow CLS on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/tweetCLS

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August 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Unite the Right rally 2018: Women changing face of white …

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville on Wednesday declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of a violent white nationalist rally that left one person dead and dozens of others injured. (Aug. 8) AP White nationalist groups gather at Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, for a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017.(Photo: Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar) The controversial “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year broughttogether a cadre of white nationalists and Neo-Nazis. But, one genderwas noticeably underrepresented: the women of the far-right. The lack of female supportersat the August 2017 event, which ended in the death of one counterprotester and dozens of injuries, could be attributedto a variety of reasons, including how the leadership of far-right groups hasportrayed women in the media anda culture of excluding women from certain groups and in certain instances advocating for violence against women. Alt-right activist Richard Spencer, whospoke at theCharlottesville protest,has said he is not sure women should havethe right to vote and tweeted that women are too “vindictive” to handleforeign policy. Andrew Anglin, founder ofthe far-right website The Daily Stormerwho helped publicize last year’s rally,has along historyof posting sexist comments online many of them unsuitable to repeat here. So, why are women getting more involved this year for the second Unitethe Rightrally Sunday in Washington? For AvialaeHorton, one of the event’s lead organizers, this year’srally is a way to change the “rhetoric” of the far-right.”Weve wanted everything to be different in terms of our tactics and our approach to this situation than it was last year,” Horton said. Hortonand “three or four” female friends made up the majority of the women present at last year’s rally where Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car crashed into a crowd. Horton said she wants to make Sunday safer. “No violence should ever be necessary at any of these events, regardless of your political affiliation and beliefs,” she said.”No violence should ever be instigated, and certainly no one should ever have to lose their lives over a political disagreement.” Multiple women have been instrumentalinplanning this year’s rally, Horton said.The 21-year-oldsaid the12-person team is almost split between men and women. Jason Kessler, who obtained the permit for both last year’s and this year’s rally, said having women on the “front lines” of the movement is “invaluable.” “I’m happy to include exceptional women in volunteer and leadership positions. I’ve been fortunate to have a variety of female volunteers this year,” Kessler said. “I’m proud of the women who’ve volunteered their time and effort to helping make this year’s event possible.” “Weve wanted everything to be different in terms of our tactics and our approach to this situation than it was last year,” says AvialaeHorton, 21, one of Unite the Right 2018’s lead organizers.(Photo: Courtesy of Avialae S. Horton) Women getting involved in the leadership of far-right movements such asUnite the Right is still rare, even if they agree with the movement’sbeliefs, said Heidi Beirich, director of theIntelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. “In some parts of the movement right now, in the alt-right, the misogyny is so rampant that its even worse than just thinking that women should stay at home and raise a family,” Beirich said. “Theres talk of things like legitimate rape and really egregious misogynistic comments about women. So its interesting to see women playing a role in this Unite the Right reboot. Beirich said women might be getting involved in the rally because many of the groups who participated last yeararen’t returning this year. Multiple groups facedlawsuitsand other repercussions because of their involvement, in addition to being removed fromsocial media and fundraising platforms. Thatabsence could leave room forwomen to take on leadership roles, Beirich said. People have definitely left the field, and there are a lot of folks in the alt-right who are not happy with Kessler and, looking back on it, dont think the rally was worth it for the price they paid,” Beirich said. “That opens up some space for other people to be involved, and perhaps thats part of whats happening with these women. The2017 rally addressed a broad range of racial issues, such as illegal immigration andthe backlash against Confederate statues and memorials. This year’s rally will focus on “white civil rights,” according to Kessler’s permit. Horton, who identifies as a conservative and a nationalist, said she is willing to work with extreme groups, even thoughsomehavesexist ormisogynistic views, becausethey can all be united behind causes like freedom of speech. More: One year after Charlottesville tragedy, Heather Heyer’s mother talks about daughter’s death More: White nationalists have entered mainstream conversation More: Charlottesville declares state of emergency for rally anniversary More: What is the alt-right? And how is it using social media to spread its message? “It isnt necessary for us to agree on every single thing because we have this moderate understanding that were able to have a civil conversation and work together and cooperate without having to agree on all of these ideological differences,” Horton said. Horton said the shift in this year’stonewill attract different activists on the right, including more women. Shesaid the new rules organizers institutedthis year also will help tone down the event. Attendees are not allowed to bring any weapons this year, and they can carry only American and Confederate flags. “I think we are appealing to a larger number of people due to the fact that were saying, ‘Hey, were only going to this event to have a civil demonstration, and that is the only intention we have,'” Horton said. “We are not in any way, shape or form encouraging any kind of violence or radicalized rhetoric at this event.” Kessler agreed. “Hopefully bringing in more women for European-American advocacy will bring some of the testosterone-fueled fight culture surrounding these rallies down a notch,” Kessler said. But Beirich called the shift nothing more than a”less obnoxious rebranding” for far-right groups and a tacticto engagemore protesters this year. Im sure Kessler is thinking, What can we do to attract people to the movement that doesnt seem like scary robes and crosses and torches like last time around?’ Beirich said. “This is just a way to couch what is white supremacy as being less threatening. Beirich conceded, however, that women holding so many leadership positions in a far-right rally is a shift for white nationalists. Thats a striking situation, and something you never see, Beirich said.That shows a really different dynamic for Unite the Right this time. Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2OXapuT

