Politics

Derek Black, Don Black, KKK Republican election Florida

Florida Republicans Battle Alleged White Supremacist Over Party Post

December 02, 2008 03:00 PM
by Josh Katz
Derek Black is fighting to keep the seat he won in a local Republican election in Florida, but the committee claims that his views conflict with those of the party.

Republicans Try to Bar Black From Position

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Derek Black, the 19-year-old son of former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Don Black, is threatening to sue the Palm Beach County, Fla., Republican Party for denying him a position on its executive committee.

Black won a seat on the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee, but Committee Chairman Sid Dinerstein contends that Black did not sign the required party loyalty oath and holds views abhorrent to the GOP. Republicans learned in late August of Black’s background.

The election, which occurred in August, was not highly publicized. On June 12, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer released a memo compelling candidates for county Republican Executive Committee positions to sign loyalty oaths before June 20. The oath prohibited candidates from involvement in activities “likely to injure the name of the Republican Party or interfere with the activities of the Republican Party,” the Palm Beach Post reports.

Black missed the deadline but says he will sign the oath, calling the June 20 date “legally indefensible” and “ridiculous.” The county GOP’s political director, Mark Hoch, also said the deadline frustrated the efforts of a few other candidates as well. Additionally, in St. Lucie County, Fla., Bryan Longworth’s victory is being challenged because he failed to meet the June 20 deadline.

But Black’s situation is different because committee members also condemn his views, and he is determined to attend Wednesday’s meeting for the initiation of new members despite opposition from the committee.

“[Black] participates in white supremacist activities,” Dinerstein said. “We’re the party of Lincoln. We’re the party that says we don’t judge anybody by the color of their skin.”

Black shuns the “white supremacist” label, however, instead calling himself “a white person who is concerned about discrimination against white people.”
“Everyone in this country has the right to protect his group’s interests,” Black said. “White people will soon be a minority.”

Derek Black’s father, Don, is supporting his son’s case. Former Louisiana legislator David Duke, who has also served as a KKK grand wizard, is also defending Black.

“We’re going to fight,” Duke said, according to United Press International. “I know Derek Black is going to fight for his constitutional liberties. That’s why I’m here, because I want to assist Derek.”

Black claims that he earned 62 percent of the district votes, but reports at the time of the election indicate the number was 58 percent, according to another Palm Beach Post article.

The Palm Beach Post asked Duke if voters knew about Black’s background when they cast their ballot. “Irrelevant question,” Duke said. “He got the votes. He won election.”

Black is also listed as a radio commentator for the Web site Stormfront, the largest white supremacist online forum in the world, created by his father, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report.

A local Republican group in Arizona was also recently involved in a white supremacist dispute. Republican Party officials had called for J.T. Ready to step down from his position on the GOP precinct committee in Maricopa County for “sullying the party’s image,” the Intelligence Report writes. A September 2007 photograph of Ready showed him “marching beneath a swastika banner in Omaha, Neb., with brown-shirted members of the National Socialist Movement, a crude neo-Nazi group.” He has also proposed that the United States should combat illegal immigration by instating martial law and dotting the U.S.-Mexico border with land mines. Ready chose not to resign and served out his term, which ended Sept. 3.

Related Topics: KKK alive in Louisiana; racism follows Obama victory

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