Citizens Against Hate

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Archive for the ‘Hate Crimes’ Category

INNOCENCE LOST

Posted by nicolen on May 9, 2008

It was one of those fantastically beautiful Florida days in May of 2007. Asma Sidani and her two beautiful sons, one five and the other eleven thought it would be a perfect time for some Taco Bell.

Seated at a table in the Tampa Bay restaurant the two children awaited the return of their mother as she placed their order. Little did they realize that the stranger seated close by, 60-year-old Thomas Plaisted, hated them simply because they were Muslim.

It didn’t take long for the bile that often accompanies such hatred to rise within Plaisted. Unleashing a torrent of racial expletives and curse words upon the two children, Plaisted then spat food into the face of the youngest and began shoving the oldest.

Shouting that he wanted to break their necks, Plaisted was confronted by patrons and workers in the restaurant and forced to flee. However, the hateful onslaught would scar the two little ones for the rest of their lives.

Incongruously, once the police arrived, they refused to take a report furthering the outrage of both the mother and the onlookers and doing nothing to assuage the terrified youth.

In a society such as ours where people from all corners of the Earth converge and dwell and work together it is inconceivable that such things continue to occur. Often we are oblivious to the deleterious acts of the crazed and the depraved. Caught up in the hustle and bustle of our own daily routines, we have a tendency to take freedom, and the acceptance of others for granted.

The Sidani children were guilty of nothing more than being children born into a Muslim family. Anticipating a favorite meal, they expected nothing more than a happy repast with their mother. Yet, they were robbed of their innocence and their security by a thief so filled with venomous hatred as to rival a rattler on a hot August night.

Thomas Plaisted was, of all things, a school bus driver for the local district. Everyday he drove young students, of every color and ethnicity, to and from their educational institutes. His actions resulted in his firing and in his being charged with a hate crime.

The failure of the police in this matter, resulted in an apology and an assurance that such negligence would not happen again. However, the very fact that it occurred at all leaves one wondering how widespread such blatant negligence might be – and if it was negligence at all.

The children are scheduled to give depositions next week. In a civilized community of humanity, children are generally valued at a higher level. We have an innate sense of protecting those who have not yet matured into adulthood. In this case, we can only hope that the children will be able to work through the trauma that Plaisted inflicted upon their young psyches.

While the actions of Plaisted are despicable, they are not without precedence, however. All to often, hate crimes against others, even the young, are being committed. They leave behind not only the physical evidence but an emotional scarring that can and, often does, last a lifetime.

Posted in Civil Rights, General Racism, Hate Crimes, Racism | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

MENDING FENCES – IT CAN HAPPEN

Posted by nicolen on May 8, 2008

http://www.theacorn.com/news/2008/0508/community/023.html

Intolerance is not the way, students taught
By Sophia Fischer sfischer@theacorn.com

JANN HENDRY/Acorn Newspapers FOES, FRIENDS- Matthew Boger, left, a gay man, and Tim Zaal, a former white supremacist, have made their peace.

A former neo-Nazi skinhead leader and a gay man discussed their unlikely friendship during a student assembly at Oak Park High School last Wednesday. The men spoke about hate, healing, forgiveness and hope.

Tim Zaal, a former white supremacist from the San Gabriel Valley, served time in jail after assaulting an Iranian couple he thought were Jewish.

Matthew Boger, thrown out of his Bay area home by his mother at age 13 after announcing he was gay, spent years living on the street. The two men, now in their 40s, met in 1981 when Zaal nearly beat Boger to death in a dark Hollywood alley. They met again 26 years later through the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Boger, the museum manager, and Zaal, a consultant for the museum, met for lunch in May 2005. While talking about their childhoods the men realized they had met before- in the alley where Zaal helped beat Boger up. The revelation made Boger so angry he left the restaurant.

“For two weeks I thought about what I was going to do to destroy Tim’s life,” Boger said at the assembly.

Zaal publicly apologized to Boger during a presentation for visiting students. It wasn’t easy for him, but Boger forgave Zaal.

“I did it so I could heal and move forward,” he said.

Zaal urged students not to make the same mistakes he made. He compared the predominantly white neighborhood he grew up in with Oak Park. Zaal was considerably younger than his siblings and considerably influenced by them. As the neighborhood diversified, Zaal became aware of his family’s racist attitude.

“My father never said Hispanic or black people were bad but that property values were depreciating and the neighborhood wasn’t what it used to be,” Zaal said. “It’s definitely not something we’re born with- it’s definitely something we’re taught- our upbringing, our neighborhood.”

The shooting of his troubled older brother by an AfricanAmerican deeply affected Zaal. After his siblings left home, Zaal’s mother returned to work, leaving the youth on his own after school.

He began drinking, grew a mohawk, and became involved in the hardcore Hollywood punk scene where violence was common. His group vandalized cars, stores and beat people. He married a woman in the white supremacist movement and had a son. He began to raise the boy as a racist.

“Having a child does strange things to a person. It makes you have to be responsible,” Zaal said.

A turning point came when Zaal was in a store with his then 2-year-old child. The boy loudly pointed out an African-American man, using the “n-word.” Other customers stepped in to berate Zaal for teaching such language and attitude to his youngster. “It was the first time I ever felt shame,” Zaal said.

It took years for Zaal to extricate himself from the supremacist movement. His first wife is in jail, and his son is struggling with the issues of his upbringing. Zaal is now married to a Jewish woman. Following the example set by a friend, a fellow former skinhead, Zaal began volunteering at the Museum of Tolerance.

