A post to yesterday’s blog raises a valid point, that one should not jump to conclusions that Mr. Hallgarth is a member of or believer in the teachings of National Alliance. There are several points I would raise in response:
1) Paul Ogden, fellow blogger on "Ogden on Politics," addresses several matters in regard to links on Mr. Hallgarth’s Facebook page. The link to Stormfront is as troublesome as Mr. Hallgarth’s reference to National Alliance. Both organizations are racist. Stormfront is described as neo-Nazi and the internet’s first hate site.
2) Mr. Hallgarth listed "National Alliance" for "Political Views." The National Alliance was founded by the late William Pierce. Pierce had been an associate of George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party. Pierce also wrote books, one of which, penned under the pseudonym Andrew MacDonald, was The Turner Diaries, one of Timothy McVey’s favorites. The book, as one commentator has noted, "calls for the violent overthrow of the federal government and the systematic killing of Jews and nonwhites in order to establish an ‘Aryan’ society."
3) After questions were raised about Mr. Hallgarth’s political beliefs and "National Alliance," he said he meant National Alliance of Families for the Return of America’s Missing Servicemen. The organization is concerned with American POWs and MIAs.
4) Other posts by "Der Ecips Gnaw," Mr. Hallgarth’s pseudonym on his Facebook page, that could be found on Google yesterday, concerned matters related to race. For example, he was harshly critical of Black Expo. He has every right to express that opinion, one with which I disagree. My point, though, is that the posts under his pseudonym related either to Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns, racial matters, or the sale of various chemical incenses. None of the posts related to POWs or MIAs. Perhaps Mr. Hallgarth did his own Google search for an organization with "National Alliance" in its title and picked the POW/MIA one. One would think that is his "political beliefs" were encompassed by the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America’s Missing Servicemen, Mr. Hallgarth would have posted something about that topic in the time he had to write about racial issues.
5) Yesterday someone asked that his/her identity be kept secret because the people of Stormfront are "serious" and the person did not want to endanger him/herself or loved ones. I appreciate that person’s concerns. Another person asked if I would desist from what I am doing: raising awareness that Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns has nothing to do with the Occupy movement and has been started by a person who at the very least has expressed interest in a neo-Nazi organization.
6) Nazis were the apotheosis of evil. They industrialized genocide most notably at Auschwitz. In the run-up to World War II they sought to silence any critics. This is a society in which we have freedom of speech. If I must fear what I say or write because of possible retaliation from people who embrace the same beliefs as such stellar figures in history as Adolf Hitler, Josef Mengele, and Herman Himler, then I have failed in my responsibility as a human being.
7) If Mr. Hallgarth does not embrace the beliefs of National Alliance, let him specifically say so. If the listing on his Facebook page was a typo, he can clarify the matter.
8) The post characterized my headline (and it had typos; sorry about that) as containing fighting words and question whether "fighting words" constitute "civil discourse," I would turn to the United States Supreme Court case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942) that was the first to address "fighting words." The Court held that fighting words are those words that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. Fighting words, the Court reasoned, are excluded from protection by the First Amendment because any benefit derived from their utterance is outweighed by the social interest in order and morality. What I write is does not aim at inflicting immediate injury. I have quoted from this individual’s Facebook page what he presents himself as believing. If I research what the person has said and relate the nature of the organization whose views he purports to believe, I hardly see how that seeks to incite an immediate breach of the peace. National Alliance is a neo-Nazi organization. A "sham" is defined as "something that is not what it purports to be." "Civil" is defined as "polite, courteous." For use of neo-Nazi, I based what r. Hallgarth asserted on his Facebook page. The word"sham" is accurate, as I wrote:
"Finally, why include in the title ‘Occupy’? The individual identifies with National Alliance. This is no more than a sham to get people to identify OWS with violence—violence brought by someone who does not share the views of OWS but, by employing their title in his effort, hopes to smear those who are demonstrating against corporate greed.
"In a 1989 issue of one of its magazines, National Alliance hailed (or maybe ‘heiled’ would be the better word) Adolf Hitler as ‘the greatest man of our era.’ 1989 was the 100th anniversary of Hitler’s birth. This is the element that wishes to occupy Broad Ripple with firearms.
9) If Mr. Hallgarth does not embrace the beliefs advanced by National Alliance, let him specifically say so. The points I raised yesterday were not mere speculation, but based on what he had posted and written. Others have posted statements about Mr. Hallgarth’s beliefs.
10) Why is Mr. Hallgarth to travel from Shelby County to Broad Ripple? He could sincerely believe handing out fliers about Second Amendment rights to drunken people at 11 o’clock on a Saturday night will be an effective means of communicating with those people. He could attempt to recruit people to whatever his cause is, National Alliance or the National Alliance for Families of POW/MIA Servicemen. Or he could seek to stir up trouble so it can be linked with the Occupy movement. No matter what else he has said, he also has not explained why he chose to connect what he is doing with the Occupy movement. Why not call it "Tea Party in Broad Ripple with Guns"?
I'd be fine with calling it that, myself; nobody owns those words. You can be "Occupy" this or "Tea Party" that all you like, and so can anyone else. (But if we are going to Occupy a Tea Party in Broad Ripple With and Without Guns, I need a bigger thermal carafe -- is PG Tips okay? -- and you need a T-shirt or a sign succinctly stating your opposition).
I still maintain that calling someone a Nazi, absent the presentation of hard evidence, is fighting words. (Doggone it, if you have a Windows machine, a simple screen capture is easy and avoids the problem of people retconning their pages. Please do it, it gets us out of he said/she said impasses.)
Though you and I have probably got very different notions about government and society, we can certainly agree that the Nazis were evil and their modern-day admirers are, at best, idiots and most are far worse; it is a very serious thing to charge someone with and ought to be supported by more than mere assertion.
Paul K. Ogden may have some documentary evidence -- I need to go check it out.
For me, as a gunnie, I'm not gonna let other people speak for me. Broad Ripple is my home; if there will be outreach, I think it is incumbent on me to be reaching out instead of sitting back.
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