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August 12, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Hate groups: Critics question SPLC’s list, fundraising …

The hate group meets in a beige strip mall. Its pastor sports an Abe Lincoln beard. The congregation sits in chairs instead of pews. Sometimes they have potlucks after Sunday services. Scenes from Americas early days rifle-bearing pilgrims walking to church through the snow, the first prayer of the Continental Congress decorate the walls, clues to the churchs stance on the Second Amendment and the role of religion in government. Pastor Warren Mark Campbell is not shy about sharing his beliefs: For example, he says gays who flaunt their sexuality should be prosecuted. This is Lordship Church. Regional human rights watchdogs seem unaware that it exists. But the Southern Poverty Law Center has named it one of 12 hate groups in Idaho under the category general hate alongside infamous, sometimes violent organizations like the KKK and neo-Nazis. Founded to fight racism and poverty, the SPLC helped bring about Idahos biggest human rights victory: the court ruling nearly 20 years ago that bankrupted the Aryan Nations. But it has also aroused mistrust over how it compiles the Hate Map, a unique online guide to the locations and ideologies of 954 U.S. groups. The center, a nonprofit based in Montgomery, Alabama, has grown rich. It has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly from donations solicited online and by mail. The bulk of that money sits in reserve accounts, some of it parked in places like the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, according to the most recent federal tax records available. Co-founder Morris Dees and President Richard Cohen draw salaries of more than $350,000, according to those records, last updated in 2015. At least nine executives earn more than $140,000 a year. The SPLCs opulence has drawn criticism for decades. Outsiders and former employees say the practice of putting violent and nonviolent groups on the same list allows Dees and his cohorts to exaggerate the number, power and threat of hate groups. The goal, they say, is to scare donors, especially uninformed liberals, into parting with their money. Basically, the Southern Poverty Law Center is a fraudulent operation, said Stephen Bright, a Yale University law professor and former director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which focuses on the death penalty, mass incarceration and other issues. The mailings they send out make it seem like, We need your help. And they have all these celebrities who sign off. Oh man, its sad. Because those people are being duped. And the centers targets accuse the organization of waging war against conservative, politically active Christians. The SPLC uses hate as a wedge to marginalize us as Christians, Campbell said. Thats nonsense, said Heidi Beirich, director of the centers Intelligence Project, which monitors extremism and hate activity across the country. The range of conservative thought is pretty broad in the United States, Beirich said. If we were to list groups on that basis, which these folks always allege, imagine the number of churches. We would list thousands and thousands and thousands of groups. Supporters point to the SPLCs accomplishments, such as desegregating the Alabama State Police, forcing the city of Montgomery to pave roads in black neighborhoods, and securing health protections for cotton mill workers. Dees and the SPLC should be feared, they say, but not by honest, tolerant people. Ive seen Nazis, and you mention Morris Dees, and they start shaking like a leaf, said Norm Gissel, a Coeur dAlene attorney who worked alongside Dees in a 1999 case that bankrupted the Aryan Nations. A, because he is Satans child, and B, because they fear him so much. They just start shaking. Gissel called Dees very nearly the smartest person Ive ever met and impeccably honest. He wouldnt call all of the organizations on the SPLCs list hate groups, though. My criteria would be, if theyre not committing a crime, well meet in the marketplace of public policy and have dialogue, he said. Im very Jeffersonian. I believe that my principles freedom, equality, fairness and the rule of law ultimately are going to prevail over any religious set of views that set one group of people over another. Idaho Statesman efforts to contact Dees were unsuccessful. Many states have more groups on the Hate Map than Idahos 12. Just in the West, Washington has 26. California has 75. But in February, financial news blog 24/7 Wall Street examined our population and declared this the state with the most hate groups per capita. Last year, the blog had Idaho at No. 2. News media regularly share the maps contents without question. It drew major attention last August, shortly after violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia left one dead. It categorizes hate groups by ideologies ranging from neo-Nazi to Black Nationalist. (The latter is this years leading category, with 233 total organizations listed.) The SPLC says it lists groups that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. These groups vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines. Researchers compile information from groups own publications and websites, as well as news reports and law enforcement reports, to determine whether they belong on the Hate Map, Beirich said. If theres any question as to whether an organization should be considered a hate group, Beirich said, she reviews the information herself and might talk to other leaders, such as Cohen. Its unclear if the center contacts the leaders of hate groups as part of this process. Campbell said he never heard from them. The process is not foolproof. In February, Politico documented an Illinois towns efforts to get off the list after local officials couldnt verify the SPLCs claims. After months of futile appeals, Politico wrote, the town was removed. Story continues below How we did this storyThis story comes out of Idaho’s history with hate groups. It’s a history that isn’t yet behind us, and one we continue to confront.Like most news outlets across the country, the Statesman last summer reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, N.C.Some parts of the map – a guide to the locations and ideologies of 954 U.S. groups – raised