The Mudville Gazette [h/t Instapundit] reports:
Morris Dees, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, says researchers have identified 40 personal profiles of people who list the military as their occupation on the Web site New Saxon.
The site is run by the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement and describes itself as an “online community for whites by whites.” Its leader, Jeff Schoep, says site operators remove any violent comments they find.
Dees sent a letter to four congressional committee chairs asking for an investigation.
I can see why this requires a congressional investigation. Forty members of a racist site claiming to belong to the military represent a serious problem. After all, there are only 1,473,900 active service personnel and only 1,458,500 reservists so if there are 40 white supremacists that means that a staggering 1 in every 36,847 active service personnel is a white supremacist! Clearly, this is a pants wetting emergency requiring immediate Congressional attention!
Okay, it doesn’t.
As the Mudville Gazette points out, the military represent a cross section of American society (except, I would add, leftist intellectuals who are too moral to serve). When you start talking about a diverse population with 1.5 million members you shouldn’t be highly surprised if you find a small (0.0027% to be precise) number of weirdos.
Why the alarm? Firstly, as a revenue-seeking corporation, the Southern Poverty Law Center has every incentive to fabricate an attention generating “crisis” whenever possible. This “discovery” will no doubt generate a lot of money for them. More importantly, this story feeds into a deeply held fantasy of leftists in which fascism is a major factor in American life.
To understand the context of this, you have to understand that most leftists believe that neo-Nazis, Klansmen, Christian Identity etc. are large groups to which a significant percentage of the American non-Left belongs and a much higher percentage is sympathetic to. When they find a web site with “dozens” of (i.e., more than 24) kooks merely claiming military service they see this as confirmation of the vast fascist conspiracy that underlies the American Right.
In the fantasy world of the Left, the neo-Nazis are the distillation of the American Right. They believe this with iron certainty even though neo-Nazis and the like are (1) overtly hostile to capitalism and the free market, (2) hostile to mainstream Christianity, (3) opposed to free trade, (4) opposed the liberation of Iraq, (5) hold Israel to blame for all of the troubles in the Middle East, etc. If you remove the racism from their ideology, you end up with an ideology very close to that of American far-Left.
The need of leftists to inflate their own sense of self-righteousness and self-importance leads them to magnify a tiny, highly marginalized, wacky subculture of racist socialists into this great threat to the republic which only the noble Left can stop. They also like to stigmatize the military whenever possible, so they absolutely believe that such people are common in the military. They see an ice cube floating by and imagine an iceberg.
Conversely, they ignore anti-American extremists on the far Left. Almost all of the large anti-war/anti-democracy rallies during the early part of the liberation of Iraq were organized by International ANSWER, a group founded by leaders of the Stalinist Workers World Party. No one on the Left had a problem with that. Bill Ayers is easily the leftist equivalent of a neo-Nazi. He fantasized about murdering 25 million Americans in gulags after his hoped-for communist revolution. Only his own bomb-making incompetence prevented him from detonating a large anti-personnel bomb at a U.S. Army dance and killing dozens. However, no one on the Left has any problem with him moving for years in the same close-knit society of Chicago leftists as did Obama. Moreover, Ayers and his wife are far from the only unrepentant leftist extremists in good standing with the American Left.
The obsession with neo-Nazis et al is the leftist’s version of Dungeons and Dragons, wher they imagine themselves as heroes fighting some monstrous evil instead of deluded geeks obsessing over another group of pathetic, powerless, losers on the margins of society.
Whatever kills a lonely Saturday night I suppose.
[update (2009-7-12 08:15pm): Some comments of note.
July 12th, 2009 at 9:02 am by Bill Waddell: “The last figures I saw had the African-American percentage of the military at about 13%. That means that there are close to 400,000 black soldiers, sailors and airmen well positioned to assure these 40 nut cases don’t wreak too much havoc.”
July 12th, 2009 at 11:25 am by John: “I think the solution is simple: go to this “New Saxon” website and register yourself. List your occupation as “Southern Poverty Law Center”. Voila! Suddenly a huge percentage of Nazis are extreme leftists. Do the math: 40 out of 3 million soldiers vs 1 out of a couple hundred Souther Poverty Law Center kooks. Hell, I think there’s a Nazi epidemic in the Southern Poverty Law Center! I demand a Congressional investigation! The Nazis are coming! The Nazis are coming!
