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White Nationalist in Race for Suburban Missouri School Board

By Don Terry on January 22, 2013 - 3:48 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda, White Nationalism

A reported member of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens is running for a seat on a suburban Kansas City, Mo., school board on a platform that includes “removing materials that promote racial diversity” in a district that is becoming increasingly diverse.

The candidate, Edward Stephens, a 25-year-old electrical engineer, came in fifth – dead last – with 5% of the vote when he first ran for a seat on the seven-member Park Hill School board in Platte County in 2012. A candidate who dropped out of the race before the election even got more votes than Stephens.

Students of color make up nearly 30% of the district as families flee the crumbling Kansas City school system. “Diversity has doubled in the last 15 years,” Park Hill School district spokeswoman, Nicole Kirby, told Hatewatch today. “The district supports diversity and making sure we are respecting students across all backgrounds.”

The Council’s newspaper, Citizen’s Informer, regularly publishes articles condemning “race mixing,” decrying the evils of illegal immigration, and lamenting the decline of white, European civilization. The group’s website once described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Created in 1985, the Council is the modern reincarnation of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South.

“As a Christian and Freemason, Edward is one of us,” the Council recently announced as it introduced Stephens to readers of its website. The announcement specifically described Stephens as a Council “member.”

Stephens could not be immediately reached for comment. In his campaign literature, he says he has a “heart-felt” desire to “produce the best possible future leaders of our community.”

Stephens, who grew up in Platte County and graduated from Park Hill High School in 2006 before earning a B.S. degree from Missouri University of Science & Technology, also calls for no new taxes and teaching “a pro-America agenda in our classrooms.”

Kirby, the district spokeswoman, said Stephens had also applied to finish the term of a board member who had resigned earlier in the year. “He was not selected,” she said.

In an interview last year with The Pitch, a weekly alternative newspaper in Kansas City, Stephens talked about some of his hopes for Park Hill, one of the best school districts in the state. According to the paper, Stephens said there was too much emphasis on Native American history in the schools.

“We should focus more as a district on programs that are going to focus on, basically, the white men that founded this country and built this country,” he told the paper. The headline on the story was “Park Hill’s school-board race has a great white dope: race baiter Edward Stephens.”

His candidacy is also being promoted on the website of the American Third Position, another white supremacist group, under this headline: “School Board Candidate Proposes A ‘White History Month.’” The story quoted Stephens saying: “I think we need to also pay attention to the white culture and white accomplishments. The vast majority of the Park Hill School District is white. … [I]t only makes sense to honor those things as well.”

By rejecting Stephens last year, the voters missed a golden opportunity for a few laughs and well-attended school board meetings, according to Kansas City blogger and columnist Chris Kamler.

“Surely he’d have come up with some entertaining proposals,” Kamler wrote in the Platte County Landmark shortly after last year’s election. “Maybe he’d have proposed making the Park Hill South Panthers the Park Hill South White Polar Bears? Oh, sure the rest of the board would [have] voted it down, but not [until] after we all had a good laugh.”

Kamler imagined Stephen’s presence would have packed board meetings and citizen participation “would’ve been at an all-time high as folks came from near and far to hear the racist and divisive comments of a school board member. You might’ve even gotten your own TLC Reality Show.”

The election for four open seats on the board is April 2.

  • Aron

    I shall find my radiant joy elsewhere.

    :P

  • Aron

    Erika, never, not once did I say I would be leaving my trusty pair of binoculars!

    They’re for my safety — and enjoyment!

  • Erika

    Aron, since you are the one who introduced the canoe in the first place it seems that naughty peach bottoms simply do not float your boat ;)

  • aadila

    In the interests of not creating discord on this site, I really rather would you go through the comments that you found objectionble about the Anglo Saxons, cut and paste them, and go through them.

    Claiming I’m “jumping the rails” after repeatedly putting words in my mouth is simply a passive aggressive parting shot and does nothing to resolve the issue. The reason why I am taking this stance is that this has happened a number of times and I am not going to tolerate being slandered or having my comments distorted.

    If I understand you correctly, your comments insinuated that I am a closet racist/eugenicist and harming everything we’re trying to do here in the interest of fighting hate crimes.

    That is an absolutely irresponsible and bizarre thing to say, and if you cannot buck up now and defend your own comments when called on it perhaps you should simply admit that you were way out of line and apologize. But I will not accept another smirking snark.

    If you think I am “wrong” in my facts, which you are still insisting, at least have the decency to use my statements instead of strawman arguments when you feel the need to get on a moral high horse.