questions. How, for example, did a group that sought a public vote to end refugee resettlement in Twin Falls County end up on equal footing with the KKK? Why was an unknown Coeur d’Alene church on the list? We set out to learn more.Of all the Idaho groups on the list, Lordship Church was the most interested in speaking with us. A reporter and photographer/videographer traveled to north Idaho in March to visit that and another church in person. They also spoke with a lawyer who with the SPLC, helped boot the Aryan Nations from their Hayden Lake compound nearly 20 years ago. And they talked to others in the community about how hate issues have changed in the years since that successful lawsuit.We spoke to a top SPLC official about how it identifies hate groups, and read the organization’s public research on certain groups in the Northwest.And we pored over a mid-1990s series on the SPLC by the Montgomery Advertiser, the organization’s hometown newspaper, that examined its evolution, motivations and fundraising. We studied reports published as recently as this February by Politico and others.What we learned is published here. For all the SPLC’s successes, it is still dogged by questions about its motivation for mixing small, nonviolent groups with more serious threats on the annual Hate Map. Some of those groups are completely unknown, while others seek out attention. But with the Aryan Nations in fragments, Idahoans are more likely to have to confront hate speech rather than violence these days – and there’s no outside consensus on a better way to track it. According to the SPLC, most of Idahos hate groups proclaim racist or anti-Semitic views. Lordship Church is different. Campbell took over the church from his son after moving to Athol in 2015. Before that, he shepherded the Church at Kaweah near Visalia, California, which his father founded in the 1960s. In 2012, the SPLC published a blog post accusing the California-based church of ramping up paramilitary activities and forging alliances with racist groups, patrolling the banks of the Kaweah River and conducting joint exercises with Minuteman groups along the Mexican border. Campbell said the groups claims were inaccurate. Yes, he and several Kaweah church members operated like a militia, conducting firearms training at a shooting range on church property. But they never patrolled the banks of the Kaweah River, he said. And Campbell said he went on his own to the Mexican border to watch for people entering the United States illegally, but it was not a joint exercise with Minuteman groups. Its difficult to confirm how the SPLCs Minuteman claim originated; several other online mentions of it refer back to the organizations post. Lordship Church Pastor Warren Mark Campbell’s belief that people should be prosecuted for displays of homosexuality alarmed the Southern Poverty Law Center. If youre advocating for criminal penalties, criminalization for gay people, youre going to get on our list, said Heidi Beirich, head of the centers Intelligence Project. Katherine Jones kjones@idahostatesman.com Now, Campbell said, its absurd to call his church a hate group. He points out that its members include ethnic minorities. He objects to Islam, but not to Muslims ethnicity. He does not believe in using violence against anyone who disagrees with his creed. I believe that Christianity wins in the marketplace of ideas, Campbell said. We have Gods word. Lets take it out. Lets talk. Lets engage people. His congregation does not include anyone whos openly gay. I would not baptize a Sodomite, he said. I would call them to repentance. And, he told the Statesman, he believes anyone displaying overtly gay behavior should face criminal charges. Thats over the line, Beirich said. If youre advocating for criminal penalties, criminalization for gay people, youre going to get on our list, she said. We think that its particularly hateful if youre going to go down the road of throwing people in jail for private sexual behavior. In fact, thats a lot worse than saying gay people are diseased. You want to put them in handcuffs. One of the churchs minority members, Puerto Rico native Ed Reillo, objected to his church being lumped in with all these crazy right-wing extremists. All that we have experienced here is love from this congregation, Reillo said. I would like to know where (the SPLC is) getting all their facts… I havent seen any crazy guy running around with a pointy hat. Dees, now 81, grew up on a cotton farm about 25 miles east of Montgomery. He always had a knack for getting money, from selling pigs as a youngster to fundraising for presidential candidates. Morris Dees Amanda Edwards Getty Images for Discovery Communications He earned a law degree in 1960 from the University of Alabama and ran a successful business selling cookbooks, tractor cushions and other products, according to his autobiography and news reports. He sold the business in 1969 for $6 million about $40 million in todays money. Dees and fellow lawyer Joseph Levin founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971. The centers attorneys, often led by Dees himself, won several landmark civil rights cases. They successfully argued for better representation of blacks in the Alabama Legislature and helped force the Montgomery Police Department to open all of its jobs to female candidates. There were hiccups. Lawsuits between Dees and another attorney, Millard Farmer, drew public attention amid a dispute over a project aimed at keeping people off death row. The center helped start the Team Defense project in 1976 but backed out the following year. They quit funding us, Farmer told the Statesman. They called me to Atlanta, very politely, and everything and said, Listen were not making any money with this project. … I said, What do you mean were not making any money? How do you think were going to make money? And they said, Oh yeah, we make money on our projects. Dees claimed Farmer spread the funds among more cases than the pair had agreed to and wanted a better accounting of the money, according to an Associated Press report from 1977. Death row and civil rights cases put the SPLC on the map. The next decade, the Ku Klux Klan made Dees a star. In 1981, two KKK members in Alabama grabbed Michael Donald, a young black man. They beat him with a tree branch, cut his throat and hung his body from a tree on a residential street in Mobile. The murderers, Henry Hays and Tiger Knowles, were convicted. With the SPLC representing her, Beulah Mae Donald, Michaels mother, sued the United Klans of America in 1984. She won a $7 million judgment against the Klan and several individual members in February 1987. She collected less than $52,000 because the Klan declared bankruptcy. But the SPLC, which featured the case on fundraising mailers for years, saw a windfall. Between 1985 and 1989, its reserve accounts grew from $12.2 million to $30.6 million, according to numbers the center provided the Statesman. Bright, the Yale professor, said his colleagues at the center were frustrated by what they saw as a misguided obsession with the KKK. Thats what you could convince northern liberals, and Jewish people particularly, of that the Ku Klux Klan was still a force to be reckoned with, he said. When, in fact, it wasnt, and there were other kinds of basic things like roads not being paved in the black community and other kinds of discrimination against African Americans. But Dees had no interest whatsoever in pursuing because it didnt have any fundraising potential. The SPLC formed Klanwatch in 1979 to track the KKK. In 1990, that effort expanded to include other hate groups, eventually growing into the Hate Map. The centers coffers have also grown. It claimed more than $432 million in its endowment funds net assets on Oct. 31. 