Meanwhile, Boger was living on the streets in San Francisco after his eviction from home. Cold, tired and hungry, he called his mom to ask if he could return.

“My mother said I could come home only if I was done being gay,” Boger said. “That was the last time I heard her voice.”

He eventually moved to Los Angeles and lived for years on a piece of cardboard in a park, eating out of trash cans and being victimized.

Many homeless teens hung out at a nearby burger joint. One night a group of 14 teens assaulted Boger and his friends. He ran into an alley to try to escape, but was beaten by all the attackers.

“They were kicking me, cutting me open. The last thing I remember was a boot with a razor blade in it kicking me in the head. I still have the scar from that blade,” Boger said.

The boot belonged to Zaal. When Boger came to, he was alone in the alley, bloodied and weak. “It was the most lonely, horrible feeling I ever had,” he said.

Rather than go to the police or a hospital he stole bandages and continued living in the park and healing.

“The last thing I wanted to hear was my mom saying ‘I don’t want you,'” Boger said.

He eventually got off the streets, attended a trade school and became a hair colorist. Physically and emotionally scarred, he began volunteering at the Museum of Tolerance, an experience that helped him deal with his own prejudices against non-gay people. He is now the facility’s manager.

And Boger and Zaal are good friends. Boger refers to Zaal as sort of an older brother.

The men’s message is important for students to hear, said Oak Park school board member Marie Panec.

“Our students are good kids but they are naive about the world and what can happen,” Panec said. “By hearing stories like this they can be made aware that intolerance is there in the community and how easily you can get sucked into it.”

“It really showed me how people can change in life and how a sad situation can have an impact on the future and what you do,” said senior Carly Tysch, 17.

Posted in Gender/Orientation Discrimination, Hate Crimes, Racism | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

END THE SILENCE

Posted by nicolen on April 24, 2008

TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE

RONZONE: End the silence

A day to remember violence against the LBGT community

By: Raquel Ronzone

Posted: 4/24/08

The charge against him is murder as a premeditated hate crime and gun possession. If convicted, the gunman will face 52 years to life in prison.

The most lenient sentence, then, means that Brandon McInerney would walk freely at age 66. Although they were not able yet to drive, the 14-year-old gunman and his 15-year-old target Lawrence King were not too young to become victims of a homophobic society.

Yes, both teenagers were victims – casualties of an America that is not absolutely accepting of homosexuality and is thus culpable for harboring the attitudes that spurred the act of fatal violence between the two boys.

Lawyers have a few weeks – until May 8, the date of McInerney’s arraignment hearing – to decide whether the teenager will remain in adult court or return to juvenile court. The poignant reality, however, is that no legal proceedings – not even the conviction and life sentence of Brandon McInerney, will eradicate the intolerant mentalities that incite homophobic crimes.

The rulings of medical professionals have not changed those mentalities either. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association finally removed homosexuality from the “Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders.”

The homophobic motives for the teenage gunman and the classification of the lifestyle as a psychological abnormality are without warrant at best and highly unethical at worst. King’s premature death demonstrates how society still views homosexuality with contempt, judging it as a deviation from normal and correct relationships.

Lawyers and psychiatrists cannot alter this narrow-minded perspective of sexual identity. That is our responsibility. We cannot numbly allow these groundless points of view to thrive, to murder and possibly incarcerate our school-age population.

Tomorrow, the 12th annual Day of Silence, you will have the opportunity to promote acceptance of homosexuality. Vows of silence taken by students will bring attention to the “name-calling, bullying and harassment – in effect, the silencing – experienced by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students and their allies,” according to DayofSilence.org. This year’s student-led call to action will honor the eighth-grade murder victim.

The Web site states that “500,000 students at nearly 4,000 K-12 schools, colleges and universities organized Day of Silence events” in the past. Despite this outpouring of support, some people refuse to respect others’ right to live without verbal and physical abuse.

The Day of Truth, a project of the Alliance Defense Fund, “was established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective,” according to DayofTruth.org. The ADF states, “It is part of [GLSEN’s] overall strategy to change how our society perceives homosexual behavior. But the Day of Silence is a misnomer because what is truly being silenced is the Truth.”

Can anyone deny that a 15-year old is dead because of his sexual orientation? Can anyone say that raising awareness of the discrimination that our youngest citizens face is dangerous enough to warrant a counterargument?

The “Christian perspective” allegedly promoted by the Day of Truth is far from Christian – turn to theological statements for the actual Christian understanding of homosexuality. The pastoral statement, “Always Our Children,” compiled by U.S. bishops in 1997, declared, “Every person has an inherent dignity because he or she was created in God’s image. A deep respect for the total person leads the church to hold and teach that sexuality is a gift of God … Everyone should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.”

The intrinsic, divine worth of each person is indeed a true concept but one that will yield to public opinion of homosexuality if we do not take action. By taking a vow of silence tomorrow, you will commemorate Lawrence King, Brandon McInerney and countless other victims of homophobia. With time and diligence, we will no longer need to distinguish LGBT rights from the rights of other Americans.

——————–

Raquel Ronzone is a freshman from Philadelphia, Pa. She can be reached at raquel.ronzone@villanova.edu.

Posted in Gender/Orientation Discrimination, Hate Crimes | Tagged: , , , | 14 Comments »

WHEN LOVE & HATE COLLIDE

Posted by nicolen on March 14, 2008

TO HEAR THE LIVE INTERVIEW FROM OKLAHOMA CLCK HERE

FOR THOSE HAVING TROUBLE VIEWING THE PICTURES TRY HERE

VIEW PICTURES OF THE DAY HERE

wbc.jpgFred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church groups thought they would bring their message of hate to Oklahoma and to Tinker Airforce Base today – but they found out that a little love speaks much louder than they.

