The Ferguson rebellion is now the sharpest and most volatile domestic racial battle of the year, during a period of conflict and political polarization at home and wars abroad. Given the intensity of this fight, it is noteworthy that white nationalists have had so little to say, and even less influence to display.
For years, white nationalists found themselves on the outside looking in, faces pressed against the glass to get a glimpse at the movement happenings at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But the times they are a changing. Not since Pat Buchanan’s racially-tinged insurgent campaign at the 1992 conference have white nationalists found a more hospitable environment in the halls of CPAC.
With the rise of the Tea Party, the doors to CPAC flew open wide in 2010. The same year that CPAC gave the “Ronald Reagan Award” to the Tea Party movement, the far-right John Birch Society, a group kept outside for decades, was allowed to co-sponsor the event for the first time. Others on the far-right were welcomed into the fold, and racist rhetoric about president Obama was allowed center stage. Just like that, CPAC became a white nationalist friendly zone.
Despite a more tightly controlled platform this year, the annual conservative confab did little to disabuse white nationalists of the notion that they were at home, particularly when leaders expressed racially-charged rhetoric and calls for nativist “death squads” were met with raucous cheers from the floor.
As the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gets set to kick off just outside of Washington DC, the event is already mired in a controversy over white nationalism.
ProEnglish, the white nationalist led English-only outfit that created serious headaches for the conference back in 2012, has quietly been allowed to again be an official exhibitor at CPAC 2014 when it opens today.
IREHR Says Remember Mandela, Biko and the Liberation Movement that Toppled Apartheid.
While world leaders, religious clerics and ordinary people remembered and commemorated Nelson Mandela after his recent death, white nationalists and the far right once again found themselves on the other side of decency and democratic rights. A quick survey shows how.
As anti-racists and human rights advocates push for justice for Trayvon Martin, they should take account of the Tea Party racists and white nationalist opposition to any form of actual justice. Readers are cautioned as IREHR presents some of the ugly rhetoric used by these racists so that it can be successfully countered in the public discussion and the cause of Justice for Trayvon can be secured.
Tea Parties Use Verdict to Further Attack Trayvon, Reproduce Racism
By Devin Burghart
The facts of the case are straightforward. Trayvon Martin was walking home when he was accosted by an armed vigilante who scuffled with the teenager and then shot him at close range. The vigilante was an unofficial “neighborhood watch” volunteer, who was advised by a police dispatcher to not give chase, but did so anyway. Despite the fact that Trayvon Martin was guilty only of “walking while black,” some Tea Party leaders had already convicted 17 year-old well before the trial, rather than George Zimmerman who shot him.
As IREHR previously noted, shortly after Zimmerman killed Martin on February 26, 2012, white nationalists and other bigots concocted false allegations, and slandered Martin. After the Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict, and particularly after President Obama publicly discussed the issue of race in the Trayvon Martin situation, many Tea Partiers used the occasion to place blame on the victim, amplify racist stereotypes of black men, and reproduce that racism in the civic arena.
For example, just hours after the July 13 verdict, the Florida Tea Party sent an email blast to supporters entitled “Black Teens Murder White Baby For The Fun Of It.” The brief, brutal story had been news from Brunswick, Georgia the previous March. But the Tea Partiers regurgitated the story in July in an attempt to deflect blame away from Zimmerman on to black men
The Florida Tea Party was not alone in this regard. Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, repeatedly weighed in during the trial with attempts to demonize the dead African-American teen. In a July 15, 2013 Tea Party Nation website piece entitled “From Sinner to Saint,” Phillips fused many falsehoods and distortions into a vicious and bitter piece of propaganda.
Trayvon Martin was well on his way to a life of crime, a life that would feature at best, the revolving door of the criminal justice system or possibly even a lifetime stay at a penal facility. Or, at worst, a shortened life, ended by someone else.
Trayvon Martin was a product of American liberal social policies. A single mother raised him. His school was more concerned about appeasing the civil rights hucksters than whether Trayvon Martin was either educated or taught basic responsibilities.
The story of Trayvon Martin’s life is not irrelevant. It is the major cause of what happened that night he encountered George Zimmerman. The left has tried to demonize Zimmerman and has tried to canonize St. Trayvon.
The truth is Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old thug who was the architect of his own demise.
That is the story that should be told. Perhaps if that story and the truth about Trayvon Martin is told, it might prevent the next Trayvon Martin.
