White extremists have reared their ugly heads yet again.
This past week, residents in Midtown Sacramento woke up to a chilling, not-so-pleasant surprise: Flyers filled with hate speech adorning their cars.
The flyers called for the slaughter of all Muslims and Latinos in the U.S., Europe, and Russia, ordering lone wolf extremists to “kidnap, rob, torture for information and execute all Muslims and Latinos. Leave no survivors.”
The leaflets admonished “white resistance groups and lone wolves” to enact the “hundred little death camp policy,” and urged “If you have not secured a body dump-site, do so now!”
The letters were warnings against “white genocide”–a white nationalist slogan–and were signed by Greg Withrow. Withrow is a white supremacist, who, in 1979, co-founded the forerunner to the skinhead Aryan Youth Movement that eventually outed the Ku Klux Klan in prominence.
In a speech from 1986, Withrow called for the “total extermination of all subhuman, non-Aryan peoples from the face of the North American continent: men, women and children, without exception or appeal.” A year later, he claimed he renounced his hate group ties.
He appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show, and other high profile talk shows, and Woody Harrelson even considered making an biopic about his life, but it turned out that his conversion–and even his six year marriage to a Mexican-American woman–was a facade so that he could infiltrate and spy on government agents and civil rights groups.
Withrow even staged his own crucifixion not once, but twice; most recently in 2005, while protesting immigration and the war in Iraq.
Just north of Sacramento, authorities in Butte County linked him to hate literature that was distributed in the city of Paradise, but investigators in Sacramento haven’t confirmed whether he’s actually involved in the latest round of white supremacist literature.
Sacramento police are investigating, but they aren’t sure if the flyers have broken any laws.
“The first amendment does protect the right to free speech, even if that speech is deplorable or despicable,” Officer Matthew McPhai said. “Part of the investigation will be trying to determine if there is some crime associated with the distribution, some sort of other act that has taken place.”
Free speech isn’t a license to abuse people, or incite violence. Someone’s rights to free speech shouldn’t impinge on the basic human right to safety.
Bassim Elkarra, the executive director for the Council on American Muslim Relations, released a statement, saying, “Unfortunately, with the increased political rhetoric, the attacking of immigrants, Mexicans and Muslims, we’re seeing an uptick in incidents around the country.”
The incident remains under investigation.
This is scary stuff, considering studies show that you’re more likely to be killed by a right-wing white extremist than a jihadist–seven times more likely, in fact. Since 9/11, more Americans have been killed in the U.S. by white extremists than jihadists.
Meanwhile, we’re still wondering where Mr. Withrow and his neo-Nazi flunkies were radicalized at.