California Professor Is Font of Anti-Semitism
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), is a multicultural wonderland, with classrooms filled by Golden Staters whose ancestors came to this lively, diverse beach community from every corner of the world. Double-stocked with both an Office of Equity and Diversity and a Multicultural Center, CSULB openly proclaims its commitment to educating all of CaliforniaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s students, regardless of income, race, creed or national origin.
Given its diverse student body, it would seem that CSULB would be the last place to find a tried and true anti-Semite and white supremacist lecturing. But that is where Kevin B. MacDonald, a 63-year-old man who developed a deep-seated mistrust for Jewish activists while protesting the Vietnam War, is employed as the psychology professor for those seeking degrees in child development.
From an office inside the bunker-like, six-story Psych building, a tall, thin, bespectacled MacDonald pumps out pages and pages of material on how Jews are genetically driven to destroy Western societies. According to MacDonald, who considers himself an evolutionary psychologist, Jews, who have typically been in the minority in countries around the world, are compelled by an evolutionary strategy that makes them push for liberal policies, like immigration and diversity, with the intent of weakening the power of the majority that rules them.
Ultimately, MacDonald blames the death of millions on "the failure of Jewish assimilation into European societies" and even suggests that "parity" between Jews and gentiles could be reestablished by discriminating against Jews in college admissions and establishing taxes to reduce "the Jewish advantage" in wealth.
MacDonaldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s three-volume set of books on Jews and their destructive tactics is devoured by anti-Semites the world over. Not since HitlerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mein Kampf have anti-Semites had such a comprehensive reference guide to whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wrong with "the Jews." His work is widely advertised and touted on white supremacist websites and sold by neo-Nazi outfits like National Vanguard Books, which considers them "the most important books of the last 100 years." For years, MacDonald defended his research as apolitical and scientific, but that defense fell apart after the millennium, when MacDonald embarked on a white supremacist speaking tour. Last December, MacDonald dropped the defense altogether and declared his dislike for Jews.
"I have come to the point of seeing my subjects in a less than flattering light," the professor wrote on his kevinmacdonald.net website.
CSULB is not the first campus to employ an academic racist on its professorial staff. But what makes MacDonaldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s case unique is that he was able to reach the heights of his profession, securing a post on the executive council of the professional body for evolutionary psychologists, all the while producing "research" now widely viewed as anti-Semitic. His work on Jewish evolutionary psychology made it into peer-reviewed publications and was taken seriously by many Ph.D.s. At CSULB, MacDonald sailed through his post-tenure review and was awarded sabbaticals and choice committee assignments (he currently serves on the Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee).
MacDonald filled his university website with racist and anti-Semitic materials, using some of them in his classes. Even when his connections to a prominent Holocaust denier were made public in 2000, the reaction from his department and the universityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s administration was silence. By last year, MacDonald had been awarded $10,000 by one racist outfit for his anti-Semitic research and was appointed as an adviser to another. Through it all, MacDonald did not suffer one official word of censure until late 2006, when general resolutions from his department opposing the use of academic research by hate groups and applauding diversity were enacted (these resolutions were prompted by inquiries from a writer for the Intelligence Report). Instead, he was given rewards.
MacDonald refused repeated requests from the Report for comment over the course of several months, writing on his personal website that he had "no confidence" that he would be treated in a "non-biased way."
A Bohemian discovers the Jews
A former flower child and anti-Vietnam War activist, MacDonald was born in Oshkosh, Wis., to a middle-class family with a police officer dad. Raised in Joseph McCarthyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s home state in the midst of that senatorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s anti-communist witch-hunts, MacDonald attended Catholic schools and played basketball. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1960s, majoring in philosophy. An ardent peacenik in college, MacDonald abandoned Catholicism and joined the anti-war movement. It was during these years that MacDonald would later admit he began to have suspicions about the motives of his Jewish fellow protesters. After school, MacDonald pursued the bohemian lifestyle of a jazz pianist, a career that ultimately failed. Not long after the fall of Saigon in 1975, he returned to the university campus.
MacDonald headed to graduate school at the University of Connecticut, earning a masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in biology in 1977, at the age of 33. In 1981, he earned a Ph.D. in biobehavioral sciences from the same university. While in Connecticut, MacDonald studied the behavior of wolves, particularly wolf-cub interaction. He then spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow in the University of IllinoisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ psychology department, where he received his first serious introduction to the discipline of psychology, which would be his lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work. While there, MacDonaldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interest shifted from wolves to humans, as he studied parent-child play.
