Now that the confusion and conflicting reports of this weekend's shooting in Wisconsin have settled, we're beginning to learn more about the alleged gunman who carried out the attack. His name was Wade Michael Page, and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, he was a "frustrated neo-Nazi" and a member of two racist skinhead bands.
The election of President Obama triggered an explosion in the number of hate groups in the US, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The rise in numbers is due to changing racial demographics, a bad economy, and a divisive political atmosphere.
The Supreme Court ruled on what may be the most controversial case this term: Snyder v. Phelps. Pastor Fred Phelps leads a small crusade against homosexuality. His Topeka, Kansas based Westboro Baptists Church has become infamous for protesting outside the funerals of fallen soldiers. Soldiers like Lance Corporal Mathew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq. Snyder’s father, Albert, filed the suit against Phelps and his church for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of distress.
Today, the Supreme Court hears what may be the most controversial case this term: Albert Snyder vs. Westboro Baptist Church. Snyder took members of the Westboro group to court after protesting outside the 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Corporal Mathew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.
The pastor of Westboro is Fred Phelps, who has for years proudly traveled around the country protesting outside of funerals as a part of his virulent crusade against homosexuality. But long before this Supreme Court case, Phelps had risen to national notoriety. His antics date back more than half a century.
The FBI arrested nine members of a group called Hutaree this past weekend. According to officials, the group planned to wage an all-out war to bring down the U.S. government. Authorities said Hutaree's initial plan was to kill a law enforcement official and then plant IEDs to kill more officials who attended the funeral. If you're thinking this is a militant Islamist group, you're dead wrong: Hutaree is a Christian militia group based in Michigan. Hutaree's philosophy, stated on their website, reads, in part, that they are "preparing for the end time battles."
Joining The Takeaway is a man whose organization tracks threats and attacks by hate groups, Mark Potok, Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project.