By Candy Woodall Pennsylvania State Capital Bureau via Beaver County Times
Feb 8, 2021 – Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on Monday officially entered the 2022 U.S. Senate race, vying for a hotly contested seat that could determine the chamber’s balance of power in the midterms.
The formal bid comes after Fetterman raised more than a $1 million in less than a month after he said he was eyeing a run.
“Thank you to all 35,000 of the folks who chipped in a few dollars and encouraged me to run for Senate, today I am excited to announce that I am running, and I am glad to have the support of people in all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties,” Fetterman, 51, said in a statement Monday.
He is running for a seat that will be left vacant by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, RLehigh Valley, who is retiring upon a selfimposed term limit.
Analysts say it’s the top U.S. Senate race to watch in the 2022 midterms.
“The sole tossup Senate race to start the 2022 cycle is Pennsylvania,” said J. Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the nonpartisan newsletter at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
The U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania is expected to be one of the most expensive in the country and could eclipse the $164 million spent in 2016 when Toomey was challenged by Democrat Katie McGinty.
McGinty defeated Fetterman in the 2016 Democratic primary.
A rising profile for Fetterman
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman went on a tour of all 67 Pennsylvania counties to get feedback from residents on recreational marijuana legalization. He is in favor of legalizing the drug.
At the time, he was mostly known in western Pennsylvania, where he was the mayor of Braddock, an old, bluecollar industrial town Fetterman was working to rehabilitate.
Since then, Fetterman has become better known to voters statewide after running a successful campaign to become Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor in 2018. He was also a frequent guest on national news programs during the pandemic and 2020 presidential election, and he has built a robust social media following.
Workers install solar panels on the roof of Global Links, a medical relief nonprofit, in Green Tree, Pa., on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. JARED MURPHY / 90.5 WESA
By AN-LI HERRING WESA-FM
Jan 28, 2021 – Although President Joe Biden’s actions on climate change have stirred anxieties about job loss in energy-producing states like Pennsylvania, a new report predicts that plans like Biden’s could create roughly a quarter-million jobs annually in the Commonwealth. And within hours after the report’s release, local officials announced a small but symbolic down payment on green energy investment.
The 243,000 clean-energy jobs that could be created each year over the next decade in Pennsylvania “are jobs across the board,” said Robert Pollin, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and one of the study’s authors.
“We’re looking at jobs for carpenters, machinists, environmental scientists, secretaries, accountants, truck drivers, roofers, agricultural labor,” Pollin said, referring to positions that would be required to achieve higher energy efficiency standards, develop new products and infrastructure, and restore land that’s been used for mining and drilling.
UMass Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute released the report Thursday, a day after Biden signed a round of executive orders that aim to supercharge the country’s efforts to curb carbon emissions.
Co-authored by Pollin, the report quantifies the potential impact on Pennsylvania jobs of a clean energy strategy developed by ReImagine Appalachia, a coalition of progressive policy and environmental groups. The coalition seeks to facilitate a “just transition” to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, whose economies have traditionally depended on extraction-based fossil fuel industries. ReImagine Appalachia’s blueprint strives to ensure those states can generate well-paying jobs during a decades-long shift to carbon-free energy.
With adequate funding over the next 10 years, the plan would fuel the creation of an average of 162,000 jobs annually in clean energy and 81,000 positions a year in public infrastructure, manufacturing, land restoration, and agriculture, according to Thursday’s study.
The study estimates that an average annual investment of $31 billion would be needed from both the public and private sectors. During the presidential campaign, Biden pledged to invest $2 trillion in such efforts, with the goal of eliminating carbon pollution from the power sector by 2035 and from the entire U.S. economy by 2050.
“The level of funding necessary [is] a lot. But it’s 3 percent of [the] GDP of the state … So it’s affordable,” Pollin said. And he noted that the employment gains his report predicts would amount to about 4 percent of the state’s workforce.
“So if you’re looking at an economy which has a 7 percent unemployment rate [similar to Pennsylvania], these programs lower the unemployment rate to 3 percent – that’s how dramatic it would be,” Pollin said.
Allegheny County took a modest step toward that goal on Thursday, when County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced that, starting as early as mid-2023, all county-owned facilities will draw energy from a low-impact hydropower plant located on the Ohio River.
