GOP Attempts to Oust White Supremacists
Republican party leaders in two states pressed in recent months for the ouster of unabashed white supremacists serving in low-level GOP posts.
In Arizona, three prominent Republican lawmakers joined their voices to a chorus of party officials demanding that J.T. Ready, an anti-immigration extremist with direct ties to neo-Nazis, be forced to resign his position as GOP precinct committeeman in Maricopa County for "sullying the party's image."
Ready was photographed in September 2007 marching beneath a swastika banner in Omaha, Neb., with brown-shirted members of the National Socialist Movement, a crude neo-Nazi group. He later called for placing land mines along the U.S.-Mexico border and advocated martial law as a solution to the nation's immigration dilemma. Rather than resign, Ready allowed his term as a Maricopa County, Ariz., precinct committeeman to quietly expire on Sept. 3 without seeking to be returned to the post.
Meanwhile, across the country in West Palm Beach, Fla., Republican officials were aghast to learn in late August that 19-year-old Derek Black, who'd just been elected to the Republican Executive Committee of Palm Beach County, is the proud son of former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon Donald Black, the founder of Stormfront.org, the world's largest white supremacist online forum. Derek Black is listed as a radio commentator for Stormfront. In 2001, when he was 12, Derek Black created a Stormfront children's page that featured white supremacist sing-along lyrics and anti-Martin Luther King Jr. bedtime stories.
"I ran because I want to make an impact at the local level. Don't judge me by my family. Judge me by what I want to achieve," Derek Black told the Palm Beach Post. "Everyone in this country has the right to protect his group's interests. White people will soon be a minority."
As news of Black's background and views spread, Palm Beach GOP operatives began scrambling to find a way to prevent the budding white supremacist leader from assuming the post he'd won by a comfortable majority of votes. According to Sid Dinerstein, the Jewish chairman of the Republican Party of Palm Beach, Black is ineligible to serve because he failed to sign a loyalty oath to the Republican Party pledging to not engage in any activities harmful to the party. Signing the oath is a prerequisite to running for office, the GOP chairman said.
"Once we figured out who he was, we found that the guy wasn't really qualified because he hadn't signed the loyalty oath. He won't be seated in December because he's not qualified," said Dinerstein.
Derek Black vowed to challenge the legality of any attempt to unseat him.