It’s been just about 24 hours since the white supremacist James W. von Brunn (shown here in a more recent DMV photo released by police) opened fire at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and killed security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns. I’ll be back later today with some analysis but for now, I wanted to share my growing link archive about von Brunn and the shooting.
Mainstream News Outlets:
- Long History of Hate (Washington Post)
- White Supremacist to Be Charged with Murder (FoxNews)
- Suspect called genius, ‘a ‘oner and a hothead’ (MSNBC – same content as the WaPo link above) – most memorable line is the last one, quoting someone that knew von Brunn: “The responsible white separatist community condemns this. It makes us look bad.” Indeed.
- Guard Opened Door for Killer (CNN) – The museum canceled a performance scheduled for Wednesday night of a play about racism and anti-Semitism, based on a fictional meeting between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, written by Janet Langhart Cohen, the wife of former Defense Secretary and U.S. Sen. William Cohen. CNN also has the video (9:00) of the Cohens describing what they saw (along with another example of CNN’s horrible use of illustrative technology).
- Holocaust Museum suspects’ views were known (LATimes) – Quotes Heidi Beirich, research director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, saying “We’ve been tracking this guy since the late 1970s. He has an extremely long history with neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and is extremely hard-core.” After his release from prison von Brunn went to work for a Southern California bookstore connected to the Institute for Historical Review, a top Holocaust-denial group in the U.S.
- According to von Brunn’s own bio from his website used as source material by lots of the news agencies, he moved to NYC in 1947 and found a job at a “big-league advertising [firm] on Madison Avenue” although the ad firm he mentions denies that he was ever employed there.
- His (second) ex-wife says she ‘detested’ his views – (NYDaily News) – She also says that the 6’5″ von Brunn reminded her of John Wayne and that when they were married, von Brunn frequently said that he would ‘go out with his boots on.’ “I took it to mean that he was going to go out and try to take some people with him,” she’s quoted as saying. After leaving prison, von Brunn became a prolific writer in the white supremacist fringe and a member of the Mensa, a group for people with high IQs.
Around the Blogosphere:
- von Brunn desribed as living ‘hand to mouth’ (Huffington Post)
- A longer profile of von Brunn (TPM)
- James Ridgeway describes von Brunn as a ‘domestic terrorist’ (Mother Jones)
- The Hate Inside Our Borders (Pam’s House Blend)
- Professor Kim calls for a Discourse of Transformation
- Greg Sargent asks whether the GOP will reconsider efforts to push the ‘birther’ bill in the wake of the shooting (The PlumLine)
- Josh Marshall wonders whether the shooting vindicates the DHS report (TPM)
- Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic has a clip from Shep Smith of Fox News saying that the shooting does vindicate the DHS report, here. Coates also notes that he thinks it’s “worth mentioning” that a Black man died defending a Jewish Holocaust museum.
- Chris Chambers at Nat Turner’s Revenge pulls together a couple of threads by talking about the Cohen play and making the Black-Jewish connection in this story (and draws some pretty heated comments).
If I missed a crucial link, please feel free to add a comment and post a link there.
Update: And now neo-Nazi violence, again, in Russia.
Update2: the Gun he had was illegal:
QUESTION: Can you talk about his firearm, sir? He was a convicted felon, so how did he have the rifle?
Asst. Dir. JOSEPH PERSICHINI, JR., FBI DC Field Office: That I can’t answer.
QUESTION: He was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, a long gun. That is illegal anywhere in the country. Is that not right?
Chief CATHY LANIER, DC Police: That’s correct.
QUESTION: So, we don’t have any sense of how he came into possession of that?
LANIER: Obviously that’s something that will be followed up on.