Fitzgerald called the move a “long-term investment in how we light and power our facilities using our natural resources without using fossil fuels.” He said it comes during a “landmark week,” during which the county met federal air quality standards for the first time ever.
Protesters against racism and police brutality march down P.J. McArdle Roadway from Mount Washington on June 7, 2020. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)
By Matt Petras Public Source
Jan 19, 2021 – When Jasiri X moved from the south side of Chicago to Monroeville as a teen in the 1980s, he discovered “inyourface racism” for the first time. On his first trip to Monroeville Mall, someone called him a racial slur.
“People refer to Pittsburgh as the Mississippi of the North,” said Jasiri X, founder of the prominent social justice activist group 1Hood in Pittsburgh. “I would tell people that would come here that Pittsburgh is an overtly racist place. It’s not subtly racist. It’s not like, ‘We’re gonna hide it.’ It’s pretty overtly racist.”
Following the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, plans for farright demonstrations and the possibility of violence have been identified across the country. The antidisinformation group Alethea Group identified Pittsburgh as a possible site of farright activity, according to the Washington Post, though the FBI released a statement Jan. 12 explaining it has not identified any threats directed at Pittsburgh.
Still, given initial reports like this and the Pittsburgh area’s existing relationship with white supremacy, it seems intuitive to Jasiri X that more of this violence could be coming to Pittsburgh.
“If we’re a hotbed of white supremacist activity,” he said, “we should be expecting violence, shouldn’t we?”
FBI analysts declared Pittsburgh a “hub” for white supremacy in November 2020. Several white supremacist and other farright hate groups operate across Pennsylvania, including groups associated with the Ku Klux Klan. In October 2018, a gunman attacked the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill in the deadliest antiSemitic attack in the history of the United States. The attack was also motivated by hatred toward immigrants.
A man in Toledo, Ohio, who planned another attack on a synagogue, said the Tree of Life shooting inspired him, and the man who shot and killed 49 Muslims at two mosques in New Zealand wrote a manifesto outlining a white supremacist ideology strikingly similar to that of the Tree of Life shooter.
“The Pittsburgh attack was itself worldwide, not just in Pittsburgh and not just nationally,” said Brad Orsini, senior national security advisor for the national group Secure Community Network and former FBI special agent.
Orsini said that since the white supremacist “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville in 2017, there has been a significant increase in hate crime across the country. Orsini, who managed security for the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh before taking his national position, has witnessed a slew of farright hate group activity in Western Pennsylvania.
“We’ve seen the Ku Klux Klan in Pittsburgh, we’ve seen Patriot Front, we’ve seen Identity Europa,” Orsini said. “We have seen visible signs of those groups throughout Western Pennsylvania and in Pittsburgh over the past four years, absolutely.”
Shawn Brokos, who replaced Orsini as Jewish community security director for the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh in early 2020 and is also a former FBI agent, noted that white supremacist incidents in the Pittsburgh area have increased in the past few years, though it’s unclear whether this reflects newfound hate or better vigilance in discovering it.
“This really could be twofold,” Brokos said. “Is there actually an increase in this white supremacy ideology, or are we, as a Jewish community, being more proactive in reporting it? I think it’s really hard to measure.”
Hate groups helped storm the Capitol. These groups have been active in Pennsylvania.
As the country braces for unrest, here’s what you should know about staying safe in Pittsburgh The sort of white supremacist activity seen in recent years across the country and in Pittsburgh has a lot of crosspollination with the farright extremists who participated in the storming of the Capitol Building, according to Brokos. In the media footage of the incident, some can be seen brandishing antiSemitic messages.
“If you look at the antigovernment, antiauthority organizations, many of those have their extremistbased beliefs and within them contain a degree of antiSemitism,” Brokos said.
In recent years, hate groups have started to collaborate and gotten better at organizing than before, according to Kathleen M. Carley, director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems at Carnegie Mellon University.
“You’re now getting links between, for example, between QAnon and Proud Boys. You’re getting links to many other vocal homegrown groups,” Carley said. “What you want to watch out for is those groups forming coalitions, forming groups, because that allows them to mobilize.”
