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Reflections on the Charleston Church Shooting: “Assist, Greenwald, Paul”

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Dylann Roof flies the col­ors

COMMENT: . . .Beyond that, the Lib­er­tar­ian Party’s polit­i­cal solu­tion to African-Amer­i­can pover­ty and injus­tice was to abol­ish all wel­fare pro­grams, pub­lic schools, and anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws like the Civ­il Rights Act. This was the solu­tion pro­moted by an up-and-com­ing lib­er­tar­ian, Jacob Hornberger—who this week [May of 2015–D.E.] co-host­ed an event with RON PAUL and GLENN GREENWALD. Horn­berger believes that 19th cen­tury ante­bel­lum slave-era Amer­ica was “the freest soci­ety in his­tory”. . . ”

With the Bay Area still cross-eyed with delir­i­um over the cham­pi­onship of the NBA Gold­en State War­riors, we might say “Assist, Green­wald, Paul” with regard to the Charleston shoot­ings.

Recent news has offered up a grim­ly instruc­tive jux­ta­po­si­tion. As Glenn Green­wald and his asso­ciates in the Snow­den “op” con­tin­ue to bask in the glow of pro­fes­sion­al awards grant­ed them, Dylann Roof has put into action the type of behav­ior advo­cat­ed by Green­wald’s legal clients.

(A big sup­port­er of George W. Bush in the ear­ly part of the last decade, Green­wald became an attor­ney for, and a fel­low-trav­el­er of, some of the most mur­der­ous Nazis in the coun­try.)

Ron Paul

As we have seen in FTR #754 and sev­er­al posts, Green­wald defend­ed Matthew Hale against solic­i­ta­tion of mur­der charges. Green­wald ran inter­fer­ence for the “lead­er­less resis­tance strat­e­gy.” In par­tic­u­lar, Green­wald pro­vid­ed appo­site legal assis­tance for the Nation­al Alliance.

Lead­er­less resis­tance is an oper­a­tional doc­trine through which indi­vid­ual Nazis and white suprema­cists per­form acts of vio­lence against their per­ceived ene­mies, indi­vid­u­al­ly, or in very small groups. Act­ing in accor­dance with doc­trine espoused by lumi­nar­ies and lead­ers in their move­ment, they avoid infil­tra­tion by law enforce­ment by virtue of their “lone wolf” oper­a­tional strat­e­gy.

What Roof [alleged­ly] did is pre­cisely the sort of thing advo­cated by the “Lead­er­less Resis­tance” strat­e­gy.

The advo­cates of this sort of thing, such as Cit­i­zen Greenwald’s client The Nation­al Alliance (pub­lisher of  The Turn­er Diaries,” which pro­vided the oper­a­tional tem­plate for David Lane’s asso­ciates The Order) have been shield­ed (to an extent) from civ­il suits hold­ing them to account for their mur­der­ous advo­cacy.  

Nation­al Alliance’s books are specif­i­cal­ly intend­ed as instruc­tion­al vehi­cles. Hunter is ded­i­cat­ed to con­vict­ed mur­der­er Joseph Paul Franklin and was specif­i­cal­ly designed as a “How To” man­u­al for lone-wolf, white suprema­cist killers like Roof.

Note, also, that the “four­teen words” of Order mem­ber David Lane are the inspi­ra­tion for “Com­bat 14,” the para­mil­i­tary wing of the Ukrain­ian fas­cist group Svo­bo­da, one of the OUN/B heirs that came to pow­er as a result of the Maid­an coup of 2014. Lane drove the get­away car when “The Order”–explicitly inspired by “The Turn­er Diaries”–murdered Den­ver talk show host Alan Berg.

The “four­teen words” were also an influ­ence on Roof.

We should note that what Green­wald did is NOT a ques­tion of out­law­ing free speech, as he implied. When the ACLU defend­ed the Amer­i­can Nazi Par­ty against an injunc­tion against march­ing in Skok­ie, Illi­nois (a Chica­go sub­urb with a con­sid­er­able Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion), it did so on the grounds of con­sti­tu­tion­ally pro­tected free speech.

Pre-Green­wald, advo­cat­ing vio­lence along the lines of what Nation­al Van­guard Books (the NA’s pub­lish­ing arm) does was still legal.

How­ever, IF some­one was advo­cat­ing vio­lence against minori­ties, “racial ene­mies,” etc. and some­one can be demon­strated to have act­ed on the basis of such exhor­ta­tions, the author of the exhor­ta­tion to vio­lence could be held respon­si­ble for the con­se­quences of their actions.

The con­se­quences were con­sid­er­able legal dam­ages.

This is sound law. It doesn’t say you can’t say such things, how­ever if you do, and that caus­es harm or death to oth­ers, you ARE RESPONSIBLE.

If some­one leaves a rake on their prop­erty with the teeth fac­ing upward and some­one steps on it and is injured, the prop­erty own­er bears civ­il lia­bil­ity for their actions.

That is the legal prin­ci­ple under which the Nation­al Ali­iance, et al were being sued.

In con­nec­tion with “L’Af­faire Snow­den,” we not­ed that in the back­ground of The Peach­fuzz Fas­cist (Snow­den), one finds ele­ments that advo­cate slav­ery, includ­ing the League of the South and oth­er ele­ments of the neo-Con­fed­er­ate move­ment, which appar­ent­ly inspired Dylann Roof.

Snow­den was an admir­er of Ron Paul, to whose cam­paign he con­tributed and whose views he par­rots. Ron Paul is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the neo-Con­fed­er­ate move­ment. Jack Hunter–a for­mer head of the League of the South and a cur­rent aide to his son Rand Paul–was the chief blog­ger for Ron Paul’s 2012 Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Bruce Fein, the top legal coun­sel for Paul’s 2012 cam­paign was the first attor­ney for Eddie the Friend­ly Spook and is the attor­ney for the Snow­den fam­i­ly.

In a 1992 edi­tion of his newslet­ter, Snow­den’s polit­i­cal idol Ron Paul advo­cat­ed that whites arm them­selves and shoot black men. In so doing, he helped to set the tem­plate for George Zim­mer­man’s shoot­ing of Trayvon Mar­tin. That killing appears to have been a major influ­ence on Dylan Roof.

The above polit­i­cal ele­ments loom large in the appar­ent devel­op­ment of Dylann Roof’s moti­va­tion­al ide­ol­o­gy.

“Bal­ti­more & The Walk­ing Dead” by Mark Ames; Pan­do Dai­ly; 5/1/2015.

. . . . So when Rand Paul went on Lau­ra Ingraham’s radio pro­gram to blame Bal­ti­more on black cul­ture and val­ues and “lack of fathers,”the lib­er­tar­ian whom Time called “the most inter­est­ing man in pol­i­tics” was mere­ly rehash­ing 25-year-old main­stream Repub­l­i­crat big­otries, the very same big­oted, wrong assump­tions that led to all the dis­as­trous poli­cies we’re now pay­ing for today.

Which brings me to the Lib­er­tar­i­ans of 1992.

After Fer­gu­son explod­ed last year, Lib­er­tar­i­ans posi­tioned them­selves as the only polit­i­cal force that had no blood on their hands, the only polit­i­cal force that was “prin­ci­pled” enough through­out the past few decades to offer the right analy­ses — and the right solu­tions — to the prob­lems faced by peo­ple now ris­ing up in Bal­ti­more.

In 1992, the most famous lib­er­tar­ian of all, Ron Paul, was still between Con­gres­sional stints when [the riots in] Los Ange­les erupt­ed, but he did run a prof­itable lib­er­tar­ian newslet­ter, “The Ron Paul Polit­i­cal Report,” to keep his ideas alive. Short­ly after the LA riots, Ron Paul put out a “Spe­cial Issue on Racial Ter­ror­ism”offer­ing his lib­er­tar­ian analy­sis of what he termed black “ter­ror­ism”:

“The crim­i­nals who ter­ror­ize our cities—in riots and on every non-riot day—are not exclu­sively young black males, but they large­ly are. As chil­dren, they are trained to hate whites, to believe that white oppres­sion is respon­si­ble for all black ills, to ‘fight the pow­er,’ to steal and loot as much mon­ey from the white ene­my as pos­si­ble.

“The cause of the riots is plain: bar­barism. If the bar­bar­ians can­not loot suf­fi­ciently through legal chan­nels (i.e., the riots being the wel­fare-state minus the mid­dle-man), they resort to ille­gal ones, to ter­ror­ism. Trou­ble is, few seem will­ing to stop them. The cops have been hand­cuffed. . . .

. . . .“We are con­stantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, but it is hard­ly irra­tional. Black men com­mit mur­ders, rapes, rob­beries, mug­gings, and bur­glar­ies all out of pro­por­tion to their num­bers.”

“I think we can safe­ly assume that 95% of the black males in [major U.S. cities] are semi-crim­i­nal or entire­ly crim­i­nal.” A few months lat­er, in Octo­ber 1992, Dr. Paul explained how he taught his own family—presumably includ­ing his favorite son, Rand Paul—how to defend them­selves and even mur­der what Dr. Paul called “hip-hop” car­jack­ers, “the urban youth who play unsus­pect­ing whites like pianos”:

“What can you do? More and more Amer­i­cans are car­ry­ing a gun in the car. An ex-cop I know advis­es that if you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene imme­di­ately, dis­pos­ing of the wiped off gun as soon as pos­si­ble. Such a gun can­not, of course, be reg­is­tered to you, but one bought pri­vately (through the clas­si­fieds, for exam­ple.).

Beyond that, the Lib­er­tar­ian Party’s polit­i­cal solu­tion to African-Amer­i­can pover­ty and injus­tice was to abol­ish all wel­fare pro­grams, pub­lic schools, and anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws like the Civ­il Rights Act. This was the solu­tion pro­moted by an up-and-com­ing lib­er­tar­ian, Jacob Horn­berg­er—who this week co-host­ed an event with Ron Paul and Glenn Green­wald. Horn­berger believes that 19th cen­tury ante­bel­lum slave-era Amer­ica was “the freest soci­ety in his­tory”. . . and after the LA riots, he offered this solu­tion:

“the repeal of: (1) every law that takes mon­ey from some peo­ple and gives it to oth­ers; (2) all reg­u­la­tions that inter­fere with peace­ful exchanges between con­sent­ing adults; (3) all drug laws; and (4) all com­pul­so­ry-atten­dance laws and school tax­es.”

And then there’s lib­er­tar­ian philoso­pher Mur­ray Rothbard’s response to the LA riots. Rand Paul cred­its Roth­bard as “a great influ­ence on my think­ing”; and Roth­bard blamed the LA riots not on racism and black griev­ances, but rather on slow and insuf­fi­cient police response and “the moral and esthet­ic nihilism cre­ated by many decades of cul­tural lib­er­al­ism.” . . . .

“Charleston Sus­pect Dylan Roof’s Man­i­festo Dis­cov­ered Online” by Jason Sick­les, Liz Good­win and Michael Walsh; Yahoo News; 6/20/2015.

A web­site sur­faced Sat­ur­day fea­tur­ing a racist and ram­bling man­i­festo and dozens of pho­tos of accused Charleston church shoot­er Dylann Roof pos­ing with white suprema­cy sym­bols and the Con­fed­er­ate flag.

Roof, 21, remains jailed on nine counts of mur­der for alleged­ly open­ing fire in the his­tor­i­cal­ly African-Amer­i­can Emanuel African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church on Wednes­day.

Who authored the man­i­festo or post­ed the images is not offi­cial­ly known. But through online reg­is­tra­tion records, Yahoo News con­firmed the website’s domain, lastrhodesian.com, was start­ed by a Dylann Roof of Eas­t­over, S.C. on Feb. 9. The street address used is the same that Roof has giv­en author­i­ties since he was cap­tured in Shel­by, N.C. on Thurs­day. Of Feb. 10, the reg­is­tra­tion infor­ma­tion was pur­pose­ly obscured.

The web­page traces its author’s path toward strong beliefs in white suprema­cy and says the moment of “awak­en­ing” was the race debate ignit­ed after the shoot­ing of black teen Trayvon Mar­tin. The ram­bling text ends with the author’s state­ment that it’s time to take the beliefs expressed, “to the real world.”

“I have no choice. I am not in the posi­tion to, alone, go into the ghet­to and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most his­toric city in my state, and at one time had the high­est ratio of blacks to Whites in the coun­try. We have no skin­heads, no real KKK, no one doing any­thing but talk­ing on the inter­net.
Well some­one has to have the brav­ery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me,” it reads.

While they are rare, retired FBI pro­fil­er Mary Ellen O’Toole said killer man­i­festos are all about “the writ­ings of a very nar­cis­sis­tic, arro­gant indi­vid­ual.”

“They feel this need to tell the world how they were wronged,” O’Toole said. “It’s like they have to shove our nose into why they are enti­tled into what it is they are going to do.”

O’Toole, who has seen hun­dreds of man­i­festos dur­ing her career study­ing killers, read the doc­u­ment post­ed to Roof’s web­site at the request of Yahoo News.

While not vouch­ing for it’s authen­tic­i­ty, O’Toole described it as shal­low and like­ly pla­gia­rized.

“The themes don’t indi­cate that this per­son is spend­ing a lot of time to do research,” said O’Toole, who now directs the Foren­sic Sci­ence Pro­gram at George Mason Uni­ver­si­ty.

The 2,444-word man­i­festo jumps from top­ic to top­ic address­ing, among oth­er things, patri­o­tism, blacks, Jews, His­pan­ics and Asians.

“He’s try­ing to weave like a quilt of those themes that he went out in search of,” O’Toole said. “Which tells me that who­ev­er the author is had pre­ex­ist­ing opin­ions and ideas … and then you go to the Inter­net to get a lit­tle bit of this and a lit­tle bit of that to fuel what you already believe and already think.”

The New York Times, reports that accord­ing to web serv­er logs, the man­i­festo was last mod­i­fied at 4:44 p.m. ET on Wednes­day, about four hours before the Charleston shoot­ings.

“Unfor­tu­nate­ly at the time of writ­ing I am in a great hur­ry and some of my best thoughts, actu­al­ly many of them have been to be left out and lost for­ev­er. But I believe enough great White minds are out there already. Please for­give any typos, I did­nt have time to check it.”

Ben­jamin Crump, attor­ney for Trayvon Martin’s fam­i­ly and a lead­ing nation­al voice in civ­il rights issues, said he was trou­bled to learn the man­i­festo men­tioned Mar­tin case.

“Regard­less of how this dement­ed, racist indi­vid­ual attempts to shift the focus of his mur­der­ous actions, we will remain stead­fast in our defense of the voice­less around this coun­try,” Crump said in a state­ment. “They need it now more than ever. My thoughts and prayers remain with the vic­tims of this ter­ri­ble tragedy and the Charleston com­mu­ni­ty.”

Dozens of images post­ed to the site show Roof in his­toric loca­tions like a Con­fed­er­ate sol­dier ceme­tery and a slave bur­ial ground.

In one image, the sus­pect­ed gun­man is posed on the beach wear­ing the same clothes he is seen wear­ing on sur­veil­lance footage as he entered the chruch on Wednes­day. It was not imme­di­ate­ly clear if this image was tak­en the same day as the shoot­ing, but if so, it would show that Roof took time to vis­it the beach, scratch the racist sym­bol 1488 in the sand and pho­to­graph him­self before alleged­ly trav­el­ing to Charleston.

The sym­bol 1488, shown in Roof’s pho­tos, is a num­ber that has been adopt­ed by white suprema­cists, accord­ing to the South­ernPover­ty Law Cen­ter’s Racist Skin­head Glos­sary.

The “88” refers to H, the eighth let­ter of the alpha­bet and is a sym­bol for “Heil Hitler.” The “14” refers to a 14-word slo­gan pop­u­lar­ized by David Lane, a white suprema­cist serv­ing a 190-year sen­tence in the mur­der of a Jew­ish talk show host. The slo­gain is: “We must secure the exis­tence of our peo­ple and a future for white chil­dren.”

The man­i­festo web­site was first dis­cov­ered by two Twit­ter users – Emma Quan­gel and Hen­ry Krin­kle — who used a Reverse Whois search on domaintools.com to find the site reg­is­tered under Roof’s name.

Quan­gel, who iden­ti­fies as a Com­mu­nist, tweet­ed that it is her “solemn duty and oblig­a­tion to hate and fight racism with every inch of [her] being!”

The site’s title is a ref­er­ence to an unrec­og­nized state in Africa, in a region that is now Zim­bab­we, dur­ing the 1960s and ’70s that was con­trolled by a white minor­i­ty.

White suprema­cists have ide­al­ized this era and the Rhode­sian flag has been used as a racist sym­bol.

One of the first pho­tos cir­cu­lat­ed of Roof shows the 21-yare-old sus­pect wear­ing a jack­et adorned with flag patch­es for both Apartheid-era South Africa and Rhode­sia.

Also includ­ed in the trove of images on the site are pho­tos of a Glock .45-cal­iber pis­tol, which has been iden­ti­fied as the same type of gun that was used in the shoot­ing. Roof report­ed­ly pur­chased the weapon in April for his 21st birth­day with mon­ey give to him as a gift by his father.