MacDonald was hired as an assistant professor by CSULB in 1985, when he was 41 years old, and has been there ever since. MacDonaldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s research in the 1980s and early 1990s was in line with this early training. His first academic publication was "Activity Patterns in a Captive Wolf Pack," and he was still writing about wolves in the late 1980s. MacDonald published dozens of articles and a couple of books on parent-child behavior in the late 1980s and 1990s.
MacDonald's academic career was sailing nicely along, and he was awarded a CSULB Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activities Award in 1995. But MacDonald's anti-war experiences haunted him, and he later told New Times LA journalist Tony Ortega that he had come to realize that that was when his fixation on Jews developed. Noticing many of fellow activists were Jewish, MacDonald developed his first inkling that Jews are compelled to challenge traditional American and Western ideals. He came to the conclusion that Jews take over political and cultural movements and front them with unsuspecting, token gentiles -- just the way MacDonald felt he was treated while protesting the Vietnam War.
In the 1980s, MacDonald started reading up on Jews, trying to determine the reasons behind what he saw as their lockstep liberalism and hatred of all things Western. His first effort, the first book in his trilogy on the Jews, was the 1994 publication of A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, which was published by Praeger Press and came out just after MacDonald was awarded his full professorship. Today, most of MacDonald's publishing is about Jews and the evils of the liberal immigration policies they support.
Landing at Long Beach
MacDonald was lucky he landed at Long Beach. The department where MacDonald found a permanent home turned out to be a good place for someone interested in publishing things they might not want others to notice. Long troubled by internecine political battles, in 1994 CSULB's psychology department was criticized by an external reviewer for being "devoid of open discussion of tough issues."
Professors in that department, most of them only willing to speak on background because of fear of retribution from their colleagues, said that the environment hasn't changed much. The department hasn't held faculty meetings in more than a decade, they say, and decisions, including those concerning academic tenure, are made by a small committee of full professors. "There's always a lot of surprise among younger faculty that you don't interact with your colleagues," one assistant professor told theReport. "We are all independent contractors, we have no department meetings, no social gatherings, and we don't even know a lot of the senior faculty, let alone something about their research."
Professor Michael Connor seconded those comments, telling the Report that it made sense someone like MacDonald had prospered in his department. "It's not surprising that this happened here," said Connor, the first black professor hired in the department, in the early 1970s. Connor pointed out that most of his senior colleagues were well aware of MacDonald's views and that MacDonald, in line with his dislike of minority rights, had been very outspoken over the years against ethnic studies programs and diversity efforts. Saying that he would not have taught all these years at CSULB if it weren't for his love of his students and the Black Psychology Students Association he advises, Connor labeled the department "a hostile work environment" where he had "experienced any number of racist incidents."
MacDonald faced no such challenges. In 1994, in fact, he was promoted to full professor.
Professor Sara Smith, who served on the committee that promoted MacDonald to full professor, wrote by E-mail she was "wary but supportive in principle" of his first two works on Jews. Describing MacDonald as a "personable colleague," she wrote that the department had typically been supportive of "new approaches to teaching and scholarship" and that she thought at that point that MacDonald seemed to have "not quite crossed any professional or ethical danger line, though we realized his work was susceptible to some scary interpretations." She also noted that she had heard from students that "Kevin presented a view of race and intelligence that they found troubling," but did little about it. She now regrets her earlier support.
"My views today are very different," she explained.
Teaching the young
The psychology chair, Ken Green, disagreed that his department had any hand in promoting MacDonald's extremism. In an interview, Green defended MacDonald against earlier Intelligence Report articles that reported MacDonald's anti-Semitic views and white supremacist activities, asking if the Report would now issue an update notifying readers that MacDonald had resigned in October as an advisor to the white supremacist National Policy Institute. (MacDonald quit only after learning that the Report was working on this article last year).
When pressed about whether MacDonald's anti-Semitic and racist views had ever leaked into the classroom and affected student grades or learning, Green said, "He keeps his outside stuff outside and he keeps his classroom activity consistent with what it ought to be." Asked how he would know that, given that classroom visits are not allowed in the department, Green said: "The ways of knowing are to check the materials he has on his website, to ask the mediator and anybody else who might be receiving student complaints, including me."
