What Shall We Call VDare Founder Peter Brimelow, If Not A White Nationalist?
Peter Brimelow, the founder of the anti-immigrant hate site VDARE.com, is suing The New York Times for $5 million, claiming that they libeled him by calling him an "open white nationalist" in an article about Congressman Steve King's history of racism published last year.
According to the suit filed Thursday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, after Brimelow wrote a letter complaining about the characterization, the paper performed a "stealth edit," changing "open white nationalist" to simply "white nationalist." The paper then hyperlinked the phrase "white nationalist" to the Southern Poverty Law Center on Brimelow, citing many of the obscenely racist things he has said in his time.
Brimelow's issue with this is threefold. He doesn't like the Southern Poverty Law Center; The Times refused to print his letters "challenging" the initial description; and he would prefer to be called a "civic nationalist" on account of how he thinks that sounds better.
"We stand by the story and will vigorously defend," Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Politico.
As Wonkette cannot afford a $5 million lawsuit, we shall instead tell you a few things about Peter Brimelow and the things he has written and said, and allow you to make your own decision on what he ought to be called.
Peter Brimelow is an immigrant. He was born in England and later immigrated to the United States of America, where he became one of the leading voices against immigration. He, a person who immigrated to the United States after 1965, wrote a book titled Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, criticizing the US's immigration policy after 1965.
Here is a summary of some of the thoughts and ideas contained in that book and in Brimelow's other writings, as per the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Brimelow described the role of race as "elemental, absolute, fundamental." He said that white Americans should demand that U.S. immigration quotas be changed to allow in mostly whites. He argued that spending tax dollars on anything related to multiculturalism was "subversive." He called foreign immigrants "weird aliens with dubious habits." At one point, he wrote that if one enters an Immigration and Naturalization Service waiting room, just like walking into a New York City subway, "you find yourself in an underworld that is not just teeming but also almost entirely colored." By 1997, Brimelow was warning that by 2008 the GOP would no longer be able to compete in presidential elections because the racial makeup of the electorate would be changed by non-white immigration.
After publishing Alien Nation, Brimelow founded VDARE — named for Virginia Dare, the first white English child born in the United States — an anti-immigration website that frequently publishes the work of noted white supremacists like Jared Taylor and Kevin McDonald (the racist, not the Kid In The Hall).
Every year on Martin Luther King Day, Peter Brimelow publishes an essay condemning Martin Luther King Day and claiming the country will regret it when the FBI's files are released and it is discovered that he was a communist sympathizer all along and only opposed the Vietnam War because of his "foreign sympathies." Not, you know, because all of those poor kids being forced off to a foreign land to die for pretty much no reason was horrifying to anyone with an ounce of sense and compassion.
This essay includes a paragraph wherein he complains that Martin Luther King Day did not shut black people up for good and instead led to his poor son having to learn not only about segregation, but that it was bad for policemen to call adult black men "boy." And in the Connecticut "whitopia" where they lived.
Many Americans unquestionably thought that, if they just made this one symbolic concession of accepting Martin Luther King Day, they would then be left alone. (They probably think the same about homosexual "marriage.") But it hasn't worked out that way. Martin Luther King Day has simply become a staging area for the inculcation of more white guilt, above all in the classroom.
Thus when my son Alexander was eight, he came home from public school early in January and told us that he'd been in some kind of play to dramatize an African American being turned away from a restaurant in the bad old days of the segregated South. In honor of Martin Luther King Day. Sort of like a Christmas Pageant. (Remember Christmas Pageants?)
The Connecticut Berkshires, where we lived, are a whitopia with absolutely no history of segregation whatsoever. Alexander was deeply puzzled. He was particularly impressed by the news that it was bad for policemen to use the word "boy."
In 2017, at the American Renaissance Convention — organized by avowed white supremacist Jared Taylor — Brimelow claimed that Donald Trump was right and that "Hispanics do specialize in rape":
There's ethnic specialization in crime. And Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children. They're very prone to it, compared to other groups.
If there is ethnic specialization in crime, then why do I still have no idea what racketeering is, hmmm?
Brimelow has claimed that "white America" being "the core of American identity" is a historical fact.
Of course, none of us "argue" that "white America" is "the core of American identity"—we assert it, because it is a historical fact. Every single one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, was white (and, incidentally, overwhelmingly Protestant).
Brimelow has openly questioned whether or not "Jews" (or Catholics!) should have been allowed to immigrate to America, citing their current support for not being terrible to immigrants.
In 2017, he wrote a brief post on VDARE congratulating neo-Nazi Richard Spencer on forcing forcing Auburn University to let him speak, noting that while he listened to Spencer speak, he wrote the following missive to a friend:
But the fact is that he's introduced more people to the idea of immigration restriction than all the rest of us put together. And he's just forced Auburn to let him speak there, something that Milo, and Murray, and Mac Donald (and for that matter me) all failed to do.
Here is an image of the most used tags on Brimelow's VDARE site. You will note that the "Diversity is Strength" tag is used ironically:
In a 2016 New York Times article about the rise of Steve Bannon, a man who unapologetically calls himself a white nationalist, Professor Eric Kaufmann of Birkbeck University in London defined the term:
"[T]he belief that national identity should be built around white ethnicity, and that white people should therefore maintain both a demographic majority and dominance of the nation's culture and public life.
It's become a bit of a game, as of late, for the sort of people who say and believe the sorts of things that Brimelow says and believes to demand that they be characterized as they wish to be characterized and not as they are. Racists want to be called "race realists." "White supremacists" want to be called "white nationalists" and "white nationalists" want to be called "civic nationalists." Some of them want to be called "identitarians." Many like to follow the David Duke line of "I don't hate people of other races, I just really love white people" while still constantly talking about how much they hate people of other races. But they're all pretty much the same thing and the reason why no one wants to play their stupid rhetorical games or adhere to their self-characterizations is because doing so gives credence to what are, ultimately, just a bunch of incredibly stupid and hateful beliefs.
Peter Brimelow can call himself whatever he likes. He can call himself a civic nationalist or a shoe, or a timepiece, or a box of hair, or the Atlantic Ocean. However, if he insists upon saying all of the exact same things that people who do call themselves white nationalists say, and frequently publishing the work of people who call themselves white nationalists and white supremacists, no one is going to care about what he would prefer to be called.
But again, Wonkette cannot afford a $5 million lawsuit, so you're gonna have to make up your own mind.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse