White supremacist activity is on the rise in Arizona, and civil rights activists say tension over the state's new immigration law is further stoking the flames of racism.

The national debate over immigration has served as a recruiting tool for racist groups in general, activists say, but Arizona's problems have made the problem more troubling here.

"They become more emboldened every day," said Bill Straus, Arizona regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. "It does seem like the distance between what most of us would consider the extreme fringes of political thought and the mainstream of political thought, it seems like that distance has shrunk."

As examples, Straus and others point to calls for placing land mines along the border with Mexico. Also, demonstrations by the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group that prominently displays swastikas. And, an increase in slurs directed to minority groups.

Hate crimes have remained fairly stable in Arizona, but there are concerns the passions could turn into violence.

Those who track racist activity say it's been increasing for as many as 10 years. They see three factors behind it. The economic downturn triggered anti-immigrant sentiment, which is typical of any recession. Barack Obama's presidential victory further agitated people concerned with the growing numbers and influence of non-whites. And, the fight over immigration issues had become especially nasty even before Arizona passed SB 1070, the law that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to be in the state.

Civil rights groups say the law will lead to racial profiling and make minorities feel like second-class citizens.

"By far, the majority of people who support 1070 cannot be classified as neo-Nazi or white supremacist," Straus said. "That does not change the fact it is a very, very, very popular law with those groups."

Civil rights groups are especially alarmed at the armed groups who look for illegal immigrants. Oscar Tillman, president of the Maricopa County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he fears violence will erupt in one of the patrols. If a drug cartel came across an armed squad, it could turn into a gun battle that would lead to wider strife, he said.

One of the groups is headed by J.T. Ready, an East Valley resident who has run unsuccessfully for political offices. He's appeared at rallies where swastikas are on display and has been photographed wearing a swastika armband. Ready's group has apprehended immigrants crossing through the desert, but no violence has been reported to date.

"It's a dangerous powder keg, what he is doing," Tillman said. "What type of training does he have? That's not the way you go about trying to solve the problem."

Ready did not return a call for comment.

Ready is tracked closely by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group that tracks hate groups. They've prominently displayed a profile of him on their site.

dddddd

The center believes the escalating tension and hate speech will turn uglier.

"Demonization and violence tend to go hand-in-hand," said Heidi Beirich, director of research. "I'm very concerned about that. I think immigrants are feeling particularly vulnerable in the state."

The racist groups are acting within the law, the civil rights groups say. Still, they're alarmed at how brazenly they're speaking and acting in public.

"We need to really look at what gives that element the belief that they can freely do pretty much anything they want in this state," Tillman said.

Many members of the armed groups are white supremacists, Beirich said. Even outside of those groups, the center has seen more racist activity.

"It certainly is the case that there is a lot of overt neo-Nazi activity in Arizona," Beirich said. "That's not necessarily the case in other states."

The center lists Arizona as having 16 hate groups. Skinheads are especially active here, she said, but their numbers are difficult to track because they don't always have formal groups.

While a federal judge on Wednesday placed a hold on SB 1070's key provisions, civil rights groups say the tensions surrounding immigration will keep triggering elevated levels of racism.

"If they don't get some kind of immigration reform across the board on a federal level, this tension is going to continue," Beirich said.

Bias offenses by location, 2009

Offense Racial Ethnic origin Religious Sexual Disability Gender
             
ASU 1 0 1 0 0 0
             
Chandler 0 0 2 0 0 0
             
Mesa 4 1 1 2 0 0
             
MCSO 4 4 1 0 0 0
             
Tempe 5 1 2 4 0 0
             
Statewide 89 44 51 41 1 0

 

Bias offenses in Arizona, by year

OFFENSE   2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
               
Homicide     0 0 0 0 0
               
Forcible rape   0 0 0 0 0
               
Robbery     2 0 4 4 2
               
Aggravated assault   24 16 2 25 23
               
Simple assault   40 29 19 35 50
               
Burglary     2 2 1 3 6
               
Larceny/theft   1 0 2 1 0
               
Motor vehicle theft   0 1 0 1 1
               
Arson     2 0 1 2 1
               
Intimidation   56 74 45 52 54
               
Destruction/damage/vandalism 80 59 71 71 89
               
TOTAL     207 181 168 194

226

Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety

(36) comments

Comment deleted.
Butthole726

Right? Like we want to just let the cartels in to our nation unobstructed? I don't think so. I hope there is plenty of strife before that ever happens. We see the result of letting them in unchecked for so many years.

