Response to Kyle Bristow Regarding Lansing Neo-Nazi Event

Earlier this week, Kyle Bristow–former chair and current member of Michigan State University’s Young Americans for Freedom–cited seven alleged errors in Mediamouse.org’s reporting on his involvement in a talk by the Canadian neo-Nazi Paul Fromm.

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On Monday, Kyle Bristow, the former chair of Michigan State University’s (MSU) chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), posted a comment on the website YAF Watch in which he outlined seven alleged errors in an article that Mediamouse.org wrote about his involvement in a recent talk by Canadian neo-Nazi Paul Fromm in Lansing. Bristow, writing under the name “Godfrey de Bouillon” (a participant in the crusades whom Bristow appears to idolize as one who fought against Islam), wrote “That article on MediaMouse.org is based on lies.”

However, going through each of his points raises questions about the accuracy of Bristow’s statements and also offers an opportunity to provide useful information to our readers.

First, Bristow claimed that:

“1. The event was not cancelled. It was held at another location, which was the original intent once we found out that leftists would try to shut down the private event. The Cadillac Club was used only as a staging point.”

This may be a debate about semantics and word choice. The event, which was announced by Bristow back on March 9 as being at the Cadillac Club, was eventually cancelled due to pressure from Michigan Against White Supremacy. The original intent was to hold it at the Cadillac Club and it was always promoted as being there beforehand. The event may have been held elsewhere–indeed that we have heard reports that it was–but for all practical purposes the event as planned was cancelled.

“2. The claim that I [Bristow] planned the event because I told people about it via Facebook is asinine. Did I also plan the Michigan Republican Convention because I told people about that event via Facebook, too?”

Bristow was clearly involved in organizing the event–he did more than just send out messages via Facebook. He was scheduled to speak at the Paul Fromm event and he asks people who want to attend to email him at KyleBristow@gmail.com. Moreover, in the message posted below, it is worth noting that he says John Mangopoulos is “hosting” Jared Taylor, no such language is used for the Fromm event:

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On April 10, he again said that he was giving a presentation with Paul Fromm and posted details about expenses that seem to indicate knowledge of the expenses associated with the event:

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If Bristow really did not organize the event, he should tell us who did.

“3. The MSU-YAF contingent at the event was more than just Ogonowski and I. You would be surprised with the number of members we have gained since the Walid Shoebat event, which occurred without left-wing scum trying to shout the speaker down. Ever since we began to have our meetings off campus, where the leftists can’t track us, things have been going much better. Recruitment and funding are both through the roof.”

We only reported that Bristow and Ogonowski attended because that was the information we had via YAF Watch. The fact that he admits that more members of MSU-YAF attended makes a clear argument that MSU-YAF is indeed a “hate group” that is increasingly favoring racist ideologies.

“4. Evan Thomas, Evan Kuettner, or Evan Cutner (as maws.wordpress.com called him) is not a real person. He is as real as Santa Claus. The picture used on MediaMouse.org is of some guy with a cell phone whom I do not personally know, but did attend the Nick Griffin event.”

To be sure, we do not know if “Evan Thomas” is the real name of the person that Bristow references. We do know that it is the name most often used by a racist organizer who posts using the name “David Starr Jordan” on the white supremacist website Stormfront.org.” Evan Thomas has been a racist organizer since he was a teenager:

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Bristow is right that Evan Thomas attended the Nick Griffin speech, Mediamouse.org wrote about how he attended with other members of Stormfront.org. However, it is interesting that Bristow says he does not know him. In posts on Stormfront.org, one of the attendees said that they ate dinner with Nick Griffin and Evan Thomas following the lecture. Considering that Griffin left with Bristow, it seems reasonable to assume that Bristow was at this dinner if it happened:

“5. The event had nothing to do with racism, white supremacy, or any variation of what is called racialism. It was only about free speech, and believe it or not, liberal / Marxist college professors from UM and WMU were present for the event. Whites even made up a minority of the people in attendance for the speeches!”

The event had everything to do with racism. Paul Fromm is a neo-Nazi. While we cannot verify its accuracy, someone who posted a comment on Mediamouse.org from the Courtyard by Mariott Hotel in Lansing claiming that the speech happened said “Paul Fromm spoke a marvelous piece about the demographic changes threat to western civilization.” Based Fromm’s previous comments, “demographic changes” should be read as “immigration” by people of color which he opposes. It’s also intersting that “liberal / Marxist” individuals would be in attendence since Bristow specifically said that the event was being kept private to keep out leftists and the media.

“6. Nick Griffin is not a “fascist.” He is no different than Pat Buchanan, Tom Tancredo, Geert Wilders, or any other conservative with nationalistic leanings. A “fascist,” as defined by Mussolini, is someone who promotes corporatism. The true contemporary fascists are the ones who advocate for the warfare / welfare state (i.e., neoconservatives).”