QAnon, a movement surrounding discredited conspiracy theories with hateful elements, “is not an organized group with defined leadership,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Still, the FBI declared it a “domestic terrorism threat” and individuals affiliated with QAnon participated in the Jan 6. Capitol attack. The Proud Boys, founded in 2016, has emerged as one of the most prominent violent, white supremacist hate groups in the country in recent years.
A supporter of President Donald Trump sits inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protests inside the U.S. Capito lon Wednesday. Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.
Republicans jettisoned personal responsibility long before fiscal responsibility
By Tony Norman Pittsburgh PostGazette Columnist
JAN 12, 2021 – Gruesome details of what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6 when thousands of deranged followers of President Donald Trump attempted to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory continued to emerge over the weekend.
We now know about the feces that was smeared across the marbled walls and tracked across once pristine floors. We’ve heard the details about one Capitol Hill police officer beaten to death with a fire extinguisher and we’ve seen the footage of other cops being beaten with broken flag poles by a mob that assures us that “Blue Lives Matter” — except when they don’t.
We’ve heard recordings of the chants “hang Mike Pence” and “bring us Nancy [Pelosi]” by a crowd that erected a hanging post just outside the Capitol grounds. The footage of men running around with plastic zip ties, as if they had expected to take hostages, sends chills because they came within minutes of decapitating the legislative branch of the U.S. government.
It is now clear that with the exception of individual acts of valor — including the officer who lured the mob away from the Senate chamber, where members were evacuating — there was a complete breakdown of security. If the bulk of the insurrectionists had been highly trained Jihadists instead of hypedup QAnon crackpots, they would still be wiping the blood from the floor nearly a week later.
On Tuesday in an attempt to assign responsibility for the assault on the Capitol, the House of Representatives introduced a resolution to impeach Donald J. Trump for the second time.
This followed a weekend in which Mr. Trump found his access to social media permanently denied by two billionaires in California because of his penchant for telling lies that foment sedition and undermine American democracy.
Vice President Mike Pence also made it clear that he reserves the right to use the 25th Amendment should Mr. Trump step out of line during his remaining two weeks in office. The PGA and other bastions of corporate America are unilaterally canceling contracts with Mr. Trump’s companies and resorts rather than be smeared by association with the soontobeimpeached and probably indicted former president.
It is all an attempt to hold a man who denies responsibility for anything responsible for the single greatest — if incompetently staged — coup in American history.
The reactions to Mr. Trump’s turn in fortune have been interesting to watch. Those who typically bellow loudest about personal responsibility rarely show an inclination to take it.
As the latest round of “whatabout” politics proved, all the nattering about Jesus, justice and jurisprudence is just virtue signaling by the right wing — a way to distinguish itself from the socalled “woke mob” of the left.
But when it comes to mobs, “woke” or otherwise, the supporters of Donald Trump are now second to none in America’s fractured discourse. They have a body count of four supporters and one dead cop (and another by suicide) to prove it.
While sincere conservatives have gone into the witness protection program, most Republican elected officials haven’t been serious about personal responsibility in years.
The runup to the Iraq War, the criminal incompetence of the government’s response to Katrina and four years of the Trump administration’s moral callousness has all but scrubbed the terms “repentance” and “responsibility” from the GOP playbook.
Pennsylvania is home to a particularly odious brand of hypocritical rightwing populism and politician. Their ridiculous posturing has been especially evident during Mr. Trump’s attempt to disenfranchise our state’s voters and decertify Mr. Biden as the rightful winner of our 20 electoral votes.
By Tiffany Cusaac-Smith, Adria R. Walker, Peter D. Kramer, Geoffrey Wilson and Jeff Neiburg Beaver County Times via USA TODAY NETWORK
Jan 9, 2020 – Reenah Golden remembers people taking shelter in a church after hours of marching and protesting the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man suffocated while being restrained by Rochester police officers last year.
That night, officers followed protesters to the church, barraging the holy site with pepper balls.
Months later, Golden said the chemical dispersants and other tactics come to mind when she saw law enforcement’s response to President Donald Trump supporters marauding the U.S. Capitol, one of American democracy’s most hollowed spaces.
Egged on by Trump, the mob broke through police lines at the Capitol. Rioters were then seen waving flags in the building, sitting in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and storming the floor of the Senate.
