The self-proclaimed unit leader of Oregon's National Socialist Movement, a known white supremacist group, is speaking openly about the state of their movement in the Pacific Northwest.
Kynan Dutton agreed to sit down with FOX 12 to discuss public perception of the NSM. He believes people should not be afraid of members in their group.
"We are white separatists, I believe people have a right to exist to a point, I just prefer to exist separately. I live by the 14 words: 'We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,'" Dutton said. "That's all it's about."
The Portland Police Bureau confirms that nine hate crimes were reported through April of 2017. Statistics for May and June have yet to be calculated, and by comparison, officers said there were 10 bias crimes reported in all of 2016.
"Portland, most people identify as a left-wing city, but there's also a pretty stark and frightening racist under belly to that town," Ryan Lenz, senior investigative writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center, explained.
The SPLC is a nonprofit organization based in Alabama that tracks organized hate in America. The group told FOX 12 they've documented an explosive rise in the number of hate groups over the years, driven in part by anger over immigration and demographic projections showing whites will no longer hold majority status in the country around 2040.
"We spend the better part of the year with our team of researchers at the center, basically just pouring over hundreds of thousands of documents and websites to find hate groups and then confirm their existence," Lenz said.
According to the group’s research, 11 hate groups are active in Oregon, including the National Socialist Movement, which is described as one of the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi groups in the U.S.
Dutton told FOX 12 he is not surprised to hear the NSM made the group’s list.
"I think the SPLC should be categorized as a hate group,” he countered. “They work actively to destroy people's personal lives."
Dutton is known for his efforts to help notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb build a white nationalist homeland in Leith, North Dakota. Dutton was ultimately arrested for allegedly terrorizing people there, and he took a plea deal and was later released from jail.
"In our movement, too many of us are jailed purely for our views, and that's why we consider ourselves prisoners of war," he said. "I spent 71 days in solitary as a prisoner of war because of what I believe in and who I am."
Dutton denies any NSM involvement in the recent incidents police officers have investigated as bias crimes, including racist graffiti being tagged in schools and homes or threats being sent to events like Good in the Hood.
As for the alleged actions of self-proclaimed white supremacist Jeremy Christian, the man accused in the TriMet MAX train killings, Dutton held back from sharing his personal thoughts.Dutton: "We don't advocate violence, he was not a member of our organization. Beyond that, without letting personal feelings getting in the way, I decline to comment on that."FOX 12: "Why do you not want to share how it made you feel?"Dutton: "Well, because I am a decorated combat United States Marine Corps veteran who spent 150 plus combat missions in Iraq in some of the worst years in the Iraqi war history. And, due to my own personal bias, I think it would be a little bit, let's call it ‘un-white’ of me, to share those views."FOX 12: "Do you think what Jeremy Christian allegedly did was right?"Dutton: "No, violence doesn't solve anything. Those Muslims now have the ability to say they were assaulted and this evil white man full of hate was trying to hurt them. I think that reaction is why there's so many stereotypes out there about people who have similar views to myself. Him doing what he did put a bad light on all of us."What Dutton would say is that members of the NSM in Oregon are actively attending local rallies and demonstrations and that they are focused on supporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
"We want the sanctuary status of Oregon to be repealed. We want these illegals to be deported,” he explained. “We support ICE in any fashion and are actively volunteering for anything they will allow us to do."
The conflicts around immigration is also a topic that the SPLC noted it was closely following.
"Immigration is a key issue to all of this because at the base level of all of this hate is concern over what America is," Lenz said.
Dutton believes racial tensions are on high in Oregon, and that those tensions could soon spill over into action.
"There's a race war around the corner, and it's not going to be us that initiates it," he said.
The SPLC continues to identify new groups of concern all the time. The NSM is simply one of hundreds, and Lenz fears that conflicts like those Dutton described are inevitable.
"It's my position that it's not a matter of if, but when groups turn violent," said Lenz. "It's a matter of when a member that's steeped in this racist violent rhetoric decides to do something about it."
FOX 12 did reach out to other Oregon groups on the SPLC's list, but at the time this story aired, the NSM was the only group that had responded.
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