Welcome To The Ozarks, Where Even The Tree Rats Are White

Less than an hour’s drive from Joplin is a town called Marionville, located about 14 miles south of Interstate 44. The town’s website describes it as,

a charming community located in the heart of the Ozarks in Lawrence County, Southwest Missouri. Marionville has a population of white squirrels, which is one of a handful of such populations in the United States.

Visitors come to Marionville in hopes of catching a glimpse of our white squirrels.

I kid you not. White squirrels.

The entire country had a chance to meet one of those white squirrels recently. His name is Dan Clevenger and you’ll soon find out where he hides his nuts. In the mean time, in case you’ve never seen a white squirrel, here’s a picture of one:

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Dan Clevenger owns an engine repair shop in Marionville. And, uh, he’s also the mayor.

In Marionville, not only are the squirrels white, but most of the population of 2200 is too. In other words, the town is like a lot of towns here in the Ozarks, without the white tree rats.

Mayor Clevenger is now famous for talking nice about the Jew-hating white supremacist who killed three Christians at two Jewish community sites in Overland Park, Kansas, this past weekend. One of the victims was a 14-year-old boy, who was killed along with his grandfather, who had brought the young boy to audition for a singing contest. The other victim was a 53-year old woman who was visiting her mother at a nearby senior living facility. The killer, Frazier Glenn Cross (aka Frazier Glenn Miller and Glenn Miller), lived near Marionville and was a “friend” of Mayor Clevenger’s, who told KSPR of Springfield that although the murderous white supremacist’s biased beliefs remained strong over the years, the mayor “kind of agreed with him on some things, but I don’t like to express that too much.”

As KSPR noted, though, the squirrely white mayor wasn’t always so reluctant to express his views:

Nearly a decade ago, Clevenger wrote a letter to the editor of the Aurora Advertiser.

“I am a friend of Frazier Miller helping to spread his warnings,” wrote Clevenger. “The Jew-run medical industry has succeeded in destroying the United State’s workforce.”

The letter continued.

“Made a few Jews rich by killin’ us off.”

He also spoke of the “Jew-run government backed banking industry turned the U.S into the world’s largest debtor nation.”

Years later, Clevenger’s views haven’t seemed to change.

“There some things that are going on in this country that are destroying us.  We’ve got a false economy and it’s, some of those corporations are run by Jews because the names are there,” he said.  “The fact that the Federal Reserve prints up phony money and freely hands it out, I think that’s completely wrong.  The people that run the Federal Reserve, they’re Jewish.”

Now, it’s not that Mayor White Squirrel supports what Frazier Miller did. He made sure to tell us that he is against violence and that he doesn’t hate anyone and that the killer “didn’t have any right to that and I think he should pay with his life.” Good for the squirrel. But he made no effort to repudiate Miller’s basic views or the views he himself expressed a decade ago. When Talking Points Memo tried to talk to him yesterday, he said he’s “done doing interviews.”

The problem is that when Mayor Clevenger wrote in defense of the white supremacist ten years ago, he knew what kind of man he was. Frazier Miller had founded the White Patriot Party in 1980, “a paramilitary, Christian Identity faction of the Ku Klux Klan.” In the late 1980s Miller was accused of plotting to kill civil rights activist Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was eventually convicted of threatening Dees and of weapons violations, then ratted out 13 of his fellow haters as part of a plea bargain. Miller served three years in federal prison.

I wrote about Frazier Glenn Miller four years ago in a post titled, “Whites Unite! And Take Our Country Back!”  At the time he was running for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat (eventually won by Roy Blunt) and I dared to compare part of Miller’s white supremacist message with what I saw going on in the then-flourishing Tea Party. When a commenter challenged me on that comparison, I wrote:

Who was I supposed to compare this stuff to? Teapartiers are running all over the country yelling, “We want our country back!” Well, it turns out, so are the white-wing nuts. In fact, if you view the video from the 1980s of Glenn Miller’s White Patriot Party, you will hear the following points advanced:

1. Liberals are ruining the country.

2. Abortion is murder.

3. The government is the enemy.

Granted, all of the above is set in a context of white supremacy, but so is much of the rhetoric of the extremists in the Tea Party movement. See Tom Tancredo’s speech at the Tea Party Convention, for example. When teapartiers say, “we want our country back!” who is the “we“? You know who they mean, as well as I do. The frequent references to the Founders just reinforces the point.

As I pointed out in the Globe last June, people like the late Samuel Francis and MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan and other sulkers over the god-awful drift away from our “European” (read: white) roots, lament the state of our culture because white folks are losing control of it. While this isn’t the kind of in-your-face racism that Glenn Miller represents, it is related to it.