Black activists say their largely peaceful marches following the death of Prude and George Floyd this summer were quickly met with police in riot gear and chemical dispersants, while law enforcement was lethargic in halting largely white marauders from storming the Capitol.
They say that racism is at the root of the disparate reaction from police officials.
The night the Prude protesters sought refuge in the Rochester church last September, Golden remained outside the church. She recalls police firing tear gas at her car while she sought to drive away with protesters for whom she was seeking medical attention.
“At the Capitol, I see just the opposite,” Golden said. “I see care, attention, thoughtfulness in the approach. Regard for human life to an extent — I saw a lot of that watching the footage and that definitely was deeply painful to watch.”
She added: “We didn’t get that same regard, that same care even though we were fighting for injustice.”
‘White privilege’ seen in riot’s aftermath
Mahkieb Booker, a Black Lives Matter organizer, chants as Wilmington police block protesters from moving up Market Street from Fourth Street after they gathered in early September at police headquarters to call for the firing of an officer they say is abusive to the public.
Seeing law enforcement’s slow response, Black protesters and leaders saw race as the determining factor in the difference between the police response on America’s streets this summer and what they saw on Wednesday.
Mahkieb Booker, 50, has long been active on the social justice scene in Wilmington, the largest city in Delaware. He can be found at almost every protest for Black rights, whether there are six people there or 600.
PA GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (center) confers with Senate Secretary Megan Martin (right), as Sen. Jake Corman (front, center), takes over the session to conduct a vote to remove Fetterman from residing over the session in Harrisburg on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Bobby Maggio, Fetterman’s chief of staff, stands to the left.
The Fascist Danger in Our Statehouse
By Angela Couloumbis and Cynthia Fernandez Spotlight PA
Jan. 5, 2021 – HARRISBURG — The new session of the Pennsylvania Senate got off to a chaotic start Tuesday, with Republicans refusing to seat a Democratic senator whose election victory has been certified by state officials.
Amid high emotions and partisan fingerpointing, Republicans also took the rare step of removing the Democratic lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, from presiding over the session. They apparently did so because they did not believe Fetterman was following the rules and recognizing their legislative motions.
Democrats, in turn, responded by refusing to back Sen. Jake Corman (R., Centre) from assuming the chamber’s top leadership position — an unusual maneuver on what is most often a largely ceremonial and bipartisan vote.
The bitterness and rancor on display was a departure from the normally staid and sedate workings of the chamber. And it potentially sets the stage for a tumultuous twoyear session, which will include debate over key legislative priorities such as redistricting.
“With this reckless, outofcontrol, cowboylike behavior, with this Trumpian behavior that we saw today from Republicans … this does not bode well. It does not bode well for the people of Pennsylvania,” said Sen. Vince Hughes of Philadelphia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
For now, at least, Democratic state Sen. Jim Brewster, of Allegheny County, will not be allowed to take the oath of office, as Republicans believe litigation over the outcome in his race must first play out in federal court. GOP leaders have said the state constitution gives senators the authority to refuse to seat a member if they believe the person does not meet the qualifications to hold office.
Brewster narrowly won reelection over Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli, who is asking a federal judge to throw out the election results. At the center of that legal dispute is several hundred mail ballots that lacked a handwritten date on an outer envelope, as required by state law. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowed those ballots to be counted, which gave Brewster the edge in the race.
Beaver County’s ‘Little Blue’ waste problem back in the news.
By Daniel Moore PostGazette Washington Bureau
DEC 31, 2020 WASHINGTON — As President-elect Joe Biden eyes a major federal plan to tackle climate change when he enters the White House next month, his policy team could hit roadblocks as they contend with the breadth of environmental measures rolled back by the Trump administration — and differences within his own party on how to address them.
President Donald Trump has consistently worked through his term to weaken rules put into place by his predecessor — and Mr. Biden’s former boss — former President Barack Obama. Mr. Trump’s penchant for regulatory rollbacks won him support from the energy industry in the Pittsburgh region, headlining natural gas drilling industry conferences and dispatching his environmental chief to Pittsburgh to finalize the repeal of an Obama-era rule limiting the industry’s methane emissions.