44 thoughts on “The Neo-Nazi Boogyman”
What bothers me most about this leftist over-the-top obsession is that their puffing up the threat of neo-nazism makes real live nazis less unacceptable. If everybody to the right of David Gergen is a nazi then most people know some reasonable moderate conservatives who’ve been called nazis. That leaves the real nazis more running room to peddle their trash.
I am stupid. They don’t like me here because I keep posting stupid trolling comments, but I keep posting comments anyway.
[Comment edited by Jonathan.]
Yes, that’s the inherent danger in threat inflation. It’s like the boy who cried wolf except in this case, the boy is pointing to a mangy, starving dog and claiming it is a grizzly bear who will devour the entire village unless it is hunted down. All the men in the village runs off chasing the dog and in the meanwhile grizzly bear shows up and eats everyone else.
But it’s just so important to their self-esteem and to their vision of their role in the world. They are like warriors who have defeated all their enemies, they have to fine new enemies or magnify small enemies into major enemies.
[Deleted for being off topic link whoring — shannon]
What’s worse has been the obliteration of the word racism. A racist believes that people of certain races are less than full human beings. Naturally, a person with such beliefs has the potential to be a very dangerous mofo, and we’re right to fear them and to seek to protect society from them. But when we get to the point where we’re thoughtlessly throwing the term around like J. Garafalo does, we risk losing sight of the actual racists amongst us to the point they’re almost impossible to identify and protect ourselves against.
150 years ago, every other white American was a real racist who believed that various dark-skinned peoples could legally owned, like animals. Now, even though the only neo-nazi/white supremacist website I’ve ever visited was the site of the Libertarian Green Nazi Party (I thought it would be a joke site), I’ll bet you could go to KKK websites and not find anyone calling for the return of Negro slavery or anything of the sort. Most everything I’ve ever heard or read of these people show them to be racialists, not racists. They believe other races to be culturally inferior, perhaps genetically so, but they don’t believe people of these races are actually subhuman.
It took 150 years, but still, that’s progress when even racists aren’t truly racist.
The left cries about Nazis because in reality IT’S THE SAME SHIT!
Rush Baby is right, of course. The Nazis were leftists, and any look at their policies, or those of a modern day neo-Nazi or fascist political party, such as the BNP in the UK, will uncover the protectionism, the wholesale government intervention and nanny-statism common to all parties of the left.
Yes, the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany were, amazing to relate, lefties. Only the Bolsheviks and the Pol Pot ‘year zero’ crowd were further to the left.
So what is an extreme Right Winger then? An Anarcho-Capitalist.
There is no ‘wheel of politics’. It’s a straight line from extreme left (total government control) to extreme right (no government).
Don’t forget, Dees needs neo-nazis hiding under the beds of everyone so he can get more contributions from those lefties–individuals and foundations–that contribute money to his organization. If the forty out of over two million plus didn’t exist, he would have to invent them.
This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 7/12/2009, at The Unreligious Right
Morris Dees is a fraud and a huckster. I grew up in Alabama, one of my uncles (a Democrat, and easily the most liberal member of the family) worked in the state government for decades and knew Dees well. He’ll tell you that Dees doesn’t believe a word of anything he says; the “Southern Poverty Law Center” is just a shakedown organization that practices neither law nor poverty. Dees is a multi-millionaire, and the SPLC headquarters in Montgomery is a gaudy Taj Mahal. This is just another example of Dees putting out a hyped-up press release to gin up donations.
I’d like to defend D&D players by pointing out that most of us realize we are just pretending and playing a game.
The last figures I saw had the African-American percentage of the military at about 13%. That means that there are close to 400,000 black soldiers, sailors and airmen well positioned to assure these 40 nut cases don’t wreak too much havoc.
Morris Dees … America’s number one loser.
I am wondering if this is all kinda some grand conspiracy !
first the justice department issues a report
then, did not obama say something about right wing extremists
now the southern poverty law center
who is it aimed at ?
Hey! I liked this post all the way until the end. Fine if you want to make the D&D analogy re: an imaginary threat, but no need to get into the name calling a la: “…deluded geeks obsessing …” After all, people who play D&D are not slandering the military, are not drumming up another brown-scare in order to get more attention and funding. By definition, those D&D players are engaging in a social hobby — so what is with the “lonely Saturday nights”? Perhaps I protest too much, but as Jammer says, its a game while the Left is too close to making their “fantasy world” a reality
I’ll defend D&D by saying Gamma World was better. Really.
