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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

KKK Flyers Found in Huntington Beach Ahead of This Weekend’s ‘White Lives Matter’ Rally

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Residents of Huntington Beach in California’s Orange County have raised concerns about an influx of Ku Klux Klan propaganda ahead of a “White Lives Matter” rally planned on April 11.

According to the Los Angeles Times, pamphlets featuring KKK propaganda were found along 18th Street in downtown Huntington Beach. The fliers, which were wrapped in plastic bags with rocks, featured drawings of a hooded figure and a burning cross beneath the words “White Lives Do Matter” and “Say no to cultural genocide.”

Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said Monday that she was alarmed by the proliferation of KKK paraphernalia in her city and that countless residents have expressed anger about the situation.

“The KKK fliers are a cowardly attempt to drum up support for a hateful cause that is in contradiction to Huntington Beach’s values of integrity, respect and inclusivity,” Carr said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for racism in our City, and while we absolutely support the First Amendment, we stand strongly against hiding behind it to promote hate.”

Despite the mayor’s condemnation of the KKK fliers and the upcoming rally, a spokesperson for the Huntington Beach Police Department confirmed that there was little that the police department could do to prevent the rally from taking place, referring to it as “free speech activity.” He noted, however, that the police will be monitoring the situation.

Huntington Beach City Council hosted a meeting Monday evening to further discuss the pamphlets, which eventually led to a vote in favor of denouncing the KKK and condemning hate crimes against minorities. However, during the open-session meeting, several residents taking part in the virtual meeting accused Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz of empowering white supremacists.

“You have your time to shine; talk to your people and tell them not to come to our city,” one caller told Ortiz. “You are empowering these people, and it’s fucking disgusting.”

Ortiz—the former UFC champion turned MAGA politician—has been a lightning rod for controversy since being elected to city council last November. He routinely used his platform to spread dangerous conspiracy theories related to the far-right QAnon movement as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which he routinely referred to as a “plandemic.” He publicly chastised a popular burger franchise after being denied service for not wearing a mask, and he was barred from attending a city council meeting at the Huntington Beach library for the same reason. His antics led to vote of no-confidence from his fellow council members, which was eventually shelved when Ortiz apologized for his behavior.

The former UFC champion is also a fierce Trump loyalist and used his platform to amplify the former president, associate with far-right groups, and propagate dangerous conspiracy theories such as QAnon, all while campaigning with the Trumpian slogan of “Making Huntington Beach Safe Again.” Ortiz even attempted to sell QAnon shirts on his clothing website during his campaign. (Author Note: Read Right Wing Watch’s longform reporting on Ortiz here.) Despite his controversial track record and limited political experience, Ortiz was elected to city council with 14.3 percent of the vote, finishing first among 15 candidates.

While Ortiz’s antics may have encouraged far-right activity in Huntington Beach; Orange County already had a long history of extremism. The KKK thrived in Anaheim, California in the 1920s while Orange County was known as a recruitment hub for neo-Nazi groups in the 1980s and 1990s. The county remains a haven for extremism, with far-right and white supremacist groups growing in popularity during Donald Trump’s presidency.

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

TN Ed. Dept. Refuses Far Right Group’s Claim Curriculum Teaching About Martin Luther King Jr. Is ‘Anti-American’

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The Tennessee Dept. of Education is refusing to investigate a far right group’s claims that a second grade curriculum which includes books about Black Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is “anti-American” and “anti-white” – but on a technicality.

The Williamson County, TN chapter of the group Moms for Liberty had filed an 11-page complaint with the state, claiming that the “classroom books and teacher manuals reveal both explicit and implicit Anti-American, Anti-White, and Anti-Mexican teaching,” as The Tennessean reports.

“The relentless nature of how these divisive stories are taught,” the group’s complaint continues, “the lack of historical context and difference in perspective, and the manipulative pedagogy all work together to amplify and sow feelings of resentment, shame of one’s skin color, and/or fear.”

The complaint is signed by the local group’s chairperson, Robin Steenman, who Reuters has called “an Air Force veteran and white mother of three.” It claimed the Williamson County Schools district is violating the law:

Steenman also appears to suggest slavery and Jim Crow were “positive achievements, like unity and the overall improvement of our country.”

