Saturday, June 13, 2009
LOCAL MAN GETS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
With the latest news coming out of Washington D.C. of the shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, law enforcement authorities are confronting an ugly truth that another right wing, home-grown terrorism problem being fueled by those whom cannot accept the election of President Barack Obama.
Investigators are beginning to piece together the life of James von Brunn, an 88-year-old racist from Easton, Maryland, who has been named by the media as the man who shot security guard Stephen Johns dead at the 14th Street foyer of the Holocaust Museum.
James von Brunn grew up in Missouri and his ex-wife said her ex-husband is an artist, and often painted themes with ducks. She also said she was not aware of any diagnosed mental health issues or other health problems. “He was an elderly man and he always wanted to go out with his boots on like the John Wayne movie, “The Shootist.”
On the Web site www.holywesternempire.org, von Brunn described himself as "an artist and author who lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore". He also claimed a background as a Midwesterner who became a PT boat captain with the Navy reserves in World War II and later worked as an ad executive and film producer in New York City, and was a member of Mensa.
Owners of a local art gallery in Easton said that von Brunn brought in some of his artwork but when they declined to exhibit them for sale, he got very verbally violent with the owners. “He was someone we knew that we did not want him to be angry with us.”
My own wife overheard James von Brunn in a store she was shopping in. She did not know what happened to set him off but his comments were, “Where I was born and grew up, “N words” knew what side of the street they needed to be walking on. Those “N words” bowed there heads when they walked by a better white person!”
Before the art gallery incident, James von Brunn had caused a bit of a stir in Easton in 1994 when he brought a video series to Mid-Shore Community Television and was able to have the programs aired on the local access channel. James W. von Brunn may never have faced criminal charges while living in Talbot County, but former Sheriff Thomas G. Duncan once brought him into the office after von Brunn was caught writing white supremacist rhetoric in books at the Talbot County Free Library.
James W. von Brunn also had his own website, holywesternempire.org, which includes disturbing writings about Jews and African-Americans. James W. von Brunn also considers himself a published author because he self financed his own book called, “Kill the Best Gentiles,” which espouses such stock white supremacist views such as the Jews concocted World War II to stab Germany in the back, that the Holocaust didn't happen and that Jews’ control the US banking system and the media. In a recent posting, he wrote that "America is a Third World racial garbage-dump — stupid, ignorant, dead-broke, and terminal." He has also been promoting his opinions that Barack Obama was the product of the Jews’ control of the “World Order” puppet governments.
In 1981, von Brunn served six years in a federal jail for what he called his "Federal Reserve Caper." Angered by high interest rates and the alleged Jewish conspiracy to control the US banking system, he entered the Federal Reserve building in Washington armed with a sawn-off shotgun and a plan to kidnap then Fed chairman Paul Volcker and get him to confess to his "crimes" on national television. The marine who guarded the boardroom was successful in disarming von Brunn and he was arrested, tried and sentenced to 11 years' jail. Now did von Brunn take responsibility for his own actions? Like many of his “like minded” associates, von Brunn blamed those he hated with statements like, "First a biased “N word” jury was selected, and a Jew judge" is what sealed his fate.
Since his release, the Southern Poverty Law Centre in Alabama, which monitors white supremacist and hate groups, said that von Brunn did a lot of writing and painting but was no longer seen at rallies or Ku Klux Klan meetings.
Frances Townsend, the homeland security adviser under George Bush said, "The individual lone wolf is the hardest to anticipate and prevent. I spent more time on foreign terrorists but it surprised me each week the amount of time we would spend on domestic terrorist threats."
On stormfront.org, one of the leading white supremacist websites in the US, Von Brunn is being lauded as a hero. Statements like, "He was trying to set Our Race free, From our mortal enemies … Sieg Heil," wrote Ryan White from Massachusetts.
The director of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, Mark Potok, estimates there are between 100,000 and 200,000 people connected to white supremacist and hate groups in the US. "But it is really hard to estimate … how many are dangerous," he said.
Mr. Potok said computer servers running several sites they monitored had collapsed due to the huge surge in traffic after Mr. Obama was elected.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was heavily criticized a month ago by groups representing returned servicemen and right-wing commentators, after her department released a report that pointed to growing concerns about right-wing hate groups and their potential to attract returning servicemen and women from Iraq with arms training. Gun sales have gone through the roof since Mr. Obama was elected, because of fears he will tighten gun laws.
In conclusion, sadly, there are many von Brunns in the United States. Some even had Presidential influence during the Regan Administration. Todd Blodgett, a former aide in Ronald Reagan's White House who had his own interest in the hate groups, got acquainted with von Brunn. Mr. Blodgett recalled going with Mr. Von Brunn to meetings in Virginia of the American Friends of the British National Party, a now disbanded group that raised funds for the BNP. Mr. Blodgett went onto say, "von Brunn is obsessed with Jewish people, "He had equal contempt for both Jews and blacks, but if he had to pick one group to wipe out, he'd always say it would be Jews."