  • Aron

    If it comes to it, I will simply take the canoe and go home. And you’ll be reduced to bare-handed spanking, which isn’t any fun.

    Oh, wait. Never mind. You’ll still be stuck on the island, though. And maybe I’ll leave some feather so you can tickle each other. That’s wholesome, right?

  • CoralSea

    aadila — as I said, if I agreed with you, then we’d both be wrong. And yes, I did paraphrase what you appeared to be attempting to convey in your comments.

    In the interests of not creating discord on this website, I will no longer engage you in any comments (although I may break that vow if you jump the rails).

  • aadila

    Erika, true but Aron also said he’d only use it for canoodling. It may not be the only plank of his platform but it’s sure to be a spanking good time.

  • Phoebe Henselpecker

    It seems that we’ve strayed a bit from what this article was about.

    Having just read it, I have to say how disheartening it is to have such white supremacist groups still burgeoning, and even gaining in visibility in this country. The sheer audacity of people like this young man, insisting that white people are better than non-whites, is utterly reprehensible to me.

    I often try to imagine what people like that must be like, and if they’ve ever known the happiness that human relationships can bring, if they even understand what the word “love” means…their hard-heartedness comes through loud and clear, but I can’t for a minute imagine any of them feeling tender, loving, gentle, sweet, or truly appreciating beauty. So sad. What must they have gone through to be so intolerant and filled with hatred and self righteousness? How could they have been duped into believing in a (white) god who supports their vitriol? I do pray for them to wake up and realize that we are ALL connected, or at least to remember that in this country we supposedly believe that “all men [sic] are created equal.” Every bit as constitutional a belief as the much misunderstood Second Ammendment. Nowhere did those who penned the Constitution limit those rights to only white people in the document that this country was built on. Nowhere.

  • Erika

    aadila, you better be careful with Aron, don’t forget that you gave him a school board :)

  • aadila

    We can be, Aron. But this is about the fourth time Coral has singled me out for insults and acrimony and I decided I’m not going to put up with it. If she wants to mix it up with me, she better get her facts in order first.

  • Aron

    Ladies, please. Let’s ease up on the infighting. We’re better than this. Everybody just back off for a moment, OK?

    We can be friends here.

  • aadila

    “You aren’t funny and you aren’t smart (which kind of takes the ability to lampoon, satirize, or effectively act as an iconoclast off the table).”

    Those are your opinions and you have a right to them.

    “You are, however, very opinionated — and if I agreed with you, then we’d both be wrong.”

    That too is an expression of opinion, not fact.

    “You honestly don’t see that you stepped into “it” with all of the sweeping statements about “inbred violence” of certain groups of people as defined by their ancestory (as opposed to simply their culture as practiced over the last few hundred years)?”

    I never used that term in scare quotes. This is not the first time you put words in my mouth and I have restrained myself from reacting because frankly you seem rather off kilter, but after about the third or fourth time, I am now going to state I will appreciate if your critique pertained to my argument rather than your emotions.

    You completely failed to understand my argument so please republish the quotes you find offensive and I will address them joyously. For example, I never said “their” culture… I was talking about “our” culture, i.e., the Anglo Saxon culture that gave rise to the institutions and traditional values of our people.

    You also called that “pseudo scientific” but that happens to be substantiated by scientific fact and leading anthropoligists as I cited previously. You have failed to substantiate any of your opinions on this matter with facts.

    “I think you did see it — hence the, “you can’t take a joke” responses that you made when I wrote that I thought what you said was inappropriate.”

    I think any reasonable person can see stating the rise of h. republicanus is a joke. But of course, that requires a sense of humor…

    “Isn’t that what racists, sexists, and other bigots say when someone calls them out for a nasty statement: you can’t take a joke? I believe that it is.”

    Guilt by association and rhetorical quetioning without affirmation of any fact that pertains to my argument. A fallacy. What you “believe” does not change the facts, and you haven’t presented any other than the fact that you believe something.

    “Words matter, ideas matter, and you matter.”

    Truism, a fallacy.

    “Please consider that making grandiose claims and pronouncements in this forum, which is clearly monitored by some of the people and groups who hold beliefs or engage in behaviors with which we disagree.”

    Yes that’s why I made the comments.

    “If you wish to engage in humor writing, you can try commenting on Cracked.com.”

    Well, I have quite a few books published, thousands of articles, and now do screen, so I would say my writing career is doing quite well thank you. But thanks for the suggestion.

    “Be warned, however, that there are a lot of sharp and well-informed people who comment on that site, and they don’t tolerate bullshit and will call you out on it.”

