Welcome David Neiwert (Orcinus) (Crooks and Liars) (Twitter) and Host Brian Tashman (PFAW) (RightWingWatch) (Twitter)

And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border

As we see the conservative movement embracing and legitimizing some of the country’s most extreme personalities and their rhetoric, And Hell Followed With Her reminds us of the dangerous consequences of mainstreaming radicalism.

David Neiwert has explored far-right extremism in books including The Eliminationists, Over the Cliff, Death on the Fourth of July, and In God’s Country. In And Hell Followed With Her, he investigates the vigilante groups “patrolling” the U.S.-Mexico border, the “Patriot” movements of the Pacific Northwest and their enablers in Washington, D.C.

In his gripping new book, Neiwert offers a frightening look inside the Minutemen militias and sheds light on the history and the unhinged personalities behind them. It is no easy task to write about people who readily make up tales and fabrications to describe themselves and their agendas. But Neiwert cuts through the bullshit (and there’s a lot of it), adeptly untangling truth from myth.

During the Bush administration, anti-immigrant sentiment flared up with the help of talk radio personalities, cable news pundits and far-right Republicans in Congress. Much of their rhetoric targeted “illegal aliens,” whom they accused of taking away jobs from American workers, refusing to learn English or assimilate, dealing drugs, joining gangs and raping women.

Several anti-immigrant activists, encouraged by these extremist voices, set up their own “Minutemen” organizations to guard the country’s borders. These vigilante groups alleged that the government was either unable to “secure the border” or was deliberately sanctioning the “reconquista” of America. Some claimed there was a Hispanic “invasion” aided by political and corporate elites seeking to do away with “traditional America.”

The emergence of these right-wing militia groups was nothing new. Neiwert takes us through the long history of armed right-wing groups that have claimed to be defending themselves against a government they see as hostile.

As Neiwert reveals, the Minutemen who ostensibly focused on preserving “law and order” were not only closely linked to Neo-Nazi militia groups, they didn’t exactly shy away from engaging in criminality themselves.

But image-conscience and media-savvy, the Minutemen attempted to hide their more extremist elements and had won the praise of conservative media commentators and Republican elected officials.

More than anything, the group stressed that they were absolutely, definitely, unequivocally not racist and not violent. In fact, Minutemen Project president Jim Gilchrist once gave an impromptu speech at a Minutemen post comparing his anti-immigrant vigilante organization to Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi…while standing in front of members of the National Alliance, a Neo-Nazi group.

Gilchrist and his friend-turned-rival Chris Simcox, founder of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps routinely made up stories about their backgrounds and the threats they faced on the border from gangs and from the government.

Shawna Forde, the founder of Minutemen American Defense, was similarly creative, transforming her image and gaining admirers by creating stories of being followed, assaulted and even raped by Hispanic men because of her work to stop immigrants from crossing the border. She was also press-savvy: she charmed one European documentary film crew by taking them on a tour of her work on the border in high heels.

But Forde, who had a troubled history and a long rap sheet, had a not-so pretty grand scheme: to raise funds to support the Minutemen and anti-immigrant organizations by raiding drug dealers’ outposts and stealing their money. (Neiwert reports that she told Gilchrist of her plan; Gilchrist denies it).

In May of 2009, while working near the border in southern Arizona with fellow Minuteman Jason “Gunny” Bush and Albert Gaxiola, the rival of an Arizona drug trafficker named Raul Junior Flores, Forde and her cohorts broke into Flores’ house. Flores and his nine-year-old daughter Brisenia were both murdered; his wife was also shot but survived.

Neiwert’s book is an important introduction to the personalities and ideology that drove Forde and her cohorts, and the events that led to their horrific crime. And it remains sadly relevant today. Far-right activists are once again pushing theories about a borderline-dictatorial government that is hostile to gun-owners, conservatives, Christians and whites. Even as the GOP gives itself a political “makeover” and Congress once again wrestles with legislation on comprehensive immigration reform, radical anti-immigrant groups continue to have a strong voice on the Right. Neiwert has told a compelling story that gives us insights into a movement that is still very much alive.


[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

73 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Neiwert, And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border”

BevW March 31st, 2013 at 1:54 pm

David, Welcome back to the Lake.

Brian, Welcome to the Lake, and thank you for hosting today’s Book Salon.

