The Emerging Face Of Hate

White suprema­cists, neo-Nazis and fas­cists descend­ed on a Middle Tennessee town Saturday for a “White Lives Matter” ral­ly, strik­ing fear into com­mu­ni­ties des­per­ate to avoid the kind of vio­lence that vis­it­ed Charlottesville, Virginia, near­ly three months ago.

Jeff Schoep, sec­ond from the left, is head of the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group. He and three oth­er NSM mem­bers met HuffPost out­side their hotel in the Nashville area.

On Friday evening, a HuffPost reporter met Jeff Schoep, head of the National Socialist Movement, in a hotel park­ing lot in the Nashville area. Standing with three NSM sub­or­di­nates, two of them armed, Schoep too seemed fix­at­ed on chang­ing the optics of orga­nized white suprema­cy in America. No more swastikas, he said. No more shout­ing racial epi­thets.

But it’s hard to teach an old Nazi new tricks. When a pair of young black men start­ed tak­ing pho­tos of the Nazis hang­ing out in a hotel park­ing lot talk­ing to some jour­nal­ists, a mid­dle-aged NSM mem­ber wear­ing SS light­ning bolts on his jack­et said, “Get out of here, n****rs.”

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, fear­ing that it could be tar­get­ed, pre­pared to can­cel ser­vices and reli­gious class­es. Earlier this year, two young men were arrest­ed for wrap­ping bacon around the front door of the mosque (pork, the con­sump­tion of which is for­bid­den in Islam, is a com­mon weapon of Islamophobes) and spray-paint­ing pro­fane anti-Muslim mes­sages on the building’s exte­ri­or.

Since it opened in 2012, the mosque has received a bomb threat and been the tar­get of arson. Women in head­scarves out­side the cen­ter have been harassed. In 2010, over 300 anti-Muslim pro­test­ers marched on the mayor’s office here, chant­i­ng “No Shariah in the USA!” and demand­ing that the town not allow the Islamic cen­ter to be built at all.

The sto­ry orig­i­nat­ed @ Huffingtonpost​.com.