UPDATED: Paging Spike Lee! (News from the Dept. of "You Can't Make This Sh*t Up!")

I just couldn't resist bringing this story from Sunday's WaPo to the attention of readers, here at C99P. Essentially, it's a story about how, "One of the largest and oldest neo-Nazi groups in the United States appears to have an unlikely new leader: James Stern, a black activist who has vowed to dismantle it."

How a black man says he ‘outsmarted’ a neo-Nazi group and became their new leader

By Katie Mettler
Washington Post
March 2 at 11:57 PM

Without notifying his followers or even his inner circle, the longtime president of a legacy neo-Nazi group handed his organization to a black civil rights activist from California.

James Hart Stern, 54, is the new president of the National Socialist Movement, a group whose members wear uniforms reminiscent of those worn in Nazi Germany, celebrate Adolf Hitler and organize public rallies across the country.

Stern’s first move as president was to ask a Virginia judge to find the organization culpable of conspiring to commit violence at the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. The group has been accused of wrongdoing in a lawsuit but had previously denied any responsibility.

Next, he plans to transform the hate group’s website, visited by millions of white supremacists each year, into a space for Holocaust history lessons.

“I did the hard and dangerous part,” Stern told The Washington Post. “As a black man, I took over a neo-Nazi group and outsmarted them.”

For weeks, the sudden change in power had confounded those who study hate groups and perplexed those within the organization, who had heard nothing from Jeff Schoep, the man who led the Detroit-based organization for 24 years.

Paperwork to set the change into motion was first filed in January, but neither man publicly addressed the organizational changes until Friday.

Stern spoke first, and in a lengthy interview with The Washington Post said his unconventional rise to power was an “epic” tale that included infiltration, persuasion and a hint of manipulation...

Long story short, Stern was serving prison time in Mississippi for wire fraud. His cellmate was "....onetime Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Edgar Ray Killen, who had been convicted in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. Though Stern said Killen regularly called him a racial slur, he nevertheless granted his cellmate power of attorney over his life story and estate."

There's a LOT more to this incredible (but, apparently, true) story. I've already overstretched the fair use of the news report, as it is. You really have to read the whole thing to appreciate it!

Again, here's THE LINK to the WaPo story.

I would be very surprised if this story was not turned into a major motion picture over the next few years.

Go read the full article!

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Video of the Stern interview, thanks to Lookout for bringing it to our attention in the comments!

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UPDATE: From The Associated Press via Ha'aretz, March 3rd, 2019, 1:56PM...

New Leader of Major U.S. neo-Nazi Group: Black Activist Who Vowed to Dismantle It

Leading white nationalist figure and former National Socialist Movement official says installation of James Stern as director probably spells the end of the group

One of the nation's largest neo-Nazi groups appears to have an unlikely new leader: a black activist who has vowed to dismantle it.

Court documents filed Thursday suggest James Hart Stern wants to use his new position as director and president of the National Socialist Movement to undermine the Detroit-based group's defense against a lawsuit.

The NSM is one of several extremist groups sued over bloodshed at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Stern's filing asks a federal court in Virginia to issue a judgment against the group before one of the lawsuits goes to trial.

Stern replaced Jeff Schoep as the group's leader in January, according to Michigan corporate records. But those records and court documents say nothing about how or why Stern got the position. His feat invited comparisons to the recent Spike Lee movie "BlacKkKlansman" in which a black police officer infiltrates a branch of the Ku Klux Klan.

Neither Stern, who lives in Moreno Valley, California, nor Schoep responded Thursday to emails and calls seeking comment.

Matthew Heimbach, a leading white nationalist figure who briefly served as the NSM's community outreach director last year, said Schoep and other group leaders have been at odds with rank-and-file members over its direction. Heimbach said some members "essentially want it to remain a politically impotent white supremacist gang" and resisted ideological changes advocated by Schoep.

Heimbach said Schoep's apparent departure and Stern's installation as its leader probably spell the end of the group in its current form...

