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March 26, 2015

American White Supremacists Attend Russian Nationalist Conference

On March 22, American white supremacists Jared Taylor and Sam Dickson addressed the International Russian Conservative Forum in St. Petersburg, which featured Russian nationalists and representatives from extreme-right parties in Europe. The extreme-right parties included Greece’s Golden Dawn, Germany’s National Democratic Party and Italy’s Forza Nuova. The visit to Russia is another example of American white supremacists trying to build ties with their European counterparts.

Jared Taylor at Russian conference

Jared Taylor at Russian conference

Taylor heads American Renaissance (AR), an online journal that hosts yearly conferences. He often speaks to audiences in Europe about white nationalism in America. Over the past three years, he has attended nationalist gatherings in France, England, Turkey and Hungary. The conference in Hungary in October 2014 was hosted by the National Policy, Institute, an American white supremacist think tank that also has close ties to nationalists in Europe.

Dickson is a regular speaker at conferences sponsored by AR and the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. At the conference in Russia, Taylor and Dickson both talked about preserving the white race and battling “Third-World immigration” in the United States. Apparently, both men also lauded Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who is seen as a promoter of traditionalist values in the West.

Other white supremacists in the U.S. have embraced Putin for encouraging nationalism and Orthodox Christianity in Russia. These extremists believe that Putin and Russia represent the antithesis of the global, multicultural, modern society represented by America and Western Europe.

In February, William Johnson of the American Freedom Party (AFP) posted an interview he gave to Nicholas Truschalov of the nationalist Russian Imperial Party, who reportedly attended the conference in St. Petersburg. Like Taylor and Dickson, Johnson talked about preserving the white race in America. When Truschalov asked Johnson about who was defending national identity and traditional values in the U.S. Johnson named Taylor and Dickson as two significant thinkers in the white nationalist movement. Johnson also declared that the AFP supports nationalists worldwide when Truschalov asked what Johnson would like to tell Russian nationalists.

Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Youth Network has also promoted Russia. In a February article entitled, “The New Shining City on the Hill: Mother Russia,” Heimbach praised Russia as the “true defender of Traditionalism.” He added that Putin is “doing the exact opposite of what the Bush and Obama administrations are doing and that is why Traditionalists should look to Russia for inspiration.”

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February 28, 2014

U.S. Highlights Anti-Semitism as a Human Rights Concern

Yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, a compendium of the world’s worst human rights violations, including Bashar Al-Assad’s brutality against his own people in Syria and crackdowns on fundamental freedoms in places like Russia, Egypt, and Ukraine.

The report highlighted another major human rights concern that manifests in just about every region: the persistence of anti-Semitism, whether promoted by official media, political parties, or peddled on the streets in the form of graffiti or harassment.

 

Anti-Semitism also remained a significant problem in 2013. According to a survey of eight European member states by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, harassment of Jews continued, with one-quarter of respondents stating they experienced some form of anti-Semitic harassment in the 12 months before the survey. In the Middle East, media occasionally contained anti-Semitic articles and cartoons, some of which glorified or denied the Holocaust and blamed all Jews for actions by the state of Israel.

Threats to religious practice also emerged during the year. For example, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a non-binding resolution implying that religious male circumcision – as practiced by Jews and Muslims, and other religions – is a human rights violation.

 

These reports are cause for concern but they also point to the increase in U.S. reporting on anti-Semitism as a human rights problem.  ADL has called for rigorous U.S. monitoring as an indispensable tool in spotlighting the problem and supported enactment of the law requires U.S. embassies to report trends in anti-Semitism as part of their core human rights work.

Today, the number of countries in which the State Department is documenting incidents of anti-Semitism has more than doubled since that new law was enacted.  The increased coverage of anti-Semitism in these annual reports reflects a greater awareness of what anti-Semitism is and how it threatens human rights.  Indeed, the reports have grown increasingly attentive to the issue of how anti-Semitism in the public discourse puts Jews at risk, as well as how hostility toward Israel and Jews is too frequently commingled.

The State Department’s Report details infringements on human rights around the globe, including but not limited to government-sponsored persecution, bias and bigoted portrayal of minority groups in the media, anti-Semitic incidents, attacks on the LGBT community, and the marginalization of persons with disabilities. Secretary Kerry highlighted, in yesterday’s press conference, the nearly 80 countries that criminalize homosexuality around the globe, and the struggle that those of the LGBT community face to survive, even in countries where homosexuality is not criminalized.

This routinized and required scrutiny of anti-Semitism and the full panoply of rights violations is accompanied by increased awareness and enhanced engagement by America’s diplomats.  And we know that understanding the nature and magnitude of a problem  is an essential jumping off point for prevention. When there is data, there is awareness; where there is awareness, there can be action.

 

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October 17, 2012

White Supremacist Jared Taylor’s Speech at Texas A&M Is Sponsored by Neo-Nazi

Preston Wigginton

Preston Wigginton, a 48-year-old neo-Nazi and former racist skinhead, is sponsoring a speech by white supremacist Jared Taylor at Texas A&M University on October 23, 2012.  In an announcement about the speech, Taylor claims that there are “ongoing efforts to displace white Texans at the university” and refers readers to a Texas A&M report that discusses racial diversity.

This will be the second time this month that Taylor has been invited to speak at a college campus. In early October, he spoke at Towson University in Maryland about the “legitimacy of white racial consciousness” at the behest of the White Student Union.

Wigginton is a familiar figure at Texas A&M, where he is a former student. In January 2012, he held a demonstration at the campus against Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement.

In the past, Wigginton has brought other controversial figures to the campus. In fall 2007, he sponsored an appearance at Texas A&M by Nick Griffin, who was then the head of the ultra-right British National Party (BNP), a party that attracted many neo-Nazis.  Griffin spoke on the spread of Islam in Europe in a speech titled, “Islam, Terror and Western Civilization.”

Earlier that year, Wigginton also had the idea to bring Taylor to campus to speak about diversity issues at the school. Wigginton claimed he had attended a diversity symposium set up to address racial tension at Texas A&M and he then challenged the Associate Provost of Diversity at Texas A&M to debate Taylor. The campus paper The Battalion reported that Wigginton held a 2-by-4 foot sign to promote the debate, which did not take place.

Wigginton is also virulently anti-immigrant. In November 2005, he organized and funded a lecture tour for anti-immigration activist Frosty Wooldridge. The tour covered five Texas universities, including Texas A&M. The purpose of Wooldridge’s tour was to gather signatures on a petition against Texas House Bill 1403, which gave children of undocumented immigrants in-state college tuition rates if they had graduated from a Texas high school and lived in the state for three years.

In addition to living in Texas, Wigginton has spent a lot of time in Russia. In 2007, he addressed thousands of Russian nationalists at the Russian March, which promoted Russian nationalism and attacked non-white immigration. The participants gave Nazi salutes at the march and shouted, “White power.”  Shortly after this event Wigginton forged ties with Alexander Belov, an anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant nationalist in Russia.  In addition, that year Wigginton spoke at an annual memorial rally in Sweden in honor of a 17-year-old neo-Nazi who was killed by non-Swedes in 2000.

Wigginton was also active in racist skinhead circles. In 2005, he attended a racist skinhead Hammerfest in Draketown, Georgia, and won the “World’s Strongest Skinhead Competition.”

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