I stand by what I said in 2010. What the mayor of Marionville represents, besides white squirrels, is the kind of angst among white people that I have been writing about since I started this blog more than five years ago. Sure, almost all white people worrying about the state of the culture and their place in it as white people obviously condemn what Frazier Glenn Miller did in Overland Park. I want to make it clear that I am not accusing tea partiers or other Republicans of supporting hateful and murderous violence against non-whites or non-Christians or anyone. What I am saying is that to the extent that ideas motivated Frazier Miller to murder, those ideas are related to the angst that so many white people, especially in the South, feel these days, especially these days when an African-American is sitting in the White’s House.

The lastest example of what I am talking about happened in just the past few days. Hank Aaron, one of the greatest baseball players of all time, wrote a piece for USA Today in which he said,

Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.

A lot of white people don’t want to hear that these days, particularly coming from a black man. When Aaron was about to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record in 1974, he famously received all kinds of hate mail and death threats. After his USA Today newspaper article was published, the Atlanta Braves, for whom Aaron works, was the conduit for more up-to-date hate, according to the paper’s sports columnist Bob Nightengale:

Sheer racism, exposed in vile letters directed to Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, have poured into the Atlanta Braves offices over the past week.

Yes, it was like 1974 all over again, the year Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, with letters laced with the most hateful epithet known to African Americans.

“Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)” a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, “My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).”

With that, happy Jackie Robinson Day!

On a day when Major League Baseball celebrates Robinson, who broke the color barrier April 15, 1947, in one of the most momentous achievements of the civil rights movement, we have these letters to remind us of the racial hatred that still exists in this society.

Yes, of course. Racial hatred still exists. Against blacks, against Jews, against whomever it is that threatens the longstanding dominance of white culture in America. And although a small-town mayor here in southwest Missouri is quick to denounce the violence that, fortunately, only occasionally accompanies such racial hatred, he and too many others are not so quick to denounce the ideas that precede the violence.

__________________________________

Finally, from the AP:

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on Thursday and Friday to honor three people shot to death at two Jewish sites in Overland Park.

Dr. William Corporon and his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, were shot and killed Sunday outside of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. A third victim, Terri Lamanno, was shot moments later at the Village Shalom, a Jewish retirement complex.

Memorial services for the three victims are scheduled on Thursday and Friday.

lamanno and corporon and underwood

15 Comments

  1. Troy

     /  April 17, 2014

    Btw. Where are all these upstanding moral Christians of the GOP on this incident. Haven’t heard any of them come out and denounce this type of behavior or those who promote these ridiculous beliefs. Great write my brotha !

    Liked by 1 person

    • The right-wing Christians are preoccupied with gay people right now. They are trying to keep young people from abandoning their churches over gay marriage and other social issues. In order to keep the money flowing in, the younger folks have to keep coming to church and paying their tithes, so the leaders are busy trying to figure out a way to remain “true” to what they claim the Bible says and at the same time keep the kids in the pews. See:

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  2. Treeske

     /  April 17, 2014

    Those severely ignorant people who know nothing more than angst have their hatred fueled by an uppity n….. in the white house. Painful for them to digest seeing the growth of many minorities smarter and better educated than they. @ Troy, The GOP only stands up for MONEY all other no matter how un-Christian or un-Patriotic has no value and knowing very well that to disrupt the stupids and dummies will cost them votes so they cower while furthering their Society destructing agenda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • the rain

       /  April 19, 2014

      I am so glad your kind will be replaced by conservatives in the Senate in November. Your hate will go the way of the dinosaur.

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      • “Go the way of the dinosaur”? Nah. Dinosaurs are still with us. They’re called birds. In fact, “there are probably more species of dinosaur alive today than there were in the Mesozoic!” So, I suggest a new metaphor. How about, “go the way of the teapartier?”