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Initially, police had placed both sides behind barricades more than a half block apart. Police maintained a strong presence though not nearly as strong as that found at, let’s say, a neo-Nazi rally.

Fred Phelps, notorious for picketing the funerals of our fallen soldiers brought his contingent to the heartland after a tragic shooting at Tinker Airforce Base claimed the lives of two small children and their father, a decorated war veteran, in a murder-suicide.  Claiming that God is punishing America for allowing gays in the military and turning the country into a modern day Sodom and Gamorrah. On his website, announcement of the planned protest stated that God had put the gun in the father’s hands.

While there were only 9 or 10 present in his group, they brandished different signs, all reprehensible, throughout the protest, most of which was expected. However there was a collective gasp among onlookers as signs reading “Kill More Kids” and “Pray For More Dead Soldiers” were displayed. But the real story in all of this is what happened in the street and on the sidewalk.

wbc3.jpgAs I approached the anti-Fred Phelps group about 30 minutes prior to the start-time, there was something very special in the air. There were approximately 30 protestors already gathered and that number swelled to near 100 by the end of the event. But, the feeling of love and togetherness was almost palpable. They told me that, above all, they support the troops and that they were all about love not hate. But, they didn’t have to tell me that – because amid the traffic and the noise, there was a peacefulness that you couldn’t help but feel emanating from this group of very young people.

I411134-r1-010-3a_005.jpgn contrast to the youth, a familiar sight rode in just as the drama was beginning to unfold…the Viet Nam Veterans group of bikers who have dogged Phelps and his hateful army ever since he started ingratiating himself into the private and somber burying of our war-dead. They came right down the middle of the street and everyone cheered knowing that they make an awesome presence for our side – and they didn’t let us down.

100_2304_0004_004.jpgAs the Westboro Baptist Church spewed their venom, the bikers turned their backs. As the hideous words were shouted they were drowned out by the revving of engines. Wearing grim faces of determination and disgust, the bikers stood tall in the face of one of the most evil little group of haters ever to be seen in the likes of the heartland. Not only did their presence command attention and appreciation – their presence reinforced the message of love of both country and our people. Their presence signified the generations who have come before and brought with it a unification of the old and the young…a bridging of all gaps that might have once existed. 

Even that wasn’t the whole story, however. The street in front of the gates into Tinker Air Force base is a major thouroughfare as it is also a major artery onto and off of I40. It is also Midwest City’s main shopping area and the protest was planned, probably by design, for the lunch-hour. While there about 100 protestors on the sidewalk – there were hundreds of cars on the street honking their horns, shouting, and making their displeasure with Phelps known. It was pretty incredible.

As Citizens Against Hate we were not kept behind the barricades and we mingled freely with the protestors, police, and press. Lacy Montgomery, head of Teens Against Hate, is responsible for most of the excellent photos displayed and we thank her for making the trip into OKC.

In closing, the Westboro Baptist Church met their match today in Oklahoma and the message of love not hate was communicated loudly and firmly. While Fred Phelps only controls a handful of members his message is particularly heinous. Watching young children – very young children – brandish placards announcing that “God Sent the Killer” or “Fags Doom Nations” caused a lot of mouths to drop and a lot of people to stop just to see if they head seen that right. One can only wonder what sort of life these children have and what sort of adults they will become.

There was one arrest today that we know of. An onlooker was so outraged by the signs and the message that he crossed over into the WBC area. Police spent a lot of time trying to calm him down and finally put him in a police car. Sadly, while I abhor violence, I can almost understand his rage. But, the rule of the day was love – you could feel it – almost taste it – and it was glorious.

A FULL GALLERY OF THE PROTEST WILL BE AVAILABLE THIS EVENING – SO CHECK BACK.

Posted in First Amendment, Fred Phelps, free speech, Gender/Orientation Discrimination, Hate Crimes, Westboro Baptist Church | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A TANGLED WEB OF MURDER

Posted by nicolen on February 1, 2008

Home / News / Local
Tangled web of murder
An investigation of two brutal killings in Hingham in 2005 exposes a seamy underworld of crime, violence, and hatred stretching across the South Shore

boston.jpg

 A single cross marks the site near Hingham’s Bare Cove Park where two homeless men were bludgeoned to death in 2005 in an old military bunker. Inset are James Winquist (left) and Eric Snow at their arraignments in Hingham District Court. (Matthew J. Lee / Globe Staff; Inset: AP Photos)
Email|Print| Text size – + By Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff / January 31, 2008
The scene was undeniably gruesome. Two homeless men had been bludgeoned to death in the old military bunker they shared near Bare Cove Park in Hingham. Blood was everywhere. One victim’s hand had been cut off. The crime, in the spring of 2005, was the worst the comfortable seaside town had seen in recent memory.

more stories like thisAs police have pursued the killers, they have encountered an equally violent local underworld reaching further across the South Shore. It is a world in which players go by nicknames such as “Twisted” and “Mental” and “Killa,” and the stories they have since told police have only helped confuse the prosecution’s case.

So sketchy is the list of witnesses, and so tangled the versions of events, that the confusion could undermine the trial against the two men eventually charged with the crime: James Winquist, 24, of Bridgewater and Eric Snow, 26, of Weymouth. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorneys have submitted a series of court requests, and one plans to seek dismissal of the case. While court motions are routine in criminal matters, the lawyers say in this case they’re based on questionable evidence and testimony gleaned from witnesses just as shady as the suspects.