Nick Griffin, and the British National Party (BNP) of which he is a part, is fascist. Bristow’s definition of fascism as simply “corporatism” is incredibly simplistic. Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fascism in a more nuanced manner as:

“a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”

Those who write about rightwing movements acknowledge that fascism is a complex ideology that borrows components from Marixsm, liberalism, and conservatism while simultaneously being hostile to all three. Writing for the Political Research Associates, Matthew Lyons describes fascism as:

“a form of extreme right-wing ideology that celebrates the nation or the race as an organic community transcending all other loyalties. It emphasizes a myth of national or racial rebirth after a period of decline or destruction. To this end, fascism calls for a “spiritual revolution” against signs of moral decay such as individualism and materialism, and seeks to purge “alien” forces and groups that threaten the organic community. Fascism tends to celebrate masculinity, youth, mystical unity, and the regenerative power of violence. Often, but not always, it promotes racial superiority doctrines, ethnic persecution, imperialist expansion, and genocide. At the same time, fascists may embrace a form of internationalism based on either racial or ideological solidarity across national boundaries. Usually fascism espouses open male supremacy, though sometimes it may also promote female solidarity and new opportunities for women of the privileged nation or race.”

To this end, both Nick Griffin and the party he leads (the BNP) are fascist. The founder of the party, John Tyndall, and Nick Griffin both got their start in fascist politics in the 1970s as part of the National Front. Searchlight Magazine describes the BNP’s ideology:

“The BNP’s racism is its most public expression of bigotry. However, what distinguishes the BNP as a fascist organisation is its fusion of nationalism, anti-communism, anti-rationality and crucially antisemitism and racism. The fact that its entire world view is refracted through the prism of antisemitism and race distinguishes it from all legitimate political parties. Yes, the other political parties have racists in them, they even pass racist immigration laws, but they don’t reduce everything to race. This was the Nazi contribution to European fascism – where race is all. This makes the BNP not only a fascist party but a nazi one.”

Nick Griffin has lead an effort to “mainstream” the BNP while at the same time the Party continues to refine its fascist ideology. While the language may be slightly toned down, it still campaigns on racist platforms and holds the same racist positions.

“7. Jared Taylor is not a “white supremacist.” He is married to a Jewish woman, and in his book “Paved With Good Intentions,” he ridiculed racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan by writing:

“A look beneath the white sheets of the Ku Klux Klan does not reveal college professors and bank presidents but high-school dropouts and gas station attendants. Is this minuscule band of losers supposed to be capable of oppressing an entire race? Are they the people who set the tone for America?””

Jared Taylor is a white supremacist. Mediamouse.org wrote at length about Taylor’s racism back in December of last year. While it is true that Taylor is not an anti-Semite, the fact that he is “married to a Jewish woman” does nothing to prove that he is not a white supremacist. Similarly, his rejection of the Ku Klux Klan does not prove that he is not a racist. Taylor and his American Renaissance newspaper use statistics–often selectively excerpted or cited–to try to “prove” differences between races. Taylor has also regularly spoken at events organized by white supremacists and has links to the larger white supremacist movement in the United States.

MSU Student Hate Group Bringing British National Party Leader Nick Griffin to Speak

On Friday, Michigan State University’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) is bringing Nick Griffin–a holocaust denier affiliated with the British Nationalist Party–to MSU. In response to Griffin’s visit and YAF’s history of bringing racist speakers to MSU, people are organizing against the speech.

photo of bnp member nick griffin

Michigan State University’s (MSU) chapter of Young Americans for Freedom–a student group that has been identified as “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center–is bringing Nick Griffin to speak at MSU on Friday. Griffin, who is the leader of the British National Party (http://www.stopthebnp.org.uk/), has a history of holocaust denial and opposition to Muslim immigration is visiting MSU’s campus as part of a fundraising tour. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

“Griffin, a well-known Holocaust denier and anti-Semite, has a long history of extremism reaching back into the late 1970s, when he was active in the racist British National Front. In 1998, he was convicted of incitement to racial hatred, a serious offense in Britain. Griffin is also a regular visitor to the U.S. and frequently speaks at extremist events here. A recent example came in February 2006, when he spoke at the biannual conference of the publisher of American Renaissance magazine, a hate group that argues that blacks are more “pathological” and less intelligent than whites. Griffin is also close to former Klan leader David Duke, at whose events he also often speaks. The BNP and Duke’s European Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) share the same Belgian webmaster.”

In response to Griffin’s appearance and the continuing sponsorship of racist and homophobic speakers by MSU’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom–the group has hosted anti-immigrant Representative Tom Tancredo, Chris Simcox of the Minutemen, Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, and Ryan Sorba–people are organizing in Lansing to oppose Griffin’s talk. The following call to action call to action has been posted on the Michigan Against White Supremacy website:

“Organize Against Nick Griffin

The hate group msu young americans for freedom (yaf) is bringing Nick Griffin of the British National Party to speak on the Michigan State University campus this friday october 26th. Griffin is a white supremacist, holocaust denier, homophobe and all around racist. Griffin has stated that Islam is a “wicked, vicious faith” and that Muslims were turning Britain into a “multi-racial hell hole”(1).

Griffin has called the Holocaust the “Holo-Hoax” and wrote that, I am well aware that orthodox opinion is that 6m Jews were gassed and cremated or turned into soup and lampshades… I have reached the conclusion that the “extermination” tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria.'(2)

So people are disgusted but the question is, what are we going to do about it? The University, time and again, refuses to do anything about the hate speech and bigotry that YAF pretends is part on an intellectual debate when the only thing their events do is make people feel less safe and intimidated. The time for begging the university for protection has passed. It is now up to the people, people like us to deal with white supremacists like Griffin and the people who bring him here.

Contact afdlansing@riseup.net for more information

(1)The BBC – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6137722.stm

(2)The Guardian – http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/

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A recent BNP function in Britain was effectively shut down by protestors who prevented members of the Party from entering the building where the meeting was being hosted.