San Diego County is one of the top producers of racists

News summary/February 17, 2007

By Rick Ross

San Diego County is one of the top producers of racists according to a report run within the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The county has included such notable hate group leaders as Neuman Britton of Aryan Nations and Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, both of Escondido. San Diego County's most famous racist, Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance

Neuman Britton was once rumored to be considering moving the Aryan Nations headquarters to his family's Escondido home. The Aryan Nations was ordered to pay $6 million to victims of a beating by its security guards. That judgment eventually forced the group to leave its Idaho compound.

Tom Metzger spread his message of hate in Fallbrook to skinheads at white power rock concerts. Metzger was bankrupted by a $12.5 million civil judgment for the beating death of an Ethiopian man by his skinhead followers.

Alex Curtis of San Diego County was named "one of the nation's six most prominent young hate leaders" by the Southern Poverty Law Center and "a rising star among bigots" by the Anti-Defamation League, while still in his twenties.

As a teenager Curtis was linked to racially motivated vandalism and expelled from his high school. He also stole a list of student addresses and used them to send out hate mail. Later he was convicted of using a La Mesa police insignia on hate literature. The fliers he distributed said the police were turning the town into a "nonwhite sewer" and urged authorities to identify "criminal minorities" and "interracial couples."

Curtis has used the Internet and music to promote his hateful racist beliefs.

"Almost every magazine or group tries to deny their hate and soft-pedals their racism," Curtis wrote. "I attack my enemies, such as the U.S. government and Jews, without compromise."

San Diego statistics show that either more hate crimes are being committed and/or more are being reported.

California had a 12 percent increase in 1999 over the previous year, while San Diego police reported a 55 increase in hate crimes.

City Heights, Oak Park, Talmadge, the College Area, Normal Heights, Rolando and Kensington, appeared to be hotspots.

Latino laborers have been terrorized by white youths. A black Marine was subjected to white men shouting racial slurs. A lesbian was sodomized by a man who said he was converting her to heterosexuality.

San Diego police Detective Jerry Stratton, the department's hate-crime specialist said, "It's also one of the most diverse cities I know of. If you wanted to target an area, there are a lot of targets here."

Southern Poverty Law Center spokesman Mark Potok pointed out, "Immigration pressure from Mexico...raises the heat. There's clearly a lot of ethnic mixing and conflict in California, more so than other places."

"There is an inordinate amount (of hate leaders) from Orange County down," said Lawrence Baron, who chairs the Jewish studies department at San Diego State University. "Border towns, because of immigration, may attract more of this anti-immigrant sentiment."

The District Attorney's Office filed 23 hate-crime cases against 30 people in 1999.

"Last year we prosecuted more hate crimes than Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas combined," said Hector Jimenez, a hate-crime prosecutor. "But that only illustrates that we are doing a better job in the reporting, investigation and prosecution of hate crimes."

San Diego County was one of the first places in the nation to create a hate-crime prosecution unit, first to have a countywide protocol for responding to and investigating hate crimes and first to designate hate-crime specialists in each San Diego police or sheriff's station. Note: This news summary was based upon an article titled "Lemon Grove man called a 'rising star among bigots'" by Kelly Thornton published by the San Diego Union-Tribune October 25, 2000

Copyright © 2007 Rick Ross.

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