Some of the pic­tures were tak­en at the Sanko­fa Bur­ial Grounds for slaves on the McLeod Plan­ta­tion in Charleston.

Oth­ers appear to have been tak­en at the Boone Hall plan­ta­tion in Mt Pleas­ant, S.C., and the Muse­um and Library of Con­fed­er­ate His­to­ry in Greenville, S.C.

The author of the man­i­festo said that he did not grow up in a racist home or envi­ron­ment. Roof’s fam­i­ly broke their silence Fri­day by releas­ing a state­ment extend­ing their sym­pa­thies vic­tims’ fam­i­lies.

“Words can­not express our shock, grief, and dis­be­lief as to what hap­pened that night,” it reads.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the fam­i­lies of those killed this week. We have all been touched by the mov­ing words from the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies offer­ing God’s for­give­ness and love in the face of such hor­ri­ble suf­fer­ing.”

“Charleston Shoot­ing Sus­pect Left Racist Man­i­festo on Web site, Author­i­ties Say” by Lenny Bern­stein, Sari Hor­witz and Peter Hol­ley; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 6/20/2015.

. . . . . Pat Hines, the South Car­olina state chair­man of the League of the South, an orga­ni­za­tion that wants South­ern states to secede from the Unit­ed States, said Roof did not appear to belong to any white suprema­cist groups and could have been indoc­tri­nated on the Inter­net. . . .

 

Discussion

13 comments for “Reflections on the Charleston Church Shooting: “Assist, Greenwald, Paul””

  1. Accord­ing to an exposé in the Guardian news­pa­per, Earl Holt, the pres­i­dent of the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens (CofCC), which calls for oppo­si­tion to “all efforts to mix the races of mankind,” gave $65,000 to Repub­li­can cam­paigns over the past few years, includ­ing the cur­rent pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick San­to­rum.

    Roof cit­ed the CofCC web site in his man­i­festo as cru­cial to his own devel­op­ment as a white suprema­cist.

    Posted by bassface | June 23, 2015, 9:11 am
  2. In a reflec­tion of just how tox­ic a sym­bol the Con­fed­er­ate flag has become in the wake of Dylann Roof’s racist mas­sacre, Jack Hunter, a guy who used to where a Con­fed­er­ate flag mask while inhab­it­ing his “South­ern Avenger” per­sona, just wrote an essay about why he’s changed his mind on the Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag and now wants to see the flag in Charleston tak­en down:

    The Dai­ly Beats
    The ‘South­ern Avenger’ Repents: I Was Wrong About the Con­fed­er­ate Flag
    States’ rights? Her­itage? I was wrong: The Con­fed­er­ate flag has always been about race.

    Jack Hunter
    06.22.154:40 PM ET

    As a Charleston, South Car­oli­na-based con­ser­v­a­tive radio per­son­al­i­ty known as the “South­ern Avenger,” I spent a decade defend­ing the Con­fed­er­ate flag that is yet again the cen­ter of so much con­tro­ver­sy.

    I said the flag was about states’ rights. I said it stood for self-deter­mi­na­tion. I said it hon­ored her­itage.

    I argued the Con­fed­er­ate flag wasn’t about race. I believed it. Mil­lions of well-mean­ing South­ern­ers believe it too.

    I was wrong. That flag is always about race. What­ev­er polit­i­cal or his­tor­i­cal points the flag’s defend­ers make, there will nev­er be a time—and nev­er has been a time—in which mil­lions of Amer­i­cans have looked at that sym­bol and not seen hatred.

    We can argue for the rest of time whether this is fair or not. And for the rest of time, that sym­bol will still be seen in an over­whelm­ing­ly neg­a­tive light.

    Those who see hatred have polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal rea­sons too.

    This has always been the Con­fed­er­ate flag debate game. One camp’s argu­ments are sup­posed to trump the other’s.

    I’m not here to set­tle those argu­ments. I tired of them years ago.

    But I am here to say there is some­thing at stake far more impor­tant than this sym­bol.

    Her­itage might not be hate. But bat­tling hate is far more impor­tant than anyone’s her­itage, pol­i­tics, or just about any­thing else. We should have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties.

    I now have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties.

    Dylann Roof is a reminder of what’s at stake.

    ***

    The week before a white suprema­cist mur­dered nine black men and women in my home­town of Charleston, I was angry at my fel­low con­ser­v­a­tives.

    A 14-year-old black girl attend­ing a pool par­ty in McK­in­ney, Texas, had been man­han­dled and thrown to the ground by a police offi­cer. The girl had done noth­ing except talk. She was just stand­ing there with oth­er teenagers.

    It was revolt­ing to watch. I asked oth­ers to imag­ine it was their daugh­ter.

    The over­whelm­ing response was that she was a “thug” who was “no saint” and need­ed to be taught “respect.” The com­ments were as revolt­ing as the act—an adult mob prais­ing the assault of a 100-pound, half-naked and scared black kid. I plead­ed again for peo­ple to stop defend­ing this. It got ugli­er.

    It both­ered me great­ly, prob­a­bly because at one time I might have done the same thing.

    In my role as a con­ser­v­a­tive radio per­son­al­i­ty, I would’ve like­ly joined in in call­ing a group of excit­ed black teenagers, or pro­test­ers, “thugs.” I might have called ille­gal immi­grants crim­i­nals or worse. Mus­lims would’ve been slan­dered as ter­ror­ists.

    Ugli­ness was a stock-in-trade.

    I thought a big part of being con­ser­v­a­tive meant pick­ing a “side” and attack­ing the oth­er. I thought not car­ing what oth­ers thought or felt was part of it. Some of my Con­fed­er­ate flag debates cer­tain­ly reflect­ed that men­tal­i­ty.

    This is some­thing ide­o­logues do and is by no means exclu­sive to the right, as evi­denced by the way some lib­er­als car­toon­ish­ly por­tray con­ser­v­a­tives, Chris­tians, and, yes, South­ern­ers.

    Ide­o­logues ridicule and dehu­man­ize peo­ple at the expense of their per­son­hood. Ide­o­logues believe some groups must be attacked, and although the groups are com­prised of flesh-and-blood human beings, it’s bet­ter not to think of them as peo­ple too much—it could get you off mes­sage.

    It’s crude col­lec­tivist think­ing. It’s an inten­tion­al lack of sym­pa­thy. It’s dehu­man­iza­tion. It’s at the heart of every­thing that’s wrong with our pol­i­tics and cul­ture.

    In its most extreme form, it’s what’s wrong with Dylann Roof.

    Between the reports of his racist words and man­i­festo, we know Roof had a mis­sion: to mur­der black peo­ple. Enter­ing the Emmanuel A.M.E. Church Wednes­day and sit­ting with the group for an hour, Roof con­fessed that he “almost didn’t go through with it because every­one was so nice to him.”

    But instead he chose to “go through with his mis­sion.” He had to shrug off their kind­ness. These weren’t peo­ple. They were just “blacks.” They were on the wrong side.

    Roof’s hate­ful tun­nel vision led him to com­mit pure evil.

    What is the polar oppo­site of such hatred? The for­give­ness demon­strat­ed by Roof’s victim’s fam­i­lies. Said the daugh­ter of Ethel Lance, “I will nev­er be able to hold her again, but I for­give you.”

    “And have mer­cy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of peo­ple but God for­gives you, and I for­give you.”

    This is human­i­ty. It is a rejec­tion of col­lec­tivist think­ing. It is the epit­o­me of sym­pa­thy. It’s grace. It’s love.

    ...

    We will have a future that can be so much bet­ter than what a lot of South­ern and Amer­i­can her­itage rep­re­sents, but only if we stop think­ing of each oth­er as sep­a­rate camps con­stant­ly at war. We can only improve to the degree that we begin view­ing one anoth­er not as ene­mies to be attacked but broth­ers to be loved.

    Dylann Roof reminds us how hate destroys. The fam­i­lies of those he mur­dered remind us of the love we’re capa­ble of.

    The Con­fed­er­ate flag will always be a road­block to the bet­ter­ment of our natures. Let’s take it down so that we might all rise up.

    Cred­it where cred­it’s due: that was a nice essay on per­son­al growth and bridg­ing the irra­tional racial divides and appeal­ing to our bet­ter angels. A nice essay on heal­ing racial ani­mos­i­ty ... writ­ten by Jack Hunter. Who would have seen that one com­ing.

    And who knows, per­haps the appalling nature of Roof’s crime and man­i­festo real­ly has cre­at­ed one of those invalu­able moments of reflec­tion and per­son­al growth in peo­ple all across the nation. Or per­haps it was, as Hunter point­ed out, the amaz­ing jux­ta­po­si­tion of Roof’s vio­lent mal­ice with the heartwrench­ing dis­plays of grace and for­give­ness by the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies that’s prompt­ing epipha­nies and calls from con­ser­v­a­tive offi­cials to take down Con­fed­er­ate emblems all over the nation. Either way, if the sen­ti­ments expressed by Hunter and oth­ers are gen­uine, that’s at least progress.

    But, of course, it’s pos­si­ble that Mr. Hunter’s words are just that: words. After all, if a par­ty like the GOP, which has built itself around “South­ern Strat­e­gy” dog-whis­tle pol­i­tics for decades, can man­age to wipe its hands clean by mere­ly tak­ing down the Con­fed­er­ate flag in var­i­ous places that would basi­cal­ly mean the rest of the “South­ern Strat­e­gy” remains intact. Decades of end­less pol­i­cy attacks on vot­ing rights and social pro­grams have been just as much a com­po­nent of the “South­ern Strat­e­gy” as the dog-whis­tles and Con­fed­er­ate sym­bols. And for the GOP’s oli­garchs, its those poli­cies, and not the sym­bols for the rab­ble, that real­ly mat­ter.

    So good for Jack Hunter. At the same time, tak­ing down the Con­fed­er­ate flag is the easy and obvi­ous call. Tak­ing down the rest of the GOP’s plat­form that is designed to make the lives of the the poor and minori­ties hard­er in a myr­i­ad of ways is the oth­er obvi­ous call, but it’s not going to be so easy. Unless, of course, Jack Hunter’s appar­ent epiphany is indeed gen­uine and wide­spread. In that case, chang­ing the South­ern Strat­e­gy would indeed be extreme­ly easy for the GOP because those South­ern Strat­e­gy poli­cies would no long have elec­toral appeal. Once the GOP’s dog-whis­tle poli­cies starts sound­ing fin­ger-nails on a chalk­board to almost every­one those poli­cies are going to change.

    So we’ll see just how many oth­er for­mer flag sup­port­ers change their views on the flag. And kudos to them if they do. But if the GOP wants to real­ly show the nation how gen­uine those sen­ti­ments are it’s going to have to throw out the rest of GOP’s South­ern Strat­e­gy “bag­gage” too.

    Could the GOP real­ly drop its decades old South­ern Strat­e­gy, includ­ing all the that hap­pen? Obvi­ous­ly not imme­di­ate­ly, but it will prob­a­bly hap­pen even­tu­al­ly. Per­haps invol­un­tar­i­ly.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 23, 2015, 6:27 pm
  3. Well look at that: It turns out the Ku Klux Klan was plan­ning a nation­wide recruit­ment cam­paign right around the time of the Charleston Mas­sacre.

    So are they call­ing off the cam­paign and denounc­ing Dylann Roof’s act of ter­ror? Nope. Quite the oppo­site:

    The Dai­ly Beast
    The Klan’s Vile Post-Charleston Recruit­ing Spree
    Towns across the coun­try have report­ed the appear­ance of KKK fliers with bags of can­dy on res­i­dents’ lawns.

    Kate Briquelet
    06.24.15 5:25 AM ET

    Days after the mas­sacre at a black church in South Car­oli­na, some Amer­i­cans woke to a vile sur­prise: KKK fliers with can­dy on their lawns.

    The propaganda—stuffed into plas­tic bag­gies with pieces of pep­per­mint and Toot­sie Rolls—included a phone num­ber for the Loy­al White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Plant­ed under the cov­er of dark­ness, the fliers were dis­trib­uted in Cal­i­for­nia, Kansas, Alaba­ma, Mis­sis­sip­pi, and Geor­gia.

    It’s not some­thing local police depart­ments are tak­ing light­ly, and some have even reached out to the FBI for assis­tance. The Rock­dale Coun­ty sheriff’s depart­ment in Cony­ers, Geor­gia, col­lect­ed more than 80 fliers and is inves­ti­gat­ing whether any­one can be charged with crim­i­nal tres­pass or lit­ter­ing.

    “Whether it was a joke or from an orga­ni­za­tion doesn’t mat­ter to me,” Sher­iff Eric Lev­ett told The Dai­ly Beast. “The fact that it was done dur­ing this time is igno­rant and cow­ard­ly.”

    A mes­sage on the hate-spew­ing hot­line, based in North Car­oli­na, salutes 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who was charged with mur­der for the killing nine peo­ple in Charleston. Roof penned a racist man­i­festo before the June 17 mass shoot­ing and want­ed to start a “race war.”

    “We in the Loy­al White Knights of the KKK would like to say hail vic­to­ry to … Dylan S. Roof who decid­ed to do what the Bible told him,” a man chirps in the record­ing. “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. They [black peo­ple] have spilled our blood too long. It’s about time some­one spilled theirs.”

    “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right,” the mes­sage con­cludes. “White pow­er!”

    Robert Jones, of the Roy­al White Knights in North Car­oli­na, told The Dai­ly Beast that the Klan is under­go­ing a nation­al recruit­ment dri­ve that coin­ci­den­tal­ly start­ed around the time of the South Car­oli­na mur­ders.

    “We’re doing this from the East Coast to the West Coast, just to let peo­ple know the Klan’s in their com­mu­ni­ty,” said Jones, the grand drag­on of the hate group based in Pel­ham, N.C. “Espe­cial­ly with all the stuff that’s in the news—in South Car­oli­na they’re want­i­ng to take the Con­fed­er­ate flag down.”

    Jones told The Dai­ly Beast that he sup­ports Roof’s crime, but pre­ferred that he “shot the cor­rect peo­ple,” such as minor­i­ty drug deal­ers rather than church­go­ers.

    “It’s a racial war against our peo­ple,” Jones said. “The more the media push­es mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism down our throat, the more you’re going to see killings like this.”

    In Pry­or Creek, Okla­homa, the Klan also recent­ly caught cops’ atten­tion when it got personal—naming and urg­ing a boy­cott against local Mex­i­can restau­rants.

    The fliers from the North­east­ern Okla­homa Klav­ern warned of the same sup­posed “black on white” vio­lence that spurred Roof’s mil­i­tan­cy, and pushed “civ­il ways to dis­cour­age these ani­mals from our com­mu­ni­ty,” the Pry­or Dai­ly Times report­ed.

    “Stop going to Maggie’s Mex­i­can Kitchen … [she] thinks she can talk trash about white peo­ple in Span­ish, think­ing none of us will under­stand her anti-Amer­i­can, anti-white rhetoric,” read the fli­er dis­cov­ered on Father’s Day. “Or, El Humilde Mex­i­can Restau­rant, which takes your mon­ey while employ­ing ille­gals and send­ing our Amer­i­can cur­ren­cy back to their home­land.”

    Cap­tain Rod How­ell of the Mayes Coun­ty sheriff’s depart­ment in Pry­or told The Dai­ly Beast that “the timing’s not a coin­ci­dence.”

    “They’re doing it for a rea­son,” How­ell said. “They’re try­ing to get as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to put some fuel in the fire. With the polit­i­cal cli­mate the way it is today, it’s real­ly tough right now.”

    Mean­while, Alaba­ma res­i­dents were hor­ri­fied by the racial­ly-charged hate bags filled with can­dy.

    “I didn’t even know the KKK was alive and well,” Shan­non Phillips of Lake View told local news sta­tion WIAT. “I cer­tain­ly didn’t know it was in our area. It dis­turbed me that they put Toot­sie Rolls in here try­ing to appeal to chil­dren. I mean that’s just pathet­ic, sick, dis­gust­ing.”

    ...

    Cops in near­by Besse­mer, Alaba­ma, filled a 30-gal­lon bag with the bul­letins, which offi­cers col­lect­ed from one church and more than 60 homes.

    “If we find out who has done it, we’ll deal with it,” Police Chief Nathaniel Rut­ledge Jr. told The Dai­ly Beast. “For right now, it’s crim­i­nal lit­ter­ing at the very least.”

    After the fliers were found in Tope­ka, Kansas, the police chief there called the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI and held a press con­fer­ence with the city’s Black Min­is­ters Asso­ci­a­tion.

    Oth­er fliers were found as far as Fuller­ton, Cal­i­for­nia, a city of 135,161 in Orange Coun­ty. Pro­claim­ing “Save our land, Join the Klan,” some of the baggies—anchored by rocks and can­dy so they wouldn’t blow awaymis­spelled “Cal­i­for­nia.”

    “It’s just wrong. There’s no words,” Fuller­ton res­i­dent Alia Cass told CBS Los Ange­les. “Racism isn’t born. It’s taught.”