Later Phillips wrote, “The George Zimmerman trial was a travesty to begin with. It never should have happened” and called for the head of State’s Attorney Angela Corey, claiming, “She is an individual unfit to be a prosecutor, unfit to be a lawyer and unfit for a job anymore significant that asking, “Would you like fries with that?”
It should be noted that by openly articulating the type of bigoted clap-trap that is usually said only behind closed doors, Phillips both invests these ravings with a certain legitimacy while re-establishing his own racist credentials. Indeed, Phillips Tea Party rhetoric mirrors closely the words of white nationalist demagogue Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, who wrote “Five white women and an apparent Hispanic have acquitted George Zimmerman on all counts. The facts and the law clearly required that it do so. However, this is a just conclusion only to a case that should never have been brought, and that casts a harsh and damning light on black race hustlers, crazed white liberals, and a vilely irresponsible media.”
From another angle, Lloyd Marcus, the Deltona, Florida paid spokesperson for the Tea Party Express, who describes himself, parentheses included, as a “(black) Unhyphenated American,” also chimed in. In an article entitled “Political Correctness: Bring Me the Head of George Zimmerman!” Marcus emphatically declared “I was elated upon hearing the not guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial. It gave me hope that America has not yet totally succumb to the tyranny of Political Correctness. It is refreshing that the jury was not willing to sacrifice the life of an innocent man on the alter[sic] in worship of Political Correctness enforced by the mainstream media and the Obama Administration.”
Marcus also pushed a notion that is popular in Tea Party circles that “the Obama Administration unlawfully conspired to ‘get George Zimmerman.’” As he often does, he attacked the NAACP and concluded that “had Zimmerman been sentenced to prison to appease PC, it would have been a dark day for all Americans – further empowering PC to imprison and enslave us.”
Tea Party reiterated old and tiresome attacks against the NAACP and others civil rights organizations and leaders, calling them a “racial grievance industry.” Over at the Patriot Action Network, for instance, one frequent commentator on the Tea Party site wrote, “George Zimmerman has been found not guilty by a jury of his peers. However the NAACP and the jury of the Society of Perpetual Race Baiters® is not persuaded. They will continue to hound George and use him as an example of racial injustice for decades to come; thus the tragedy of one young man’s death becomes the tragedy of character assassination and ruination of another young man’s life. So here’s our official halftime score: American Justice System 1, Race Baiting Prosecutors Acting Stupidly 0. Official Race Baiting outrage to follow.”
This kind of talk was old before the Tea Parties were invented. It goes hand in hand with the Confederate lie that slavery was good for African Americans. But when it is re-articulated in the 21st century, it renews and reinvigorates racist behavior.
Not satisfied with just defaming a dead teen, TheTeaParty.net (the same group which sponsored the .223 Day of Resistance Gun rallies in February), tried to use the verdict to attack the Obama administration (and raise cash). This group described the president the Attorney General Eric Holder as “race baiters.” They were supposedly involved in a conspiracy, according to this group. “Obama's DOJ, led by Holder, actually facilitated organized protests and rallies against George Zimmerman following the death of Trayvon Martin BEFORE Zimmerman was even brought up on charges!”
In a fund-raising pitch, the group pressed against those who believe that the Justice Department should charge Zimmerman with civil rights charges. TeaParty.Net demanded that “HOLDER MUST RESIGN AND BE PROSECUTED!”[Emphasis in original] They added, “We cannot continue to look the other way and not call out the likes of Barack Obama and Holder for being manipulative, dangerous race baiters. Their tactics are dirty. Their tactics are insulting. Their tactics are destructive for America.”
Two days later, in another fund-raising email, the group spun the conspiracy even further, announcing that “Eric Holder is declaring war on the American people and he's using George Zimmerman as cover.” Two days after that, in another fundraising email, TheTeaParty.net lambasted Obama’s remarks as “distraction, smoke screen” designed to cover up the IRS (non) scandal.
In a similar fashion, after President Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin, many Tea Party websites were flooded with racist comments lashing out against Martin and Obama, including fantasies about the President being killed.
For example, at the website of the 1776 Tea Party, Steven G. Elliott of Manns Choice, PA responded to the text of Obama’s remarks by comparing Obama and Martin, “One dope-head thug talking about another dope-head thug.” Linda Lee Kenney of Louisville, KY followed “I'm so sick of this jihadist trying to divide our country. He needs to go back to freakin Kenya!” Robert William Velon of Penryn, CA followed with “He needs to go back to Kenya in a box... I had hoped that his vacation to Africa would have promted[sic] him to buy a mud hut so he could move back.... Trayvon was a punk he was not the victim..... [Ellipses in original]” Jack Lamberson of Crawfordsville, IN added “He just proved he is racist and wants riots so he can declare marshal[sic] law and come after I guns. I sure wish it was him 35 years ago, we would all be much better off.” George Zornetsky of Beacon, NY also wished that the president was dead, “Too bad Obama isn't more like Martin, six feet under where that sonofabitch[sic] belongs.” There are many, many more comments like these on numerous Tea Party websites post-verdict, with scant voices challenging the racism.
