Silver Rights

News, thoughts and comments on civil rights and related issues.

Thursday, December 16, 2004  

Opinion: Part 1: What's wrong with Ron Wilson

Along with other concerned editorial boards, the Myrtle Beach Sun-Times' is unequivocally opposing the appointment of the man who made the Sons of Confederate Veterans a twin brother to the white supremacist League of the South to a position of trust. Their editorial gets to the heart of the matter: A person who considers at least half of South Carolina's public school children unteachable because they are not white has no business helping set education policy. Ron Wilson belongs on a State Board of Education about as much as David Duke does.

As most local legislative delegations know, appointments to that board should be reserved for people who support the "ecumenical" spirit on which public education is based. Even though board members may disagree on policy matters - such as when schools should open for the fall term or what materials the sex education curriculum should include - all members should believe that every S.C. child is capable of learning. All should believe that every child's ethnic and cultural background is deserving of respect. All should work for public schools that promote such values.

. . .It's not SCV membership that renders Wilson unacceptable for the State Board of Education. Its his condoning of racist and anti-Semitic views. That's why we're hoping [Inez] Tenenbaum's quest to prevent him from serving will be successful.

Tenenbaum is the leader of the board. She has asked that conscientious South Carolinians join her in opposing Wilson's inclusion.

The State is also telling it like it is.

The Anderson County legislative delegation’s appointment to the state school board of Ron Wilson, a man widely known for racist and anti-Semitic views, is a travesty on all counts.

. . .Ron Wilson is well known in South Carolina and across the nation for racist and anti-Semitic views. He just completed an unsuccessful run for state Senate in the Anderson area. Who he is and what he believes are not secrets.

The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center put Mr. Wilson on their watch lists. They cite his selling books that espouse the view that Jews are trying to take over the world. Those book sales were targeted at home schoolers, a troubling indication of what Mr. Wilson considers appropriate instruction. Mr. Wilson is also known for working to purge heritage buffs from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, indicating that he prefers that the organization become a political movement backing white separatist views.

These stances are not acceptable in a member of South Carolina’s statewide public school board. This panel helps draft and oversee policy for our state’s 1,100 public schools. It helps determine which textbooks are used by the diverse group of more than 600,000 children attending school each day. Some views are so repulsive that they should exclude the one who holds them from appointive office.

Do consider what the editorial says in the paragraph above. It is quite common for members of the far Right to reject public education. They believe that it is too democratic because it is available to all. They resent it because it does not incorporate religion. They take issue with it for not presenting the pseudo-historical views they hold dear. Ron Wilson and the groups he holds leadership positions in are firm believers in all of that. One of the Confederate heroes they often cite, Rev. R.L. Dabney, was quite clear on how black children should be 'educated' in“The Negro and the Common School.”

Instead, then of giving any negro over five years old a pretext of any sort for evading his righteous and beneficent lot of manual labor, we should have bent every energy of statesmanship and government to the task of somehow keeping the grown Negroes at their work, and making sure the young ones were taught to work.

Dabney, whose writings boil with contempt for the very existence of African-Americans, continued the theme in “Ecclesiastical Equality of Negroes.”

“I object to this whole scheme of state education for Negroes, because, if successful, it can only result in wrong. In every civilized country, there must be a laboring class… If our civilization is to continue, there must be, at the bottom of the social fabric, a class who must work and not read.”

You can read more of Dabney's vitriol at any neo-Confederate site. Wilson and his fellow travelers have not moved beyond such thinking. Indeed, they cling to it in hope of returning to the society they consider ideal -- the antebellum South. His supporters are probably hoping he can make way in de-funding public education in the S.C. It is a measure of the spitefulness of members of the neo-Confederate movement that they would like to put Wilson on a board that is meant to serve South Carolina's multiracial public school population. That spitefulness should be answered explicitly. He should not be seated on the State Board of Education.

