Jesse Curnow, organizer of the local chapter of the neo-Nazi Nationalist Coalition.
Ever want to shake hands with your friendly, neighborhood neo-Nazi? Well, here's your chance. This Saturday afternoon, November 15 at the main branch of the Mesa library, the local chapter of the neo-Nazi Nationalist Coalition will be meeting in a room they've reserved for their monthly get-together. Jesse Curnow, the Nationalist Coalition's Arizona coordinator recently sent out the following notice of the white power powwow, and the meetup afterwards for eats at Amazing Jake's Food and Fun pizza parlor:
Just wanted to give everybody a heads up that our next monthly meeting has been scheduled for 3 pm on the afternoon of Saturday, November 15th, at Mesa's Main Library, located at 64 E. First St. (just south of Main Street, between Country Club and Mesa Dr.).
After the meeting, beginning at 6 pm, will be our second Stormfront Family Night, located just up the street at Amazing Jake's, the address for which is 1830 E Baseline Rd. in Mesa Northwest corner of Baseline and Gilbert).
I hope to see everybody there!
Curnow followed up with an e-mail reminder Friday afternoon, informing his fellow racists that:
This past Wednesday a few of our local members had a very successful conference call to go over local multimedia/video projects, and we will be arriving before the meeting at 1 pm to work on the video from our Fall Concert last month, as well as to follow up on our call. If you would like to get involved with the above-mentioned projects, feel free to stop in early.
Looking forward to seeing everybody tomorrow!
I called the City of Mesa to see if Curnow's group, which longs for a separatist homeland "free of non-Whites," had indeed reserved a room for Saturday. According to Mesa city flack Bob Huhn, the library's boardroom is booked from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow under Curnow's name. Huhn stated that as a municipality, Mesa cannot prevent neo-Nazis from reserving a room as long as they follow all of the city's procedures for doing so. At this point, Curnow seems to have complied with all requisite criteria, according to Huhn, so Mesa's library ladies cannot block Curnow or his fellow supremacists, who are reckoned to number around 20 or so by various sources.
Interestingly, Huhn says the meeting has to be open to the public. So anyone who'd like to chat up a neo-Nazi or get one to be your pal on Facebook can walk right into the meetup. Curnow et al. are not allowed to lock the door.
Over at Amazing Jake's, manager Dan Sterzinar was not aware of what the Nationalist Coalition is, or that they would be holding their "Stormfront Family Night" at the restaurant he runs. (Stormfront is a reference to the white supremacist message board Stormfront.org, to which many neo-Nazis, Klansmen, etc. across the country post.) Sterzinar would neither confirm or deny if Curnow had made a reservation at his restaurant, and did not seem overly concerned about the possible presence of Curnow's crew.
"You may have activities that you do in your own personal time that I may not agree with," Sterzinar told me. "But as long as they're private and you do them on your own, that's none of my business."
Of course, Curnow's Nationalist Coalition contingent is generally not considered to be comprised of skinheads, though sometimes skinheads attend these meetings. Instead, the folks in Curnow's posse are sometimes referred to as "suit and tie Nazis" or "uptown Nazis." It's not like they'll be sporting steel-toed boots or Nazi regalia. But they are no less insidious in their way. The Nationalist Coalition is an offshoot of the National Alliance, founded by the late William Pierce, author of the dystopian, neo-Nazi novel The Turner Diaries, which envisions a pure Aryan society brought on by a race war wherein blacks, Jews and others are slaughtered.
Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was inspired by The Turner Diaries to commit the most heinous terrorist act on American soil prior to 9/11. And Pierce's blueprint for mass murder also inspired a spree of killings, bank robberies and other illegal activities in the 1980s by The Order, a domestic terrorist group that took its name from a similar group in Pierce's book.
Pierce is lionized on the Nationalist Coalition's Web site, and the site peddles copies of Pierce's The Turner Diaries as well as other writings by him. A tribute to Pierce on the site states,
"It was the dream of Dr. Pierce, and of many White idealistic philosophers and thinkers before him, that our people would awaken from our slumber and ascend to our rightful throne as masters of this and all other worlds – and we in the Nationalist Coalition dedicate our lives to the fulfillment of their ancient dream."
Hey, it's a free country, kinda-sorta. And our liberal democracy allows even the extremists who would put an end to that liberal democracy freedom of assembly, access and speech. Still, it doesn't mean we should be oblivious to their activities, especially when they're using public libraries to hold their meetings.
UPDATE: Saturday morning, shortly after the opening of the main branch of the Mesa library, a representative of the Nationalist Coalition called the branch to cancel the room hold made in Jesse Curnow's name. (Gee, think they read the blog?)
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By all accounts, Curnow's crew also failed to congregate at Amazing Jake's Saturday evening, as they had planned far in advance. They have met there before, however, which is highly unusual for a racist organization, considering that Mesa's Amazing Jake's has the most diverse clientèle of any spot in that city. Most nights, it plays host to families of Mexican, Indian, and African-American descent. Whites are a distinct minority.
CORRECTION: Well, I stand corrected on the Amazing Jake's tip. Look below for a message from Mr. Curnow.
Next time, say hello, Jesse. I'm sure we could have had an interesting discussion. I think I spotted you, then. Are you older than photo above lets on? Also, why did you cancel your meeting at the library?
Feel free to e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call me at 602-229-8426. If you're willing to be interviewed, the pizza at Amazing Jake's is on me.