Dees: Fight for equality continues - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Dees: Fight for equality continues

Lawyer was a major foe of the Aryan Nations

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Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 12:00 am

MOSCOW - Morris Dees, a lawyer and major foe of the Aryan Nations in the North Idaho hate group's heyday, said Tuesday at the University of Idaho that the work of fighting for equality continues on fronts such as U.S. immigration, health care and public education.

"There are millions among us who find neither opportunity nor justice," Dees said, speaking to a full ballroom inside the Student Union Building on the university campus.

Reflecting back on Martin Luther King Jr.'s success decades earlier, Dees said, "I don't think Dr. King intended for his dream to be a static thing."

Dees said the "march for justice" continues on numerous issues.

"How are we going to treat millions, especially Latinos, among us who make the wheels of our commerce and industry work?" Dees said. He compared those immigrant workers' treatment to that of African-Americans in the deep South during the 1950s and 1960s.

He also cited the sometimes poor treatment of gays and lesbians. "So many people in this (gay and lesbian) community find themselves and their rights violated, abused, (and) denied equal protection of the law," Dees said.

Meantime, incomes are rising for the rich, he said, while for other Americans the numbers aren't changing or are declining.

"People don't have the ability to have a good living," he said.

Additionally, much more needs to be done to protect kids in schools from bullies, and provide all kids in the public school system with a valuable education.

"I could go on and on with the issues that face us today, that are part of this march for justice," Dees said. "One particularly important issue deals with health care."

He said the Congress is gridlocked today because of the debate over health care for all citizens, and President Barack Obama's landmark health-care reform legislation. He criticized Republicans in Congress for trying to defund the law.

"(The law) is being held hostage by a very narrow group of people who are concerned, and I want to say afraid, because of the changing nature of our nation," Dees said.

He added that the opponents of Obama's Afordable Care Act "don't like the fact that millions of Americans - who are not like them, who have different values than them - are going to get some of the goods and services of this nation, and this really disturbs them."

He followed that by saying that when he was in school about 12 percent of the American population was made up of "people of color," but today the number has reached 36 percent. He predicted that by 2040 people of color would combine to account for a majority of the population.

"The election of Obama for two terms shows that this coalition of people is coming together," he said. The trend "really frightens a large segment of our population," he said, adding that there "has been an enormous rise in hate groups."

Dees, whose speech Tuesday was titled "With justice for all in a changing America," is best known in North Idaho for a legal victory over the Aryan Nations that included a $6 million judgment that bankrupted the hate group. He's also known as an author, writing books such as "Hate on Trial" and "Gathering Storm: America's Militia Threat."

He co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national public interest law firm with more than 40 lawyers. He graduated from the University of Alabama law school after growing up on a cotton farm in a rural part of the southern state.

"I had a chance to work in cotton farms alongside African Americans," he said.

In an interview after Dees' speech, Michael Satz, dean of the College of Law at UI, said he hoped law students and others at the university left determined to stand up for injustice, as Dees had done many times. Dees, he said, is an important historical figure.

Hate groups can be beat, Satz said, when a community and leaders come together to stop them.

"It's scary to make a choice to fight injustice, because you have to stand up," Satz said. "Someone has to be the first person to stand up, and I hope they'll be that first person."

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  • Tom Metzger posted at 10:45 am on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

    Tom Metzger Posts: 3

    I hope everyone experiences just one time in their life of being charged with a major civil or criminal case and try to find an attorney.Only a couple of out of town attorney's would take my case. They demanded $100,000 cash up front to start. The lie that I and my son defended ourselves because we wanted to be bigshots is a straight out lie. Our enemies spread this lie to confuse the issue. I contacted every attorney in Portland by mail. All responded that they wouldn't take the case even if I had the money.

  • Kirby posted at 1:23 pm on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    Kirby Posts: 1041

    Idiot savant?

  • Flash Gordon posted at 12:06 pm on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1280

    What I really enjoyed most about your trial was your self interrogation. Thank goodness you had yourself as your own attorney. Followed it till the end. There was nothing unexpected with the outcome..