Comment deleted.
Butthole726

Well said. It's time to start putting the American citizen first. There's nothing racist about that.

Butthole726

Good for them. At least some one is standing up to protect our borders. I wonder how many Kate Steinlys they have prevented? I think that these groups aren't totally wrong in their views. No I don't like the hate. But white people do need to look after their interests. Why not? Black people do it with the black caucus and the NAACP, Mexicans do it with the Raza or the Race, why shouldn't whites look after their interests and push their agenda? Why is that considered hate? I think people need to wake up and see what's really going on here. When we have a Senator who lies about being a native American because she can further her academic success by claiming she's not white when she really is... Then we have a big problem! Do we not?

jrzees1942

What gives this person or any private group the right to stop anyone? He is not a federal, state,county,or city law enforcement officer.
His group hasn't been sworn in by any legal law enforcement organization to act in such capacity. He should be charged with kidnapping
.
Don't get me wrong I am against ALL ILLEGALS no matter what part of the world they are from!

FYI, I read an article last year, where the US helped train (Ranger and Green Barrett training) about 1500 Mexican Army personnel to help in the fight against the DRUG CARTELS, about 90 % of them left the Mexican Army because the DRUG CARTELS offered to pay them more MONEY. Now this persons are using their training to train more people. Does Mr. Ready have this type of training?

The USA is not the only country that rewards illegals. Right now there are about 77 AWOL Afghans from the US Army living in CANADA. We brought them over to train them, gave them $1500.00 a month, housed, fed, ect...ect...

Slabside

If these dudes want to risk their lives to secure a border that the federal government refuses to do, so be it. I will side with these guys a lot quicker than I will side with blood thirsty drug smugglers that have killed Americans with out a second thought on our soil.

Dinosr

How many ways is there to spell invasion?

If any other country in the world was being
invaded and cried Help, we would send money,
troops and weapons. If we could afford it or not.
What happens if the ones paying for all this
free help needs Help? The best we can hope for
is to be forgiven for our insulting request.
Az. has finally had enough and is trying to help
its self. Just maybe She can shame the other
States into a little thought. When they help us
they are helping U.S.

Unlike most war mongers, we don't want to hurt
anyone. Just go thru the gates we provide, do it
right.
QUIT sneaking across our borders.
That is invading, an Act of War.
If we had a grovenment worth a breath of air,
they would stop " passing the Buck."
HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP SEND HELP.

Slabside

Uh rah loubator!

loubator

wow! i have been dealing with and listening to latino racists for years, and yet there is nothing about them. I don't necessarily agree with any racists, but it is ok with me that whitey has someone to stick up for him. why is it ok for mexicans to wave the mexican flag at rallys, but not ok for u.s. flag t-shirts to be worn at a school in texas? i'm locked and loaded and ready to go. rock on.

samkat

the posts are interesting to say the least. Fork needs a position on the Supreme Court since he is an authority. Now, if all of our so called civil rights advocates were as energetic in seeking ways to stem the illegal immigration invasion as they are to condemn everyone who expresses their concern about ti, we might have some common middle ground. Calling concerned citizens racists because they are tired of being put down is not going to resolve anything.

By the way, in the for what is is worth column, the ACLU and SPLC scare the dickens out of me. The SPLC seems to have a domestic spy unit doing the work of law enforcement. Where are our civil rights when these yahoos are spying on American citizens without benefit of a court approved warrant? Then they have the audacity to label anyone they please a racist or terrorist.