    So accord­ing to Robert Jones, of the Roy­al White Knights in North Carolina,the Klan is under­go­ing a nation­al recruit­ment dri­ve that just coin­ci­den­tal­ly start­ed around the time of the South Car­oli­na mur­ders. Also, “It’s a racial war against our peo­ple...The more the media push­es mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism down our throat, the more you’re going to see killings like this.

    Hmm­mm...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 27, 2015, 12:18 pm
  4. The Guardian has an inter­view of one of Dylann Roof’s inspi­ra­tions: Harold Cov­ing­ton, a neo-Nazi author of a string of fic­tion­al books about vio­lent white suprema­cist rev­o­lu­tions. Books that Cov­ing­ton’s web­site char­ac­ter­izes as “not meant to be mere entertainment...They are meant to be self-ful­fill­ing prophe­cies. The author wish­es to inspire the cre­ation of a real North­west Amer­i­can Repub­lic, and his nov­els are filled with a great deal of sound prac­ti­cal advice about how to do it.”:

    The Guardian
    White suprema­cist calls Charleston ‘a pre­view of com­ing attrac­tions’

    Dylann Roof refers to Harold Covington’s white sep­a­ratist group, the North­west Front, in his alleged man­i­festo. The rightwing sci-fi writer dis­tances him­self from the shoot­ing, but his fol­low­ers spec­u­late if his work influ­enced Roof’s actions

    Sam Thiel­man in New York

    Sun­day 28 June 2015 08.30 EDT

    One of the shad­owy fig­ures who appears to have influ­enced alleged Charleston killer Dylann Roof is Harold Cov­ing­ton, the founder of a white sep­a­ratist move­ment and, with­in suprema­cist cir­cles, an influ­en­tial sci-fi author. Cov­ing­ton, the lat­est in a long line of rightwing sci-fi writ­ers, has been linked to racist crimes in the past and this week called the mas­sacre “a pre­view of com­ing attrac­tions”.

    The racist man­i­festo and pho­tos appar­ent­ly post­ed by Roof makes men­tion of the North­west Front, cre­at­ed by Cov­ing­ton, a for­mer mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Nazi par­ty who trav­eled to South Africa and Rhode­sia in order to agi­tate for white pow­er. In the accom­pa­ny­ing pho­tos, Roof wore patch­es with Rhode­sian and apartheid-era South African flags on them.

    Cov­ing­ton, if you believe his web­site, runs a grow­ing enclave of white suprema­cists near Seat­tle called the North­west Front. The non-prof­it group is reflect­ed in a series of sci-fi nov­els, authored by Cov­ing­ton, about a dystopi­an future in which a white nation is the only answer to US eco­nom­ic and racial woes.

    Amer­i­can sci­ence fic­tion has long had a right­ward tilt, from the con­tem­po­rary strain of small-press sci-fi Tea Par­ty fan­tasias swarm­ing the Hugo Awards nom­i­na­tions all the way back to lib­er­tar­i­an deity Ayn Rand. But Covington’s nov­els are a breed apart.

    His fol­low­ers see con­spir­a­cy in Covington’s con­nec­tions to Roof. “And why did this young man have a flight jack­et with flag patch­es from the old White ruled south­ern African coun­tries, which is where HAC spent part of his ear­ly days in the Cause, hmmm,” wrote a com­menter called Wingnut under a recent pod­cast on the North­west web­site. “Won­der if they’ll ‘find’ a pile of NF-HAC stuff in this young man’s home? Then they can pull one of those ‘the dev­il made me do it’ num­bers on HAC.”

    Cov­ing­ton doesn’t advo­cate for ran­dom­ized vio­lence; he wants rev­o­lu­tion, to the extent that he calls his fol­low­ers “com­rades” and lec­tures them on “the pur­pose of rev­o­lu­tion” among oth­er phras­es more char­ac­ter­is­tic of the left than the right. While it was clear Roof knew about the North­west Front and seemed famil­iar with it, Cov­ing­ton con­demned Roof’s shoot­ing on his Tues­day pod­cast because “it doesn’t work.”

    “Peo­ple, don’t do this shit, this flip­ping out with a gun luna­cy,” he said. “No, this is not just rit­u­al dis­claimer, Harold try­ing to cov­er is ass, this is what Harold real­ly thinks.”

    The Roof killings are not the first time Covington’s name has come up in con­nec­tion with an alleged­ly racist mur­der. Cov­ing­ton was part of a group of white suprema­cists in the 1970s who mas­sa­cred black peo­ple at a ral­ly in Greens­boro (Cov­ing­ton didn’t kill any­one and wasn’t in atten­dance on the day of the vio­lence). He was also at one time close with Fra­zier Glenn Miller, who is charged with killing a woman, a 69-year-old man and that man’s 14-year-old grand­son near Jew­ish insti­tu­tions last year.

    Eliz­a­beth Wheaton wrote about Cov­ing­ton in her book Code­name Greenkil: The 1979 Greens­boro Killings. “Cov­ing­ton was pret­ty much a minor play­er,” she told The Guardian. “He liked the Nazi image on the white pow­er kinds of things, but he was kind of nerdy. Most of [the oth­ers] were coun­try peo­ple or ex-mil­i­tary.”

    “For all of his lacks, he does not lack the abil­i­ty to turn a phrase,” said Wheaton. “He’s very artic­u­late in pre­sent­ing his mes­sage.”

    Cov­ing­ton said he’d nev­er heard of Roof before the mas­sacre and told The Guardian to “try Storm­front. That’s usu­al­ly where new­bies in the Move­ment end up leav­ing their first elec­tron­ic foot­print.”

    Much of Covington’s influ­ence on his fol­low­ers comes from his nov­els, which are writ­ten in a style that reads like some­one spilled a 50-gal­lon bar­rel of eth­nic slurs all over a stack of ear­ly-draft Robert Hein­lein nov­els. His choice of cul­tur­al icons dates his books con­sid­er­ably, even the recent ones, which are filled with up-to-the-minute ref­er­ences to Jane Fon­da and Gilligan’s Island, but the author prob­a­bly doesn’t care about these crit­i­cisms. The books are not pri­mar­i­ly nov­els, any­way.

    The North­west nov­els “are not meant to be mere enter­tain­ment”, accord­ing to Covington’s web­site Northwest.org. “They are meant to be self-ful­fill­ing prophe­cies. The author wish­es to inspire the cre­ation of a real North­west Amer­i­can Repub­lic, and his nov­els are filled with a great deal of sound prac­ti­cal advice about how to do it.”

    There are five North­west nov­els are all pop­u­lat­ed with sim­i­lar­ly brave and hero­ic white men (“domes­tic ter­ror­ist-type dudes” in the words of Shane Ryan, the nar­ra­tor of Covington’s A Dis­tant Thun­der), cru­el, DW Grif­fith-style black peo­ple whose speech is writ­ten in dialect, and hand-wring­ing lib­er­als who want noth­ing more than to sti­fle the right to free speech of (white) peo­ple who just want to secede from the US.

    “As the NVA [North­west Vol­un­teer Army, Covington’s heroes] vise had slow­ly clamped down on the North­west over the past five years, Capi­tol Hill had lost much of its left-wing cachet, as those art­sy-fart­sy habitue´s who were dusky of skin or sex­u­al­ly invert­ed either fled to more hos­pitable climes or got well and tru­ly wast­ed, shot dead on the pave­ment by the NVA gun­ners,” Cov­ing­ton explains in 2004’s A Mighty Fortress.

    Shane Ryan, hero of the pur­port­ed oral-his­to­ry-of-the-rev­o­lu­tion vol­ume A Dis­tant Thun­der, recalls the hero­ism of his white broth­ers and sis­ters up to and includ­ing teams “spe­cial­ty snipers” who pick off inter­ra­cial cou­ples and, of course, Con­rad Baum­garten, who “came all the way from Ger­many with his SS offi­cer grandfather’s scoped ’98 Mauser to hunt Jews”.

    ...

    Covington’s prophe­cy

    In an email exchange with the Guardian, Cov­ing­ton said he was urg­ing fol­low­ers not to talk about Roof until “all the facts were out”.

    What did he mean by that? “I mean that a lot of times these things are not as adver­tised and peo­ple like you have a ten­den­cy to try to use us as props and aids to sup­port the Offi­cial Ver­sion. Okla­homa City being a prime exam­ple; there is a com­pelling case to be made that was a gov­ern­ment sting oper­a­tion gone very wrong, but I long ago gave up any hope of ever get­ting any­body to lis­ten; any­thing we say is sim­ply shout­ed down or kicked aside, we are treat­ed as cranks at best, and facts are nev­er allowed to inter­fere with the Received Wis­dom from on high.

    “For anoth­er exam­ple, I am well aware of the ide­o­log­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion of the Guardian (I lived in the British Isles for a num­ber of years [Cov­ing­ton spent time among skin­heads in the UK – “a lot of them were great guys,” he said on a recent pod­cast]) and I under­stand that I have not a snowball’s chance in hell of get­ting our view­point rep­re­sent­ed hon­est­ly and fair­ly there.”

    A few hours lat­er, a new install­ment of his radio show went up on the Radio Free North­west web­site, in which he did not advo­cate for vio­lence, but did fan­ta­size for a lit­tle while, say­ing that lib­er­als were afraid of Charleston because it was “a pre­view of com­ing attrac­tions”.

    “They’ve been giv­en a vision of a time in some imag­ined but pos­si­bly not too-far dis­tant future when all of a sud­den, on the street or in their office, or in some trendy fern bar, or Star­bucks, or wine-and-cheese bou­tique on the Upper East Side or in San Fran­cis­co, they will look up, pos­si­bly from the lap­top, where they are typ­ing up their day’s quo­ta of left­wing, lib­er­al horse­shit, and they will see a young white man like Dylann Roof stand­ing in front of them with no steroid-pumped police­men in blue to pro­tect their lib­er­al can­dy ass­es from the con­se­quences of years of their own behav­ior,” he said. “They will see in that young white man’s eyes, that he rec­og­nizes them. That he is now beyond decep­tion or bul­ly­ing or brow­beat­ing or Twit­ter-sham­ing or intim­i­da­tion, that he knows them for what they are. And they will look down and see that he has some­thing in his hand.”

    So Cov­ing­ton does­n’t advo­cate more Charleston Mas­sacres. He mere­ly writes fic­tion­al nov­els that are more or less man­u­als for white suprema­cist rev­o­lu­tions con­duct­ed by “domes­tic ter­ror­ist-type dudes”, and char­ac­ter­izes Roof’s acts as “a pre­view of com­ing attrac­tions”.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 29, 2015, 6:41 pm
  5. How a white suprema­cist tapped into a Jew­ish for­tune

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-a-jewish-fortune-ended-up-funding-a-white-supremacist-170317996.html#

    Yahoo Finance Exclu­sive:
    Earl Holt start­ed giv­ing mon­ey to GOP pols after mar­ry­ing the wid­ow of a Jew­ish busi­ness­man

    Yahoo Finance By Rick New­man
    4 hours ago
    
    Edi­tor’s note:This sto­ry con­tains racial­ly charged lan­guage some read­ers are like­ly to find offen­sive.

    As pres­i­dent of a white nation­al­ist group linked with the mur­ders of nine church­go­ers in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, Earl P. Holt III is strad­dling the uneasy bound­ary between free speech and racial hatred. Once known only to watch­dog groups that mon­i­tor extrem­ist groups, Holt has sud­den­ly become noto­ri­ous for racial slurs splat­tered across the Inter­net and for writ­ings on his group’s web site that sup­pos­ed­ly inspired Dylann Roof, the alleged Charleston shoot­er, to car­ry out a mas­sacre. Holt has become so tox­ic that Repub­li­can politi­cians who accept­ed cam­paign dona­tions from him have returned the mon­ey or giv­en it to char­i­ty.

    But for most of his life, Holt nev­er gave a dime to politi­cians. His dona­tions did­n’t begin until 2010, when he wrote a few $250 checks to one Con­gress­man from Ari­zona and anoth­er from Hawaii. The checks became more fre­quent and the amounts larg­er.

    By 2015, Holt, 62, had made more than 150 polit­i­cal dona­tions total­ing near­ly $70,000. All the mon­ey went to Repub­li­cans, includ­ing ultra­con­ser­v­a­tives such as Rep. Michele Bach­mann of Min­neso­ta, Rep. Todd Akin of Mis­souri, and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. Holt also donat­ed to Mitt Rom­ney’s 2012 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and to at least three 2016 pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates: Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walk­er, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and for­mer Penn­syl­va­nia Sen. Rick San­to­rum.

    What made Holt such a gen­er­ous donor, seem­ing­ly overnight? Holt won’t say, and he refused to speak with Yahoo Finance for this sto­ry. But a Yahoo Finance inves­ti­ga­tion has found that one month before his polit­i­cal dona­tions began, Holt mar­ried Kather­ine Ann Cook of Longview, Texas, whose hus­band Irv­ing Falk had died one year ear­li­er, leav­ing a siz­able estate to his wife and oth­er fam­i­ly mem­bers. Falk had been a suc­cess­ful Jew­ish busi­ness­man in Longview who even­tu­al­ly acquired dozens of oil and gas leas­es, sev­er­al com­mer­cial real estate prop­er­ties, at least two homes, and oth­er assets. “It’s com­mon knowl­edge he was extreme­ly wealthy,” says Mur­ray Moore, the for­mer may­or of Longview.

    Earl Holt may now be extreme­ly wealthy, too, cour­tesy of Irv­ing Falk’s indus­tri­ous­ness.

    The Dylann Roof con­nec­tion

    Holt’s cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions — and the appar­ent source of his mon­ey — are caus­ing con­ster­na­tion now because of hos­til­i­ty he has shown toward blacks and Jews. Holt is pres­i­dent of a non­prof­it group called the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, based in St. Louis. The group says it sup­ports polit­i­cal­ly con­ser­v­a­tive caus­es and does­n’t encour­age or con­done racism. It does, how­ev­er, rou­tine­ly high­light crimes com­mit­ted by blacks against whites, and the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter, which tracks extrem­ist groups, describes the coun­cil as “a vir­u­lent­ly racist group whose web­site has referred to blacks as ‘a ret­ro­grade species of human­i­ty.’” The Anti-Defama­tion League also con­sid­ers the coun­cil extrem­ist and says, “although the group claims not to be racist, its lead­ers traf­fic with oth­er white suprema­cist groups.”

    A num­ber of news and inter­est-group web sites con­tain incen­di­ary racial remarks under the name Earl P. Holt III. There are sev­er­al ref­er­ences to blacks as “Africanus Crim­i­nalis” (and worse). On The Blaze (which has since tak­en down his posts), Holt said blacks are “the lazi­est, stu­pid­est and most crim­i­nal­ly-inclined race in the his­to­ry of the world.” Holt attacks Jews less fre­quent­ly, but no less aggres­sive­ly. In 2012, on the web site Free­dom Out­post, he said of attor­ney Glo­ria Allred, “Jew­ish women (like this kike-bitch) are the great­est ene­my of Chris­tian­i­ty, Amer­i­ca and the West in world his­to­ry.” The same year, on the web site for CBS New York, he com­plained about the “cor­rupt left­ist Jews’ media.”

    Holt became news after Roof, the 21-year-old alleged South Car­oli­na shoot­er, wrote in a screed pub­lished on the web site Last Rhode­sian that dis­cov­er­ing the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens web site alert­ed him to “bru­tal black on white mur­ders.” “I was in dis­be­lief,” Roof wrote. “At this moment I real­ized that some­thing was very wrong.”

    On its own web site, the coun­cil said it was “deeply sad­dened” by the mass mur­der in Charleston, and it dis­avowed any con­nec­tion to Roof. Yet the atten­tion brought renewed scruti­ny of Holt and oth­er mem­bers of the group. The Guardian dis­cov­ered that Holt had donat­ed thou­sands of dol­lars to dozens of Repub­li­can politi­cians at the state and nation­al lev­el, prompt­ing most of those still in office to return the mon­ey or give it to char­i­ty.

    Yahoo Finance set out to answer one basic ques­tion: Where did Holt get the $70,000 or so he donat­ed? He’s cer­tain­ly not in the ranks of megadonors who pony up mil­lions to polit­i­cal can­di­dates, but in five years’ time Holt gave more mon­ey to politi­cians than the typ­i­cal Amer­i­can fam­i­ly earns in a year. Did he earn the mon­ey, inher­it it, get it from donors to his non­prof­it group or raise it from some oth­er source?

    A ‘brain­washed’ wid­ow

    In Longview, there’s grow­ing dis­com­fort over a racial provo­ca­teur in town, and the appar­ent con­nec­tion between a deceased Jew­ish busi­ness­man, a white suprema­cist who express­es ani­mos­i­ty toward blacks and Jews, and the wid­ow who may have trans­ferred wealth from one to the oth­er.

    “Many peo­ple say her deceased hus­band would be rolling over in his grave if he knew she was spend­ing his mon­ey this way,” says Bran­den John­son, pres­i­dent of the NAACP’s Longview chap­ter. “They feel Kather­ine has been brain­washed.”

