Neo-Nazi group's new leader is a black man who vows to dissolve it (and lives in Moval)

An NBC News.com story

Feb. 28, 2019, 4:13 PM PST

By Associated Press

One of the nation's largest neo-Nazi groups appears to have an unlikely new leader: a black activist who has vowed to dismantle it.

Court documents filed Thursday suggest James Hart Stern wants to use his new position as director and president of the National Socialist Movement to undermine the Detroit-based group's defense against a lawsuit.

The NSM is one of several extremist groups sued overbloodshed at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Stern's filing asks a federal court in Virginia to issue a judgment against the group before one of the lawsuits goes to trial.

Stern replaced Jeff Schoep as the group's leader in January, according to Michigan corporate records. But those records and court documents say nothing about how or why Stern got the position. His feat invited comparisons to the recent Spike Lee movie "BlacKkKlansman" in which a black police officer infiltrates a branch of the Ku Klux Klan.

Neither Stern, who lives in Moreno Valley, California, nor Schoep responded Thursday to emails and calls seeking comment.

Matthew Heimbach, a leading white nationalist figure who briefly served as the NSM's community outreach director last year, said Schoep and other group leaders have been at odds with rank-and-file members over its direction. Heimbach said some members "essentially want it to remain a politically impotent white supremacist gang" and resisted ideological changes advocated by Schoep.

Heimbach said Schoep's apparent departure and Stern's installation as its leader probably spell the end of the group in its current form. Schoep was 21 when he took control of the group in 1994 and renamed it the National Socialist Movement, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"I think it's kind of a sad obit for one of the longest-running white nationalist organizations," said Heimbach, who estimates it had about 40 active, dues-paying members last year.

The group has drawn much larger crowds at rallies.

The photo below is from their website. To read the complete story, here is the link.

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Debra CraigComment