Of course, this sort of guttural racism isn’t confined to Tea Party ranks or the white nationalist fringes. Conservative pundits like Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter have all used the verdict in the same manner. Racism and white privilege then are not simply a “left-over” phenomenon. It is, instead, a new and continually reproduced disease.
This horrid rhetoric provides further evidence of the depth and persistence of racism in this country. It should also serve as a wake-up call for all those who have given the Tea Party movement a free pass, and let it persist in the notion that it is simply a conservative cause concerned only with taxes and budgets. It should tell any decent hearted soul that this racist movement needs to be opposed as the bigots and racists they really are.
The following article describes activities by Jared Taylor in France and England earlier this year. Taylor is not unknown to regular readers of www.IREHR.org. He is the founder of a scientific racist outfit known as American Renaissance, has been a leading figure in the ranks of the Council of Conservative Citizens and an editor for other white nationalist enterprises. Leonard Zeskind’s book, Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream, available from IREHR, includes the first and most comprehensive treatment of Taylor—including his friendship with Holocaust denier Mark Weber, his stint as the West Coast editor of PC magazine, and a description of American Renaissance’s first conferences. The following is taken from an article in Searchlight magazine by Ray Mount. IREHR congratulates Searchlight for nearly 50 years of monthly anti-fascist and anti-racist publication. Leonard Zeskind added to Ray Mount’s reporting, using material from other sources.
American Conservative Union (ACU) chairman Al Cardenas once said “CPAC is like an ‘All Star’ game for conservatives.” Watching it unfold, however, is less like a ball game and more like surveying the line-up at a Moscow May Day parade during the times of the Soviet Union, if you can push the political ideology out of the picture for a moment. Or like monitoring a north Georgia Klan Labor Day Klan rally in the 1980s. You see who is in and who is out. In that regard, seeing the Tea Party emerge at CPAC 2013 is a little like watching the first time white power skinheads showed up at the Gainesville, Georgia Kluxer event in 1989.
On the eve of the most widely anticipated conservative event of the year, the group responsible for organizing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 13) has chosen to feature the work of a controversial white nationalist professor on its website.
As of February 27, the American Conservative Union (ACU) website features an article by Dr. Robert Weissberg, a retired University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign political science professor with a second career as a white nationalist. Since the first CPAC conference in 1973, the American Conservative Union has been the principal sponsor of the gathering. ACU has a staff person, Vinh Nguyen, listed as a “CPAC producer.” And ACU’s executive director and chairman call the event to order and provide the initial welcoming remarks. Weissberg’s essay was found on the front page of the ACU’s site, just beneath a big banner advertising CPAC 13.
The article below ran in the January 2013 edition of Searchlight, an anti-racist, anti-fascist magazine published monthly in London with international distribution. It analyzes Klan, neo-Nazi and Tea Party activity during 2012, and recounts some of the movement's most violent episodes. At the end, please note the data that points towards problems in the future.
2012: A Year in ReviewBy Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart
The year began with whimpers from white nationalists about the decay of their supposed civilization. And it ended with a bang from gunners screaming about their rights after yet another mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Election year events dominated the ebb and flow of the far right, the racists and the bigots. In between, skinheads and assorted Aryan-types were arrested and convicted in multiple instances of horrific violence.
It was May 1, 1988 in Paris, and I watched as Jean-Marie Le Pen, a young girl dressed as Joan d'Arc, a line of sash-wearing dignitaries, and 40,000 Front National supporters marched through the streets in a May Day parade. It was the moment that the Front National's racist nationalism broke into the middle of French politics, after years (decades) on the margins. Le Pen won 4.4 million votes, about 14.7% of the total, in the first round of the presidential elections that year. At the time, I was used to monitoring Klan rallies in the American South, which never approximated the size and power of the rally that day. The Front National's fortunes have waxed and waned over the next two-plus decades since. Now, with a stunning six million votes (17.9% of the total) in the in the first round of the French presidential elections, Marine Le Pen has re-established the Front National as a leading voice for racist, anti-immigrant politics in Continental Europe.