    Irv­ing Falk came to Longview in the late 1930s, part of a small wave of Jews who set­tled in east Texas while look­ing for oppor­tu­ni­ties dur­ing the Depres­sion. Falk estab­lished a scrap met­al com­pa­ny and appar­ent­ly did well, rid­ing the oil boom ema­nat­ing from near­by Kil­go­re. In a his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment, the Insti­tute of South­ern Jew­ish Liv­ing described Falk’s com­pa­ny as “a very suc­cess­ful scrap met­al busi­ness [that] worked inti­mate­ly with the oil com­pa­nies of east Texas.” Falk con­tributed to civic life by help­ing found the only tem­ple in Longview and the local YMCA, plus con­tribut­ing mon­ey to the Unit­ed Way, the local junior col­lege, the East Texas Oil Muse­um and oth­er non­prof­its.

    While build­ing his busi­ness, Falk mar­ried, had a son and got divorced. Around 1977 he got mar­ried for a sec­ond time. The bride was Kather­ine Ann Cook, who had one son her­self. She became Kather­ine Falk.

    Irv­ing Falk’s busi­ness expand­ed into the dis­tri­b­u­tion of steel prod­ucts, which was more prof­itable than scrap. At one point it was “one of the largest steel dis­tri­b­u­tion cen­ters in the south­west,” accord­ing to Falk’s nephew, Rusty Mil­stein, who worked at the com­pa­ny. Falk sold his firm in 1999 to a Kansas com­pa­ny, and retired. Since both com­pa­nies were pri­vate­ly owned, the price was nev­er dis­closed, but locals esti­mate Falk made mil­lions from the sale. Mean­while, Falk had accu­mu­lat­ed dozens of oil and gas leas­es that paid roy­al­ties. In 2003, Falk estab­lished a com­pa­ny called IF Invest­ments, LLC, list­ing him­self as pres­i­dent, accord­ing to a fil­ing with the Texas Sec­re­tary of State. That com­pa­ny became the list­ed own­er of at least six com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in Longview, accord­ing to coun­ty records.

    Falk died on Feb. 5, 2009, at the age of 90. The obit­u­ary in the local paper described him as a “dig­ni­fied, gra­cious gen­tle­man” who “trav­eled the world in con­nec­tion with his busi­ness and had friends and busi­ness asso­ciates in many coun­tries.” The val­ue of Falk’s estate wasn’t pub­licly dis­closed, but Kather­ine Falk, his wife, inher­it­ed the prop­er­ties they owned, and became pres­i­dent of IF Invest­ments, which owned the com­mer­cial prop­er­ty. The year before he died, Falk owned inter­ests in at least 54 min­er­al leas­es, accord­ing to coun­ty records. Those were trans­ferred to Kather­ine Cook and her broth­er, Phillip Cook, and were then sold to Kather­ine Cook’s son, Phillip Bay­man, of Fort Worth. The sale price was con­fi­den­tial.

    Right-wing radio host, slum­lord

    While Irv­ing Falk was build­ing his busi­ness and his wealth in Longview, Earl Holt III was liv­ing a dif­fer­ent type of life 600 miles north­east, in St. Louis. On the forms accom­pa­ny­ing sev­er­al of his polit­i­cal dona­tions, Holt list­ed his occu­pa­tion as “slum­lord” or “retired slum­lord.” That may have been a ref­er­ence to a run-down 18-unit apart­ment build­ing he owned in a neigh­bor­hood known as north city or north St. Louis, a blight­ed part of town two-and-a-half miles north­west of the Gate­way Arch char­ac­ter­ized by white flight, aban­doned lots and abort­ed rede­vel­op­ment efforts. The ZIP code, 63106, is 96% black, accord­ing to Cen­sus Bureau data, and the medi­an house­hold income is just $15,126 — half the nation­al pover­ty lev­el for a fam­i­ly of four.

    In 1984, Holt and a part­ner bought the 18-unit build­ing at 2618–2634 James “Cool Papa” Bell Ave., a street named after the base­ball Hall of Famer who played in the Negro Leagues in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. The price was undis­closed. Over time, Holt bought out his part­ner and trans­ferred the prop­er­ty to a com­pa­ny he cre­at­ed called Bell Prop­er­ties. Court records show at least 10 law­suits Holt brought against ten­ants for unpaid rent and oth­er infrac­tions.

    Holt got elect­ed to the St. Louis school board, serv­ing from 1989 to 1993, one of sev­er­al board mem­bers opposed to bus­ing for racial inte­gra­tion. Though out­spo­ken on the issue of bus­ing, Holt didn’t gen­er­ate much addi­tion­al con­tro­ver­sy and was even “known for his jovial demeanor,” accord­ing to St. Louis pub­lic radio.

    That began to change in 1995, when Holt and a man named Gor­don Lee Baum launched a show called “Right at Night” on AM radio sta­tion WGNU. The South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter describes Baum as the founder of the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, which got its start in 1985. Baum died in March of this year, but tax returns for the group from pri­or years list him as the group’s trea­sur­er, with Holt as pres­i­dent. Baum and Holt some­times dis­cussed white rights on their show, but there were oth­er con­tro­ver­sial hosts on the sta­tion as well. WGNU, which con­sid­ered itself “Radio Free St. Louis,” had a con­ser­v­a­tive bent but also gave voice to all man­ner of icon­o­clasts, includ­ing Onion Hor­ton, whom the River­front Times described as a “black suprema­cist.”

    Holt stepped firm­ly out of the shad­ows in Novem­ber 2003, when he emailed a St. Louis blog­ger who had labeled him a “racist.” The blog­ger pub­lished Holt’s entire email, which railed against “sanc­ti­mo­nious nig­ger-lovers” and con­tained oth­er slurs. After a firestorm erupt­ed, Holt explained on his radio show that he had got­ten “liquored up” before send­ing the email and “prob­a­bly used the N‑word about 20 times too many.” But he didn’t recant any­thing he had writ­ten and con­clud­ed by say­ing, “I guess you could say I called a spade a spade.”

    WGNU didn’t fire Holt, but he went off the air a few years lat­er when new own­ers bought the sta­tion and adopt­ed a Chris­t­ian broad­cast­ing for­mat. Aside from com­ments he left on web sites, Holt dis­ap­peared from pub­lic view. In May 2009, he sold the home he list­ed as his res­i­dence, a four-unit mul­ti­fam­i­ly house in the Shaw neigh­bor­hood of St. Louis. That prop­er­ty was in a more diverse neigh­bor­hood than north city, where he owned the apart­ment build­ing. In Shaw, the pop­u­la­tion was 53% black and 40% white, accord­ing to Cen­sus data. Medi­an income was about $38,000, 151% high­er than in north city. Holt sold the prop­er­ty for $145,000 to two investors who planned to fix it up and rent it out.

    Holt’s next known res­i­dence was at Kather­ine Falk’s home in Longview—the same home she had shared with her hus­band, Irv­ing Falk. The house, in one of the wealth­i­est parts of Longview, is still in her name, though she now goes by Kather­ine Holt. Coun­ty records list the appraised val­ue at $570,000, which is 350% high­er than the medi­an home val­ue in Longview, accord­ing to Zil­low.

    It’s not clear how Earl and Kather­ine Holt met—perhaps through some kind of retreat, if you believe rumors in Longview. When they mar­ried, in 2010, the bride was going by her pre­sumed maid­en name of Kather­ine Ann Cook, and at 62, she was five years senior to the 57-year-old Holt. After mov­ing to Longview, Earl Holt most­ly kept a low pro­file, with one exception—he wrote a few let­ters to the local paper, the News-Jour­nal, that drew atten­tion, such as one in ear­ly June, before the Charleston shoot­ings, crit­i­ciz­ing new­ly elect­ed may­or Andy Mack for his sup­port of gay rights.

    Holt’s sud­den noto­ri­ety has unnerved some peo­ple in the area, how­ev­er, espe­cial­ly those who knew Kather­ine Holt when she was Kather­ine Falk. One friend of the fam­i­ly, when asked about Earl Holt, said, “That’s some­thing you need to leave alone,” refus­ing to com­ment fur­ther. Phillip Bay­man, Kather­ine Holt’s son, said “I have no com­ment, you have a nice day,” and hung up when asked about his mother’s cur­rent hus­band.

    Yahoo Finance called Earl and Kath­leen Holt at home to ask for com­ment, as well. “I don’t do inter­views,” Earl Holt said, “espe­cial­ly with the cor­rupt left­ist media,” and then hung up. A spokesman for the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, Jared Tay­lor, con­firmed that “Mr. Holt does not want to talk to the media.”

    Cam­paign dona­tions

    Yahoo Finance can’t prove that Holt’s polit­i­cal dona­tions come direct­ly from Irv­ing Falk’s estate; the evi­dence is cir­cum­stan­tial. It’s pos­si­ble that Holt inher­it­ed mon­ey, or has prof­itable busi­ness inter­ests that aren’t known, or has sim­ply been spend­ing mon­ey he had all along. Some have spec­u­lat­ed that Holt’s polit­i­cal dona­tions have come from mon­ey con­tributed to the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, but the group’s tax returns don’t sup­port that. Con­tri­bu­tions from 2009 to 2013 totaled about $377,000, with most of that being spent on oper­at­ing expens­es. The tax returns include no men­tion of polit­i­cal dona­tions. Besides, it would be ille­gal for an offi­cer of a non­prof­it group to use con­tri­bu­tions to the group for per­son­al expen­di­tures, whether they be polit­i­cal dona­tions or any­thing else.

    In 2013, Holt did sell the 18-unit apart­ment build­ing he owned in north St. Louis, to a Bap­tist Church next door. But that was three years after his polit­i­cal dona­tions began. Plus, the sale price reg­is­tered with the coun­ty was $0. That sug­gests Holt gift­ed the prop­er­ty to the church, per­haps because it was impos­si­ble to sell, or it was worth more as a tax write-off than a sale.

    Some res­i­dents of Longview won­der if Kather­ine Holt, now 67 (and not Jew­ish her­self), is will­ful­ly com­plic­it in her husband’s activ­i­ties or has some­how been duped by Earl Holt. “It appears to me he sought out a wealthy wid­ow,” says one local polit­i­cal leader who asked not to be named. “Quite a few of us are try­ing to get to the bot­tom of this.”

    It’s pos­si­ble Kather­ine Holt became more polit­i­cal­ly active after meet­ing her cur­rent hus­band. Fed­er­al and state cam­paign records show no dona­tions from her when she was mar­ried to Irv­ing Falk, or dur­ing the one-year peri­od when she was his wid­ow. But begin­ning in July 2010–five months after she mar­ried Earl Holt–Katherine Holt began mak­ing a few dona­tions to Repub­li­cans that even­tu­al­ly totaled $4,500. She donat­ed to Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, for­mer Rep. J.D. Hay­worth of Ari­zona (who ran for the Sen­ate in 2010 and lost), State Rep. David Simp­son and Mitt Rom­ney’s 2012 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Her hus­band has giv­en mon­ey to all the same politi­cians.

    Tax returns for the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens show some­thing else that’s curi­ous. Returns for 2010 and 2011 list Kather­ine Holt as one of the organization’s sev­er­al direc­tors, sug­gest­ing she had hands-on involve­ment with the group. But she wasn’t list­ed as a direc­tor pri­or to that, when she was still mar­ried to Irv­ing Falk, and there’s no known record of her involve­ment with the group before 2010. Nor was she list­ed as a direc­tor in 2012 or 2013. (The group’s 2014 tax return is not yet avail­able.)

    Mur­ray Moore, the for­mer Longview may­or, faults both Holts for bad pub­lic­i­ty vis­it­ed upon Longview, while lament­ing the way Irv­ing Falk’s for­tune is seem­ing­ly being spent. “It just blows my mind they’re prob­a­bly spend­ing his mon­ey,” he says. “He’s a big­ot, and she’s just as cul­pa­ble as him.” There’s no sign the Holts care what Moore, or any­body, thinks.

    Rick Newman’s lat­est book is Lib­er­ty for All: A Man­i­festo for Reclaim­ing Finan­cial and Polit­i­cal Free­dom. Fol­low him on Twit­ter: @rickjnewman.

     View Com­ments (1018)

    Posted by participo | July 2, 2015, 9:58 am
  6. Yuck. Yahoo Finance has an exclu­sive piece exam­in­ing the sud­den surge in 2010 in polit­i­cal dona­tions made by Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens pres­i­dent Earl Holt. After vir­tu­al­ly no dona­tions pri­or to 2010, Holt sud­den­ly start­ed giv­ing a total of $70,000 over the last five years, exclu­sive­ly to the GOP. The invest­gi­ta­tion was­n’t able to con­clude pre­cise­ly where Holt got that amount of mon­ey to donate or what his moti­va­tions were for sud­den­ly writ­ing big checks in 2010, but it did point to one very like­ly source: the heiress of a wealthy jew­ish busi­ness man’s for­tune that Holt mar­ried in 2010 prob­lem had some­thing to do with his sud­den polit­i­cal gen­eros­i­ty:

    Yahoo Finance
    How a white suprema­cist tapped into a Jew­ish for­tune
    Yahoo Finance Exclu­sive: Earl Holt start­ed giv­ing mon­ey to GOP pols after mar­ry­ing the wid­ow of a Jew­ish busi­ness­man

    By Rick New­man
    July 2, 2015 9:16 AM

    As pres­i­dent of a white nation­al­ist group linked with the mur­ders of nine church­go­ers in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, Earl P. Holt III is strad­dling the uneasy bound­ary between free speech and racial hatred. Once known only to watch­dog groups that mon­i­tor extrem­ist groups, Holt has sud­den­ly become noto­ri­ous for racial slurs splat­tered across the Inter­net and for writ­ings on his group’s web site that sup­pos­ed­ly inspired Dylann Roof, the alleged Charleston shoot­er, to car­ry out a mas­sacre. Holt has become so tox­ic that Repub­li­can politi­cians who accept­ed cam­paign dona­tions from him have returned the mon­ey or giv­en it to char­i­ty.

    But for most of his life, Holt nev­er gave a dime to politi­cians. His dona­tions did­n’t begin until 2010, when he wrote a few $250 checks to one Con­gress­man from Ari­zona and anoth­er from Hawaii. The checks became more fre­quent and the amounts larg­er.

    By 2015, Holt, 62, had made more than 150 polit­i­cal dona­tions total­ing near­ly $70,000. All the mon­ey went to Repub­li­cans, includ­ing ultra­con­ser­v­a­tives such as Rep. Michele Bach­mann of Min­neso­ta, Rep. Todd Akin of Mis­souri, and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. Holt also donat­ed to Mitt Rom­ney’s 2012 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and to at least three 2016 pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates: Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walk­er, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and for­mer Penn­syl­va­nia Sen. Rick San­to­rum.

    What made Holt such a gen­er­ous donor, seem­ing­ly overnight? Holt won’t say, and he refused to speak with Yahoo Finance for this sto­ry. But a Yahoo Finance inves­ti­ga­tion has found that one month before his polit­i­cal dona­tions began, Holt mar­ried Kather­ine Ann Cook of Longview, Texas, whose hus­band Irv­ing Falk had died one year ear­li­er, leav­ing a siz­able estate to his wife and oth­er fam­i­ly mem­bers. Falk had been a suc­cess­ful Jew­ish busi­ness­man in Longview who even­tu­al­ly acquired dozens of oil and gas leas­es, sev­er­al com­mer­cial real estate prop­er­ties, at least two homes, and oth­er assets. “It’s com­mon knowl­edge he was extreme­ly wealthy,” says Mur­ray Moore, the for­mer may­or of Longview.

    Earl Holt may now be extreme­ly wealthy, too, cour­tesy of Irv­ing Falk’s indus­tri­ous­ness.

    The Dylann Roof con­nec­tion

    Holt’s cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions — and the appar­ent source of his mon­ey — are caus­ing con­ster­na­tion now because of hos­til­i­ty he has shown toward blacks and Jews. Holt is pres­i­dent of a non­prof­it group called the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, based in St. Louis. The group says it sup­ports polit­i­cal­ly con­ser­v­a­tive caus­es and does­n’t encour­age or con­done racism. It does, how­ev­er, rou­tine­ly high­light crimes com­mit­ted by blacks against whites, and the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter, which tracks extrem­ist groups, describes the coun­cil as “a vir­u­lent­ly racist group whose web­site has referred to blacks as ‘a ret­ro­grade species of human­i­ty.’” The Anti-Defama­tion League also con­sid­ers the coun­cil extrem­ist and says, “although the group claims not to be racist, its lead­ers traf­fic with oth­er white suprema­cist groups.”

    ...

    On its own web site, the coun­cil said it was “deeply sad­dened” by the mass mur­der in Charleston, and it dis­avowed any con­nec­tion to Roof. Yet the atten­tion brought renewed scruti­ny of Holt and oth­er mem­bers of the group. The Guardian dis­cov­ered that Holt had donat­ed thou­sands of dol­lars to dozens of Repub­li­can politi­cians at the state and nation­al lev­el, prompt­ing most of those still in office to return the mon­ey or give it to char­i­ty.

