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.
Contextualizing this politicially began immediately in Israel. The usually reasonable Haaretz, in its lead cover story during the day yestrtday used a quote from a college student who was visiting the museum as the time of that attack. The headline read: “No-one is surprised that this happened here.”
This comes right from the heart of Zionist paranoia and speaks to Israeli notions about Jewish life abroad. The logic goes: only in Israel (!) can a Jew be safe. Out there in the diaspora, the next anti-semitic progrom, or worse, is only a matter of time.
(I just checked again and the paper has since changed itsheadline. The Ohio student’s extended quote is still in the article.)
Ariel Sokolovsky http://www.bostonchabad.com says
This is one of the few posts on your blog I can almost totally agree with.
Especially the conclusion is very much in line with the Rebbe’s words to mayor Dinkins:
The Melting Pot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-etVw9PZUs
RE: “…an aggrieved psychopathic mind…”
MY COMMENT: An apt description! I wonder if he has been like that over his entire adult life. Apparently he has been for at least the last thirty years or so. This creature should have been committed long ago. Did they treat him for mental illness when he was in prison?
RE: “Contextualizing this politicially began immediately in Israel.”
SEE ALSO: “So What if Holocaust Museum Shooter is White Christian…”, by Debbie Schlussel, 06/10/09
(EXCERPT) Much is being made by Muslims and their many defenders on the left–and the ignoramus “conservatives” at Hot Air (who lecture us that hate has no ideological bounds, which I already learned not from those clueless ones, but from Sarah Palin e-mails wishing me cancer)–that the shooter of several people (one now dead) at the U.S. Holocaust Museum is not a Muslim but a White guy, James W. Von Brunn, who is a neo-Nazi.
But that is a distinction without a difference. In fact, it is because of Muslims–who are the biggest contributor to the worldwide rise in anti-Semitism to Holocaust-eve levels–that neo-Nazis feel comfortable–far more comfortable!–manifesting their views about Jews. Until 9/11 and our resulting new tolerance for Islam, the neo-Nazi types were marginalized and howling at the wind. We know who has been targeting Jewish museums and centers affiliated with Jews in recent years. And it hasn’t been, in general, 89-year-old White guys….
ENTIRE POST – http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2009/06/so_what_if_holo.html
RE: “So What if Holocaust Museum Shooter is White Christian…”, by Debbie Schlusse
SEE: “The Stupidest Thing Said So Far About Von Brunn”, by Jeffrey Goldberg, 06/10/09
(EXCERPT)…Maybe this was meant to be a parody, I don’t know. I’ve never read Debbie Schlussel before. But if it’s meant seriously, then it’s ridiculous. White Christians have done an excellent job being anti-Semitic for several hundred years — almost a couple of thousand, actually — without any help whatsoever from Muslims. In fact, it is Muslim Jew-haters who rely on the publications of European and white American anti-Semites — most notably the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the International Jew — for inspiration. I hope Schlussel retracts this absurd piece of “analysis.” Does she have any idea what this country was like in the 1930s? I don’t think Muslims dominated the German Bund.
ENTIRE POST – http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/06/the_stupidest_thing_said_so_fa.php
PS. Regarding “Maybe this was meant to be a parody…I’ve never read Debbie Schlussel before” – I think almost anyone familiar with Debbie Schussel knows that her screedwas not meant to be a parody. She is very similar to Pamela “Obama is the illegitimate child of Malcolm X” Geller*.
*h/t Danien Luban – http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=257
“…her screedwas not meant…” = …her screed was not meant…
That is an excellent example of the effects of Zionist brainwashing. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a Zionist who was trying to demonize Arabs by asking “Jews have always gotten along fine with others, but trying to co-exist with Arabs isn’t so easy, why do you think that is?” To which I replied, “You just effectively denied the Holocaust!”
RE: “The responsible white separatist community…”
MY COMMENT: No sale! Way too oxymoronic for my tastes.
It’s like the reasonable flat-Earth community.
From “The Times”: “White supremacist gunman James W. von Brunn had links to BNP”, 06/12/09
(EXCERPT) The white supremacist gunman who shot dead a guard at the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C. had attended meetings of the American Friends of the British National Party, it emerged today….
