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Another Minuteman Outfit Consorts With Nazis

Surprise, surprise. Yet another Minuteman spinoff group has been linking up with local neo-Nazis, this time in Arizona:

Take 74-year-old Elton Hall. (Please, take him.) An Arizona organizer for the American Nazi Party back in the day, he’s now so radioactive that even Rusty Childress’ hate-group United for a Sovereign America pretends the geriatric goosestepper no longer exists. Nevertheless, the neurosurgeons at Patriots Border Alliance, a group of minutemen who broke free from the leadership of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps honcho Chris Simcox last year, have a pic on their Web site showing the crackpot Hitler-lover in a wheelchair, surrounded by fawning fans.

The header and caption for the image read, "PATRIOTS’ BORDER ALLIANCE HONORING ELTON HALL: In appreciation for your deactivated service, devotion, commitment to securing American borders and promoting THE RULE OF LAW." Sniff. Gets you all teary-eyed, don’t it? All this affection for a dood who once bowed to ANP founder George Lincoln Rockwell, and who has no remorse for it, nor for his current icon-like status with kid skinheads.

The photo features an obviously injured Hall, presumably recovering from his hospital stay after being hit during a two-car collision at Bell Road and 25th Street, where he was protesting, along with other U.S.A. types, the nearby Macehualli Work Center. Encircling the old kook are all the usual suspects, folks you regularly see at nearly every anti-immigrant meet-up in the Valley. Among them, natch, is alleged public urinator Buffalo Rick Galeener, who commonly refers to nonwhites as "monkeys."

Of course, this is hardly the first time neo-Nazis and various white supremacists have been associated with the Minutemen. Who can forget the very colorful Nazi and Dixie flags that sprouted at that rally featuring Minuteman honcho Jim Gilchrist at Laguna Beach, Calif.? Or the time Laine Lawless, the leader of another Minuteman spinoff, e-mailed an Ohio neo-Nazi leader with suggestions for how to stir up the immigrant shit (among the choice ideas: "Discourage Spanish-speaking children from going to school. Be creative."). And there have been many, many other instances.

But the columnist reporting this, Stephen Lemons, asks: "What is it with nativist nutbars and neo-Nazis?"

Well, we’re glad you asked, Stephen.

I’ve discussed previously what it is:

There’s a perfectly simple reason that white supremacists and far-right extremists keep popping up in the immigration debate: the anti-immigrant right is just talking their game. They’re naturally drawn to the cause because it is their cause.

… The Minutemen, of course, make much ado about their efforts to "weed out the racists," though of course the reality is that their success is mixed at best.

What nobody seems to ask, though, is why they have to "weed out the racists" in the first place. If the core of their appeal isn’t racial in nature, then why do they draw so many people for whom it is?

Of course, you will never hear this on Lou Dobbs.

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David Neiwert

David Neiwert

David Neiwert is the managing editor of Firedoglake. He's a freelance journalist based in Seattle and the author/editor of the blog Orcinus. He also is the author of Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community (Palgrave/St. Martin's Press, June 2005), as well as Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America (Palgrave/St. Martin's, 2004), and In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest (1999, WSU Press). His reportage for on domestic terrorism won the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000.