ModernityBlog

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Posts Tagged ‘SPLC

Read Before Attacking.

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Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch has a funny story about a rather dumb neo-Nazi.

Read and enjoy.

Written by modernityblog

14/07/2011 at 18:57

US Scales Back Investigation of Right Wing Terrorism.

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The Southern Poverty Law Center has a disturbing piece, how the US Department For Homeland Security has scaled back its investigation into home grown right wing terrorism:

“The Southern Poverty Law Center this week urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reassess the resources it devotes to investigating non-Islamic domestic extremism. The request came as the SPLC published an interview with a former top DHS analyst who charged that the department effectively dismantled the unit he once headed following the political right’s unjustified criticism of a 2009 report on right-wing terrorism.

“The department’s work should never be compromised by misguided criticism from any quarter,” SPLC President Richard Cohen wrote in a letter sent this week to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Daryl Johnson, who headed the DHS unit responsible for analyzing security threats from non-Islamic domestic extremists, was the principal author of the April 7, 2009, report “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

The report was intended only for distribution to law enforcement agencies. But after it was leaked to the media, a firestorm erupted among conservative commentators who wrongly claimed it equated conservatives with terrorists. Within days, Napolitano had disowned it.

Daryl Johnson

Daryl Johnson

Johnson, who was interviewed for the upcoming summer issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, said that following the controversy, the DHS dismantled the intelligence team that studied the threat from right-wing extremists and that the department no longer produces its own analytical reports on that subject. When the 2009 report was written, there were six analysts in the unit, including Johnson. Today, he said, there is one.”

SPLC, 40th Anniversary Celebration.

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I had forgotten about this, but the excellent and dedicated Southern Poverty Law Center has just celebrated its 40th Anniversary:

“Since its founding, the SPLC has shut down some of the nation’s most dangerous hate groups by winning multimillion-dollar jury verdicts on behalf of victims of their violence. It has dismantled institutional racism in the South, reformed juvenile justice practices, shattered barriers to equality for women, children and the disabled, and protected low-wage immigrant workers from abuse. It has reached out to the next generation with Teaching Tolerance, a program that provides educators with free classroom materials that teach students to respect others.”

Their on-line resources are great, the Hatewatch Blog, the Intelligence Reports, the Intelligence Files, Publications and finally, the Hate Map.

SPLC’s Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism is free to download, as a PDF, well worth a read.

Photos of the day.

My best wishes to the SPLC, may they be around for another 40 years. Fine people.

Written by modernityblog

07/05/2011 at 00:51

Chomsky And IHR.

with 43 comments

I hold an exceedingly low opinion of Noam Chomsky, but even I was shocked to read this on the History News Network:

“…From at least 1984 through 1992, [Noam] Chomsky corresponded with a man who, during those time periods, was one of the leading authors and editors in the Holocaust denial movement. And it was a very friendly correspondence, complete with praise for the denier’s work, and an offer of assistance on Chomsky’s part.

The denier in question is L.A. “Lou” Rollins. At the time of the first Chomsky correspondence, Rollins was a writer and contributing editor at the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), the North American headquarters of Holocaust denial and Nazi literature. And although the IHR has, in the past two decades, attempted to reinvent itself as a “respectable” Holocaust denial institute by eschewing clumsy, vulgar anti-Semitism in favor of pseudo-academic “historiography,” back in 1984 there was no subtlety in the IHR’s presentation. The publishing arm of the IHR sold such titles as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the “pro-Hitler” reprint of “Mein Kampf,” “The Testament of Adolf Hitler,” “The International Jew,” “The Turner Diaries,” KKK leader David Duke’s autobiography “My Awakening,” and various anti-Semitic and white supremacy booklets and leaflets. Contributors to the IHR included former SS Standartenführer Leon Degrelle, and former Nazi General Otto Ernst Remer….

It is against this backdrop that Chomsky and Rollins corresponded. In the first of the recently uncovered letters, Chomsky expresses happiness that Rollins was able to find Chomsky’s anti-Israel book “The Fateful Triangle” useful in his work. Chomsky tells Rollins that he’s pleased to hear that he (Rollins) is writing about Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who Chomsky proceeds to call “one of the major frauds of our time.” He compares Wiesel to Nazi collaborators, and accuses him of “exploiting the Holocaust to justify oppression and murder.”

Chomsky promises to send Rollins “news clippings from the Jewish press” to assist him with his anti-Wiesel screed (Rollins’ Chomsky-assisted essay would appear in the fall 1985 edition of the IHR’s “journal”).

Chomsky closes by writing, “I’m looking forward to hearing more about your study.”

Still, I find it hard to believe.

