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November 25, 2013

Anti-immigrant And Anti-Muslim Groups Join Forces To Host Event In North Carolina

On Friday, November 22, the Fayetteville, North Carolina chapter of ACT! for America, an orga­ni­za­tion pro­mot­ing the idea that Islam is a back­ward and sedi­tious polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy, hosted a screening of the anti-immigrant film, “They Come to America.” After the screening, organizers have scheduled a panel discussion about immigration with James Johnson, head of the North Carolina-based anti-immigrant group NC FIRE and Ron Woodard, the founder of another North Carolina-based anti-immigrant group, NC Listen.act-for-america-they-come-to-america-poster

The Fayetteville chapter of ACT! for America regularly posts extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric on its Facebook page, claiming Islam is in a war with the world and promoting a video titled “Islam and Nazism, the Unholy Alliance.” Both Johnson and Woodard are anti-immigrant activists with ties to extremism. Earlier this year, Woodard received the “We the People Leadership Award” from the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) a group founded by racist John Tanton. FAIR helped to found and buttress Woodard’s group, NC Listen.

James Johnson of NC Listen has circulated articles from racist websites such as VDARE and American Renaissance in the past. In 2011, Johnson posted a picture of himself with Roan Garcia-Quintana, a director of the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) on Facebook. Both men were attending FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire event. 

The screening and panel discussion is just one recent example of collaboration between the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements, both at the national and local level. Both movements see immigration as problematic and promote xenophobia. Nationally, both anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim groups promote anti-immigrant legislation and both movements worked to derail immigration reform in 2013. At the local level, activists attend and speak at each other’s events and support each other’s campaigns.

Events such as the Boston Marathon bombings, as well as stories about “terrorists” entering the United States through Mexico serve as fuel for both the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements and indicate that further collaboration between groups both at the local and national level will not only continue, but increase.

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September 13, 2013

Florida Cop-Killer Harbored Extremist Views

Social networking postings and links made by a Florida man who killed a Charlotte County deputy reveal a vehement loathing for President Barack Obama as well as sympathy for a variety of racist and anti-Muslim causes.jay-vanko

On Monday, August 2, Sergeant Mike Wilson of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment building in Port Charlotte.  As he entered the stairwell of the building, Jaroslav “Jay” Vanko, 49, fired at the deputy from the top of the staircase, mortally wounding Wilson in the chest above his bulletproof vest.  Vanko killed himself soon after as police surrounded the building.

Why Vanko decided to resort to lethal violence is not clear and may never be known.  However, Vanko’s profile on the social networking website Facebook, as well as his postings elsewhere on that site, provide considerable insight into many of his views and opinions. 

Vanko’s on-line writings clearly reveal that, in the years since his arrival in the United States from the Czech Republic, he had developed an attachment to a variety of far right-wing causes that ranged from mainstream to extreme.  One of Vanko’s most cherished causes was the issue of gun rights, but he tended to be most emotional on the subject of President Barack Obama, describing Obama as a “snake” and a “scumbag” who “literally make me a sick” [language as in original posting].   According to Vanko, Obama was seeking a rise in criminal activity in order to justify mass gun confiscation.  “That is exactly what Lenin did,” Vanko wrote, accusing Obama of seeking to “spark [a] socialist revolution.”

As disturbing as such comments are, even more disturbing are some of the other causes that Vanko supported.  Among Vanko’s Facebook “likes” were a variety of racist, white supremacist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim Facebook pages, including “American White History Month,” the anti-Muslim “United States of America Defence [sic] League,” “Islam Free Planet,” “The Counter Jihad Report,” “Boycott Halal,”  the anti-government extremist “Three Percenters III%” page,  the racist and anti-Muslim English Defence League,  the page for conspiracy theory talk show host Alex Jones, and many similar pages.

His “likes” also included several Facebook pages tied to white supremacist groups, including the page “Save the White People in South Africa,” associated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations and other white supremacist groups, as well as the page for the American Renaissance, a white supremacist magazine published by longstanding racist Jared Taylor.  In a posting he made to the South Africa page, Vanko offered his own opinion of the white race:  “I love whites, most beautiful people on planet.  We need to fight it on daily basis, not deal with savages on any level and ignore them everywhere” [language as in original posting].

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August 2, 2013

Founder Of White Student Union At Georgia State Has History Of Espousing Extreme Views

A freshman student from Alabama, Patrick Sharp recently founded an informal “White Student Union” on the campus of Georgia State University in Atlanta. According to newspaper reports, Sharp, started the group to celebrate white identity. patrick-sharp

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sharp argued that as whites inevitably become a minority in the United States, they should not back away from expressing pride in the white race and white heritage.  His statement echoes the views of a number of American white supremacists. 

Later in the same interview, Sharp revealed that his inspiration for starting the White Student Union was racist Matthew Heimbach, who founded the White Student Union at Towson University in Maryland in 2012. Sharp viewed videos of Heimbach, who has been the subject of media attention. A recent short documentary on Heimbach created by the alternative news service VICE has almost 300,000 views on YouTube.

Heimbach is no longer the White Student Union leader at Towson, but runs the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN) with white supremacist Matt Parrott, the former head of the Indiana branch of the white supremacist organization Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) and the white supremacist political party American Freedom Party (AFP).

According to Parrott, TYN is “the first attempt to adapt the European New Right’s ideals to the American context for street action, and it already includes an impressive selection of America’s most active and respected young street activists and public advocates.” The group appears to be modeled after Generation Identitaire, the youth movement arm of the far-right French political party Bloc Identitaire, led by Fabrice Robert. The website for the Georgia State White Student Union links to TYN, calling it “our sister organization.”

Sharp’s online footprint indicates that he shares the ideology of Parrott and Heimbach. Sharp’s Facebook page shows that he “likes” a slew of European far-right political parties, figures and movements including Fabrice Robert, Generation Identitaire and Jobbik, a virulently anti-Semitic Hungarian political party that once called for the creation of a list of Jews in Hungary who pose a “national security risk.” 

Sharp also has also posted extreme comments on Facebook. In a posting dated December 1, 2011, Sharp wrote “I hope more Americans, and ESPECIALLY Europeans begin to wake up to the threat that is Islam. There is no place for Islam in the West.” In another post dated February 8, 2012, Sharp wrote, “The people carrying out these programs of White Genocide say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-White. Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White!” In addition, Sharp has a profile on the website of the white supremacist publication American Renaissance published by racist Jared Taylor.

While Sharp is one example of a college student inspired by emerging young leaders in the white supremacist movement in the United States such as Matt Parrott and Matthew Heimbach, it remains to be seen whether American racists can successfully create an actual  youth movement in this country modeled after far-right European youth movements.

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