"They have what they call a public front, to tell you that hey, we're not violent, we don't promote violence, we're just interested in getting our views across, representing white people's interest and free speech," said Dees. "But they have a private side represented by the Dan Cowart and his associate, this individual in this case, these groups would certainly never never admit."
Edwards says the man arrested in the Obama death plot, Daniel Cowart, was never a full member of the Supreme White Alliance, the SWA. But Cowart is seen pictured at a SWA party this April to honor the birthday of Adolph Hitler.
Edwards say Obama, for his race, is a smart man, and that he is opposed to any effort to kill him, but he again tried to stop the interview when asked if he would call the police if a member of his group expressed any desire to harm Obama.
While most white supremacist groups have drawn the line at mentioning violence against Obama, a recent example shows that some long-kept quite feelings of hate groups are beginning to emerge, according to equality advocates.
While most white power groups have drawn the line at mentioning violence against Obama, a recent example shows that some long-kept quiet feelings of hate groups are beginning to emerge, according to equality advocates.
"Most white supremacist groups are trying to figure out how they can make hay out of an Obama presidency," said Southern Poverty Law Center director Mark Potok, who is in charge of the center's Intelligence Project.
A prime example, said Potok, is Bill White, the self-described neo-Nazi and leader of the American National Socialist Workers Party who was indicted last week for allegedly soliciting injury to a member of a jury that convicted a white supremacist four years ago for soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago. The case revolves around White's alleged posting of the juror's home address and phone numbers to a website that officials have since taken down.
But there is an item marked as an exhibit inside the criminal complaint which stands out: a full-color magazine cover showing an image of Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama waving to a crowd, targeted by a swastika and a rifle's crosshairs. Bold words read, "Kill This N*****?"
The complaint says the cover was posted on White's website on Sept. 9, 2008, along with a comment which sought $10,000 to print 20,000 copies of it before the upcoming election.
The Illinois office of the U.S. Attorney would not comment about the magazine cover or its relevancy to the current charge against White.
As the historic race to the White House nears to an end, Deborah Lauter, civil rights director of the Anti-Defamation League, said tension is mounting and "everyone is on high alert."
She said yesterday's arrest of the two Tennessee men is of great concern.
"What it showed us is that white extremists who have a propensity to act out during a presidential campaign in fact were prepared to do that," said Lauter, adding that the incident showed that "our fears unfortunately can be realized."
The SWA said that while one of the men was affiliated with the SWA earlier this year, he has since been ousted, and the alliance has not been in contact with either Cowart or Schlesselman.
White isn't making any statements at this time, but his attorney, Bill Cleaveland, said "he is preparing to defend himself on the charge."