Blogger Cites Von Brunn's 'Long History' of Hate

Here is some excerpted discussion on James Von Brunn from today's live online chat with Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch Blog:

Fairfax, Va.: Are any of his mentioned credentials legit or is this hateful person a wannabe?
Heidi Beirich: He's definitely legitimate. Von Brunn has a decades-long history of extremism and he went to prison in 1981 for trying to kidnap members of the federal reserve that he thought were involved in an anti-Semitic conspiracy.
Vienna, Va.: Is this guy really 88 years old? At that age a lot of malefactors are sent home from prison because they no longer constitute a threat. How unusual is this?!
Heidi Beirich: It's the first such case that I know of.
Jackson, Miss.: Is the more correct term for this man a "Neo-Nazi" than "white supremacist?" I see a Holocaust denier and Hitler worshipper more than a Klan type. While undeniably opposed to blacks, he seems fixated on AntiSemitism. And a big shout out to Mark, a wealth of information whom I did not know was at SPLC.
Heidi Beirich: I'll send the shout out alone. The truth is with this guy that he melded many ideologies in one--neo-Naziism, Holocaust denial and guttural racism. It was a nasty stew that he celebrated.
Franconia, Va.: How typical is this man? Specifically he seems to be "all talk" and essentially nonviolent for years or decades at a time, then he does something very criminal (convicted for the would-be kidnapping at the Federal Reserve in early 1980s, now this, "allegedly"). I would have thought a person would be more consistently violent or consistently "just" a talker but that isn't the pattern here. Are there a lot of potentially violent guys in their late 80s and early 90s who are likely to do the same, or is his age unusual for someone to actually commit such a crime?
Heidi Beirich: His age makes him an outlier. But we do have many examples of people who looked like talkers for years until they exploded in rage. A good example is Eric Rudolf, the Olympic bomber, who was a raging anti-Semite for most of his life and who then decided to become violent.
Washington, DC: Is the alleged shooter in this case someone on SPLC's radar or just some random hater with a gun?
Heidi Beirich: We've know about him for years--he has a really long history in the hate movement.

Read the full chat transcript.

June 10, 2009; 5:32 PM ET  | Category:  metro
Previous: Holocaust Museum Issues Statement on Shootings | Next: Gray: Shooting Renews Need For D.C. Gun Control Laws


Please email us to report offensive comments.

First of all, my heart and prayers to the family of the slain security guard.

Why weren't there metal detectors at the museum? There is a certain amount of controversy that goes with the Holocaust, and surely the PTB should have recognized that the facility could be targeted by its detractors.

I wonder if the shooter was on any terrorist watch lists? He is definitely a home-grown terrorist and has a history of hate that should have placed him on high alert. To be so old and so full of bile, is truly sad. Maybe his life was spared so that he can suffer through whatever time he has here on this earth. Heaven only knows that where he is headed, this is only a precursor to the hell he is facing.

Posted by: mstlg1957 | June 11, 2009 3:39 AM

I'm afraid this is only the beginning of a series of hate-filled attacks that we shall witness. With the new Administration, there are those out there who feel that too much change is coming too quickly. Fear and hatred are going to rear their ugly heads and strike out against those that are believed to be threats to the status quo. Last week, the abortion doctor in Kansas, this week a security guard at the Holocaust Museum. Be vigilant and stay prayed up. The devil is busy!

Posted by: mstlg1957 | June 11, 2009 3:47 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company