For some time, the right-wing media has been attempting to brand Occupy Wall Street and related protests as anti-Semitic. In the latest example, conservative blogger Jim Hoft is pointing to video of heavily armed Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready patrolling the Occupy Phoenix protest and saying nice things about the movement.
Hoft sarcastically concludes, “Yup. They're just like the tea party.”
It's worth pointing out that much of the rhetoric Ready spouts during the video -- decrying fiat money, saying that he and others were “exercising our Second Amendment right so that everybody can have a First Amendment right,” claiming that Operation Fast and Furious was intended to “take away our rights” and the perpetrators are traitors who should be put to death -- sounds much more like the rhetoric of a conservative protestor than an OWS supporter.
And indeed, that's the problem for Hoft: Ready previously attended and reportedly spoke at Tea Party rallies.
- In July 2009, Phoenix New Times reported that according to multiple sources, Ready spoke at a July 4 Tea Party rally at the Arizona state capitol.
- In November 2009, PNT reported that Ready had attended “a recent anti-amnesty tea party” on the capitol lawn.
- In April 2010, PNT reported that Ready had organized a “recent tea party protest” at Wells Fargo's Phoenix headquarters. Then-Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite J.D. Hayworth reportedly spoke at the event.
J.T. Ready is not the only white supremacist figure to seek access to the Tea Party. American Third Position, a white nationalist political party founded by racist skinheads, have organized, co-sponsored, or freely distributed literature at no fewer than 10 Tea Party rallies in six states. The group has openly claimed that they see the Tea Party as “fertile ground” for recruitment.