John William King Quotes Francis Parker Yockey in Statement About Hate Crime
By Martin A. Lee
Late one night in June 1998, a disabled black man was chained to the back of a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas, and dragged by his ankles on a rough rural road for several miles until his head ripped off his body. White supremacist John William King, 25, and two of his friends were subsequently tried and convicted for the gruesome murder of James Byrd Jr.
The first of the accused to go to court, King showed little remorse when the death sentence was handed down. He issued a terse statement through his lawyer that ended with a quote from deceased American fascist Francis Parker Yockey: "The promise of success is with the man who is determined to die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly."
That Yockey's name should have surfaced in connection with the gruesome hate crime in Jasper attests to his enduring reputation within neofascist and white supremacist circles. Yockey's turgid, 600-page book Imperium — which King quoted in court — has widely influenced right-wing extremist leaders in the United States and Europe.
Born and raised in Chicago, Yockey was one of the most elusive and enigmatic characters associated with the American far right in the 20th century. After World War II, he traveled extensively abroad, weaving a web of neo-Nazi contacts.
When the FBI finally caught up with this wandering anti-Semite in 1960, Yockey was carrying seven birth certificates and three passports, all bearing his photo but each with a different name. Shortly thereafter, Yockey committed suicide in a San Francisco jail.
Since his death, Yockey has emerged as the patron saint of the Holocaust-denial circuit and a cult figure among white supremacists worldwide.
"He is a prophet for our movement," says longtime Ku Klux Klan leader Roy Frankhauser, who keeps a photo of Yockey prominently displayed on his bedroom wall in Reading, Penn. But Frankhauser admits, "It's a challenge to read Yockey's writings. His ideas are really complex. I can't say I comprehend him completely."
Boogie-Woogie, Jews and the Soviets
Written as a kind of extended philosophical pep talk for brainier right-wing radicals, Imperium pitched an upbeat message to beleaguered fascists, urging them to engage in a "world-historical struggle" at a time when things looked rather bleak for their cause. Yockey insisted that the fall of the Third Reich was merely a temporary setback that paved the way for a future triumph.
While Yockey never mentioned Hitler or the Nazis by name in Imperium, he defended their legacy by claiming that the Final Solution was a myth. He was one of the first American writers — if not the first — to deny the Holocaust in print: "'Gas-chambers' that did not exist were photographed, and a 'gasmobile' was invented to titillate the mechanically-minded."
Yet in private conversations, according to FBI reports, Yockey praised how the Germans exterminated the Jews during World War II.
Yockey was a severe critic of democratic elections, which he described as "a mere cover for unhampered looting by the financier." Yockey also harbored a fierce antipathy toward American popular culture.
As he saw it, postwar Western Europe had become a colony of the United States, which was debased by alien minorities and their decadent manifestations — Hollywood, jazz, boogie-woogie dancing and the like.
Yockey's anti-American views were so extreme that he denounced U.S. cultural domination as a greater threat to Europe than the more heavy-handed military repression imposed by the Soviet Union.
He saw the Soviet-orchestrated anti-Semitic show trials in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1952 as proof that Russia had become an enemy of world Jewry and was therefore a potential partner in the anti-American resistance struggle.
Yockey's sympathy for Stalinist Russia put him at odds with most white supremacists in the United States who were fixated on the notion that Soviet Communism was part of a Jewish plot to take over the world.
George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party in 1959, was vehemently opposed to Yockey's pro-Soviet line. Rockwell chided Yockey's supporters for falling "into one of the most deadly traps ever set by the scheming, villainous Hebrew: the monstrous fraud of Soviet 'anti-Semitism.'"
Impatient with U.S. right-wing extremists who obsessed over little else than Russia and the Red Menace, Yockey searched for allies in other countries. He criss-crossed Europe and the Middle East in an effort to enlist others in his war against America and Jewry. He even spent a few weeks in Cuba, shortly after Fidel Castro seized power, trying to drum up support for his cause.