Civil rights group reports rise in hate crimes

11/18/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday) | Listen to this entire show:

Good afternoon, welcome to WMNF's Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei.

Since Barack Obama’s election to the presidency two weeks ago, there has been a wave of hate crimes and incidents of racial intimidation, according to our next guest, Mark Potok, director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law center in Montgomery, Alabama.

Potok says the crimes are committed by a small subset of white America, that they don't foretell a race war, but they do cause his group concern. Mark Potok joins us right now to talk about it.

For more information, visit SPLCenter or IntelligenceReport.org.

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Not just KKK, but AM radio

You can't just blame this on the KKK. Turn the radio to the AM Band and what do you get? Jerome Corsi or someone on every program telling us that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, that he's a Muslim because he lived in Indonesia and will install Sharia law, etc, etc. And thank Hillary and Palin too, for their ranting about Rev Wright, Farrakhan, and Bill Ayers. Please, do like I did and go to http://change.gov/page/s/yourvision and beg Obama to pick Bill Richardson as his Sec of State and not that mean Muslim hater Hillary. And somebody besides Gates for Sec of Defense. Or else we'll never get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and we'll all be homeless. Thanks, Ron from Lutz.

Not just KKK, but AM radio

You can't just blame this on the KKK. Turn the radio to the AM Band and what do you get? Jerome Corsi or someone on every program telling us that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, that he's a Muslim because he lived in Indonesia and will install Sharia law, etc, etc. And thank Hillary and Palin too, for their ranting about Rev Wright, Farrakhan, and Bill Ayers. Please, do like I did and go to http://change.gov/page/s/yourvision and beg Obama to pick Bill Richardson as his Sec of State and not that mean Muslim hater Hillary. And somebody besides Gates for Sec of Defense. Or else we'll never get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and we'll all be homeless. Thanks, Ron from Lutz.

Malicious Rumors About SPLC

According to a 21 February 2006 report by Andrew Gumbel on truthdig.com, the SPLC had no part in funding Elohim City or activities therein, as alleged by caller, Chris, following yesterday's interview with Mark Potok. Rather, the SPLC may have had an undercover informant in the compound, although this has been denied by Potok, himself. The entire article-- "A Coverup Under Two Presidents: The Unsolved Mystery of the Oklahoma City Bombing" --may be found at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060221_oklahoma_city_bombing/ Here is an excerpt of the relevant portion: << … If McVeigh did have accomplices, then one place he might have found them was a white supremacist religious compound in rural Oklahoma called Elohim City . The feds were deeply suspicious of Elohim City , seeing it in the early spring of 1995 as potentially another Waco . Its residents included the notorious White Aryan Resistance leader Dennis Mahon, a shady German called Andreas Strassmeir and an occasional ARA member called Michael Brescia. Its visitors included other ARA members and McVeigh, going under the pseudonym Tim Tuttle. It later emerged that Mahon ’s girlfriend, Carol Howe, was an informant for the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. She was the one who heard plans being hatched—by Mahon and Strassmeir—to blow up a government building, accompanied Elohim City residents on one of three reconnaissance trips to Oklahoma City , and reported seeing McVeigh on the premises. We also know, from evidence that emerged during the pretrial discovery process, that McVeigh called Elohim City two weeks before the bombing and asked to speak to Strassmeir. [A] January 1996 FBI teletype made public by Jesse Trentadue adds two intriguing details to this. One is that McVeigh, when he made his phone call, “was believed to have been attempting to recruit a second conspirator to assist in the OKBOMB attack.” And the other is that there was a second informant at Elohim City , working on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alabama-based civil rights organization whose lead lawyer, Morris Dees, has been the scourge of racists and neo-Nazis from one end of the country to the other. The teletype says the Southern Poverty Law Center informant was at Elohim City two days before the bombing when someone—the name is redacted—put in a phone call to the compound. If true, this is an incendiary revelation, because it suggests that the center knew far more about the Oklahoma City bombing than it let on in its immediate aftermath. In an e-mail he wrote to Jesse Trentadue in January 2005, Mark Potok, who edits the center’s Intelligence Report, flatly denied that the SPLC had an informant, “or anyone else,” at Elohim City. Two years earlier, however, Morris Dees, when asked at a meeting at Southeastern Oklahoma State University whether his organization had had any inside source at Elohim City , made no such denial. Rather, he dodged the question, acknowledging that his organization worked closely with the FBI and other federal agencies but omitting any precise details. “We did notify the FBI and Janet Reno six months before the Oklahoma bombing that we had strong information that there was going to be a serious domestic terrorism strike,” Dees added. “Within minutes after it [the Murrah Building bombing] hit the news ... we called the criminal division of the FBI and said ‘quit looking at Muslim businessmen who visit Oklahoma, you got to be looking at people involved in this Patriot movement.’ ” >>