Now, if you really want to identify a racist organization, start with the NAACP, LULAC, MALDEF, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, etc. Name one Anglo organization. If we even dared start one, these very same groups would be screaming racist at the top of their lungs. Just a couple of months ago, President Obama gave a commencement speech at a PREDOMINANT Black College. I thought the desegregation laws outlawed segregrated educational institutions. I suppose it only applies in one direction though. I think the tide is turning and Anglos are beginning to speak up for their civil rights as well.

forkedlift1

Yes, exit526, not only is it apparent that Babeau has self-serving political ambitions, but much of the hate propaganda that's coming out of his mouth is downright scary. His denials about knowing the background or philosophy of those two radio talk shows he was on were also instructive.

exit526

You might let your issues with Pearce settle a little. Don't forget the new sheriff in town. Boom-Boom Babeu. He and his PIO underling Gaffney are shilling some of the most extreme on the right. Here they are asking for donations on an interesting group's site:http://theregulatorsvigilancecommittee.ning.com/profiles/blogs/please-contribute-to-the-pinal?xg_source=activity
What fuels creatures like JT Ready? Dramatic overstatements by the inviters of national fame: Boom-Boom and Timmy G.

allamer

After reading this article, I have to wonder if the writer is really concerned about "white supremacist activity". A basic question: Is Mexico being invaded by Americans, or is it the other way around? Organizations? Look in the phone book (or the web) for Hispanic/Latino organizations. Then look for organizations advocating for white Americans. In Congress there is a Hispanic Caucus which is actively seeking "legalization" for illegal aliens. Is that in the interest of our country, or in the interest of sleazy employers and sleazy politicians? Of course, a White Caucus would be politically incorrect. LaRaza, ACLU, et al would go even more nuts than they already have. Oh well. Taxpaying citizens, pay up and shut up.

retired03

I see by many posts in here that the article is pretty accurate. I read comments that cloak there hate and racism by blaming civil rights organizations as the ones "who started it" That sounds like school yard bravado. I don't particularly like, al sharpton, jesse jackson or oscar tillman, I think they are over the top most times. But, without civil rights organizations, people like this idiot ready and hate groups would run rampant.

Slabside

So true Masterrogue666

Masterrogue666

"White supremacist activity is on the rise in Arizona" -- EVT, what about "Brown" supremacist activity? Both camps have racists. Funny how EVT only reports it existing in one camp....

AZ Native

Not making a judgement right or wrong- but, honestly, is anyone surprised by this? It was inevitable..it will get worse before it gets better.

ArizonaRising

Back in the plantation days, the master would send out his 'free' servants in a desperate attempt to keep the slaves obedient and always looking to the master as an authority of legitimate law. Today, we see this same thing with posters here like forkedlift1 who bow and serve the psychopathic, federal master. As the Pinal County sheriff recently stated, the federal government is, now, an open enemy of the people of this nation. In fact, it is an open enemy of all the peoples of the world.

Funny how the white liberals who claim to champion the cause of the 'minority' at home overlook the glaring contradiction of their positions - as the federal beast they serve occupies and destroys 'minority' nations around the world. These people are, in fact, the most racist members in the system. They need to keep the 'minorities' poor and as slaves to the master in order to maintain themselves.

Going further, the fringe white racists as depicted in this article serve the master, too. Since the majority of the population in the US is considered 'white', and this population is now refusing to bow to the slave master, the master and his minions must try to tarnish the image of the revolting slaves.

What a better way to do this than to pull the race card and send in your assets to try to derail the revolt. JT Ready, the ADL, NAACP, SPLC, and all the rest of these parochial groups are federal assets, plain and simple. They serve no other purpose than to try to maintain the master in his position of authority - and to turn the slaves against one another.

Slabside

These clowns are not breaking any laws so far. If they were, they would be in jail toot sweet. If they want to patrol, let them.

AZMomma

Sorry Forked - you have me confused with someone who is against SB1070. I am very much in favor of the Bill, and feel the Feds have now thrown us ALL under the bus in their attempt to placate the Latino racist-vermin.
I am also against the Neo-nuts like Ready who like to hang a large compensating weapon on his hip and play little-boy War Games.
There doesn't seem to be many alternatives to Ready, which is a shame. Perhaps (as someone else posted) we can see Ready and his group in a shoot out with a Drug Cartel. Kill them all and let God sort them out.