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Lookout's picture

even if it was the WaPo.

Speaking for himself...(1 min clip)
http://www.waff.com/video/2019/03/02/neo-nazi-groups-new-leader-is-black...

...or the full 4 min interview...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg2wKL5NbV8

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Thanks, Lookout!

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

somehow this neo-Nazi gave him his organization? Don't get me wrong, its demise is good, but it sounds more like he got scammed and not so much outsmarted though that definitely happened too. Definitely a movie.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

mimi's picture

@dkmich @dkmich
the story is no fun and hollywood producers can kiss my behind.

The Southern Poverty Law Center had the man on their list. A guy who reads 'Mein Kampf' at age ten? Why in the world should I think that is fun? He is black? Oh, never seen a black racist before?

I read the whole story and regret having done so.

What's happening to this site? Why for heavens sake it is fun to make fun of really not funny people? Can't Americans take anything seriously?

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

@mimi @mimi It was required reading for my interdisciplinary major, "20th Century American Studies."

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

mimi's picture

@bobswern
I am sorry to have been so cranky. But I am glad nobody forced me to read 'Mein Kampf'.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

@mimi

THIS LINK.

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

mimi's picture

@bobswern
what I was reading.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

@mimi

LoL!

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

mimi's picture

@mimi @bobswern
and my conclusion is that Stern is not doing what he claims, and is lying through his teeth to save his own skin.

Why would he have to try to dismantle or overturn this racist group lead by Jeff Schoep? The Southern Poverty Law Center for sure knew everything about Schoep and his group as well as and other white supremacist groups and their internal competitions etc.

What's the movie project all about? MOney and emotional manipulation to exite peoples racial feelings? I wonder about Spike Lee. Haven't seen his movies in a long time. May be I should though I have not the slightest appetite to do so. But well, I will do so for you, Bobswern. One day, when I haven't something better to do.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

@mimi And the writer does not sound like bobswern at all.

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dfarrah

mimi's picture

@bobswern
the whole story. I had not the nerve to try seriously. I am so sorry that I am so far away from those issues that I have not the same interest anymore than may be ten years ago.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

Anja Geitz's picture

@mimi

This story certainly fits the requirement of irony; the amusement part might be better characterized as in the eye of the beholder.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

mimi's picture

@Anja Geitz
I haven't understood a thing.

So apologies to all of you. I need a vacation offline.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

Anja Geitz's picture

@mimi

I was merely pointing out in answer to your question about "what's happening to this site?" that even if you did not find the article amusing, others might.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

mimi's picture

@Anja Geitz
if I were not that tired I would try to read the whole shebang again and post what made me suspicious about it.
But I always have to read this very late at night or very early in the morning. So, now I scan the headlines and a couple of things on the EB and then I fall asleep over the laptop.
Good Night.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

WARNING: There is some really nasty stuff here. Not for the faint of heart.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

of a short story by Percival Everett titled "The Appropriation of Cultures", which I heard many years ago when NPR featured it on Selected Shorts.

The story begins with a black musician named Daniel who decides to reclaim a symbol of his oppression, the Confederate flag, in a very unorthodox way. What follows is a hilariously trenchant look at culture and race that is definitely listening worthy.

For those not inclined to listen to Everett's short story, you can read it yourself here.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Is this diary and the referenced article snark?

The organization does not belong to the former president, nor can he 'give' it away, nor can Stern simply become 'owner' or president or whatever else he wants to call himself.

Just because he is the registrant on the documents filed with the secretary of state does not make him an officer or anything else; he is just the guy who caused the forms to be registered with the state.

Additionally, the organization likely has by-laws related to elections, how officers get elected, and how dissolution is effected. (if he wanted to dissolve the entity, he probably should have filed some sort of state document stating so)

Even if the entity dissolves, that does not mean that the membership cannot regroup under another name, establish the entity with the state, and set up another website.

So what am I missing here?

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dfarrah