Neo-Nazi NSM Scum at the Arizona Capitol: Should Sane People Give Them the Time of Day?
Let's not mince labels, here: The neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement members who'll be rallying at the state Capitol this coming Saturday afternoon are lowlife degenerates. And I don't just mean that their anti-Semitism, outright racism and adoration of mass-murderer Adolf Hitler (you know, the guy that's always on the History Channel) is vile and reprehensible. No, I mean they're real bottom-feeders, even for neo-Nazis.
For example, National Socialist Movement "commander" Jeff Schoep was, according to a bio of him in the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report magazine, arrested in 1998 "for accompanying the mother of his daughter when she stole $4,000 worth of computer equipment." The same bio states that, "Four children were in the back seat of the car during the burglary." (You stay classy, Jeff.)
In 2005, the NSM, which is now based in Detroit, provoked a riot in Toledo, Ohio when they demonstrated there. The NSM, of course, was proud of precipitating the riot. But hardly the "storm troopers" of yore, the swastika-lickers didn't battle it out in the street with their enemies. Instead, they ran to the arms of the Toledo police, who protected them from an enraged mob.
The following year, the NSM was embroiled in charges of Satan-worshipping. Seems NSM's Tulsa post office box doubled as The Joy of Satan Ministry, of which former NSM chairman Clifford Herrington's wife was (is?) the High Priestess. Oh, and in 2004, NSM had a registered sex offender heading up its Indiana chapter, according to the SPLC.
Locally, friend of the NSM -- and of Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce -- J.T. Ready was court-martialed twice and booted from the U.S. Marines. He's had his run-ins with non-military cops as well. Ready's said to be speaking at the November 7 rally. Semper Fi, dude.
When ex-NSM member Thomas Coletto renounced the neo-Nazis publicly, he alleged that his former comrade NSM-PHX/AZ unit leader Scott Hume (alias, "Shawn Hughes") attempted to "push Satanism" on him and asked Coletto to "accept a Nazi demon," during some late-night chat sessions.
All of which raises the legitimate question: Why should anyone with half a brain bother to counter-protest such a putrid rogues' gallery? (All apologies to the Satanists out there. I'm sure most of you are lovely people.)
"I wouldn't expect that they'd get more than 30 people there," the SPLC's Mark Potok predicted recently of the upcoming supremacist shindig. "There aren't more than 250 NSM members nationally, and they've got about 80 chapters, which shows you how small some of their chapters are."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.