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March 18, 2016 9

Seeking Justice: The Pardon of Leo Frank

This week marks the 30th anniver­sary of a sig­nif­i­cant event in ADL his­tory – the deci­sion by the Geor­gia State Board of Par­dons and Paroles to posthu­mously par­don Leo Frank.  Frank was the Jew­ish man­ager of an Atlanta pen­cil fac­tory who was falsely accused and wrongly con­victed in August 1913 of the rape and mur­der of Mary Pha­gan, a 13-year-old girl who worked in the factory. leo-frank-anti-semitism

Anti-Semitism was ram­pant in the early 1900’s and Leo Frank’s trial attracted national atten­tion and sig­nif­i­cant press cov­er­age – includ­ing irre­spon­si­ble press out­lets that inflamed the pub­lic with base and sala­cious anti-Semitism.  The trial itself was infected with a pervasively-hostile and anti-Semitic atmos­phere – from the argu­ments of the pros­e­cut­ing attor­ney to furi­ous mobs shout­ing “Hang the Jew!” out­side the cour­t­house.  Leo Frank’s trial and con­vic­tion shocked and gal­va­nized the Amer­i­can Jew­ish com­mu­nity – and under­lined the impor­tance of the estab­lish­ment of the Anti-Defamation League, which was founded in Chicago in 1913 with a mis­sion to “to stop the defama­tion of the Jew­ish peo­ple and to secure jus­tice and fair treat­ment to all.”

Frank appealed his con­vic­tion – all the way to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled 7 to 2, that Frank’s con­sti­tu­tional due process rights had not been vio­lated.  Jus­tices Oliver Wen­dell Holmes and Charles Evans Hughes strongly dis­sented:  “Mob law does not become due process of law by secur­ing the assent of a ter­ror­ized jury. “

After all appeals were exhausted, Geor­gia Gov­er­nor Geor­gia John M. Sla­ton reviewed the case and com­muted Frank’s death sen­tence to life impris­on­ment. That coura­geous deci­sion in June 1915, enraged many and sparked riots in the streets.  Two months later, a mob of armed men kid­napped Frank from his prison cell, drove him over 100 miles to Mari­etta (Mary Phagan’s home­town) and lynched him.

Leo Frank lynching

Efforts to vin­di­cate jus­tice for Leo Frank were strength­ened in 1982, when eighty-three-year-old Alonzo Mann, who ran errands in the fac­tory as a boy, came for­ward to announce that he had seen the fac­tory jan­i­tor car­ry­ing Mary Phagan’s body to the base­ment on the day of her death.  The jan­i­tor had threat­ened to kill him if he told any­one.  ADL’s Atlanta-based South­ern Coun­sel, Charles Wit­ten­stein and promi­nent immi­gra­tion lawyer and national ADL leader Dale Schwartz led a vig­or­ous legal cam­paign to clear Frank’s name.  And on March 11, 1986, those efforts were rewarded with a par­don.  The land­mark deci­sion, how­ever, did not exon­er­ate Frank and prove his inno­cence.  Instead, Geor­gia par­doned Frank because of their fail­ure to pro­tect him and bring his mur­der­ers to justice.

 It’s hard to imag­ine a trial steeped in such anti-Semitism or racism today, but our nation is far from free of anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant dis­crim­i­na­tion and hate crimes.  Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. famously said:  “The arc of the moral uni­verse is long, but it bends towards jus­tice.”  The anniver­sary of Leo Frank’s par­don is teach­able moment and a reminder that the arc does not bend by itself – peo­ple striv­ing for equal­ity and jus­tice – even jus­tice, delayed – need to bend it.

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January 26, 2016 3

Failed White Supremacist Leaders Form New Christian Identity Group

Two lead­ers of the white suprema­cist move­ment, Paul Mul­let of Bain­bridge, Ohio, and Billy Roper of Moun­tain View, Arkansas, have joined forces to form a new group, Divine Truth Min­istries and its “polit­i­cal arm,” the Nation of True Israel.  Both men have strug­gled for years to estab­lish them­selves in the move­ment and to recruit followers.

Mul­let and Roper prac­tice Chris­t­ian Iden­tity, a vir­u­lently racist and anti-Semitic reli­gion. They believe not only that whites of Euro­pean descent can be traced back to the “Lost Tribes of Israel,” but that Jews descended from a union between Eve and Satan. In addi­tion to their Chris­t­ian Iden­tity beliefs, both men have embraced neo-Nazi ideology.

Symbol of Divine Truth Ministries, left, and Aryan Nations, right

Sym­bol of Divine Truth Min­istries, left, and Aryan Nations, right

A late Decem­ber press release by Roper announced they were “car­ry­ing for­ward the ideals and val­ues of Aryan Nations under a new ban­ner.” In the 1990s, Aryan Nations was one of the largest and most active neo-Nazi groups in the coun­try, as well as a major Chris­t­ian Iden­tity group.

Pre­sum­ably Mul­let and Roper hope to cap­i­tal­ize on the small void left by the recent dis­so­lu­tion of Mor­ris Gulett’s Louisiana-based fac­tion of Aryan Nations. Gulett’s group was one of a num­ber of fac­tions that formed after the 2004 death of Richard But­ler, the founder of Aryan Nations.