Rollins certainly is connected to the IHR, as this cached extract from one of his articles shows:

“About the author

L.A. ROLLINS is a Contributing Editor of the IHR Newsletter. He has also written for other publications, including Reason, New Libertarian, Critique, Spotlight and The JHR. He is the author of The Myth of Natural Rights.”

Anyone unfamiliar with the Institute for Historical Review should look up David Irving.

Then imagine two dozen plus active Holocaust deniers much worse than him, hard core racist types, embittered cranks and semi-professional antisemites, imagine that and you’ll only have scratched the surface. This is what the SPLC says about them:

“IHR’s first annual conference in 1979 attracted deniers from around the world and helped to introduce some key American extremists to Holocaust denial. David Duke, the neo-Nazi who was then the national leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was so taken with the idea that he followed up the conference with a “Special Holocaust Edition” of his Crusader newspaper. In the same way, National Socialist Party of America leader Frank Collin enthusiastically embraced denial, saying, “There was no Holocaust, but they deserve one — and will get it.” For years, IHR’s yearly conferences were key events that offered networking opportunities for neo-Nazis and anti-Semites from around the world.

A critical contribution by IHR was the pseudo-academic gloss it applied to its anti-Semitism. The group actively tried to avoid blatant anti-Jewish slurs, and instead sought to couch its politics in distortions of history and science meant to sound reasonable. Though the theories that resulted were far out, they had at least the appearance of legitimacy, as did The Journal of Historical Review that the IHR began to publish in 1980. Deniers would claim, for example, that the Anne Frank diary is a fraud because it contained marks made with a postwar ballpoint pen (they didn’t mention that the marks were made later by Frank’s father, who survived German concentration camps to edit and publish the diary). They would assert that the death-camp ovens were not capable of burning as many bodies as the Allies had said were disposed of after gassing. They lied about the qualities of the Zyklon B gas used to kill Jews, the operation of the Einsatzgruppen (the mobile killing squads which shot to death more than 1 million Jews in Eastern Europe), and hundreds of other facts. Through it all, IHR sought to give the appearance that its writers were honest, if skeptical, students of history. “

The IHR are really nasty people with a pro-Nazi agenda, who seek to rehabilitate National Socialism and Hitler’s reputation.

They should be avoided at all costs, I can’t imagine why Chomsky would even think of corresponding with these neo-Nazis?

Update 1: A reminder to new readers please READ, re-read and make an effort to understand my comments policy.

Postings from fans of the IHR or their neo-Nazi mates will remain in the moderation queue until the end of time.

Oh, any fans of Chomsky should read Pierre Vidal-Naquet: On Faurisson and Chomsky before they consider posting.

Update 2: A PDF exists of the correspondence here.

Update 3: Even some of Chomsky’s fans are unhappy:

“Shameful (#146927)
by Helena Kaplan on February 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM

I like a lot of Chomsky’s work, but I can’t make excuses for him on this one. By 1984, he knew exactly what those nuts were all about (especially because people had been alerting him ever since he spoke out for Faurisson in 1979). This is a shameful episode in his life. “

The Guardian’s Blindspot.

with 5 comments

There is an excellent article in today’s Guardian, dealing with the growth of Far Right groups in America and it highlights how aggressive rhetoric from people like Glenn Beck may have contributed to that rise, as it reports:

“How far such language is now part of the mainstream political discourse was confirmed by Politico today, which reported that it had obtained a Republican national committee document detailing plans to raise election funds with “an aggressive campaign capitalising on ‘fear’ of President Barack Obama” and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism”.”

So the Guardian is right to point out that aggressive rhetoric in the public discourse can have dire consequences, the rise of the Far Right, the potential for incitement, racial violence, etc

All very observable and easily documented, based on the evidence.

Yet the irony is that the Guardian, in the form of its electronic service, Comment is Free contributes to such racism on a daily basis.

Granted, it is not the bellicose demagoguery of American talk show hosts, it is rather very English, understated, but the effect is similar.

Instead of attacks on President Obama, creeping socialism etc, instead of that Comment is Free posts outpourings of anti-Jewish racism, conspiracy theories and attacks on Israelis on a daily basis.

And that is the Guardian’s blindspot, their inability to see how they are actively contributing to anti-Jewish racism.

(H/T: Adam Holland)

Written by modernityblog

05/03/2010 at 14:20

British Neo-Fascists’ American Friend.

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The yearly neofascist shindig held in the British countryside is on this weekend. Fortunately antifascists are actively opposing the BNP event, but full reports are yet to come in, Lancaster Unity has a bit.

Norfolk Unity highlights one of the BNP’s guests, Preston Wiginton.

SPLC has more on this nasty neo-Nazi:

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

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

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

Written by modernityblog

15/08/2009 at 20:27