Source: James Hart Stern
Black Activist Becomes Leader Of Prominent Neo-Nazi Group, Vows To Dismantle It
Source: James Hart Stern
James Hart Stern previously dissolved a Ku Klux Klan chapter in Michigan.
A black activist has become the leader of one of the nation's largest neo-Nazi organizations in hopes of undermining and dismantling it.
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James Hart Stern has been named the director and president of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) according to a report from NBC News. He succeeds Jeff Schoep who had first took control of the group back in 1994 and renamed it the NSM. The information came from court documents filed on Thursday, with the documents suggesting Stern wants to use his new position to undermine the organization's defense in a lawsuit they're facing.
The NSM is one of several groups being sued for conspiracy and negligence in regards to their involvement with the violence that occurred during the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. The documents are asking a federal court in Virginia to rule against the NSM before one of the lawsuits goes to trial.
However, the documents don't explain how Stern got the position, with the 54-year-old activist stating that he had "no official or casual relationship with this group prior [to February 2019]."
Matthew Heimbach, a leading white nationalist figure who served as the NSM's community outreach director last year, said Schoep and other group members weren't in agreement with the direction of the organization. With Stern now leading, Heimbach think this is the end of the group in its current iteration.
"I think it's kind of a sad obit for one of the longest-running white nationalist organizations," Heimbach said.
According to Newsweek, Stern dissolved a KKK chapter in Michigan after meeting former Grand Wizard Edgar Ray Killen in prison while serving a five-year sentence for wire fraud. Newsweek also notes that Stern had written a blog post in 2017 where he helped Schoen and the NSM to replace the Nazi swastika as the group's logo with an Odal rune.
"I have personally targeted eradicating the [KKK] and the National Socialist Movement, which are two organizations here in this country which have all too long been given privileges they don't deserve," Stern said in a video posted on his site.
The reports have led some to compare the news to Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman film in which a black police officer infiltrates a KKK group.
Source: NBC News