Hatewatch

Longtime White Supremacist to Serve on Penn. County GOP Committee

Steve Smith, a longtime racist activist with a history of violence and top-level ties to numerous white nationalist hate groups, has been elected to a 4-year term on the Republican Party’s county committee for Luzerne County, Penn., One People’s Project reports.

Recruited into the neo-Nazi movement while he was stationed at Fort Bragg in the 1990s, Smith, of Pittston, Penn., has been active in an extraordinary array of white nationalist, skinhead, and neo-Nazi groups, including American Third Position, Keystone United (formerly Keystone State Skinheads), and the Council of Conservative Citizens. He is a former Aryan Nations member and former leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, which was created by former Klan leader David Duke but is no longer associated with him. Smith also belongs to a Pennsylvania-based group called the European American Action Coalition (EAAC), which according to its website was formed in fall 2011 “by a few well known White activists in the great and historic state of Pennsylvania.”

In a January letter published in the Wilkes-Barr Times Leader, Smith wrote, “Many experts predict that, if current trends continue, whites will be a minority in the United States by 2050; some predict it can happen sooner. If this prediction comes true, it will be catastrophic to our country and well-being. The European American Action Coalition is committed to reversing this anti-white trend. The coalition is an organization dedicated to educating, advancing and defending our culture, rights and heritage.”

Smith’s ties to the racist right stretch far beyond the political. In 2001, he co-founded a racist skinhead group now known as Keystone United (which was until 2009 known as the Keystone State Skinheads, or KSS), one of the largest and most active single-state racist skinhead crews in the country. In March 2003, he and two other KSS members were arrested in Scranton for beating up Antoni Williams, a black man, using stones and chunks of pavement. Smith pleaded guilty to terrorist threats and ethnic intimidation and received a 60-day sentence and probation.

To advance his goals, Smith has distanced himself somewhat from his violent past and focused on political activism. As state chairman for American Third Position (A3P), a white nationalist political party that aims to deport immigrants and return the United States to white rule, he has for several years been working the crowds at local Tea Party gatherings, which he once described as “fertile grounds for our activists.”

In October 2010, he led a delegation of A3P activists in presenting the party’s position to a Scranton Tea Party group. “We explained that the A3P was formed to represent white Americans, who have been denied representation for decades,” he said in a press release on A3P’s website. “We provided them with a true alternative to the typical dead-end conservatism with which so many of these concerned and partially awakened Americans are involved.”

Also in 2010, Smith was the center of a major flap within the anti-immigrant movement, when William Gheen, head of the nativist extremist Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), pulled out of a series of rallies celebrating Arizona’s then-new anti-immigrant law because their organizer was a friend of Smith’s. At the time, Smith’s Facebook page indicated he was a fan of a Swedish white nationalist singer named Saga, whose ditties have included “Goodbye, David Lane.” Lane, a convicted terrorist who died in 2007 while serving a 190-year prison sentence for conspiracy, racketeering and his role in the assassination of Jewish talk show host Alan Berg, remains one of the most revered figures in the white nationalist movement. He came up with the famous “14 Words” slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.”

Smith announced his election to the Luzerne County GOP committee six days ago on news forum called White News Now. The news was greeted with enthusiasm by members, one of whom commented, “This may seem like just a small step now, but this is how we are taking our nation back and it's how we will secure a future for our people. Everyone needs to look to Steve's example. He's a true patriot!”

As a committee member, he will have a say in the selection of the Luzerne GOP’s County Chairman and Executive Committee, who, according to the party’s website, “oversee and direct all of the activity of the Republican Party in the County.” Luzerne County GOP officials did not respond to a request for comment on Smith election in time for publication.