It is no sur­prise that Mul­let and Roper’s first course of busi­ness has been to demo­nize Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. Ear­lier this month, just days before the fed­eral hol­i­day mark­ing Dr. King’s birth­day, they spon­sored a “Day of Edu­ca­tion,” which encour­aged all “white nation­al­ists” to dis­trib­ute anti-King fly­ers and lit­er­a­ture alleg­ing that King, among other things, was a pla­gia­rist and communist.

They are also orga­niz­ing an April march at Georgia’s Stone Moun­tain Park 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 King’s honor. Fol­low­ing the march, they are also plan­ning a white power music event at a dif­fer­ent venue.

Despite their ide­o­log­i­cal begin­nings with promi­nent neo-Nazi groups, Mul­let and Roper, just a year apart in age, have strug­gled to make their mark in the white suprema­cist world. Mul­let started with Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations, while Roper, who came from a fam­ily of Klans­men, got his start with William Pierce and the National Alliance. In the early 2000s, But­ler and Pierce died, leav­ing the neo-Nazi move­ment in dis­ar­ray and both Mul­let and Roper untethered.

Shortly after Pierce’s death, Roper, forced out by the remain­ing lead­ers of the National Alliance, started his own neo-Nazi group, White Rev­o­lu­tion. Despite years of effort, White Rev­o­lu­tion never amounted to any­thing more than a tiny pro­pa­ganda group and Roper shut it down in 2011. For the last sev­eral years, Roper was active with Thomas Robb’s Arkansas-based Klan group, the Knights Party.

Mul­let also expe­ri­enced fail­ures as he attempted to start sev­eral neo-Nazi and Chris­t­ian Iden­tity groups in the years fol­low­ing Butler’s death. His worst loss came in 2011 when Mor­ris Gulett usurped a fac­tion of the Aryan Nations that Mul­let had founded in 2009. In 2011, Mul­let attempted a come­back with the Amer­i­can National Social­ist Party, but it also failed.

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September 17, 2015 22

Extremists Declare: Refugees Hastening Europe’s Demise

White suprema­cists in the United States are up in arms over the refugee cri­sis in Europe. They believe that the set­tle­ment of refugees from the Mid­dle East and Africa in Euro­pean nations will destroy white Euro­pean cul­ture and trans­form the con­ti­nent. They are also hop­ing that the refugee cri­sis will push Euro­peans to embrace white nationalism.

In addi­tion, anti-Semites within the white suprema­cist camp are pro­mot­ing con­spir­acy the­o­ries that blame Jews for the cri­sis and accuse Jews of spear­head­ing Europe’s demise.

The Amer­i­can Free­dom Party (AFP), a white suprema­cist polit­i­cal group, posted an arti­cle by Joshua Bates, a self-identified white nation­al­ist. Bates called the refugee cri­sis an “inva­sion” and asserted that “Europe clearly needs a swift boot to the face, and per­haps even to suf­fer tragedy, if that is what it takes to dis­turb its com­pla­cency and force it to fight back.” He added, “The rapa­cious and ungrate­ful invaders will do much of the dirty work for us through inevitable attacks on our cul­ture and people.”

Kevin MacDonald

Kevin Mac­Don­ald

Like Bates, Jared Tay­lor, head of Amer­i­can Renais­sance (AR), a white suprema­cist online pub­li­ca­tion, said in video on the AR web­site, that Europe was has­ten­ing its demise if it con­tin­ued to accept refugees. He argued that white Euro­peans who wel­come refugees don’t under­stand what they’re doing. He claimed, “They are giv­ing away their cul­ture, their her­itage, their iden­tity, their coun­try. Kind­ness to strangers is cru­elty to their own chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. Europe will learn or Europe will die.”

Anti-Semites directly blame the Jews for encour­ag­ing non-white immi­gra­tion to Europe. Patrick Slat­tery, who often pro­vides com­men­tary on anti-Semite David Duke’s web­site and Inter­net radio show, argued that Jews want Mus­lim immi­gra­tion to Europe even if they’re fear­ful of anti-Semitism. Slat­tery asserted, “What really mat­ters to Europe’s Jew­ish lead­ers is that mil­lions of Mus­lim immi­grants will make Europe unliv­able for Euro­peans. Because what’s bad for the Euro­peans must be good for the Jews.”

Kevin Mac­Don­ald, an anti-Semite who runs The Occi­den­tal Observer, an anti-Semitic online pub­li­ca­tion, also claimed that Jews have self-interest in bring­ing refugees to Europe. He argued, “As always, the poli­cies advo­cated for Euro­pean coun­tries are couched in terms of Jew­ish atti­tudes and inter­ests, not the legit­i­mate inter­ests of Euro­peans to retain their cul­tures and demo­graphic status.”

Mac­Don­ald added, “From the per­spec­tive of Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions and most Jews, Israel, but not Europe, is absolved from patho­log­i­cally altru­is­tic behav­ior toward refugees — patho­log­i­cal in the very real sense that this behav­ior com­pro­mises their legit­i­mate long-term interests. “

AFP posted an anti-Semitic arti­cle to its web­site that alleges that Jews are forc­ing the refugees on the West. The unnamed author adds, “Geno­cide hap­pens quickly when jews [sic] are steer­ing the ship. And up until today they con­tinue to advo­cate for open bor­ders and amnesty, seem­ingly unwill­ing to stop until there are no more Whites left.”

White suprema­cists and anti-Semites are obsessed with the idea that the white West­ern coun­tries are expe­ri­enc­ing a white geno­cide. They are using the refugee cri­sis to pro­mote that idea.

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