Love Lives In Whitefish, Montana, But So Do Neo-Nazis #AltRight

Excerpts:

Gradually, Montana became home to the highest concentration of hate groups in the nation. In the Flathead — which includes Kalispell (more industrial, more sprawling, population 22,000), Whitefish (a quaint grid of a resort town, population 7,000), and Columbia Falls (a former timber town, now filling with those priced out of Whitefish, population 5,000) — they mostly keep to themselves. Sometimes there’ll be a piece of Nazi propaganda slipped between pairs of expensive jeans in clothing boutiques; other times there’ll be flyers for “A Nature-Based, Race-Centered Religion for White People” folded in children’s books at the local bookstore. “Every place in town has a story like that,” one business owner told me.

But some things can’t be ignored. Like in 2010, when April Gaede — better known as the “Nazi stage mom” to twin girl group Prussian Blue and a member of Pioneer Little Europe, an organization of whites-only intentional communities — began showing Holocaust denial films at the Whitefish library.  Or this past December, when a neo-Nazi site, the Daily Stormer, launched a campaign to troll local Jews as revenge for perceived attacks on the mother of “academic racist” (and Whitefish resident) Richard Spencer.

Trump did not explicitly align himself with white nationalism, yet Spencer, along with other neo-Nazis and hate group leaders, aligned themselves with him, hailing his presidency as the long-awaited turn from multiculturalism and political correctness.  “I think if Trump wins we could really legitimately say that he was associated directly with us, with the ‘R’ word [racist], with all sorts of things,” Spencer told Mother Jones in October. “People will have to recognize us.”

Like nearly all of Montana, Flathead County voted overwhelmingly for Trump (65% of 46,250 votes cast). White nationalist Taylor Rose lost the race for the Montana House of Representatives’ 3rd District, located just a few miles from the Flathead County line, by just six points. Against the backdrop of a reported spike in hate crime reports across the nation, a clip of Spencer giving a Nazi salute and declaring “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” at an alt-right conference in DC in November went viral.

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A week after the Love Not Hate rally, several dozen people gathered at the Outlaw Inn in Kalispell for a film screening hosted by ACT for America — one of the very groups that Love Not Hate wishes to counter.  ACT for America was founded in 2007 to, in its own words, “promote national security and defeat terrorism.” In practice, this means lobbying for anti-Sharia legislation, fighting immigration and refugee resettlement, and spreading the idea that Islam is a hateful ideology — not necessarily a religion, or subject to protection under the Constitution.

READ: Love Lives In Whitefish, Montana, But So Do Neo-Nazis – BuzzFeed News

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I’m reading
A family braces for deportation and separation. Til ICE do us part. The ordinary Americans who split apart families at work, then return home to their own kids. Finding the will to keep fighting Trump. When neo-Nazis come for your small town. The guys who mainstream racism with memes are such shitgibbons. Dispatch from a pro-Islamophobia rally. Do something, but you can’t do everything. Grief is like time travel. Impartiality or diversity: Pick one. It’s not enough for cities to declare themselves “sanctuaries.” Trump is just getting started with immigration raids. A woman is detained after her abuser tips off ICE. A terrifying story about the “killology” expert who is militarizing cops. How the GOP became the party of eugenics.

784? Hate Groups surge, Arson fires set on Black churches

Editors Note:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public. We publish our investigative findings online, on our Hatewatch blog, and in the Intelligence Report, our award-winning quarterly journal. We’ve crippled some of the country’s most notorious hate groups by suing them for murders and other violent acts committed by their members.

Currently, there are 784 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, border vigilantes and others.

Since 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 30 percent. This surge has been fueled by anger and fear over the nation’s ailing economy, an influx of non-white immigrants, and the diminishing white majority, as symbolized by the election of the nation’s first African-American president.

These factors also are feeding a powerful resurgence of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, which in the 1990s led to a string of domestic terrorist plots, including the Oklahoma City bombing. The number of Patriot groups, including armed militias, skyrocketed following the election of President Obama in 2008 – rising 813 percent, from 149 groups in 2008 to an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012. The number fell to 874 in 2014. READ MORE

Here is FBI report for the years 2002 to 2005:

https://www.fbi.gov/stats-serv…

String of Nighttime Fires Hit Predominately Black Churches in Four Southern States

HATEWATCH | Southern Poverty Law Center | By Bill Morlin on June 26, 2015
In what may not be a coincidence, a string of nighttime fires have damaged or destroyed at least six predominately black churches in four southern states in the past week.