2017, according to its annual financial statement. Donald Trump and the fear of extremism his presidency has stoked has been good for fundraising. The SPLC received $44.2 million from donors in 2015 and $49.1 million in 2016, according to figures obtained by the Statesman. Last year, it raised $129.7 million. Income from the endowments investments generate tens of millions of dollars every year to sustain the SPLCs litigation and other programming. Morris had always said, Well, when we get to $50 (million), were going to stop. When we get to $100 (million), were going to stop. But of course, they just breezed right past those, Bright said. The center no longer has a finite goal for its endowment, according to an email from the organization. Hate and extremism, poverty, and discrimination, unfortunately, are long-term problems, and our goal is to help as many people as possible, for however long it takes, according to the email. Our donors share the same goal. Farmer, Bright and other critics say the SPLC uses todays rhetoric and publications, including the Hate Map, the same way it used the Donald case in the 1980s: to hype the powers of relatively toothless groups and attract well-intentioned donors cash. I reject that criticism completely, said Beirich, director of the SPLCs Intelligence Project. If we wanted to hype the threat, why would we report many times that the numbers (of hate groups) have gone down? It just doesnt make any sense on that front. This is our accurate read of the problem faced in this country. A few miles west of Coeur dAlene, between the Idaho border and Spokane, Washington, Pastor Shahram Hadian gathers the Truth in Love Christian Fellowship congregation in a small, nondescript event center that mightve hosted a wedding reception just a few hours earlier. Energetic and demonstrative, Hadian talks a mile a minute as he sets up the churchs props: American and Israeli flags, the Ten Commandments and a big-screen image of Truth in Loves sword-heart-Bible symbol. Hadian himself is caught between two swords. In America, the SPLC has named his ministry a hate group. In his birth country of Iran, he said, hes an apostate a traitor to Islam and could be marked for death if he ever returned. Hadians family fled Iran at about the time the SPLC was starting Klanwatch. His father served in the Shahs military until December 1978 three months before the Shah was overthrown in the Iranian Revolution. Hadian said his father could see what was coming. Though the family was Muslim, they were not devout, and his father didnt want to live under the Islamic theocracy the revolution promised. He just came home one day and said, Weve got to pack our bags. Were leaving, Hadian said. And literally we caught the next flight out. Hadian was 8 years old when his family arrived in the U.S. He became a Christian in 1999 and a pastor in 2002. He also entered politics, running for governor of Washington in 2012. In 2015, he lectured Idaho lawmakers on his belief that Islamic law could soon apply to Americas courts, contributing to fears that killed a bill on collecting child support and forced lawmakers to hold a special session to fix the problem. He founded Truth in Love in 2010, moving it to Spokane Valley in 2014. Last year, the church appeared on the Hate Map, labeled as anti-Muslim. Hadian speaks with conviction about the America he sees: a country and culture under attack from an alien ideology that seeks to overthrow Christianity and undermine the foundations of this nation. He predicts that Islams leaders, left unchecked, will exert Sharia law in the U.S., no matter what the Constitution says. Christians who try to be inclusive of Islam are simply enabling that treachery, he said. Absolutely, Islam is a false religion, Hadian said. And its not just a religion. Thats the other part of this equation that we are having a hard time embracing here in the West. … It is a political, totalitarian ideology. But like Campbell, Hadian says hes not anti-Muslim. If somebody whos supporting our ministry ends up putting something online about hate or wanting to go harm anybody, Ill be the first one to denounce them, he said. We must love individual Muslims and seek to share the truth with them. I want to see them … rescued out of an ideology that is destructive. Hadian believes the SPLC shares the motivation of Islamic leaders or has at least become their pawn. Due in part to being identified as a hate group, he said, his church has a team of members who greet the congregation and double as an armed security force. They have to pass background checks and obtain permits to carry concealed weapons, he said. Beirich called Campbells and Hadians anti-Islam, pro-Muslim stance a distinction without a difference. An SPLC post last year on Hadians ministry included criticism from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose executive director in Seattle said Hadians inflammatory speech leads to kids being bullied in schools, adults being taunted at work, vandalism of property and hate crimes. Hadian said the quote borders on libel because he knows of no evidence that hes ever directly incited attacks. The landscape that Campbell and Hadian inhabit has changed since the Aryan Nations collapsed. Retired Lockheed aircraft engineer Richard Butler formed the group in 1977 in Hayden Lake. He admired Adolf Hitler and preached about creating a homeland for whites. His followers became known for vandalism, harassing families and children, and for setting off a bomb in 1984 at Congregation-Ahavath Israel Synagogue in Boise. In July 1998, Victoria Keenans Datsun Honey Bee backfired on Rimrock Road outside the groups 20-acre compound north of Hayden Lake. Guards at the compound, reportedly drunk, thought the noise was a