When Barack Obama was elected the first Black American president, I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be writing a post like this nearly a decade later. In hindsight, I should have predicted it. But, you know. Idealistic optimism and all.
The whitelash that follows racial progress in our country is as American as apple pie. The KKK was formed after slavery ended. Mass incarceration of black men started after the Civil Rights Act was enacted into law. The status quo of white supremacy does not like being disturbed.
So here we are, in 20-freaking-18, with actual white supremacists running for office. And I don’t mean implicitly biased white folks who are largely unaware of their own subconscious white supremacist conditioning. I’m talking actual, avowed “white race > all other races” and “the Holocaust is a hoax” racists.
I generally keep my thoughts on politics confined to specific issues and try to keep specific candidates out of it. I believe partisan politics is the root of much of our country’s division, and also the reason far too many unqualified or problematic individuals from both parties end up in positions of power.
But some things should be deal breakers no matter what your particular party affiliation or leanings may be. A candidate being a blatant white supremacist is one of those things. Every single American who is not okay with our government being run by men in white hoods needs to be aware of the attempt to create just that scenario and do everything in our power to prevent it from happening.
If you think that’s not a possibility, please see David Duke winning a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1989. Complacency is not an option here.
Stay alert, folks. STAY ALERT.
So, FYI: here are some of the white supremacist candidates currently running for office.
John Abarr, running for Montana State House of Representatives
Lest you think we’re targeting Republicans here, John Abarr is running for a seat in Montana’s State House of Reps as a Democrat—at least I think he might be. He previously ran for office as a Republican, and the front page of his website makes it sound like he’s running as a Republican, but elsewhere on his website it sounds like he’s running as a Democrat and wants to “unite Right Wing Democrats and Right Wing Republicans.”
If that seems confusing, you’ll be even more baffled by the fact that Abarr has a history of trying to recruit black and LGBTQ people to the KKK. Of course, he says on his website that whole KKK thing was just a hoax—not a hoax about him, but one he admits was perpetuated by him. He apologizes on his website for causing harm to minorities saying, “I now support LGTBQ rights and no longer view minorities as a dire threat to White people.” But on his platform page, he has this little gem (copied and pasted directly—misspellings, weird capitalizations, and bizarre claims included):
Pride and Dignity for caucations: I Have European Americans Declared a Protected Class under the law. All ethnicities and races have a basic human right to dignity and promotion of their culture. There is widespread discrimination and hatred targeted at European Americans. There must be protections for us under the law. caucations should be able to publicly proclaim their ethnic identity and heritage in all institutions.
So yeah. I have no words for this guy except “NOPE.”
Sean Donahue, running for Congress in Pennsylvania
Warning! White people are becoming a minority in America! Black Lives Matter and Antifa are planning an armed overthrow of the government! Yeah, someone who writes a nine-page paranoid, racist screed sounds like someone who should be making laws for our country.
In 2015, Donahue ran for mayor of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, under the white nationalist American Freedom Party (and lost, thankfully). And considering the fact he was convicted last year of making terrorist threats against a fellow American citizen, I’m thinking he should be nowhere near any office ever.
Arthur Jones, running for Congress in Illinois
Arthur Jones is an actual neo-Nazi, anti-Semite Holocaust denier. “To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket,” Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jones is running unopposed in the Republican primary nomination in the 3rd Congressional District, which includes parts of Chicago and some of its suburbs. Yep, UNOPPOSED in the primary. The 70-year-old has run six times unsuccessfully, but since no other Republicans have stepped up for the nomination, he will be on the main election ballot.
Thankfully, that district generally skews Democrat and the chairman of the Illinois Republican Party has denounced Jones. A win isn’t likely, but that doesn’t stop him from being the official Republican candidate after the primary March 20, not to mention a stain on Illinois’s political history.
Paul Nehlan, running for Congress in Wisconsin
Reason dictates that if David Duke praises someone, that someone is racist. Full stop. Paul Nehlan fits that bill.
Running to replace House Speaker Paul Ryan in December, Paul Nehlan barely tries to hide the fact that he’s white supremacist. The Huffington Post recently asked Nehlan if he was a white nationalist. The first two times they asked, he didn’t deny it. The third, he just didn’t respond at all.
He did appear on David Duke’s podcast (RED FLAG! RED FLAG!) to complain about how “Jews control the media,” though. So there’s that. Duke told HuffPost, “I respect [Nehlen] very much and think he’s very courageous. He’s talking about issues we need to talk about.”
Again, if David Duke is praising you, you believe all the wrong things. Even Steve Bannon has denounced Nehlan. You know when Breitbart won’t give you the time of day, you’ve gone way over the white supremacist ledge.
If you think there’s no way he stands a chance, consider that he got 15% of the vote when he ran against incumbent Paul Ryan in the last primary. Gross.
We also have some sneakier folks like Joe Arpaio of Arizona, Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Steve King of Iowa, Dana Rohrabacher of California, and Corey Stewart of Virginia who have close ties with anti-Semitic, white supremacist, and white nationalist individuals and groups. These men—some of whom are actually up for re-election — have either refused to denounce white supremacists, appear as guests on their programs, praise them outright, or promote policies that are clearly racist in nature.
Just say no to avowed white supremacists in elected offices, people. JUST SAY NO. Tell your neighbors and friends and your aunt Edna that voting for a racist bigot simply because they say the right things about abortion or gun rights is despicable. Denounce this garbage early and often, and don’t let up.
We’ve come too far to go so far backwards. Not having it.