Feathered Bastard

PHX Kia-dealer Rusty Childress drummed out of his own bike club?

Rusty's new group.

Rusty's old group.

Rusty's thong.

Kia-peddler and brown-basher Rusty Childress is a co-founder, along with this guy Danny Smith, of an anti-illegal immigrant bike group called the American Freedom Riders. Their shtick is to harass day-laborers at this Episcopal Church up in Cave Creek. They also have a fundraiser coming up September 8 for imprisoned Border Patrol Agent (BPA) Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos, who along with his partner Jose Compean shot an unarmed illegal alien as he was running away from them and tried to cover it up. The Ramos-Compean case is a cause celebre in the anti-immigrant movement. Apparently, nativists believe Americans, and especially BPA's, have the right to shoot unarmed illegals. A West Texas jury disagreed, finding both men guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon and a bunch of other stuff. Ramos pulled 11 years. Compean, 12.

I mentioned Childress in relation to the American Freedom Riders fundraiser in a piece on mayoral candidate Steve Lory in this week's Bird column. Seems Lory's been invited to attend the event. And whaddya know? The first comment I got on the article, from some cat named "Jon," states in part,

"The American freedom riders have nothing to do Rusty Childress and actually removed him from the group a year ago when he was found to have some extreme radical ideas and actually had illegal aliens working on his car lot."

Now the stuff about illegal aliens may sound tantalizing, but I find it too incredible to swallow. Anything's possible, I guess. You know, Hitler had a Jewish cook for a while, according to some sources. (He eventually got rid of her on Himmler's advice.) And Childress does have a Spanish number people can call if they can't speak English and want to buy a Kia This despite having stuff on his United for a Sovereign America site griping about having to press one for English on phone prompts. But Childress employing illegals? Sounds like total bullcrap. Though I'm willing to be shocked.

Then there's the comment about Childress being removed from his own American Freedom Riders bike club. As recently as June of this year, Childress was apparently still identifying with the bigot bikers. An article in The Arizona Republic titled "Cave Creek Grapples with Day-Labor Issue" (June 13, 2007), quotes Childress speaking on behalf of the group:

But some, such as the motorcycle group American Freedom Riders, oppose the practice, and the group has accused town officials of supporting undocumented immigrants.

"What they shouldn't be doing is aiding and abetting illegal immigration; that's illegal," said Rusty Childress, a Phoenix resident and co-founder of American Freedom Riders.

Back in December, The Republic ran a letter signed by both Childress and Danny Smith as "co-founders of the American Freedom Riders."

So is commenter Jon full of dingleberry juice?

I dunno. Childress refuses to talk to me. Can't say that I blame him. Heh. But I have my feelers out, and have e-mailed Danny Smith, so we'll see if he responds. I do find it interesting that Childress has recently formed a brand new motorcycle group called Riders U.S.A. , with a black-patch skull logo that's very close to the American Freedom Riders logo. On the Riders U.S.A. site, it states the group was "Formed in May of 2007," which seems in direct contradiction to Childress' statements in June to The Republic. Also, if you start looking at photos of "Past Events," these stretch back to November of 2006, and in many cases people are wearing American Freedom Riders buttons and T-shirts.

And the dilly is? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyone who's paid attention to the rise of Chris Simcox, leader of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, knows that backstabbing is part of the game with the nativists. Maybe Smith and Childress have gone their separate ways. If so, wonder what was the cause? Irreconcilable differences? Money gripes? Rusty's wanderin' eye?

Anyone with any scuttlebut on this, feel free to post, or hit me up at 602-229-8426.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons