I’m sorry – Nick Popaditch is not a white-supremacist, he’s anti-Semitic.

by on June 22, 2012 · 21 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Election, History, Media, Popular, San Diego

A Retraction … of sorts

A recent post-primary article of mine about how conservatives were celebrating too early caused quiet a stir in certain circles.  Causing a stir is putting it mildly, as what I wrote brought in a slew of hate mail, physical threats, and promises to boycott our advertisers.

Right after the primary, I wrote an article about the results of the election. In cruising down the list of ballot winners and losers in that article – all the while showing how there were quite a number of Democratic Party victors – I casually mentioned that the Republican candidate in the 53rd Congressional District Nick Popaditch – who was beaten by Democrat Susan Davis – was “a white-supremacist”. Here’s the actual quote:

 In the 53rd – Susan Davis – a Democrat of course, over-powered extremist and white-supremacist Nick Popaditch with her 57%.

 This sent up a howl of protest from Popaditch and his supporters.  I’ll show you some of the hate mail we received in a bit. But first, I do want to offer a retraction … of sorts.  Nick Popaditch is not a white-supremacist, he’s anti-Semitic. I just wanted to clarify that.

So, why do I label this fine, upstanding veteran, wounded in the battle for Baghdad, “anti-Semitic”? Well, let me count the ways.

Nick Popaditch crashed onto the local political scene in November 2011, when he and a large group of his supporters corralled and threatened Congressman Bob Filner and a handful of his folks at Golden Hall on election eve. Popaditch was then only known politically as a candidate of the tea party – who would set up his tent at their rallies and hand out brochures and give speeches.  But he decided to run against Filner, one of the most liberal members of Congress, someone who had gained his bruises from the civil rights struggles of the Sixties, and someone … who is Jewish.

Popaditch and his group of supporters did more than just “corral” Filner and a handful of his supporters that night in GoldenHall, November 2nd, 2010.   Republicans all over the country were winning the House – it was a GOP surge.

But not for Popaditch. He was losing. He was losing to Bob Filner. Popaditch gathered up his people around him that evening. They had signs and were feisty. Popaditch – who goes by the name “Gunny Pop” – tried to fire his people up, by assuring them he was going to beat that Filner, that “liar”. There’s a video where you can see Gunny riling up his people – and they yell and applaud vigorously, religiously, fervently.

And he says to them:

“When Bob Filner comes into the hall … (garble) … you start it up! You start it up!”

They cheer. They yell. They’re fired up.

When Bob Filner and a few members of his staff, his family and a few supporters did enter Golden Hall that evening in early November, they were met with the most raucous mob even seen on an election eve in San Diego history.  They were yelled at, spat at, forced into a corner, forced next to a column and surrounded, there were some pushing, some shoving, a few fists were thrown – the Filner people were far out-numbered. Popaditch even shoved Filner himself.

Yes, of course, every election has candidates and their supporters chanting the name and waving their signs, and they parade around Golden Hall very enthusiastically.

But this was different. There are a number of citizen and news videos taken that night that recorded enough of what happened to support any inference or suggestion or downright assertion that Popaditch and his supporters constituted a mob that night.

And when they surrounded Filner, they chanted so loud as to totally drown out any discourse, any dialogue, any ability of Filner to speak to the press. It was an aggressive mob – and some of its members shouted “jew!” at Filner while others simply smiled.  Popaditch was one of them. He smiled while his troops stormed the enemy.  And he had led them on.

One eyewitness to the incident reported:

I was purposely pushed and shoved by no less than two 30-40 year olds. At one point, KUSI was interviewing Filner on the floor of Golden Hall and an SDPD sergeant had to ask Popaditch to take a few steps back away from Filner because his supporters were picking fights with the Filner supporters. Popaditch argued at first, and then complied. After the interview, the KUSI anchor turned around and lectured the Popaditch crowd about civility to no avail.

Later in a KPBS interview, Filner admitted that he had been threatened and that anti-Semitic chants were hurled at him. Here’s another video of what went down that night:

More video:

Popaditch never recanted, never apologized,  and never distanced himself from the actions and ethnic slurs seen and heard that evening on election night.  He has had openly white-supremacist supporters but he is not one of them. But, nor has he attempted to distance himself from those politics either.

So, yes, Nick Popaditch – that tea party favorite – carries the baggage of the tea party. When it first appeared on the political landscape, it’s hatred of Barack Obama because of the color of his skin was very obvious.  Since then some of the tea parties have toned down their rhetoric.

But not Popaditch that evening. He was in full force and glory that election eve a year and half ago. He riled up his crowd, made it into a mob – and breaking all rules of election-night decorum – he led a charge against the enemy – a small band that included a sitting member of Congress who is Jewish. It was planned, it was intentional. It went way over the top.

Filner and his crew were saved by Mayor Sanders’ personal bodyguard and some police officers.

Although I don’t have any “proof” that Popaditch is a white-supremacist, most anti-Semitics are also white-supremacists.

If a leader of a group encourages followers to intimidate, threaten, and even use force against a Jew, and smiles while some of those supporters yell slurs in his presences – that leader must be held accountable and responsible for the actions of his followers.

A sitting Congressman had to be rescued from Popaditch and his mob by San Diego Police officers, Nov. 2, 2010. Photos from East County Magazine.

Nick pounds his chest – glories his war record, his loss. Yet, he seems to be totally lost when it comes to the concept of democracy, majority rule, and balloting for candidates.  Isn’t the military supposed to uphold our democratic values – isn’t that what it’s all about?  One of the ironies of this whole scene is while Popaditch is this disabled veteran, disabled vets had no better friend in Congress than Bob Filner.

Our Hate Mail

Some of Popaditch’s buddies came to his defense. The OB Rag received a bunch of hate mail both in comments to my article and also to the blog itself. Some threatening us physically, some threatening to go after our advertisers.  Here are some samples:

Don Hamel  on  Jun 18  to me:

If you continue to support Liberals/Socialism; some day you will not have “Freedom of the Press”

 Royal A. Brown III, LTC, USA-Ret wrote:

I am writing to strongly protest your false characterization of hero Gunnery Sergeant Popaditch as a white supremist. Your slanderous attack on this disabled veteran is baseless and should be retracted.

 Geoff Ross and Joseph R. John, wrote on  Jun 16  a very long rant:

 The Ocean Beach Newspaper recently mounted a slanderous and false attack on a Heroic Disabled American Combat Veteran, GySgt Nick Popaditch, USMC (Ret) who lost an eye in the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq…. GySgt Popaditch was falsely called a White Supremacist by the Ocean Beach Newspaper, yet for 16 years, GySgt Popaditch served, lived, and worked closely with Black, Asian, and Hispanic US Marines … Popaditch has been married to April, … a Latina and American Indian. … Unless the Ocean Beach Newspaper publishes a full retraction and apologizes for the unfound and slanderous remarks it printed about GySgt Popaditch, we request that you cease advertising in the Ocean Beach Newspaper. If the paper doesn’t print a retraction & apology, and you continue to advertise in the paper, we will inform supporters in our data base of 5000+ to, in turn, contact everyone in their address book requesting that they all boycott your business. We will wait to see if the Ocean Beach Newspaper retracts and apologizes for the unfounded malicious and slanderous remarks about a true American Hero and Patriot.

Whew!

Craig Candelore:  Shame on you for slandering GySgt Nick Popaditch, USMC (Ret).  As a combat veteran, I take personal offense to any defamatory attacks on Nick Popaditch.

David Huckabee  actually made a threat:

Not sure what rock you found this worm, but you need to review your legal standing, because he has put you at risk. When the sh—t hits the fan, do not look for sympathy, from your military neighbors. Freedom of the press, still requires reporters to maintain a certain amount of ethics/morals and professional standards. Looks like your RAG has crossed over to the dark side. You may want to cut your loses now. There will be a hard price to pay. Just wait and see!

But Don Kepus  got serious:

Look you rat-bag scum sucking racist. Take your crapo and shove it up your ass. Whoever gave you the right to slander a great Warrior, had better find some place to hide as we will be after you in the very near of days. Keep looking over your ass if you dare to stop running. You rat-bag piece of shit. Retract your comments in bold print or we will be all over your ass.

Sid Preskitt:

Are you going to retract your slanderous miss-statement of Mr. Popaditch?  Do you have the backbone to stand up and do what is right or are you like the rest of the newspaper’s in America, withering away on the ash heap of history because they refuse to have any integrity.   The world wonders.

Some were polite: “This is R.A.Wall, a retired E-7, USN, requesting that you retract your statements about GySgt. Popaditch.”

Lance ll2c00l yelled in a comment:

WHAT?! “extremist and white-supremacist Nick Popaditch”…REALLY?! That is not ever close to being true! Why is it that you liberals always resort to personal attacks? Jeez, it wasn’t even necessary to do it with Mr. Popaditch but you did it anyway. I supposed it’s in your DNA. Sooner or later (and I am praying for sooner) you will be held accountable for you libel and slander. Nick Popaditch is a good man who believes in conservative values. For that you attempt to label him an extremist and white-supremacist? He’s married to a Latino/Native American for crying out loud!

 You’re an idiot.

jeffschwilk submitted the following:

 Frank GormLIE, you are one sick ####! Just because Bob Filner’s dad was a card-carrying Communist in Pittsburgh (Google it, its true), does not mean Bob Filner is a Communist. Of course it doesn’t mean he’s not a communist either. The apple can’t fall too far from the tree.

