Digging Deeper: Examining the Constitution Party’s Racist Baggage

by Cody Quirk

Two years ago, political activist and former Youth Chairman of the Constitution Party, Joshua Fauver, released an article on Independent Political Report detailing some interesting, controversial links that the National Constitution Party (formerly called the U.S. Taxpayers Party before 1999) had with certain groups and individuals whom were outspoken about or involved with white supremacy and/or antisemitism. One of the mentioned groups was the Council of Conservative Citizens (the successor group of the old White Citizens Councils that existed during the Civil Rights era). Mr. Fauver ended up being criticized for his article because the links and evidence included seemed insubstantial and petty to some, since a portion of the evidence were mere screenshots of several racist Facebook posts made by members in one CP discussion forum that have either left or had been kicked out of it afterward and their posts deleted.

Yet, due to some of the legitimate links and evidence displayed in his article, and in response to political rumors and gossip; this article will re-examine what authentic evidence and links there are with the Constitution Party and any racially prejudiced groups out there, along with including additional evidence of such.

On the surface however, with what racial diversity there is in the CP; it not only appears inclusive and even tolerant, despite the notorious links with sectarianism and religious prejudice; but even some of the most religiously bigoted members of the CP, including former Wisconsin State Chairman Riley Hood (despite calling for Islam to be ‘outlawed’ and exterminated) -have fervently denounced racism, especially antisemitism, and speak of the nation of Israel in a positive light. The Idaho affiliate of the CP even refused to allow Edgar Steele, a white supremacist lawyer, to run for office under the CP banner in 2010, along with rejecting his attempt to get involved with their party.

However, when one closely examines that which is considered the ‘old guard’ leadership, or the founding fathers of the CP (Howard Phillips,William K. Shearer, etc.) -several notable and quite controversial links do pop up, and it’s not just about how in 1999 the U.S. Taxpayers Party renamed themselves after a segregationist minor party that existed briefly during in the 1950’s.

 

First, it was documented that Howard Phillip’s lobbyist group, The Conservative Caucus, included one Richard Shoff as an influential member and financial supporter of the TCC. However, Richard was also a former Grand Kilgrapp of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan and additionally a member of the Coalition for Freedom- which is a defunct political group that was ran by U.S. Senator Jesse Helms at the time. It also received funding from the Pioneer Fund (a racial eugenicist organization) in addition. The Conservative Caucus was also formerly involved with the United States Council for World Freedom (the U.S. Chapter of the World Anti-Communist League, presently called the ‘World League for Freedom and Democracy‘), which used to be rife with neo-Nazi, neo-fascist, and antisemitic individuals/elements during the early part of the 1980’s. That organization also included individuals linked to various political assassinations, death squads, and war crimes -until this organization was forced to purge most of these elements due to pressure from the Anti-Defamation League.

Indeed, while such links with the foundations of the Constitution Party are not direct nor closely tied with the party itself -there are still other links, including ones in the field of journalism, which the CP and its state affiliates occasionally quote, and even feature full-length articles-of which get portrayed likewise in a positive light with the American Free Press; a nationalistic, anti-Zionist newspaper founded by Willis Carto, whom is a well known, influential white supremacist that formerly headed the antisemitic and now defunct Liberty Lobby and was involved in several other related organizations, as well as being on friendly terms with Howard Phillips.

In addition, the AFP formerly ran editorials by Joseph Sobran, a columnist and writer that worked for the National Review magazine until he was fired in 1993 because of various articles of his that were perceived as antisemitic and anti-Zionist. Mr. Sobran was also involved with historian David Irving and the Institute for Historical Review; another organization founded also by Carto that is known for promoting views and materials that deny the established facts and evidence of the Jewish Holocaust.


“The prevalent Jewish myth today is not the founding myth of Abraham or Moses on Sinai, but the story of Jewish persecution. In our time the Jews are defined less by ancestry than by “anti-Semitism,” which is cited for many purposes, including the legitimation of the state of Israel. Most Zionists no longer claim that God gave the Holy Land to the Jews; instead they contend that the Jewish state is necessary as a haven for world Jewry…”
-Joseph Sobran, The Church and Jewish Ideology

Until his death from diabetes in 2010, he continued to write various articles and gave speeches on Jews, Jewish influence, and other topics, along with having spoken at many conferences organized by IHR and the white nationalist group- American Renaissance. However what makes Mr. Sobran significant in this article is not only his support of Howard Phillips and his political party, but the fact that he was both a delegate to their 1999 national convention in St. Louis, Missouri and nearly ended up as Phillip’s running mate in the 2000 presidential elections. However, he had to withdraw at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts with his journalistic commitments. Nevertheless, Mr. Sobran and his articles have been praised and featured by the CP and even on the blogs/websites of particular members and officers of the party too.

“…Why on earth is it “anti-Jewish” to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not, in fact, intent on racial extermination? Surely these are controversial conclusions; but if so, let the controversy rage. There is no danger in permitting it to proceed. It might be different if denying the Holocaust could somehow affect the course of events, as the denial of Stalin’s crimes by the New York Times in the 1930s helped him to continue committing them. Why is the Institute for Historical Review notorious, while the Times, despite its active support of Stalin at the height of his power, remains a pillar of respectability? The Holocaust has never been a consuming interest of mine. But as I read the Journal of Historical Review over the years, I found in it the same calm virtue of critical rationality I’d found in Mark himself. And it was applied to many other subjects besides the question of whether Hitler had tried to exterminate the Jews…”
-Joseph Sobran, For fear of the Jews

…To read more, click here.

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