- OROVILLE, Ca - A renowned
Oroville white supremacist has filed a class-action lawsuit demanding
that California "hate crime" laws be abolished as unconstitutional
and demanding "racial reparations" of $1 million each for anyone
prosecuted under the statute.
- Gregory Steven Withrow gained a national media
following after he was found nailed to a makeshift wooden cross
with his throat slashed in Sacramento in 1987.
- In news articles and personal and TV talk-show appearances,
he claimed the attack was in retaliation for him leaving the white-supremacy
- Testimony he offered to a state Senate subcommittee in
1992 reportedly was instrumental in the passage of legislation that enhanced
criminal penalties for so-called hate crimes in California.
- In his Butte County Superior Court lawsuit, Withrow now
asserts he set up the attack on himself and only pretended to have defected
from his white power roots to "infiltrate" the media, certain
liberal organizations and the halls of government.
- The one-time founder of a white student alliance in Sacramento
argues that hate-crime statutes abridge "free expression." And
since they were predicated on his own "perjured" Senate testimony,
they must be thrown out, he said.
- The suit seeks the "immediate release of all persons
of white, European, Caucasian or Aryan descent" being held for hate
- Additionally, the 68-page lawsuit, which was filed by
Withrow without the aid of a lawyer, asks the court to "seize the
property" of Gov. Gray Davis and 10 other named defendants, including
the FBI, the NAACP, B'nai B'rith and the Southern Poverty Law Center, to
pay millions of dollars in damages to whites prosecuted under the hate-crime
- Withrow, who once told a magazine reporter his father
groomed him to be the second "Fuhrer," claims in the suit that
he ordered four young white Sacramento followers to beat him with baseball
bats, cut his throat and nail him to a wooden cross as part of a deliberate
plot to fool the media and gain the confidence of government leaders so
he could report their activities to "members of my race."
- He contends he testified before the Senate falsely about
the attack so he could later challenge the validity of the hate-crime laws
- Withrow, who says he is willing to take a lie-detector
test to prove what he is now saying is true, says he is motivated in part
by a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center charging his mentor,
white supremacy leader Tom Metzger, with encouraging the beating death
of a black man in Portland, Ore.
- Withrow is seeking $2 million in damages on behalf of
two "white soldiers" who were convicted of that slaying, plus
another $32 million on behalf of Metzger and his family.
- Withrow also charges in the lawsuit that his Butte County
probation officer improperly used his political activities and writings
to persuade a judge last year to increase his sentence after he was convicted
of assaulting his then-wife.
- The self-professed white supremacist is asking the court
to lift certain conditions of his probation, which he says has the effect
of preventing him from dressing like and socializing with others who share