Truly it is a shame that the false broad-brush dichotomy of Left-Right malingers. It’s really totalitarians-individualists. Those who scream for diversity are the first to stomp it out to have complete groupthink conformity.
It’s a bit odd that I don’t often come across the term Neo-Commie. Don’t they get more points for having killed more people?
Just more of the left’s attempt to avoid the elephant in the room and deflect the aim from members of that certain religion that faces east that tends to produce more mayhem.
One of the women I teach with spends her summers taking classes in England at Oxford, I believe. She was talking about a speaker she saw over there who warned about the rise of New Fascist/skin head types. She learned about how they dress, gang signs etc. The speaker informed her that there may be up to 30,000 of these types in the UK right now!
The other women at the lunch table included a rabid “Bush is a Retard” type, a working class Democrate, and a moderate liberal Democrat.
They all expressed shock and gasps about the return of “fascism.” I finally had enough.
“30,000 people???? In a country the size of the UK. You’re worried about 30,000 people! Anyone know how many Muslims there are in the UK and if only 5% of them were or supported terrorism, how many people that is? But nooooo, we’re going to on the look out for the return of the Nazis!!!!”
I think the solution is simple: go to this “New Saxon” website and register yourself. List your occupation as “Southern Poverty Law Center”. Voila! Suddenly a huge percentage of Nazis are extreme leftists. Do the math: 40 out of 3 million soldiers vs 1 out of a couple hundred Souther Poverty Law Center kooks. Hell, I think there’s a Nazi epidemic in the Southern Poverty Law Center! I demand a Congressional investigation! The Nazis are coming! The Nazis are coming!
After reading this post I googled Morris Dees and found the following link to a court document. Could someone tell me if the info in this link is true? If it is, Dees is a proven liar, as well as an impressive jerk.
RE: John’s comment @ July 12th, 2009 at 11:25 am
Good Idea!!! I just registered with New Saxon website. I will soon ‘claim’ all sorts of ridiculous stuff about my membership/employment with the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACORN, ACLU, etc
Hmm. In Canada the “Human Rights Commissions” joined neo-nazi groups to post comments hoping to draw out hateful comments they could then prosecute. I wonder if there are any Southern Poverty Law Center employees, family members, etc., who have joined New Saxon and claimed military service in order to gin up this “crisis.”
SPLC, like a lot of nonprofits, is a very profitable enterprise for its owners/operators. Its economic survival depends upon convincing large liberal foundations (Ford Foundation, etc.) to send it big grants, and to a much lesser extent, upon convincing small donors to contribute.
To keep going, it has to find racists/violent right wingers/something else menacing under every bed. Count on it, this project is already spelled out in fundraising requests to foundations … send us another half million so we can continue to find and expose these threats. (Given the politics, it helps that the target is the military, of course).
Look at their economic problem — their pitch being send us money so we can root out racism. Eighty years ago the Klan could turn out 10,000 members for a march in DC. Last time they tried, 10+ years ago, they turned out a dozen and had to cancel lest angry crowds outnumbering them thousands to one tear them to bits. Fifty years ago a sizeable part of the US population believed that segregated drinking fountains were absolutely essential. Today, anyone proposing them would be considered psychotic. SPLC’s fundraising is only a bit less relevant than that of Americans United To Stop Execution of Witches. So it has to invent a crusade, publicize it, and then scout for grants.
Geez, I kinda think the far left is somewhat if not outright racist in much of their thinking. They seem to use race in much of their explanations of justification for their actions.
“To understand the context of this, you have to understand that most leftists believe that neo-Nazis, Klansmen, Christian Identity etc. are large groups to which a significant percentage of the American non-Left belongs and a much higher percentage is sympathetic to.”
I always wonder how much of this is a genuine belief (i.e. to believe it literally true that in red states, one can find large groups of Klansmen), and how much is just strategic “outrage” in the pursuit of other goals. Certainly in the case of SPLC, it’s strategic, as other commenters have said. But for the left more broadly?
Why doesn’t Dees look into the number of active military who are members of criminal gangs. That might be interesting.
“Yes, that’s the inherent danger in threat inflation. It’s like the boy who cried wolf except in this case, the boy is pointing to a mangy, starving dog and claiming it is a grizzly bear who will devour the entire village unless it is hunted down. All the men in the village runs off chasing the dog and in the meanwhile grizzly bear shows up and eats everyone else.”
I respectfully disagree. The danger in threat inflation is not that people will be distracted by wild claims, but that they will become inured to them.
