A revelation published earlier this month by Hatewatch — that Chloe Black, wife of former Klan leader Don Black, was the public relations contact for a philanthropist’s efforts to build a campus for children of poor black and Latino children in Florida — caused quite a stir in the media and elsewhere. The Gawker.com website was one of the first to revisit the story, recounting the Hatewatch item under the headline, “The Socialite’s Nazi Publicist.” (The title referred to the fact that Chloe Black, whose husband founded and runs the major white supremacist website Stormfront, was the contact for a school established by Emilia Fanjul, whose wealthy family runs the Florida Crystals sugar conglomerate.) Then it was the turn of The New York Post’s Page Six — probably the best known celebrity gossip column in America — which ran “Sugar Baron’s Aide’s KKK Link,” setting off a whole bevy of similar reports on celebrity gossip websites.
But it was when a version of Hatewatch’s revelations was published in the Palm Beach Post this past Saturday that sparks flew in the white supremacist circles that Chloe, her husband, and ex-husband David Duke inhabit. Even though she had just attended a June event put on by the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, Black told the Post: “I am not involved with the Web site [Stormfront] and do not agree with extremist or racially prejudiced views.” Not only that, but the Post, based on information provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, also reported that Don Black had recently toned down Stormfront, banning many symbols of Nazism that formerly were common on the site, including swastikas and SS lightning bolts, and getting rid of particularly offensive terms, including “nigger.”
White supremacists were not happy. In racist Web forums, they ripped both Don and Chloe Black, denouncing them for caring more about money than their beliefs.
Alex Linder, the head of the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network (VNN), was particularly incensed. “It’s not that small a deal,” wrote Linder to a defender of Chloe Black who was minimizing the importance of her comments. “It shows that at the end of the day money matters more than principle to WN [White Nationalist] leaders.”
Others were cruder in their comments. “What’s so hard to understand or face about the idea that Don Black (Black is a very common Jewish surname) from Palm Springs [Black actually is from West Palm Beach, Fla.] Florida (a city with the highest Jewish population per capita than anywhere else in the world outside of Israel) is a kosher motherfucker!?” wrote “melcur” on VNN. Bill White, head of the neo-Nazi American Nationalist Socialist White Peoples Party and a friend of Linder’s, attacked the Stormfront founder under the headline, “Don Black Whores Himself to the Jew.” White accused Black of selling out “to the Jew in exchange for a bit of media exposure and some promotion for his dying and has been website Stormfront.”
At least one prominent anti-Semite defended Black: April Gaede, mother of the teen twins who make up the neo-Nazi singing group Prussian Blue. “Very few people in White Nationalism have the ability to earn a living openly being racial,” wrote Gaede. “If she can earn a living and support her family and nationalism then who cares.” However, Gaede’s post was not well received. “But at the cost of helping the muds and jews? Don’t be stupid,” wrote “Akingu” on VNN. “That’s like teaching an attack dog to attack yourself!”
In a Stormfront post, Don Black, who the Palm Beach Post reported had recently suffered a stroke, dismissed the hoopla as absurd and blamed the “gutter press.” He also mocked his increasingly disgruntled Stormfronters, noting, “With the never-ending internal drama among members, we often joke about ‘How the Stormfront Turns.’”