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I 'Outsmarted Them': Neo-Nazi Group's New Leader Is Black

James Stern becomes president of the National Socialist Movement; ex-leader claims deception
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2019 6:30 AM CST
A 2012 photo of James Stern, now head of the Neo-Nazi Nationalist Socialist Movement, much to its members' dislike.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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(Newser) – Members of the National Socialist Movement, one of the nation's largest neo-Nazi groups, were surely surprised to hear of the group's latest move in a Charlottesville lawsuit: In an about-face, the white supremacist group admitted liability in the deadly violence of 2017. "Justice must be served and the truth must be told," wrote NSM President James Stern in the court motion. "Consequences must be (accepted)." Why the sudden turnaround? That's the more surprising part: The NSM's new leader is a black man, James Stern, who says he "outsmarted" the group's longtime previous leader, a white man named Jeff Schoep, to assume legal control of the group, reports the Washington Post. Stern's plans for NSM? "Change it, reverse it, and ultimately destroy it," he tells CNN.

Schoep for his part, who had led the group for 24 years, says he was "deceived" by Stern, who had convinced him that turning over control of NSM would be a wise move that would, among other things, reduce the legal liability of both the NSM and Schoep himself, reports the AP. The NSM is incorporated and Stern is indeed the legal president now. "He has that piece of paper, but he is absolutely not recognized as the leader of the National Socialist Movement," says Schoep. Stern, though, says he simply "outsmarted them." Among other things, he plans to turn the group's website into a forum for history lessons on the Holocaust. One more strange twist: Stern did something similar previously with a former KKK grand wizard, reports the Post, which has the details on that. "Say what you want about me,” says the 54-year-old. “But I’ve done this twice now.” (Read more Neo-Nazi stories.)

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