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Leonard Zeskind
P.O. Box 411552
Kansas City, Missouri 64141
(816) 474-4748

Leonard Zeskind is the author of Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in May 2009. The book received an Honorable Mention from the Society of Midland Authors in May 2010 in the “Adult Non-Fiction” category. Mr. Zeskind writes a regular column for Searchlight magazine, published in London, and has written articles and op-eds for The American Prospect, Rolling Stone, The Nation,The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named him a Fellow in 1998 (one of its so-called “Genius Grants”). His awards include: the NAACP “Legacy Award” from the Olathe, Kansas branch in 2007; and the “Owen Bieber Civil Rights Award” from the United Automobile Workers Union Civil Rights Department in 1993. The Petra Foundation made him a Fellow in 1992. And he has received a number of other awards, including most recently, the NAACP Kansas City, Missouri Branch “Lucile H. Bluford Special Achievement Award,” for his contribution to the community and the struggle for dignity and humanity for all persons.

He has testified before a Parliamentary Subcommittee in the United Kingdom, given public lectures at universities in London and Berlin, and worked for more than three decades to curb the influence of racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacist groups in the United States. He is a life time member of the NAACP, and has served on the board of directors of the Petra Foundation and the Kansas City Jewish Community Relations Bureau. He is now president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR).

Prior to 1982, Zeskind worked in heavy industry as a first class structural steel fitter, on automobile assembly lines, as a welder and other jobs.

Selected Periodical Publications

“A Nation Dispossessed: The Tea Party Movement and Race,” Critical Sociology 38-4, Sage Publications, July 2012

“Plantation Prison System Opposed in Louisiana,” Searchlight magazine, July, 2012

“Beyond FAIR: The Decline of the Established Anti-Immigrant Organizations and the Rise of Tea Party Nativism,” co-authored with Devin Burghart, January 2012, available at

“Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope and Focus of its National Factions,” co-authored with Devin Burghart, October 2010,

“The New Nativism: The alarming overlap between white nationalist and mainstream anti-immigrant forces.” American Prospect November 2005.

“Nazismens playboy” for Expo No. 3. Stockholm 2005. Article detailing David Duke for Swedish language journal.

“Minutemen on the Arizona Border.” Searchlight. London. May 2005.

“Bush & die Anti-Abtreibungsbewegung.” Der Rechte Rand. Nov. 2004. Hannover FRG.

“All’s FAIR: Kris Kobach loads up with anti-immigration ammo.” The Pitch. Sept. 23, 2004

“Return of the White-ist.” The Nation (on-line edition). August 16, 2004.

“Anti-Semitism is Not About Jews.” Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. Feb. 2004.

“Noam Chomsky und die Dixie Chicks: Zwei Seiten des Amerikanismus und des Antiamerikanismus in den USA.” Chapter essay in Nichts Gegen Amerika 2003. Michael Hahn editor. Konkret Literatur Verlag. Reprinted in Jungle World, October 2003. Berlin.

“Tentacles of Hate From A Racist’s Legacy.” Los Angeles Times. August 5, 2002.

“The NRA Is Not Just About Guns.” Reform Judaism. Fall 2001. Opinion piece.

“Shoah, Then and Now.” Ha’aretz. July 6, 2001. Reprint of reviews for Forward June 29. 2001.

“In the Fight for Civil Rights, the Past is Not Past” Forward. May 25, 2001. Book reviews.

“Anti-Semites in Branson?” Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. February 9, 2001.

“White Nationalist Just Love Buchanan.” Los Angeles Times. July 30, 2000.

“Saving Grace or Human Race” one of six “Letters to the Future” solicited for a special “time capsule” edition of the Kansas City Star. December 26, 1999.

“This Killer Didn’t Just Blindly Hate.” Los Angeles Times. July 7, 1999

“Fa and Anti-Fa in the Fatherland” The Nation October 5, 1998

“Religion and the Construction of Contemporary White American Nationalism” inAmerican Armageddon: Religion, Revolution and the Right edited by Eric Ward, copyright Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment. Peanut Butter Publishing. Seattle 1998.

