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White Supremacist Group Labeled ‘White Rights Group’ By Associated Press

by David Badash on August 14, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,News

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Welcome to the mainstreaming of racism and hate in America. The Associated Press, the nation’s largest news agency, last week published a story about a Pennsylvania borough that blocked the use of a park by the European American Action Coalition, which was founded by Steve Smith, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a “longtime racist activist with a history of violence and top-level ties to numerous white nationalist hate groups,” as The Raw Story reported:

Smith announced on the white nationalist forum Stormfront that the 3rd Annual European American Heritage Celebration would take place at a park in Moosic, Pennsylvania.

But the event was later cancelled after borough officials said Smith lied about where he lived. The borough only allows local residents to use its park for organized events.

Crooks and Liars called the language a “frightening demonstration of the mainstreaming of white nationalism” and the article was also criticized by Pam’s House Blend.

Daniel Denvir at the Philadellphia City Paper first broke the news:

The article, about a dispute over an event permit, was originally published in the Scranton Times-Tribune and picked up by the Associated Press.

The original sin certainly lies with the Times-Tribune, but why did the phrase “white people’s rights group” make it past editors at the Daily News?

“I suggest you call AP and the Scranton Times-Tribune,” saysDaily News city editor Gar Joseph.

The Times-Tribune did not respond to a request for comment, but the AP claims that it scrubbed its version of the “white people’s rights” language and was just 93-words. But they refused to provide City Paper with a copy of their story.

“What possible purpose would there be for me to send you this story when you’re trying to cause trouble for how it was written?” said an angry Karen Testa, East Region Editor at the AP. Before hanging up, she added: “That’s a good way to build a journalism career.”

What exactly did these editors think a “white people’s rights group” is? And just a week after a skinhead white supremacist massacred Sikhs at a Wisconsin temple?

Smith, recruited into the neo-Nazi movement while stationed at Fort Bragg, co-founded Keystone United (formerly Keystone State Skinheads) and is probably Pennsylvania’s most prominent white supremacist. In 2003, he and two other skinheads were arrested after attacking a black man in Scranton.

It is troubling that mainstream news outlets would describe Smith’s new outfit, the European American Action Coalition, as a “white people’s rights group,” precisely the sort of language that white supremacists want to use in their attempt to broaden their appeal beyond the fringe.

And Smith, who has called Tea Party events  “fertile grounds for our activists,” is certainly trying to make that appeal and leverage Tea Party fervor and anti-immigrant hysteria into political credibility.

The European American Action Coalition’s website states:

The European American Action Coalition(EAAC) is an organization that advocates on behalf of White Americans. The EAAC was founded in the fall of 2011 by a few well known White activists in the great and historic state of Pennsylvania. Throughout the years, Pennsylvania has been known across the country – even the world as being an active and successful region for the pro-White cause. With the formation of the EAAC we hope to continue to make an impact, not only in the state of PA, but also other neighboring states!


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