For our new readers/commenters:
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David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Thanks, Bev. And thanks to the whole FDL crew, Brian especially, for having me.

As you can imagine, it was quite a journey, writing this story.

dakine01 March 31st, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Good afternoon Dave and welcome back this afternoon. Brian, welcome to Firedoglake!

Dave, I have not had an opportunity to read your book but I remember when the story of Forde et al first broke. Forgive me if you address this in the book but were you able to glean any insight into why she and her followers felt this was such a good idea and that they could get away with it? And why kill the child?

It is even more chilling with today’s news of the DA in Texas being shot with his wife (and the possible connection to the murder of his deputy a couple of months ago and the murder of the DoC chief in Colorado)

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Thank you Bev and David, and happy Easter!
Let me kick things off by asking:
Why do you think the Nativist movement was so effective in attracting and fueling psychopathic personalities like Shawna Forde?

Teddy Partridge March 31st, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Hi David — This is a great book, you’re written a real stunner here.

I have a specific question about Doc Martens and yellow laces; you wrote that for some race-haters, the yellow laces signify a specific kind of killing. But Docs come with yellow laces now! I don’t know if you noticed across the street from Powells (sorry to miss you Thursday night!) but the Doc store has a huge boot displayed above their door — with yellow laces!

Did that lace story come across the pond from the Brits? They had lots of signifiers for lace color among the skinheads in the 1980s and 1990s, but punks here just picked them for fashion.

Asking for a friend (!) –

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:07 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 3

Yes dakine, we have a pretty good idea why she targeted the Flores home: She was told by her “drug cartel” friends in Arivaca that there was about $3 million in money and drugs in the Flores home. In reality, Junior Flores was a small-potatoes independent who was also experienced enough not to keep anything on his home premises, particularly not with a wife and two young daughters present. But a group of rival dealers, who had Albert Gaxiola in their employ, told her that a big score awaited her there — because they wanted Junior out of the picture, and saw Shawna as a good sucker with whom to outsource their violence.

Shawna appears to have been the person to make the decision that there would be no survivors of the home invasion. She believed the whole crime would be ascribed to drug-cartel activity. Unfortunately for her, Gina Gonzalez drove them out of their home, forcing them to leave behind a big trail of evidence, including Jason Bush’s blood after she wounded him.

Elliott March 31st, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Hi David – WB

you cover a chilling beat, Ms Forde is on death row, iirc.

Did she grow up in a white power home?

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:10 pm
In response to Teddy Partridge @ 5

That was an ’80s skinhead thing that carried over into the ’90s. However, once Doc Martens became identified with the grunge/punk scene as opposed to skinheads, the whole colored-shoelace thing became so diluted that, anymore, it’s basically meaningless. They can’t communicate that way anymore because punks stole it from them. Which is cool.

Kirk Murphy March 31st, 2013 at 2:12 pm

David, welcome back!

Thanks and gratitude to you for looking into these terrifying and dangerous people and warning us of this peril.

And thanks to Brian for hosting – and as ever to Bev for making the Salons possible.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 2:14 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 6

Shawna wasn’t the only “Minuteman” who turned to violence, in fact one of the leaders Chris Simcox threatened to kill his girlfriend.
Why did conservative pundits in the media and even congressmen cheer on this movement, which was almost inherently violent, when there were so many red flags at the outset?

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:18 pm
In response to Elliott @ 7

No, but as you’ll see when you read the book, she had the most horrific early upbringing imaginable.

Her mother was a single divorcee, herself a long victim of sexual abuse, who bore her illegitimately, and who was forced by family members to hand her over when she was less than a year old. She was then shunted around among her uncles and their friends at the local Jehovahs Witnesses church they all attended. Shawna’s mom remarried when Shawna was three, and she regained custody of her briefly then. However, Shawna acted out in horrifying ways with her infant half-sister, culminating with the mom discovering Shawna atop the baby with a pillow held over its face. At that point, her mom decided to have her adopted out.

So Shawna spent the next eight years or so with her adoptive parents, who she later accused of sexually abusing her, though as with anything that Shawna claimed, this is probably dubious. In any event, she became a prolific shoplifter and petty criminal, committing her first felony at age 11 (she broke into her school and trashed it). Her adoptive parents then took her to state child-services offices and dumped her there. She remained in foster care through her teenage years, during which she grew a rap sheet as long as your arm: prostitution, credit fraud, car theft, shoplifting, you name it.