    Yahoo Finance set out to answer one basic ques­tion: Where did Holt get the $70,000 or so he donat­ed? He’s cer­tain­ly not in the ranks of megadonors who pony up mil­lions to polit­i­cal can­di­dates, but in five years’ time Holt gave more mon­ey to politi­cians than the typ­i­cal Amer­i­can fam­i­ly earns in a year. Did he earn the mon­ey, inher­it it, get it from donors to his non­prof­it group or raise it from some oth­er source?

    A ‘brain­washed’ wid­ow

    In Longview, there’s grow­ing dis­com­fort over a racial provo­ca­teur in town, and the appar­ent con­nec­tion between a deceased Jew­ish busi­ness­man, a white suprema­cist who express­es ani­mos­i­ty toward blacks and Jews, and the wid­ow who may have trans­ferred wealth from one to the oth­er.

    “Many peo­ple say her deceased hus­band would be rolling over in his grave if he knew she was spend­ing his mon­ey this way,” says Bran­den John­son, pres­i­dent of the NAACP’s Longview chap­ter. “They feel Kather­ine has been brain­washed.”

    Irv­ing Falk came to Longview in the late 1930s, part of a small wave of Jews who set­tled in east Texas while look­ing for oppor­tu­ni­ties dur­ing the Depres­sion. Falk estab­lished a scrap met­al com­pa­ny and appar­ent­ly did well, rid­ing the oil boom ema­nat­ing from near­by Kil­go­re. In a his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment, the Insti­tute of South­ern Jew­ish Liv­ing described Falk’s com­pa­ny as “a very suc­cess­ful scrap met­al busi­ness [that] worked inti­mate­ly with the oil com­pa­nies of east Texas.” Falk con­tributed to civic life by help­ing found the only tem­ple in Longview and the local YMCA, plus con­tribut­ing mon­ey to the Unit­ed Way, the local junior col­lege, the East Texas Oil Muse­um and oth­er non­prof­its.

    While build­ing his busi­ness, Falk mar­ried, had a son and got divorced. Around 1977 he got mar­ried for a sec­ond time. The bride was Kather­ine Ann Cook, who had one son her­self. She became Kather­ine Falk–and con­vert­ed to Judaism, accord­ing to one per­son famil­iar with the fam­i­ly, who asked not to be named.

    Irv­ing Falk’s busi­ness expand­ed into the dis­tri­b­u­tion of steel prod­ucts, which was more prof­itable than scrap. At one point it was “one of the largest steel dis­tri­b­u­tion cen­ters in the south­west,” accord­ing to Falk’s nephew, Rusty Mil­stein, who worked at the com­pa­ny. Falk sold his firm in 1999 to a Kansas com­pa­ny, and retired. Since both com­pa­nies were pri­vate­ly owned, the price was nev­er dis­closed, but locals esti­mate Falk made mil­lions from the sale. Mean­while, Falk had accu­mu­lat­ed dozens of oil and gas leas­es that paid roy­al­ties. In 2003, Falk estab­lished a com­pa­ny called IF Invest­ments, LLC, list­ing him­self as pres­i­dent, accord­ing to a fil­ing with the Texas Sec­re­tary of State. That com­pa­ny became the list­ed own­er of at least six com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in Longview, accord­ing to coun­ty records.

    Falk died on Feb. 5, 2009, at the age of 90. The obit­u­ary in the local paper described him as a “dig­ni­fied, gra­cious gen­tle­man” who “trav­eled the world in con­nec­tion with his busi­ness and had friends and busi­ness asso­ciates in many coun­tries.” The val­ue of Falk’s estate wasn’t pub­licly dis­closed, but Kather­ine Falk, his wife, inher­it­ed the prop­er­ties they owned, and became pres­i­dent of IF Invest­ments, which owned the com­mer­cial prop­er­ty. The year before he died, Falk owned inter­ests in at least 54 min­er­al leas­es, accord­ing to coun­ty records. Those were trans­ferred to Kather­ine Cook and her broth­er, Phillip Cook, and were then sold to Kather­ine Cook’s son, Phillip Bay­man, of Fort Worth. The sale price was con­fi­den­tial.

    Right-wing radio host, slum­lord

    While Irv­ing Falk was build­ing his busi­ness and his wealth in Longview, Earl Holt III was liv­ing a dif­fer­ent type of life 600 miles north­east, in St. Louis. On the forms accom­pa­ny­ing sev­er­al of his polit­i­cal dona­tions, Holt list­ed his occu­pa­tion as “slum­lord” or “retired slum­lord.” That may have been a ref­er­ence to a run-down 18-unit apart­ment build­ing he owned in a neigh­bor­hood known as north city or north St. Louis, a blight­ed part of town two-and-a-half miles north­west of the Gate­way Arch char­ac­ter­ized by white flight, aban­doned lots and abort­ed rede­vel­op­ment efforts. The ZIP code, 63106, is 96% black, accord­ing to Cen­sus Bureau data, and the medi­an house­hold income is just $15,126 — half the nation­al pover­ty lev­el for a fam­i­ly of four.

    In 1984, Holt and a part­ner bought the 18-unit build­ing at 2618–2634 James “Cool Papa” Bell Ave., a street named after the base­ball Hall of Famer who played in the Negro Leagues in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. The price was undis­closed. Over time, Holt bought out his part­ner and trans­ferred the prop­er­ty to a com­pa­ny he cre­at­ed called Bell Prop­er­ties. Court records show at least 10 law­suits Holt brought against ten­ants for unpaid rent and oth­er infrac­tions.

    Holt got elect­ed to the St. Louis school board, serv­ing from 1989 to 1993, one of sev­er­al board mem­bers opposed to bus­ing for racial inte­gra­tion. Though out­spo­ken on the issue of bus­ing, Holt didn’t gen­er­ate much addi­tion­al con­tro­ver­sy and was even “known for his jovial demeanor,” accord­ing to St. Louis pub­lic radio.

    That began to change in 1995, when Holt and a man named Gor­don Lee Baum launched a show called “Right at Night” on AM radio sta­tion WGNU. The South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter describes Baum as the founder of the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, which got its start in 1985. Baum died in March of this year, but tax returns for the group from pri­or years list him as the group’s trea­sur­er, with Holt as pres­i­dent. Baum and Holt some­times dis­cussed white rights on their show, but there were oth­er con­tro­ver­sial hosts on the sta­tion as well. WGNU, which con­sid­ered itself “Radio Free St. Louis,” had a con­ser­v­a­tive bent but also gave voice to all man­ner of icon­o­clasts, includ­ing Onion Hor­ton, whom the River­front Times described as a “black suprema­cist.”

    Holt stepped firm­ly out of the shad­ows in Novem­ber 2003, when he emailed a St. Louis blog­ger who had labeled him a “racist.” The blog­ger pub­lished Holt’s entire email, which railed against “sanc­ti­mo­nious nig­ger-lovers and con­tained oth­er slurs. After a firestorm erupt­ed, Holt explained on his radio show that he had got­ten “liquored up” before send­ing the email and “prob­a­bly used the N‑word about 20 times too many.” But he didn’t recant any­thing he had writ­ten and con­clud­ed by say­ing, “I guess you could say I called a spade a spade.”

    WGNU didn’t fire Holt, but he went off the air a few years lat­er when new own­ers bought the sta­tion and adopt­ed a Chris­t­ian broad­cast­ing for­mat. Aside from com­ments he left on web sites, Holt dis­ap­peared from pub­lic view. In May 2009, he sold the home he list­ed as his res­i­dence, a four-unit mul­ti­fam­i­ly house in the Shaw neigh­bor­hood of St. Louis. That prop­er­ty was in a more diverse neigh­bor­hood than north city, where he owned the apart­ment build­ing. In Shaw, the pop­u­la­tion was 53% black and 40% white, accord­ing to Cen­sus data. Medi­an income was about $38,000, 151% high­er than in north city. Holt sold the prop­er­ty for $145,000 to two investors who planned to fix it up and rent it out.

    Holt’s next known res­i­dence was at Kather­ine Falk’s home in Longview—the same home she had shared with her hus­band, Irv­ing Falk. The house, in one of the wealth­i­est parts of Longview, is still in her name, though she now goes by Kather­ine Holt. Coun­ty records list the appraised val­ue at $570,000, which is 350% high­er than the medi­an home val­ue in Longview, accord­ing to Zil­low.

    It’s not clear how Earl and Kather­ine Holt met—perhaps through some kind of retreat, if you believe rumors in Longview. When they mar­ried, in 2010, the bride was going by her pre­sumed maid­en name of Kather­ine Ann Cook, and at 62, she was five years senior to the 57-year-old Holt. After mov­ing to Longview, Earl Holt most­ly kept a low pro­file, with one exception—he wrote a few let­ters to the local paper, the News-Jour­nal, that drew atten­tion, such as one in ear­ly June, before the Charleston shoot­ings, crit­i­ciz­ing new­ly elect­ed may­or Andy Mack for his sup­port of gay rights.

    Holt’s sud­den noto­ri­ety has unnerved some peo­ple in the area, how­ev­er, espe­cial­ly those who knew Kather­ine Holt when she was Kather­ine Falk. One friend of the fam­i­ly, when asked about Earl Holt, said, “That’s some­thing you need to leave alone,” refus­ing to com­ment fur­ther. Phillip Bay­man, Kather­ine Holt’s son, said “I have no com­ment, you have a nice day,” and hung up when asked about his mother’s cur­rent hus­band.

    Yahoo Finance called Earl and Kath­leen Holt at home to ask for com­ment, as well. “I don’t do inter­views,” Earl Holt said, “espe­cial­ly with the cor­rupt left­ist media,” and then hung up. A spokesman for the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, Jared Tay­lor, con­firmed that “Mr. Holt does not want to talk to the media.”

    Cam­paign dona­tions

    Yahoo Finance can’t prove that Holt’s polit­i­cal dona­tions come direct­ly from Irv­ing Falk’s estate; the evi­dence is cir­cum­stan­tial. It’s pos­si­ble that Holt inher­it­ed mon­ey, or has prof­itable busi­ness inter­ests that aren’t known, or has sim­ply been spend­ing mon­ey he had all along. Some have spec­u­lat­ed that Holt’s polit­i­cal dona­tions have come from mon­ey con­tributed to the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, but the group’s tax returns don’t sup­port that. Con­tri­bu­tions from 2009 to 2013 totaled about $377,000, with most of that being spent on oper­at­ing expens­es. The tax returns include no men­tion of polit­i­cal dona­tions. Besides, it would be ille­gal for an offi­cer of a non­prof­it group to use con­tri­bu­tions to the group for per­son­al expen­di­tures, whether they be polit­i­cal dona­tions or any­thing else.

    In 2013, Holt did sell the 18-unit apart­ment build­ing he owned in north St. Louis, to a Bap­tist Church next door. But that was three years after his polit­i­cal dona­tions began. Plus, the sale price reg­is­tered with the coun­ty was $0. That sug­gests Holt gift­ed the prop­er­ty to the church, per­haps because it was impos­si­ble to sell, or it was worth more as a tax write-off than a sale.

    Some res­i­dents of Longview won­der if Kather­ine Holt, now 67, is will­ful­ly com­plic­it in her husband’s activ­i­ties or has some­how been duped by Earl Holt. “It appears to me he sought out a wealthy wid­ow,” says one local polit­i­cal leader who asked not to be named. “Quite a few of us are try­ing to get to the bot­tom of this.”

    It’s pos­si­ble Kather­ine Holt became more polit­i­cal­ly active after meet­ing her cur­rent hus­band. Fed­er­al and state cam­paign records show no dona­tions from her when she was mar­ried to Irv­ing Falk, or dur­ing the one-year peri­od when she was his wid­ow. But begin­ning in July 2010–five months after she mar­ried Earl Holt–Katherine Holt began mak­ing a few dona­tions to Repub­li­cans that even­tu­al­ly totaled $4,500. She donat­ed to Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, for­mer Rep. J.D. Hay­worth of Ari­zona (who ran for the Sen­ate in 2010 and lost), State Rep. David Simp­son and Mitt Rom­ney’s 2012 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Her hus­band has giv­en mon­ey to all the same politi­cians.

    Tax returns for the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens show some­thing else that’s curi­ous. Returns for 2010 and 2011 list Kather­ine Holt as one of the organization’s sev­er­al direc­tors, sug­gest­ing she had hands-on involve­ment with the group. But she wasn’t list­ed as a direc­tor pri­or to that, when she was still mar­ried to Irv­ing Falk, and there’s no known record of her involve­ment with the group before 2010. Nor was she list­ed as a direc­tor in 2012 or 2013. (The group’s 2014 tax return is not yet avail­able.).
    Mur­ray Moore, the for­mer Longview may­or, faults both Holts for bad pub­lic­i­ty vis­it­ed upon Longview, while lament­ing the way Irv­ing Falk’s for­tune is seem­ing­ly being spent. “It just blows my mind they’re prob­a­bly spend­ing his mon­ey,” he says. “He’s a big­ot, and she’s just as cul­pa­ble as him.” There’s no sign the Holts care what Moore, or any­body, thinks.

    In case you’re curi­ous if Holt has a favorite amongst his many dona­tion recip­i­ents, he does indeed. Let’s just say either Earl Holt either has a strong antipa­thy towards green eggs and ham, or he just real­ly real­ly real­ly likes Ted Cruz for some oth­er rea­son:

    Longview News-Jour­nal
    Online posts paint pic­ture of Longview white suprema­cist

    By Phil Lath­am
    July 5, 2015 at 8:33 a.m.
    Updat­ed July 5, 2015 at 8:33 a.m.

    The well-man­i­cured, gen­er­ous lawns of Longview’s Claren­don Street where Earl P. Holt III lives today are a world away from the four-plex unit he occu­pied just six years ago on St. Louis’ Shaw Boule­vard, a street packed with hous­es built a few feet apart.

    As pres­i­dent of the non­prof­it Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, Holt has been con­nect­ed with Dylann Roof, whom author­i­ties say opened fire June 17 in a South Car­oli­na church, killing nine peo­ple.

    Before the mas­sacre, Roof wrote he was moti­vat­ed in part by infor­ma­tion on the council’s web­site, which shocked him with sto­ries of black on white crime.

    For Holt, the world is a land­scape of black and white with few, if any, grays — a fact doc­u­ment­ed in more than 4,300 Inter­net posts he has writ­ten just this year com­ment­ing on top­ics most­ly involv­ing race and pol­i­tics.

    ...

    In Longview, he’s kept a low pro­file, with seem­ing­ly few peo­ple know­ing a white suprema­cist who express­es deep dis­trust of Jews and vir­u­lent racism against blacks is liv­ing in the com­fort made pos­si­ble by a char­ter mem­ber of this city’s Tem­ple Emanu-El.

    Holt does not appear to appre­ci­ate Falk’s indus­tri­ous­ness.

    Anti-Semi­tism

    Writ­ing at the begin­ning of the year on the web­site Amer­i­can Renais­sance, he wrote: “Some of my favorite peo­ple are anti-Semi­tes.”

    On anoth­er con­ser­v­a­tive site, Holt com­ment­ed on a sto­ry about the U.S. Trea­sury, writ­ing, “We’ve GOTTA get the Jews out of the Fed and Trea­sury.”

    In anoth­er com­ment, he wrote: “Jews can­not be trust­ed in posi­tions of trust under any cir­cum­stances, just as we learned from the VENONA cables.”

    The Venona doc­u­ments were released by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency in 1995 from inter­cept­ed Sovi­et cables and named a num­ber of Amer­i­cans.

    Oth­er scorn is heaped upon “Jew­ish left­ists,” whom Holt asserts make up about 80 per­cent of the Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion in the Unit­ed States.

    He wrote on The Wash­ing­ton Times web­site that, “I have no doubt that the 80 per­cent of Amer­i­can Jews who vot­ed to re-elect the Bol­she­vik-in-Chief will blame con­ser­v­a­tive Repub­li­cans, when Israel is even­tu­al­ly reduced to rub­ble by an Iran­ian nuclear war­head.”

    On the Bre­it­bart News Net­work site, he wrote, “I am under no illu­sion, what­so­ev­er, about the Jew­ish left in this coun­try: They pro­vid­ed the NKVD and GRU with the vast major­i­ty of its spies with­in the Roo­sevelt and Tru­man Admin­is­tra­tions. They DEFINE trea­son and betray­al.”

    Polit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions

    Holt’s dis­taste of Jews has not stopped him from using funds that could have been left by Falk to sup­port his polit­i­cal favorites. Before his mar­riage to Kather­ine, Holt was not a con­trib­u­tor, accord­ing to fed­er­al cam­paign finance reports.

    Since that time, how­ev­er, he has donat­ed about $70,000 to polit­i­cal caus­es, with GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz clear­ly his favorite in mon­ey giv­en and com­ments on the Inter­net. He says in numer­ous posts that “Cruz is (Ronald) Rea­gan with a 60-point high­er IQ.”