Whether or not administrators know about it, the fact is that MacDonald does use the work of notorious race scientists -- including that of J. Philippe Rushton, a Canadian academic who argues that penis and brain size (and thus intelligence) are inversely related -- as course material. (Rushton argues that blacks, on average, have larger genitalia and smaller brains than whites.)
At least one student agrees with Green's view of MacDonald's teaching. Farnaz Kaighobadi, a psychology student for whom MacDonald has written a letter of recommendation for graduate school, called the Report to insist that MacDonald kept his views on Jews and non-whites out of the classroom. But students posting comments anonymously at rateyourprofessors.com say that they have seen bias in MacDonald's teaching. One student writes that MacDonald "promotes race-based theories of intelligence and will not consider alternate theories." Another comments that MacDonald has views "regarding the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœgenetic superiority' of Whites over Blacks."
In 2000, MacDonald opened up his classroom to Tony Ortega, the New Times LA reporter. The topic of the day was IQ, which MacDonald told the class "is probably the most important human difference that we deal with." Arguing that day that a child's IQ can't be raised and that low IQ inevitably brought with it lower income, more children, and more illegitimacy, MacDonald relied on data from the controversial and heavily criticized book The Bell Curve. He commented to the class, "The dull ones are more fertile Ã¢â‚¬â€œ what does this mean for our future?"
A friendly warning
The lack of discussion noted by younger psychology professors at CSULB ensured that only a few of MacDonald's colleagues realized that a racist activist was developing in their midst. Professors who knew of complaints about MacDonald's work, like Sara Smith, did little, and MacDonald continued about his business.
But not all were clueless. As long ago as 1993, after reviewing one of MacDonald's manuscripts, psychology professor Martin Fiebert, who then frequently played tennis with MacDonald, warned his then-friend: "Your manuscript, unintentionally perhaps, reinforces the stereotype that all Jews Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ are clannish, deceptive, and exploitative." Fiebert wrote to MacDonald that he was "horrified" by his description of Hitler's writings as "entirely straightforward and making excellent sense from an evolutionary perspective." Fiebert gave MacDonald what turned out to be a prophetic warning: "I'm sure you would be dismayed to find that your book has a treasured place in the bookcases of neo-Nazis along with Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
It wasn't just CSULB's senior psychology staff that gave MacDonald and his increasingly controversial research a pass. In 1995, MacDonald reached the heights of his profession, winning election to a six-year term as Secretary-Archivist and member of the Executive Council of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, the main professional association for evolutionary psychologists. He went on to publish several articles explaining his views of why Jews act as they do in a series of professional publications, including Research in Biopolitics, European Sociobiological Society Newsletter and Population and Environment, for which he would also serve as editor from 1999 through 2004.
For Emory University Professor of Jewish Studies Deborah Lipstadt, who MacDonald eventually testified against in a libel case brought by Holocaust denier David Irving, that is scandalous. Lipstadt wrote in her book History on Trial: "I found it hard to fathom that this man had been teaching at an American university for over fifteen years and had published what could arguably be described as anti-Semitic tomes without anyone -- his colleagues in particular -- taking noticeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ . [N]ot only had his colleagues not taken notice, his fellow evolutionary psychologists elected him secretary of the association of evolutionary psychologists."
Crossing the Rubicon
Fiebert's friendly warning to MacDonald fell on deaf ears. Instead, during the 1990s, MacDonald dedicated himself to his anti-Semitic intellectual odyssey. He produced three volumes on the Jews, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994), Separation and its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998). The trilogy provides a whole new justification for anti-Semitism that has nothing to do with Nazi race theories, which blamed Jews for introducing evil social vices and other perversions into Nordic society and portrayed them as degenerates praying on unsuspecting, wholesome Aryans. Instead of depending on Hitler, MacDonald has provided today's neo-Nazis with a whole new set of reasons for why Jewish behavior and culture are a threat to whites.
