Trying to Track Hate, in Minnesota and Around the Country
The same organization that was keeping track of the shooter at the Wisconsin Sikh temple has identified a dozen active “hate groups” in Minnesota.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed organizations ranging from a group founded by a member of the former American Nazi Party to a parents’ organization that opposed repealing a controversial Anoka-Hennepin School District policy on issues of sexual orientation.
Leaders of those groups and others listed by the center dispute the “hate” label. Some call the Law Center hateful and slanderous.
“The only reason why some people would consider us a hate group is because they’re too ignorant to open their eyes and see what we are really all about,” said a man who identified himself over the phone as Mike Schmidt, public relations director for the National Socialist Movement, which the Law Center lists as “neo-Nazi.” “There’s nothing on our website that promotes hate. … Our organization is about self-preservation of our own people and the promotion and advancement of it.”
He said the group does not promote or instigate violence but defends itself when attacked.
However, the group’s swastika-heavy website, nsm88.org, extols Hitler’s goals and actions, denies the Holocaust, and claims to be championing “the White race” via extensive diatribes against Jews and other ethnic groups. For example, its “frequently asked questions” site claims that during World War II, the SS was battling “the two headed Jewish monster of Communism/Capitalism.”