People may have noticed an aggressive shift in Republican Party politics with the inclusion of Donald Trump, and we aren’t talking about the Sarah Palin endorsement. Iowa voters recently got a series of “robocalls” telling them to vote trump. The calls featured the voice of Jared Taylor of the white nationalist organization, American Renaissance.
“I’m Jared Taylor with American Renaissance,” Taylor says. “I urge you to vote for Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America. We don’t need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.”
It also uses the Christian pedigree of Reverend Ronald Tan, the controversial Christian radio host.
‘My name is Reverend Ronald Tan, host of the Christian radio talk show program For God and Country. First Corinthians states: God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise and God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong. For the Iowa caucuses, please support Donald Trump. He is courageous and he speaks his mind. God Bless.’
The Super PAC that has been going after swing-state voters with a call for “white unity” is funded by the American Freedom Party founder, William Johnson. Johnson founded the AFP originally as the American Third Position party, referencing the “anti-communist, anti-capitalist” trend of fascism that rose in popularity in the 1980s. His brand of white nationalism was less in line with these esoteric anti-capitalist fascist traditions and more American and “constitutionalist,” so they changed the name to gain broader appeal. The Board of Directors of the AFP is a cast of the usual suspects of the far right. Included are famed anti-Semite Kevin McDonald, anti-immigrant radical Virginia Abernathy, white nationalist radio-host James Edwards, and pseudo-academic nationalist Tomislav Sunic(strangely an immigrant himself). They ran a presidential candidate in 2012 with Merlin Miller, a former filmmaker who became just beside himself with non-whites in Hollywood and the influence of “Jewish Cultural Marxism.” The party itself was actually founded through the Golden State Skinheads, Southern California skinhead gangs, who wanted to take their politics in a more “legitimate” direction.
William Johnson himself was not new to white racialist politics. When using the pseudonym James O. Pace he wrote a book that advocated what became known as the “Pace Amendment.” This would repeal the 14th and 15th amendments and institutionalize deportations for all non-whites, except Native Americans and Hawaiians who would be allowed regulated reservations. Johnson then used his own name to found the League of Pace Amendment Advocates to advocate for this man James O. Pace and his ideas. He ran for public office in 1989, 2006, and 2008 on a white nationalist platform, scarcely even being mentioned in the results. This poor showing inspired him to form what would become the AFP in 2010 as its only chairman. His ideas have been part and parcel of the Americanist wing of the white nationalist movement, allied largely with the militia movement and general racial politics. The only difference is his general support for Israel, which is certainly not shared by most in his party.
Donald Trump was pressed to denounce the robocalls from Media Matters, which he finally did with great reluctance.
BURNETT: Mr. Trump, when you hear that, does that shock you? Do you denounce that?
TRUMP: Nothing in this country shocks me. I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They’re angry at what’s going on. They’re angry at the border. They’re angry at the crime. They’re angry at people coming in and shooting Kate in the back in California and San Francisco. They’re angry when Jamiel Shaw shot in the face by an illegal immigrant. They’re angry when the woman, the veteran, 65 years old is raped, sodomized, and killed by an illegal immigrant. And, they’re very angry about it, and — by the way, thousands of other cases like that. They’re very angry about it. So, I would disavow that, but I will tell you people are extremely angry.
BURNETT: People are extremely angry, but to be clear, when he says, “We need smart, well-educated white people to assimilate to our culture, vote Trump,” you’re saying you disavow that. You do denounce that?
TRUMP: Well, you just heard me. I said it. How many times do you want me to say it?
BURNETT: A third would be good.
TRUMP: I said I disavow.
This no doubt upset Johnson to a degree, but is not going to stop the support. He went on the Political Cesspool, the racialist radio program hosted by the AFP board member James Edwards, to discuss the issue.
JOHNSON: Donald Trump’s response when he was asked to address it was just a wonderful response. He disavowed us, but he explained why there is so much anger in America that I couldn’t have asked for a better approach from him.
EDWARDS: I was going to ask you about that. So, you know, of course I saw that. In a perfect world he would say, “You know what? These guys are right. What are you going to do about it?” But understandably there is still a political reality. I think fundamentally, as I say on this show time and time again, most middle American, middle class whites agree with us fundamentally on the issues. But he’s operating in a different world than that — I think it was certainly better than to be expected. And I thought too it was quite good, as you did Bill, so this was something that you can live with in terms of a response from the Trump campaign and of course from there it’s over. You know, the news cycle is over, if he’s asked about it again he’s already gone on record, he is the Teflon Don. He’s the Teflon candidate. This wasn’t of course made to hurt him, I don’t know how much it hurt or helped him. Ultimately I don’t think it did much of either — it might have marginally helped him. It certainly didn’t hurt him. And so his response is something that you greet with a level of respect, am I right?
JOHNSON: Oh yeah I do, I like it very much. And also the response that I got — I put my own cell phone number out there. And I got, oh, a hundred calls regarding it. Most of the calls were hang-ups. They wanted to know if it was a real phone number. So they’d either hang up or say, “Oh I’m sorry, wrong number.” But there were a majority of calls who were opposed to it but there were a minority of calls who approved of it, and liked it. So that was encouraging also. And that is a new phenomenon. Before we would have gotten no one who would be willing to come out and say that so these little things incrementally help raise awareness of the issues and help change public opinion.
The same response basically came from Jared Taylor as well, who went on to answer what he thought of the Trump “denouncement.”
Yes, he was, you know, for days everybody was calling him up, calling up his campaign saying, “What do you think of these horrible people? Denounce them, denounce them.” And he didn’t. You know, he just maintained a dignified silence as he’s capable of doing. And then finally when CNN’s Erin Burnett really forced him to say, “Well, I would disavow it.” But she asked him, “are you shocked by this? Will you denounce this?” “I’m not shocked by anything in America.” I thought that was a great line. He’s so quick on his feet. And then he goes to say, “I would disavow it” but then he goes on to explain why people are so angry. In effect, he’s saying, “Yeah, yeah, if you want me to denounce it I will, but I understand exactly what these guys are saying, they’re furious, and they’re right to be furious.” So if he disavowed us, he did it, I thought, in the nicest possible way.
The way that Trump handled this was similar to the response he had to the David Duke endorsement, where he basically took it in stride.
Johnson’s new Super PAC will be running the robocalls in Iowa until the beginning of February, which have already cost around $9,000. Jared Taylor, who is lending his white nationalist “celebrity” to the calls, will be hosting his American Renaissance conference in Tennessee on May 20-22. Anti-fascist organizers are planning counter demonstrations to confront what will likely be one of the largest racist events of the year.