gunshot. They piled into a pickup and chased Keenan and her son, Jason, for more than a mile firing at her, running her off the road, beating her and threatening her before fleeing when another car approached. Keenan told her story to local attorney Gissel, whod already become alarmed at the Aryan Nations increasingly sinister activities. Gissel turned to Dees, who brought star power and deep pockets to bear against the Nazi-sympathizing Aryans. In September 2000, the Keenans won a $6.3 million judgment, bankrupting the Aryan Nations and forcing the group to turn its compound over to the plaintiffs. Echoing Beulah Mae Donald, the Keenans sold the property to Idaho philanthropist Greg Carr, who destroyed all of the buildings and donated the land to North Idaho College. It lies undeveloped to this day. I dont doubt that theres still people around that have some of those beliefs, but theyre without any kind of organization, said Jared Reneau, a detective for the Coeur dAlene Police Department. They dont meet and get together, at least that we know about. And Im not saying that we dont have any problems, but we dont see the same problems that we did 10 years ago. Reneau said hed never heard of Lordship Church. Today, neo-Nazis and the related Patriot Front groups are the most common hate ideologies in the Northwest, said Dave Neiwert, an SPLC correspondent and author of the book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump. The Patriots arent nearly as virulent and problematic as the neo-Nazis are, although the huge numbers that we see in the Patriot movement in the interior Northwest are very much a problem, Neiwert said. Statesman efforts to contact several other organizations listed as hate groups in Idaho and western Montana were unsuccessful. Beirich said she doesnt know of any violent behavior on the part of either Truth in Love or Lordship Church. That doesnt mean theyre not dangerous, though, she said in comments that recall how Butler inspired his supporters to action. People are often critical of us and say, You shouldnt put nonviolent groups on the list, she said. The problem for us is the ideology of the nonviolent groups often ends up justifying violence, right? If (white nationalist magazine) American Renaissance tells you black people are psychopathic killers, even though no one in that group has committed violence, we know Dylann Roof read American Renaissance and went and killed people. Here are the 12 groups currently listed on the Hate Map, their location and how the SPLC categorized each. Endangered Souls RC/Crew 519: Statewide, neo-Nazi Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan: Statewide, KKK Crew 38: Statewide, racist skinhead True Cascadia: Statewide, white nationalist Northwest Hammerskins: Statewide, racist skinhead Committee to End the CSI Refugee Center: Buhl, anti-Muslim

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June 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Chat Site for Gamers Got Overrun by the Alt-Right. Now It …

Discord wanted to create a chat platform for gamers. Instead its attracted a community of white supremacists. Discord is a free voice and text app with invite-only chat rooms, but those private servers quickly found a new fanbase with hate groups, who wanted to discuss plans in secret. After white supremacist groups were revealed to have used Discord to plan the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, Discord started banning those groups en masse. But purging hate from the private chat rooms is no easy task. In early April, the media collective Unicorn Riot leaked more than a year of Discord logs leaked from the now-defunct neo-Nazi group The Traditionalist Worker Party. The leaked logs showed the TWPs dramatic implosion after an affair and alleged assault among the partys leaders in March. The chat logs also show a splinter group of former TWP members starting their own Discord chat room to discuss launching a new white supremacist group. The chat logs were the latest in a series of leaked messages from neo-Nazi Discord chat rooms, called servers. But those servers shouldnt have been online at all. After the Unite the Right rally, Discord shut down chat rooms associated with the rally and announced action against white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate. The public declaration put Discord ahead of larger social media platforms like Twitter, where white supremacist Richard Spencer was verified as recently as November. (He remains on Twitter, albeit without his verified status.) Discord told The Daily Beast it has also begun working with the Southern Poverty Law Center to combat hate groups on the platform, although it did not specify the details of the arrangement. Although some far-right extremists continue to return to the platform, Discords decision to ban the most well-known communities has deprived them of a place to openly organize, plan, and promote their poisonous ideologies, Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, said in a statement. Discords pledge to continue to combat extremist organizing on their platform is critical. This fight is not going to end tomorrow. Other tech companies who struggle with these same issues should know its always the right policy decision to reject organized hatred. But unlike Facebook and Twitter, Discords semi-private nature lets more hate speech go undetected. Discord told The Daily Beast it does not read users messages, and relies on users to report behavior that violates the apps terms of service. This fight is not going to end tomorrow. Other tech companies who struggle with these same issues should know its always the right policy decision to reject organized hatred. Heidi Beirich, SPLC Discord has a Terms of Service (ToS) and Community Guidelines that we ask all of our communities and users to adhere to, a spokesperson said. These specifically prohibit harassment, threatening messages, calls to violence or any illegal activity. Though we do not read peoples private messages, we do investigate and take immediate action against any reported ToS violation by a server or user. We will continue to be aggressive to ensure that Discord exists for the community we set out to supportgamers. The reliance on users to report abuse appears to have led some neo-Nazis to think of the platform as a safe space. I think the alt-right has relied on Discord as a means of communication across distances, with the expectation that whats happening, or what they can talk about is secure, Ryan Lenz, a senior investigative reporter with the Southern Poverty Law Center, told The Daily Beast. Even after alt-right Discord logs leaked last August, revealing how neo-Nazis planned the Unite the Right rally, some groups still believed their messages were safe on the chat app. Get The Beast In Your Inbox! Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast. A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don’t). Subscribe Thank You! You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason. Dont let reporters know what platform we communicate on, Zaine Deal, a former TWP member wrote on Discord on Christmas Day, 2017. Other extremist groups also lingered on the platform. In February, ProPublica reported on a Discord server for the Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group that has been implicated in four murders in recent months. The ProPublica report revealed Atomwaffen members celebrating the most recent murder, that of Jewish teenager Blaze Bernstein. Shortly after the report, Discord banned Atomwaffen and other white supremacist groups, including the Nordic Resistance Movement, Iron March, and European Domas. But keeping the groups off Discord is another matter. The Daily Beast observed one 4chan-affiliated Discord group shuffle across at least three Discord servers, always posting a link to a backup chat room in case their primary room was banned. I think time and time again, especially in the aftermath of Charlottesville, weve seen that Discord is not as secure as the alt-right thought it would be, Lenz said, and that many of their unsavory ideas or true intentions have been laid bare by leaks and otherwise communications on the platform.

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May 15, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Less Than a Year After Charlottesville, the Alt-Right Is …

Some have turned federal informant. Others are facing prison time. More are named in looming lawsuits. All of them are fighting. Last summer, the American alt-right was presenting itself as a threatening, unified front, gaining national attention with a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The collection of far-right and white nationalist groups proclaimed victory after President Donald Trump hesitated to directly condemn them and instead blamed both sides and the alt left for the violence. But less than a year after Charlottesville, the alt-right is splintering in dramatic fashion as its leaders turn on each other or quit altogether. Matthew Heimbachs arrest in a March trailer park brawl with members of his neo-Nazi groupsome of whom he was allegedly screwingfelt like a too-obvious metaphor. Heimbach was the head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a youth-focused white supremacist group that floated to the front of media coverage and hate rallies in the run-up to Donald Trumps election. But by March, Heimbach and the TWP had spent the previous months embroiled in a series of online spats with other alt-right factions. On March 14, police in his Indiana hometown arrested Heimbach after he allegedly assaulted TWP spokesperson Matthew Parrott during a fight over their wives, both of whom Heimbach was allegedly sleeping with. Heimbachs wife is Parrotts stepdaughter. The high-profile bust was an accelerant in what had been a slow-burning feud among the alt-right. Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, said the schism started after Unite the Right, a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. The rally turned deadly after a man affiliated with a white supremacist group plowed a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring more. Matthew Heimbachs arrest in a March trailer park brawl with members of his neo-Nazi groupsome of whom he was allegedly screwingfelt like a too-obvious metaphor. I think the splintering started there, but I have to say what happened in the last couple weeks has been at a much higher level, Beirich told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. Threats from the far-right are by no means over. The SPLC recently released a map documenting 954 hate groups in the U.S., a rise in 20 percent since 2014. In a January report, the Anti-Defamation League found that white supremacists had killed 18 people in 2017. But the alt-right has had a bad month. In recent weeks, as Beirich described, prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer has dropped a lawsuit against Kent State University and canceled his speaking tour, after anti-fascist protesters opposed him at every stop. Antifa is winning, Spencer conceded in a video. Days earlier, Kyle Bristow, an alt-right lawyer who has represented Spencer, announced he was quitting the movement after the Detroit Free Press wrote an article critical of him. Heimbach was arrested days after Spencer canceled his tour. The implosion of the Traditionalist Worker Party, its not exactly as though that was planned in some way, but its a spectacular implosion of a key player in this universe, Beirich said of the alt-rights terrible two weeks. Even the TWPs diehards say its prospects are bleak. There is no way for us to continue on with the TWP branding after what happened, Tony Hovater, a TWP leader, wrote on Gab, a social media platform popular among the alt-right. In November, Hovater was the subject of an arguably sympathetic New York Times profile. Now he was on Gab discussing his plans to start a new organization after Heimbachs arrest, which was without a doubt a shameful incident, he wrote. (Journalist Elizabeth King noted on Twitter that the TWP may have rebranded or splintered into something called the Nationalist Initiative.) Get The Beast In Your Inbox! Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast. A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don’t). Subscribe Thank You! You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason. I have no comment, Parrott, the former TWP spokesperson whose wife allegedly slept with Heimbach, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. I am no longer involved in the movement, and I have no stake in all the stupid shit going on in it. Hes not the only one headed to the exits over infighting. I am no longer involved in the movement, and I have no stake in all the stupid shit going on in it. Earlier in Marchafter Bristow quit the movement, but before Spencer canceled his college tourHeimbach and the TWP acted as a security force for Spencer outside a speech to a handful of people at Michigan State University. They scrapped with counterprotesters, resulting in at least a dozen arrestsincluding that of Greg Conte, director of operations for an alt-right group, HuffPost reported. The physical brawl turned into a Twitter feud between Spencer and Patrick Casey, the executive director of white supremacist group Identity Evropa. Identity Evropa participated in the violent clashes at Charlottesville. But after the deadly rally, and two leadership changes (leader Nathan Damigo quit after Charlottesville, and his successor Eli