A post on Stormfront, a website for neo-Nazis and white supremacists, announces a July 31 rally on the steps of the Midland County Courthouse. Scheduled to speak is Randy Gray, who was elected as a GOP precinct delegate in 2008. He was stripped of that position after he showed up the day after the election on the streets of Midland in his KKK robes protesting the election of Barack Obama.
Also scheduled to speak is James Wickstrom, a longtime member of the Christian Identity movement. Wickstrom claims that only white people were created in the image of God and only white people have souls. He also claims that Jews are the “children of Satan” and that white, Western Europeans are the true Israelites favored by God. Wickstrom lives in Rhodes, Michigan.
A third speaker is Jeff Schoep, “commander” of the National Socialist Movement which has its headquarters in Detroit. His organization wants a United States made up only of those with “pure White blood” — and no Jews or homosexuals allowed. And although Schoep claims that his group is non-violent, their party platform demands that “all non-Whites currently residing in America be required to leave the nation forthwith and return to their land of origin: peacefully or by force.”
A lot of Michigan residents are unaware of the long history of such groups in this state, but this has long been a home for many violent racist individuals and organizations. For decades they were led by Robert Miles, grand wizard of the Michigan KKK until his death in 1992. He was arrested and convicted of conspiring to bomb a school bus to protest desegregation in 1971.
The invitation to the rally even includes instructions on how to dress. Those in attendance can dress casually, but those who are speaking are expected to be in “professional attire.” I guess that means making sure your sheets are cleaned and pressed. And don’t show up in your child’s Scooby Doo sheets, that detracts from the seriousness of the proceedings.