Too bad it can’t tell the difference between people who hate blacks and people who support the traditional definition of marriage.
The SPLC’s promiscuous labeling of organizations it disagrees with as “hate groups” came to the fore last week when someone tried to shoot up one of its targets.
You may not have heard that an armed assailant stormed the offices of the Family Research Council. That’s because the assailant was a gay-rights activist and the assailed was an organization devoted to social-conservative causes.
If circumstances had been reversed, you’d know. If a gun-toting Family Research Council volunteer had burst into the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign, “60 Minutes” would already have done its hard-hitting feature on right-wing terrorism.
The SPLC calls the Family Research Council a “hate group.” This puts it in the same league as the True Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, the Supreme White Alliance, the Old Glory Skinheads and, of course, the American Nazi Party.
As they ask in kindergarten, which of these things isn’t like all the others? The home page of the Aryan Nation features an appeal to “white Americans” to fight anti-white genocide in South Africa, along with a photo of Nelson Mandela standing next to “the Jew Joe Slovo.”
The home page of the Family Research Council has a tab to learn more about “Marriage, Family, & Sexuality.”
A man named Floyd Corkins allegedly showed up at the Family Research Council carrying a bag of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a 9 mm and said, “I don’t like your politics” before shooting an unarmed guard who managed to subdue him (the guard is recovering).
Corkins volunteers at a gay community center. According to an FBI affidavit, his parents “informed the FBI Special Agents that Corkins has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner.”
The head of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, said the SPLC had given Corkins “a license to shoot.” This goes too far. Nothing the SPLC does sanctions violence, and Corkins’ alleged crime is his responsibility and his alone.
But the SPLC’s designation of the Family Research Council is intolerant all the same, a bullying attempt to short-circuit free debate.
It’s not as if the SPLC considers the Family Research Council mildly offensive, or barely hateful. Asked if someone addressing a Family Research Council meeting was as guilty as someone addressing an Aryan Nation rally, the SPLC’s research director said “yes.”
If Floyd Corkins took the SPLC’s attitude toward the Family Research Council seriously, he would have been shocked to be confronted by an African-American security guard instead of some guy in a white hood about to run out to burn a cross in a gay person’s front yard.
What the SPLC is doing is profoundly illiberal. The whole idea of a “hate group” is an organization that is so irrational and beyond the pale that it has no legitimacy. The SPLC brags about shutting down such groups, and rightly so.
You presumably don’t have an argument with the White Patriot Party militia, unless you bring along a lead pipe. Putting the Family Research Council in the same category is a statement that it isn’t worthy of a democratic society. Its views shouldn’t be debated so much as shunned and marginalized.
This is the trend in the gay-marriage debate. The attempt to punish Chick-fil-A for the opinions of its founder and CEO, although an abject failure for now, will probably be the template of the future.
“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views,” William F. Buckley Jr., once said, “but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” The SPLC and its allies on the left won’t be satisfied until there are no other views on gay marriage.
Thomas Hettmansperger, also a known associate of the Pagans motorcycle club, is accused of punching a man in the face at the Crooks Den Lounge in Daytona Beach on June 3, police said.
Douglas Howard Story, 48, of Manassas, Va., is accused of trying to possess a fully automatic AK-47.
Authorities began investigating Story when a source reported seeing a post on an Aryan Nation website that Story intended to buy an AK-47 and have it modified to be fully automatic, according to court records. An undercover agent took a semi-automatic AK-47 and $120 from Story with the intent that he modify the weapon, according to court records.
Story allegedly stated plans to ambush and murder any law enforcement officer that stops him in the event of martial law in the United States. Using the screen name “Confederate Brother,” he allegedly ranted on several white supremacy websites about his hatred of minorities and his desire that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder be removed from office “with a 30.06.”
Story was charged with making a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted.
The Secret Service assisted the FBI with the investigation.
Professor John Domitrovich will key on the Aryan Nations, the white supremacist group that was active in Hayden, Idaho, for years — including recent research that suggests the movement appears to have changed its focus and now emphasizes white separatism over white power.
His lecture is Friday from noon to 1 p.m. at the Arlee/Charlo Theatre on the SKC campus.
Last week, we revealed Gulett is now using a Converse, Louisiana post office box for the Aryan Nations World Headquarters. We also confirmed he has partial ownership in 20 acres in neighboring DeSoto Parish. Gulett told KSLA News 12′s Doug Warner he plans to build an Aryan Nations compound there, much like the one that existed in Idaho until 2000, complete with living quarters, a church and heavy security.
