The National Socialist Movement, an organization that grew out of the American Nazi Party, held a rally in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday. By about 10 to one, opponents of the anti-immigrant rally outnumbered the neo-Nazis at counter-protests close by- one across the street and a second at The Liberty Memorial.
Before the weekend, we asked some of KCUR’s Facebook followers what they’d like to know from the white nationalists. Reporter Laura Ziegler put some of your questions to the head of the National Socialist Movement, Commander Jeff Schoep, in an interview at Saturday's rally.
Here are some of those questions and Schoep's answers:
Why did you come to Kansas City for this rally?
“It’s an area we felt that needed our support. We’ve got a lot of supporters down here; we’ve got a really strong chapter in the area. It’s a big city, so it was a natural fit. Not one specific reason, but many reasons: crime, illegal immigration...”
Are you an anti-Jewish organization?
“We don’t recognize the bandit state of Israel. We see it as an occupied territory. It was Palestinian territory….and we don’t really recognize that. We do recognize the Jewish people have the right to exist. All people have the right to exist. In the UN (United Nations) charter it tells us that everyone has the right to exist. Our concern is not to take away anyone’s right, but we don’t recognize Israel. We don’t recognize it."
What do you think about American Jews?
“I wish they would separate from amongst us and go live in their own homelands. I feel they’ve undermined our country enough, and our concern is this country was founded by white Americans for white Americans, and we’d rather not have the Jews undermining our policies.”
You say you are not a violent organization. Can you see how (some of your actions and words) could be construed as violent?
“I don’t’ see how it could be construed as violent. You know, we’re not Amish, where we won’t defend ourselves. You know, we’ve fought with these people in the streets. When the police aren’t here we usually end up fighting with them 'cuz they’ll usually attack us and then there’ll be a street battle with these type of people. And you see it on the internet if you look it up. But, we’re not trying to incite violence; that’s not our purpose here. If violence comes to us, we’ll handle it. Like I was saying, probably about half our guys are former military…trained by this country. (They’re) definitely not afraid to fight.
Are you trying to be provocative?
“This is our country. They’re (immigrants) here only because they been allowed by this government to exist here as guests. This is our country. If it incites them we don’t care. We’re not here to incite violence, but if they don’t like it they can look away. Nobody says they have to come out here and watch us. We’re talking to the people who want to listen to us. “