So, the evidence that the Republican Party has a major racism problem just keeps mounting. I highlight the sad connections between the Republican Party and white supremacists with what sometimes seems like depressing frequency. The latest example comes, not surprisingly, from Arizona.
State Senate Majority leader Chuck Gray, supposedly part of the mainstream Republican Party and a major proponent of the recent Arizona racist laws, actually is a follower of Don Black, a white supremacist who has been banned from the UK for his violent, neo-Nazi rhetoric, and Chuck Gray is also a follower of Stormfront, Don Black's KKK website. I kid you not. A leading Arizona Republican is a follower on Twitter of a KNOWN KKK leader.
Don Black is a Florida-based white supremacist who is deemed so dangerous he's banned from the UK for inciting hatred. Arizona State Senate Majority leader Chuck Gray—a proponent of the recent immigration bill—follows him on Twitter.
StormfrontWPWW (White Pride Worldwide) is the Twitter account for Stormfront, a racist organization that is the latest project of uber-racist Stephen Donald Black, better known as Don Black. He was a Grand Wizard in the KKK and a member of the American Nazi Party. In 1981 he was convicted and jailed for trying to invade the Dominican Republic with a boatload of weapons, in order to set up some kind of utopian state. (He's pictured below, at a conference organized by the infamous white supremacist David Duke.) Stormfront.org, the website he set up on his release from jail, is a hate-filled racist forum.
And here is what the Southern Poverty Law Center has to say about Arizona Republican Leader Chuck Gray's inspiration:
Back to Black
Date of Birth:
West Palm Beach, FL
A former Klan state leader and long-time white supremacist, Don Black is best known for creating Stormfront.org, the first major Internet hate site. While the site remains popular in racist circles today, Black came under criticism in 2008 from other white supremacists for toning down its offensive content and for the claimed renunciation of racism made by his wife, Chloe Black, to a reporter.
In His Own Words
"I remember [the 1950s] quite well, that a lot of people were mad about blacks. They were mad about school integration and black crime… . [B]ut … it was kind of rare to find someone that really, fully understood the Jewish involvement … behind all of this promotion of the destruction of culture and our heritage, the destruction of our schools and our neighborhoods. … [W]ith the Internet — and, I think, with this involvement in the Middle East, American involvement in the Middle East — everything's changed. I mean, we have to calm down people sometimes on Stormfront about the Jews." — Stormfront.org radio, 2008
On April 27, 1981, Black and nine other white supremacists were arrested as they prepared to board a yacht stocked with weapons and ammunition to invade the Caribbean island of Dominica and take over its government. Black served three years in federal prison for his role in the invasion plot and for his violation of the Neutrality Act.
In 1987, Black, along with Klan leader David Duke, was reportedly charged with reckless conduct and for illegally blocking a state highway in Forsyth County, Ga., where they had traveled to take advantage of simmering racial tensions.
Going back to high school, Don Black has always been one of the more enthusiastic proponents of white power. One of his first forays into the organized movement was in the 1970s, when he volunteered for the late white supremacist J.B. Stoner's unsuccessful run for governor of Georgia. He stayed with the campaign until Stoner's campaign manager, Jerry Ray, the brother of Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray, shot Black in the chest. The shooting apparently stemmed from accusations that Black had broken into Stoner's office to steal a mailing list for the National Socialist White People's Party.
After recovering, Black went on to join the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the group headed by David Duke in the 1970s. Working on Duke's unsuccessful campaign for Louisiana state Senate, Black won Duke's trust, moving up to become his mentor's right-hand man in addition to his post as Alabama grand dragon, or state leader. When Duke left the group amid allegations that he'd tried to sell its membership list to another Klan group for $35,000, Black took over. Later, in the 1970s, according to The Crusader, a KKK newspaper, Black sponsored marches in defense of Robert Chambliss, who stood accused (and was later convicted) of the 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls in Birmingham, Ala. Not long after, Black got into trouble himself. In 1981, he and nine other white supremacists were arrested as they prepared to board a yacht with which they intended to invade the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica, oust its black-run government, and transform it into a "white state." Black's resulting three-year federal prison sentence was time well spent. He took classes in computer programming that would provide the basis for his future.
Not long after his release, Black launched an unsuccessful campaign for a U.S. Senate seat from Alabama. He wound up marrying Duke's ex-wife, Chloe Hardin, and moving to West Palm Beach, Fla. Once there, he began dabbling with his computer, eventually setting up a dial-up bulletin board service for the radical right. By March 1995, that service evolved into Stormfront.org, the Net's first ever and best-known American hate site.
