Arts & Entertainment
Student hate group at MSU brings in extremist speaker
By Todd A. Heywood
Originally printed 04/12/2007 (Issue 1515 - Between The Lines News)
EAST LANSING -
Young Americans for Freedom at Michigan State University is bringing in extremist anti-immigration leader Chris Simcox. Simcox will speak at Wells Hall 106B, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., on April 19, the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.
The event is co-sponsored by the College Republicans.
Simcox is the leader of the Minutemen, one of hundreds of radical anti-immigration groups for which that the Southern Poverty Law Center of Alabama has created a new category.
Simcox has made a name for himself as a swaggering ego maniac, according to media reports in Salon.com, USA Today and even in a comprehensive attack leveled at him by others in the Nativist Extremist Movement.
"This is a guy who is taken seriously by a surprising number of people," says Mark Potok, the Director of the SPLC Intelligence Project. "But this is the guy who at the beginning of the Minutemen claimed he saw the Chinese army crossing the border. He's quite out of his mind."
Simcox and his group are one of 144 groups listed as nativist extremist groups on the SPLC's upcoming 2006 Intelligence Report, said Potok. He said in the last two years, 250 anti-immigration groups have popped up all over the country. The SPLC Intelligence Report is read by thousands of law enforcement agents all over the country and the group is considered experts on hate and extremist groups in the US.
Simcox is a former kindergarten teacher, who has been married three times. His first wife has claimed that a drunken Simcox attempted to molest his then 14-year-old daughter, the SPLC Intelligence Report reports. Simcox claims she misunderstood the leg massage he was giving her. He refused to comment for the SPLC story on the allegations, saying it had nothing to do with the movement and his group.
Shortly after 9-11, Simcox's second wife who had already divorced him, was sharing joint custody of their then 15-year-old son. She filed court papers to seek full custody of the unnamed son when Simcox began leaving bizarre phone messages demanding people recite the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and that he was going to teach the son to use a gun.
She also alleged Simcox would fly into rages, throwing furniture, and at one point hit their then 4-year-old son so hard in the face it left a hand print for two days. (The court documents can be viewed online.)
Reports from others in the Nativist Extremist Movement are coming forward with stories of his temper, as well as disregard for human life. According to one document produced by fellow extremists, called "Neutering of the Minutemen," it is alleged that Simcox's vigilante group disregarded safety instructions from the Border Patrol, and flooded a group of Immigrants with light. The resulting disorientation caused many to get lost, and Simcox refused to organize a search party until 4 days later, when volunteers took it upon themselves. One woman was located and she was in a coma. She died shortly thereafter.
Simcox has also claimed in media reports that he goes nowhere without a gun and a bulletproof vest, claiming he has been threatened my Mexican drug cartels.
When asked if this was a serious statement, Potok says, "I would take him at his word."
"We are familiar with the fact they are having an event," MSU Police spokesperson Sgt. Florene McGlowthian-Taylor says, "and we will have officers working that event."
McGlowthian-Taylor was unaware of Simcox's claims of always carrying a weapon. "You can't have a gun on campus, by MSU Ordinances," she said, "I will make sure the appropriate individuals in the department are aware of that, and take the necessary precautions."
In a press release posted on several blogs, YAF Chairman Kyle Bristow claims an earlier anti-immigration speaker's visit resulted in violence. In the release, Bristow calls those opposed to Republican Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) "savages," and while he says at the end of the press release he hopes that a civil dialogue can occur, his release focuses instead on the potential for violence and protests.
READ MORE ONLINE
Simcox is featured in a story on http://SPLCenter.org. You can read it here:
Feature on Salon.com
From USA Today:
From the Prescott Arizona Paper
From the Nation: