Sea Monkeys — those little frozen brine shrimp that came with an elaborate aquatic playground that was never actually as cool as the marketing made it look — were invented in 1957 by a man named Harold von Braunhut. A con man by any other name, von Braunhut was also a marketing genius, hyping up his cheap gimmicky toys like Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Specs with famously exciting ad placement, mostly in comic books. By the end of his life in 2003, he held 195 patents for an array of awesome-sounding-but-utterly-disappointing products.
And much of his money was spent supporting white supremacist causes, including the Aryan Nation — which is particularly notable, because von Braunhut was Jewish. To be fair, he also supported environmental causes (#ecofascism, baby).
von Braunhut also got himself involved in some shady activity around licensing and shipment, as self-hating white supremacist con man are wont to do. His widow, a former 60s bondage film queen named Yolanda Signorelli von Braunhut, is still embroiled in these legal battles as she tries to lay claim to whatever remains of her late husband's fortune. For what it's worth, she's also the one who claimed he died from a fall
Jack Hitt wrote a lengthy exploration into the battle over the Sea-Monkey fortune for New York Times Magazine, and believe me when I say that the details I have included here are not just random bits of knowledge — they are intricately tied up in the entire case. Read the rest
Weeks after feds said 'Boogaloo' group members used Facebook to plan the murder of a federal agent, Facebook says they have removed 220 Facebook Groups and 95 Instagram accounts associated with the extremist movement. Read the rest
Self-proclaimed white nationalist and alleged domestic abuser Richard Spencer has been bogged down in a civil lawsuit for his part in helping to organize the "Unite The Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virgina, which resulted in much calamity, including the tragic death of activist Heather Heyers at the hands of another proud self-proclaimed white nationalist. Spencer is — perhaps, sadly, fittingly — the heir to a cotton farm fortune, and that privilege has helped him to finance his campaign of hate. But increasing legal (and marital) pressures have finally started to milk his racist wallet dry. From Huffington Post:
Richard Spencer’s attorney has asked for the court’s permission to withdraw from representing him in the civil case. The lawyer, John DiNucci, said Spencer owes him a significant amount of money in legal fees and hasn’t been cooperating adequately.
Spencer told U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Hoppe that the lawsuit over the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 has been “extremely expensive” and a “huge burden” for him.
“This case has been financially crippling for a long time,” said Spencer, who popularized the term “alt-right” to describe a loosely connected fringe movement of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists.
Huffington Post goes on to note that Spencer has also (allegedly) failed to turn over numerous documents for the trial, including thousands of photos and video files.
The trustfund Neo-Nazi baby runs a "nonprofit" called the National Policy Institute, which had previously raised nearly $500,000 in tax-deductible contributions between 2007 and 2012. Read the rest
The Southern Poverty Law Center's HATEWATCH shares a number of leaked emails written by Trump Administration lackey Stephen Miller. Unsurprisingly, Miller expresses many racist ideas. Read the rest
On Friday, November 1, 2019, the FBI arrested a self-proclaimed white supremacist named Richard Holzer, who was allegedly planning to bomb Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, Colorado—the second-oldest synagogue in the state.
This is, largely, a good thing. After sleeping on the white supremacist infiltration of police departments all across the country, it's nice to see the FBI is actually taking action against this hugely dangerous epidemic. And there's absolutely no question that Richard Holzer was a white supremacist with violent intentions. As the Justice Department explained in a press release:
Holzer, who self-identifies as a skinhead and a white supremacist, told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to do something that would tell Jewish people in the community that they are not welcome in Pueblo, and they should leave or they will die. The affidavit states that during a meeting with the undercover agents, Holzer repeatedly expressed his hatred of Jewish people and his support for RAHOWA, shorthand for a racial holy war.
Holzer also told the undercover FBI agents that he had already hired a "witch doctor" to "hex and poison" the water at the Temple, paying a Mexican cook to add arsenic into the pipes. It's unclear if this actually happened, or if it actually accomplished anything—but clearly, this guy was trouble. Read the rest
White nationalist activist Martin Sellner and British YouTuber the Iconoclast are free to rake in those YouTube views—and the money that goes with it.
In Ohio, a racist 20-year-old man was arrested over the weekend for threatening to attack a Jewish community center, in a post on Instagram. Read the rest
When President Trump said on Sunday that "'Progressive' Democratic Congresswomen" should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” was he violating federal workplace discrimination law?
We aren't lawyers and we don't know, but here's something relevant from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website, “Immigrants' Employment Rights Under Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws” —
Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities. Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person's foreign accent or comments like, "Go back to where you came from, " whether made by supervisors or by co-workers.
Read the rest
Never forget: Trump said the Charlottesville racists were 'very fine people.'
Profiles in courage here, folks. Read the rest
None of this is a surprise. And none of it is normal or okay. Read the rest
Analysis of more than 1 million comments from the site finds dramatic shift toward racist hate content
In Italy, authorities are reportedly evicting alt-right self-promoter Steve Bannon from the medieval monastery he'd planned to transform into a white supremacist radicalization academy, “after reports of fraud in the competitive tender process.”
Being evicted from his fancy Italian gladiator castle is a big setback for Bannon, who's trying to grow an alt-right empire in Europe. Read the rest
Researchers report that a number of white supremacist/white nationalist/violent racist crackpot groups like the 'Proud Boys' and 'Soldiers of Odin' (gag) are doing just fine and being very active on Facebook -- all they had to do is ever so slightly modify their names. Read the rest
The apparent leader of a gang of white supremacists who terrorized immigrants along the US-Mexico border, holding hundreds of them at gunpoint, has been attacked in jail and reportedly received non-life-threatening injuries, say authorities. Read the rest