Black saw clearly that with this new technology, white supremacists might finally bypass the mainstream media and political apparatus, getting their message out to people who otherwise would never hear it. And he realized the importance of the fact that people who now could read about white supremacist ideas in the privacy of their own homes without fear of embarrassment or reproach.
The results have been fairly spectacular. In January 2002, Stormfront had a mere 5,000 members. A year later, membership reached 11,000; and a year after that, in early 2004, it had 23,000. By 2008, membership hit about 133,000 registered users, though the majority were inactive. These numbers don't include the large numbers who simply read Stormfront postings without actually joining up (becoming a member allows one to post messages and also to view personal information posted by other members).
One of Stormfront's main attractions is that it provides forums for so called "white nationalists" to post articles, engage in forum discussions, and share news of upcoming racist events. Below the Stormfront motto, "White Pride World Wide," are links to racially charged news stories like "Mestizo Rapes White Woman in Elevator" and "Negro Man Stabs Elderly Woman, Shoots Detective, Negroes Screaming ‘Police Brutality." Stormfront's various forums can also contain threads like "What do you want done with the Jews?," "Aryan Storm Rising," and "To Hate or Not to Hate." But one thing you won't normally find on Stormfront today, unlike in its early years, are racial slurs. In fact, new members are explicitly warned not to use such language, and also not to post violent threats or anything describing illegal activity. It's not that Stormfront is about moderation. The talk is all about the evils of African Americans, homosexuals, non-white immigrants, and, above all, Jews, who are blamed for most of what's wrong in the world. But Black clearly has modeled his site on some of the tactics used by David Duke, who famously urged his Klan followers to "get out of the cow pasture and into hotel meeting rooms." As Black once told a reporter, "We don't use the ‘nigger, nigger' type of approaches."
Duke and Black have remained close over the years. In 2004, Black was on hand to celebrate the end of Duke's one-and-a-half year federal prison term (for mail fraud and misstating his income taxes) at a New Orleans event put on by Duke's European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO). Black signed on to Duke's "New Orleans Protocol," a set of principles "pledging adherents to a pan-European outlook." More recently, Duke has been a regular on Black's Stormfront.org Radio, an Internet radio program that features white supremacists.
In 2008, Black made the news when the Intelligence Report reported that his wife Chloe worked for Emilia Fanjul, wife of sugar baron Jose "Pepe" Fanjul, as an executive assistant. Part of Chloe's duties involved serving as a publicist for Glades Academy, a charter school created by Emilia Fanjul to help poor minority children. Despite having attended an event put on by the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens a month earlier, Chloe Black told the Palm Beach Post, "I am not involved with the website [Stormfront] and do not agree with extremist or racially prejudiced views." The Post, based on information supplied by the Southern Poverty Law Center, also reported that Don Black had recently toned down Stormfront, banning many symbols of Nazism that formerly were common on the site, including swastikas and SS lightning bolts, and getting rid of particularly offensive terms, including "nigger." White supremacists were not happy. In racist Web forums, they ripped both Don and Chloe, denouncing them for caring more about money than their beliefs.
The 2008 presidential election gave Stormfront a lift. Don Black boasted on the site he was seeing six times the usual web traffic because of a possible Obama win. "There are a lot of angry White people out there looking for answers," he wrote. "Let's show them. We will not be defeated."
In 2009, the BBC reported that five American right-wing extremists were among 16 individuals banned from entering the United Kingdom for reasons of "fostering extremism or hatred." Black was one of those banned. According to the U.K. Home Office (the lead U.K. government department for immigration and passports), Black was banned for "promoting serious criminal activity and fostering hatred that might lead to inter-community violence in the UK."
Let me reiterate: The LEADER of the Republican Arizona Senate is a FOLLOWER of a former KKK Grand Wizard. This is sick, sick sick! And this is part of the origin of the current racist Arizona laws. RACISM is a major part of Republican policy these days and it is disgusting!
But sadly, Chuck "I Love the KKK" Gray of Arizona's Senate is not alone by ANY means in his racism. Republican Racism is increasingly widespread. There was the Republican running for Congress in 2008 who loved Nazis. Here's a rundown from 2007. Then there was Republican Racism from Iowa in 2008. And Michael Savage's racism in 2008. A rundown of Republican Racism from 2008 (some overlap with my rundown from 2007). There was Republican Racism over Sotomayor. A Republican and THE Teabagger candidate for Governor in New York in 2010 forwards racist emails. It goes on and on and on.
Republican Racism is out of control and it gets down to the level of eagerly rubbing shoulders with KKK and neo-Nazi leaders. It is time we face up to the fact that the Republican Party has been working with and following KKK and neo-Nazi leaders. It isn't even hidden. The Republican/racist connection is open and public.