Nick Griffin (right), the head of the whites-only British National Party (BNP), will speak on three American college campuses in late October. That news comes courtesy of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a U.S. hate group that has described blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity.”
Griffin, whose white supremacist party angrily opposes immigration and especially Muslim immigration, will speak at Clemson University on Oct. 24, Texas A&M on Oct. 25, and Michigan State University on Oct. 26. According to the anti-racist YAF Watch blog, the Michigan State chapter of Young Americans for Freedom is sponsoring Griffin’s visit to MSU. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the MSU chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, which has also hosted other extremist speakers, as a hate group. It is unclear which campus organizations are sponsoring Griffin’s lectures at Clemson and Texas A&M.
Griffin, a well-known Holocaust denier and anti-Semite, has a long history of extremism reaching back into the late 1970s, when he was active in the racist British National Front. In 1998, he was convicted of incitement to racial hatred, a serious offense in Britain. Griffin is also a regular visitor to the U.S. and frequently speaks at extremist events here. A recent example came in February 2006, when he spoke at the biannual conference of the publisher of American Renaissance magazine, a hate group that argues that blacks are more “pathological” and less intelligent than whites. Griffin is also close to former Klan leader David Duke, at whose events he also often speaks. The BNP and Duke’s European Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) share the same Belgian webmaster.
Griffin often comes to the U.S. to raise money for the BNP. For years, his BNP had an American affiliate, the American Friends of the British National Party (AFBNP), that raised money for his party’s activities from American extremists. In 2002, however, AFBNP leader Mark Cotterill was deported to Britain after an Intelligence Report exposé revealed that his group had raised at least $85,000 for the BNP in contravention of U.S. law. Agents of foreign political entities must register with the government or face possible felony charges, fines and deportation. Cotterill did not register his group.