MacDonald's basic premise is that Jews engage in a "group evolutionary strategy" that serves to enhance their ability to out-compete non-Jews for resources. Although normally a tiny minority in their host countries, Jews, like viruses, destabilize their host societies to their benefit. Just last April, MacDonald explained on the anti-immigrant hate site vdare.com how Jews have sapped the power of the American white majority. "Despite the fact that Jews constitute less than 3 percent of the US population, the Holocaust has become a cultural icon as a direct result of Jewish activism and influence in the media, Israel has become a sacred cow in American politics, and the role of Jewish organizations in helping unleash massive multiethnic immigration into the U.S., as well as engineering the current American involvement in Iraq, goes unmentioned in public debate," MacDonald said.
MacDonald argues that this alleged Jewish evolutionary strategy is particularly sinister because, he says, it paints its opponents, meaning whites, as insane if they reject Jewish ideas. "Viewed at its most abstract level, a fundamental [Jewish] agenda is thus to influence the European-derived peoples of the United States to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology," MacDonald has written.
In perhaps MacDonald's most controversial chapter of the trilogy -- "National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy" in Separation and its Discontents -- the psychology professor argues that the Nazi movement developed specifically to counter "Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy." The upshot of his contention is that Jewish "group behavior," because it has produced much financial and intellectual success over the years, also has produced understandable hatred for Jews by gentiles. That means that anti-Semitism, rather than being an irrational hatred for Jews, is actually a logical reaction to Jewish success. In other words, the Nazis, like many other anti-Semites, were only anti-Semitic because they were countering a genuine Jewish threat to their well-being.
And the Jews' machinations don't merely destroy societies; they result in widespread death, according to MacDonald. In The Culture of Critique, he blames Jews for having caused the deaths of millions by supporting such ideologies as Marxism. "In the 20th century many millions of people have been killed in the attempt to establish Marxist societies based on the ideal of complete economic and social leveling, and many more millions of people have been killed as a result of the failure of Jewish assimilation into European societiesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ . [T]he result has been a widening gulf between the cultural successes of Jews and Gentiles and a disaster for society as a whole." MacDonald ends his book with some rather harsh possible policy outcomes for restoring what he calls "parity" between Jews and other ethnic groups: systematic discrimination against Jews in college admissions and employment and special taxes "to counter the Jewish advantage in the possession of wealth."
Sussing out the race war
In the late 1990s, MacDonald started flirting with white supremacists, adding racism to his anti-Semitic dance card. According to his resumÃƒÂ©, MacDonald's first foray into the world of the radical right came in 1996, when he spoke on "Eugenics and Judaism" at a conference to defend The Bell Curve organized by British academic racist Richard Lynn. The Bell Curve, which argued that blacks are genetically inferior in intellect to whites, had been heavily critiqued for relying on Lynn's intelligence data, which are viewed in the scientific community as flawed. Lynn, who directs a private race-science organization called the Ulster Institute for Social Research, specializes in research on IQ and race that has been funded primarily by the Pioneer Fund, on whose board he sits. The fund was originally set up to investigate "race betterment," and today its resources still make possible the "research" of prominent academic racists.
Two years later, in 1998, MacDonald hooked up with another prominent racist when he participated on a panel during the meetings of the Association of Politics and the Life Sciences. The panel was organized by Virginia Abernethy, a self-described "white separatist" and professor emerita at Vanderbilt University who has been active for a decade in the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). (Abernethy gave a speech to the CCC in 1997 as the editor of Population and Environment, an academic journal. The CCC's website has described blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity," among other things.) The two would later work closely together at Population and Environment, and MacDonald would become editor there in 1999. Five years later, in 2004, Abernethy would be photographed arm-in-arm with a smiling, tuxedoed MacDonald holding a plaque awarded to him for his work on Jews by the white supremacist publication, The Occidental Quarterly. With the plaque came a $10,000 check.
By 2000, MacDonald already was openly endorsing the idea -- popular in neo-Nazi and white supremacist circles -- that Jewish-supported liberal immigration policies could lead to a race war. He had already said much the same in 1998's The Culture of Critique, when he wrote: "I believe that in the United States we are presently heading down a volatile path Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a path that leads to ethnic warfare and to the development of collectivist, authoritarian, and racialist enclaves."
Testifying for a 'Pro-Nazi'
MacDonald started the new millennium off with a bang when he agreed to testify as an expert witness for the British Holocaust denier David Irving in a London libel trial. Irving had sued American professor Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books, claiming that she defamed him in her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust. Irving (who was released from an Austrian prison in late 2006 after serving 13 months for denying many aspects of the Holocaust), accused Lipstadt of damaging his reputation by writing that he had deliberately falsified history. Irving lost the internationally watched trial, with the judge ruling that he had "a distinctly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish bias."