    “There’s a rea­son that Alan Der­showitz remarked that Ted Cruz was the bright­est stu­dent he ever had at Har­vard Law. Cruz will dec­i­mate his rivals in the Repub­li­can Pri­ma­ry Debates, and force Repub­li­cans to ask them­selves: ‘Why haven’t we had a nom­i­nee like this since Ronald Rea­gan?’ ” he wrote on the Human Events’ web­site.

    After the con­nec­tion between Roof and Holt was revealed, Cruz donat­ed more than $8,000 in Holt con­tri­bu­tions to a fund for the Charleston church, as did some oth­ers. The largest num­ber of politi­cians who had received funds sim­ply returned the con­tri­bu­tions to Holt.

    By this year, accord­ing to Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion data, Holt made more than 150 polit­i­cal dona­tions. The mon­ey went to Repub­li­cans, includ­ing for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date U.S. Rep. Michele Bach­mann of Min­neso­ta. Holt also donat­ed to Mitt Romney’s 2012 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and to at least two oth­er 2016 pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates: Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walk­er and for­mer U.S. Sen. Rick San­to­rum of Penn­syl­va­nia.

    ...

    Local reac­tion

    Bran­den John­son, pres­i­dent of the Longview NAACP, said Holt’s views are so extreme that all peo­ple need to be ready to refute them.

    “There are a lot of things that are hap­pen­ing right now real­ly in line with the Con­sti­tu­tion that are good, but indi­vid­u­als like him are a retar­dant to the com­mu­ni­ty,” he said. “To call an entire group of peo­ple degen­er­ates is wrong.”

    Holt is not alone in his opin­ions, John­son said, and not­ed that blacks fre­quent­ly encounter such atti­tudes.

    “We know that there are bankers, lawyers, even Real­tors in Longview who will not do busi­ness with us,” he said. “This is no sur­prise. I have no per­ma­nent ene­mies, though, if he ever comes into the light, I know he will under­stand.”

    Rusty Mil­stein, the rab­bi at Tem­ple Emanu-El, said he does not know Holt and has met him once at most.

    Kather­ine Holt, how­ev­er, con­tin­ues to have a con­nec­tion with the tem­ple.

    “About the only thing I can tell you is that Kathy Holt still sup­ports the tem­ple,” he said. “I don’t know a thing about Earl Holt, and I was very sur­prised to learn what I learned.”

    Oth­ers close­ly con­nect­ed with the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty here would only say Kather­ine Holt remains friend­ly and has not changed over the past six years.

    Attempts to con­tact Falk’s son were unsuc­cess­ful, and most peo­ple reached for this sto­ry declined to com­ment.

    The News-Jour­nal also attempt­ed to reach Holt through his email address but did not receive a response. He has declined to be inter­viewed by the news­pa­per on pre­vi­ous occa­sions, includ­ing at the door of his home.

    “Kather­ine Holt, how­ev­er, con­tin­ues to have a con­nec­tion with the temple...Others close­ly con­nect­ed with the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty here would only say Kather­ine Holt remains friend­ly and has not changed over the past six years.”
    There’s got to be some chutz­pah tucked away in there some­where. Or brain­wash­ing. It’s look­ing like an either/or sit­u­a­tion Kather­ine Holt.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 6, 2015, 6:11 pm
  7. South Car­oli­na just took down the Con­fed­er­ate Bat­tle flag from the state cap­i­tal grounds. It’s one of those “bet­ter late than nev­er!” nation­al moments. It also would have been part a real­ly fab­u­lous nation­al com­ing togeth­er moment if it had­n’t been for this:

    TPM DC
    House Dems Seize The Advan­tage After Epic GOP Fail On Con­fed­er­ate Flag

    By Tier­ney Sneed
    Pub­lished July 9, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    As Repub­li­cans face a with­er­ing blow­back for embrac­ing the dis­play of Con­fed­er­ate flags on Nation­al Parks and fed­er­al ceme­ter­ies, Democ­rats are look­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the mis­fire and draw atten­tion to Repub­li­can reluc­tance to let go of the Con­fed­er­ate flag.

    The pro­ce­dur­al maneu­ver­ing is a lit­tle com­pli­cat­ed, but the gist is this: Late Wednes­day night Repub­li­cans intro­duced an amend­ment that would have reversed a pre­vi­ous­ly passed Demo­c­ra­t­ic amend­ment restrict­ing the dis­play of Con­fed­er­ate flags at fed­er­al ceme­ter­ies.

    Democ­rats were quick to decry the sneak-attack rever­sal, car­ry­ing with them to the House floor poster boards bear­ing the Con­fed­er­ate flag. The back­lash was so imme­di­ate and fierce that by Thurs­day morn­ing the House GOP lead­er­ship was forced to can­cel a vote on a major Inte­ri­or appro­pri­a­tions bill that con­tained the flag pro­vi­sion.

    GOP lead­ers said they would hold off on vot­ing on the Inte­ri­or bill until the Con­fed­er­ate flag ques­tion was sort­ed out.

    “I think it’s time for some adults here in Con­gress to sit down and have con­ver­sa­tion about how to address this issue,” House Speak­er Boehn­er told reporters at his week­ly press con­fer­ence. “I do not want this to become some polit­i­cal foot­ball.

    How­ev­er, Democ­rats insist­ed they would wait to address the Con­fed­er­ate flag issue no longer. House Minor­i­ty Nan­cy Pelosi (D‑CA) intro­duced a res­o­lu­tion to remove from the U.S. Capi­tol state flags con­tain­ing the Con­fed­er­ate flag, which a row­dy House by most­ly par­ty line vot­ed to refer to com­mit­tee. Rep. Ben­nie Thomp­son (D‑MS) had intro­duced a sim­i­lar mea­sure two weeks ago, which was also referred to com­mit­tee.

    The con­tro­ver­sy began late Wednes­day night when Rep. Ken Calvert (R‑CA) intro­duced an amend­ment to the Inte­ri­or bill that would scale back lan­guage offered by Democ­rats that would have pro­hib­it­ed the sale and dis­play of the Con­fed­er­ate flag at Nation­al Parks and fed­er­al ceme­ter­ies. The Demo­c­ra­t­ic amend­ments had pre­vi­ous­ly passed by voice vote with­out oppo­si­tion.

    “Unfor­tu­nate­ly, we are unable to speak with one voice on this issue today because of the fac­tion with­in the Repub­li­can cau­cus that is frankly out of step with the times we live in, with where the coun­try wants us to go on this issue, and with the val­ues that I believe our coun­try holds dear,” Rep. Jared Huff­man (D‑CA), one of the amend­ment spon­sors, said at a press con­fer­ence Thurs­day.

    Democ­rats sug­gest­ed that the GOP rever­sal was a last ditch effort to shore up Repub­li­can sup­port on the larg­er Inte­ri­or bill, which was already fac­ing crit­i­cisms from con­ser­v­a­tive House mem­bers for not doing enough to dis­man­tle envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions. A state­ment issued Thurs­day by the Repub­li­can amend­men­t’s spon­sor as the mea­sure fell apart seemed to sup­port this account.

    “The amend­ment offered last night to the Inte­ri­or and Envi­ron­ment Appro­pri­a­tions bill was brought to me by Lead­er­ship at the request of some south­ern Mem­bers of the Repub­li­can Cau­cus,” Calvert said. “Look­ing back, I regret not con­fer­ring with my col­leagues on the oth­er side of the aisle, espe­cial­ly my Rank­ing Mem­ber Bet­ty McCol­lum, pri­or to offer­ing the Lead­er­ship’s amend­ment and ful­ly explain­ing its intent giv­en the strong feel­ings Mem­bers of the House feel regard­ing this impor­tant and sen­si­tive issue.”

    McCol­lum, a Min­neso­ta Demo­c­rat, imme­di­ate­ly react­ed to the move Wednes­day night on the House floor and was still seething Thurs­day morn­ing when talk­ing to reporters.

    “I was rather tak­en back by the amend­ment being offered and I was deeply dis­turbed by the action and by the fact that it was done so much at the last minute,” McCol­lum said.

    Accord­ing to Pelosi, GOP lead­er­ship feared they would lose the votes of 100 Repub­li­can mem­bers out of oppo­si­tion to the amend­ments ban­ning the flag an Nation­al Parks, and she not­ed at Thurs­day’s press con­fer­ence that lead­er­ship had sought to lim­it floor debate on the mat­ter.

    “They were afraid of what our col­leagues said here. But I tell you, they were more afraid of what those 100 mem­bers of Con­gress might come to the floor and say in defense of the Calvert amend­ment,” she said.

    Nev­er­the­less, the spot­light is back on Repub­li­cans, who have stalled Democ­rats’ efforts to remove the flag and oth­er Con­fed­er­ate sym­bols from the U.S. Capi­tol grounds. Thurs­day’s ruckus came as the Repub­li­can-led South Car­oli­na state­house removed the Con­fed­er­ate flag from its Capi­tol grounds. It also marked the anniver­sary of the 14th Amend­ment to the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, which grant­ed African Amer­i­cans equal pro­tec­tion under the law after the Civ­il War.

    ...

    Yes, on the anniver­sary of the 14th Amend­ment, the House had to call of a vote on the Inte­ri­or bill due to a last-minute sneak­ing of an amend­ment into the bill that would have allowed the Con­fed­er­ate flag to fly in Nation­al Parks and fed­er­al ceme­ter­ies. And not only was the amend­ment appar­ent­ly intro­duced at the request of “of some south­ern Mem­bers of the Repub­li­can Cau­cus” (about 100 mem­bers, accord­ing to Nan­cy Pelosi), but one of the appar­ent moti­va­tions for intro­duc­ing the the pro-Con­fed­er­ate flag amend­ment was that it would off­set GOP oppo­si­tion to the Inte­ri­or bill because the bill does­n’t do enough to remove fed­er­al envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions:

    ...
    Democ­rats sug­gest­ed that the GOP rever­sal was a last ditch effort to shore up Repub­li­can sup­port on the larg­er Inte­ri­or bill, which was already fac­ing crit­i­cisms from con­ser­v­a­tive House mem­bers for not doing enough to dis­man­tle envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions. A state­ment issued Thurs­day by the Repub­li­can amend­men­t’s spon­sor as the mea­sure fell apart seemed to sup­port this account.

    “The amend­ment offered last night to the Inte­ri­or and Envi­ron­ment Appro­pri­a­tions bill was brought to me by Lead­er­ship at the request of some south­ern Mem­bers of the Repub­li­can Cau­cus,” Calvert said. “Look­ing back, I regret not con­fer­ring with my col­leagues on the oth­er side of the aisle, espe­cial­ly my Rank­ing Mem­ber Bet­ty McCol­lum, pri­or to offer­ing the Lead­er­ship’s amend­ment and ful­ly explain­ing its intent giv­en the strong feel­ings Mem­bers of the House feel regard­ing this impor­tant and sen­si­tive issue.”
    ...

    So the par­ty of the plu­to­crats had to intro­duce an amend­ment intend­ed to keep in place a sym­bol designed to poi­son of the hearts and minds of their fel­low Amer­i­cans (so they keep vot­ing for the par­ty of the plu­to­crats) in order to shore up sup­port for a bill that would­n’t poi­son every­one’s bod­ies as much as the plu­to­crats would pre­fer.

    There’s no short­age of sym­bol­ism there! Maybe we could make a new flag to com­mem­o­rate this moment so we nev­er for­get it. There are lots of sym­bols that could work.

    Also, note that it was appar­ent­ly the House GOP lead­er­ship that request­ed that the amend­ment be pushed in the first place on behalf of the South­ern mem­bers of the GOP Cau­cus. Hope­ful­ly we’ll find out which mem­ber of the lead­er­ship deliv­ered the mes­sage. There could be some addi­tion­al sym­bol­ism tucked away in there too.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 10, 2015, 7:52 am
  8. We now have a bet­ter idea of which GOP House lead­er­ship mem­bers pushed the GOP’s failed ‘save the flag’ amend­ment into the Inte­ri­or bill. Sur­prise! It was­n’t House Whip Steve “I’m like David Duke with­out the bag­gage” Scalise. It was House Speak­er John Boehn­er. Specif­i­cal­ly, one of Boehn­er’s senior staff, who showed up to the com­mit­tee meet­ing and some­how made it clear to Rep. Ken Calvert that the amend­ment need­ed to hap­pen:

    CQRoll Call
    Con­fed­er­ate Flag Fias­co: Who Signed Off on the Calvert Amend­ment? (Updat­ed)

    By Emma Dumain Post­ed at 9:57 a.m. July 10

    Updat­ed: 10:45 a.m. | They may be refer­ring to it as the “Calvert amend­ment,” but House Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans agree: What­ev­er prompt­ed Rep. Ken Calvert to come to the floor late Wednes­day night to offer an amend­ment to reverse an ear­li­er vote to ban Con­fed­er­ate flags at fed­er­al ceme­ter­ies, it wasn’t the Cal­i­for­nia Republican’s idea.

    In the hours that fol­lowed, cul­mi­nat­ing in GOP lead­er­ship pulling its first appro­pri­a­tions bill of the sea­son, law­mak­ers said it was unfor­tu­nate that Calvert, chair­man of the Inte­ri­or-Envi­ron­ment Appro­pri­a­tions Sub­com­mit­tee, was get­ting much of blame for the events that tran­spired.

    “Ken wasn’t defend­ing the amend­ment,” said Rep. Mike Simp­son, R‑Idaho, the chair­man of the Ener­gy and Water Devel­op­ment Appro­pri­a­tions Sub­com­mit­tee. “But now … he’s the bad guy, he’s the racist out there, and that’s sad, because that’s not Ken.”

    “He’s a gen­tle­man,” said Inte­ri­or-Envi­ron­ment Appro­pri­a­tions Sub­com­mit­tee rank­ing mem­ber Bet­ty McCol­lum, D‑Minn. “He runs his com­mit­tee in a very open, fair, trans­par­ent mat­ter. He’s got great, trans­par­ent staff, which is why the fact that this hap­pened is a total shock.”

    There’s still a lot to learn about who made the deci­sion to send Calvert out to undo the amend­ment pro­hibit­ing the Con­fed­er­ate imagery on cer­tain gov­ern­ment grounds, which GOP lead­ers cal­cu­lat­ed was nec­es­sary to win Repub­li­can votes on a mea­sure that was already on life sup­port.

    How­ev­er, mem­bers and aides on both sides of the aisle shared ver­sions of events with CQ Roll Call Thurs­day that sug­gest the cal­cu­la­tion was made at the very top, at the eleventh hour and with lit­tle to no coor­di­na­tion or com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Repub­li­can appro­pri­a­tors who would ordi­nar­i­ly have been kept in the loop.

    After near­ly 20 hours of debate on var­i­ous amend­ments to the Inte­ri­or-Envi­ron­ment spend­ing bill, it looked like mem­bers were final­ly wrap­ping things up on Wednes­day night. Calvert, McCol­lum and Demo­c­ra­t­ic appro­pri­a­tor Chel­lie Pin­gree of Maine were the only law­mak­ers pay­ing atten­tion to floor pro­ceed­ings.

    “I usu­al­ly stay around for most of the debate on the Inte­ri­or bill, but I had to go get my dry clean­ing so I’d have some­thing to wear today,” Simp­son recalled. “I got home and turned on the TV and Ken was using his motions to strike the last word … and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ And all of a sud­den some­body hands him this amend­ment and he does it and I kind of go, ‘Oh, shit.’”

    Back in the cham­ber, McCol­lum and Pin­gree were notic­ing some­thing strange as well.

    “All of a sud­den, there was this slow lag,” McCol­lum said, “and Calvert starts talk­ing about wild­fires and cli­mate change and strik­ing the last word,” the lat­ter a par­lia­men­tary maneu­ver to keep talk­ing beyond the time allot­ted.

    The real red flag was the sud­den appear­ance of lead­er­ship staff, name­ly senior aides for Appro­pri­a­tions Chair­man Harold Rogers, R‑Ky., and Speak­er John A. Boehn­er, R‑Ohio.

    “We’ve had real­ly good com­mu­ni­ca­tions between Repub­li­can staff and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic staff on the Inte­ri­or com­mit­tee, but these were new folks who were kind of com­ing in,” McCol­lum went on. “And the next we knew there was this amend­ment being hand­ed to us as the clerk was read­ing it.”

    “I watched what looked like an unex­pect­ed event for Mr. Calvert,” Pin­gree said. “It didn’t look like this was his idea and it seemed like there was a lot of agi­ta­tion on the floor.”

    The amend­ment, writ­ten on the fly, didn’t men­tion the “Con­fed­er­ate flag” once. It sought to cod­i­fy an Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion memo stat­ing the Con­fed­er­ate flag may be flown on very spe­cif­ic cer­e­mo­ni­al occa­sions in fed­er­al ceme­ter­ies, but what it was real­ly doing was revers­ing Cal­i­for­nia Demo­c­rat Jared Huff­man’s amend­ment, which had already been adopt­ed by voice vote, that barred all such prac­tices. It took time for every­one to fig­ure out what the lan­guage actu­al­ly meant.