Malicious Rumors About SPLC

According to a 21 February 2006 report by Andrew Gumbel on truthdig.com, the SPLC had no part in funding Elohim City or activities therein, as alleged by caller, Chris, following yesterday's interview with Mark Potok. Rather, the SPLC may have had an undercover informant in the compound, although this has been denied by Potok, himself. The entire article-- "A Coverup Under Two Presidents: The Unsolved Mystery of the Oklahoma City Bombing" --may be found at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060221_oklahoma_city_bombing/ Here is an excerpt of the relevant portion: << … If McVeigh did have accomplices, then one place he might have found them was a white supremacist religious compound in rural Oklahoma called Elohim City . The feds were deeply suspicious of Elohim City , seeing it in the early spring of 1995 as potentially another Waco . Its residents included the notorious White Aryan Resistance leader Dennis Mahon, a shady German called Andreas Strassmeir and an occasional ARA member called Michael Brescia. Its visitors included other ARA members and McVeigh, going under the pseudonym Tim Tuttle. It later emerged that Mahon ’s girlfriend, Carol Howe, was an informant for the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. She was the one who heard plans being hatched—by Mahon and Strassmeir—to blow up a government building, accompanied Elohim City residents on one of three reconnaissance trips to Oklahoma City , and reported seeing McVeigh on the premises. We also know, from evidence that emerged during the pretrial discovery process, that McVeigh called Elohim City two weeks before the bombing and asked to speak to Strassmeir. [A] January 1996 FBI teletype made public by Jesse Trentadue adds two intriguing details to this. One is that McVeigh, when he made his phone call, “was believed to have been attempting to recruit a second conspirator to assist in the OKBOMB attack.” And the other is that there was a second informant at Elohim City , working on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alabama-based civil rights organization whose lead lawyer, Morris Dees, has been the scourge of racists and neo-Nazis from one end of the country to the other. The teletype says the Southern Poverty Law Center informant was at Elohim City two days before the bombing when someone—the name is redacted—put in a phone call to the compound. If true, this is an incendiary revelation, because it suggests that the center knew far more about the Oklahoma City bombing than it let on in its immediate aftermath. In an e-mail he wrote to Jesse Trentadue in January 2005, Mark Potok, who edits the center’s Intelligence Report, flatly denied that the SPLC had an informant, “or anyone else,” at Elohim City. Two years earlier, however, Morris Dees, when asked at a meeting at Southeastern Oklahoma State University whether his organization had had any inside source at Elohim City , made no such denial. Rather, he dodged the question, acknowledging that his organization worked closely with the FBI and other federal agencies but omitting any precise details. “We did notify the FBI and Janet Reno six months before the Oklahoma bombing that we had strong information that there was going to be a serious domestic terrorism strike,” Dees added. “Within minutes after it [the Murrah Building bombing] hit the news ... we called the criminal division of the FBI and said ‘quit looking at Muslim businessmen who visit Oklahoma, you got to be looking at people involved in this Patriot movement.’ ” >>

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