By Jen Kastner
ODESSA- Members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) spent the weekend passing out a second round of controversial flyers in Odessa. The pamphlets call for a national socialist government and blame third world and undocumented immigrants for crippling the U.S.'s economy. A swastika covers the NSM emblem.
Daniel Lawrence is the Texas division's NSM leader. In an interview with NewsWest 9, he tells us, "I'm not racist towards any color of skin. If a man wants to make a living and feed his family and pay his taxes and keep his money that he's earned here in America, then I am all for that man."
Lawrence says that while the NSM promotes a pro-white agenda, it doesn't hate anyone. Members, he says, are 'color blind' and open to all religions. However, he reported that their movement is anti-gay. Lawrence says NSM members generally do not believe that the Holocaust actually happened.
The Anti-Defamation League doesn't buy the NSM's claim that it's not hateful. The league's website reads, "Its platform calls for an all white "greater America" that would deny citizenship and virtually all protection under the law to non-whites, Jews and homosexuals. The NSM reserves most of its vitriol for Jews and immigrants; it is crudely racist and anti-Semitic."
Despite the criticism that the NSM faces, it still fearlessly defends itself. NewsWest 9 asked Lawrence, "Some people, [we know] have called you 'crazy'. What do you have to say about that?" Lawrence says, "All I can see is, if you really educate yourself, then you, yourself, can become enlightened, and once you become enlightened, it doesn't matter what people call you. It don't matter if they call you 'crazy' because you know the truth."
We're told that NSM's ideology is growing in the Basin. Lawrence says they're getting "bigger" in Midland and Odessa. Our request for exact membership numbers was denied. However, he said that the rate of growth in membership has doubled over the past two years in the Midland/Odessa area. They attribute much of the growth to the president's policies on immigration and his recent re-election.
NewsWest 9 is told that the NSM is planning a fully-uniformed demonstration that will likely happen within the next month in either Midland, Odessa or Big Spring.
Art Leal the equal rights advocacy group, Una Voz Unida, tells NewsWest 9 that the news of NSM's local growth is scary and shocking, but not surprising. Leal says that the Basin has seen a gradual growth of these "types" of groups over the past couple of years. Una Voz Unida is currently forming a coalition to respond to the possible NSM demonstration that may arise in the upcoming weeks.