…The American Friends of the BNP was founded in 1998 by BNP member Mark Cotterill to foster links between far-Right movements in Britain and America. The group was wound up by Mr Cotterill in 2001 after the Southern Poverty Law Centre threatened to investigate its fundraising. Mr Cotterill is now a member of the England First Party…
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6481475.ece
RE: “the British National Party”
SEE ALSO: “Neo-Nazis For Israel?”, by Max Blumenthal, 01/09/09
(EXCERPT) While much of the neo-Nazi fringe remains opposed to the existence of Israel, the whites-only British National Party recently declared its full-throated support for Israel’s attack on Gaza. The shelling of Gaza City by Israeli forces has brought joy to the heart of BNP head of legal affairs Lee Barnes: “This sort of ‘disinfecting’ process whereby Israel is required to sterilise areas of radical Islamist support … is what all nations have to do in order to eradicate Islamist cells who have managed to take over territory either within or on the edges of their borders,” Barnes wrote on his blog on January 4. He continued, “Get used to the casualties — for without them any nation so infected with Islamism will surrender, rot away into liberal apathy and then dies as it is taken over.”
ENTIRE POST – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/neo-nazis-for-israel_b_156497.html
Good post Richard- I am with you on this.
RE: “…they will seek to parlay this incident into a much wider anti-Semitic conspiracy…”
SEE: “Obama Breeds Climate of Hate Against Jews”, By Rabbi Dr. Morton H. Pomerantz, 06/10/09
(EXCERPT) Our new president did not tell a virulent anti-Semite to travel to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington to kill Jews, but he is most certainly creating a climate of hate against us.
It is no coincidence that we are witnessing this level of hatred toward Jews as President Barack Obama positions America against the Jewish state.
Just days ago Obama traveled to Cairo, Egypt. It was his second trip in a short time to visit Muslim countries. He sent a clear message by not visiting Israel.
But this was code.
In Cairo, Obama said things that pose a grave danger to Jews in Israel, in America and everywhere…
ENTIRE ‘SCREED*’ – http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/obama_holocaust_museum/2009/06/10/223863.html
*SCREED – h/t Prof. Dershowitz
PS. – This is going to be a hoot!
PS. Rabbi Dr. Morton H. Pomerantz is a member of the Reform movement of Judaism and serves as a chaplain for the State of New York. A former Navy and Marine Corps officer and chaplain, he has also served as deputy national chaplain for the Jewish War Veterans of the United States.
I can’t wait to for “Reverend Hagee” to weigh in on this! Has God sent another “hunter” to herd the diaspora to Israel? “Enquiring minds want to know.”
EL RUSHBO “WEIGHS IN”: “Rush Limbaugh—America’s spewing rectum of idiocy”, by PalMD, 06/11/09
(EXCERPT) …But Rush can play both sides of this one. Regarding the attack at the Holocaust Memorial:
(begin Limbaugh quotation) “The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, may have been one of the shooter’s targets. You know why? Because the Weekly Standard is edited by “neocons,” Jewish people who are big on US foreign policy and defense of Israel. Leftist-type conspiracy theories. This guy may have been targeting a conservative publication.
A hater, a nutcase who hates neocons — i.e., Jews — this von Brunn guy, attacks the Holocaust museum and has in his possession the address of the Weekly Standard, a publication that is run by neocons, a term invented by liberals as a code word to describe Jews who run American foreign policy for the express defense of Israel. So this hater of neocons, hater of conservative Jews, von Brunn, attacks the Holocaust museum. There is another guy who hates neocons. His name is Chris Matthews. And he works at MSNBC, which is a network of endless hate.” (end quotation)
Somehow, in Rush’s opiate-addled mind, neocon=Jew, and an attack on Jews is an attack on neocons, meaning that the attacker is a liberal. Got that?
I’ve got news for you Rush. The Jewish people aren’t new at this. We can recognize exploitation pretty easily, and your tortured reasoning reveals your own bigotry. “Neocon” is not the same as “Jew”—it is a common trope touted by isolationist antisemites. Also, neocon views are not a common “Jewish value”. The fact that some prominent neocons are Jewish and that you exploit this fact for your own political ends, makes you an idiot and an antisemitic bigot….