TruthSeeker

And no one waves the racist banner more an Obama.

forkedlift1

Hang in there, AZMomma. Your post couldn't have been a better reinforcement for all that was said by the previous poster, Bingo6.

forkedlift1

Quite a treatise, ArizonaRising. You get a C for effort, but an overall F since its based on falsehoods, e.g., "....AZ's law which is merely upholding the law of the entire nation with respect to immigration." Hence, one after the other after the other of faulty conclusions, all building on each other. Maybe you've been gone for the last 5 days, but the federal court with detailed specificity pointed to just a few examples in SB 1070 how Arizona's own immigration law is in total conflict with federal law.

mustang_raider

Is it legal for these non-sworn-officer loonies to have clothing emblazoned with the word "POLICE" on them? Why in the world is our AZ Government and law enforcement allowing these folks to run around like this?

SethCold

These idiot, must be put in their place, there is no place for so called supremacist in Arizona, or anywhere else in the USA, they have been hidden alot, but now are coming out of the wood work like bugs, hidden at night, then you turn on the light and they scurry around. They need the light turned on in their little heads, to know we are not wanting their so called ideas.

AZMomma

Ready is a Neo-nut. Lots of them around, most just not quite so obvious.
I worry about him (and his minions) armed and patrolling the border and up here in Pinal County.
On the other hand, I am also worried about the failure of my own government to make our borders secure; their willingness to genuflect to the Latino bic*hos like Calderon and idiot comments spewing from the mouths of Obama, Holder and Napolitano. The Tillman, LaRata and related racist groups are equally disgusting.
There are NO alternatives since "comprehensive immigration reform" is a buzz-phrase for opening the doors to the dregs of Latino culture and allowing their racist leaders to throw temper tantrums in the media when they don't get their own way.
THAT worries me even more.

Bingo6

So, what's the surprise here, the Arizona GOP is the face of racism and bigotry not only in Arizona but the world.

Like it or no they chose that path and now it's theirs to deal with.

If anyone still doubts that all you have to do is read the vitriolic hatred that the East Valley Tribune allows from these morons. The Illegal immigrant issue that the GOP loves so well isn't and has never been about illegals, it is about spreading fear and hate, for all Hispanics, in order to ethnically cleanse Arizona of all Hispanic and minority groups in order to retine their white right to rule, and of course obtain and gain full one party control of our state by the radical extremists that they love so well. Once they've done that then they will begin to eradicate all who disagree with them. J.T. is their grassroots hero and will become their williing enforcer to their warped cause.

These evil people have turned Arizona into the ugliest state in America and the new face and standard of racial hate for the world to see, and there is nothing that anybody can do about it.

Welcome to th new state of Aribama.

hoopydreams

I say let the Neo-Nazis side with the bill. I think that they should also come out to the public and make commercials supporting this bill and back Jan Brewer in trying to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court. The more it's known these people support and fight for this bill the worse the bill looks, and the more the American public will see what AZ is really like. I believe in following the law of the land, but the government also needs to follow the law of the land, The Constitution. The bill as it was written completely disregarded American rights. Would you really want someone coming to your (white people) door in the middle of the night and raiding your house with no warrant? The way the bill was written before the judge overturned it, this could have happened. Would you (white people) who may be from another country legally now be "illegal" if you didn't carry your immigration papers everywhere in the state? Another country did this too, between world war 1 and world war 2. It was illegal for you not to show your papers, if you didn't off to the camp for you, never to be seen again. "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty." - Benjamin Franklin Thanks Jan Brewer for sacrificing my liberty.

michaelm

This guy is an idiot and probably going to get thrown in jail or killed. Where does he get the authority to go out and do this. These guys grew up getting picked on and wanted to be something they will never be. So they dress up and go out and are going to get shot or or arrested for kidnapping

ArizonaRising

Cut the BS. The NAACP, ADL, and SPLC only exist to throw around the 'racism' label when its convenient for them. They couldn't exist without racism - because they ARE racists. In this case, since they have no real arguments to make against AZ's law which is merely upholding the law of the entire nation with respect to immigration, they simply fall back on the race card in a desperate attempt to turn people against Arizona - which is to say - to turn people against upholding law and order within and between nations. This, of course, benefits themselves since they think they are above tha law altogether.

Interesting, also, that the NAACP is an organization built entirely for the express puropse of advancing a racial agenda. If there were no racism and people were seen by the law as individuals, this organization wouldn't be able to exist. This is, in fact, what the laws of America are - without prejudice.