The Petulant Leftist who screams, “Republicans are Nazis, and Bush is Hitler!” is met not by stunned conservatives crying, “zomg!!1!! I’ve got to only vote for Democrats from now on!” but by them saying, “Well, I’m a Republican, and I’m not that bad, so Nazis must not be, either”. From there it is but a short if lethal step to, “Nazis are just Repulicans with spiffy uniforms”.
The site is run by the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement and describes itself as an “online community for whites by whites.”
Well, the National Socialist part is off-putting in the extreme, of course. But the “for whites by whites” part puts me in mind of FUBU. I wonder how many black military folks wear FUBU shirts when they are not in uniform.
This: “The danger in threat inflation is not that people will be distracted by wild claims, but that they will become inured to them.” is correct, of course. A commenter elsewhere remarked that the family court system’s unfairness to men was at least as immoral and destructive as the Gulag. It’s like the “gossip” game, where a word or phrase gets passed from one person to another until it’s garbled beyond recognition. One wants to tell people – read some history and get some damn perspective. Only that would require effort on their part.
I’d like to defend D&D players by pointing out that most of us realize we are just pretending and playing a game.
I know, I used to play role play a lot in youth back when the earth was flat and we carved our 20-sided dice out of dinosaur bones. I did however, know a friend of a friend who went over board and came to believe was actually living in the world of a a role playing game (Steve Jackson’s “In Nomine”) that involved the conflict between Angels and Demons. He ended up medicated.
I like to compare leftists fantasies to role playing because I think on some level the do understand that their constant moral preening is just entertainment for them. But clearly, when your standing beside a ditch in the Ukraine shooting people in the back of the head, you’ve gone to far.
Having read one of Dee’s books for a class, I have to disagree that he think the right is all Nazis. He spent several pages about the OKC bombing explaining his loathing of Rush Limbaugh and other Republicans, but asserting that they were not terrorists.
He’s an alarmist but he doesn’t (at least he didn’t when he wrote that) think that everyone is a Nazi.
From his point of view, McVeigh was a former soldier. That’s not all that meaningful but it’s true.
The other problem with investigations is that it starts treading on First Amendment territory. That doesn’t protect members of the military much, but it does protect civilians. If going around the government uprooting communists is McCarthyism, it’s hard to see how this wouldn’t be.
Not that I have much use for Nazis. A bunch of my relatives had to go to Europe to get rid of them, and not all made it back. It boggles my mind that Americans would support that ideology after that.
Firstly, anyone on a neo-Nazi site that comments something like “I am a member of the military” is probably lying. Secondly, with the online leftists seeking to destroy the right in America (no exaggeration in my opinion) this is probably intentional deception. Nobody was better at disinformation than the Soviets or the left in general.
That said I have a thought experiment and would like some feedback on this premise. As an amateur military historian and having incredible respect for the military I think military people are drawn to stories of martial excellence. I am reminded by the news story a while back from the Citidel Military Academy about a couple of students who were found to have drawn swastikas in there notebooks. Of course the left went nuts claiming the military was creating Nazis.
I believe that just as soldiers “respect” Spartan or Roman soldiers they “respect” the German soldier. Can an educated person separate the Wehrmacht from the Nazis? A British military historian – sorry cannot remember his name – did a detailed study and said the German soldier of WWII was the best soldier “man for man” on the battlefield. Does that make this historian a Nazi? I also understand I am straying into dangerous rhetorical territory as most cannot see any difference between, say, Heinz Gurderian and Joseph Geobbels.
Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?
I have never been nor will I ever be a member of a white supremacist group, Although as a descendant of Swedish, Scottish, and German ancestors I could probably qualify. We have Black groups, Latino groups, Irish groups, American Indian groups, Italian groups, and too many more to mention here. Many of these groups restrict membership to members of their own race or ethnically, and whose main objective is to promote themselves. So what is wrong with whites promoting other whites? Until all groups are treated the same there will still be racism in the United States.
Probably off topic so may not be posted but my response? We humans in the developed countries have too much free time, and we spend it coming up with new things to argue about.
We humans in the developed countries have too much free time, and we spend it coming up with new things to argue about.
Since you did recognize it is off topic, I’ll let it stand.
I think that developed countries have more complex societies and more to talk about. For one thing, we spend a lot of time talking about how to manage our technology if nothing else.
Many of these groups restrict membership to members of their own race or ethnically, and whose main objective is to promote themselves. So what is wrong with whites promoting other whites?
