|A screenshot of JT Ready's Facebook page as of May 5, 2010|
Mesa neo-Nazi J.T. Ready's been getting around lately, earning play in the local media by calling Cinco de Mayo "Report an Illegal Day
" on behalf of his beloved National Socialist Movement
, or showing up to support Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "pick" for Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery
. Now he's scoring some high-profile political "friends" on Facebook.
That is to say, he was scoring influential Facebook friends, until I started calling some of them about it.
Yesterday, Ready had 110 Facebook pals, including none other than Governor Jan Brewer, and Arizona State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Dean Martin, among others.
I should note that Ready does not identify himself as an NSM member on the site, but if you Google his name, you'll soon learn his c.v.
Also, Facebook friends have to be approved. Normally, you can't become someone's bro on Facebook unless they agree, or until they seek you out, and you agree.
In any case, soon after I contacted the Brewer and Martin camps, they rejected the Ernst
Rohm of the East Valley as their online bud.
Tim Gaffney, director of communications for Martin, told me that Martin has thousands of people as friends on the popular social-networking site, and that he does not do "background checks" on those requesting to be his friend.
Similarly, Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said the governor's campaign staff has been inundated with Facebook friends requests since she signed SB 1070.
"Obviously, she has no association with this person (Ready)," Senseman told me. "And clearly would not want to."
I rang Ready at his "Eagle's Nest" phone number to make sure the Facebook profile was indeed his. He said it was. The photo of him in white is from his days working security at a Scottsdale club.
Since then, Ready's become infamous as the most prominent neo-Nazi in the state of Arizona. I would think most politicians would know who he is by now, but apparently not well enough to vet him from their sites.
"It's Facebook, not Racebook," Ready told me. "It's pretty much generic, nothing political. The only thing political I've ever done on there was some survey of what I thought about gun control or something."
Ready said he saves his rants against Jews and nonwhites for his profile on the National Socialist Movement-sponsored NewSaxon
site, "an online community for whites by whites," as it dubs itself.
"Online, though, Ready is better known to the nearly 2,000 registered users of New Saxon, a newly popular white-supremacist social networking website, as `Viking Son.' His self-created New Saxon profile displays photographs of Ready wearing a kilt, donning a bulletproof vest, and scouring the desert for `illegals' through a pair of binoculars. Ready lists his `turn-ons' as `woman who loves our Race, Kultur, Heritage, History and Future,' identifies the racist fantasy novel The Turner Diaries as his favorite book, and describes himself as a big fan of neo-Nazi teen pop duo Prussian Blue."
As for his page on what he referred to as the "Jewish-owned Facebook," Ready was proud that he had some people with Jewish-sounding last names as his friends.
He described Brewer as "not a bad candidate at all," and claimed to know her somehow through his ex-wife. Martin, he said, was "a genuinely good man."
As for whether or not he would have supported Sheriff Joe for governor if he had run, he wouldn't say. However, he characterized Arpaio as a man who was "out there doing what a lot of other people should be doing."
But back to the significance or insignificance of someone having Ready as their "friend" on Facebook. I certainly don't vet every person I OK as my Facebook "friend," and I know there are some people -- politicians mostly -- that I've "friended" because I wanted to follow their posts.
That said, Ready should be a known quantity for all local politicians. His devotion to Nazism, racism and Jew-baiting has been exposed time and time again by myself and others. So if Ready comes knocking at your Facebook account, you should be aware of what you're getting yourself into.
Granted, most campaign staffers aren't paying close attention to these things, but maybe they should be.
Ready has 107 Facebook friends as of today. Do all of them know what the guy is up to? I doubt it.
Though fellow neo-Nazis such as Elton Hall and Harry Hughes, also listed as Ready's friends, most certainly do. Ditto some guy who calls himself "Swa Ohio," who says he's "an American Skinhead from Cincinnati, Ohio," and has posted a pic of himself with a swastika flag in the background.
So, I suppose, the message for all you social-networking maniacs is, "caveat Facebook," particularly when you're approving "friends."