    I was hoping to see you here offering advice during Butler's trial. You must have been tied up with other matters.......

  • Tom Metzger posted at 7:14 am on Thu, Oct 10, 2013.

    Tom Metzger Posts: 3

    More misleading information. I was never bankrupt and Dees has gotten no money from me for at least 15 years .Even that silly judgement was over at least a decade ago. Who ever writes this stuff does a disservice by outright lying.Of course I suspect this response doesn't come from the left at all but certain right wing people that know I abandoned the right wing approach years ago.

    It is true I lost a house that I paid $13,950 for and a few tools and a service truck but I was back in business shortly after the trial.The newspaper and all other activities continued as usual from a rented location.Oh yes Dee's hasn't told you that I immediately applied for welfare which paid well with my 6 kids and all in California. The States of Washington and California financed two daughters through college. One the a 4 year expenses paid university. My logic was simple that if the tax payers were willing to unjustly seize my goods then it was only fair that they support my family. So you see no one gained much from that civil lynching especially the taxpayers of Oregon and California.

    Dee's doesn't eat away at my Psyche. I am surprised he doesn't but I can go months without thinking about him.And then only when I see his name on the web out their fleecing the sheep.Check his Southern trust fund where he stashes millions.The last time I talked to the Alabama state house they had never heard of it yet it was on his IRS papers.
    So two points this person has to prove is how much of the 12 million did the family of the dead Ethiopian get. Consider even before the trial I and my wife averaged about $25,000 a year income. Getting a judgement isn't that hard but collecting it is usually impossible which any judge will tell you. Number two judgements are
    good for 10 years then they can be renewed for ten more but that still does not put a dime in your pocket if you cant collect.Three not even Dee's or the Portland police ever pushed the idea that I conspired to kill anyone.I was never even questioned by the Portland police.I had no real connection to either the accused or the victim.People who have seen the evidence know that. Most of the manufactured evidence came from a paid liar by the name of David Mazzella. He was on Dee's pay role before the trial and for years after the trial.Dees even paid his bail in a Northern California felony case in turn for his testimony.
    I am living a very comfortable life on my parent property right where I was born and raised. But I guess if it makes my detractors feel better to believe the lies. Well goody on them. Oh yes! Notice I always use my real name and do not hide behind a fake nickname. Pleasant Dreams! Things are not always as they seem. The Insurgent

  • Flash Gordon posted at 8:44 pm on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1280

    Metzger suffers from his own "historical amnesia". Morris Dees busted him for over 12 million dollars. Metzger is still paying off the family of the individual he was convicted of conspiring to kill with monies garnished from his racist enterprises. Lost his home and lost just about everything he had.

    What pleases me most though is his obsession with Morris Dees and how this eats away at his psyche day in day out. What a fitting way to live his life till the day he dies.....

    My hope, though, is that Metzger lives a fairly long life so that he continues to pay the family of the young man he was convicted of conspiring to kill.....a daily reminder of just who it was that brought him to justice:)

  • Kirby posted at 8:20 pm on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Kirby Posts: 1041

    Why am I thinking the childish are the ones most likely to whine to the editor or moderator, or whatever because someone isn't playing by the zombie drone rules they were indoctrinated with.
    ... get that guy, he's not a team player. Mommy mommy make it stop.

  • Natural Liberal posted at 7:31 pm on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Natural Liberal Posts: 44

    Saying that disagreement is “Hate” is childish.

    Please note that to the right of the word childish there is a dot.

    That dot is called a “period.” The English call it “full stop.”

