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."
By Katie Mettler
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 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 turned into a major motion picture over the next few years.
Go read the full article!
Video of the Stern interview, thanks to Lookout for bringing it to our attention in the comments!
UPDATE: From The Associated Press via Ha'aretz, March 3rd, 2019, 1:56PM...
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...