Irving sought out MacDonald's expert testimony on how Jews work as a group to harm gentiles. Irving had read the part of MacDonald's trilogy that described the alleged suppression of Irving's work as "an example of Jewish tactics for combating anti-Semitism." MacDonald was happy to comply, flying to London in January 2000. During testimony, Irving asked MacDonald if he "perceived the Jewish community as working in a certain way in order to suppress a certain book." MacDonald answered in the affirmative and added that there were "several tactics the Jewish organizations have used." MacDonald later wrote about his decision to testify in an article published in the Journal of Historical Review, a well-known Holocaust denial journal published in California. In the article, MacDonald writes that Jews undertake various strategies against their "enemies." One is to distort history by presenting "Jews and Judaism in a positive light and their enemies in a negative light, often with little regard for historical accuracy."
Media reports about MacDonald's testimony hit CSULB like an earthquake. Professors from many departments realized, often after reading MacDonald's university website descriptions of his work for the first time, that they had a major anti-Semitic activist in their midst -- not merely a quiet colleague with possibly controversial research interests. His comments to the local press solidified this growing reputation. MacDonald told reporter Tony Ortega after the trial that he was "agnostic" on the Holocaust and, when asked if a race war was coming, said: "That's right, exactly. I think that's a real possibility. We're entering a brave new world here, and we really don't know what's going to happen." (MacDonald later disputed the accuracy of the quote, but New Times LA stood by Ortega's story.)
Most of the blowback took place on the College of Liberal Arts' listserv, where MacDonald engaged in verbal warfare with a handful of his colleagues. They challenged him on whether he believed the Holocaust had happened. His reply was that he didn't have enough information to make a call about the details of the Holocaust, as the issue was "simply not relevant to any important theoretical issues to me." They also challenged him on his read of Jewish history, an important part of which CSULB History Professor Don Schwarz called "unsupportable."
As his colleagues finally began to read his books, many were downright horrified. Philosophy Professor Warren Weinstein told his colleagues that after reading A People that Shall Dwell Alone he felt MacDonald's work was not science at all, but "something else, masquerading as science." Its closest analogue: "It is in the great tradition of Nazi and Stalinist science which clearly and scientifically proved that their respective insanities were objectively true and defensible."
Once again, Martin Fiebert called MacDonald out, this time writing an open letter to his "close friend" that demanded that MacDonald explain his views on the Holocaust and asked him whether he felt responsible if his work were to be used as a justification for neo-Nazi beliefs. Fiebert also pushed for his department to issue a statement calling on MacDonald to discuss the "implications" of his work -- an effort that failed as many both in the department and outside decided to leave the controversy behind. Sociology professor Barry M. Dank complained, "Even on this list, there is very little interest." One professor went so far as to suggest that grading papers was more important than discussing MacDonald's views.
Not everyone on the listserv believed that MacDonald had done anything wrong. A few argued that MacDonald's views should not be discussed because that would threaten academic freedom. Another, English professor Kent Richmond, defended MacDonald in 2000 and still backs him fully. "You are 6-7 years too late [in investigating MacDonald]," he wrote the Report after a reporter visited CSULB in November. "This issue was discussed in great detail and resolved on campus many years ago, with both Kevin and evolutionary psychologists vindicated."
The campus administration, too, said very little. CSULB officials categorically defended MacDonald's academic freedom to express his views, but added that they "did not necessarily reflect those of the university."
The measure of MacDonald
MacDonald's testimony for Irving led to some soul-searching among evolutionary psychologists who had worked closely with the maverick psychology professor.
Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, wrote that MacDonald's work fails "basic tests of scientific credibility." Another scientist, John Tooby, who, along with his wife Leda Cosmides, gave the field of evolutionary psychology its name in 1992, directly challenged MacDonald's work. Tooby told Salon.com in 2000, "MacDonald's ideas -- not just on Jews -- violate fundamental principles of the field." John Hartung, the associate editor of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology and an associate professor of anesthesiology at the State University of New York, called MacDonald's The Culture of Critique "quite disturbing, seriously misinformed about evolutionary genetics, and suffering from a huge blind spot about the nature of Christianity."