“Every person who said they heard anything is being reported by the government as being a liar by everyone else,” said Gerald T. FitzGerald, a New Bedford lawyer who represents Snow.

“The bottom line here is, what is the quality of evidence here?”

Prosecutors would not discuss the case or the witnesses, saying it’s up to the courts to decide what happened.

“The appropriate place to deal with this is before a court of law,” said Bridget Norton Middleton, a spokeswoman for the Plymouth County district attorney’s office. “And that’s where we’ll do it.”

Nevertheless, the list of court requests and testimony is set to expose the backstory of the murders, and what happened that night in the dark woods just off a walking trail at the Back River in Hingham.

Court records show that prosecutors have been faced with contradictory testimony. A witness pointed to one man before blaming another. A man who witnesses said bragged about committing the murders in an apparent celebration of the killings is now himself a star witness.

These witnesses, meanwhile, have sought immunity and lenient sentences for a variety of crimes, some of which are just as shocking as the murders.

Violence and mental illness are very much part of the network of alleged killers, witnesses, and affiliates in the case, court records show. Many in the group are white supremacists. Some brag of earning their “bones,” a reference to taking a life, according to court documents.

As one police official put it, “It’s quite a crew.”

Chilling chronology

The bodies of William Chrapan, 44, and David Lyon, 46, were found May 9, 2005, in the military bunker closest to the Bare Cove Park trail. Medical examiners said they were killed sometime within 10 days before their bodies were discovered.

Two months after the killings, in July, a witness led police to a hand that was buried near power lines in Bridgewater, near Eric Snow’s home. Tests later showed it belonged to Chrapan.

There, the investigation began. It led detectives from Hingham to Bridgewater to Weymouth, and eventually to Snow, Winquist, and their friends – a group of men who have served time, espouse white supremacy, and call themselves the Brothers of Blood.

Winquist and Snow met in 2003 in jail, where both were introduced to a loose network of local white supremacists. When he returned home, Winquist hung a Nazi flag in the basement of his home in Hingham. Snow has tattoos that promote the white supremacist movement.

Whether the suspects’ white supremacy views are relevant in this case is a matter of dispute. The victims were white, and friends of the suspects and a witness in the case, according to court records, describe Brothers of Blood as “a joke crew” that may advocate white supremacy but did not follow the discipline of established gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood. Snow had a black friend, for instance.

A defense attorney says prosecutors’ mention of white supremacy is a ploy. But police say the white supremacy network the two young men discovered while behind bars eventually drew them to a dark world that celebrates murder.

Winquist, known as “Twisted,” had a history of breaking into cars, homes, and boats on the Hingham and Weymouth waterfront. In 2003, the year he met Snow in jail, Winquist was charged with stabbing a man in Harvard Square. He was later acquitted in that attack.

Snow, who has “Killa” tattooed on his neck, has been charged with such crimes as assault with a hand gun, and assault and battery. In one case, after the murders, authorities say he took part in a home invasion, and was armed. He served two years in jail for home invasion and armed assault with a gun.

William Sylvestre, a 28-year-old who dated Snow’s sister, served two years in jail for his role in that home invasion. According to court records, Sylvestre had earlier told police that Snow had told him that he and Winquist killed people.

Mike Alfano, 27, known as “Mental,” spent time in jail for nearly killing a man with a sledgehammer in 2003. He then cooperated with the FBI as an informant in hopes of getting a favorable sentence, according to records.

Alfano, described in court records as the leader of the Brotherhood of Blood, is a key witness against Snow and Winquist, according to court records. He sought leniency from prosecutors for his testimony in this case, and a detective said “we would assist him in any way we could if the information he provided to us was beneficial,” according to a defense attorney in the case, citing police reports.

Alfano originally told police that another member of their network, David Courage, claimed he committed the killings, according to court records. Now, Alfano says Snow and Winquist did it.

Courage, 18, of Hingham, bragged about the killings, according to court records that cite witness testimony. He was initially at the center of the murder investigation, according to investigators. He later testified against Snow and Winquist with the promise that he would not be prosecuted for what he said, and he is now a key witness, court records show.

Courage could not be reached for comment, but a prosecutor said in court that he denies testimony by defense witnesses that he waved the severed hand around at a party.

Ryan Bois, 20, of Weymouth, was arrested in August on charges he kidnapped, raped, and murdered his 6-year-old cousin. Just before he was arrested, Bois called Winquist eight times on his cellphone, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors never explained why the calls were made, and friends of Winquist said he did not answer the calls.

But within days after Bois was arrested, police started knocking on Winquist’s door, asking about the calls. A month later, Winquist and Snow were arrested and charged with the Hingham murders.

They were indicted in October. Bois, in a mental institution pending his murder case, is now a witness against Snow and Winquist.

Court records describe testimony from witnesses who name Winquist and Snow as the killers. One witness told police she was passed out on a couch in the basement of Winquist’s home and let the two men borrow her car. An hour later, Snow and Winquist came back laughing, saying they “beat up some bums up the street.” The witness said Winquist and Snow took off their clothes and put them and bats into a black trash bag.

The same witness said she drove Snow to his home in Bridgewater that night and watched him bury a bag near the power lines behind his home. The witness told police she used her car to light the scene for Snow.

Police also describe a visit they made to that same scene in July 2005, based on a tip by a confidential witness. There, they found Chrapan’s hand, apparently slit at the wrist. Another witness describes a party at Winquist’s home, located a half-mile from the military bunker where the murders occurred. The witness told police that Snow and Winquist had kept the hand in a plastic bag and cooler, and passed it around while they ridiculed the victims.

