Reacting to the inclusion of the "white nationalist" anti-immigration activist Peter Brimelow on a panel on "The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity Is Weakening the American Identity" at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Ed Schultz observed on MSNBC's The Ed Show that, "We've come to expect CPAC to bring together the far righties. But even CPAC should draw the line somewhere."
Schultz went on to quote Brimelow as having said at CPAC that, "Democrats have given up on winning the white working class vote, so they use bilingualism to build up a client constituency. It's treason. We hear about racism, but the real issue is treason."
Brimelow certainly doesn't mince words. He told a CBS reporter that US immigration policy, the legal kind, mind you, "is creating a "Spanish speaking underclass parallel to the African American underclass."
"These are people who are completely dysfunctional," Brimelow said. "They're on welfare; they're not doing any kind of work -- at least not legal work -- and their children are having a terrible time." California, which used to be "paradise," he added, is "rapidly turning into Hispanic slum."
Nice. So who, precisely, is Peter Brimelow, and why should the rest of us be concerned when a white nationalist racist like him appears at the same event as, say, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin?
Brimelow is founder and editor of the VDARE.com website which has been designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and which, according to no less an authority than the Anti-Defamation League, "features the work of racists, anti-Semites and anti-immigrant figures."
The ADL has been following Brimelow's activities for some time. In February of 2009, the organization tells us, "Brimelow demonstrated his racist views" at "a conference of racists in Baltimore, Maryland, dedicated to 'Preserving Western Civilization.'" There, Brimelow "delivered one of the most extreme presentations at the conference. He argued that the influx of "non-traditional" immigration is a problem all over the Western world and that the loss of control over the country by "white Protestants" will mean a collapse of the American political system. He urged that whites respond by creating an explicitly white nationalist political party."
Hmm? An "explicitly white nationalist political party"? Where have we heard that before?
Here are some more of Brimelow's words of wisdom. In his 1995 book, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, he referred to the Clinton administration as a "black-Hispanic-Jewish-minority white (Southerners used to call them 'scalawags') coalition." The Merriam-Webster on line dictionary, incidentally, defines a "scalawag" as a "a white Southerner acting in support of the reconstruction governments after the American Civil War often for private gain."
In an August 22, 2006, article, Brimelow called US immigration policy "Adolf Hitler's posthumous revenge on America." On February 15, 2011, he wrote that, "As immigration policy drives whites into a minority, this type of interest-group 'white nationalism' will inexorably increase."
In an October 6, 2009, article Brimelow wrote that, "it's still 'about race'. It is no coincidence, comrades, that the backlash is overwhelming white. Whites in America voted heavily against Obama. White Protestants ('let's face it, they are America' -- Phillip Roth, American Pastoral, p. 311) still make up nearly half (42%) the electorate and they voted 2-1 for McCain. But are even 4% of Obama's appointments white Protestants?"
Following the 2008 presidential election, Brimelow told the H.L. Mencken Club in Baltimore, Maryland, that "McCain should have portrayed Obama as the affirmative-action candidate. It would have been so easy. All he had to do is get up and say it." President Obama, Brimelow went on, would eventually do something "that will start to shock people right away. I think that whites -- that is to say, Americans -- will organize."
Back in 2002, the conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Brimelow, Pat Buchanan and Sam Francis [see below] "have become dismayingly obsessed in recent years with creating... an 'identity politics for white people.'" Goldberg described Brimelow as "a once-respected conservative voice who now runs the shrill anti-immigration website VDARE.com, named for Virginia Dare, the first British child born in North America." Goldberg also wrote that Buchanan's book, The Death of the West "warns hysterically that the white race is becoming an 'endangered species,' about to be swallowed up by the duskier Third World (defined as all nonwhites no matter how rich, educated or democratic)," and that Francis "has argued earnestly for 'imposing adequate fertility controls on nonwhites.'" Buchanan, Brimelow and Francis, Goldberg concluded, "live in denial about how to get back to the days when America was 90% white."
Brimelow claims that VDARE "will publish anyone, of any political tendency (or race), who has anything sensible to say about America's immigration disaster. And that certainly includes writers, for example Jared Taylor [see below], whom I would regard as 'white nationalist,' in the sense that they aim to defend the interests of American whites. They are not white supremacists. They do not advocate violence. They are rational and civil. They brush their teeth."
Ok, then, here are some of the authors Brimelow has published on VDARE, and draw your own conclusions:
• Sam Francis who wrote on July 21, 2003, that: "America was defined -- almost explicitly, sometimes very explicitly -- as a white nation, for white people, and what that means is that there is virtually no figure, no law, no policy, no event in the history of the old, white America that can survive the transition to the new and non-white version. Whether we will want to call the new updated version 'America' at all is another question entirely."
• Kevin MacDonald, identified by the ADL as "anti-Semitic," who wrote on November 14, 2006, that: "Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies. The objective has been control of economic resources and political power. One example: overwhelming Jewish support for non-traditional immigration, which has the effect of weakening America's historic white majority."
• The same Kevin MacDonald wrote on November 5, 2005, in a review of The Jewish Century by one Yuri Slezkine that: "Despite the important role of Jews among the Bolsheviks, most Jews were not Bolsheviks before the Revolution. However, Jews were prominent among the Bolsheviks, and once the Revolution was underway, the vast majority of Russian Jews became sympathizers and active participants. . . . Slezkine's main point is that the most important factor for understanding the history of the 20th century is the rise of the Jews in the West and the Middle East, and their rise and decline in Russia. I think he is absolutely right about this. If there is any lesson to be learned, it is that Jews not only became an elite in all these areas, they became a hostile elite -- hostile to the traditional people and cultures of all three areas they came to dominate. . . . Given this record of Jews as a very successful but hostile elite, it is possible that the continued demographic and cultural dominance of Western European peoples will not be retained, either in Europe or the United States, without a decline in Jewish influence."
• Jared Taylor, who wrote on July 4, 2008, that: "What race realists find most infuriating about the liberalism of the last half century is not just that it has lost its instinctive appreciation for the culture and people of the West but actively, viciously attacks them. Whites are doing something no other people have ever done in human history. Our rulers and elites welcome replacement by aliens, they vilify our ancestors and their own, they sacrifice our interests to those of favored minorities, and they treat the entire history of the West as if it were a global plague of rapine and exploitation. This is a disease that is killing us, and we must fight it head on."
• The same Jared Taylor wrote on January 4, 2011, that: "Some of us, however, rather like being White, and would like for our children and grandchildren to be White, too. The self-haters are welcome to go extinct if that is what they want. But what would be wrong in wanting a country -- even a small country -- where Whites are the majority and intend to keep it that way?"
After specifically referencing Peter Brimelow's "musings about racial dilution and the perils facing white people" on VDARE, a February 1, 2009, New York Times editorial observed that:
"It is easy to mock white-supremacist views as pathetic and to assume that nativism in the age of Obama is on the way out. The country has, of course, made considerable progress since the days of Know-Nothings and the Klan. But racism has a nasty habit of never going away, no matter how much we may want it to, and thus the perpetual need for vigilance."
We all know that there are bigots amongst us who espouse theories of racial, ethnic or religious superiority. They have the right to express their views, however noxious, on street corners or on their websites. No one, however, is obliged to invite them to be part of polite society.
The fact that the organizers of CPAC chose to give Peter Brimelow a platform reflects on them. Why the other CPAC participants have chosen not to denounce or even distance themselves from his toxic rhetoric is a question well worth asking.
Menachem Z. Rosensaft is vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants. He teaches about the law of genocide and World War II war crimes trials at the law schools of Columbia, Cornell, and Syracuse.