Mosely quit to join a Spencer-affiliated group before it was revealed that Mosely lied about serving in the Iraq War) Identity Evropa promoted Casey to its head and attempted to rebrand itself as clean-cut. On Twitter, two days after the TWP got in a brawl while acting as Spencers security force, Identity Evropa claimed to be explicitly non-violent and peacefully effecting cultural change. In a press-friendly, but largely meaningless semantic ploy, the group denied being a white supremacist organization. Spencer interpreted the tweet as an attack. In a tweet of his own, Spencer said he was baffled and shocked at the behavior of Casey, and accused him of expelling Identity Evropa members who had supported Spencer during the brawl outside Michigan State University. The spat was the latest over the alt-rights optics, a divisive subject among the movement. The Unite the Right rally was so toxic for the alt-rights image that some members started arguing that in-person protests were bad publicity for the cause. Currently the biggest divide is between people who believe in online activism versus real-world activism. Beirich said. After Charlottesville, Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, for example, posted things criticizing in-real-life protests When PayPal and Facebook started banning accounts, he was pointing out that these arent good things for us, taking to the streets isnt necessarily positive, the optics were bad. I think theres also a lot of, maybe professional is the wrong word, but professional jealousies here. Anglin is currently on the run and claims to be in Cambodia while he attempts to avoid a lawsuit by a Jewish woman whose address and phone number he posted online after she argued with Spencers mother. Anglin encouraged readers on his neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer to call the woman and visit her home, unleashing a campaign of harassment against her. An opposing alt-right movement accuses people like Anglin of optics-cucking, a reference to a porn genre in which a man watches another man have sex with his wife. (The term was in vogue with the alt-right long before Parrott stood on a box outside a trailer to watch Heimbach have sex with Parrotts wife, according to a police report in the incident.) The anti-optics crowd accuses the pro-optics faction of trying to splinter the movement. Among the optics-skeptical is Chris Cantwell, a white supremacist who featured prominently in a Vice documentary on the Unite the Right rally, and who later became a meme when he cried on camera. Since Charlottesville, Cantwell has produced a podcast, which ran on The Daily Stormer until Anglin allegedly removed it without telling Cantwell earlier this month. As far as I can tell, thats whats going on and theyre just throwing barbs back and forth over it, Beirich said. I think theres also a lot of, maybe professional is the wrong word, but professional jealousies here. Cantwells blog or podcast gets more popular, that pisses off other members of the alt-right who want to be center-stage. On Gab, Cantwell alleged a conspiracy. I found out that new content was not being syndicated to [The Daily Stormer] when somebody asked about it in my Gab mentions. So I cant say with any certainty what the motivation was, Cantwell wrote last week. He suggested that the removal of his show and the flood of negative news about the TWP, in which he is not involved, was part of an effort to discredit the alt-right. I smell subversion, he wrote. Hovater, the remaining TWP leader who called Heimbachs arrest shameful, shared the post. Cantwells attack on The Daily Stormer soon landed him in trouble with other members of the alt-right, when one of the blogs contributors revealed that Cantwell was an FBI informant. Andrew Auernheimer, a Daily Stormer contributor and hacker best known by his screen name Weev, posted screenshots of a conversation with Cantwell, in which Cantwell admitted to reporting members of Philadelphia ARA (anti-racist action groups) to authorities. I talked to cops too. gonna talk to the feds soon most likely, Cantwell told Weev in the undated conversation, which references Cantwells pending felony case for alleged illegal use of tear gas at the Charlottesville rally. Im going after Philly ARA. Not throwing our people under the bus. We werent the bad guys last August, and Charlottesville is ignoring that fact. The feds want to bust Antifa and Im keen to help them. Weev replied that if you hadnt talked to cops and media in the first place and had gotten scarce you wouldnt be facing 40 years in prison. After Weev posted the screenshots, Cantwell confirmed their authenticity in a blog post of his own titled I Am A Federal Informant, in which he attacked Weev as a Jew in a foreign country in reference to rumors that the neo-Nazi blogger is actually of Jewish ancestry. Cantwell also confirmed that his attorney had spoken with the FBI. The admission set off a fresh volley of criticism from alt-righters who are opposed to communicating with law enforcement. Cantwells attack on The Daily Stormer soon landed him in trouble with other members of the alt-right, when one of the blogs contributors revealed that Cantwell was an FBI informant. Cantwell has good reason to try to deflect blame onto anti-fascist protesters. In addition to his pending criminal charges, he is named in two civil lawsuits against Unite the Right rioters. (He is only a defendant in one of the cases.) Between them, the lawsuits also name Spencer, the TWP, Identity Evropa, and the League of the South, the latter of which signed an agreement Monday not to host any future armed protests in Charlottesville. Beirich said the two lawsuits will probably drive some other people to abandon the movement. They just dont want to get caught up in the legal fees. In her extensive time tracking the far-right, Beirich has seen other similar movements grow and implode. She drew a parallel between the alt-right and the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group that, until the early 2000s, was the biggest neo-Nazi group in America. It was the main player. But when the National Alliances leader William Pierce died in 2002, the group turned on itself. Within a very short period of time, the whole group was essentially decimated. One year after Pierce was dead, that group was done and had splintered into a whole bunch of factions, Beirich said. That was the case where a leader died, and I imagine Heimbachs downfall is almost a death to the Traditionalist Worker Party. Under the pressure of lawsuits, jail time, scandal, and shame, she imagines some current alt-righters will simply slink away, if they havent already. Im sure were going to lose some people and were going to have some fighting over the crumbs that are left.