Arsonists started at least three of the fires, while other causes are being examined in the other fires, investigators say.

The series of fires – some of them suspicious and possible hate crimes — came in the week following a murderous rampage by a white supremacist who shot and killed nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

The fires also occurred at a time when there is increasing public pressure to remove the Confederate flag – one of the last hallmarks of white superiority — from government buildings and public places as well as banning assorted Confederate flag merchandise sold in retails stores and online.

Even if the fires are deemed arson, it takes additional proof under reporting standards to conclude the act was a hate crime, investigators say.

“As the nation grapples with the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., one of the oldest Black churches in the South, other Black churches have become recent targets of arson,” writer David A. Love said today at Atlanta BlackStar.

“From slavery and the days of Jim Crow through the civil rights movement and beyond, white supremacists have targeted the Black church because of its importance as a pillar of the Black community, the center for leadership and institution building, education, social and political development and organizing to fight oppression,” Love wrote.

“Strike at the Black church, and you strike at the heart of Black American life,” the writer added.

The most recent fires occurred early today at the Glover Grover Baptist Church, in Warrenville, S.C., and at the Greater Miracle Apostolic Holiness Church in Tallahassee, Fla.

Federal agents have been brought in to assist local officials in determining the unknown cause of the fire at the Glover Grove Baptist church. In Tallahassee, fire officials say the fire that totally destroyed the Apostolic Holiness Church may have been caused by a tree limb falling on overhead electrical lines.

Glover Grove Baptist Church

While those investigations continue, arson was determined to be the cause of three fires earlier in the week at other predominately black churches in the South.

The first arson fire occurred in the early morning hours of Monday, June 22, at the College Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church, home to a predominately black congregation, in Knoxville, Tenn.

“Horror, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s going on?’” church Pastor Cleveland Hobdy III, told Knoxville television station WATE.

“When I look at this I see, I think of an intention to try to destroy this entire church,” Hobdy said. “It makes it sad. It’s sad either way that someone would put their mind to try to damage a church that’s trying to help people.”

Knoxville Fire Department spokesperson D.J. Corcoran said the arsonist set fires at multiple locations on the church property, including igniting bales of hay left at the church’s door. The church’s van also was burned.

The following day, Tuesday June 23, an arsonist was blamed for a fire in the sanctuary s at God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon, Ga.

“Right now we are investigating as if it was a set fire,” said Sgt. Ben Gleaton, an arson investigator for the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department, told the Macon Telegraph.

Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations are following leads in that suspect arson.

The church on Cedar Avenue in Macon has been the repeated target of burglars who have stolen sound and air conditioning equipment, the Macon newspaper reported.

The third suspected arson fire occurred in the predawn hours of Wednesday, June 24, at the Briar Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.

That fire, reported at 1 a.m. EDT, caused an estimated $250,000 in damage, destroying an education wing in one of four buildings that make up the Briar Creek Road Baptist Church complex in east Charlotte, authorities said. The church’s sanctuary and gymnasium sustained heavy smoke damage.

Fire at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church

“Our investigators did not find any direct evidence that would lead them to believe at this time that this is a hate crime,” Charlotte Fire Department spokeswoman Cynthia Robbins Shah-Khan told Hatewatch today. “Of course, that is a possibility.”

The church has about 100 members, most of them African Americans, but it also shares space with two churches for immigrants from Nepal, according to media reports.

Also on Wednesday, fire destroyed the Fruitland Presbyterian Church, in Gibson County, Tenn., a landmark structure built in the 1800s.

While the cause of that fire remains under investigation, preliminary reports suggest it may have been caused by a lightning strike, television station WBBJ reported.

The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office and ATF agents continue an investigation to determine the fire’s cause.

“We want to be sure, 100 percent sure, that this was an accidental fire, not on purpose,” Gibson County Fire Chief Bryan Cathey told the television station.

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