Hate Groups Riled Up Over Prospect of President Obama

The prospect of a Black president has America's bastions of hate in an uproar. Leaders, including the wizard of the Imperial Klans of America, Ron Edwards, have long warned the white race is under attack and must be defended. Federal authorities say web sites have featured ugly calls to target Senator Barack Obama.

And twice now since August, two sets of self-proclaimed neo-Nazi skinheads have been caught in what officials say were feeble but still troubling plots to assassinate Obama.

"If Obama is elected president, these people see the world as they know it to end," said Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the most recent case, federal agents say two men, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, planned to go on a killing spree against more than a hundred African Americans and then, they told the Secret Service, go out in a blaze of glory, dressed in white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt. Cowart is described as the leader.


"His views are strongly Neo-Nazi," said Dees, "which explains why he wants to kill black people and why he's ultimately interested in the assassination of Sen. Obama."

Cowart and Schlesselman told the Secret Service they met using the website of a new hate group, the Supreme White Alliance, a next generation of neo-Nazis and racist skin heads.

"We're being discriminated against just because we believe in our white rights," said Steven Edwards of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, who is considered the leader of the Supreme White Alliance.

Like his father, the Klan wizard before him, Edwards represents yet another generation of Americans who find comfort in hate. It is a fringe group, but one that will be even more closely watched if the country elects as President a mixed-race Black man who represents all they fear.

In an contentious interview with ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross on Nightline Tuesday, Edwards said that the assassination plot alarmed him and he sought to portray his group as a social club, with no ties to two men under arrest.

(Click here to watch the Nightline report.)

Social Club or White Power Group?

"We are a club, so we get together, socialize, more of a social type thing for people of the same views," said Edwards. "Do we hate? No we don't hate. We hate certain people and things that go on in the world."

But Edwards sings a different tune, one of extreme hate, when he is with his followers. He is a kind of rock star on the hate circuit for his song "No Mercy", performed at what are called Nordic fests, a Woodstock for the Neo-Nazi, skinhead set.

"What about the Jews? No mercy!," Edwards is seen singing in a video from a concert three years ago. "What about the spics No Mercy? What about the N*****s? No Mercy! What about the Faggots? No mercy? What about the Traitors? No mercy!"

But when asked about the song by ABC News, Edwards replied, "I didn't write that song."

"People, like us, we like to joke, that's pretty much a joke," Edwards said shortly before trying to stop the interview. Edwards stormed off at least four times during the ABC News interview after becoming upset over questions about his club's racist views.

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