By Sarah Viets, Southern Poverty Law Center– February 3rd, 2016
As white nationalists come out in droves to support Donald Trump, so much that the white nationalist group American Freedom Party paid thousands of dollars on robocallscalls in Iowa, another racist attempts to capitalize on Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric by running for office as a vice presidential candidate.
Billy Roper, neo-Nazi with Klan ties from Arkansas, recently announced his bid as an independent for the Free Nation Party (FNP), whose website has little information about its platform and origins.
While Roper will most likely lose, Donald Trump’s refusal to vehemently distance himself from the white nationalist community has inadvertently made it socially acceptable to engage in white supremacist rhetoric–so much so that even a former Klan member may believe that his racist campaign may have a chance.
Roper, a well-known figure in the white nationalist movement, isn’t new to politics, though. He attempted to run for governor of Arkansas under the Nationalist Party of America (NPA) ticket in 2010, a defunct, racist political party created to protect “every major issue of concern to White Citizens.” He also ran briefly as a presidential candidate in 2012, but ended up throwing his support behind fellow white nationalist and anti-Semite Merlin Miller, who was running on the American Freedom Party‘s platform (then called American Third Position, a white nationalist party founded in California).
During the 2010 campaign, Roper claimed in an interview, “that racial separation, ultimately, is the only way to stop interracial conflict and violence.” Roper also ran for president in 2012 while he was chairman of his defunct group White Revolution, an umbrella group that attempted to unite all racist activists dedicated to the “14 Words”, a phrase famously coined by David Lane a member of The Order, a white supremacist terrorist group responsible for the murder of Jewish talk-show host Alan Berg in 1984.