Crackpots are often entertaining, but they are usually just tiring. A guy who thinks dinosaurs once had a sophisticated society, but were obliterated by space aliens in order to give mammals a shot is probably a fun guy at the bar. The Brits used to call these sorts of eccentrics “mad” or “daft”, as in harmlessly nutty.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have the sort that you suspect is one nudge away from going bonkers and shooting up a mall. These are the guys sending angry letters to the editor of their local newspaper – every day. Nowadays, they show up on Facebook and Twitter running “campaigns” against public figures. Or, they get a PhD and write articles for Salon.
The American Renaissance Foundation is an extremely conservative right-wing organization that also publishes a monthly magazine of the same name, American Renaissance (AR). The magazine’s first issue appeared in November 1990. The foundation was established by Jared Taylor (1952–) who serves as president of the New Century Foundation and as editor of AR. Taylor has ties to a variety of domestic and international racists and extremists. He is on the editorial advisory board of Citizens Informer, the newspaper of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a virulently racist group whose website has referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity.” He has contributed writings to The Occidental Quarterly, a racist journal. He also has been a member of the board of directors of the National Policy Institute, a self-styled racist think tank, and has received funding from this institute.
Taylor has close ties with members of various neo-Nazi groups and with Gordon Baum, the CEO of Council of Conservative Citizens. He is a frequent radio guest of Don Black’s, operator of Stormfront, a white supremacist online forum that also advertises American Renaissance conferences. He also has ties to Mark Weber, head of the Institute for Historical Review. European racists are among his close associates, including members of the British National Party, a racist, far-right political party in England, and the National Front, a racist, far-right political party in France. Nick Griffin, the head of the British National Party, has been a speaker at two American Renaissance conferences. Frédéric Legrand, a member of the National Front, is a frequent contributor to American Renaissance.
In those 263 words, I highlighted 14 scare words. It reads like something written by the Lyndon LaRouche people. I was expecting some reference to Henry Kissinger and his international communist ties. This is the sort of rant you expect to be hand written on note paper, folded up a bunch of times and then stuffed into a plain envelope. If you read the whole 3,000 word tirade you start to think the guy already has Jared Taylor tied up in his basement and this piece includes his demands.
I know next to nothing about Jared Taylor. I recall Derb writing about him once so I went to the American Renaissance site. I find white identity to be a bit silly for the same reasons I black identity to be ridiculous. Not all blacks are the same and not all whites are the same. In America, blacks at least share a common ancestry and history. You can reasonably argue that there is a “black culture” that is shared by all black people. You can’t say that about whites. Flinty guys from New Hampshire are not a lot like Scots-Irish in Georgia. Then you have all the Poles, Irish, Italians, Jews, Germans and so forth. There’s simply no such thing as white identity.
That said, it is a harmless eccentricity. I’m more concerned about deranged crackpots like Robert Wald Sussman than some old white guys getting together to bitch about the “darkies.” Imagine the poor kids who foolishly take his course only to find they will be getting harangued three times a week by an aging madman.