KKK flyers concern local colleges.
The makeshift flyers for the National Organization for European American Rights (NOFEAR) have prompted concerns at both St. Louis Community College at Meramec in Kirkwood and Webster University in Webster Groves.
"I am familiar with NOFEAR," said Linda Woolf, a professor and the coordinator of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Webster University. "I find the group's title intriguing, because NOFEAR is built on fear and blame. It's a hate group. NOFEAR attracts people who want to blame someone else for their own lack of success--it's the minorities' fault; it's the Jews' fault; it's the immigrants' fault. Much of their rhetoric is similar to what appeared in Nazi Germany," said Woolf. "Their premise that the, white gene pool is going to be harmed by minority groups is disgusting, hurtful and totally unscientific."
The NOFEAR flyers distributed on campus warn that "unless European Americans organize and act soon, America will become a 'Third World' country--that is, European Americans will become outnumbered and totally vulnerable to the political control of blacks and other non-Whites."
According to the NOFEAR flyers, European-American interests are opposed by both government and media, because ethnic minorities such as Blacks, Mexicans and Jews have organized effective special interest groups. In contrast, the NOFEAR group is alone standing up for European Americans and "our right to preserve our kind of life."
John Pollman, a professor of political science at Meramec for more than three decades, said the flyers are distasteful, but are probably protected by the First Amendment. He described the flyers as "the worst kind" of free speech that benefits from Constitutional protections.
"The names of these groups change from year to year, but the reactionary forces behind them are always the same," said Pollman. "When I saw the DavidDuke.com on the bottom of the flyers, I knew exactly what these folks are all about."
Pollman said he saw no reason for Meramec to hold forums or town hall meetings on campus to inform students about the nature of such groups as NOFEAR. He said students can go to the Internet to find out the hateful nature of such groups and to conclude that they should be shunned.
Local NOFEAR leader
Dr. Joseph Keller, one of the local leaders for the St. Louis Chapter on NOFEAR, recently ran for Missouri governor on the Reform Party ticket. His web site includes his platform of principles posted for his unsuccessful political race. Among the principles:
* No more enforcement of the ban on purchasing assault weapons.
* Only taxpaying men should be able to vote or hold office.
* Segregate prisons. White men should not face rape by black men.
* Abolish ex-wife support and divorce property settlements.
* Enforce tough anti-abortion laws such as a 1991 Louisiana law thrown out by the courts.
Keller was the first speaker at a NOFEAR meeting in February at the Stratford Inn in Fenton. Most of Keller's speech was devoted to the "injustice" of the imprisonment of Alex Curtis. Curtis, a California resident, was imprisoned on a number of charges including an alleged threat to kill Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Morris Causto.
The San Diego-based Curtis has written that a violent revolution will bring down the U.S. "Jew-occupied government" to be replaced with a "race-centered" government with membership restricted to "those of pure White ancestry."
Curtis sees himself as a propagandist sowing the seeds of a racist revolution. According to Curtis: "A thousand (Timothy) McVeighs... would end the semblance of any stability in this racially-corrupt society."
The flyers recently distributed on area college campuses included the declaration: "Free Alex Curtis!" The flyers are reminiscent of white supremacist literature distributed in west St. Louis County in 1998.
The 1998 flyers were traced to the Web site of the so-called "14 Word Press." The "14 Word Press" Internet homepage is part of a network of hate sites that include the, Volksfront, Stormfront, Ku Klux Klan, Voice of White America, Women For Aryan Unity, White Aryan Resistance and White Power World Wide.
The "14 Word Press" purports to speak for the Order and members of WOTAN (Will Of The Aryan Nation). The homepage describes WOTAN as "the spirit within the Aryan male which tortures the soul with the knowledge that the beauty of the Aryan woman may cease to exist on the earth forever."
Members of the Order presently are imprisoned for, among other things, the assassination of Denver radio talk show host Alan Berg. Berg was targeted for death in 1984 because of his shows which took aim at white supremacy hate groups.
The 1998 flyers stated that "the White race faces extinction now! Only 2 percent of the earth's population is young, White female...
"America denies us White nations, White schools, White neighborhoods, White organizations and everything necessary for racial survival, then promotes inter-racial mating," the flyers continued.
The flyers contained a graphic of a scantily-clad white female and the admonishment: "Look long and hard, White man. Images like hers may soon cease to exist forever.
The handbills recently distributed by NOFEAR sound the alarm bells for "White Americans In St. Louis."
The flyers note: "We maintain the civil rights of European Americans are being violated by affirmative action, forced integration, and anti-European immigration policies."
Responding to hate
Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Missouri/Illinois Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said NOFEAR has grown to 26 chapters in 17 states. She said the chapter in St. Louis only drew a handful of people at an August meeting, but she is dismayed that about 35 people attended the most recent meeting in Fenton.
"It is alarming to find that this stuff is making its way onto local college campuses," said Aroesty. "It's our position that university officials should respond to this kind of material quickly. School officials need to make it clear that they do not sanction such flyers, and that they are not in sympathy with such groups.
"I think it would be wise for some kind of educational outreach to be available to students on these groups," added Aroesty. "David Duke is portrayed as a patriot. These groups portray themselves as moderate and only later reveal themselves as extremist."
Aroesty said that ADL, the Urban League, the NAACP and local church groups have been working with St. Louis 2004 to rid the region of bigotry and hate activities. She said the appearance of NOFEAR could be viewed as a setback that needs to be addressed.
"We are going to start a series of training programs in cooperation with law enforcement to step up awareness of hate groups and to monitor such activities," said Aroesty. "St. Louis 2004 and ADL have been working on something called U.S. Attorneys Hate Crimes Task Force in this effort."
Linda Woolf said she had mixed feelings about how to respond to the flyers recently appearing on the Webster University campus.
"I don't know what the official university position is on how to respond to this kind of material on campus," said Woolf. "I see the need to educate students, but I also don't like to give these groups more visibility with panels or seminars. They shouldn't have any kind of legitimacy.
"I think they come to college campuses because they do know that there are some adolescents who don't fit in and are troubled," said Woolf. "If students are alienated, they may find a welcome and a sense of belonging with these kind of groups."
Both Pollman of Meramec and Woolf of Webster attribute the recent open activities of NOFEAR to the increasing use of the Internet.
"Individuals in these groups may think it's more acceptable now for them to come out into the open," said Pollman. "These people were isolated in their extremist views before the Internet, but now they can find people who think the same way be searching the Internet. This reinforce their beliefs and gives them confidence.
"These people do make me nervous," added Pollman. "Too often they are allied with paramilitary groups with similar extremist views. Historically, extremists on both sides of the political spectrum have been prone to violence. The more extreme they become, the more paranoid they become. It takes a truly paranoid person to strike out at someone because of race or ethnicity."
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|Publication:||St. Louis Journalism Review|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2001|
|Previous Article:||The fine art of lawyer interviews.|