  • Tom Metzger posted at 6:17 pm on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Tom Metzger Posts: 3

    Happy to see Mr. Dees misleading so many people yet today. Hes made several million saying he was up lifting the down trodden. Best check that record closely.
    Take me,i was sued by Dees in the biggest fraud of a trial yet. Morris claims he destroyed me but the truth is he accomplished very little.I was never bankrupted as he claims. I didnt stop publishing the WAR newspaper for several years,I never quit producing a TV show. I never quit appearing on TV and radio shows.
    He claims he took large sums of money from me again not true.
    I changed the name of my operations a few years ago from W.A.R to the Insurgent when I moved back to my home town at Warsaw,Indiana. I continue to produce a daily radio show that is available at RESIST.COM
    The amusing part is that after I was forced to defend myself because all attorneys wanted $100,000 to take my case and I lost. Morris Dees quit writing about me and has pretended for 25 years I don't exist.

    The other lesson I learned was never play by the enemy rules so I have been creating a nationwide collective of independent covert LONE WOLVES who never have rally's,wear uniforms,wave flags, or demonstrate. Which is succeeding beyond all my expectations. And I owe it all to Morris Dees.

  • Kirby posted at 11:34 am on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Kirby Posts: 1041

    ... opps, politically INcorrect truth.
    The truth is rarely politically correct.

  • Kirby posted at 11:32 am on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Kirby Posts: 1041

    Did I post here?

  • Kirby posted at 11:30 am on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Kirby Posts: 1041

    You'll never get all the Flash Gordon types, who were taught how to think by watching TV, to see reality though, even to their own detriment.
    ... and be careful, nothing will get you deleted or banned quicker here than exposing the unpopular and politically correct truth.

  • AL_Cracker posted at 8:13 am on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    AL_Cracker Posts: 1

    @Kirby are you posting a comment on the correct article? Seems that the topics Dees spoke on were all related to US current issues and problems. I'm sure if the Palestinian issue were a real issue in the US and had any effect on US citizens it would have been covered. Palestinians have failed to make their problem and fight with Israel a world problem for years, ignoring the fact that the world does not see their problem as their problem or their fight worth picking. Why the Palestinians refuse to direct their anger and battle towards their own Arab brothers has always puzzled the world. Everyone but the Palestinians see that the Arab nations surrounding Israel/Palestine (you choose) have fomented and continue to bend the Palestinians over, slap on a little grease in place and then point a finger at Israel. Maybe it would serve you best to find a more relevant article to post your rah rah, yawn, comment on.

  • idanative55 posted at 7:57 am on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    idanative55 Posts: 32

    I suggest everyone do their research on the SPLC and find out what they are really all about. They spew their retoric of Tolerance yet are far from being tolerant of others views. Check out the list of those they call haters and have gone as far as labeling them as terrorists. If you are pro-gun,pro-life,against homosexuality,a member of the tea party, a patriot, voted for Ron Paul, against the Obama and his socialist agenda, a CHRISTIAN, even so far as being a home canner and survialist, you are on the list. The SPLC is the most racist hate group in the country.

  • Flash Gordon posted at 6:56 am on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1280

    Oh, and Kirby, you have absolutely no empathy toward the Palestinian people and anyone else for that matter. Your hatred of the Jews blinds you to that "sentiment". In fact, you hate a lot of people. I suspect you don't even like standing next to your own shadow.....

    You're more inclined to use others to rationalize your hatred of "them Jews"

  • Intrepid posted at 6:27 am on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Intrepid Posts: 1057

    So now the ACA is also about discrimination? It is 2013. Todays Americans all had access to free public education and the majority lived in a country that offered them potential to succeed. New migrants come to our country and excel, because they are not afraid to work.

    This segment of modern American society unable to provide their own healthcare coverage largely does so because of the choices they made in their own lives. Often they were really poor choices. Why should Americans who sacrificed and worked very hard now have to buy health insurance for others who erred through life and now languish? We have charities to care for the misfortunate. We have welfare to care for the indigent. Now the better life we worked hard to retire with is being robbed to pay for the sluggards who played hard.

  • Flash Gordon posted at 5:57 am on Wed, Oct 9, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1280

    I can fully understand those that reject and criticize Morris Dees for bankrupting hate groups across our great country and particularly here in Coeur d' Alene.:)

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