Remembering the 1987 King Holiday Weekend and Thinking about the Racist Opposition Today

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On Saturday, January 17, 1987, about 100 white-sheeted Klansmen and uniformed Aryan Nations members marched through Pulaski, Tennessee in opposition to the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.  They came to Pulaski because it was the birthplace of the Klan in 1866, after the Civil War.  A different Klan organization gathered its members that same day in opposition to the holiday in Summerville, South Carolina.

That same day, in Forsyth County, Georgia a crowd of about 400 North Georgia whites had gathered under the leadership of two Klan groups, the Invisible Empire KKK and the Southern White Knights.  They aimed to prevent a “Brotherhood March” by a smaller group of local working class whites who had teamed up black civil rights advocates from Atlanta.  As soon as all the would-be marchers got off their bus, the racist mob attacked them with bottles, rocks, racist slurs and other forms of shrapnel and drove them back into the bus, their march uncompleted.

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Special Report: The Status of the Tea Party Movement - Part One

Special Report: The Status of the Tea Party Movement
Part One: The Tea Party in 2013

During the month of January 2014, IREHR will publish a multi-segment special report on the current status of the Tea Party movement.  We will track the membership of the principal organizations in the movement—a task undertaken by no organization or agency other than IREHR. We will look at geographic regions where this membership is concentrated.  And we will look at some of the money that keeps this movement in the public eye. In the piece below, we follow the Tea Parties over the course of 2013.

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Day of Discovery at Kansas City Jewish Community Center

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Leonard Zeskind taught a class on "Anti-Semites, Racists, Bigots and So-Called Nullification in Kansas and Missouri" at the August 25 Day of Discovery session for area Jews. About 35 attended the session, which included an added segment on Rev. Gerald Winrod, the Jayhawk Nazi. Otherwise the session began with an explication of the Council of Conservative Citizens and ended with the movement towards "nullification" in both Kansas and Missouri.

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Defending the Old Regime: White Supremacists in Mississippi

Mississippi has a history of the worst kind of white supremacist violence.  Between 1882 and 1927, there were 517 people lynched in the State of Mississippi—almost one person a month.  It was the highest number for any state during that period.  The state was also the birthplace in 1954 of the white Citizens Councils that fought the freedom movement and defended Jim Crow segregation.  It was home to one of the most violent Klan factions during the 1960s, the Mississippi White Knights led by Sam Bowers.  And a state government agency, the Sovereignty Commission, spied on civil rights activists and anyone who thought black people should have voting rights, it aided and abetted Klan killers, and it left a searing mark on the lives of millions.

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White Nationalist Tea Partier Co-Chairing South Carolina Governor Re-Election Committee

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced in February the co-chairs of her statewide grassroots re-election steering committee. Included on the steering committee is, Roan Garcia-Quintana a Tea Party activist who serves at the same on the board of the largest white nationalist organization in the country, the Council of Conservative Citizens—the lineal descendant of the Jim Crow-era white Citizens Councils.

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Holocaust Deniers Play Footsie with Iran (Again)

The Islamic Republic of Iran is replete with beautiful mountain vistas, a clean subway system and keen scholarly discussion, if the Institute for Historical Review’s (IHR) Mark Weber is to be believed.  The country is also the victim of the harmful depredations of a “Zionist-controlled Hollywood,” according to Weber.  He and more than 40 other non-Iranians gathered with their Hollywood-hating Iranian peers for a four-day February conference in Tehran.  Speakers from the United States, Europe and the Middle East claimed that Hollywood did everything from pollute their cultural environment to promote war with Iran.  If you thought Americans were all skinny, that was a false impression caused by Hollywood.  And if you looked around and thought about sex, well that too was the fault of Hollywood. 

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Alert: Organization Behind CPAC Highlighting Work of Racist Author

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.

American Conservative Union SiteAs 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.

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2012: A Year in Review

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 Review

By 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. 

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The King Holiday and the Long Arc of Justice - A Personal Remembrance

Monday, January 21, is the national holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday anniversary. If he had not been horribly murdered by an assassin in 1968, or struck down in some other fashion, he would be 84 years old. Across the country, in every major city and most medium-sized towns there will be at least some kind of event. In Kansas City, where I am now sitting, multiple events have already happened as I write these words.

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About IREHR

The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR) is a national organization with an international outlook examining racist, anti-Semitic, white nationalist, and far-right social movements, analyzing their intersection with civil society and social policy, educating the public, and assisting in the protection and extension of human rights through organization and informed mobilization.

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