“Justice Vs. Justus” for Intelligence Report, Spring 1998. Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Money Matters: Holocaust Denial Leaders Battle Over Million” Intelligence Report. Summer 1997. Southern Poverty Law Center.

“White Racist Counterculture.” books reviewed for The Nation October 28, 1996.

“White-Shoed Supremacy.” The Nation. June 10, 1996.

“Can Timothy McVeigh Beat Death Penalty?” Village Voice April 9, 1996. w/ James Ridgeway.

“The Empire State Strikes Back,” Village Voice. March 12, 1996. with James Ridgeway.

“Some Ideas on Conspiracy Theories for a New Historical Period” chapter inConspiracies: Real Grievances, Paranoia, and Mass Movements edited by Eric Ward, copyright Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment. Peanut Butter Publishing. Seattle 1996.

“Armed and Dangerous: The NRA. Militia and White Supremacists Are Fostering A Network of Right Wing Warriors.” Rolling Stone. November 2, 1995.

“Revolution U.S.A.: The Far Right Militia Prepare For Battle” Village Voice. May 2, 1995. co-author with James Ridgeway.

“‘Christian Identity’ for the Millions.” International Herald Tribune. November 18, 1993 also published as “And Now, The Hate Show” Op-Ed piece for New York Times November 16, 1993

When Hate Groups Come To Town. Published by Center for Democratic Renewal and Black Belt Communications. Atlanta. 1992. Contributing editor for 192-page handbook on responses to the far right and white supremacist movement.

“Briton is Key Link to U.S. neo-Nazis” Forward. June 7, 1991.

“For Duke, Just a Start?” Op-Ed piece published by New York Times. October 9, 1990.

“New Brand of Racism on the Rise” with Jan Douglass. Focus magazine published by the Joint Center for Political Studies. Washington, D.C. April 1990.

“German Political Mix Includes Neo-Fascists” Kansas City Jewish Chronicle March 9, 1990.

“Despite Reforms, Far Right Carving Niche in Germany” Kansas City Jewish Chronicle March 2, 1990.

Quarantines and Death: The Far Right’s Homophobic Agenda. with Mab Segrest. Monograph published by Center for Democratic Renewal. Atlanta. 1989.

“Historical Revisionism and White Supremacy.” Justice Spring 1989. Holocaust Survivors & Friends.

“Back to Barbarism” in Engage/Social Action. June 1987. Washington, D.C.

The Christian Identity Movement: A Justification for Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence. Monograph published by the Division of Church and Society of the National Council of Churches in Christ in the U.S.A. New York. 1986.

Its Not Populism. Monograph published jointly by the Southern Poverty Law Center and National Anti-Klan Network. 1984.

Selected Presentations

“Keynote Speech on the Tea Party movement,” International Conference on the Anglo-American Far Right, Northampton University, United Kingdom, September 14, 2012.

“The Role of the Tea Party, Politics and Racism,” three-hour session conducted at SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective in Atlanta on March 23, 2012.
“Voting Rights are Fragile and Most be Defended,” at the “Annual Civil Rights Town Hall Meeting,” held by the Kansas City, Missouri branch of the NAACP on January 28, 2012.

“White Nationalism and Middle American Radicals,” Thematic Presentation at Midwest Sociology Society conference, March 27, 2011, St. Louis, Missouri

“Danger of White Nationalism,” Community Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina February 5, 2011

“The Tea Party threat to Racial Justice,” Mississippi State NAACP Convention, Jackson, MS., November 12, 2010
“The Face of Immigration,” Institute for the Study of Scientific Racism, Ferris State University, March 4, 2010.

“Neither Dinosaurs nor Neanderthals: Understanding the White Nationalist Movement,” Portland State University, November 12, 2009.

“Blood and Politics: New Developments in the Rise of (White) Nationalism in the US, UK, and other parts of Europe,” Center for the Comparative Study of right-Wing Movements, University of California at Berkeley, October 8, 2009

“Domestic Anti-Semitism and Racism after 9-11” presentation Kansas City, Missouri. Feb. 10, 2002.