The two imitated the homeless men’s pleas for mercy, and the gurgling sound they made as they died, witness later told police.

It was after that, according to court records, that Snow and Winquist told their friends they “made their bones.”

Epilogue

All that remains at the murder site now is a mound of dirt, with a cross that somebody placed on top. Hingham officials demolished the military bunker after the bodies were discovered.

Two and a half years later, the court case is inching forward. Winquist is due in court next week. Both men are being held without bail – Snow in Plymouth County and Winquist in Norfolk County.

Winquist’s lawyer has requested more information from prosecutors about the investigation. Snow’s lawyer plans a motion to have the case dismissed, and has sought the criminal histories of witnesses in the case, seeking information that “might be used to impeach a witness.”

Posted in Hate Crimes, Homeless, skinhead | Tagged: , , , , | 51 Comments »

COLD SHOT TONIGHT

Posted by nicolen on January 28, 2008

Obviously, we had technical difficulties tonight. The January 28th Cold Shot can be downloaded here.


COLD SHOT TONIGHT AT 10:00 EASTERN

TOPICS INCLUDE:

*A Success Story – From Hatred to Harmony

*Another Violent Creator

*Hate Crime Charges Filed On Munson

*Mayor Funkhouser Funked Up

*Jose Padilla, Timothy McVeigh, Al Qaeda, Domestic Terrorism

JUST CLICK ON THE WINAMP BU

Posted in anti-immigration, Domestic Terrorism, General Racism, Hate Crimes, immigration, Jena 6, Racism, skinhead | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE PRICE OF FREE SPEECH…

Posted by nicolen on January 17, 2008

Feedom of speech is cherished in this country, as it should be. Most people who are sane, rational, educated, and imbued with a modicum of integrity realize that with such rights there comes a certain degree of responsibility. However, when those who fall short in any of those areas decide to wave a banner and orate from a dais or tree stump we can expect there is a cost to the rest of us.

That cost may be extracted in the form of hurt feelings, civil or racial unrest, bruised psyches, and yes…even dollars. The following article appeared in the City Pulse in Lansing, Michigan and demonstrates the inherent dangers of racism and racist reasoning as well as the cost to others when administrators are hamstrung between the rock and a hard place. To read the article in it’s original form click here.

Black Hats on Campus E-mail
Written by David Holthouse   
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Preston Wiginton is one busy neo-Nazi.

In October 2005, he won the “Strongest Skinhead” contest at Hammerfest, a racist skinhead festival in Draketown, Ga., where he announced that he was organizing secret paramilitary training in preparation for the coming race war. In the following days, Wiginton posted more than 300 messages to the white nationalist online forum Stormfront, writing in one that “beating down a mud,” or non-white, is a “righteous act of collective preservation.”

Since then, Wiginton has continued to appear at white supremacist events across the United States — and abroad, too. Just this Nov. 4, Wiginton spoke to a crowd of 5,000 Russian ultranationalists at a Moscow rally against non-white immigration that included calls for Serbian-style ethnic cleansing. Waving his black cowboy hat, the Victoria, Texas, resident said, “I’m taking my hat off as a sign of respect for your strong identity in ethnicity, nation and race.” The audience responded with Nazi salutes and chants of “White power!” in English.

But Wiginton, ever the activist, has not neglected smaller venues. A mere 10 days before the Moscow rally, Wiginton served as master of ceremonies at an appearance in East Lansing, by British Holocaust denier Nick Griffin, the national chairman of the white supremacist British National Party.

This time, Wiginton’s venue was not a skinhead keg party, backwoods cross burning or neo-Nazi rally on foreign soil. It was a lecture hall on the campus of Michigan State University.

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Kyle Bristow (far right) and four other members of YAF-MSU (who declined to be identified) protesting Sen. McCain’s appearance Sunday at the Kellogg Center over his position on illegal immigration (E.J. Jocque/City Pulse).

Wiginton, 43, is not a Michigan State University student. He’s not an alumnus or a faculty member, either. But he is chummy with MSU junior Kyle Bristow, the 21-year-old chairman of the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, or MSU-YAF — the only university student organization in the country listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Acting in collusion with elder white supremacists like Wiginton, and with the financial and logistical support of a major conservative foundation, Bristow and a handful of cronies have roiled their campus and the surrounding community by hosting speakers like Griffin, issuing vicious homophobic and racist insults, and staging publicity stunts masked as political demonstrations that seem inspired in equal parts by the movie “Animal House” and the Hitler Youth.

“He’s become a divisive force,” former MSU-YAF member Kari Lynn Jaksa, an MSU junior who describes herself as a Republican with strong libertarian leanings, says of Bristow. “Frankly, he’s embarrassing.”

A YAF a Minute
In November 2006, MSU-YAF organized a “Straight Power” demonstration in downtown Lansing to protest a proposed local civil rights ordinance (which passed unanimously) protecting gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgener individuals from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. YAF members carried signs that read “End Faggotry” and “Go Back in the Closet.”

Also last year, Bristow and Wiginton co-administered two racist online groups — “True American Patriot” and “Jobs a White Man Won’t Do” — within the Facebook social network. (The pair also share a fondness for black cowboy hats. Bristow wore his while anti-racist protesters outside the MSU building where Griffin spoke on Oct. 26 beat a piñata effigy of Griffin with sticks.)