The crime was tamped down once she got married at 18, but it never went away.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:21 pm
In response to Brian Tashman @ 10

Mainstream media have functionally erased right-wing extremism from the list of public threats — even though there have been more than 70 acts of right-wing domestic terrorism in this country since 2008, a significant spike. But you would not know this from reading mainstream media, who now bend over to assure us that various acts of violence are NOT acts of right-wing terrorism.

Remember how Jared Laughner was NOT a right-wing domestic terrorist because he was mentally ill — but Abu Nidal was definitely an Islamist domestic terrorist, even though he was every bit as mentally ill, if not more so.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 2:23 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 12

Thankfully, Minutemen movement now seems to be on the decline. But with the reelection of President Obama, along with the debates on immigration reform and gun control, isn’t this perfect fodder for new armed groups similar to the Minutemen to spring up?

Elliott March 31st, 2013 at 2:26 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 11

omg that is a horror childhood.

Kirk Murphy March 31st, 2013 at 2:31 pm

David, I apologize that I’ve yet to read your book (though I’m looking forward to it).

The following doesn’t excuse Shawna Forde, but there’s a host of evidence that early childhood trauma tweaks brain structures governing emotional reactivity over to the direction of fearful / intense responses. Procon.org did a 2012 summary of various studies in a post: Differences in conservative and liberal brains. The summary included a study finding that in conservatives there is – compared to libs – heightened activity in the right amygdala, which serves (roguhly speaking) as a “fear center” in the brain.

In all of your years of researching and writing about the violent far right/conservatives, have you come across info comparing the incidence of childhood abuse/neglect (now summed up as “Adverse Childhood Experiences” – or ACE – in PubMed and the like) in that poulation vs the rest of the populace?

And if you’ve addressed this in the book, I do apologize….

Phoenix Woman March 31st, 2013 at 2:32 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 6

I notice that the very fact that Forde was suckered into doing a local drug dealer’s dirty work for him (not that she had to be pushed very hard to kill someone who she saw as subhuman) underscores that the biggest cause of violence and other crime at the border and beyond is not undocumented immigration, but illegal drug smuggling — which is I understand a rather lucrative area for various jurisdictions that like to cover their collusions with drug lords by “getting tough” on undocumented Latino workers.

tuezday March 31st, 2013 at 2:32 pm

David, assuming Shawna is an outlier, as she is female, did you develop any insight into what causes young, white men to feel so disenfranchised? We’ve had the rash of recent mass shootings, and I think one could even go back as far as Eric Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh and include them in the debate. It just seems to me there is serious rot in society that no one is addressing. The Minutemen just seem to be part of a larger problem. Any thoughts?

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:33 pm

There have been some imitators who’ve tried to spring up, but they seem to be burning out. Still, we know there remain some active border-watch vigilantes out there, and they’re a lingering issue.

They took another hit recently when J.T. Ready, the neo-Nazi border watcher, killed his girlfriend and her family and then himself. Even more recently, a former Minuteman pal of Shawna’s became a notorious fugitive who had absconded with a local teenager. Those cases combined with this one really sent these guys into the woodwork.

Still, most of the Minutemen remain active in border issues — as participants in the Tea Party, into which they have more or less seamlessly melted.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:36 pm
In response to Kirk Murphy @ 15

Kirk, I skirted that material, in part because though Shawna had a horrific childhood, that alone doesn’t explain her nature. Her mother said that she gave people “the creeps” with her cold-bloodedness even when she was little. Some of this was wired in.

I do discuss psychopathy in this context, and how in many regards this is a splendid example of the intersection of psychopathy and politics.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 2:37 pm
In response to Kirk Murphy @ 15

Along with the childhood trauma, the Nativists were using such dehumanizing language about Latinos that in my opinion it made such a crime almost inevitable.
David, in your book you discuss how some conservatives spoke about Latinos as if they were diseases and subhuman.
What were some of the worst examples of such language you found in your research? And why is the GOP now so surprised that Latino voters don’t trust them?