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May 1, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Neo-Nazi Groups Explode Under Trump, Southern Poverty Law …

Neo-Nazi organizations saw the greatest growth among hate groups last year, according to a new report by Southern Poverty Law Center released Wednesday. There were 954 active hate groups in the United States in 2017, SPLC found, the greatest total since 2011s record-breaking year. About half of the groups are white supremacist groups, including Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, white nationalists, skinheads, and Christian Identitarians. Almost one-quarter of 900 hate groups are black nationalists, and 114 groups are anti-Muslim. Other groups with specific hatred for the LGBTQ community, the government, and women have risen, albeit in smaller numbers. Within the white supremacist movement, Neo-Nazi groups saw the greatest growthsoaring by 22 percent from 99 to 121, since 2016, according to the SPLC report. The overall number of hate groups likely understates the real level of hate in America, SPLC said, because a growing number of extremists, particularly those who identify with the alt-right, operate mainly online and may not be formally affiliated with a hate group. The report comes after a year of notorious violence by the so-called alt-right. In August 2017, white supremacists gathered for a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that led to the deaths of Heather Heyer and two local law enforcement officials. In January 2018, a California man who allegedly murdered his gay, Jewish high school classmate trained with Florida-based Neo-Nazi group Attomwaffen, ProPublica reported. In December 2017, a man who frequented alt-right forums and websites like The Daily Stormer killed three people including himself at a New Mexico school, The Daily Beast previously reported. Since 2014, 43 people have been killed and 67 people have been injured by men associated with the alt-right or white supremacists, SPLC reported earlier this month. Dylann Roof, the man who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston nearly three years ago, regularly commented on The Daily Stormer and admitted to planning the race-based attack. “I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country, Roof wrote in a note used in his prosecution. Neo-Nazi groups saw the greatest growthsoaring by 22 percent from 99 to 121. Southern Poverty Law Center SPLC also counted the murders of Elliot Rodger, the California man who killed seven people, including himself, as one of the first massacres killings carried out by the alt-right before the movement went mainstream. Nikolas Cruz, the alleged Florida school shooter who killed 17 people on Valentines Day, commented Elliot rodger will not be forgotten on a YouTube video last year. Law enforcement said it is investigating whether Cruz was affiliated with a white supremacist group in Florida that initially claimed he was a member. In a first for the organization, SPLC added two male supremacy groups to its annual report on extremism: Texas-based A Voice for Men and Washington, D.C.-based Return of Kings. The vilification of women by these groups makes them no different than other groups that demean entire populations, such as the LGBT community, Muslims or Jews, based on their inherent characteristics, SPLC said in a statement. Heidi Beirich, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said that the organization compares male supremacy groups’ methodsusing slurs and saying women are destroying mento white supremacist groups like the New Century Foundation, which publishes a magazine that focuses on the demonization of black people. President Donald Trump blamed many sides for alt-right violence in Charlottesville, and the SPLC report says Trumps presidency has emboldened white supremacists. They believed they finally had a sympathizer in the White House and an administration that would enact policies to match their anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and racist ideas, the report stated. The only hate group that decreased its chapters in 2017 was the Ku Klux Klan, the oldest hate group in the country. Its clear that the new generation of white supremacists is rejecting the hooded movement that was founded after the Civil War, the authors of the SPLC report wrote.

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April 3, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Heidi Beirich, Author at CrimeFeed

Heidi Beirich leads the SPLCs Intelligence Project, one of the most respected anti-terror organizations in the world, according to theNational Review. She is an expert on various forms of extremism, including the white supremacist, nativist and neo-Confederate movements as well as racism in academia. She oversees the SPLCs authoritative, yearly count of the nations hate and hard-line, anti-government groups and is a frequent contributor to the SPLCs investigative reports and speaker at conferences on extremism. Prior to joining the SPLC staff in 1999, Heidi earned a doctorate in political science from Purdue University. She is the co-editor and author of several chapters ofNeo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, published by the University of Texas Press in 2008. Please provide a Twitter Username. The past year has been filled with a series of frightening, and possibly portentous, violent attacks from Americas radical []

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March 3, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed


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