As white supremacist publishes home addresses of civil rights leaders, FBI mum
The white supremacist who posted the home addresses of five members of the so-called "Jena 6" on a website says he also plans to reveal the personal information of Rev. Jesse Jackson. He has already posted what he claims are addresses for Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III on his blog, which also carries the Jena addresses.
"I know where Sharpton lives," Bill White, head of the American National Socialist Workers Party, said in a phone interview late Sunday night. "Jesse Jackson, too."
On his blog, which is part of Google's Blogger network, White published four separate addresses for Sharpton, including a listing that purported to be the home of the reverend's mother.
An Atlanta address and phone number were listed for Mr. King.
King, Sharpton and Jackson have all been vocal supporters of six black teenagers charged last year with beating a white teenager at a high school in Jena, Louisiana. Prior to the incident, the school had been the site of mounting racial tensions, including the hanging of nooses from a tree on campus.
Sharpton tells Raw: FBI efforts aren't being taken seriously
"That addresses for my residencies and offices are now publicly listed on the web page of the Neo-Nazi group that continues to list the addresses of the Jena Six and their families is outrageous," said Rev. Sharpton in an email statement on Tuesday to RAW STORY.
Sharpton added that the new development "shows they are now tagging leaders that have come to the aid of the Jena Six."
"This illustrates why FBI efforts aren't taken seriously," he continued, referring to a recent announcement from the FBI that it was launching a probe into White's website. "We are in Washington, DC, today asking for intervention by the federal government because this is tantamount to mocking them. It also jeopardizes me and those that travel with me."
Agent Sheila Thorne, of the FBI's New Orleans field office, said in an email Thursday that "the FBI and our Law Enforcement Partners are aware of allegations that various threats have been made against those involved in the Jena Six case and their families."
"Threats are taken seriously," she said, but would not comment further citing ongoing investigations.
Following up on a story from the the Associated Press, which reported it had been unable to contact the extremist leader for comment regarding his publication of the Jena teens' addresses, RAW STORY reached White by telephone at his Roanoke home late Sunday night.
During the call, White stopped short of directly calling for violence against the three civil rights activists, saying only that it was important that those angered by the leaders' support for the Jena students "knew where to find them."
"I'm just going to put the information up there so people can tell them how they feel," he said, adding that he had just spoken with members of his "Illinois unit" about "going outside of Jesse Jackson's house."
White was far less cautious in discussing his posting last week of address and phone information for the five teenagers charged with beating 17-year-old fellow student Justin Barker.
"If they're acquitted," White said of the black teens, "they should be murdered. Hang them in the public square."
"If the legal system should fail," he continued, "then clearly there would be no law against murder, and it should be legal to go and lynch them."
Civil rights expert: White may be a 'pig,' but probably broke no laws
As incendiary as White's tactics and comments may be, the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok says it's unlikely authorities have much of a case.
"White understands the First Amendment pretty well. He's a pig, but I think it's pretty clear that what he's done is legal," Potok said, although he was quick to point out he is not a lawyer.
Potok, a civil rights expert who edits the Center's Intelligence Report, which tracks hate groups across the country, says he doubts White's most recent postings -- or his comments to Raw Story -- meet the standard required for charging White with a federal crime.
"Typically, the courts have found that there needs to be a direct incitement to act. One piece of it is an 'excited atmosphere," he continued, explaining that White would likely have to be on the scene in Jena promoting a specific violent act in order to be in violation.
"Basically there has to be a real immediacy to criminal incitements," Potok said, adding that his own personal information has been posted by White multiple times. "I can say 'all police officers ought to be killed' and that is absolutely protected. There's nothing to do; it's unfortunate."
White first showed up on the radar of the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2003, when the then 26-year-old was profiled in a compendium of budding extremists called "40 to Watch."
"These people need more than an investigation. They need protection," Rev. Jesse Jackson told the Associated Press about the Jena 6 and their families on Sunday, saying he would "be in touch" with US Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey.
The AP also reported that the aunt of one of the Jena students charged, Bryant Purvis, had received calls at the number posted on White's site, including one incident where a caller "used the N-word to her young son."
"Public attacks on private citizens done out of ignorance and hatred is appalling, and anyone who stoops to such unspeakable persecution will be investigated and subject to the full penalty of law," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said in a statement.
White ran a 'skiptrace' on Jena teens
Asked how he'd tracked down the Jena address information, White explained it was a matter of some high-tech detective work.
"I ran a skiptrace on it," he said, referring to a term used by private investigators about the process of uncovering an individual's location. "I used software. It's only a town of 3,000 people...I ran their names, did a little cross-referencing, did a few phone calls and found out where all of them live."
White's main website was down briefly Sunday when web host Randy Armbrecht pulled the plug following unspecified email threats. "Randy was threatened...he tried to hide from the publicity," White told RAW STORY.
The site has been given a temporary home on the internet server of white nationalist and radio host Hal Turner, who says at his site that "a media firestorm and FBI investigation seem to have stifled Bill White's free speech."
White's blog has apparently been found to be in violation of Blogger's terms of service prohibiting violent or hateful content, but the site has still been intermittently accessible over the past few days.
As to the legality of his actions, White is confident he has little to fear from law enforcement.
"They'd have to prove that I was on my way to Jena to lynch somebody," he said, noting that he was worth "more than a little bit of money" and had retained the services of four lawyers.
"The FBI investigates me every two or three months. Everybody is always shocked they don't come and arrest me."