Claims Of Racism Follow GOP Candidate
WASHINGTON - Recently, The Washington Post's Outlook section ran a piece by an associate professor of politics at University of Virginia that essentially denied that the Republican Party has any significant history of racial politics. The author, Gerard Alexander, pooh-poohed the notion that Richard Nixon exploited a "Southern strategy" of "appealing to the racial prejudice of working-class whites in the South to pry them away" from the Democrats. His article ignored the direct testimony of Nixon campaign aide Kevin Phillips, the architect of the Southern strategy, who in 1970 told The New York Times, "The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats." Alexander also ignored such race-tainted GOP maneuvers as Sen. Jesse Helms' infamous "white hands" ad from 1990.
The following article was contributed By David Corn, Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine:
But I digress.
On the matter of Republicans and race, I'd like to direct your attention to the Republican candidate running against Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey in the 18th district of New York State, which includes most of Westchester County, including my home town of White Plains. This fellow's name is Jim Russell, and according to Politico, he wrote a "racially charged" essay in 2001. That's a nice way of saying the guy's a racist. And, oh yes, Russell also praised T.S. Eliot and a psychology professor named Kevin MacDonald for advocating limiting the proliferation of Jews. Thus, he's an anti-Semite, too.
In this long and rambling article on the need to protect Western civilization, which appeared in Occidental Quarterly -- a magazine the Southern Poverty Law Center has called "racist" -- Russell opposed interracial marriage: "parents need to be reminded that they have a natural obligation, as essential as providing food and shelter, to instill in their children an acceptance of appropriate ethnic boundaries for socialization and for marriage." And he warned of popular movies that encourage black-white coupling by exploiting "the critical period of sexual imprinting in their target audiences of white pre-adolescent girls and adolescent young women." This was another variation of an old theme: they're coming for our white women. He approvingly quoted T.S. Eliot's conditions for an optimal society: "reasons of race and culture combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable."
Russell asserted that Western culture is at risk:
In other words, blacks and Jews have to be kept at bay for the West to preserve its glory.
It is our duty to maintain and advance the Western continuum that originated in ancient Greece and earlier. To falter at this critical juncture is to allow our people to approach extinction. The greatest achievement of the West will be our extrication from our current dilemma. If we succeed in our efforts, the chroniclers of this age will celebrate our valiant struggle in the epic literature of the future -- if we fail, there will be no such literature and our beleaguered descendants will mock us in our graves.
I don't know if Russell is campaigning on this platform. His website indicates he's running hard on the anti-immigration issue. His site proclaims, "Just Say No to 'Obamnesty'!" And he notes, "I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, where I witnessed first-hand the destructive effects of uncontrolled immigration." There's no mention of saving Western civilization by preventing interracial marriages and inhibiting the influence of Jews. Russell does point out that he has a PhD in historical theology. Playing it straight, Politico reports, "The comments about preserving ethnicity -- and lauding eugenics, a social movement that's become yoked to practices by the Nazis -- put Russell far to the right in the state, and are not likely to play well in the suburban district, predicted Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist." You think?
So I'm waiting for Republicans to denounce this fellow. His outright bigotry is far worse than any of the social conservative nonsense spouted by Christine O'Donnell -- or her dabbling in witchcraft. True, Russell probably doesn't have much of a chance of winning; he lost to Lowey two years ago. Still, this year, you can't be certain of anything. And any bigot with a major party nomination, whatever his or her chances, deserves denunciation.
Russell's website says he's been endorsed by the New York state Republican Party and the Conservative Party of New York. Surely, that must have been before Politico exposed his passionate concern for, uh, Western purity. Will the un-endorsements now come flying in? Last week, I noted that prominent GOPers were sharing the stage at a religious right conference with a noted anti-Muslim bigot, who had called for deporting Muslims out of the United States. Well, now the GOP has another chance at showing it doesn't accept bigotry. If Russell retains the support of the state party, this will be further evidence of GOP tolerance of prejudice.