MSU-YAF has since cosponsored a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day” contest, held a “Koran Desecration” competition, jokingly threatened to distribute smallpox-infested blankets to Native American students, and posted “Gays Spread AIDS” fliers across campus.

Last spring, when the MSU leftist group Students for Economic Justice hosted a lecture by a Colombian labor organizer detailing allegations of union busting and murder by the owners of Coca-Cola bottling plants in South America, Bristow and his minions jeered, waved American flags and conspicuously guzzled from large bottles of Coke while the speaker tearfully described witnessing his best friend being gunned down by paramilitary thugs.

“YAF’s ridiculous tactics are making all conservatives at MSU look bad,” Jaksa, an international relations major, told the Intelligence Report. “It’s gotten to the point where I hate to even say I’m a conservative anymore in class discussions or private conversations, because people automatically assume that I’m with Kyle Bristow. It’s important to me that people know there are sane conservatives on this campus. We’re not all racists and fascists.”

Jaksa said that when she joined MSU-YAF her freshman year, “It was basically just the action wing of the College Republicans.” Now, according to Jaksa and other sources, the College Republicans at MSU have asked Bristow to stop attending their meetings.

“We protested in favor of fiscal and social conservatism. We held demonstrations against liberal senators who voted a way on a bill that we didn’t agree with. But our agenda was very much what I could categorize as mainstream Republican,” Jaksa said. “That was before Kyle took it over [in spring 2006] and YAF went off the deep end.”

Friends in High Places
Despite its notoriety, MSU-YAF is widely supported by mainstream conservative politicians and power brokers in Michigan. The group was influential enough in rallying support for the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative — the deceptively named affirmative action ban that Michigan voters approved in 2006 — that MCRI Executive Director Jennifer Granz thanked MSU-YAF by name in her election night victory speech.

Last May 2, a few days after the SPLC named MSU-YAF a hate group — a move that received a great deal of public attention in the state — Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis endorsed MSU-YAF and defended Bristow on a talk radio show. “This [Bristow] is exactly the type of young kid we want out there,” Anuzis said. “I’ve known Kyle for years, and I can tell you I have never heard him say a racist or bigoted or sexist thing, ever.”

In fact, Bristow and his minions frequently single out and ridicule individual MSU gay, lesbian, and non-white students online, posting their photos and calling them “freaks,” “scum” and “savages.” Last September, Bristow criticized MSU’s decision to establish a Chicano/Latino Studies doctoral program in a news release headlined, “MSU Offers Doctorate in Savagery.”

And last March 31, roughly one month before Anuzis defended Bristow against accusations of bigotry, Bristow posted this comment on the MSU-YAF Web site: “If Christopher Columbus didn’t bring civilization to the Americas, the Indians would still be running through forests in loincloths, scalping each other, shoving bones through their noses, worshipping pagan gods, and spreading syphilis. Thank God Christopher Columbus put an end to this backward culture.”

Bristow politely refused a request to be interviewed for this article, saying that his “legal counsel” had advised him against such an interview because he’s considering legal action against the SPLC, which publishes the Intelligence Report, for defamation.
But there are some clues to his personality.

In a recent online dating profile, Bristow wrote that he plans to enroll in law school after he graduates from MSU in the fall of 2008 with a degree in international relations. Among his hobbies are “conservative politics,” “watching the History or Court TV channels,” “shooting my pellet gun” and “looking at my coin collection.”
Several MSU students who’ve been in classes with Bristow described him as a classmate who participated infrequently in seminar discussions, rarely asked questions and generally kept his political views to himself.

Jaksa, the former MSU-YAF member, said that she and Bristow hung out together quite a bit during their first year at MSU. “He was just a relaxed, normal kid at the beginning of our freshman year,” Jaksa said. “But then he underwent this odd transition. You know how most people, when they get to college, either move to the center or become more liberal in terms of their political beliefs? Well, Kyle did the opposite. It was like he kept moving farther and farther to the right to counterbalance all the people around him he saw moving to the left.”

Ted Madsen, another MSU international relations major who’s now in his junior year, said that he first met Bristow a few days after their freshman year began in the fall of 2005. “He struck me as very driven and very strait-laced,” recalled Madsen. “He was quite vocal about the fact that he was against drinking and smoking but, all in all, he was a fairly likeable guy.”

Bristow in Power
In spring 2006, shortly after he assumed control of MSU-YAF, Bristow ran unopposed and was elected to represent James Madison College — the college attended by all international relations majors — on the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, the university’s student government body.

Just before the academic year ended, Bristow posted his 13-point agenda online. It included these goals: “Hunt down illegal immigrants in the Lansing area and have them deported”; “Eliminate funding for all non-heterosexual student organizations”; “Create a Caucasian Caucus and give them representation on the ASMSU”; and “Eliminate representation to ASMSU for all of the following groups: Alliance of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] Students; the Arab Cultural Society; the Black Council; the International Students Association; the Women’s Council; the North American Indigenous Student Organization,” and practically every other non-white, non-heterosexual, or non-Christian student group at MSU.

“I was outraged when I saw it,” said Madsen. “I told him, ‘Your agenda of hate has got to stop, Kyle.’ He’s used that phrase repeatedly in a mocking fashion since.”

Madsen gave Bristow a choice: “Either resign and apologize to the James Madison community for fouling our name, or be removed from office.” Bristow did not resign and did not apologize. It took Madsen and his supporters only two days to gather enough signatures on a recall petition to force a vote, which took place in the fall of 2006, at the beginning of Bristow’s sophomore year. Ninety-six percent of the James Madison students who cast ballots voted to recall Bristow. He was forced to relinquish his seat on the ASMSU.