    I look forward to it. Especially if they come with facts, not fallacies.

  • CoralSea

    aadila –

    You aren’t funny and you aren’t smart (which kind of takes the ability to lampoon, satirize, or effectively act as an iconoclast off the table). You are, however, very opinionated — and if I agreed with you, then we’d both be wrong.

    You honestly don’t see that you stepped into “it” with all of the sweeping statements about “inbred violence” of certain groups of people as defined by their ancestory (as opposed to simply their culture as practiced over the last few hundred years)? I think you did see it — hence the, “you can’t take a joke” responses that you made when I wrote that I thought what you said was inappropriate. Isn’t that what racists, sexists, and other bigots say when someone calls them out for a nasty statement: you can’t take a joke? I believe that it is.

    Words matter, ideas matter, and you matter. Please consider that making grandiose claims and pronouncements in this forum, which is clearly monitored by some of the people and groups who hold beliefs or engage in behaviors with which we disagree.

    If you wish to engage in humor writing, you can try commenting on Cracked.com. Be warned, however, that there are a lot of sharp and well-informed people who comment on that site, and they don’t tolerate bullshit and will call you out on it. (Or, possibly, DO try out Cracked.com, and hone your satirical skills with the instant feedback you will get when your “jokes” fall flat. Seriously.)

  • Reynardine

    Aadila, fine with me. I hope you like antimacassars.

  • aadila

    Sam it took me a second to get that one but nicely done.

    And Rey, gimme a break.

    I will not give up the right to lampoon, poke fun, lambast, satirize, and engage in speech which is iconoclastic, opinionated, and strikes directly at the core of ideas I disagree with.

    If that causes you or Coral to erupt with displeasure and moral indignation, it really cannot be helped. So sorry, please forgive my Neandertal mitochondria.

  • Reynardine

    Shadow Wolf, what the Hell does my saying that neither Neandertals nor any other human species, subspecies, race, or strain is inherently retrograde, have to do with my being soft on the Far Right? Anyone who follows my remarks here, or elsewhere, knows better. Nor was it you who was singled out for a personal death threat. And it was you, I note, who hounded and insulted a Mexican-American commenter on this thread until he left and never returned.

    Aadila, try not to be a morally superior fluffhead. It detracts from your eventual karma. How would you like to be reincarnated in mid-Victorian England, forced to listen to endless platitudes from stuffed shirts?

  • Jack Wolford

    I can row a boat – canoe ?

  • Sam Molloy

    Aron, you will have to decide. Roe VS Wade.

  • Erika

    Aron, you’ll have to use your hands

  • Ray Hawkins

    Sad, but not surprising. Platte County, our neighbor, was home to a Grand Dragon (or some such nonsensical title) a few years back. Of the five major metropolitan counties, it is the least racially diverse. And it is largely rural.

  • aadila

    Ok to make Coral happy I promise to switch to GEICO.

  • aadila

    Lack humor much?

  • Aron

    But aadila, if I can’t use the school paddle, how will I ever use the school canoe???

  • CoralSea

    This thread has taken on a very nasty tone that borders on the sort of concepts that we (supposedly) abhor in White Nationalists. By this I mean equating them with Neanderthals — after aadila has made it abundantly clear that Neanderthals, based on her great knowledge of them, were apparently biologically prone to violence.

    I thought we called out behavior on this site, and that we reject concepts such as viewing others as, by their biology, “retrograde species?”

    Yet it appears that aadila (with an echo from Shadow Wolf) is attempting to paint Republicans as the inheritors of predetermined “primitive” and violent biology (in other words, they are, in and of themselves, “retrograde.”)

    Are you fearing “the other” much, aadila? Have you grasped the irony yet?

    I am willing to call people out on their behavior; I am not willing to make inferences regarding the biological (or distant cultural) underpinnings of as absolutely causative of such behavior. Attitudes and beliefs can change — along with behavior. But this is a lot less likely to happen if supposedly reasonable and progressive people simply paint Right wing adherents as biologically programmed to be violent and intolerant. Our species (meaning all of us) are more flexible than that and we can do better.

    I am also unwilling to tar all Republicans with the same brush as the most rabid faction of that party that is currently in ascendency. My parents are lifelong Republicans, and like many others who I know, they are bewildered and angry about the direction their party has gone. But they aren’t going to be “won over” to a more progressive outlook by name-calling, especially when the attack goes beyond behavior and beliefs into their very biology. (That pesky “retrograde species” thing again.)