Her comments to some may sound straight out of a Fox News or right wing media reports. They claim the curriculum amounts to a “heavily biased agenda,” one that “makes children hate their country, each other, and/or themselves.”

Rather than be concerned that these events actually happened, Steenman appears to be suggesting teaching they happened is anti-Americanism:

ThinkProgress and Popular Information founder Judd Legum:

The Tennessean reports “the department declined to investigate the allegations because the lessons occurred during the 2020-21 school year.”

The department is only authorized to investigate allegations that have occurred during the 2021‐ 2022 school year and subsequent school years, according to the letter sent to Steenman by Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn on Nov. 23.

Which means the complaint could be filed again.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Lauren Boebert Accuses Ilhan Omar of ‘Cancel Culture 101’ and Again Falsely Suggests She’s a Terrorist

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U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar says she decided to accept a call from Congresswoman Lauren Boebert on Monday, believing it would be an apology for calling her a terrorist but instead the Minnesota Democratic lawmaker says she was once again subjected to “Islamophobic rhetoric” and decided to “end” the call. The GOP Congresswoman from Colorado is calling that “cancel culture” and demanding Omar apologize for what she says is “anti-American, antisemitic, anti-police” rhetoric.

“Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies,” Omar said in a statement, “Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.”

Boebert took to Instagram where she posted a video (below) that appeared to joke about her conversation with Omar while once again calling her a terrorist. Last week she had compared Omar to a terrorist in what appears to have been a lie about seeing Omar in an elevator, remarks she made to supporters last week as if she were doing a standup routine.

Calling herself a “strong Christian woman,” Boebert questionably claimed, “I never want anything I say to offend someone’s religion.”

Boebert complained that Omar “said that she still wanted a public apology. Because what I had done wasn’t good enough. So I reiterated to her what I had just said, she kept asking for a public apology. So I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, antisemitic, anti-police rhetoric. She continued to press and I continued to press back, and then representative Omar hung up on me.”

Boebert called hanging up on her that “cancel culture 101 and a pillar of the Democrat Party.”

She also falsely claimed her attack on Omar is “about the horrible failed Democrat policies and anti-Americanism that I will call out each and every time I hear it.”

And Boebert also once again appeared to suggest Omar is a terrorist, or a terrorist sympathizer.

“Make no mistake, I will continue to fearlessly put America first, never sympathizing with terrorists. Unfortunately, Ilhan can’t say the same thing.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

DeSantis Courts Anti-Vaxx Voters by Changing Unemployment Rules to Give Them Benefits if They Get Fired: Report

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Florida’s DeSantis administration is expanding the Republican governor’s anti-vaxx policies by altering state unemployment insurance rules to allow those fired for refusing the coronavirus vaccine to be eligible for benefits.

“Extending unemployment benefits to the unvaccinated is just the latest in a series of proposals aligning the GOP with people who won’t get a COVID shot,” Axios reports, noting that Iowa, Kansas, and Tennessee have also changed their rules to favor anti-vaxxers.

“Republicans see a prime opportunity to rally their base ahead of the midterms. No matter how successful their individual efforts, the campaign is a powerful messaging weapon,” Axios adds.

Up until now being fired for cause – for refusing an employer’s requirements, including being vaccinated – has made terminated employees ineligible for unemployment benefits.

“The general proposition is that it is lawful for an employer to mandate the vaccine and so if an employee doesn’t get it, it’s a choice,” labor attorney Domenique Camacho Moran told CBS News in October.

“It’s like if your employer said, ‘Come in at 9 o’clock and you said, ‘Thanks for sharing, I’ll come in at 11.’ If you engage in deliberate misconduct like that, you won’t be entitled to unemployment benefits which are designed to be provided to those who are separated through no fault of their own,” he added.

But DeSantis and his administration have been downplaying COVID and the coronavirus vaccine, promoting expensive COVID treatments over vaccines – treatments that financially benefit one of his top political donors.

Related:

DeSantis Hires New Surgeon General: A Hydroxychloroquine-Pushing Physician Who Appeared in ‘Demon Sperm’ Doc’s Video

Revealed: Ron DeSantis Has Been Taking COVID Advice From a California Psychiatrist Pushing Ivermectin

DeSantis Says ‘Deal With’ It as Coronavirus ‘Waves’ Rage Through Florida

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