Because it violates the American ideal. Our goal is to eliminate such divisions as much as possible. Just because we can’t eliminate it all doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eliminate every bit we can’t. Allowing racist groups for non-whites tells us that collectively we still regard non-whites as moral and intellectual inferiors. We expect white people to have the moral chops to associate with people based on merit or non-innate characteristics but we don’t believe non-whites are capable of reaching that standard.
We need to encourage all Americans to shed bad habits instead of allowing those who’ve beat those habits fall back.
The left cries about Nazis because in reality IT’S THE SAME SHIT!
To be fair, neo nazi groups are often supporters of gun rights, some are pro life, and many believe in originalist positions. Generally we think of people with those sorts of beliefs combined with economic knuckle dragging thuggery as moderate Democrats, rather than people on the far left. This is somewhat in line with the early fascist/ progrissive self identification as a third way between capitalism and communism.
Some neo-nazi groups are “pro-life”? My irony meter just pegged …
Hitler disapproved of abortion, if it was pure Aryan babies being aborted.
James of England,
The fascists were socialists+nationalists. International socialism was not popular amoungst hoi poloi because ordinary people identify more with their fellow countrymen than they do with people from other countries, regardless of social class. So Mussolini and others added nationalism to the socialist idea. It wasn’t so much a third way as a more polically palatable form of socialism/communism. The fascists were called at the time (around 1930s) “right wing socialists”. But they were still well to the left of centre. Once fascism became unpopular the left dropped “socialists” from the phrase and started referring to fascists as just ‘right wing’ [socialists]. Such was the success of that deception that even present day right wingers get referred to as ‘nazis’, without any hint of irony. (ref Jeffrey Goldberg, Liberal Fascism).
See how many points in the Nazi Platform are advocated by Leftists. I’ve omitted the real kooky stuff that the Nazis were advocating, so here are some points from the 25 point manifesto that have major commonality with Progressive thought:
7. We demand that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens.
9. All citizens shall have equal rights and duties.
11. The abolition of incomes unearned by work. The breaking of the slavery of interest.
12. We demand therefore the ruthless confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).
14. We demand profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.
15. We demand the extensive development of insurance for old age.
16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalizing of big department stores, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that the utmost consideration shall be shown to all small traders in the placing of State and municiple orders.
17. We demand a land reform suitable to our national requirements, the passing of a law for the expropriation of land for communal purposes without compensation; the abolition of ground rent, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.
19. We demand that Roman Law, which serves a materialistic world order, be replaced by a German common law.
20. The State must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education (with the aim of opening up to every able and hard-working German the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement). The
21. The State must ensure that the nation’s health standards are raised by protecting mothers and infants, by prohibiting child labor, by promoting physical strength through legislation providing for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and by the extensive support of clubs engaged in the physical training of youth.
22. We demand the abolition of the mercenary army and the foundation of a people’s army.
24. We demand freedom for all religious denominations in the State, provided they do not threaten its existence not offend the moral feelings of the German race.
25. To put the whole of this programme into effect, we demand the creation of a strong central state power for the Reich; the unconditional authority of the political central Parliament over the entire Reich and its organizations;
Morris Dees has been the media’s go to guy for the “spike” in hate groups since the election. He never actually offers any hard data, just a lot of puffery about how klan like activity is reaching epidemic levels.
I remember seeing something right after the inauguration on how Obama was driving tens of millions into the arms of the “militia” and “klan” movements.
> If the forty out of over two million plus didn’t exist, he would have to invent them.
How do you know he didn’t?
What’s to say he didn’t have someone rig up that site with its purported 40 members?
> We expect white people to have the moral chops to associate with people based on merit or non-innate characteristics but we don’t believe non-whites are capable of reaching that standard.
We used to:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Who was that guy again?
Noted at KC Johnson’s site about the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax, but equally applicable to Morris Dees and his outfit:
Racists are the new Communists.
Recall the early Fifties, and Sen. Joe McCarthy seeking out those who “lost” Eastern Europe and then China. Commie! was the charge against which no defense was possible.
Conveniently for powerful right-wingers, this accusation could only blight the lives of those on the left.
So today, the guardians of public morality seek out those who sully society with white privilege and oppression.
And happily for these establishment left-wing figures, their improved poison only bites people to their right.
I sometimes wish that each person who has scored a political win by smearing somebody as a racist could have firsthand experience of being falsely accused. Perhaps as a child pornographer.
It might do wonders in restoring civility to public life.
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