2013 January » ADL Blogs
January 23, 2013

White Supremacists Begin New Year With Plot, Murder

Anthony Baumgartner at Charlotte, North Carolina, NSM rally in November 2012

American white supremacists marked the New Year with violence, opening 2013 with a murder in Kentucky and an alleged plot in Ohio.  Suspects in both incidents have ties to neo-Nazi groups.

The murder occurred near the small town of Walton, Kentucky, south of Cincinnati, Ohio, on January 9. About a week later, Boone County sheriff’s deputies arrested three men on kidnapping, murder and abuse of a corpse charges, stating that the suspects had beaten the victim in two separate locations and stabbed and strangled him to death at the second location, then dismembered his body and left parts of it in different places. The victim was a 19-year old drug addict who also allegedly sold heroin to support his own drug habit.  

The suspects arrested were Anthony Baumgartner, 23; Jeffrey Allen, 21; and Stephen Harkness, 22. At least one of the suspects has ties to the white supremacist movement. Baumgartner, who has several white supremacist tattoos, was a relatively recent recruit to the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM), with the rank of “Stormtrooper First Class.” He attended a major NSM rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, in November 2012 and also attended or organized local NSM events in Boone County. He claimed to have in the past been involved with a Ku Klux Klan group; this has not been verified.

Baumgartner and the others also admired outlaw motorcycle gangs and Baumgartner claimed on one Web site that he was the former president of a biker club called “SS Bandits.” This has also not been verified.

Recently, he posted to a white supremacist site that “I want to get back in the race war so me and a few other boys in my area are starting to clean up [the] area of drugs and so called street gangs…we had […] enough and its time we stand up and take back what is ares [sic].”

In neighboring Ohio, meanwhile, federal prosecutors in mid-January indicted another neo-Nazi, Richard Schmidt of Bowling Green, on weapons charges. Schmidt, a convicted felon, allegedly had a horde of weapons that included at least 18 assault weapons and more than 40,000 rounds of ammo. According to NBC News, a law enforcement officer said there was evidence that Schmidt possibly was planning attacks on Jewish and civil rights groups in the Detroit area. 

Schmidt was a long-time member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, recently acting as its Toledo contact point, and in the past also occasionally attended meetings of the NSM.

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January 18, 2013

White Supremacist American Third Position Party Promoting Gun Appreciation Day

The American Third Position (A3P), a white supremacist political party, is promoting Gun Appreciation Day on its website. The January 19 event, sponsored by a number of pro-gun and Tea Party groups, urges Americans to go to their local gun store, gun range or gun show to demonstrate their support of gun ownership and their right to bear arms.

A3P was a co-sponsor of the event but the organizers apparently removed A3P’s name from the list of sponsors after Media Matters and other news outlets revealed the group’s extremist views. In its mission statement, A3P states that the group’s goal is “to restore and preserve the legitimacy of White identity, White heritage, and expressions of White interests.”

The leadership of A3P includes a number of well-known white supremacists and anti-Semites. Chairman William Johnson promoted a constitutional amendment to Congressional members and state legislatures in the 1980s that would have limited U.S. citizenship only to whites of European descent and repatriated various groups, including Jews, to places deemed their country of origin.

Other leaders of the A3P include Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic professor of psychology at California State University at Long Beach; James Edwards, who runs a white supremacist radio show, The Political Cesspool; Don Wassall, a long-time white supremacist whose newspaper The Nationalist Times publishes anti-Semitic and racist articles; Virginia Abernethy, a white supremacist and anti-immigration activist, and Jamie Kelso, a racist and former associate of ex-Klan leader David Duke.

One of the A3P’s main goals is to appeal to mainstream audiences, and it attempts to do so using issues that are of concern to the general public.  A3P’s attempt to participate in Gun Appreciation Day is part of this effort. Previously, the party has sought to exploit issues such as immigration and government spending at Tea Party events in different parts of the country.

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January 18, 2013

ADL Workshop Cultivates Ally Behavior Online

Over the past few years the media has covered many stories about cyberbullying and its detrimental effects on youth.  The research, and our own experiences, make it clear that cyberbullying hurts the youth targeted and creates a negative experience for those who witness the behavior.   We also know that youth are often targeted online because of their identity, including their weight, real or perceived sexual orientation, gender expression, religion and race.

To help address issues of cyberbullying, ADL’s AWORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute created CyberALLY®, a half-day (3-hour) or full-day (6-hour) interactive training for middle and high school-age youth that provides practical information and opportunities for skill-building.  CyberALLY supports youth in developing personal strategies for protecting themselves against cyberbullying as well as acting as cyberallies—preventing and taking action against cyberbullying and social cruelty in online forum.

We recently conducted a research evaluation of CyberALLYto assess the effectiveness of the training program and gain insight into areas for improvement.  Funded by Circle of Service and Microsoft, we contracted with an evaluation research firm, TCC Group, to design and conduct the evaluation.  With TCC Group, we identified in research terms the outcomes we hoped to achieve with CyberALLY:  1) awareness and knowledge about cyberbullying, 2) demonstration of responsible and ethical online behavior, and 3) ability to be a CyberALLY.

The data analysis shows highly statistically significant improvement in all three outcome areas, indicating that the CyberALLY program is effectively equipping students to take action against cyberbullying. The students showed the greatest improvement in the outcome “the ability to be a cyberally.”  Some specific findings include: 93% of students indicated that they learned different strategies for responding to cyberbullying and online bias and 81% indicated that “all kids my age should participate in this workshop.”  By changing the culture from one of passive bystanders to one of active cyberallies, we can change the way students interact online. In all, the results of this evaluation have shown that ADL is contributing to furthering the  overall goal of fostering increased cyber-civility and a culture of e-safety among our youth.

For specific strategies on how you can be a cyberally and address bias and bullying online, visit www.adl.org/combatbullying.

 

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