So, if racism doesn't really exist outside of fringe elements, what do they do? Hype it up as being 'rampant'! And the media who love to sensationalize to garner ratings jump right on board in the feedinf frenzy. As always, the donations to these destructive organizations will come flooding in.

What about the ADL? SPLC? Both of these organizations are also run by people with a group agenda of their own. Notice their stance with respect to Israel, which actually IS a racial-religious state where only one group of people can legally immigrate and hold full citizenship. You wont' be seeing them calling that out. Nor do they call out the brutal immigration policies of Mexico and other nations south of the border. I wonder why...

It's time for the good people of Arizona and America to see through the racial divide and conquer games of these psychopathic, dysfunctional predators.

forkedlift1

Phoenix39, your post makes it seem that this all came about yesterday.

Russell Pearce has had an obsession with Hispanics for a number of years, tried to get similar unconstitutional legislation passed a few years ago, which was rightfully vetoed by Gov. Napolitano (a former U.S. Attorney for Arizona and Arizona Attorney General).

On top of that there's Arpaio who's been misusing his power and the badge for many years. He originally asserted that illegal immigration was not his job, wanted nothing to do with it, until he saw political gain for himself, and did a 180 degree turnaround the following year. So although he signed up for the 287(g) program, which is authorized by Congress, late last year because his "sweeps" of going into Hispanic communities (for the "low hanging fruit") were apparently in conflict with federal immigration priorities of enforcement, he just became more belligerent still doing what he's always done, with his tough talk for the cameras, etc. SB 1070 was tailor-made for his methods.

So Pearce's obsession and mouthing off with fabricated "statistics," Arpaio's chronic abuse of power, and now Brewer sounding like the Queen of white supremacist aggressors to endorse an unworkable poorly written law, turning the other cheek and trying to ignore the hate and fear mongering by self-serving politicians was no longer
an option.

While the REALLY bad stuff is going on in and from Mexico (which at least Goddard is working on to thwart) the most avid promoters of SB 1070 have to their dubious credit the ability to attract white supremacists like flies to a pile of manure.

Slabside

justiceforvictim, you put it in a nutshell. Well done.

DataMan

Why no mention that this Neo-Nazi clown Ready was also on Russel Pearce's election committee, and was a precinct head with the GOP in Mesa.

That is, after being dishonorably discharged from the Marines. Twice.


phoenix39

justiceforvictim is correct. The Hispanics and equal rights organizations began this uproar about racism - what in the world did they think, when they opened that can of worms, what was going to happen. All they had to do was shut up. Some of the cops would have checked papers and others wouldn't. It would have died down and the topic of "illegal" would not be on everyone's lips. The Hispanics are being just as racists when they talk about how some are against the "white people" or its the "white people's" fault.

ConcernedNaz

""said he fears violence will erupt in one of the patrols. If a drug cartel came across an armed squad, it could turn into a gun battle that would lead to wider strife, he said.""

And the down side is???????

USA, the only country that rewards you if you get past the border guards.

kenny769

Enough is enough! Legal U.S citizens unite help take the steps to save our country & jobs. Support our cause before illegal immigrant criminals have more rights than us. This is our last stand! Also we must take steps to lower local city and state councilmen salaries too they are all robbing & hurting the people they serve. So please read and sign this online petition. "Petition to Reduce the Wages of Congress Men and Women from $174,000 per year to $50,000 per year at “change.org’. " Copy & Paste below link into your web address bar:

http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/petition_to_reduce_the_wages_of_congress_men_and_women_from_174000_per_year_to_50000_per_year

Pass it on!

justiceforvictim

Is this really any surprise?

This immigration debate is being overly politicized across the country by many Hispanics (and others) as a bill of bigotry when it clearly is not!

Because of this race-card being played, you are naturally going to have the other side push back.

If Hispanics don't like it, then they need to stop this boycotting and frenzied nonsense and start accepting responsibility for many of their own who DO break our country's laws by entering illegally.

People need to STOP making this about Hispanics being mistreated or something, when they clearly are NOT!

This is about following a LAW.

Why is that so darn hard for some people to understand!

So, in other words it's more important to protect the rights of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS than of US CITIZENS???

Think about what you are saying. Don't believe the freaking hype!

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