 Frank seems to know an awful lot about white supremacists. I’m betting he’s a closet Nazi while Nick Popaditch obviously is not.   I smell a giant lawsuit coming against Frank for libel. Frank might soon be in the unemployment line with plenty of time to campaign for his favorite communist candidate.

 P.S. – Your little Marxist movement is dead. Crushed by American Patriots…. again.

Some got nasty.  Gary Rumain  scrawled:

Fucking traitors! I hope you stupid dhimmis get what’s coming to you as well as the filthy koranimals you all love so much.

I got called an idiot a lot.  Doc G:

What an idiot. Using your logic Nick Popaditch had “white supremist supporters” so he is a white supremist? Really, then Obama must be a socialist terrorist based on his friends and supporters. Or for that matter any of your friends must be idiots because they associate themselves with you, an idiot.

My Retraction

Yes, I’m sorry guys, Nick Popaditch is not a white-supremacist, … he’s anti-Semitic.

 

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

Another war hero? Anyone involved in the destruction of Fallujah ought not to speak of it because it was yet another black entry into the history books of mankind.
Firebomb Dresden. Firebomb Tokyo. Hiroshima. Nagasaki.
Put another patch on the guy’s other eye, & perhaps he’ll see better.
Blind Amerikans love the gun, the war, the epaulets, the destruction; and no wrong shall be done by the soldier.
With all due Sincerity & Cordiality,
The Idiot
The Pinko Commie
The Socialist
The Traitor
The Infidel
The Asshole
Almost a Beaner
Nearly a Jerk
Momma’s Boy
Faggot
Sissy
Bigamist
Propagandist
Book-burning Friend of Frank
Slacker
Welfare Mother
Spineless Son of Immigrants
Welch
Lil Booger

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avatar Goatskull June 23, 2012 at 8:38 am

Perhaps with so many people leaving the military and not able to find work you should focus your energies on helping them rather than criticizing them for the fact that they served.

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avatar Goatskull June 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The more extreme of these comments (actual threats) were probably not made by veterans but rather people who are gung ho pro war but didn’t have the nads to sign up themselves, and if they were vets they were probably behind the scenes support personnel who have an inferiority complex. I am adamant that anyone whose experienced boots on the ground combat should deserves some slack for any hostile views they may have of war protestors, but I really don’t think too many would be this extreme. Overall, I would take it all with a grain of salt.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Right. And for the warmongers that would be salt in the wounds.

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avatar Goatskull June 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm

So are you going to look at the face of a vet that has a missing limb and call him a “war monger”? Are they just not good enough for you because they went out and killed?

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Society continues to develop the tribal mentality in its drive toward wars. Unfortunately, for those who “up” they are ignorant of the reasons for the war cries. Perhaps they have no economic options or the motivation to set goals that are outside the military realm. Perhaps they have few critical thinking skills.

Perhaps none of us are good enough because we support the whole military, DoD, lobbyists, military contractors & the economic base they represent.

I was 17 once, & I looked at those who signed up for the Viet Nam war & those who were drafted & the reasons for the U.S. draft, & I decided I did not want anything to do with that military action. I refused to sign up for the draft, & it wasn’t until years later when I wanted to attend college & could not register for classes unless I was registered for Selective Service that I had to register.
When I did sign up in some backwater in Florida, an old cracker suffered apoplexy & crimson cheeks because I was so tardy in registering.
And so the U.S. government & the military had control over when I could attend college.

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avatar Goatskull June 23, 2012 at 8:31 am

That still doesn’t answer my question. My thought is this. There is NO reason what so over to snub your nose down on those who served (What I mean is simply because he served). None. Fuck people who think otherwise. I’ll give a good example. I joined the Navy in 1986 and within the first year of that I remember going to this sort of biker bar on University and College Ave. I’m sure it’s no longer there. It was New Year’s eve going in to 1988 (OK so at this pint it was two years, not one year). A really good classic rock cover band called the US band was playing. My buddies and I were sitting at the bar talking about the movie “Coming Home” with Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, and Bruce Dern. Of course some very drunk and distraught individual over heard our conversation and just had to butt in. His patches on his leather vest indicated he was a Vietnam vet and the unit he belonged to (along with the MC club which I don’t remember). Long story short, because I didn’t have the same animosity over Jane Fonda that he did, he ended up following us out to our car when we were leaving and I ended up spending a week in the hospital, and this happened despite the fact that I was active duty military myself. I still felt and still feel he should be forgiven and hope to this day he is doing well. He went though an experience no human being who never went through would ever understand. The wrongness of the U.S. being in Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan is not a valid reason to look down on those who signed up. Hate the war, not the warrior is my motto and I have issues with those who think otherwise. You’d be very surprised how many service member’s own personal politics is liberal. I often astonishes me how so many people don’t know that.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Point taken, and taken w/ respect. History has shown us that politicians abuse their power & continue to use the military for a variety of nefarious reasons. If the boots stayed on the ground, & the ground was the U.S., I would have little problems w/ those joining to assist in protecting the country. Unfortunately, the U.S. sends military personnel all over the world, & the actions of those in uniform and their leaders do more to protect the interests of global corporations than the safetly of U.S. citizens.
You’re right, blanket attitude from me regarding those who join. I’ll stand corrected, & I will think more of your statements.
Unsure why you spent a week in the hospital. A fight ensued? Bummer that, if so; fucking rednecks are everywhere.

