Friday, August 03, 2007

Hate's incidental victims

It's hardly a secret that American neo-Nazis are not exactly the most competent people on the planet. Combined with their viciousness and propensity for violence, that often means that innocent bystanders -- and not just the targets of their rage -- wind up getting hurt too.

An ugly example of this occurred recently in Toledo, where the National Socialist Movement wants to march again in hopes that they can recreate the rioting and violence that occurred the last time they brought the show to town. Toledo officials have been adamant in making sure it doesn't happen again, and the mayor has clamped down on the range of their activities.

So the NSM decided to target the mayor by posting his home information online and generally threatening him. Problem is, they posted the wrong address:
It's a case of mistaken identity. A neo-Nazi group that had been blasted by Mayor Carty Finkbeiner took the addresses and phone numbers of the mayor and his spokesman, Brian Schwartz, and posted them on a web site to get members stirred up. Thing is -- they posted the wrong Brian Schwartz.

The American National Socialist Workers Party announced last week it planned to visit north Toledo later in August. When Mayor Finkbeiner's office issued a press release announcing the mayor's intention to limit the actions of the group, the group announced its plans to sue to be able to walk the streets and distribute fliers. The web page contained information about the verbal barrage back and forth, and listed the personal information.

"I guess you don't have to be a member of Mensa to be a Nazi because these Nazis have got the wrong Brian Schwartz to target," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman. "They should leave everybody alone."

"I thought, 'Well this isn't good. This isn't good at all,'" said Brian Schwartz of Sylvania, telling his reaction when he got the call from the mayor's spokesman Brian Schwartz alerting him to the situation. The Nazi web page lists the mayor's information correctly, but gives the Sylvania Brian Schwartz's address and phone number.

In a normal world, you'd be able to sue these crackers for every last thing they've got for this. But one suspects -- given their competence level -- that a suit brought against these guys would probably only produce the last pot they had to piss in.

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