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April 25, 2016

White Supremacist Events Coincide With Hitler’s Birth Week

Marking the anniversary week of Adolf Hitler’s April 20th birthday, several neo-Nazi and Klan groups held collaborative events over the weekend of April 23. Four such events were held within approximately 150 miles of one another in north Alabama and central Georgia.  adl-blog

  • The United Klans of America (UKA) hosted a private event in Alabama which included a cross burning and several Klan weddings.  The event was open to all members of the Black and Silver alliance which consists of the UKA, the Sadistic Souls (an Illinois-based faction of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations), James Logsdon’s small faction of the Creativity Movement, and Missouri and Tennessee members of the Right-Wing Resistance (a neo-Nazi group that originated in New Zealand.)
  • The neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) hosted a rally at the Law Enforcement Center in Rome, Georgia. Approximately 100 people from various white supremacist groups attended the event, including the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the Texas Rebel Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.  Other attendees included Arthur Jones (a long-time Illinois neo-Nazis and Holocaust denier), Ted Dunn (leader of the SS Action group), and Eric Meadows, who has been linked to the neo-Confederate League of the South. The hateful rhetoric of rally speakers, who intermittently shouted “white power” and “Sieg Heil,” was largely drowned out by counter protesters. Two counter protesters were arrested for disorderly conduct.
  • Approximately two dozen people participated in a white power event at Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park. The poorly attended event, organized by white supremacist John Michael Estes and Klansman Greg Calhoun, was intended to protest leg­is­la­tion that would allow changes to exist­ing Con­fed­er­ate dis­plays and mon­u­ments, as well as a plan by the Stone Moun­tain Memo­r­ial Asso­ci­a­tion to install a mon­u­ment in Martin Luther King’s honor.  The small group held confederate flags and a banner that read “Diversity = White Genocide.” Several counter-protesters threw rocks and fireworks at police, and set a barricade on fire. At least eight counter-protesters were adewayne-stewartrrested and charged with violating Georgia’s mask law, and one was arrested for allegedly throwing smoke bombs at police.
  • On the evening of April 23, ralliers from both the Rome and Stone Mountain events attended a private after-party near Temple, Georgia. The event included white power music and the burning of both a cross and a swastika.

These collaborative events demonstrate the willingness of some Klan groups to practice a Nazified version of Klan ideology and to form symbiotic relationships with neo-Nazi groups.  With both the neo-Nazi movement and Klan movement in decline joint events can help mask the small numbers that individual white supremacist groups are able to generate.

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August 26, 2015

Judge Thwarts Anti-Semitic Killer’s Attempt At Show Trial

As opening statements and testimony began this week in Olathe, Kansas, in the murder trial of white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller (also known as Frazier Glenn Cross), the defense strategy of the former Klansman—who is representing himself—became clear.

Frazier Glenn Miller mugshot

Frazier Glenn Miller mugshot

Miller, who has admitted committing a shooting spree at two Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas, in April 2014 that killed three people, including one child, indicated his intentions with his opening statements on August 24. Miller asserted to the jury that the murders were justified, describing his actions that day as “well-intentioned” and claiming that he had “good, moral reasons” for the slayings.

These statements echoed earlier remarks by Miller before the trial that he would attempt a “necessity” defense, claiming that the shootings were needed to halt the “Jewish genocide of the white race.” Though Miller had admitted that his intentions were to shoot Jews, none of the victims he killed at the Jewish institutions turned out to be Jewish.

Miller told the jury that white people “have a right to survive” and the right to preserve our heritage…and a safe future for white children.” This was a reference to the “14 Words,” a popular white supremacist slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” It refers to the widespread white supremacist belief that the white race is threatened with extinction because of a rising tide of non-white peoples who are controlled and manipulated by Jews.

However, Miller did not get far in his effort at an anti-Semitic show trial before Judge Kelly Ryan stopped him. Judge Ryan had earlier ruled that Miller could not introduce his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories into the guilt phase of the trial, which was to determine whether a crime had been committed, not why. The judge said that Miller could make such arguments during the penalty phase of the trial, if he were convicted.

As witnesses began to testify, Miller found other ways to introduce his anti-Semitic views, such as bringing certain books to court with him. At one point he had a copy of his own, self-printed autobiography, A White Man Speaks Out, displayed on the defense table. Another time during the trial he held up a book for people to see: They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, an anti-Israel book written by Paul Findley, a long-time anti-Israel activist, in 1985.

Miller was a prominent white supremacist in the 1970s and 1980s, at one point heading a large Ku Klux Klan group, but the white supremacist movement ostracized him for providing testimony in a criminal case against other white supremacists. Miller has spent most of the past 15 years trying to get back in the graces of the movement, with little success. His shooting spree was apparently a final attempt.

Miller’s Overland Park attack was only one of a number of deadly shooting sprees by white supremacists in recent years. These and other murders have made white supremacists the most deadly extremist movement in the country, as detailed in ADL’s recent report, With Hate in their Hearts: The State of White Supremacy in the United States.

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June 18, 2014

Honoring The Memory Of Murdered Civil Rights Workers

June 21 marks the 50th anniversary of the murders of three young civil rights workers who travelled to Mississippi for “Freedom Summer,” to help African American residents understand their constitutional rights and register to vote.  Facing deep institutional racism, fewer than five percent of the 500,000 black adults in Mississippi were then registered to vote.  Michael “Mickey” Schwerner, 24, James Chaney, 21, and Andrew Goodman, 20, knew they were risking their lives for their cause. murdered-civil-rights-workers

On June 21, 1964, after they had investigated the burning of a black church, the three young men were reported missing.    Forty-four days later, their bodies were found buried deep in a dam in Philadelphia, Mississippi.  The nation later learned that on their way back, the men’s car had been stopped for a pretext traffic violation and the three had been arrested and held for several hours.  On their release, they were followed and murdered by members of the Neshoba Country Sheriff’s Department, Philadelphia Police, and members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

When Mississippi prosecutors refused to press murder charges, federal authorities, led by Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights John Doar, brought federal criminal civil rights charges – with mixed results:  seven of the 18 defendants were convicted, with sentences between three and ten years.  At the sentencing in December 1967, federal judge William Harold Cox crudely explained, “They killed one nigger, one Jew, and a white man. I gave them all what I thought they deserved.”  In 1999, a new generation of Mississippi law enforcement officials reopened proceedings, and in 2005 the State of Mississippi indicted the Klan leader who had led the group.  ADL welcomed his conviction.

The murders in Mississippi in 1964 outraged the nation, providing additional momentum to propel passage of the comprehensive Civil Rights Act later that summer – and the Voting Rights Act (VRA), one of the most important, effective civil rights laws – the following year.

We have come a long way as a nation since 1964, but vigilance is necessary to retain that hard-earned progress.  In 2013, unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a critical VRA provision in Shelby County v. Holder.  The League had urged the Court to uphold the Act in an amicus brief.  Instead, a narrow Court majority eliminated the formula to determine which states must seek prior government approval for voting changes. The very day the decision was handed down, a number of states began enacting previously-blocked voter ID laws and redistricting measures.

Now, fifty years later, the League is help­ing to lead a very large coali­tion work­ing to fight dis­crim­i­na­tion, pro­mote equal­ity, and pro­tect the same vot­ing rights for which Schw­er­mer, Good­man, and Chaney gave their lives. ADL is urg­ing broad sup­port  for the Vot­ing Rights Amend­ment Act of 2014 (VRAA) which would cre­ate a new for­mula for pre-clearing vot­ing rights changes.

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