    ...

    Rep. Chris Stew­art, R‑Utah, a mem­ber of the Appro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, told CQ Roll Call on Thurs­day morn­ing he’d been out at din­ner the night before, with a cell­phone that had just enough bat­tery life to call an Uber to get him home. He didn’t find out about the devel­op­ments until lat­er, even though one of his din­ner com­pan­ions hap­pened to be House Major­i­ty Leader Kevin McCarthy.

    “I was hav­ing din­ner with Kevin and some oth­er peo­ple,” Stew­art said. “I think [col­leagues] tried to inform me, but as I said my cell­phone wasn’t work­ing.”

    Stew­art said McCarthy didn’t make men­tion of what was going on at the Capi­tol at all dur­ing the din­ner with some mem­bers of the West­ern Cau­cus. On Thurs­day evening, one House Repub­li­can, upon hear­ing this from CQ Roll Call, said it didn’t sur­prise him: Lead­er­ship didn’t antic­i­pate this floor action would have near­ly as much con­se­quence as it did.

    Repub­li­cans were ulti­mate­ly unpre­pared Thurs­day to face the wrath of House Democ­rats, who seized on the fact the cham­ber was set to vote on the “Calvert amend­ment” the very same day — per­haps the very same hour — that South Car­oli­na was tak­ing down its Con­fed­er­ate flag from the state capi­tol build­ing.

    In speech after speech on the House floor, Democ­rats talked about the shoot­ing at the black church in Charleston that spear­head­ed the nation­al move­ment to remove Con­fed­er­ate imagery in pub­lic places.

    Minor­i­ty Leader Nan­cy Pelosi forced two proxy votes on the sec­ond priv­i­leged res­o­lu­tion in two weeks that would call for the House to take down its dis­play of the Mis­sis­sip­pi state flag, which incor­po­rates the Con­fed­er­ate flag into its design.

    “A good mes­sage is exploit­ing bad ideas,” Israel told CQ Roll Call with a wide grin.

    Around the time Repub­li­can lead­ers announced they would no longer be hold­ing a final pas­sage vote on the Inte­ri­or-Envi­ron­ment appro­pri­a­tions bill, Calvert sent out a state­ment.

    “The amend­ment offered last night … was brought to me by Lead­er­ship at the request of some south­ern Mem­bers of the Repub­li­can Cau­cus,” he wrote. “To be clear, I whole­heart­ed­ly sup­port the Park Service’s pro­hi­bi­tions regard­ing the Con­fed­er­ate flag and the amend­ment did noth­ing to change these pro­hi­bi­tions.”

    “Any one of them could have asked for a roll call vote then, and nobody did,” Simp­son said of the Repub­li­can oppo­nents to whom Calvert referred. “None of them had the balls … they had Calvert do it, he got sucked into it.”

    Rep. Raul M. Gri­jal­va, D‑Ariz., the rank­ing mem­ber of the Nat­ur­al Resources Com­mit­tee, said this about Calvert: “The chair­man of that sub­com­mit­tee has to fall on his sword. … He’s a decent guy — he knew this wasn’t right. And like a sol­dier he goes out and falls on his sword for the rest of them.”

    “Any one of them could have asked for a roll call vote then, and nobody did...None of them had the balls … they had Calvert do it, he got sucked into it.”

    No short­age of sym­bol­ism there!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 10, 2015, 10:05 am
  9. A black church just burned down in Hous­ton. So we can add one more to the list of sud­den­ly high­ly flam­ma­ble black church­es:

    Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times
    Black Church Burn­ings: Hous­ton’s Fifth Ward Mis­sion­ary Bap­tist Lat­est To Catch Fire

    By Julia Glum on July 15 2015 12:47 PM EDT

    Author­i­ties respond­ed ear­ly Wednes­day morn­ing to a fire at Hous­ton’s Fifth Ward Mis­sion­ary Bap­tist Church, the lat­est in a rash of burn­ings at pre­dom­i­nant­ly black reli­gious insti­tu­tions. Nobody was injured in Wednes­day fire, but the Texas church was “sig­nif­i­cant­ly dam­aged,” KHOU report­ed. It took fire­fight­ers about 30 min­utes to extin­guish the flames.

    The Hous­ton Chron­i­cle report­ed that offi­cials were inves­ti­gat­ing what caused the fire, which was first report­ed at 7:34 a.m. News of the blaze came as police in oth­er states were look­ing into sim­i­lar inci­dents at oth­er church­es across the South over the past month. The FBI and Bureau of Alco­hol, Tobac­co, Firearms and Explo­sives were report­ed­ly work­ing with local agen­cies to deter­mine whether the fires were con­nect­ed.

    At least six church­es have been burned since a white shoot­er killed nine black peo­ple dur­ing a June 17 mas­sacre at the his­tor­i­cal­ly black Emanuel African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church in Charleston, South Car­oli­na. The fatal shoot­ing set off a nation­wide dis­cus­sion about race rela­tions in the Unit­ed States.

    Recent church burn­ings include:
    * On June 21, a per­son lit hay bales at Col­lege Hill Sev­enth-Day Adven­tist in Knoxville, Ten­nessee. The build­ing was­n’t harmed, but a van was destroyed.
    * On June 23, a sus­pect­ed arson­ist burned down God’s Pow­er Church of Christ in Macon, Geor­gia. Author­i­ties said they had­n’t found evi­dence the fire was a hate crime.
    * On June 24, Bri­ar Creek Road Bap­tist Church in Char­lotte, North Car­oli­na, suf­fered more than $250,000 in dam­ages after a sus­pect­ed arson­ist set fire to the build­ing. It was unclear whether the fire was racial­ly moti­vat­ed.
    * On June 26, the Greater Mir­a­cle Tem­ple in Tal­la­has­see caught fire when a tree fell on elec­tric wires. Fire mar­shals ruled the inci­dent acci­den­tal.
    * On June 26, Glover Grove Bap­tist Church in War­renville, South Car­oli­na burned down. State law enforce­ment were unable to deter­mine what caused the fire.
    * On June 30, Mount Zion African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church in Gree­leyville, South Car­oli­na, caught fire like­ly due to light­ning strikes.

    ...

    Is this sud­den surge in black church burn­ings fol­low­ing the Charleston Mas­sacre part of a wave of racial­ly moti­vat­ed hate crimes?

    Well, as the ol’ say­ing goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire...unless it’s smoke asso­ci­at­ed with the burn­ing a black church, in which case it’s just a ran­dom tragedy. It’s a real­ly unpleas­ant say­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 15, 2015, 2:17 pm
  10. Amer­i­ca’s Secret Jihad
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRLJotZiSv8

    Stu­art Wexler, his­to­ri­an who has spent the last decade research­ing domes­tic and reli­gious ter­ror­ism, and author of the new book America’s Secret Jihad, joins David to talk about less com­mon­ly dis­cussed real­i­ty of domes­tic ter­ror­ism in the US

    Posted by John | July 22, 2015, 11:15 am
  11. More details are emerg­ing on the shoot­er in the Lafayette, LA, the­ater shoot­ing: Sur­prise! He’s a neo-Nazi with a his­to­ry of advo­cat­ing lone-wolf style attacks:

    Yahoo News
    John Rus­sel Houser: What we know about Louisiana movie the­ater shoot­ing sus­pect

    By Michael Walsh
    7/24/2015

    A gun­man killed two peo­ple and wound­ed at least nine oth­ers dur­ing a show­ing of “Train­wreck” at a movie the­ater in Louisiana.

    The 59-year-old “lone white male” opened fire about 20 min­utes into the film Thurs­day evening at the Grand 16 the­ater in Lafayette, rough­ly 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.

    Author­i­ties iden­ti­fied the shoot­ing sus­pect as John Rus­sel Houser. It appears that he turned the gun on him­self after unsuc­cess­ful­ly try­ing to flee by blend­ing in with the crowd, accord­ing to police.

    ...

    Houser is orig­i­nal­ly from Phenix City, Ala., but had bounced around before end­ing up at a local Motel 6, author­i­ties said.

    Police searched the room they think he was stay­ing in and found wigs, glass­es and oth­er items that could be used as a dis­guise, they said.

    A Colum­bus, Ga., woman, who wished to remain anony­mous, told Yahoo News that she had pur­chased a home that Houser once shared with his wife. The sus­pect even­tu­al­ly lived in the house alone for two years with­out mak­ing any pay­ments, she said.

    “You don’t know crazy. You don’t know what we went through with that house,” she said to Yahoo News over the phone. “He had lots and lots of prob­lems.”

    The woman said Houser came from a “fine fam­i­ly in Colum­bus” — his moth­er was a school­teacher, and his father was tax com­mis­sion­er for Colum­bus. He used to attend church ser­vices years ago, she said.

    She added that Houser once attend­ed law school but dropped out.

    “We’ve been up all night with the FBI,” she said. “He was dan­ger­ous. I’m just so glad that no more peo­ple were hurt than was hurt. It’s sad. We’re sad.”

    In 2008, Houser’s wife, Kel­lie Mad­dox Houser, and oth­er fam­i­ly mem­bers request­ed a pro­tec­tive order from him.

    Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, obtained by the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, he “exhib­it­ed extreme errat­ic behav­ior and has made omi­nous as well as dis­turb­ing state­ments.”

    The fil­ing said Houser had “a his­to­ry of men­tal health issues, i.e., man­ic depres­sion and/or bi-polar dis­or­der.”

    His wife also removed all weapons from their home because she feared his “volatile men­tal state,” accord­ing to the paper­work.

    The pro­tec­tive order was at least tem­porar­i­ly grant­ed. She lat­er filed for divorce.

    Houser had been arrest­ed sev­er­al times from 10 to 15 years ago on var­i­ous charges, includ­ing arson, sell­ing alco­hol to a minor and speed­ing, accord­ing to the AP.

    Jim Mus­t­ian, a jour­nal­ist for the New Orleans Advo­cate, cit­ing a local sher­iff, said that Houser was denied a pis­tol per­mit in 2006 in Rus­sell Coun­ty, Ala.

    The suspect’s Linkedin pro­file describes him as an entre­pre­neur in “invest­ment man­age­ment.” He claimed to have owned two pubs in Geor­gia and to have tried his hand at real estate devel­op­ment in 2006.

    He pur­sued a bach­e­lor of busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion at Colum­bus State Uni­ver­si­ty from 1985 until 1988 and a juris doc­tor­ate (law degree) at Faulkn­er Uni­ver­si­ty in Mont­gomery, Ala., his pro­file said.

    Houser list­ed “God’s Busi­ness” as one of his skills.

    He appeared on “Calvin Floyd Live,” pre­vi­ous­ly called “Rise and Shine,” on WLTZ NBC 38 in more than 60 episodes, accord­ing to the LinkedIn page.

    “Invit­ed polit­i­cal con­tro­ver­sy on every one of them, and loved every minute of it,” he said.

    The show’s host, Floyd, told Yahoo News that he invit­ed Houser on his show many times to dis­cuss his rad­i­cal views because it was enter­tain­ing and caused tremen­dous buzz.

    “He was a guest because he was good TV enter­tain­ment, not because it was a respect­ed opin­ion that he had to say. But he was very enter­tain­ing all the time,” Floyd said in a phone inter­view with Yahoo news. “He had Tea Par­ty-rad­i­cal Repub­li­can views on every­thing. I’d have a Demo­c­ra­t­ic spokesper­son on [for the oppos­ing per­spec­tive]. He gen­er­at­ed a lot of phone calls.”

    Houser was a mem­ber of Tea Par­ty Nation, accord­ing to the group’s web­site.

    The Hate­watch Blog, which is run by the Intel­li­gence Project of the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter, uncov­ered that Houser post­ed about his fond­ness for Hitler, neo-Nazis and lone wolves on sev­er­al online forums.

    “Do not mis­take your­selves for one minute, the ene­my sees all post­ed on this web­site,” he wrote on a site ded­i­cat­ed to the New York chap­ter of Greece’s far-right Gold­en Dawn, which espous­es fas­cist and neo-Nazi ide­olo­gies.

    “I do not want to dis­cour­age the last hope for the best, but you must real­ize the pow­er of the lone wolf, is the pow­er that can come forth in ALL situations.Look with­in your­selves,” he con­tin­ued.

    Else­where, on the U.S. Mes­sage Board, a polit­i­cal dis­cus­sion forum, he wrote, “Hitler accom­plished far more than any oth­er through ‘prag­mat­i­cal­ly form­ing.’ ”

    Author­i­ties iden­ti­fied the young women he mur­dered as Macy Breaux, 21, and Jil­lian John­son, 33, and said anoth­er per­son is in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

    ...

    Houser’s appar­ent get­away vehi­cle had switched license plates on it and was parked near a cin­e­ma exit door, Craft said.

    “It is appar­ent that he was intent on shoot­ing and then escap­ing,” he added.

    The shoot­ing occurred just a week after James Holmes was con­vict­ed in the movie the­ater shoot­ing in Auro­ra, Colo.

    “I do not want to dis­cour­age the last hope for the best, but you must real­ize the pow­er of the lone wolf, is the pow­er that can come forth in ALL sit­u­a­tions. Look with­in your­selves.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 24, 2015, 8:27 am
  12. Hun­dreds of Con­fed­er­ate flag enthu­si­asts gath­ered recent­ly at a ral­ly ded­i­cat­ed to mak­ing the point that the flag was about her­itage, not hate. The loca­tion for the ral­ly? Stone Moun­tain, Geor­gia, the same place that the Klan restart­ed itself in 1915 fol­low­ing the release of the The Birth of a Nation.
    But that was almost a cen­tu­ry ago. The recent gath­er­ing at Stone Moun­tain was about a total­ly dif­fer­ent cause. At least, that was the offi­cial theme of the ral­ly. Although, as the speech from the League of the South rep­re­sen­ta­tive indi­cat­ed, there were some unof­fi­cial themes too:

    The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion
    Hun­dreds ral­ly at Stone Moun­tain for Con­fed­er­ate flag

    Post­ed: 5:04 p.m. Sat­ur­day, Aug. 1, 2015

    By Chris Joyn­er — The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion

    L.C. Thorn­ton, a tall black man in a ball cap and sun­glass­es, trained his cam­era Sat­ur­day across a sea of wav­ing Con­fed­er­ate flags attached to the beds of hun­dreds of pick­up trucks and SUVs.

    “Nor­mal­ly, I’m a bird­er. I take pic­tures of birds and wildlife,” said Thorn­ton, a Stone Moun­tain res­i­dent and Viet­nam vet­er­an. “I just came up to see who would show up out here and how many peo­ple show up out here.”

    A most­ly white crowd from across Geor­gia and sur­round­ing states spent most of Sat­ur­day in a park­ing lot at Stone Moun­tain Park, protest­ing what they believe is an attack on their South­ern her­itage. Police did not offer an esti­mate of the crowd size, but it appeared to be about 600 to 800 peo­ple. The ral­ly drew groups like the Sons of Con­fed­er­ate Vet­er­ans and the neo-Con­fed­er­ate League of the South, but for the most part it was just indi­vid­u­als con­vinced they were under attack.

    “This is about eras­ing us,” said Jim­my, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the League of the South who refused to give his last name. “This is about our First Amend­ment rights, our Sec­ond Amend­ment rights — every amend­ment you’ve got.”

    Civ­il rights groups have called for the erad­i­ca­tion of Con­fed­er­ate sym­bols on pub­lic prop­er­ty since the June 17 mass shoot­ing by an avowed white suprema­cist in Charleston that claimed the lives of nine African-Amer­i­can church­go­ers. After the shoot­ing, politi­cians in South Car­oli­na moved quick­ly to take down a Con­fed­er­ate flag that had flown on state Capi­tol grounds since 2000, when it was removed from atop the Capi­tol itself.

    In Geor­gia, atten­tion has focused on Stone Moun­tain.

    Jimmy’s speech to the crowd through an over­matched PA sys­tem drew appre­cia­tive whoops from the crowd, espe­cial­ly when he quot­ed Jef­fer­son Davis, pres­i­dent of the Con­fed­er­ate States of Amer­i­ca and one of the three fig­ures carved on Stone Moun­tain. But he nev­er said the word “secede,” even though seces­sion of the South­ern states is the cen­tral goal of his group.

    “I feel like the peo­ple here are smart enough to put two and two togeth­er,” he said.

    The Atlanta chap­ter of the NAACP and the South­ern Chris­t­ian Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence have demand­ed the 90-by-900-foot bas-relief sculp­ture of Davis and Con­fed­er­ate Gen­er­als Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jack­son be removed. Two weeks ago, the Atlanta City Coun­cil passed a res­o­lu­tion ask­ing the carv­ing be amend­ed to include oth­er his­tor­i­cal fig­ures, such as the Rev. Mar­tin Luther King Jr. or Pres­i­dent Jim­my Carter.

