Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Or perhaps descended is a better word.
Psychology professor Kevin MacDonald, a once-respectable instructor at California State University, Long Beach, who once may have inspired students to pursue the honorable path of examining and improving the human condition, now celebrates the imagined deaths of his enemies, including those of myself and a colleague.
MacDonald has been headed for the gutter for more than a decade already. But his story, never a pretty one to begin with, has recently gotten even uglier.
Starting with his starring role in 2000 as the sole character witness for “historian” David Irving in the infamous London libel trial over Irving’s Holocaust denial, MacDonald has been on a tear, lending whatever credibility his Ph.D. may give him to anti-Semites, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists. His appeal to that unsavory crowd was based on a trilogy he wrote earlier — A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994), Separation and its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998) — that asserted that Jews are genetically driven to undermine the white host societies in which they live. By 2010, he had gone even further, became a founding board member of the racist political party American Third Position (since renamed the American Freedom Party).
Given that sorry track record, it may seem impossible to get much worse. But the California professor has now begun to outdo even his own earlier performances.
In recent months, MacDonald has signed on as a co-host for ex-Klan chief David Duke’s radio program. Riffing about “Zionist gun-grabbers,” “Jewish hypocrisy” and the like, MacDonald now works directly with a major anti-Semite who once paraded about in a Nazi uniform and who spent time in prison after pleading guilty to ripping off his supporters. At the same time, MacDonald is making new friends in even lower places. A picture taken in February 2012 shows him cavorting with racist skinheads at a rally protesting the “genocide” of whites in South Africa.
What’s most remarkable, however, is MacDonald’s apparent endorsement of at least imagined violence against his enemies. This drift from scholarly professor to bloodthirsty militant seemed to begin in 2010, when MacDonald wrote a blurb for White Apocalypse, a novel penned by then-budding racist Kyle Bristow. The book’s plot revolves around a series of violent revenge fantasies against Jewish professors, Latino and Native American activists, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Most horrifyingly, the book includes a graphic scene in which a character clearly based on my colleague, Mark Potok, is gunned down. The Potok character — named David Greenberg and described by Bristow as an “oily, curly haired troll” who is the spokesman for an anti-racist group remarkably like the Center — has just finished delivering testimony in a federal courthouse when he is assassinated. As Greenberg stands outside the building, the novel’s hero, a kind of one-man militia named Jack Schoenherr (which translates from the German, roughly, as “Mr. Handsome”), fires an AR-15 at Greenberg from a nearby roof. A character based on me and named “Beirman” (such a long way from Beirich, eh?) witnesses the gory murder, richly detailed in Bristow’s celebratory writing, and is left splattered with blood.
In a back-cover blurb, MacDonald calls Bristow’s juvenile tribute to murder “an emotionally compelling account of Whites as historical victims of non-Whites — just the sort of thing we need to motivate a renaissance among our people.”
Really, professor? Shooting people is how you motivate people?
And now there’s more. In early June, MacDonald again glorified violence against anti-racists by posting a piece on his Occidental Quarterly Web page entitled, “When Heidi Went To Heaven.” Labeled as satire, the rather long and meandering post describes me being blown up by a cheaply made IED. MacDonald’s website lauds the piece for “pulling our foes with their noses through the mud.”
Needless to say, I don’t really go to heaven.
The piece posted by MacDonald is bylined by one “Michael Colhaze,” who originally posted it on his own personal blog page. That page was long registered to Manfred von Pentz, who apparently is now located somewhere in the former Soviet Union. Von Pentz appears to be a German national, artist and a Holocaust denier who lived for some time in both France and Italy. He is also the publisher of a book by Colhaze, Thus Wow! Says I, and the author of a well-reviewed 1992 book of poetry, Canto Moreno, which looks at the world through his son’s eyes.
Colhaze, who was the only one to reply to E-mails sent to accounts in both men’s names, told Hatewatch that von Pentz was his “front,” whatever that means. Colhaze further informed me that von Pentz is moving to Spain, where he will be out of reach of Holocaust denial laws. Colhaze calls the genocide a “favorite tale.”
MacDonald’s growing extremism and indirect lauding of violence seems to leave his university bosses, who have long been embarrassed by their tenured colleague, in an uncomfortable spot. In an E-mail to the SPLC, Psychology Department Chair Ken Green wrote: “The activities that you cite are disheartening. But because they are performed outside the university I am advised that we have no legal recourse. These off-campus activities are contrary to the inclusive values of the Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and CSULB. We do not support them.”
Still, it’s a little hard to believe that this man regularly stands in front of a classroom filled with students of a wide variety of faiths, races and social backgrounds and instructs them on evolutionary psychology, the psychology of child and adolescent development, and social and personality development. Perhaps he should be the one taking the class on personality development. Clearly, in that department, Kevin MacDonald has some serious work to do.