At around the same time, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES), of which MacDonald was then a board member, began an investigation into his work. A forum, to be held at the group's annual meeting, was organized by Dan Kriegman, founder of the Psychoanalytic Couple and Family Institute of New England and a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, that featured two other specialists in evolutionary psychology, one of them Pinker. Although the panel was critical of MacDonald's work, James Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, at one point defended MacDonald with a call for academic free speech.
But Kriegman, who says MacDonald "believes his own nonsense," produced a 50-page analysis that tore MacDonald's work apart and deemed it "pseudo-scientific theorizing." Referring to the fact that MacDonald became obsessed with Jews in college when he felt they were using or excluding him, Kriegman wrote in an E-mail: "MacDonald is not the first person to avoid the narcissistic injury of having his ideas rejected by concluding that there was a conspiracy against him rather than becoming aware of the substandard nature [as evidenced in his trilogy] of his thinking."
The burgeoning controversy over MacDonald's anti-Semitism had no effect on his most important academic post at that time: serving (until 2004) as editor of the journal Population and Environment. In fact, MacDonald stacked the editorial board with intellectual allies, including the journal's white supremacist former editor Virginia Abernethy and race scientist J. Philippe Rushton. MacDonald was now able to freely push his own and his friends' controversial research in an academic journal that had the important and prestigious distinction of being peer-reviewed.
During MacDonald's editorship, there were several complaints brought about the quality of the journal's scholarship and the fact that the publication seemed to have strayed from its mission, according to Landis MacKellar, who is on staff at the Vienna Institute of Demography and edited the journal after MacDonald. MacKellar said: "Among the complaints were that the journal was publishing an unusually high number of papers written by members of the editorial board and that, contrary to most journals, the more controversial the piece, the less solid the scholarship often appeared to be." Kluwer Publishing commissioned an independent assessment that confirmed these problems. As a result, the publisher dissolved the editorial board and replaced it with new members before relaunching the journal.
Lately, MacDonald's academic publishing has slowed and he has complained that academic venues won't publish his work. Even so, articles by MacDonald are still appearing in a few places, including the Human Ethology Bulletin. And he still has prominent academic supporters, including Bob Burgess, a professor of human development at Penn State who graduated from CSULB and co-edited a 2005 book with MacDonald. Burgess said he had "admired [MacDonald's] work for many years." He called it, "dispassionate, logical, and empirical" and, though it may be "politically incorrect," critical to dealing with the realities of diversity.
Hanging with haters
Six months after the 2000 Irving trial, MacDonald told the Chronicle of Higher Education that he was "done with Jews." That was a lie. MacDonald is producing a lot of new work on Jews that is in high demand in white supremacist circles. After the trial, MacDonald was welcomed with open arms by the Charles Martel Society, a white supremacist organization created in 2001 by Bill Regnery, a publishing magnate who also bankrolls a white supremacist think tank, the National Policy Institute. One of the society's main activities is publishing The Occidental Quarterly, a racist journal devoted to the idea that as whites become a minority "the civilization and free governments that whites have created" will be jeopardized.
The society, whose private website is password-accessible only, holds what are apparently secretive, annual meetings. MacDonald spoke three times to the group, in 2001, 2002 and 2004, on the topics of "What Makes Western Culture Unique?," "Understanding Jewish Activism" and "Empire Building and Jewish Identity." Since its launch in 2000, MacDonald has published several articles in the society's journal, which in 2004 put out a special monograph on MacDonald's work, "Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism." MacDonald also serves on the quarterly's editorial advisory board.
MacDonald is so beloved by Regnery-backed outfits that in 2004 the Quarterly awarded its first prize ever to him during a black-tie event held in Washington, D.C., at the luxurious Sky Room. MacDonald was honored with the "Jack London Literary Prize" and handed a check for $10,000 in recognition of his work on Jews. MacDonald reciprocated by offering to serve on the advisory committee of Regnery's white supremacist think tank, the National Policy Institute, which was launched in 2005. (He quit the institute last fall, after the Report disclosed his position there on a CSULB listserv.) In addition, a chapter by MacDonald was just published in Race and the American Prospect: Essays on the Racial Realities of our Nation and our Time, a volume backed by the National Policy Institute.