Note: There will be a second part to this entry.

posted by J. | 10:00 PM

Tuesday, December 14, 2004  

News: Racist with Asperger 's faces trial for murder

The Hardy Lloyd case interests me. The young Pennsylvanian is one of the several members of Matt Hale's Church of the Creator who has been convicted in criminal cases. As you know, the 'church' is a gathering place for white supremcacists who declare their race is their religion. Other Creators involved in violent crimes include Benjamin Smith, who slew and wounded several people of color before committing suicide in 1999. And, of course, Hale himself, currently imprisoned for soliciting the murder of a federal judge. Lloyd (pictured) allegedly murdered a girlfriend, who he had met through his activities on the Internet. Those activities included constant posting to racist sites and maintenance of his own white supremacy site, Lloyd, 26, shot and killed Lori Hann, 41, after an argument in Pittsburgh this fall. He was bound over for trial in September.

The Post-Gazette has the details.

The mortally wounded body of Hann, a divorced 41-year-old, was found at about 11 p.m. Aug. 3 on the front porch of a residence in the 5400 block of Beacon Street in Squirrel Hill. She had been shot once in the head.

A swift police investigation led detectives to Lloyd. Hann's friends told police that the couple had met on the Internet, though the nature of their relationship is not clear.

Pittsburgh homicide Detective George Trosky, the only witness called to testify at yesterday's inquest, said that Lloyd admitted that he shot Hann.

A reporter at the Post-Gazette was familiar with Lloyd long before the shooting. He calls him Hardy the Autistic Neo-Nazi. Like many people with Asperger's Syndrome, Lloyd has an obsession. That obsession is racism. Dennis Roddy explains.

His parents had long ago run out of ideas about what to do with him. I had run out of patience and, to be honest, any interest in his ideas once I realized they stemmed more from a mental condition than from intellectual short-circuit. Hardy became a man who was eminently deletable.

Hardy Lloyd, 26, the self-professed neo-Nazi, a loud and attention-seeking racist, the Pittsburgh organizer for the anti-Semitic and latently violent World Church of the Creator.

He was also a young man with Asperger's Syndrome, a mental condition that approximates a mild autism. Ordinarily, this manifests itself by an inability to understand such things as social distance or a mild fixation on any of a number of things. One young boy who is very dear to me has this condition. He knows every Beatles song, every bit of trivia about the movie "Titanic," and can recite Spider-man comics by heart.

Hardy Lloyd fixated on race.

"From the time he was small he perseverated on race. No matter what we tried, we couldn't get him to stop," Jon Lloyd told me several years ago. The Lloyds are neither racist nor extreme in any view. She cared for the children. He cared for patients. Jon Lloyd is a doctor who worked for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

The younger Lloyd expressed his obsession with race by his Internet choices, distributing fliers supporting white supremacy and harassing people of color. He was a participant in neo-Nazi and racist events and, on more than one occassion, threatened nonwhites or anti-racists with violence. The culmination of Lloyd's achievements as a self-styled white supremacist leader was his selection as the coordinator for the World Church of the Creator for his region.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has kept tabs on Lloyd for a while. An intelligence report after Hann's murder described the man it knew.

"Our new religion," Lloyd added, "must be the worship of death and murder!"

One of Lloyd's favorite quotes, posted on his Yahoo! profile, was "KILL-KILL-KILL!!!!" He described himself as the "Doctor of all hate" and told the world, "I do not believe killing is wrong." His favorite movie was "Death Wish" and he suggested that it would be necessary to liquidate "90%" of whites, along with millions of "race traitors" and others, to bring about the Aryan utopia he had in mind — "Nazi Germany and Fascist Rome meet Davy Crockett and Lewis & Clark."

Despite trying to start his own version of 'Creativity' after Hale's imprisonment, Lloyd remained ferociously loyal to the Pontifex Maximus of the 'church.' A search of his apartment after the shooting produced fliers promoting racism and plans to attend white supremacist gatherings, in addition to guns. As a convicted felon, Lloyd was forbidden to possess firearms, but had obtained at least a half dozen. Two pistols were found at the scene of the crime.

There is some irony in Lloyd's apparent victim being a white person he was intimately involved with. A preferred victim would probably have been a person of color.

There has been some research linking racism and neurological/mental health disorders. However, the connection has not been explored nearly as much as it should be. Having encountered a person with Asperger's Syndrome who is racially obsessed in the blogosphere, I find the Hardy Lloyd story deja vu. He is like a fully developed version of the person I am familiar with.

posted by J. | 10:00 PM