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It should surprise no one that former hate group leader Kyle Bristow has self-published a white nationalist novel that features the graphic assassination of a character based on a prominent Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) figure. After all, Bristow has an ax to grind with the SPLC and first attained notoriety for promoting a video game centered on killing Mexicans.
What is somewhat surprising are some of the names that appear among the dozen gushing blurbs praising the violently racist novel, White Apocalypse.
Among those who have endorsed Bristow’s novel is Kevin MacDonald, professor of psychology at California State University at Long Beach. McDonald calls Bristow’s book “an emotionally compelling account of Whites as historical victims of non-Whites — just the sort of thing we need to motivate a renaissance among our people.”
Despite his high-sounding position, MacDonald is a raging anti-Semite who contends that Jews are driven by a genetically programmed evolutionary strategy to undermine Western civilization. MacDonald, whose writings on Jews have been condemned by his academic colleagues, recently joined an explicitly white supremacist group, the American Third Position, which was started by a man who has called for the deportation of all Americans with any “ascertainable trace of Negro blood.”
Another fan of Bristow’s novel is self-described white “separatist” Virginia Abernethy, a professor emerita at Vanderbilt University medical school. Abernethy calls White Apocalypse a “well-researched page-turner” and hopes it is the first of many. “One looks forward to much more from this author,” she writes.
Craig Bodeker, producer of the film “A Conversation About Race,” also weighs in with a prominent endorsement. Bodeker, who claims he is no racist (despite posting Internet comments describing black people as “EVIL monkeys”), calls Bristow’s book “the jolt Whites need to awaken from our suicidal slumber!”
Let’s hope no one takes Bristow’s book seriously, let alone being “awakened” by it. Its plot revolves around a series of violent revenge fantasies against Jewish professors, Latino and Native American activists, and the SPLC.
One of the main story lines of White Apocalypse involves one man’s crusade against the “evil, anti-Western” activities of an Atlanta-based organization called the “Center for Diversity and Multiculturalism.” The organization, with its “hate group list” and large legal staff, is clearly modeled on the Montgomery-based SPLC. The book also includes characters whose roles match that of two SPLC senior staffers: Mark Potok, the director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project and editor of its Intelligence Report and this blog, and Heidi Beirich, the SPLC’s director of research (Beirich’s name is rendered as “Beirman” in Bristow’s book).
On page 195, the Potok character — who Bristow describes as an “oily, curly haired troll” and Center spokesman named David Greenberg — has just finished delivering testimony in a federal courthouse. As Greenberg stands outside the building, the novel’s hero, a one-man militia named Jack Schoenherr (which translates from the German, roughly, as “Mr. Handsome”), fires a bullet from his AR-15 from the roof of a nearby parking garage. Bristow describes the event as follows:
The supersonic projectile hit the leftist agitator one inch below the eye, and the bullet exited the back of his head nanoseconds later. … Brain, blood, and skull fragments burst forth from what was once Greenberg’s head, and the leftist was blown off both of his feet. Greenberg died instantly, and his last words were “We must destroy the plague that is Western culture.” Ironically, Western culture got him first. From Valhalla [a celebration hall in Scandinavian mythology], Thor, the archenemy of trolls, smiled at the accomplishment of the epitome of Western Man.
When asked to comment on what is obviously a murder fantasy concerning the SPLC’s Potok, Bristow replied in an E-mail that began “Dear Guttersnipe” that any parallels were purely coincidental.
“I do not ‘fantasize’ about anyone’s death,” said Bristow. “I do, however, fantasize quite often of taking the country over and implementing a real right-wing agenda that would make [archconservative MSNBC commentator] Pat Buchanan and the late Sam Francis [the chief editor of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens] proud. What I mean by this is the most offensive thing possible, and what this is I will leave to your imagination.”
Precious little imagination is required.
With its anti-Semitism and racist venom, White Apocalypse is the latest entry into a long tradition of American hate-fiction animated by the hatreds and frustrations that fester in far-right circles. The most famous of the genre in recent times, of course, is the late neo-Nazi William Pierce’s The Turner Diaries, a race-war fantasy novel that inspired the Oklahoma City bombing and the murderous acts of the domestic terrorist group, the Order, in the mid-1980s.
Bristow’s book makes clear that his current heroes include, not just marginal far-right figures, but conservative commentators employed by major cable news and radio networks. Early in the novel, Bristow quotes “Dr. Michael Savage” approvingly, an obvious reference to hate-radio jock Michael Savage. The book’s militia tough-guy hero offers a reading list that includes Pat Buchanan’s The Suicide of the West. Nor does it take long to figure out that the name of the Bristow book’s protagonist, Samuel Buchanan, is meant as homage to Pat Buchanan and Buchanan’s late friend, one-time Washington Times columnist, Samuel Francis.
Bristow, now a law student at the University of Toledo, forged most of his connections to the radical right as the 21-year-old campus director of the nationally recognized Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom. He gained notoriety (as well as SPLC’s hate group designation) for inviting well-known extremists to speak on campus, such as the leader of the whites-only British National Party, Nick Griffin, and for stunts like advocating a video game in which players earned points by shooting Mexican migrants at the border.
While representing YAF, Bristow earned notice from bookers and hosts at Fox News Channel. As Bristow still proudly boasts on his website, he once appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” and has been quoted on-air by Sean Hannity.