Race, Racism, and White Nationalism

Dec 19, 2014, 19:40
Richard Spencer, James Edwards, and Jared Taylor at the NPI Press Conference at the National Press Club
Richard Spencer, James Edwards, and Jared Taylor at the NPI Press Conference at the National Press Club
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The National Policy Institute, Aryan Nations and Tremors

Leonard Zeskind & Devin Burghart 11.02.2011

The National Policy Institute opened its Washington D.C. September conference with a direct invocation of Enoch Powell's infamous Rivers of Blood speech. Using video of recent riots in England with tape of Powell's 1968 speech, Richard Spencer, NPI's executive director, talked of the catastrophe that Latin, Asian and African immigrants have brought the white race. It is an avenue of thought that is well-trod in white nationalist circles. Nevertheless, the new prominence of National Policy Institute (NPI) is one more blot in a changing white nationalist landscape.

Founded in 2005, by William Regnery II, a member of a wealthy conservative publishing family, its goal was "to elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights." It published several so-called studies, including: "The Costs and Benefits of Mass Deportation," "Conservatives and Race," "The Wealth and IQ of Nations," and "Uhuru for South Africa." It official office is in Augusta, Georgia, according to IRS documents.

Regnery II was looking for a way to create an intellectual power behind his white nationalist politics. "Within the first or secondhand memories of people in this room, the white race may go from master of the universe to an anthropological curiosity," he once warned. Before NPI, he had founded the Charles Martel Society, publisher of racist and anti-Semitic journal, The Occidental Quarterly. The think tank and the quarterly journal became two-sides of a single coin. The NPI boards tie it to a number of other white nationalist enterprises, including the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Less than 75 people attended the September conference, which was held in Washington D.C. at the International Trade Center. Speakers included Atlanta attorney Sam Dickson, who 20 years ago ushered John Tyndall around the South. Jared Taylor from American Renaissance took his turn at the platform. American Renaissance has had trouble of late finding a venue that would not cancel at the last minute, and its position may be slipping as the think tank most entwined with the Council of Conservative Citizens. And the Enoch Powell reference was made by Richard Spencer, the NPI executive director.

Spencer is one the new generation of white nationalists. He graduated university in 2001, joined Pat Buchanan's American Conservative magazine and left after three years, moving closer to white nationalism. He established his own AlternativeRight.com, "an online magazine of radical traditionalism" under the financial umbrella of the VDARE foundation. Derek Turner is one of the sites contributing editors. And then to NPI.

As such, his trajectory runs parallel to Regnery and others worried about the ultimate fate of their "white race."

Whether or not the National Policy Institute completely supplants American Renaissance's position in the white nationalist terrain depends on a variety of factors, including the age of the men around Jared Taylor and whether or not NPI produces any kind of strategy beyond holding a talk shop.

David Duke in Knoxville

A week after the NPI event in DC, around a hundred people traveled from the more explicitly anti-Semitic wing of the white nationalist movement traveled to the La Quinta Inn in Knoxville, Tennessee for a conference David Duke described as a "practical seminar on what we can do." The location was kept secret from attendees until their arrival in the Knoxville area, in an apparent attempt to prevent a re-occurrence of the misfortune that befell Duke's last effort to hold a semi-public meeting. That event, in Memphis, had to be moved at the last moment because the venue cancelled. This time Duke took no chances.

Billed as a "Practical Politics and Leadership Seminar," the event featured Duke's regular stable of speakers: Sam Dickson, Paul Fromm, Ed Fields, Don Black, alongside younger speakers James Edwards and Derek Black (who both have white nationalist radio programs). Edwards and Dickson attended both the DC and Knoxville events. The one new name was Bob Whittaker, who was a part of the conservative movement in the 1970s, and seems to be moving out further to the edge.

David Duke's presumptive move towards a presidential campaign went unremarked upon. Instead, the seminar was more of a public relations campaign to re-brand white nationalism (again). Duke described the event as "how to reach people with our message" and to argue with "the enemy." Canadian Paul Fromm talked about how they need to use emotion appeals, like references to "genocide of our people," are essential rhetorical devices. The attempt to reshape the rhetoric of white nationalism focused on the "power of language" teaching the small crowd to stay on one simple message. Of those messages, "Massive non-white immigration + forced assimilation = white genocide," seemed to be one the crowd like the best.

Unlike Jared Taylor at American Renaissance, Don Black, the Stormfront web site entrepreneur, appears to have a built-in transition to a younger generation in the person of his son Derek Black, who was one of the key organizers of the event. Nevertheless, Stormfront may, just may, be suffering from a dip in its fortunes, according to a graph released by Don Black himself. The graph showed a most recent dip in visitors to the website, going down from a steady 40,000 daily to an occasional 20,000. While those numbers are still too high to predict the eventual fall of Stormfront, and the website is apparently reaching its fundraising goals, it is no longer the only major website at its end of the universe. Its continued pre-eminence requires more than a constant repeat of the David Duke and Derek Black shows.

Billy Roper Shutters His White Revolution

Barely a tremor was felt when Billy Roper announced he was shutting down his White Revolution organization in September. Once an Arkansas high school teacher, Roper has a mixed history in the white nationalist movement. As Deputy Membership Coordinator under William Pierce's National Alliance (NA) organization, he organized several successful NA-led street protests and attracted white power skinhead groups to his banner. In September 2002, two months after Pierce died, Roper was fired from his position and removed from the membership rolls. Almost immediately, Roper moved back to Arkansas and established a one-man band he called White Revolution. In May 2004 he held a small protest in Topeka, Kansas against desegregation. In 2010, he ran a "write-in" candidacy for Governor of Arkansas--meaning he could not get enough petition signatures to get listed on the ballot. He won less than a hundred votes, despite jumping around to every county fair and Tea Party event where he might get a hearing.

After giving up his go-it-alone slot, Roper decided to join Thom Robb's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, AKA the Knight's Party. Like Roper, Robb lives in the northern tier of Arkansas counties, with its small towns and villages buried in the Ozark Mountains. Unlike Roper, Robb's has been able to turn his much-diminished list of Klansman into a family business. The Robb family may continue to milk out a living from their mailing list of Klansmen, but the Knights is no longer the power house it was in the 1970s when

David Duke was the Wizard or in the 1980s, when it partnered with the Aryan Nations. And the Aryan Nations itself is now simply a sewer collecting the dregs of the movement.

Aryan Nations Fiasco in Louisiana

Aryan Nations (AN), once a nexus for Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and assorted shooters and bombers, lost in position in the movement long before the Southern Poverty Law Center won a lawsuit, taking away its meeting ground in north Idaho in 2000. It has gone through several permutations and divisions now. One week after the Knoxville meeting, the new AN chief, Morris Gullet, held a gathering in a Louisiana state park.

Gullet, from Ohio, is under 40 years old, but has already spent 15 years flitting from one neo-Nazi organization to the other. He received his Aryan Nations "ordination" from Vincent Bertollini, a millionaire who set up his own Christian Identity "ministry" in Idaho. Now with Gullet in charge, Aryan Nations could become more stable. The Louisiana event did draw Billy Roper and other former National Alliance cadres. Nevertheless, it ended when law enforcement officials swooped into to pull two of the attendees out. Unlike, the National Policy Institute and David Duke's Knoxville meeting, Aryan Nations remains a target of intense police interest.

You might think of these organizational reshuffling as simply re-arranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship. While each of these three September events did not amount to much by themselves, the three added together indicate a white nationalist movement that is alive and dangerous—and looking to the future.

Last modified on 11.02.2011

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