Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ron Paul group members petition to include neo-Nazi in forum

You may remember an earlier post on this blog concerning Will Williams (read here). Williams, who is also known as "White Will" has been a leading racist and neo-Nazi activist in this country for 30 years. He has played a leadership role in the National Alliance Party, the largest neo-Nazi group in the U.S., and has been associated with the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups. His specialty has been recruitment, targeting various demographic groups considered susceptible to a racist, anti-Semitic message. He authored and distributed to teenagers an eponymous comic book ("White Will") which features its hero attacking a Jewish teenager. He's an organizer of Ron Paul internet "meetups" in his native Tennessee, and a frequent poster of bigoted commentary in forums devoted to support for Ron Paul -- comments which met little opposition other than "don't scare away non-racists with this stuff" -- not exactly righteous indignation. Williams has also organized meetings of Paul supporters at which he may be recruiting for racist groups. He has a history of staging innocuous sounding events which turn out to be neo-Nazi recruitment rallies, like the time he staged an Irish and Slavic music festival in Cleveland where the audience was subjected to multiple speeches by neo-Nazis.

Since I've posted about this, and more importantly, since this was picked up by some big league bloggers (read here), Williams meetup organizing privileges have been suspended. He is now reduced to posting racist comments as "Former Member", still listing his hometown, Mountain City, TN, and readily identifiable by both tone and content (read here: "Must Dr. Paul capitulate to our Jewish masters' demands?"). This material is still available on the Ron Paul Meetup website, as are the responses of the supposedly mainstream ronpaulians, which can be summarized as "are you sure it's a good idea to say this publicly?"

Now Williams' supporters in the Ron Paul campaign have organized a petition to restore his presence on Ron Paul forums. You can read it here: Petition to restore forum privs for Will Williams - Ron Paul 2008 Meetups.

It seems that it may be hard for Paul to distance himself from racists when they make up such a significant part of his base of support. Too decisive a distancing might just alienate those who are less overtly bigoted than Williams, but who don't really object to his views. So the Paul campaign is still on the fence about its neo-Nazis supporters who organize, petition and comment freely in his internet forums. I wouldn't expect a complete clean break any time soon.

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