    A couple of weeks ago, aadila wrote that the saga “Beowulf” basically proved that Anglo-Saxons were violent — and that it was the Anglo-Saxons who had brought the violence we now experience in this country. Even though she stated that only a fraction of Frisian literature had survived, based on that surviving literature–including Beowulf–she used the circular logic to claim that, well, what has survived is violent, so they were violent, so they are responsible for violence now, more than a thousand years later.

    As a researcher and writer, that is not an assertion I would have been willing to make, and I told her so. But she appears to be willing to go that route, once again, with the Neanderthals.

    Folks, we all know that certain personalities are more given to following Authoritarian rule and that it is difficult (if not impossible in some cases) to change their minds. This is annoying, and it is found, at least at this time in history, among many conservatives. However, the leap from this trait to sanctimonious, pseudo-scientific, finger pointing, based on incomplete information (re: the Neanderthals and how their lives and societies actually played out) is really outrageous.

    I have backed away from commenting much recently because of such assertions, but I decided that I wasn’t going to let this latest line of crap comments, primarily from aadila, to stand. To allow it to stand damages us all.

  • CM

    Interesting that the Creation Museum should come up in this context. Here’s a recent post from Science Blogs that addresses the racism underlying the presentations of that “museum” and of creationism in general:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyn.....nd-racism/

    At the risk of being labeled anti-Christian, I’m compelled to point out that Fundamentalism helps prepare people to accept bad ideas like racism or creationism by training them to reject reason as a guide to reality. Though that doesn’t stop them from deploying pseudo-reason as a tool to construct false but plausible-sounding rejoinders to people who point out the glaring absurdities of their beliefs.

  • aadila

    Right, Aron.

    However, even though we trust you with the school board does not mean we trust you with the school paddle.

  • Erika

    *eyes roll* right because the Creation Museum is such a creditible source about early humans.

    And Sam, in political terms 1964 might as well be when the Nethandrals were still riding around on little dinosaurs hunting brontosauruses*

    * as per the Creation Museum and There Goes the Dinosaurs by Jack T. Chick ;).

  • Shadow Wolf

    aadila’s assertions on the Neanderthal’s primitive and barbaric behavior makes a lot sense. Much similar to the CCC of today. They express a lot of primitive rage often associated with their racist dogmatic tripe. But they do it, only through means of philosophical literature and rhetoric. They’re all about moving backwards towards the epoch of racial discourse and oppression.

    Sorry Rey, I’m with aadila on this one. You’re becoming a little too soft on the enemy of the far right. Don’t you think?

  • Reynardine

    Sam, you show every sign of being a petted child who expects the adults around you to indulge your cheekiness, and they do, but I trust you realize that the world out there isn’t very nice, and that the people whose causes you sometimes espouse would not return the favor.

  • aadila

    Sam there were 60 Southern Democrats in the 88th House and all of them would vote Republican today. That meme is a sham, Sam. A flim-flam.

    I really have to gawk at a party that spends more time sifting through decades-gone political diatribe to find a credible argument why they support civil rights than they do actually supporting civil rights.

  • Sam Molloy

    Holy Cow, Shane. Mak-a me want-a be nupping on Dooji. Watch this if you dare.

  • Aron

    Thank you Sam, for describing the Southern Strategy.

  • Sam Molloy

    According to the Creation Museum here in Kentucky, Neanderthals were a post flood tribe that probably died out from isolation and inbreeding. Early reconstructions were done by people with an evolutionary agenda and added inaccurate facial primitizations and stooped posture. National Geographic in January 1996 reported on a University of Illinois project that used computer morphing of skulls. Devoid of any added primitization, these models, given a decent haircut, would not cause alarm in today’s society. As for Republicans, a higher percentage of Republicans in congress voted for the Civil Rights Act in the ’60s than did Democrats, At the time, Southern Democrat equated segregationist.

  • Shane

    “A retrograde species of humanity.” And here I thought Humans were a species. Or are they a race? The sub-species is a race. Ahh silly me.

    They prolly made that comment after watching a flick off YouTube like this or something:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuSS0iiFyo

    I think A3P misrepresented Edward Stephen’s as being a Freemason and a Christian.

  • aadila

    Rey, the origin of violence does seem to be a response to a threat “out of group”, but somewhere in the sands of time “out of group” and “anyone else” got confused. This period is associated with the rise of H. republicanus, also known as the “hating ape”.

  • Reynardine

    Aron, you just turned twenty-six and I’d trust you with a schoolboard position.

  • Aron

    Erika, you make a good point. I slightly retract my statement.

    I just hope that the 25 year old has the requisite life experience necessary to make good decisions. Obviously, this one didn’t.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee CriticalDragon1177

    Don Terry,

    Hopefully Edward Stephens will loose, and loose by a large margin to discourage him from running again. I don’t care how funny some of the stuff he may have said at the school board meetings could have been. We need to keep people like him out of power.

  • Reynardine

    In fact, Aadila, the healed bones and wounds showed that Neandertals cared for their disabled. There was plenty of room for them to get those wounds, hunting with primitive weapons among Pleistocene megafauna and doubtless doing a deal of butchery, leatherwork, brushcutting, etc., with equally primitive tools, for them to accidentally injure themselves or each other. I doubt human nature was very red in tooth and claw at all until we devised concepts of wealth and real property and the growing population, coupled with post-Pleistocene dessication of formerly plentiful lands and the extinction of megafauna, gave us reason to squabble.

  • aadila

    Just to bolt on then I’ll have spoken my piece. There is something very important to consider in human evolution which is the evolution of consciousness, which is an ongoing phenomenon.

    When we consider that our own consciousness as reflected by our behavior, impulses, propensities, and indeed, foibles, is part of the chain of human development, even without a need to “believe” in anything we can see that our lives are what define and substantiate human evolution.

  • aadila

    Rey there is plenty of archeological evidence to suggest that Neandertal remains show certain types of scarring on bones normally associated with human violence; so their propensity for procreation may simply be associated with their physical robustness that also lent itself to being violent. Maybe they couldn’t control their emotions very well and tended to be … irritable.

  • Erika

    Aron, i am going to have to disagree with you regarding the general qualifications for a 25 year old to be elected a school board. The average 25 year old will be much closer to the public school educational experience which could actually help with the functions of the schools by bringing in a different perspective – namely that of someone who has recently experienced the education system and is concerned about its function. Thus, an average 25 year old should be much more able to see the schools through a student’s perspective over a 45 year old – and that would be a valuable perspective to have on a school board. i’d rather see a concerned young person on the school board than a bunch of penny pinching middle aged real estate developers whose main concern is how can they use their membership on the school board for personal gain.

    Of course, that applies to normal 25 year olds – not this white nationalist guy. But here the objection shouldn’t be to his age – it should be to his politics. His politics would be just as objectionable if he was 25 or 45.

  • aadila

    Who wants to take a wager that the first contemporary Neandertal will become a Republican?

  • Reynardine

    Shadow Wolf, from what I can gather, though Neandertal people were necessarily skilled hunters in the long, brutal winters, they also enjoyed walnuts, grains, pome fruits (no problem for their splendid teeth), jewelry, makeup, and sex- lots of sex, so much so that any of us with any ancestry north of the Sahara have about 7% Neandertal DNA. They seemed to have made love, not war. What would some poor little kid of that kind do in a CCC family?

  • aadila

    I am concerned about the racist _content_ of public education.

    But I am more concerned about the racist _institution_ of public education, which continues to pay teachers of minority kids less than white kids within the same school district in many areas of the country, as demonstrated by recent Department of Education findings.

    Once we have addressed racism in the content of our education, we might have hope of addressing the racist institutions in America that continue to benefit many who claim not to be racist, but oppose any effort to change the institutions which benefit white people.

  • Shadow Wolf

    Linnea, speaking of Neanderthals. A Harvard University Professor is seeking a surrogate to give birth to a real Neanderthal. Maybe one of the CCC female members can sign up for this new scientific experiment.

  • Linnea

    Ah, yes, the White Citizens Councils are still around. For anyone who wants to see living Neanderthals in action.

  • Aron

    Wait a moment. A Christian AND a Freemason? I thought most of these conspiracy idiots thought Freemasons wanted to destroy Chritendom.

    And anyone who considers electing a twenty-five year-old to a school board needs a firm talking-to.

  • CoralSea

    Am I the only one who finds it incredibly depressing anytime someone who is young pops up with ridiculous ideas such as the ones espoused by this young man? One of the good things I have experienced as I have grown older is that the majority of younger people don’t hold the racist or sexist beliefs that many of our elders were raised with, and in many cases, still struggle with, even if they don’t espouse out-and-out racist beliefs.

    I know that, at least for the next few decades at least, racism, nationalism, sexism, religious bigotry, and bigotry regarding LGBTQ will likely be with us. But most of the younger people I deal with or know of seem to have gotten past most of these things. Obviously, not all have done so yet, however.

  • Sam Molloy

    As a Double Eagle (Electrical Engineer) this guy can’t be totally stupid. Diversity in school is currently the most important concept we can give our kids. Does he want a society of like thinking clones?