This past Thursday, MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show gave The National Policy Institute invaluable screen time. If I don't say so myself, our video came off quite well.
Maddow's technique was nothing more than point and sputter. The spot only makes sense if you are morally outraged by even the inkling of European nationalism (They're, like, White people. . . and they're . . . [gasp] . . . standing up for their interests!!!) Otherwise, the clip is a fair depiction of NPI's stated goals. Many will find it attractive. (The spot is marred only by a stupid insinuation that because my friend James Edwards shaves his head, he must be a "skinhead.")
What does bother me greatly—what makes me nauseated, in fact—are two matters.
First and most important, I am being used as a means of harming the career of a good man and reputable scholar, Jason Richwine.
Richwine and I have only met briefly; we haven't collaborated on anything beyond the one article I commissioned for AltRight three years ago. I don't influence Jason or his work; we, no doubt, don't agree on everything. Put simply, Jason should be judged on his words, not some tenuous connection he might have with me.
Secondly, I am appalled by the guilt-by-association tactics used to connect Richwine with opinions putatively expressed at AlternativeRight.com—and, in turn, the completely fraudulent depiction of the opinions in these articles.
First off, a timeline is in order.
In March of 2010, I founded AltRight as an independent project; I was the editor up until March of 2012. At the time, I was overwhelmed with different projects; something had to give, and I decided to dedicate my energies to NPI and Washington Summit Publishers. I wrote an open resignation letter about this a year ago. Put simply, for more than a year I have had no editorial input.
In her hit piece, Maddow quotes from an article by Colin Liddell from January 27, 2013. To associate Richwine—via me—with a piece written and published by a subsequent editor is beyond unfair.
Secondly, the piece in question was depicted as some kind of pro-Nazi screed that indulges in death and gore etc. Any fair-minded reading of it reveals that this is simply not case. Colin's argument is about the use of the Holocaust in pro-Israeli propaganda and its failure as a universal symbol of remembrance. I suggest that Maddow actually read the piece (no doubt, for the first time.)
Of course, Colin was inviting misunderstanding through his choice of headline, image, and opener . . . Indeed, in my opinion, Colin frequently goes over the top, and his headlines distract from his arguments (instead of reinforcing them). But at the end of the day, Colin should take responsibility for any excess; it has absolutely nothing to do with Richwine (or me, for that matter.)
For some reason, Maddow's staff also decided to pick out a short blog I wrote, "The Meaning of Condi." I have no idea why this mediocre piece was selected. If Maddow's staff was searching for choice quotes to take out of context, they could have found much better fodder elsewhere!
Anyway, Maddow makes it seem as if in the blog I'm expressing my bigoted rage at the idea of a Black women being nominated for Vice President and that the GOP is becoming the party of "piñatas, burritos, and 'Forget the Alamo'.”
Yet, this is actually close to being the opposite of what I argue. My argument is that the GOP is not a multicultrual party; it remains the White People's Party, and its "outreach" is based on assuaging White guilt, not actually becoming racially diverse. There is simply no way that the blog could be construed otherwise.
So, what should we make of all this?
There's an old adages about there being "no such thing as bad publicity" . . . and it holds a kernel of truth. I stand behind everything said in NPI's introductory video, and I am thus delighted that it was screened on national television. I also believe that Maddow's hit piece will bring new attention to NPI and our mission.
Still, on a moral level, there is such a thing as bad publicity. I remain appalled that Richwine and myself have been associated with things we did not say—indeed, things that were not said.