Phoenix Woman March 31st, 2013 at 2:40 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 19

Yes, I can see where an apologist for these groups would use these issues to try to make a “lone wolf” and/or “bad apple” excuse for her, and dump all of the far-right-wing’s propensity for race-based violence on her head, when in fact it’s endemic to these movements.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:40 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 16

Exactly correct. Locals generally don’t see immigration as a course of much violence, but that is changing somewhat, especially as the cartels have taken over much of the human-smuggling trade as well. Many of the drug mules people see now are immigrants who have been told they have to carry a bale safely over the border in order to make it. Moreover, the presence of cartel figures in the bigger daisy-chain smuggling operations means they are more ruthless: more people are left behind to die, and any pursuit by Border Patrol can turn violent and lethal for the unlucky passengers aboard the fleeing vehicles.

Phoenix Woman March 31st, 2013 at 2:43 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 21

Speaking of “lone wolf”, I was nodding my head furiously when I read this passage:

Thus was born “leaderless resistance,” a concept developed and popularized by Aryan Nations leader Louis Beam. In a couple of essays on the sub-hierarchical organization employed by the old racist right was dangers for any kind of insurgency, especially in ‘technologically advanced societies where electronic surveillance can often penetrate the structure, revealing its chain of command.’ He proposed instead a leaderless organization structure, wherein ‘individuals and groups operate independently of each other, and never report to central headquarters for direction or instruction, as those who belong to a typical pyramid organization”. The role of leadership is not to issue directives or to pay operatives, but rather to provide the larger inspiration and agenda for small cells or ‘lone wolf’ individuals to follow, acting independently and on their own initiative.

I just want to shove this down the throats of people like Limbaugh.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 2:44 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 21

Yes and right after she was arrested the two main Minutemen leaders, Chris Simcox and Jim Gilchrist, immediately tried to disassociate themselves from her and said she was merely a rogue.

Of course, Forde was actually a top member of Jim Gilchrist’s group and at one point close to Chris Simcox as well.

David, what is Gilchrist up to these days? Does he still have political ambitions?

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:44 pm
In response to tuezday @ 17

That is a deep question, and one for which there are no simple answers. But fearfulness and paranoia are the products of ignorance and brutality, and many of the worst of these folks have pretty brutal upbringings steeped in ignorance.

I will say this about people like Shawna Forde: She envisioned herself in a heroic light, like an action movie star, out to save America. That’s really common to right-wing extremists (as opposed to seemingly apolitical actors like James Holmes). Indeed, the heroic self-conception is central to their ability to justify their own acts to themselves.

spocko March 31st, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I’m always curious about who these people feel is ‘on their team’ in the media, politics and law enforcement. Who gives them cover in these areas?

tuezday March 31st, 2013 at 2:51 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 25


It seems like the Shawna Forde’s of the world are looking for attention/respect/love from society as a whole, since they didn’t get it from their parents.

Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to read your book.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:52 pm
In response to Brian Tashman @ 20

Well, I think you can just turn to the collected works of Rep. Steve King for a prime example of the way hateful nativist rhetoric was a staple of the Republican right for years. Or the GOP primaries where immigration was debated.

Even more insidious, frankly, was the work of “mainstream” organizations like the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies. These outfits regularly issued academic-appearing “reports” and “studies” for their gullible subscribers, including many members of the mainstream press, in which they learned various awful things about immigrants: that they were bringing diseases to our shores, that they were creating a wave of criminality, that they were costing taxpayers billions of dollars.

Not only were these things simply not true, they actually were inversions of reality (immigrants, for instance, commit crime at a significantly lower rate than average American citizens).

Even worse, they combined to tell a story about immigrants that fueled the haters and gave them mainstream cover, the right to rant about those dirty, disease-ridden criminal Latinos who were stealing welfare money. Spreading the hate in a legitimate-seeming guise. And that’s why we have the degraded state of discourse on immigration that we’ve seen from the Right for years and years now.

Kirk Murphy March 31st, 2013 at 2:55 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 19

Thanks – as soon as I’ve seen off the delinquent chart pile, I’ll be settling in to learn from you. Once again, kudos for doing this work: these people and their “movement” disturbs me so greatly that I can’t imagine hanging in there to alert us all as you have done for so long. Good on ‘ya.

Kirk Murphy March 31st, 2013 at 2:57 pm
In response to Brian Tashman @ 20

Yikes. Raising kids to have no empathy is so cruel – for the kids and those they grow up to be around. (Of curse, I’m not saying this to excuse the predators: nothing can.)