The community and its local pastors have spoken out against the organizationand Gulett’s plans, and begun discussing how to stop Gulett from moving forward with his plans.
Gulett has responded via email to our request for an update on what’s happened since our reports aired, and whether he plans to move forward. “Nothing has changed about our plans. I still intend to build a church building and the World Headquarters for Aryan Nations WILL continue to be right here in Louisiana. This is my home. I am here to stay till death do I part from this earth. I will not be swayed from my job as the Senior Pastor of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian or the World Leader of Aryan Nations.”
A protest just held by the white supremacist group Aryan Nations last month in Jonesboro, Louisiana wasn’t just a visit, it was “to let our people know that it’s time to be seen and heard,” according to leader Morris Gulett.
“I am rising up in favor of my people,” Gulett explains. They call themselves racist. The government calls them terrorists. Whatever you call them, the Aryan Nations is now calling the ArkLaTex home, setting up their new world headquarters in Converse, just south of Shreveport. Gulett says he likes the remoteness of the location just south of the DeSoto-Sabine Parish line.
He may want his group to be heard, but in an interview with KSLA News 12‘s Doug Warner, Gulett makes clear his distrust of the media. “I just don’t want you to misquote me or misrepresent me. I know how the media is, not going to display me in the most favorable light.”
It was following the Aryan Nation’s NAACP counter-protest protest in Jackson on January 14th that the group’s intent to call Converse home became clear. Gulett, who also delivers his message from his online pulpit on the group’s web site, lists P.O. Box 282 in Converse as the group’s physical address.
“I’m an avid proponent for the betterment of my race,” Gulett says. “So does that make you a racist?” asked Warner. “Yeah, it makes me a racist, but it doesn’t make me a hater of people because of the color of their skin.”
“Blacks by and large aren’t as intelligent as Anglo Saxons,” says Gulett.
The Aryan Nations reached their peak membership in the early 1980s. Using violence to get their message of white supremacy across to blacks, Jews and Hispanics certainly wasn’t unheard of.
Former federal probation officer and Northwestern State criminal justice professor Bill Sexton says “Aryan Nations consisted of all these groups: neo-Nazis, Klan, CSA, ‘the Order’…my experience is, they’ll get an isolated area, very rural, and attract members to join the movement.”
Until the year 2000, that rural area was in Idaho. The Aryan Nations maintained their world headquarters there, on a militia-style twenty-acre compound.
“Basically it became a place where individuals associated with any faction, Klan, Nazi, they would go there,” Sexton says. On those 20 acres were a church, living quarters, guard towers and plenty of commando training for the thousands who came through who put ‘their’ color of skin ahead of all others.
“Once we have property secured and get it built, we’ll build a church, a headquarters and it will be invite only,” Gulett says, confirming that’s exactly what he wants to do in Converse. “What we are attempting to do is educate our people. Deuteronomy Chapter 28 states, ‘One of the cursings is stranger you’ll allow to remain among you will get above you very high and down very low.’”
Who is the stranger? “The non-Aryan. Blacks, Negroes, mongrels,” Gulett explains.
The news came as a complete and unwelcome surprise to many in Converse, including Mayor Troy Terrell. “Don’t know him or his organization.” And, Terrel says, they don’t want to. “Converse has nothing to do with his organization and I don’t want to have anything to do with it.”
Gulett won’t say whether he’s been approached by anyone around town who does want to affiliate with his organization.
For safety reasons, he also won’t say exactly where he lives or where in or around Converse his headquarters is located. KSLA News 12 has confirmed, however, that Gulett already has partial ownership in roughly 20 acres – not in Sabine parish – but just a few miles north in DeSoto Parish.
Gulett has been affiliated with the Aryan Nations for close to two decades. Despite being a convicted felon who can’t carry firearms himself, he urges followers who are allowed to carry weapons to arm themselves. “If you’re capable of owning a shot gun, a 12 gauge pump, a 308, assault rifle, a hand gun.”
“War is not on us yet. Now is the time for building up and preparation,” Gulett says. “Preparing for what the scripture says is imminent, Armageddon, an all-out race war.”
In the tiny town of Converse, population about 400, there were few African Americans to find and ask for their take on the group’s move to town.
But Monday night on KSLA News 12 at 5:00, you’ll hear from two local pastors, Baptist and Methodist, who have listened closely to Gulett’s preaching, and will offer their rebuttals.
These two Shreveport pastors will examine and explain what some experts believe is nothing more than “Christian identity,” when some extremists groups allegedly use the Bible’s teachings to bring groups like the KKK, neo-nazis and others together.
Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.