[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
We've discussed so-called "sovereign citizens" -- those newly revivified remnants of the militia/Patriot movement of the 1990s who believe you can declare yourself free of the federal government by filing a bunch of pseudo-legal documents saying so -- quite a bit here, particularly the threat of extreme violence they represent, embodied most recently in the case of Jerry and Joe Kane, the traveling Patriot-scam salesmen who gunned down two police officers in Arkansas.
But it's kinda strange: Even though these cases would attract huge amounts of media attention had they been committed by, say, someone of the Muslim persuasion (you know there would be nonstop coverage on Fox), scarcely anyone has paid attention to these violent crimes, at least in the media.
And there's an important thread here: Not only were Jerry and Joe Kane "sovereign citizens," so were Scott Roeder, the assassin of George Tiller, and James Von Brunn, the Holocaust Museum shooter.
So I was keenly interested when WSB-TV in Atlanta reported on a "sovereign citizen" in Georgia who has been apparently playing with the same Patriot scam that Jerry and Joe Kane were selling: moving into foreclosed homes and claiming them as your own.
If you watch the video, and the others Kane left behind, you'll see that the scheme he was selling entailed creating "strawman" companies that would enable a "sovereign citizen" to then claim ownership, by virtue of their sovereignty (often defined in divine terms), of whatever properties they set their sights upon. As one account noted:We're seeing, as I mentioned, this scam showing up in places like Seattle and Montana and California, too.
Seminars of this type usually teach that each person has a real self and a “corporate self” that is a fabrication of the government, and that banks cannot legitimately lend money that belongs to their depositors.
“It’s mumbo jumbo; it’s magic words; it’s abracadabra,” Ms. MacNab said.
But what's remarkable about this "sovereign citizen" is that he's African-American. This is at first remarkable because "sovereign citizenship" is typically a product of racist-right organizations that preach racial separation -- 99 percent of the sovereign citizens in America are white.
But there are in fact some black-supremacist organizations such as the Black Nuwaubians who similarly truck in these kinds of conspiracy theories (which, like the white supremacists', ultimately blame Jews for all their ills). And all you have to do is listen to this fellow ramble on for a little while to realize that he's very much of this vein.
Now, if anything will get the attention of mainstream media -- and particularly the folks at Fox (Megyn Kelly, I'm looking at you) -- it's a black man indulging in this kind of rhetoric and behavior.
One can only imagine the horrified faces of the Fox anchors as they describe how this fellow has been moving into foreclosed homes and claiming they're all his! Why, hasn't he heard about white people's work ethic?
And you know the names of any of the white extremists who created and sold this Bizarro World belief system will never cross their lips.