Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Extremists' Demise: Minutemen, Neo-Nazis Down In Flames

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

[Above: Sebastien Wielemans' superb documentary on Shawna Forde, A Cycle of Fences.]

As many of you know, I've spent the past couple of years immersing myself in the saga of Brisenia Flores, Shawna Forde, and the Minutemen, largely with the help of the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute. The end result will be my sixth book, The Last Minutemen, which is due out from NationBooks in April 2013.

I also put together an investigative piece on the demise of the Minutemen and Forde's role in that, which will be included in the book. AlterNet has it, and as you can see, it really is just a preview:
How the Brutal Murders of a Little Girl and Her Father Doomed the Xenophobic Minuteman Movement
I expect the most interesting revelations will involve the conversations that various Minutemen leaders -- who all ran as fast and far away from Shawna Forde as they could, after she was arrested -- had with Forde over the years:
Not only did both Simcox and Gilchrist have extensive dealings with Forde over the years, both repeatedly courted her work and her organization. Simcox didn’t chase Forde out of the MCDC: he begged Forde not to leave his fold. In the case of Gilchrist, one witness to the conversation says that, in 2008, he and Forde discussed her plan to finance the movement by ripping off drug dealers — and that he was enthusiastic about it. Forde not only was fully empowered by Minuteman movement leadership, she was enacting a violent scheme with what she believed was their tacit approval.

And while you're at it, go read Mark Potok's powerful piece on the demise of the National Alliance over at The Intelligence Report:
Ten years after founder's death, key neo-Nazi movement 'a joke'

Ten years ago, the Alliance had 1,400 carefully selected and clean-cut members, a paid national staff of 17, and great respect in radical-right circles in America and abroad. Its publications, including a newsletter and a journal, set the standard on the extreme right, and its leaders regularly met with their counterparts in Europe. In Florida, it bought radio time and billboard ads. Between dues and income from its white-power music label, it was bringing in almost $1 million a year.

Today, the National Alliance is widely viewed as a joke.
Go read it all.

And yes: The good news is that both of these extremist organizations have completely fallen apart.

The bad news is that, like zombies and vampires, they just keep coming back from the dead, usually in mutated forms like the Tea Party.

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