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avatar Goatskull June 24, 2012 at 6:35 am

Thank you this response. I appreciate that. The simple fact is the military is a mirror cross section of the civilian population. It’s members come in all different shapes, sizes, morals, values, degrees of intelligence, cultures, ethnicities, and even political beliefs. In my 20 year career I spent a good 8 years of that as an active volunteer for the Surfrider Foundation and to a lesser extent with the Sierra Club and even Greenpeace. And this was at the encouragement of my superiors who also volunteered their free time with such organizations. This often surprises people when I tell them, There are military personnel who are adamantly opposed to the two wars we’ve been in for the past ten years and especially Iraq and others who are very gung ho. Unlike others who protest, they (service members) still have to go when told to do so. Think of it this way, Whether or not we should be out in a particular conflict, the lives of service members can very well depend on other service members doing their part.

As to the fight, it was pretty much a one way deal. I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a redneck as he had a pretty thick Brooklyn sort of accent and had a star of David around his neck. He was a Vietnam vet who had a very deep hatred of Jane Fonda and anyone who didn’t’ share the same hatred as him. Her and those of us who admire her are not worth the toilet water he pisses in (his words). It was a bar fight and I was drunk and probably mouthed off to him so who knows? I just remember waking up in a hospital bed at Sharp and then being transported to Balboa Naval hospital. Two black eyes, a broken nose, various cuts and bruises. In retrospect my view is this. He (I assume) went through a HORRIBLE experience that no human being should haver have to endure and came back to a country that didn’t appreciate that, and understandably that created bitterness. I did 20 years in the Navy and never saw any kind of combat what so ever so I feel that I owe him forgiveness. To this very day I hope he’s doing well.

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avatar Goatskull June 24, 2012 at 6:38 am

And again, thank you for your response and consideration of what I said.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

“Redneck” is ignorance & attitude, not just a skin condition.
De nada.

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avatar Udan June 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Thank you for your retraction, however again you attempt to mischaracterize GySgt Popaditch towards your readers. It is unfortunate that some of Popaditch’s supporters have chosen language that does keep with the positive and patriotric nature of the majority of his supporters. To draw a broad brush upon us all and the Honorable GySgt for actions by other individuals is again falsly applying attributes to the candidate. It is easy to cherrypick from the multitude of sources one can find on the internet to create the story and support the POV you want to advance, but to do so does not create a positive image of your reporting.

Having been at that event I would disagree with the common left-leaning narrative that paints Nick as an Anti-Semite. Filner was not opposed due to his ethnicity, but due to his policy positions and the leadership that lead to the 51st having one of the highest unemployment rates in the Nation. Additionally it was Representative Filner who attempted to mischaracterize the facts by making it appear that Nick had not voted for a recent and extended period of time.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Once you are out of the war, you are out of the war! Saw a bumper sticker today that read “I remember Korea.”
I want my bumper sticker to read, “I remember Thutmose.”
Just another vet that wears the uniform on his sleeve, so to speak. Jump off the warwagon, for chrissake! 33k dead in Korea; 58k dead in Viet Nam; 5k in Iraq. Every time the U.S. invades a country doesn’t mean all those guys & gals get to come back & run for government office (the ones that made it back, that is). What a pocket of priveleges for the warriors. I think vets even get a discount at Walmart! And Chucky Cheese!
Again, can’t use “Honorable” when referring to a participant in the destruction of Fallujah.

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avatar Goatskull June 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

What’s cool is vets even get a discount for AAA membership, AMC movie tickets, Dizzy Land, various restaurants out and around SD, tickets to Catalina, lots and lots of things. And what’s icing on the cake is it annoys people like you.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm

See above, sir.

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avatar Goatskull June 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm

What’s wrong Mr. Thong, did a group of drunk Marines beat you up one day and you won’t get over it? Geezus, how many vets do you know run for office? BTW, anybody gets to run for office. As it turns out, Popaditch didn’t do so well so what’s your problem?

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Don’t call me mister.

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avatar Goatskull June 23, 2012 at 7:56 am

Ms.? Sorry.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Just kidding. I’m a sir through ‘n through, right down to my damned DNA.

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avatar Goatskull June 24, 2012 at 6:39 am

It’s all good.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG June 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Hey, you lucked out. I’m a nice guy on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays. Ciao.

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