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 2:57 pm
In response to Brian Tashman @ 24

I think Gilchrist is still living off the gigantic wad of cash they made off the Minutemen in its first few years of existence. He’s down to five chapters now, with no discernible activity.

He did get all worked up about my earlier, distilled version of the investigative component of this book that was published last year by AlterNet. If you go to the bottom of the comments there you can see him foaming at the mouth.

He hasn’t contacted me to threaten me yet, but he did call up Leah Nelson at the SPLC and rant and rave at her several times when she reported on all this.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 2:58 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 28

The GOP seemed more than happy about exploiting the immigration issue to attract white voters, now some in the GOP leadership appear to be regretting it (much like their anti-gay politics).

If the Republicans are serious about reaching out to Latino voters and collaborating with Obama on immigration reform, do you think that might further radicalize their far-right, no-compromise base, who could then feel that neither of the two major parties are standing up for them?

cocktailhag March 31st, 2013 at 2:59 pm

David, I have not yet read your book, but greatly enjoyed “The Eliminationists,” in whose ranks Forde certainly belongs. As an earlier commenter indicated, don’t you think that economic decline and lack of future prospects in part drive (white) people like Forde? Today I read that the anti-immigrant right is waxing in power in Cyprus, as elsewhere in Europe, prodded in part by the same austerity that seems to be taking place here, albeit more slowly.
It seems to me that economic elites are, globally, hiring one half of the working class to kill the other, as one gilded age plutocrat colorfully put it.
Forde and her ilk are just symptoms of that much larger disease.

eCAHNomics March 31st, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Piggy backing on several issues already brought up, how much outside manipulation influences activities of such people as Forde and groups like Minutemen.

Edge-of-society individuals and groups are easily duped by all sorts of outside parties with other agendas. (Not that middle-of-society individuals and groups aren’t manipulated 6 ways from Sunday, but that’s another story.)

I don’t want to influence your answer by suggesting possibilities, but can you address the issue by what you observed to be self-generating actions vs. infiltration.

Role of rightwing radio has been mentioned, so what is the agenda? What is the purpose of rw radio inflaming violence.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:03 pm
In response to cocktailhag @ 33

Interestingly enough, people who study ethnic crimes (especially hate and bias crimes) and similar phenomena such as this and other nativist activities have concluded that there is actually very little correspondence between economic downturns/upturns and the rate of this violence.

The big correlation factor is demographic shifts — which then can be inflamed by economic downturns. But the spikes in this violence have also been observed during economic good times.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:08 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 34

There’s a powerful symbiotic relationship: Forde decided to become active in the Minutemen after listening to right-wing talk radio. It was a milieu she was very fluent in. As I observe in the book:

A significant aspect of the scapegoating rhetoric common to right-wing nativist movements—rhetoric that is almost wholly structured around building outrage and anger in their audience and overwhelming rationality—is a kind of competitive escalation: the more outrageous and inflammatory the rhetoric, the greater influence you wield, and the greater following you attract. In a can-you-top-this political environment, a lifelong topper like Shawna will always flourish. And she did.

They empowered her, and she made things happen for them. Where one started and the other ended is hard to say.

cocktailhag March 31st, 2013 at 3:09 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 35

I guess I’m talking more about long term economic decline and growing inequality, here and elsewhere. It creates the conditions where people believe, correctly, that they’re being robbed blind, but they blame the wrong people, because they’ve been systematically taught to.

eCAHNomics March 31st, 2013 at 3:11 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 36

she made things happen for them

What kinds of things? What did “they” want her to do for them?

Phoenix Woman March 31st, 2013 at 3:12 pm
In response to spocko @ 26

I’m always curious about who these people feel is ‘on their team’ in the media, politics and law enforcement. Who gives them cover in these areas?

That’s a good question.

shell March 31st, 2013 at 3:12 pm

what is the status of shawna forde’s appeal? I understand it is automatic in death penalty cases

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 3:13 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 36

Something I wondered about right-wing talk show hosts and Nativist leaders like Gilchrist is: will they ever be satisfied?

The immigration rate has plummeted in recent years (not thanks to minutemen as the reasons are mostly economic) and Obama has deported a record number of people, but they constantly claim Obama is encouraging “illegal hordes to invade America.”

What is their end game?