“I don’t regret it [leading the recall effort], although I do realize that his being recalled only further marginalized and radicalized Kyle to the point where he’s become a joke to many people,” said Madsen. “YAF is routinely ridiculed and mocked on campus, but what many people who refuse to take Kyle seriously may not realize is that Kyle believes all press coverage is good coverage, and while 10,000 people who read what he has to say will be disgusted, one or two will be intrigued. He’s using the media coverage to reach those one or two people at a time and that’s what concerns me about YAF, because what he’s articulating is dangerous.”

The University’s Role
Whatever its potential harm to society, MSU-YAF’s offensive antics have pinned university administrators between the rock of protecting free speech and the hard place of encouraging multiculturalism. For now MSU-YAF remains a registered and officially sanctioned student organization, meaning it’s entitled to certain benefits, including the free use of MSU facilities and university accounting services.

MSU also has to pay for security at YAF events, which invariably draw heated protests. Last April, for example, the university shelled out $3,780 to rent metal detectors for one night to place at every entrance to a YAF-sponsored lecture by nativist extremist leader Chris Simcox, founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a border vigilante group.

Simcox was introduced to an unruly crowd by Jason Van Dyke, a neo-Confederate lawyer based in Denton, Texas. Van Dyke once attended MSU but did not graduate. By his own account, he was kicked out in 2000 after being arrested for domestic violence, possession of a banned weapon and firearm safety violations. (Van Dyke said he was merely transporting a rifle across campus on the first day of hunting season.) Also, according to Van Dyke, MSU police found extremist literature, including the race war fantasy novel The Turner Diaries and the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in his on-campus residence.

When he attended MSU, Van Dyke was a hotly controversial columnist for the State News, an MSU student newspaper. Now, like a former high school football star haunting his old campus, trying to relive the glory days, Van Dyke posts daily rah-rah messages on the MSU-YAF Web site and often travels to East Lansing for MSU-YAF happenings. He and Bristow often wear matching black cowboy hats.

When MSU-YAF held its “Koran Desecration” contest last August, Van Dyke offered this entry: “I would catch Osama Bin Laden and then take a power drill and hollow out a section of the Koran as he was forced to watch. After doing this, I would cut Osama Bin Laden’s genitals off with a rusty hacksaw, place them in the hollowed-out Koran, wrap it in an American flag infected with smallpox, and send the whole package directly to Mecca.”

Van Dyke was equally statesmanlike at the Simcox lecture, which was initially attended by about 40 Simcox supporters and about 100 anti-Simcox protesters, many if not most of them Latino MSU students. Addressing the protesters, Van Dyke said: “Remember, the First Amendment gives you the right to use four-letter words. So I have two more words for you: ‘work’ and ‘soap.’”

Already tense, the situation in the lecture hall erupted. Protesters banged on seats and shouted angrily, preventing Simcox from speaking. MSU police arrested five demonstrators and cleared the room of anyone they perceived to be anti-Simcox, which included virtually all Latinos. This in turn led to allegations of racial profiling, since the campus police officers allowed white protesters to stay.

One week after the Simcox event, a group of 11 students filed a formal complaint with the MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. They accused MSU-YAF of violating the university’s anti-discrimination policy, which prohibits the bias-motivated harassment of any “University community member” but includes this caveat: “These prohibitions are not intended to abridge University community members’ rights of free expression or other civil rights.”

The complaint filed against MSU-YAF accuses the group of “systematically — as a matter of regular organization practice — targeting groups and individuals for harassment, intimidation and public ridicule.”

University officials declined to discuss the complaint with the Intelligence Report, citing a pending investigation.

Behind the YAF Brand
Young Americans for Freedom was originally a centralized organization of rabidly anti-communist university student groups created in 1960 by National Review founder William F. Buckley. The original incarnation of YAF was also strictly opposed to the civil rights movement and, in 1962, gave its first annual Freedom Award to segregationist South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond.

YAF remained active nationwide through the 1980s, but is now essentially moribund. The YAF national headquarters Web page consists of a notice of sadness at the “recent news” of Ronald Reagan’s death, which occurred in June 2004. Now, Young Americans for Freedom is basically just a brand name for radical right-wing student activism, taking form as a loose and decentralized network of campus chapters, each one appearing to act independently.

In fact, the YAF brand is being co-opted and promoted by the Leadership Institute, a hard-line conservative nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Va., that is dedicated, according to its mission statement, to “identifying, recruiting, training and placing conservatives within the public policy process in the U.S. and abroad.” Republican National Committee executive committee member Morton Blackwell — who orchestrated a campaign against Anita Hill at the University of Oklahoma after she came forward with sexual harassment allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas — founded the Leadership Institute in 1979 and is still its president. Major donors include the Coors Foundation and Rich DeVos, founder of the troubled Amway multilevel marketing firm.

Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff were both trained by the Leadership Institute, as was Jeff Gannon, the fake White House news correspondent who lobbed softball questions for President Bush from 2003 until 2005. That’s when it was revealed that Gannon had been a gay prostitute before attending the Leadership Institute Broadcast School of Journalism, after which he somehow obtained White House press credentials as a reporter for “Talon News,” Gannon’s one-man operation.

