Racist activist Jamie Kelso announced this past Friday that long-time professor Virginia Abernethy has joined the board of the white nationalist American Third Position (ATP) political party. Established in 2009, the ATP was originally created by racist Southern California skinheads and is now led by a man who once sought to deport any American with an “ascertainable trace of Negro blood.” Its chief aim, ATP says, is to “return our nation to its rightful owners” — that is, white people — and by “liberating” it from the “banksters,” a radical-right term meaning Jews.
Abernethy, a self-described “white separatist” and emeritus professor of psychiatry and anthropology at Vanderbilt Medical School, has a long history of working with racist groups. At one time, Abernethy was on the editorial advisory board of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a racist hate group that describes black people as “a retrograde species of humanity.” But her addition to the board of ATP, with its open racism and anti-Semitism, is a further step to the extreme right.
With the addition of Abernethy, the ATP board is now populated by the top tier of American white nationalists. The chairman of the group is corporate lawyer William D. Johnson, and board members include virulent anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald — an academic like Abernethy — and white nationalist radio host James Edwards. Kelso, who for years ran former Klansman David Duke’s website and also helped moderate the white nationalist Stormfront.org, is the chief organizer for the party.
Abernethy has grown increasingly extreme in her views over the last decade. But even in 2002, she was a white nationalist, telling the Southern Poverty Law Center, “What is the point of a society that pushes [racial] mixing?” She added, “Our society pushes mixing. I think this is probably not a good thing for the society.”
Abernethy, who is also a leading nativist, has had some success in the past pushing her anti-immigrant agenda. In 2004, she was the chief spokeswoman of Protect Arizona Now, a campaign that backed a harsh anti-immigrant referendum known as Proposition 200 in that state. Though her racist background became public before the vote and helped spur the proposition’s denunciation by almost every Arizona newspaper editorial board, the referendum still passed with 56% of the vote.
Abernethy has some other interesting connections. She has held leadership positions in two organizations that claim to work toward a reduction in U.S. population as part of an effort to protect the environment. Though Carrying Capacity Network and Population-Environment Balance portray themselves as pro-environment, both are really greenwashers — groups that use environmentalism as a smokescreen to severely restrict immigration to the U.S.
Partly because of the addition of Abernethy to ATP’s board, the party has become the most serious white nationalist organization in the U.S. It is also growing quickly. In 2010, the party had 10 chapters in nine states.