I've been looking at neo-Nazi support for Ron Paul and found that there's quite a bit. It seems that one of Rep. Paul's top internet organizers in Tennessee is a neo-Nazi leader named Will Williams (aka "White Will"). Williams was the southern coordinator for William Pierce's National Alliance Party, the largest neo-Nazi party in the U.S. (for more on Williams' role in the National Alliance Pary see "Beyond A Dead Man’s Deeds: The National Alliance After William Pierce", page 7 [pdf], for general info on the National Alliance Party, read here) For those fortunate enough not to know, Pierce was the author of The Turner Diaries, the bible of American neo-Nazis and inspiration for this country's worst case of home-grown terrorism, the Oklahoma City bombing (read here).
Williams claims to have spent 30 years as a racist activist, and reportedly was personally responsible for providing security services to William Pierce. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in 1993, Williams targeted children for recruitment to the National Alliance, authoring and distributing a racist comic book called "The Saga of ... WHITE WILL" which featured a violent attack by the hero against a Jewish youngster (read here). In 1998, Williams organized what he advertised as a "European Culture Festival" in Cleveland, featuring Irish and Slavic folk music and dancers. Attendees found themselves at a "white power" rally with speeches by William Pierce, Tom Metzger, founder of White Aryan Resistence ("WAR") and other racist leaders (read here). In December 2000, he spoke to a younger racist audience at a concert of racist rock bands organized by the National Alliance and Erich Gliebe's Resistance Records in California. (read here and here) [Gliebe, Pierce's personally chosen successor to lead the National Alliance, specializes in the recruitment of young people. He is perhaps the world's leading promoter of racist rock music and computer games, and is one of the chief promoters of the racist girl group Prussian Blue. (read here)] In March, 2001, Williams participated in a racist anti-immigration rally on the steps of the Hall County, Ga. courthouse, along with his friend and National Alliance Party associate, Chester Doles, listed variously as former Grand Dragon and Former Imperial Wizard of the KKK (read here and here and here) . In July, 2001, Williams participated in a violent rally at the German embassy in Washington, D.C. in support of German neo-Nazis (read here).
Williams now spends less time recruiting young people to be Nazis via comic books and rock music, and more time recruiting them to support Ron Paul via several meetup groups in Tennessee (read here), although he may be using these meetups to do both. He also posts anti-Semitic messages on Ron Paul message boards (read here), sometimes eliciting requests that he keep his neo-Nazi views quiet while continuing to organize for Paul, or in one case a joke concerning remaining "non-interventionist" with respect to William's ravings (read here). "White Will" Williams has also been actively campaigning for Ron Paul via racist websites as noted here, on the Huffington Post. (That piece, titled "To His Dismay, Ron Paul Becoming Magnet For White Supremacists", was a whitewash of the racist connections of the Paul campaign, ignoring Williams' role as an internet organizer for Paul.)
Other National Alliance Party leaders or former leaders are actively promoting the Ron Paul campaign on neo-Nazi websites. One such is Ron Doggett, currently of a group called Viginia EURO, a local branch of a national group started by David Duke (read here and here, photos here [CAUTION: Hate-group site]). (Pro-Paul forum postings by Dogget here [CAUTION: Hate-group site]) Here's what Doggett posted on one racist website:
Getting his name out there and showing support is important in any campaign. Everyone should do their part, getting those yard signs like Glenn suggested is one small way to help. I've got a Ron Paul for Pres. sign for the world to see at the base of my flag pole, the pole has a 4x6 Confederate flag atop it. Ron Paul bumper stickers on our cars and I wear my Ron Paul t-shirt anytime we go out to places with a lot of folks. A good number of my neighbors who know about my politics have asked me about Paul and have said they'd vote for him in the primary know that they know he's a good one.Directly above this post was one authored by a user calling himself "BurnJewBurn". This user's slogan, appearing on everything he posts, reads "nothing says lovin' like a jew in the oven".
For those with the stomach to read more of that sort of material, here, with my warning, is the "Ron Paul Internet Army" forum of a neo-Nazi website to which Doggett posts: [LINK TO HATE-GROUP WEBSITE. CAUTION.]
Racist podcaster Hal Turner has recently taken a break from issuing death threats to politicians in order to endorse Ron Paul. And then there's David Duke himself, who's devoted webpage after webpage to material supportive of the Paul campaign, without formally endorsing Paul. You could say that's soft money from the hard right.
The Ron Paul campaign disavows racism, of course, but for some reason, they can't keep the racists away. Maybe it has something to do with Rep. Paul's seeming opposition to all federal civil rights laws. Or his vote against providing funding to re-open investigations of murdered of civil rights workers. His racist comments about fleet-footed black muggers (or, as Paul has claimed, the comments he first defended, then took several years to realize he hadn't made and disavowed) haven't hurt, nor has his association with the John Birch Society, acceptance of support from the Christian Identity movement and advocacy for conspiracy theories. His isolationism, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and disdain for Israel and its supporters just might help explain his appeal to racists.
Maybe the racists' support for Paul has something to do with his advocacy of states' rights, which he frequently mischaracterizes as individual rights. He apparently appeals to a constituency which has forgotten the horror of what states' rights meant to non-white individuals in many states. As should be clear by now, Paul also appeals to some who DO remember and support a return to segregation and the other forms of racial oppression justified in the name of states' rights.
Let's remember that Rep. Paul voted against renewing the Voting Rights Act. He had the nerve to state in a speech to Congress that relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, civil rights laws. (read here) He also made the following statement in a speech he gave to Congress in opposition of a bill to commemorate the 1964 Civil Rights Act:
"(T)he forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty...The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties."
In other words, Paul values the right to discriminate more than the right not be discriminated against. What a sorry state of affairs that this disgraceful conduct can still occur in our Congress over forty years after the first major civil rights legislation passed. This outrage is compounded when Rep. Paul portrays himself as a champion of the Constitution, and this message is promoted by the ignorant and ignored by the indifferent.
So while I blame the racists and neo-Nazis for being who they are, I am more concerned about those who should know the history of civil rights but still allow Paul to spread his deceptions. He does not belong among the top candidates in a major party and his candidacy gives a boost to an otherwise declining racist movement in this country.
UPDATE (4/2/2010): Going back through this piece, I've discovered that the Ron Paul campaign has deleted several of the Meetup webpages linked to here, and made others private and accessible only with permission of the campaign. As time permits, I will search for archived versions of these webpages and replace the links to the originals with links to the archived versions. Thanks for your patience..