ENTIRE POST – http://scienceblogs.com/whitecoatunderground/2009/06/rush_limbaugh—americas_spewi.php
PalMD is a practicing internist in the Great Lakes region of the U.S.. Aside from the great joy he finds in his family and his work, he likes communicating some of that joy to others. He has a special interest in the ways patients—and we are all patients at one time or another—are deceived by charlatans. He aims to change the world, one reader at a time. Previous writings can still be found here… I also write twice a month for Science-Based Medicine
FROM CREEDO: Why is it so easy for domestic terrorists to get hold of guns?
Here’s one way to make it harder. The Brady Bill requires criminal background checks before the purchasing of guns. But there’s a tremendous loophole for gun shows and similar events – a loophole that criminals know only too well how to exploit.
Currently, there’s a bill in Congress to close this loophole – H.R. 2234, “To require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.” We need this law to reduce future attacks like those on Dr. Tiller and at the Holocaust Museum, but it won’t go anywhere without significant support in Congress – and right now it has only seven sponsors.
I just signed a petition to tell my representative to co-sponsor H.R. 2234 – I hope you will, too. Please have a look and take action.
*TAKE ACTION – http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/gunshow_loophole/?r_by=4475-1604494-eqsWiux&rc
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I see that according to the comments above, everything that happens in the world is a springboard for attacks on Israel and Zionism. EVERYTHING.
If the shoe fits…
$30 BILLION FOR ISRAEL OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS
NO MONEY FOR BULLETPROOF VESTS FOR THE GUARDS AT THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM!
AND I DON’T CARE THAT THE GUARDS ARE TECHNICALLY
EMPLOYED BY THE DANISH-OWNED WACKENHUT CORP THAT CONTRACTED WITH THE MUSEUM. I ASSUME THAT THE ‘COST SAVINGS’ WERE DIVVIED UP.
Really a great post, Richard.
“Imagine the symbolic power of an African-American man giving his life to protect a Holocaust Museum.”
Very moving line.
Richard (not Silverstein) says
Nobody ““(gave) his life to protect a Holocaust Museum.”
He was there, and he was shot. End of story.
You’ve had plenty of gun-toting nutters in America before, whose real motives have never been fully explained, and who’ve killed innocent bystanders
All this fuss is simply a symptom of a hyped-up nation that adjusts its current opinions to the day’s incidents. Google: attention span.
There is absolutely nothing of any real import in this latest incident.
Yes, that’s another, albeit cynical way of looking at it. But you’re right — we’re all just playing “language games”, as Wittgenstein would say.
Richard Silverstein says
…Except to the victim’s family, all of American Jews, & any other American concerned about gun violence.
Joachim Martillo says
There was a much more calculated racist subversion that took place after 9/11. Take a look at From Epistemic to Bureaucratic Islamophobia — especially the Ehrenfeld videoclip.
Obviously she has not done the harm of a Goldstein, but she is a good deal scarier that the Jerusalem drunks.
Richard Silverstein says
From the “bio” and your post, Richard, it seems that this racist, anti-semitic lunatic was set to go off at some point. How horrible and pathetic. Such a murderous act is one possible endpoint of racial or ethnic nationalism; we see the rancid effects of extreme racism in so many different contexts and ways in our society. My heart goes out to the family of the slain security guard, Stephen T. Johns, and the injured museum attendees.
One thing that struck me listening to the news about the incident was that one of this guy Brunn’s favourite websites claims that President Barack Obama is a Muslim and also questions whether the President was born an American citizen (where’s the birth certificate, etc.). It’s striking the extent to which the sentiments of von Brunn’s web preferences mirror some of the racist attitudes of the Jewish supremacists in Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana’s video. I guess one brand of ethnic/racial/cultural supremacism is as good (or rather, bad) as another. Whether it’s 400 murdered Palestinian children in the latest Gaza massacre or one murdered African-American security guard at the Holocaust Museum in DC the other day, hard-core racial nationalism is ugly stuff. The seemingly perennial nature of bigotry, on and on in different cycles, iterations, contexts, never ceases to amaze and horrify me. Great post, Richard, spot on as usual.