    Since the Charleston shoot­ings and sub­se­quent com­plaints about Con­fed­er­ate sym­bols, there have been 132 Con­fed­er­ate flag ral­lies across the Unit­ed States, most in the South­east. Orga­niz­ers pre­dict­ed atten­dance of 5,000 or more for the Stone Moun­tain ral­ly, but those pre­dic­tions fell far short. Still, it was one of the larg­er ral­lies so far.

    Park offi­cials put the pro­test­ers in a large park­ing lot across from the park police sta­tion and away from where they might inter­fere with hik­ers or vis­i­tors to the park’s oth­er attrac­tions. Heav­i­ly armed mem­bers of a mili­tia group call­ing itself the Geor­gia Secu­ri­ty Force III% walked the rows of parked cars, pro­vid­ing secu­ri­ty for the ral­ly, although park police were vis­i­ble through­out. U.S. Rep. Hank John­son, D‑Lithonia, was among the curi­ous who came by the ral­ly. John­son did not address the crowd or iden­ti­fy him­self.

    John Bankhead, spokesman for the Stone Moun­tain Memo­r­i­al Asso­ci­a­tion, said orga­niz­ers gave the park an ear­ly heads up about the ral­ly, but he stressed the park was not involved with the groups.

    “We don’t endorse it,” said. “The park is open to the pub­lic. Any­body that can pay the $15 fee can come into the park, and they have a right to exer­cise their First Amend­ment rights.”

    The ral­ly was peace­ful for most of the morn­ing, large­ly because few peo­ple from the oth­er side of the issue both­ered to show up. But tem­pers frayed as a hand­ful of peo­ple began to take the pro-flag group to task.

    ...

    Bil­ly Armis­tead of Cov­ing­ton said he attend­ed the ral­ly to hon­or the mem­o­ry of his rel­a­tive Lewis A. Armis­tead, who fought for the Con­fed­er­a­cy in the Civ­il War. For him, the flag stands for her­itage.

    “We’re here to sup­port our her­itage,” he said. “We’re not racist. We’re doing a peace­ful thing.”

    Across the park­ing lot, Allan Croft, a beard­ed Dal­ton res­i­dent, debat­ed South­ern his­to­ry with a group of young black men.

    “Yeah, we didn’t want our daugh­ters to mar­ry you and we didn’t want our chil­dren to go to school with you,” he said. “But you’ve got to real­ize some­thing, your par­ents didn’t want it, either.”

    Croft blamed inte­gra­tion and the civ­il rights move­ment on “Com­mu­nist Jews” and said accused Charleston shoot­er Dylann Roof “should have went to the syn­a­gogue, because that’s the ene­my of all of us.”

    Saturday’s ral­ly put Stone Moun­tain and Atlanta in an unwel­come spot­light amid con­tin­ued strained race rela­tions around the nation.

    Mark Potok of the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter said his group had been mon­i­tor­ing the build-up to Saturday’s ral­ly, not­ing espe­cial­ly the influ­ence of the League of the South and var­i­ous mili­tia groups.

    Ken­neth Noe, a pro­fes­sor of South­ern his­to­ry at Auburn Uni­ver­si­ty, said Stone Moun­tain is a log­i­cal focal point, as it has long been an impor­tant place for peo­ple in the South­ern her­itage move­ment. But the recent calls to alter the mountain’s icon­ic carv­ing have raised the memorial’s pro­file, espe­cial­ly among fringe ele­ments with­in that move­ment.

    Noe said there are strong his­tor­i­cal con­nec­tions between Stone Moun­tain and white suprema­cists, seg­re­ga­tion­ists and neo-Con­fed­er­ates.

    “For 40 years, it had these pret­ty obvi­ous Klan over­tones,” he said.

    The mountain’s for­mer own­er, Samuel Ven­able, took an active role in reviv­ing the Klan, which re-estab­lished itself in 1915 with a cross-burn­ing on Stone Mountain’s peak. With­in five years, the Klan had an esti­mat­ed 5 mil­lion sup­port­ers nation­wide and was a for­mi­da­ble ter­ror orga­ni­za­tion for decades.

    The icon­ic carv­ing was con­ceived around the same time, with sculp­tor Gut­zon Borglum’s orig­i­nal design fea­tur­ing Con­fed­er­ate Gen. Robert E. Lee lead­ing his troops and KKK mem­bers. Bor­glum was fired from the job and anoth­er sculp­tor hired, but by 1928 only Lee’s head was fin­ished.

    The project remained shelved until the 1950s, when inter­est picked back up amid the grow­ing civ­il rights move­ment and a mas­sive South­ern white back­lash.

    The state pur­chased the land for $2 mil­lion in 1958 and Gov. Mar­vin Grif­fin signed leg­is­la­tion cre­at­ing the Stone Moun­tain Memo­r­i­al Asso­ci­a­tion, which would shep­herd the project to com­ple­tion in 1972.

    Potok said the mountain’s his­toric con­nec­tions with the Klan make it a poor choice if the pro­test­ers are sin­cere about their goals.

    “It’s real­ly remark­able that these peo­ple go to Stone Moun­tain to prove that it’s ‘her­itage, not hate,’ and this is the birth­place of the sec­ond era of the Klan,” he said. Regard­less, he said the ral­lies are “unbe­liev­ably coun­ter­pro­duc­tive” if their goal is gain wider accep­tance of the flag. It real­ly does the oppo­site, he said, cement­ing the notion that it is a flag of white extrem­ists.

    ...

    “It’s real­ly remark­able that these peo­ple go to Stone Moun­tain to prove that it’s ‘her­itage, not hate,’ and this is the birth­place of the sec­ond era of the Klan.”
    Remark­able, yes. Sur­pris­ing? Eh.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 5, 2015, 5:32 pm
  13. A recent Pew poll found that 57 per­cent of Amer­i­cans sup­port the removal of the Con­fed­er­ate flag from the South Car­oli­na State­house grounds, while 34 per­cent believe it was the wrong move. This is some­what jux­ta­posed with a CNN poll from July 2nd that found 57 per­cent of Amer­i­cans see the flag as more a sym­bol of South­ern pride than as a sym­bol of racism. It’s a reflec­tion of how a ran­dom object can sort of sym­bol­ize any­thing which is exact­ly why sym­bols are such potent social tools: to one group of peo­ple a flag real­ly can rep­re­sent some­thing like ‘her­itage’ or ‘pride’; for anoth­er it might rep­re­sent a reminder of state-sanc­tioned ter­ror­ism and oppres­sion; and for yet anoth­er group that same flag might rep­re­sent a cel­e­bra­tion of that same state-sanc­tioned ter­ror­ism and oppres­sion. And with some­thing like the Con­fed­er­ate flag, all of those sym­bol­ic inter­pre­ta­tions are hap­pen­ing side by side. The cel­e­bra­tion of the region­al pride and the implic­it threats towards African Amer­i­cans of both state-sanc­tioned and vig­i­lante ter­ror­ism (which is also cel­e­brat­ed by some, but reviled by many) are basi­cal­ly insep­a­ra­ble which is part of why the GOP-con­trolled Con­gress could­n’t even get itself to remove the Con­fed­er­ate flag from fed­er­al ceme­ter­ies and gift shops.

    Over­com­ing such a sharp divide in the inter­pre­ta­tion of a sym­bol obvi­ous­ly isn’t going to be easy. But let’s keep in mind that the sub­jec­tive nature of these kinds of sym­bols actu­al­ly gives us a pos­si­ble path towards a new con­sen­sus that just might make resolv­ing the debate over the flag that much eas­i­er.

    For instance, in addi­tion­al to all the oth­er pop­u­lar sym­bol­ic inter­pre­ta­tions of the flag that already exists, there’s no rea­son we can’t add new inter­pre­ta­tions. New inter­pre­ta­tions that might actu­al­ly bridge the divide a bit. New inter­pre­ta­tions like how the Con­fed­er­ate flag rep­re­sents a giant socioe­co­nom­ic con-job that was per­pe­trat­ed by the aris­to­crats and ruined the lives of against not just the slaves but also 99% of the rest of the South­ern whites who saw their socioe­co­nom­ic prospects under­mined and destroyed by slav­ery to such an extent that the dam­age is still felt to this day:

    Rich­mond Times-Dis­patch
    HYMAN: The Con­fed­er­a­cy was a con job on whites — and still is

    Post­ed: Fri­day, August 7, 2015 10:30 pm

    BY FRANK HYMAN

    I’ve lived 55 years in the South and I grew up lik­ing the Con­fed­er­ate flag. I haven’t flown one for many decades — but for a rea­son that might sur­prise you.

    I know the South well. We lived wher­ev­er the Marine Corps sta­tioned my father: Geor­gia, Vir­ginia, the Car­oli­nas. My favorite uncle wasn’t in the mil­i­tary, but he did pack a .45-cal­iber Thomp­son sub­ma­chine gun in his trunk. He was a leader in the Ku Klux Klan. Despite my role mod­els, I was an inept racist as a kid. I got into trou­ble once in the first grade for call­ing a class­mate the N‑word. But he was His­pan­ic.

    As I grew up and acquired empa­thy, I learned that for black folks the flut­ter of the Con­fed­er­ate flag felt like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. And for the most pride­ful flag-wavers, clear­ly that response was the point. I mean, come on. It’s a bat­tle flag.

    What the flag sym­bol­izes for blacks is enough rea­son to take it down. But there’s anoth­er rea­son white South­ern­ers shouldn’t fly it. Or sport it on our state-issued license plates, as some do here in North Car­oli­na. The Con­fed­er­a­cy — and the slav­ery that spawned it — was also one big con job on the South­ern white work­ing class. A con job fund­ed by some of the ante­bel­lum one-per­centers, and one that con­tin­ues today in a sim­i­lar form.

    You don’t have to be an econ­o­mist to see that forc­ing blacks — a third of the South’s labor­ers — to work with­out pay drove down wages for every­one else. And not just in agri­cul­ture. A quar­ter of enslaved blacks worked in the con­struc­tion, man­u­fac­tur­ing and lum­ber­ing trades, cut­ting wages even for skilled white work­ers.

    Thanks to the prof­itabil­i­ty of this no-wage/low-wage com­bi­na­tion, a major­i­ty of Amer­i­can one-per­centers were South­ern­ers. Slav­ery made South­ern states the rich­est in the coun­try. The South was rich­er than any oth­er coun­try except Eng­land. But that vast wealth was invis­i­ble out­side the plan­ta­tion ball­rooms. With low wages and few schools, South­ern whites suf­fered a much low­er land own­er­ship rate and a far low­er lit­er­a­cy rate than North­ern whites.

    My ances­tor, Can­na Hyman, and his two sons did own land and fought under that flag. A note from our fam­i­ly his­to­ry says: “Some­one came for them while they were plow­ing one day. They put their hors­es up and all three went away to the War and only one son, William, came back.”

    Like Can­na, most South­ern­ers didn’t own slaves. But they were per­suad­ed to risk their lives and limbs for the right of a few to get rich as Croe­sus from slav­ery. For their sac­ri­fices and their votes, they earned two things before and after the Civ­il War. First, a very skin­ny slice of the immense South­ern pie. And sec­ond, the thing that made those slim rations palat­able then and now: the shal­low sat­is­fac­tion of know­ing blacks had no slice at all.

    How did the plan­ta­tion-own­ing one-per­centers mis­lead so many South­ern whites?

    They man­aged this con job part­ly with a pro­pa­gan­da tech­nique that will be famil­iar to mod­ern Amer­i­cans. Start­ing in the 1840s, wealthy South­ern­ers sup­port­ed more than 30 region­al pro-slav­ery mag­a­zines, along with many pam­phlets and nov­els that false­ly tout­ed slave own­er­ship as hav­ing ben­e­fits that would — in today’s lin­go — trick­le down to ben­e­fit non-slave-own­ing whites and even blacks. The flip side of the coin of this pro­pa­gan­da is the mis­tak­en notion that any gain by blacks comes at the expense of the white work­ing class.

    Today’s ver­sion of this con job no longer sup­ports slav­ery, but still works in the South and thrives in pro-trick­le-down think tanks, mag­a­zines, news­pa­pers, talk radio and TV news shows such as the Cato Foun­da­tion, Rea­son mag­a­zine, Rush Lim­baugh and Fox News. These sources are often under­writ­ten by pro-trick­le-down one-per­centers like the Koch broth­ers and Rupert Mur­doch.

    For exam­ple, a map of states that didn’t expand Med­ic­aid — which would actu­al­ly be a boon most­ly to poor whites — resem­bles a map of the old Con­fed­er­a­cy with a few oth­er poor, rur­al states thrown in. Anoth­er indi­ca­tion that this divi­sive pro­pa­gan­da works on South­ern whites came in 2012. Mitt Rom­ney and Barack Oba­ma even­ly split the white work­ing class in the West, Mid­west and North­east. But in the South, we went 2–1 for Rom­ney.

    ...

    One can love the South with­out fly­ing the bat­tle flag. But it won’t help to get rid of an old sym­bol if we can’t also rid our­selves of the self-destruc­tive beliefs that go with it.

    “What the flag sym­bol­izes for blacks is enough rea­son to take it down. But there’s anoth­er rea­son white South­ern­ers shouldn’t fly it. Or sport it on our state-issued license plates, as some do here in North Car­oli­na. The Con­fed­er­a­cy — and the slav­ery that spawned it — was also one big con job on the South­ern white work­ing class. A con job fund­ed by some of the ante­bel­lum one-per­centers, and one that con­tin­ues today in a sim­i­lar form.”

    Could an addi­tion­al sym­bol­ic inter­pre­ta­tion actu­al­ly catch on? Let’s hope so, because if the Con­fed­er­ate flag can become a sym­bol for not just overt slav­ery and racism but ALSO a sym­bol for the crypto-‘slavery-lite’ for the non-slave that came with liv­ing in a soci­ety run by aris­to­crats employ­ing a slav­ery con-job, who knows, maybe the Con­fed­er­ate flag could sort of become a uni­fy­ing force: a sym­bol that rep­re­sents a socioe­co­nom­ic aris­to­crat­ic world­view that NO ONE, of any race, should EVER want to live under. Sure, such an inter­pre­ta­tion would com­pli­cate some aspects of the ‘South­ern pride’ dimen­sion of the flag’s sym­bol­ism, but real­ly only the parts that involved suc­cumb­ing to the South­ern aris­toc­ra­cy’s head games. And it’s not like racism con-jobs that screwed over the vast major­i­ty of peo­ple of all races were lim­it­ed to the South or just the 19th cen­tu­ry. So by adding the sym­bol­ic inter­pre­ta­tion of the flag as a sym­bol of an elite con-job it’s no longer just a sym­bol of the South.

    And here’s the best part about the fun­gi­ble nature of flag sym­bol­ism: Let’s say it real­ly hap­pened and the Con­fed­er­ate flag came to rep­re­sent sup­ply-side aris­to­crat­ic con-jobs that peo­ple of all races and creeds should strive to nev­er repeat. Well, in a strange way, at that point the flag real­ly could rep­re­sent some­thing pos­i­tive: it would then become the sym­bol that helped shake us out of an ongo­ing ide­o­log­i­cal men­tal fog night­mare where the poor­est and most vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of soci­ety are sys­tem­i­cal­ly exploit­ed and then blamed for soci­ety’s ills. Let’s just let the flag act like a men­tal focus for reflect­ing on the past, the good and bad, but not repeat the mis­takes of the past, mis­takes that took place all over the US and not just in the South. And let’s use that men­tal focus to cre­ate a more per­fect union. In that kind of world, a fly­ing Con­fed­er­ate flag would actu­al­ly rep­re­sent our col­lec­tive resolve to nev­er for­get the col­lec­tive mad­ness of the past, whether its the 19th or 20th cen­tu­ry or when­ev­er, learn from that mad­ness, and become a bet­ter, wis­er peo­ple. Heck, if we lived in that world, the Con­fed­er­ate flag would­n’t just rep­re­sent South­ern pride when viewed in its most pos­i­tive light. It would be Amer­i­can pride that we’re a peo­ple that learn from the past and just keep get­ting bet­ter. And all the peo­ple that real­ly are fly­ing the Con­fed­er­ate flag with racist pride would be forced to know that every­one else views that flag with the com­plete oppo­site

    Grant­ed, we have to actu­al­ly cre­ate that nation that isn’t still in the thrall of an aris­to­crat­ic con-job before we can declare “good job, flag!” But who knows, maybe call­ing for turn­ing the Con­fed­er­ate flag into a sym­bol of mass socioe­co­nom­ic gulli­bil­i­ty will help us cre­ate get there, in turn, help turn the flag into a sym­bol of col­lec­tive­ly over­com­ing mass gulli­bil­i­ty by learn­ing from the past. At least, it’s an option. Sym­bol­ism is like that.

    Of course, try­ing to turn the Con­fed­er­ate flag into an iron­ic sym­bol of over­com­ing the worst of aspects of Amer­i­can his­to­ry just might be a real­ly bad idea. Espe­cial­ly at first since since we would prob­a­bly sud­den­ly see Con­fed­er­ate flags fly­ing every­where rather insin­cere­ly. Still, it could be worse!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 8, 2015, 1:34 pm

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