A slightly different version of this post was published earlier today at Comment is Free.
Earlier this afternoon, an 88 year old white supremacist, James W. von Brunn, stepped through the doors of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and lowered his gun at a security guard and opened fire. Stephen T. Johns, an African-American who had worked for the museum for six years, fell fatally wounded. Other security guards returned fire and critically wounded the shooter, who is now in a hospital.
von Brunn, is a hard-core hater of Jews and African-Americans. He also denies the Holocaust and spent six years in federal prison in the 1980s when he entered the Federal Reserve offices armed with the intent of kidnapping board members, holding them hostage, and charging them with treason. At his trial, he explained that his goal was to deport Jews and blacks from “all white nations.”
Here is von Brunn’s biography as presented at his own site (yes, of course a homocidal racist has his own website!), Holy Western Empire:
James W. von Brunn holds a BachSci Journalism degree from a mid-Western university where he was president of SAE and played varsity football.
During WWII he served as PT-Boat captain, Lt. USNR, receiving a Commendation and four battle stars. For twenty years he was an advertising executive and film-producer in New York City. He is a member of Mensa, the high-IQ society.
In 1981 Von Brunn attempted to place the treasonous Federal Reserve Board of Governors under legal, non-violent, citizens arrest. He was tried in a Washington, D.C. Superior Court; convicted by a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for eleven years by a Jew judge. A Jew/Negro/White Court of Appeals denied his appeal. He served 6.5 years in federal prison. (Read about von Brunn’s “Federal Reserve Caper” HERE.) He is now an artist and author and lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
And yes, of course, the murderer has written his own book, Kill the Best Gentiles, though I doubt you’ll find it offered via Amazon or Barnes & Noble. TPM Cafe offers the first six chapters of his book in case you want to explore the mind of an aging racist killer.
The Washington Post offers this short reflection of an aggrieved psychopathic mind:
“Over my years of adversity, it became clear to me that a JEW strategy had emerged: ‘Kill the Best Gentiles!’ The tactics were WAR & DEBT . . . I was chased from one job to another for not genuflecting before God’s Chosen.”
Another Post article interviews another white supremacist acquaintance of the killer who adds some interesting background to the latter’s political beliefs:
Von Brunn sometimes spoke of having fought for the wrong side in World War II, Blodgett said, and the two men sometimes attended meetings in Arlington County of the American Friends of the British National Party, which raised funds for the British white supremacist group.
This ADL profile notes a chilling foreshadowing of his attack on the Holocaust Museum:
To Von Brunn, the Holocaust was another Jewish sleight-of-hand; in 2004, he wrote to an Australian Holocaust denial e-mail list that it was “time to FLUSH all ‘Holocaust’ Memorials…” Von Brunn was fond of repeating the mantra “Hitler’s Worst Mistake: He Didn’t Gas the Jews.”
His ex-wife divorced him 30 years ago when she could no longer stand his extremist rantings. She adds that he once boasted he would “go out with his boots on.”
One of the murderer’s other white supremacist friends added this piece of unintentional and black “humor:”
De Nugent…described the shooting as the act of “a loner and a hothead.”
“The responsible white separatist community condemns this,” he said. “It makes us look bad.”
Gee, d’ya think?
We know how the usual suspects among the Jewish leadership will line up on this. Instead of describing this incident as the lone act of a desperate, mentally unstable creature who sought, like Slim Pickens character at the end of Dr. Strangelove, to go out in a blaze of racist glory–they will seek to parlay this incident into a much wider anti-Semitic conspiracy. People like Abe Foxman live for tragedies like this. You wait. Tomorrow or the next day he’ll be holding a press conference with the security guard’s wife telling the world that African-Americans and Jews must make common cause against the vast anti-Semitic conspiracy. If he’s really feeling his oats that day he might even work in a reference to an evil Iranian president who denies the Holocaust as well. Mark my words, it’s coming.
The lesson I draw from all of this is remembering the lost opportunity that 9/11 presented for this country. Instead of embracing our common humanity and uniting to combat Islamist extremism and the reasons it thrived, we raced for the bottom and the lowest common denominator. We became an inflamed people and allowed the tragedy to reinforce our worst impulses. Hysteria replaced due deliberation and careful consideration of what our response to the attack should be. Out of this came not just the U.S. attack against Afghanistan (an arguably reasonable response) and the toppling of Saddam Hussein (not).
Let’s not do that now. Let’s acknowledge the danger that white supremacists and all violent forms of racism pose for our society (not just Jews). Let’s join with groups like CAIR, which denounced the shooting, to make common cause to fight this hatred. Let’s not, as groups like the ADL would have it, retreat into our shell and cry the victim. Some American Jews and especially their leaders will learn precisely the wrong lessons from the Holocaust Museum attack. They will lapse into “I told you so” mode, warning the world that this is what happens when you don’t fight Islamist terror or Iranian Holocaust denial.
Before crying too many tears in our beer, let’s remember the racists among us as well: Jews like Baruch Goldstein willing to take up arms against their alleged enemies, and Jews drunkenly spewing their verbal hate in videos.
Instead of playing the victim card, let’s tell the world that we can turn this tragedy into an opportunity to embrace love and tolerance. Imagine the symbolic power of an African-American man giving his life to protect a Holocaust Museum. Some time ago, I wrote about a Jew being attacked by a French soccer mob whose life was saved by a black policeman. This is what we should emphasize. Our interdependence, our solidarity.