I can’t imagine them ever saying: “the border is now secure!”

shell March 31st, 2013 at 3:14 pm

In the wake of the murder of the Colorado prison chief by a white supremacist and now the murders of the DAs and ADAs in Texas, also linked to white supremacists, do you think this hate group will become even more brazen?

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:15 pm

BTW, if anyone wants to read an excerpt, they’re running the entirety of Chapter Twelve over at AlterNet today.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 3:16 pm
In response to spocko @ 26

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo paraded the Minutemen leaders around Washington, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio is still in their mind “America’s toughest sheriff.”

Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity all have given them “cover” in the media; O’Reilly’s discussion of Forde’s murders was horrendous:

CTuttle March 31st, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Mahalo Nui Loa, David, for all your work…! I just wanted to pop by, as I’m busy cooking the Easter Ham, and, thank you, Brian, and Bev for the Book Salon…! It’s a delite to see Dr. Kirk here too…!

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:21 pm
In response to cocktailhag @ 37

I’ve always said that right-wing extremism is the product in America, as it is in the rest of the world, of people who have been left behind by modernity. Many of these are people who are caught up in the cycle of poverty, or who are living on the economic margins being created by corporate malfeasance. (I’m thinking specifically here of Chris Hedges’ recent excellent book, Days of Destruction Days of Revolt.)

So yes, you are right about how nativism is bred by corporatism, which feeds it intentionally, I believe, as a means of keeping working and middle classes divided. All of these organizations get plenty of mainstream conservative support.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:22 pm
In response to shell @ 40

I haven’t checked recently on the status of her appeal. Last I heard it was about two years out.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:25 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 38

Shawna was a doer in organizational terms: She put together events, publicized them, got people together, made things happen. Worker bees like that are the lifeblood of “volunteer” organizations like the Minutemen, and she made herself very well known to leadership figures, most notably Chris Simcox early on, in the process. It was Simcox’s adoption of her as his new Washington Minuteman chief that propelled her into their ranks.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:27 pm
In response to Brian Tashman @ 41

They will never be satisfied. At least not until they round up all the brown people and ship them back to Mexico. And then build a big electrified, laser-beam-monitored citadel wall along the entire Mexican border.

eCAHNomics March 31st, 2013 at 3:28 pm

people who are caught up in the cycle of poverty

What about the 1s? Koch Bros, Mellon-Scaife, Coors are not poor, but are rw extremists.

eCAHNomics March 31st, 2013 at 3:29 pm

made things happen.

What kinds of things. Who benefited. What is the agenda.

CTuttle March 31st, 2013 at 3:29 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 49

Something like the Israelis have around Gaza…! 8-(

BearCountry March 31st, 2013 at 3:31 pm

David, Brian, Bev, thanks for such an interesting salon. This has brought some excellent comments.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 3:31 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 47

I went to the Justice for Shawna Forde website, where Laine Lawless claims that this is a big conspiracy to frame the Minutemen as racist.

One t-shirt says: “Free Shawna! POW of DHS & Pima Co.”

While this might seem absurd, fears that “big government” is going after white conservatives are pervasive on the right, especially right now among gun activists. Even Pat Robertson this week said the government was stockpiling arms and about to go on the attack “against us.”

Do you think such paranoia about black helicopters and a looming police state is typical for the modern right or is it a mood that is growing?

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:32 pm
In response to shell @ 42

It could be. This is remarkably brazen.

Mind you, the 211 Club is more a prison crime gang than a group of ideological warriors, as far as I can tell. They may in fact become domestic terrorists, but I’m not sure that’s what these crimes were yet.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:37 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 50

Wealthy folks like Coors at el have for year and years and year been feeding nativist groups and far-right groups of various other stripes as well (most notably anti-abortion and fundamentalist orgs). I know for a fact that they helped subsidize portions of the militia movement in the 1990s.

Patriot movement organizations, many of whom have sugar-daddy funding from various far-right gazillionaires or local construction/real-estate millionaires, have always been about inflaming the Culture Wars on steroids. They love to divide and conquer, and whip up the people who they’ve made sure have crappy educations and lousy jobs under the thumbs of some pointy-haired nimrods.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:40 pm
In response to Brian Tashman @ 54

Black-helicopter conspiracism been a component of this segment of the right for decades. It’s not growing in terms of its overall presence within the movement, but it has grown insofar as the paranoid Patriot right has expanded its reach. Which it has done significantly under the guise of the Tea Party.

tuezday March 31st, 2013 at 3:43 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 57

But, yet, they don’t seem to have any problem with drones or the surveillance state.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 3:44 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 56

Of course, many of these corporate elites benefit from low-wage labor immigrants provide.