“White Nationalism and Multi-Culturalism.” keynote presentation of King Day celebration. University of Western Washington. Bellingham, Washington. January 15, 2000.

“Understanding the White Nationalist Challenge to Our Multi-Cultural Peoplehood.” keynote presentation at the 13th National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education. Santa Fe, New Mexico. June 2, 2000.

“White Nationalism Today and Tomorrow.” Plenary presentation. National Conference on Black-Jewish Relations. Dillard University. New Orleans, Louisiana. March 29, 2000.

“Hate Groups in Kansas: Their Current Activities and History.” Concerned Citizens for Topeka community forum. Topeka, Kansas. September 28, 1999.

“The Intersection of Ideas and Behaviors.” Keynote presentation. South Central Regional Terrorism Task Force of the FBI. September 14, 1999.

“Covering the Anti-Government Movement: Militia, Anti-Abortion and Clinton Haters.” Workshop presentation Investigative Reporters and Editors National Conference. Kansas City, Missouri. June 4, 1999.

“White Supremacist Movements in the United States,” presentation at the Spiro Institute of London University, England, May 1998.

“After the Oklahoma City Bombing?: The Terry Nichols Trial.” Lecture for the Anthropology Student Assoc. University of North Texas. Denton, Texas. November 10, 1997.

“Guns and God, White Supremacy in the Mainstream,” plenary presentation to the United Electrical Workers national convention in Milwaukee on September 23, 1997.

“Mainstreaming White Supremacy, the Threat to Public Education.” Plenary presentation to the Montana Human Rights Network annual statewide conference. October 12, 1996.

“Right Wing Militia and White Supremacists in the United States and Europe” presentation to The Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Amherst College. Jan. 1996.

“Faces of Hate” speech Metro State College of Denver. November 1995.

“Christian Coalition and Christian Patriots: Differences and Similarities” presentations in Bochum, Oldenburg, Wuppertal, Hanover, Braunschweig and Kiel, Germany. February 1995.

Testimony on North American-United Kingdom links between racist and terror groups before the British Parliamentary Sub-Committee Hearings on Racist Violence. December 1994. London.

“Managing Diversity: Moving From Words to Action” keynote speech at multi-University conference. May 1994. San Diego, Calif.

“Links between white supremacists and anti-Indian groups.” Northland College Native American Studies Department. Ashland, Wisconsin. March 1990.

“Neo-Nazi international connections” presentation for “No Chance For Hate” conference sponsored by the Frankfurt parliament, February 1990. Frankfurt Germany.

Keynote address at the “2nd Annual National Conference on Racial and Ethnic Relations in Higher Education” sponsored by Southwest Center on Human Relations in Norman, Oklahoma. June 1989.

Speech on racist movement for Leeds Trades Union Council. Leeds England. April 1989.

Presentation on similarities and differences between American and European far right groups to public forum. London University. London England. April 1989.

Testimony on Klan and neo-Nazi activity for Georgia State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Atlanta Georgia. April 8, 1987.

“Theological Differences Through History” keynote for the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Northern Region Civil Rights Meeting February 25, 1987 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Testimony on “Bigotry and Violence” for United States Commission on Civil Rights at regional advisory committee hearings. Kansas City, Missouri. January 27, 1986.


NAACP Kansas City, Missouri Branch “Lucile H. Bluford Special Achievement Award,” for his contribution to the community and the struggle for dignity and humanity for all persons. November 3, 2012

“Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award,” Olathe, Kansas Branch NAACP

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow. 1998.

“Bayard Rustin Award” from the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment. 1996.

“Owen Bieber Civil Rights Award” from the United Automobile Workers Union Civil Rights Department. 1993.

Petra Foundation Fellow. 1992

Columbia University School of Journalism Paul H. Tobenkin Award in 1987 for “Set A Moral Tone That Rejects Racism” published as part of award-winning Spokane Spokesman-Review Dec. 31, 1986.

Humanitarian Award, Harmony Kansas City, 58th Annual Conference