2008: The Year in Anti-Semitism
White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis
Posted: May 14, 2009
2008 saw the continued decline of U.S. neo-Nazi groups, which have been plagued by infighting and a lack of leadership. In general, white supremacists attempted to exploit hot-button social issues such as immigration, black-on-white crime, and the country's economic crisis to strengthen their groups, make themselves more appealing to potential recruits, and push their anti-Semitic themes into mainstream circles.
One major focus of white supremacists in 2008 was immigration. Anti-Semites stoked the anti-immigration message that was present in both mainstream and extremist circles. They blamed Jews for promoting diversity and multiculturalism, and argued that Jews have engineered an open immigration policy in order to diminish the power of white Americans.
Anti-immigrant rallies attracted the attendance and support of anti-Semites and neo-Nazis, who claimed that they were able to recruit individuals into their movement at these events. However, their effort to inject anti-Semitism into the more mainstream anti-immigrant movement has been largely unsuccessful.
White supremacists also promoted anti-Semitism in connection with the 2008 U.S. presidential race. White supremacists accused both John McCain and Barack Obama of being pawns of American Jews, and alleged that each of the presidential candidates was pursuing goals which, at the behest of Jews, would undermine the culture and security of the United States.
In October 2008, former Klansman David Duke warned that both McCain and Obama "are simply in the pockets of the Jewish extremist financial network, the all powerful Jewish Lobbies like AIPAC, and the Jewish-dominated mass media!" A typical post on the white supremacist Web site Stormfront stated, "I don't want McCain or Obama to be the president. They're both New World Order candidates and are on the payroll of the Jews…the Zionist have [sic] set it up where either person will take us further into bondage."
In November 2008, just days after Barack Obama won the presidential election, Duke convened a conference in Memphis, Tennessee, for fellow extremists to discuss their movements' plans. In a speech to white supremacists from the U.S., Canada and Russia, Duke blamed Jewish control of the media and Hollywood for brainwashing white people into accepting Obama as their President.
Another noteworthy development in the world of white supremacists in 2008 was the censuring of Kevin MacDonald, a tenured anti-Semitic professor of evolutionary psychology at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
MacDonald has long argued that anti-Semitism, including the anti-Jewish hatred exhibited by the Nazis and the perpetrators of the Spanish Inquisition, is a "rational" response to Judaism. He also claims that Jews are attempting to undermine white Americans and to destroy the European heritage of the United States.
Not surprisingly, MacDonald serves as an ideologue for white supremacists and extremists. In October 2008, CSULB's Academic Senate voted to "firmly and unequivocally disassociate itself from the anti-Semitic and white ethnocentric views" of MacDonald. The previous month, F. King Alexander, the president of CSULB, released a statement saying he considered MacDonald's views "deplorable and reprehensible."
These statements will not diminish MacDonald's influence on the white supremacist movement, but they will hopefully help marginalize him as a mainstream academic.