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"Fertile Ground": White Nationalists Are Organizing Within the Tea Party

There is plenty of evidence that overt racists have entered Tea Party affiliated organizations.

Addressing a rally in April 2011, white nationalist lawyer William Johnson lamented the media scrutiny he drew with his recent failed campaign for a judgeship in California.

"Ron Paul endorsed me for Superior Court judge, and I was on my way," Johnson said. "No sooner than I'd put my hat in the ring than ... it came out that Johnson is a white nationalist, that Johnson wants to create a separate white ethno-state, that Johnson supports the 14 words of [white power domestic terrorist] David Lane, that 'We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,' and the media went wild with all of that, and Ron Paul withdrew his endorsement of me...because he did not believe in a separate white ethno-state and he didn't know that I did." 

A white ethno-state? The 14 words?

Johnson sounded like he was at a neo-Nazi conference,   as in 1986 when he addressed the Aryan Nations World Congress. But the banner hanging over the stage was not a Swastika flag. It read: "Tax Day Tea Party."

The April 16 rally in San Juan Capistrano, California, corresponded with more than 100 Tea Party rallies scheduled across the country for that Saturday. It was promoted on the website of Tea Party.org, also known as 1776 Tea Party, one of six well-established Tea Party umbrella groups. Its true organizers, however, were from American Third Position, or A3P, a white nationalist political party founded by racist skinheads. A3P did not respond to repeated inquiries for this article. Neither did 1776 Tea Party.

Since April 2010, A3P members have organized, co-sponsored or freely distributed literature at no fewer than 10 Tea Party rallies in six states, including Augusta, Georgia; Harrison, Arkansas; Baton Rogue, Louisiana and throughout California, where A3P was founded in May 2009 by Freedom 14, a racist skinhead crew seeking to establish a more respectable-seeming political front group.

Although it would be unfair to characterize the Tea Party movement on the whole as white nationalist, it's clear that large gatherings of angry, conservative, predominately white Americans are viewed with relish by groups like A3P.

"The Tea Parties are fertile ground for our activists," said A3P Pennsylvania Chairman Steve Smith. "Tea Party supporters and the A3P share much common ground with regard to our political agendas."

The A3P official position on race in America is clear: "If current demographic trends persist, European-Americans will become a minority in America in only a few decades time. The American Third Position will not allow this to happen."

Johnson, the national chairman of A3P,  has previously called for deporting all non-whites, regardless of citizenship.This includes anyone with any "ascertainable trace of Negro blood" or more than one-eighth "non-European or non-white blood."   A3P directors include white nationalist radio host James Edwards and California State University, Long Beach, professor of psychology Kevin MacDonald, who  according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading authority on hate groups, is "the neo-Nazi movement's favorite academic" because he theorizes that Jews are "genetically driven to destroy Western society."

At least two of the Tea Party rallies where A3P has distributed white nationalist literature were organized by local chapters of Tea Party Patriots, the largest Tea Party group in the country.

Tea Party Patriots co-founder and national chairman Mark Meckler told  Media Matters that it's "numerically impossible" for his group to have representatives monitoring every rally sponsored by Tea Party Patriots.

"As a national umbrella organization with over 3,500 chapters, we obviously don't have folks from the national organization at every rally to monitor literature distribution," said Meckler.

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