Feathered Bastard

Tonopah's White Knights of America, Russell Pearce, and all the usual suspects.

BFF? J.T. Ready and Russell Pearce arm-in-arm, from the white nationalist White Knights of America Web site.

The degree to which vile extremist organizations and individuals are welcomed into the fold of Arizona's anti-immigration movement never ceases to amaze me. In other states, sharing a stage with a white supremacist would be a source of chagrin and serious regret. But here in AZ, among the nativists, it's shrugged off with a "So what?" at best. At worst, it's a source of pride and defiance.

Like you needed another example of this incestuous relationship after what I wrote about J.T. Ready's speech at the June 16 anti-immigrant rally, but I just ran across a report on the June 16 demo at the AZ Capitol on the Web site of Tonopah's White Knights of America, a white nationalist group, which shares a similarity in name with Mississippi's murderous White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, once one of the most violent Klan groups in America.

Judging from the pics of themselves they've posted, WKOA members don't seem to don white hoods and burn crosses. However, WKOA does define itself as racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic. Supremacist-terrorist David Lane's infamous 14 words are quoted several times on the group's home page, and the site's propaganda denounces "Zionists," gays, and miscegenation, while touting the virtues of white pride:

"The White Knights of America is a growing White Nationalist organization dedicated to White Racial survival through the resurrection of Pride in our Heritage and culture: Pride, Honor, Devotion, and Loyalty to our women Folk and communitites-at-large [sic]."

Further down on the same page, the language is even more direct:

"We especially oppose homosexuality and liberalism! Only through Racial Honor can we reclaim our People and pull ourselves up...out of the mud!!"

Then there's the anti-Mexican stuff:

"WE SEEK A RETURN TO THE AUTHENTIC AMERICAN NATION!! Today, America is no longer a Nation, but, rather, a multi-corporate, capitalist empire ran by international money-men. It is a Tower of Babylon waiting to crumble and desintegrate [sic]. We want a White American Nation after the tower crumbles and we will fight for National sovereignty and a new social order. We fight against the Mexicanization of America and the treacherous Republican/Democratic politicians and corporations."

WKOA's report and photos of the June 16 anti-immigrant fest further illustrate the unity between wannabe cross-burners and plain ol' Know Nothings of the Russell Pearce/Rusty Childress stripe. Rusty took the stage that day at one point, which I didn't realize until seeing his photo on the WKOA page. Republican State Rep. John Kavanagh also spoke, it seems, and that's another disappointment, right up there with PHX Mayoral hopeful Steve Lory being present. (I mentioned Lory being there in a previous post, but missed Kavanagh's address.) The presence of moderate conservative politicians in a demo that included white supremacists and neo-Nazis helps mainstream these extremists. I can only hope Kavanagh and Lory will not be a part of such events in the future.

The info. on the WKOA site tries to make the whole thing sound like some big interracial picnic: "As you will notice in the photos, not all present at the rally were White...all the races were represented; black, Mexican, Indian and oriental." Oriental? The proper term is "Asian," dumbass. There was only one black person present that I saw, my pal Fronzo West, aka "The Fonz," repping his organization FTP, "Fuck the Police." Fonz was there silently videotaping the event, as he does almost all events that occur downtown. In fact, when Buffalo Rick made his offhand comment on stage about lynching me, Fonz told me later that, "If they were going to get you, I figured I was next!"

Throughout the day, Fonz told me the crowd tried to intimidate him, and one person purposefully stepped on his hand as he was sitting down. The rednecks present wanted to provoke something with Fonz, just as they wanted to provoke something with me. Now these idiot ofays are trying to pass this off as multiculturalism? Hah! The event was about 98% white even counting the Fonz. Yeah, Anna Gaines was there, who's Hispanic. And there was a tiny handful of other Hispanics present, but we're talking about maybe 6 or so out of a crowd of a few hundred Anglos.

The WKOA photo gallery from that day features smiling images of Russell Pearce with J.T. Ready, and J.T. Ready with the editor of WKOA's newsletter Excalibur. Yeah, they had a regular lil' racist daisy-chain going on there. This demo really required a larger group of more vocal counterdemonstrators. Props to the few that were there, but there needs to be a stronger response. You know, like the sort of reception neo-Nazis get in places like New York or Chicago. Otherwise, there's no stigma to kickin' it with the KKK, which seems to be the case in AZ at the moment.

(PS: Some have suggested the fat guy in WKOA's "family" pics might be J.T. Ready. But, heh, I can attest to the fact that all of us fat boys look alike; i.e., we're all round. Plus, the individual is standing in the back and it's hard to see his face, so I can't form an opinion on that one.)

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