Now, Mr. Biden’s climate team, introduced at an event in Delaware this month, will be “ready on day one,” he said, to assess how to wholly address a complex global problem falling under the jurisdiction of a slew of federal agencies.
Mr. Biden, facing a divided Congress with an entrenched political opposition, could face hurdles in translating his much-debated climate change platform into action. As he did during the campaign, Mr. Biden framed environmental protection as an economic driver that will lift up regions like Pittsburgh — and a key part of any plan that helps the nation heal from the COVID19 pandemic.
Trump administration relaxes deadlines on power companies for coal ash cleanup
“Folks, we’re in a crisis,” Mr. Biden said during the Dec. 19 event. “Just like we need to be a unified nation to respond to COVID19, we need a unified national response to climate change.”
As the incoming administration works to build a climate strategy, it will balance demands for stricter rules from the progressive wing of the party with his pledges to invest in jobs in regions dependent on fossil fuels. Fracking was one of the most politically explosive issues on the campaign trail, with Mr. Biden pledging to reach a carbonfree power sector by 2035 and netzero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
On the surface, some climate moves could be simple.
Mr. Biden has said he will put the United States back into the Paris climate accord, which Mr. Trump exited in 2017 by declaring he “was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
Mr. Biden also could use executive powers to quickly reinstate an array of Obamaera regulations relaxed by Mr. Trump that affect the energy industry, auto manufacturers, construction companies and farmers. He could order federal agencies to consider climate change in their practices and procurement strategies.
Whether Mr. Biden can hit his most ambitious targets, however, will hinge on finding consensus on a comprehensive plan that can pass muster on Capitol Hill.
The president-elect’s plan for a “clean energy revolution” and environmental justice pledges a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over the next decade, leveraging other funding sources to reach more than $5 trillion. Cities like Pittsburgh are hoping that includes money for Ohio River Valley communities to launch a largescale transition to clean energy, as Mayor Bill Peduto called for this month.
Biden’s oil comments fuel long-burning debate over Pa. energy jobs “The list of things that need to be corrected are daunting,” said Lisa Evans, an attorney specializing in hazardous waste law for Earthjustice, an environmental group.
Ms. Evans, who has advocated for stronger protections around coal ash disposal, criticized the Trump administration when it moved back deadlines for companies to stop dumping the waste in unlined ponds and landfills. She said she wants Mr. Biden to not only reverse those changes but put in place a stronger federal standard than the one Mr. Obama enacted in 2015.
In Pennsylvania, there are 103 coal ash storage and disposal sites, including 20 unlined coal ash ponds and 13 unlined landfills, according to the Center for Coalfield Justice. Coal ash, which contains heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury, creates vast sources of potential contamination, as well as huge costs for utility companies that must either retrofit the sites or find alternative storage facilities.
Every traitor who participates in Mr. Trump’s failed coup attempt should be remembered.
By Tony Norman Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Columnist
DEC 15, 2020 – Like the fashionable fascists they always strive to be, the contingent of Proud Boys who showed up in D.C. on Saturday to “Stop the Steal” stood out in the madding crowd of revanchist losers pledging their support to Donald Trump, who buzzed them from Marine One overhead.
Rocking black and gold down to the face masks only a few of them wore during the pandemic’s deadliest week, and shouting “All Lives Matter” and “We are Proud Boys,” they looked like a lost tribe of Steelers’ fans, high on hate, trying to score meth outside the Smithsonian.
The Jericho March, as Trump-believers called it, was emceed by conservative talk-radio host Eric Metaxas. The two-fisted evangelical who announced earlier in the week that he would be “happy to die in this fight” for Trump, God, Jesus and liberty — pretty much in that order — did what Jesus surely would’ve under the same circumstances: He asked if anyone had a bazooka he could borrow to blow a news chopper out of the sky.
Over the course of the day, Mr. Metaxas welcomed a who’s who of indicted, convicted, pardoned and guilty-as-hell scoundrels to the stage to ramble on about their love for “Dear Leader.”
The disgraced but recently pardoned Michael Flynn was followed by the always disgraceful Alex Jones, who called Joe Biden a “globalist” and vowed that he “will be removed [from office] one way or another.”
Recently pardoned fixer, dirty trickster and Nixon fetishist Roger Stone was there, as was “eccentric” former congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, who blathered on about a miracle that would soon confirm a second term for Mr. Trump. The list of guest speakers may have been the largest gathering of cultists, ravers and true believers since Jonestown.
Pennsylvania was represented on stage by “Mr. Piety” himself, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R- Franklin County, who bemoaned the U.S. Supreme Court’s terse dismissal of the Texas lawsuit that would’ve disenfranchised millions of voters in four battleground states, including Pennsylvania, as a “gut shot.” But he vowed to fight on because, well, he’s an irrational fanatic.
We should never forget that 18 attorneys general and more than 120 Republican House members affixed their signatures to an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to grant Texas’ request to invalidate the outcome of the election in four states that went to Joe Biden.
The following members in the House representing Pennsylvania went along with this mad scheme to disenfranchise their own constituents: Rep. John Joyce of the 13th Congressional District, Rep. Fred Keller of the 12th, Rep. Mike Kelly of the 16th, Rep. Dan Meuser of the 9th, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of the 14th and Rep. Glenn Thompson of the 15th.
DEC 8, 2020 – WASHINGTON — The architects of a newly unveiled 10year, $600 billion climate plan to revitalize Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley region are moving forward with a difficult task of building political willpower in Washington while gaining the trust of rural communities tied to the coal and natural gas industries, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto told a group of sustainable development advocates Tuesday.
That coalitionbuilding — a communications strategy to be forged over the next six weeks among academic institutions in Pittsburgh and seven other cities — is a critical step toward executing the plan Mr. Peduto described as both idealistic and grounded in reality.
It is also necessary as a divided Congress gears up for a fight next year over PresidentElect Joe Biden’s proposal to pull the country out of an economic downturn while investing in clean energy development. Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans for a COVID19 relief bill have dragged for months, raising the question of whether Mr. Biden’s plan could garner enough support.
“We have been in touch during the [plan’s] research phase with the Biden campaign and their ‘Build Back Better’ authors,” Mr. Peduto said, referring to PresidentElect Joe Biden’s jobs and economic recovery plan.
Peduto joins mayors from W.Va., Ohio, Ky. to call for public/private support in climate-friendly industrial growth
Since Mr. Biden won the White House last month, Mr. Peduto and other local officials “have had contact with the transition team,” he said, “working to see what we can try to be able to get on the radar in Washington during the first 100 days of a new administration, while simultaneously working with grassroots organizations.”
Pittsburghers marching in protest in October 2018 through Squirrel Hill towards the Tree of Life synagogue, where President Trump was making an appearance, three days after a mass shooting took place. CP photo: Jared Wickerham
By Ryan Deto Pittsburgh City Paper
Nov 15. 2020 – This week at a symposium on domestic terrorism held at Duquesne University, an analyst at the FBI said the Pittsburgh region has now “become a hub for white supremacy” and that it is “important to understand that it is here.”
Considering that the white nationalist group Patriot Front marched down Boulevard of the Allies last weekend, the Ku Klux Klan distributed mailers in Greene County last month, and there have been other selfdescribed militia groups meeting in the area, sporting symbols linked to whitenationalism, acknowledgment from the FBI is a positive sign for those looking to combat hate groups.
However, declarations that Pittsburgh is a new hub for white supremacy ignore decades of history and scores of documented cases of white supremacists gathering and organizing over the years.
Dennis Roddy is a former reporter with the Greensburg TribuneReview and Pittsburgh PostGazette and has written about extremist movements in the region for decades. He says Pittsburgh has always been a hub for white supremacy.
“No, this is not new,” says Roddy. “Just because the FBI is noticing this now, doesn’t make this new.”
Roddy was a reporter for 40 years, and he attended his first KKK rally as a reporter in Fayette County in 1979. He said the rhetoric he heard then was not much different than what he heard among neighbors growing up in Johnstown.
But it’s not just rural parts of Southwestern Pennsylvania where white supremacy has had a significant presence. The National Alliance, which the Southern Poverty Law Center says “was for decades the most dangerous and best organized neoNazi formation in America,” grew out of the Youth for Wallace group that backed Governor George Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign. Wallace was a prosegregationist and considered one of the most openly racist presidential candidates of the postcivil rights era.