southern poverty law center | Not in Our Town

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Not In Our Town Executive Producer Patrice O'Neill joined Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok, Welcoming America's David Lubbell and Christian Picciolini, former hate group member, to discuss how to respond to the rise in domestic extremism on a HUFFPOST LIVE discussion earlier today.  Check out the conversation in this Huffington Post video:  According to a recent SPLC report, "The Year in Hate and Extremism," there are now nearly 1,400 'Patriot' groups, which generally believe that the government is conspiring to take away guns and destroy liberties.  The report points to several recent acts of hate perpetrated by the extremists, including the murder of six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin by a neo-Nazi. In January, an Alabama high school student was arrested for allegedly plotting to attack his black and gay classmates and bomb his school.  Related Resources:
Neo-Nazi attempts to rebuild compound in Idaho Photo by Matt McKnight. A man who studied under Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler is trying to rebuild a neo-Nazi compound in Idaho that was demolished more than a decade ago, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. But Shaun Patrick Winkler, 33, has likely already failed in that attempt for several reasons—the SPLC has found that Winkler has stopped making payments on the property and that it is going into foreclosure. Winkler has also “logged his property without permission” and “violated state land use rules.” He also ran for sheriff in the area and lost. “The story there for me is that he’s failed at this attempt. That’s the real story here today,” says Tony Stewart, a local human rights leader, in an interview with Northwest Public Radio.
By Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center Senior Fellow It happened again this week. A woman in Louisiana told police that she had been set afire in a horrifying hate crime Sunday — only to have police, after a full-tilt investigation,say yesterday that she had fabricated the story.Sharmeka Moffit, 20, set herself on fire in a park in Winnsboro, LA, Police Chief Lester Thomas told a news conference late yesterday. She earlier told police that she had been attacked by three men of unknown race who were wearing “T-shirt hoodies.” A racial slur and the letters “KKK” were found daubed on her car when police arrived within one minute of her call to 911. A major investigation involving the Winnsboro Police Department, the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office and the state police was launched.
Mix It Up Day at Lunch Day—an annual event hosted by Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program—was recently called a “nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools” by The American Family Association. The AFA is an anti-gay evangelical group that is asking parents to keep their children home on Oct. 30 to avoid Mix It Up Day activities, according to the New York Times. This week, Not In Our Town Executive Producer Patrice O’Neill spoke with Teaching Tolerance director Maureen Costello about the controversy and why activities like Mix It Up Day pave the way for accepting and safe schools. Patrice O’Neill: What’s the idea behind Mix it Up Day?
San Diego, CA: “Red, black, yellow, brown and white, we need one another right now,” said Reverend Ikenna Kokayi, president of the United African American Ministerial Action Council, kicking off an evening of speakers before the 200 people crowded into the Ronald Reagan Center in El Cajon. After a series of hate-motivated incidents in San Diego’s East County, a coalition of faith and community leaders came together last week for its annual Hate Crimes Summit.   “We have gathered this day to look at the devastating effect of hate that is prevalent in our society. You and I must remain forever vigilant and wherever [hate] raises its ugly head we must be here to say, ‘No, not here.’”   In recent months, San Diego has seen an increase in hate crimes and hate-motivated behaviors, mostly committed by young people. Incidents have ranged from racist graffiti painted on the vehicle of an African American family to the violent attack of a young Lesbian woman.  
    The district office of Rep. David Scott (D-GA) was vandalized with a four-foot swastika. Recent reports about conflict over the health care plan and attacks on President Obama are creating an alarming picture: