Small protests against the “genocide” of white South Africans took place in 11 states Monday, drawing a smattering of media accounts that noted that some leftist counter-protesters accused the demonstrators of being white supremacists.
But the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee quoted Michael Myers, a coordinator for the South Africa Project (SAP) from Oakland, Calif., denying that SAP was racist and complaining that “when a white person tries to stick up for an issue based on race, they’re automatically labeled racist, neo-Nazi Klan members.” The Bee did note that the SAP page later “chided ‘those of you who call yourselves White Nationalists’ who didn’t participate,” but did not further explore the nature of the group beyond noting one marcher's anti-Semitic comment. The Associated Press also reported that counter-protesters accused SAP of being white supremacist, but, like the Bee, did not report any further on the allegation.
They might have dug a little deeper. The first quote on the SAP website comes from Morris L. Gulett —an infamous neo-Nazi leader and key Aryan Nations official who has served prison terms for assaulting a police officer and for conspiracy to rob banks. A few inches below that is a video of David Duke, the neo-Nazi and former Klan leader, bemoaning the fate of whites in post-apartheid South Africa. The page rails on about the “GENOCIDE of our race” and, a little farther down, proposes a solution for the killings by “racist blacks.” “Why, oh why are we not avenging these deaths? Why are we letting the bastards get away with this?” it asks. “The killing is only going to stop if we hit back and make a few examples out of them.”
SAP says it held rallies Monday in Little Rock, Ark., Los Angeles and Sacramento, Calif., Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Philadelphia, Nashville, Tenn., and Spokane, Wash. Photos on its website show groups of up to about 30 people in most of those locations — images of dozens of men with shaved heads, many sporting tattoos and symbols like the triskelion, used by neo-Nazi groups around the world. One photo caption notes that the Arkansas SAP protest was led by Billy Roper, who once led the neo-Nazi White Revolution group.
The protests might not even have gotten the attention they did were it not for counter-protesters in Sacramento, who pelted SAP protesters and police with objects, resulting in two officers being injured and three counter-protesters being arrested. The counter-protesters who were arrested, according to the AP and the Bee, were members of the left-wing populist Occupy Oakland movement.
The South Africa Project shares a Louisiana mailing address with the current “world headquarters” of Aryan Nations, a tiny remnant of a once-important group that is headed by Gulett. Gulett was a lieutenant in Aryan Nations chapter led by the late Ray Redfeairn, the incredibly violent Ohio state leader whose chief claim to fame in the movement was his near-fatal shooting of a police officer. In 2002, after a Southern Poverty Law Center suit bankrupted Aryan Nations, Gulett and Redfeairn founded the Church of the Sons of Yhvh, a group that explicitly supports "white racial supremacy" and the creation of violent "warriors for God."
Gulett has a serious history with the law. In 1997, he was convicted of assault on a law enforcement officer after he rammed his vehicle into a police cruiser during a high-speed chase. And, in 2005, he pleaded guilty to various conspiracy charges in an armed bank robbery plot. He was sentenced in 2006 to 72 months in prison and only released last September. Most recently, Gulett has been in the news because he recently returned to Louisiana (Gulett is originally from Monroe) where he plans to open a "world Aryan headquarters" in Converse. Local community leaders and residents have not been supportive of his efforts, but in a statement released to the press, Gulett said that he is going ahead: "I or Aryan Nations will not be run off or discouraged by the Jews, Negros, Queers, Mestizos or Mulattoes of the diversity cult,” he said. “As I said of this once great Christian Republic in the interview, diversity is NOT our greatest strength, but our greatest weakness."
While the South Africa Project is not a pleasant organization, it is true that violence has long been a problem in South Africa. But that violence began among whites.
Between 1948 and 1994, the apartheid government forcibly resettled millions of black people to maintain racial separation, ensured that black citizens would live in poverty, and regularly assassinated and tortured to death its political opponents. Government officials poisoned and bombed their enemies and encouraged strife in other African countries. The post-apartheid Human Rights Commission found that some 21,000 deaths were the result of political violence under apartheid.
Since 1994, some 3,000 white farmers have been killed, according to a 2010 BBC article, although in 2009 The Economist put the figure at 1,650 since 1991. The magazine reported that the primary motive of the killings was robbery, not racial hatred or any attempt to carry out an anti-white “genocide.” In 2001, Human Rights Watch released a report about the violence in South African farmlands that reported that post-apartheid violence toward black farm workers from employers and law enforcement and government officials was widespread, as well, but less likely to be investigated. The report noted, like The Economist, that common criminality like robbery seemed to be the primary motive in the killings of white farmers.
In his comments to the Bee, Michael Myers’ whiney lament was typical, suggesting that anyone who stands up for whites would be called a racist, a neo-Nazi or a Klan member. In the case of the Monday protests orchestrated by Myers, Gulett and their co-religionists, at least, such a characterization would be entirely accurate.