I find it especially ironic that Rupert Murdoch is trying to become a champion of immigration reform while Fox News runs some of the most incendiary anti-immigrant stories I’ve seen, maybe with the exception of Lou Dobbs when he was on CNN… and now Dobbs works for Fox.

Who on the right is working to reign in the extremists? Is anybody?

Bush criticized the Minutemen as “vigilantes,” but I don’t think there are many congressional Republicans who would do the same thing.

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:44 pm
In response to Brian Tashman @ 54

Actually, I should expand on this a bit: The post-apocalyptic scenarios have really become rampant on the right in the past years, heightened especially after Obama’s re-election. So now we have outfits like the Citadel popping up, preparing for the End Times.

Also, we’re getting a proliferation of Patriot-themed “novels” favored by the Glenn Beckians and Alex Jones addicts about bands of Patriot warriors who save America after it descends into totalitarian dictatorship at the hands of Obama.

So yes, we are actually getting a fresh wave of it. It’s just new skins for old wine.

CTuttle March 31st, 2013 at 3:46 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 57

Potok at the SPLC, has certainly been screaming about much the same, David…!

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:46 pm
In response to Brian Tashman @ 59

The coming debate over immigration reform will be most amusing when it hits the House, don’t you think? These Republican Senators have learned how to say the right things, but it’s different story in TeaBaggerville.

dakine01 March 31st, 2013 at 3:48 pm
In response to David Neiwert @ 60

I actually had one of this type in line behind me at the post office a few weeks ago. Swore we were all going to have rfid chips implanted by last week and that Obama had the black helicopters warming up.

then he really got going (and I finished my business and got out of there)

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 3:48 pm

David, since we’re almost out of time, I wanted to ask you about the book’s title.

“And Hell Followed With Her,” unless I’m mistaken, refers to one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in Revelation.

Is this title not just about Shawna Forde but also a movement which radicalized, empowered and even legitimized her?

What do you think are the lasting impacts of the Minutemen movement?

BevW March 31st, 2013 at 3:54 pm

As we come to the end of this Book Salon discussion,

David, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book, and the Minutemen.

Brian, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

David’s website and book

Brian’s website and blog

Thanks all, Have a great week.

If you would like to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 3:56 pm

When you review our history, I think it becomes inescapable that there is a great beast called nativism that has been loose for generations, wreaking bloody havoc and leaving a legacy of misery. My chief objective in writing this book was to grapple with that beast. Shawna is a classic exponent of it, but she is only the face of a much larger and more fearsome creature. So the apocalyptic pale rider is a kind of symbol of all she represents.

You’ll note that I also included an epigraph from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian on the first pages, featuring a speech from the character known as The Judge, who is a mythic and violent figure whose ethos expresses the heart of nativism. And that’s why I included that.

Brian Tashman March 31st, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Thanks Bev for putting this together, and thank you David for taking the time to join us!

Elliott March 31st, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Best of luck with your book David!

Thanks Brain and bev

David Neiwert March 31st, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Thanks to everyone for having me. It’s been fun, as always.

Twain March 31st, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Was the glitch the site or my puter?

Kirk Murphy March 31st, 2013 at 4:03 pm

David, thank you for your years of work and effort on this and for being here today.

Brian, thank you for taking the time to host today.

Bev, thank you again for making the Book Salons possible.

Happy Spring to all – and for those who celebrate, Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and Happy Ostara!

Kirk Murphy March 31st, 2013 at 4:05 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 45

CT, as ever, you are too kind! Mahalo, my friend – wonderful to see you here, as well.

Phoenix Woman March 31st, 2013 at 4:54 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 50

It’s part of the Southern Strategy — which is itself an outgrowth of the strategy that kept a thriving middle class from developing in the South, as the tiny number of elites used slavery to keep the enormous class of poor whites from having wages anywhere near as good as those of their Northern peers. Even better, they got the poor whites to blame the blacks, and not the plantation owners, for their poverty.

The one-percent crowd likes to play divide and rule.

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