Anti-Semites also rave about MacDonald's works. David Duke extols MacDonald and cites his trilogy as central to his thinking about the dangers posed by Jews in his autobiography,My Awakening, where Duke explains how he came to be an anti-Semite. (Duke, an infamous neo-Nazi and former Klan leader, later published a shortened version of his autobiography under the title Jewish Supremacism.) Longtime neo-Nazi Victor Gerhard wrote in a 2003 E-mail exchange that MaDonald's The Culture of Critique "is completely true; that to rail against blacks and Hispanics without mentioning Jews is like complaining about the symptoms and not the disease."
Several white supremacist leaders traveled to Washington to attend The Occidental Quarterly's 2004 celebration for MacDonald, including Duke; Don Black, founder of Stormfront, the oldest and most important American hate site and forum on the Web; Jamie Kelso, a senior moderator at Stormfront; and the head of the neo-Nazi National Vanguard, Kevin Alfred Strom. By 2005, MacDonald was openly hobnobbing with anti-Semites, in particular Kelso. Last March, Kelso said that he was in Los Angeles for a "business meeting" with MacDonald at his university office.
MacDonald is also featured in Stormfront member Brian Jost's anti-immigrant film "The Line in the Sand," where he appears blaming Jews for destroying America by supporting immigration from developing countries. "They have wanted to essentially end European domination of this society," MacDonald told the filmmakers, "and I think they are well on their way to doing that."
Wrong and Right
MacDonald is doing his best to stifle further debate among his colleagues about his anti-Semitic theories and white supremacist activism. After the Report began contacting professors for comment about MacDonald last fall, psychology department faculty members met with the staff of the Office of Equity and Diversity about possible responses to MacDonald's research. In retaliation, MacDonald sent out a threatening notice to his colleagues, which claimed there was an "ongoing and serious attempt to impair my constitutional rights and academic freedom" that could result in "civil liability." Saying he was speaking on the advice of an attorney, MacDonald stated he would "carefully monitor such actions, meetings and/or investigations to vigilantly safeguard my civil and constitutional rights."
MacDonald's threats didn't stop the psychology department from finally taking action. In December, the department passed three resolutions prompted by MacDonald's research. One strongly condemned the knowing misuse of psychological research "by groups that disseminate views of racial/ethnic superiority and/or racial/ethnic hatred" and pointed to the American Psychological Association's ethical principles, which require its members to "take all reasonable steps to prevent the misuse or misrepresentation of their work." The department also passed resolutions defending academic freedom and supporting diversity.
Under pressure after the resolutions were passed, MacDonald put up a disclaimer on his website that said that "nothing on this website should be interpreted to suggest that I condone white racial superiority, genocide, Nazism, or Holocaust denial." MacDonald claimed that he had nothing to do with such groups and asked that no one use his opinions "to support discrimination against Jews or any other group." Regardless, MacDonald is still listed in the latest Occidental Quarterly as a member of that racist publication's editorial advisory board.
The university administration backs MacDonald unequivocally. CSULB spokeswoman Toni Beron refused to make any comments about the nature of MacDonald's research, telling the Report, "The university will support MacDonald's academic freedom and freedom of speech."
Not long after the Report visited CSULB in November, the university shut down any further discussion of MacDonald and his research on the College of Liberal Arts' E-mail list. It was a moment of high irony, given that university officials like Beron and Green had based their defense of MacDonald's work on the lofty notions of academic freedom and free speech.
The cover provided MacDonald and his dubious research under this rubric of "academic freedom" brings into question the sincerity of the diversity commitments made by CSULB -- commitments that helped the campus earn the 2006 University Committed to Diversity designation from Minority Access, Inc. Asked by the Report about the apparent conflict between the ideals of academic freedom and diversity, Craig Smith, who runs the CSULB Center for First Amendment Studies and is on the board of trustees for the entire California State University system, said the school is "hamstrung in reacting" until formal complaints are made against MacDonald by students or faculty members. Smith did say that MacDonald's work and associations with hate groups should "certainly be looked at" by the university.
All of which means that Kevin MacDonald, critic of the Jews, will likely soldier on. Even though he now concedes that he dislikes Jews, he insists that that is irrelevant and should not stop the world from taking his research on them seriously. "In the end, does it really matter if my motivation at this point is less than pristine?" he asks in all apparent sincerity. "Isn't the only question whether I am right?"