Bristow and Van Dyke both interned at the Leadership Institute last summer. There are currently more than 20 YAF organizations on campuses across the country, most of them started in the past five years by Leadership Institute-trained activists. (The Campus Leadership Program division of the Leadership Institute, according to its Web site, “fosters permanent, effective, conservative student organizations on college campuses across America.”) MSU-YAF is by far the most radical. Its most recent event, the lecture by British National Party Chairman Nick Griffin, was promoted by overtly white supremacist organizations including the American Renaissance newsletter, the Council of Conservative Citizens, and Stormfront. Attending the Griffin lecture incognito were members of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, a white nationalist group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, as well as members of the Keystone State Skinheads and the National Alliance, both neo-Nazi organizations that promote violence against non-whites, non-heterosexuals and Jews.

The only violence surrounding the Griffin event, however, was directed at MSU-YAF when a handful of its members were chased by an angry mob of anti-racist activists afterward. Bristow claimed members of the mob were carrying baseball bats and pieces of lumber. No injuries were reported.

Demeaning MSU?
MSU President Lou Anna Simon has been fairly tight-lipped on the ongoing MSU-YAF controversy. Reacting to the MSU-YAF sponsored “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day” back in September 2006, Simon chided MSU-YAF for sponsoring an event she described as “demeaning to individuals and to the values of Michigan State University.”
But Oct. 25, the day before Griffin’s lecture, Simon issued a statement making it clear that putting up with racist propaganda is the price that a university must pay if it is committed to free speech.

“A university should be an open marketplace for the free exchange of ideas,” Simon said. “There are individuals who speak at campus events whose rhetoric and ideas I find reprehensible, and although I may not appreciate their positions, I do respect their right to share their views. The more extreme the view, in either direction, the more it tests us.

“Although we may disagree with one another’s positions, we must respect the rights of individuals to express their positions without fear of intimidation or physical harm. … Acts intended to prohibit the free speech rights of any individual or group, such as destroying informational materials, preventing access to an event, or shouting down a speaker do not support this philosophy and undermine our efforts to encourage robust intellectual discourse.”

MSU student Claudia Gonzalez experienced Bristow’s favorite mode of discourse first-hand when she participated in a protest outside an MSU-YAF event featuring anti-immigration hardliner Tom Tancredo, a Republican congressman from Colorado. “He [Bristow] came up to me and told me, ‘The one thing I’m most proud of is that my granddaddy stole Aztlan from your granddaddy,’” Gonzalez said.

Shortly after that exchange, MSU-YAF named Gonzalez “Leftist Freak of the Year” and posted her photo online. A few days later, the San Bernardino, Calif.-based hate group Save Our State posted her home address, phone number and parents’ home address, along with the message, “Please go and express your views.”

“I don’t feel completely safe on campus or at my home anymore because of YAF,” Gonzalez said. “And neither do a lot of other students of color and GLBT students, because YAF is clearly networking with these other hate groups, and they’re basically issuing an open invitation to skinheads and [anti-immigration] vigilantes and Nazis to come to MSU, who otherwise would never step foot on campus. … If it weren’t for YAF, MSU wouldn’t be on the hate group radar. But now it is.”

 

Posted in anti-immigration, Anti-Semitism, Civil Rights, Domestic Terrorism, free speech, Gender/Orientation Discrimination, Hate Crimes, Racism, skinhead, Stormfront | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

COLD SHOT AT 9:00 EASTERN

Posted by nicolen on January 7, 2008

ARCHIVE OF JANUARY 7TH SHOW CAN BE DOWNLOADED AT EYE ON HATE

COLD SHOT WILL AIR AT 9:00 EASTERN TIME

TOPICS INCLUDE…

*The week in hate

*Is Hate Crime Legislation Un-American

*Huckabee…Romney…and, of course, Ron Paul

*A Response to “K” a Paulite

*A Response to “Jason In Orlando”

GO TO EYE ON HATE AND CLICK ON THE WINAMP BUTTON

LEAVE COMMENTS ON THE SHOW AT THE NEST

Posted in ANNOUNCEMENT, Civil Rights, Hate Crimes, Homeless, Racism, Ron Paul | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

COLD SHOT AIRS TONIGHT AT NINE

Posted by nicolen on December 17, 2007

DOWNLOAD ARCHIVE FOR DECEMBER 17TH SHOW HERE

December 17th 2007…Cold Shot will air tonight at 9:00 Eastern Time – and you don’t want to miss this one.

TOPICS INCLUDE:

*Why we are going after the Roanoke Nazi Bill White
(You might have noticed that he is making a feeble attempt to intimidate us today)

*Playing Politics With Justice

*Megan Williams case is victim of political pissing contest

*Racist & anti-Semitic politicans hide in plain sight

*Illinois congressional candidate Arthur Jones

*I’m an independent woman

*About Fear & Intimidation

HEAR THE PROGRAM HERE – JUST CLICK ON THE WINAMP BUTTON.

Posted in ANNOUNCEMENT, anti-immigration, Anti-Semitism, Civil Rights, Domestic Terrorism, First Amendment, free speech, General Racism, Hate Crimes, immigration, Racism, Racist Profiles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Cold Shot Tonight at 9:00 Eastern

Posted by nicolen on December 11, 2007

updated1.jpgDECEMBER 10TH SHOW CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE…

The December 10th Cold Shot will air at 9:00 Eastern time tonight.

TOPICS:

*Racists in positions of power
*Mike Huckabee’s wavering political campaign
*Shock & Awe
*The next Mayor of Roanoke – Bill White?
*Political Correctness and the Chitlin Test
*Baltimore hate crime

Just logon here and click the Winamp Button.

Posted in Civil Rights, Gender/Orientation Discrimination, General Racism, Hate Crimes, Jena 6, Racism, Racist Profiles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »