He’s getting closer.
In 2012, Edward Stephens, a reported member of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), did what more and more on the American right have been doing in recent years. He ran for office. He started small, running for a seat on the seven-member Park Hill School board in suburban Kansas City, Mo. He came in fifth — dead last — with 5% of the vote. A candidate who dropped out of the race before the election even got more votes than Stephens.
Undaunted, Stephens, 25, went after another seat on the board this spring and racked up 7.33% of the vote. He still came in fifth, but this time at least he beat out a candidate called “write-in votes.” Stephens received 712 votes and “write-in votes” got 41 in the April 2 election.
Stephens ran on a platform that included teaching “a pro-America agenda in our classrooms” and “removing materials that promote racial diversity” in a district that has become increasingly diverse in recent years. Students of color make up about 30% of the district, which is in Platte County, Mo.
The CCC’s newspaper, Citizens 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.
Voters were not kind to the right-wing, immigrant-bashing Rizoli twins of Framingham, Mass., either. Framingham, about 20 miles west of Boston, is a city of 67,000 residents, 20% of whom are Brazilian, representing the largest per capita Brazilian community of any municipality in the United States.
Yet political wannabes Jim and Joe Rizoli have spent years bashing Brazilian residents of Framingham, seemingly at every chance they get, including on their public-access cable television show, “Illegal Immigration Chat,” a twice-weekly hodgepodge of racist skits, man-on-the-street interviews and recycled Town Meeting footage.
“Framingham has been turned into a Brazilian slave camp,” Jim Rizoli, who is also a Holocaust denier, told reporters in 2006.
His brother Joe, the more belligerent of the pair, has repeatedly declared, “Framingham has been raped by Brazilians.”
On April 9, the twins lost their Town Meeting seats when four other candidates each earned between 54 and 65 votes “while Jim and Joe Rizoli collected 19 and 20 votes, respectively,” according to the Metro West Daily News.
“19 to 20 votes?” a reader wrote into the News’ website. “Who are they? This is Very Very scary that there are that many others like them in town.”
“I’m going to miss those cute little racists,” someone else wrote.
But someone identifying himself as Joe Rizoli also wrote in. “You ain’t seen nothing yet from the Rizoli’s. We’re just getting started.”