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  3. Of course, the Tea Party and and the White Patriots are the same — in the way a Lexus is really at its heart and in its bolts, just another Toyota. Conceived by the same minds, built on the same platform, bent to the same lasts, covering up the same imperfections and lack of imagination. The remarkable slowness of our willing awareness of this fact is why the GOP (now on Tea Party life support) still exists in any form at all. But the mounting defections of independent voters and moderate Republicans are sort of like those mounting recalls for Toyota (and Lexus): people are figuring out the TPRs have bought their way into government in a manner not unlike Toyota’s remarkable buying of the loyalty of the car magazines’ writers and reviewers. How much bullshit are American voters willing to swim in before they wade out of the cesspool and clean themselves up? If the sad Toyota story is any indicator, there is still a cycle or two of lazy preprogrammed stupidity ahead for the car buyer and the voter before they make the change, once and for all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, it is apparent that the Tea Party and white racists share many of the same attitudes and notions. I think it’s tribalism that results in powerful resentments. In the case of Frazier Miller, those resentments exceeded his power to control them and resulted in poorly-planned violence. He, like Mayor Clevenger, blamed Jews, but the was so charged with hate that he failed to be sure the people he targeted were Jews. (All three were Christians.)

    I’ve always wondered what goes through the minds of people like this after the dust settles and the realities of their deeds sink in. The Boston Bomber must be similar. Do they read the papers? Do they watch TV news accounts of their crimes? Do they feel remorse and think about killing the “wrong” kind of people, or that, they killed and maimed people who look just like them, people who have ordinary lives unconnected to politics? I guess we’ll never know the answers to questions like that unless someone writes a book or a Wiki page about it years later. That happened in the case of RFK’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan. This is the last paragraph of his Wikipedia page:

    In a 1980 interview with M.T. Mehdi, Sirhan claimed his actions were fueled by liquor and anger. He then complained that the parole board was not taking these “mitigating” circumstances into account when they continually denied his parole.

    On May 10, 1982, Sirhan told the parole board: “I sincerely believe that if Robert Kennedy were alive today, I believe he would not countenance singling me out for this kind of treatment. I think he would be among the first to say that, however horrible the deed I committed 14 years ago was, that it should not be the cause for denying me equal treatment under the laws of this country.

    A parole hearing for Sirhan is now scheduled every five years. On March 2, 2011, after 42 years in prison, Sirhan’s 14th parole hearing was held, with Sirhan represented by his current attorney, William Francis Pepper. At his parole hearing, Sirhan testified that he continues to have no memory of the assassination nor of any details of his 1969 trial and confession. Pepper also repeated the claim, which Sirhan’s lawyers had previously stated, that Sirhan’s mind was “programmed” and then “wiped” by an unknown conspiracy behind the assassination which is why Sirhan has no memory of the murder or of the aftermath. His parole was denied on the grounds that Sirhan still does not understand the full ramifications of his crime.

    There is no way to really understand the human mind, I guess, but these incidents and many others convince me that many people have the capacity to willfully believe just about anything. That is very disturbing and it leaves me wondering whether the pressures of accelerating wealth inequality will motivate even more wacko’s to violence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angelfire

       /  April 18, 2014

      Touche Jim. AND they always head for an elementary school or some other place where the weakest in our society works and plays. They are cowards. I notice this monster was in a wheel chair. I’m sure he is now playing the pity card. I say we electrocute him and light him up like a Christian Christmas Tree.

      Like

    • Jim, I thought about what you said when I heard about the murders at a children’s charity hospital in Afghanistan, including an American pediatrician named Jerry Umanus. While we still don’t know the motive, it is safe to say that it has something to do with religious fundamentalism. We may not know all that much (yet) about why people do such horrific things, but we do know that often it is religious zealotry that motivates them. Oddly, the pediatrician killed by that Afghan “policeman,” was also motivated by religion, according to the Chicago Tribune:

      Umanos had worked as a pediatrician at Lawndale Christian Health Center for more than 16 years when he and his wife moved to Afghanistan. Umanos worked at a community health center and at a children’s hospital in Kabul, helping train Afghan doctors.

      He coordinated Afghanistan’s only residency training programs and directed clinical care for under-served residents of Kabul, according to his online biography.

      “He was a great person, a great doctor. It’s a great loss,” said Umanos’ mother-in-law Angie Schuitema. “He was doing what he wanted to do. He thanked God for allowing him to help people there.

      “He always wanted to be a missionary and he felt this was one way he could do it,” she added. “He was brought up knowing the Lord and wanting to do work for the Lord. . . .His desire was to work with other people and help them.”

      I don’t know how to process this stuff, my friend. Wish I did. That might make it easier to accept.

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  5. Reblogged this on Power To The Voters and commented:
    This is a must read article. You nailed it!

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  6. Like I’ve said before: American Taliban!

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    • Angelfire

       /  April 18, 2014

      But much more dangerous than the Taliban because they are everywhere. We are surrounded by these idiots. It gets more and more embarrassing to live in this state.
      I thought Todd Akin was the tippy top of ignorance but nope, even the Tea Party Taliban has topped Akin.

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