According to Wikipedia:
Stormfront is a white nationalist and supremacist neo-Nazi Internet forum that has been described as the Internet's first major hate site.
Stormfront began as an online bulletin board system in the early 1990s before being established as a website in 1995 by former Ku Klux Klan leader and white nationalist activist Don Black. It received national attention in the United States in 2000 after being featured as the subject of a documentary, Hate.com. Stormfront has been the subject of controversy after being removed from French and German Google indexes, for targeting an online FOX News poll on racial segregation, and for having political candidates as members. Its prominence has grown since the 1990s, attracting attention from watchdog organizations that oppose racism and antisemitism.
This is the third piece of Mr. Storobin’s I’ve discovered linked on such sites.
As noted recently in Crain’s, one of Mr. Storobin’s two, count ‘em, two pieces spotlighting heroes of the white separatist Afrikaner Independence Movement appears on the white supremacist website American Renaissance. (Storobin’s other sympathetic interview of those who would restore apartheid to its glory days appears here) According to Wikipedia:
American Renaissance (AR or AmRen) is a monthly racialist magazine published by the New Century Foundation. The magazine and foundation were founded by Jared Taylor, and the first issue was published in November 1990.
American Renaissance states that it is a monthly magazine first published in 1991. A section called What We Believe on the organization's website states that "Race is an important aspect of individual and group identity. Of all the fault lines that divide society — language, religion, class, ideology — it is the most prominent and divisive. Race and racial conflict are at the heart of the most serious challenges the Western World faces in the 21st century. The problems of race cannot be solved without adequate understanding. Attempts to gloss over the significance of race or even to deny its reality only make problems worse. Progress requires the study of all aspects of race, whether historical, cultural, or biological. This approach is known as race realism."
In fairness I should note that this would appear to be at least a slight step up from Storefront:
The Anti-Defamation League writes that "Taylor eschews anti-Semitism. Seeing Jews as white, greatly influential and the “conscience of society,” Taylor rather seeks to partner with Jews who share his views on race and racial diversity" and "Jews have been speakers and/or participants at all eight American Renaissance conferences."
Another Storobin piece, somewhat more innocuous, but nonetheless betraying a rather anal obsession with racial origins appears on the rather strange (even in this context) hate site called “Phora.”
One would think that, at a certain point, someone whose prose attracts the continued attention of all the wrong sorts of people might engage in a bit of self-reflection, but in Storobin’s case, one would be wrong. As Crain’s noted the other day:
Storobin said he has no idea who took down the postings or why, but he stood by his work. “My views have evolved over the years, but there's nothing I've been ashamed of,” he said. “I'm very proud of the stuff I've written.”Like the other articles, the Gilchrist interview originally appeared on Storobin’s web magazine "Global Politician," which Storobin has attempted to wipe clean of any evidence of his own writing. The link in the Stormfront article is to “Global Politician,” so it does not work (though if one makes an heroic effort, it can be located here).
On Stormfront itself, only some of Storobin's intro survives, but that alone is sufficient to convey the flavor, which is perhaps most reminiscent of vomit, especially given that Storobin is himself an immigrant.
"Today I spoke to Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project. The most striking part of the interview was how mild his views on immigration truly were. The man has been vilified by most of the Left and even much of the Right, including the White House. He’s supposed to be an immigrant-hating vigilante who dreams of dead Mexicans at night. Instead, he’s an intelligent, mild-mannered person with very reasonable proposals..."
Remember that the White House from which Storobin defends Gilchrist from was the one inhabited by George W. Bush.
According to the Anti Defamation League, the Minutemen began as “…a month-long series of events, including armed vigilante border patrols, designed by anti-immigration extremists to draw attention to the issue of illegal immigration….
…During the Project's first weekend, several hundred volunteers showed up, many armed, to engage in the volunteer "border patrols." Some volunteers unintentionally set off sensors that alert Border Patrol agents to intruders, according to a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman.
Highly publicized among right-wing extremists ranging from militia groups to white supremacist organizations, the Minuteman Project has attracted a variety of extremists and anti-immigration activists of all types. A number of neo-Nazi National Alliance members showed up for the first weekend of events…
…Before the project began, National Alliance fliers, describing illegal immigration as an "invasion" that will cause white people to be "a minority within the next 50 years," were circulated…
The Minuteman Project has been advertised on various extremist Web sites. For example, an Aryan Nation Web site links to the Minuteman Project, proclaiming "a call for action on part of ALL ARYAN SOLDIERS."
The ADL says “…the Minutemen are…a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep undocumented immigrants from Mexico out of the United States…
…Highly publicized, the Minuteman Project attracted a variety of anti-immigrant activists, including extremists ranging from militia members to white supremacists…
…Not all Minutemen chapters are border vigilante groups, partly because many chapters are far from the border. Some of these other chapters have adopted tactics such as videotaping alleged undocumented immigrants at their places of work, based on the color of their skin. Whatever their tactics, the Minutemen’s goals have received the support of a wide range of individuals, from extremists to media commentators and politicians. As a result, more mainstream figures in the anti-immigration movement are willing to overlook, tolerate or, in some cases, even share the stage with more extreme Minutemen chapters, as well as other border vigilante groups such as the virulently anti-Hispanic group American Border Patrol (ABP), in order to advance their agenda.
The Minutemen are the common thread that links many of the mainstream and extremist elements of the anti-immigration movement, many of whom appear together at events staged by the group. The tactics and activities of the Minutemen have acted as a rallying cry for other groups and figures that oppose immigration in this country.”
The unsavory nature of the Gilchrist and his movement was perhaps best exemplified by Gilchrist’s association with Shawna Forde, the leader of a gang of "tacital" Minutemen who, in a failed effort to finance their activities through robbery, shot and killed a 9-year-old girl and her father late at night in their home in cold blood.
But the real question here is why Storobin would seek to whitewash Gilchrist.
The purely selfish viewpoint that the wave of immigration that brought Jews from the former Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries (including both Storobin’s family, and that of my inamorata, Domestic Partner) to the US was legal, and is now over, is not only completely lacking in rachmonis for other similarly situated, it is misguided on its own terms.
In a recent article in “Jewish Philanthropy,” Dmitri Glinski, Executive Director of The American Association of Jews from the Former USSR (AAJFSU) and member of the UJA-Federation of New York’s Task Force on Global Jewish Connections. states:
We should reconsider the notion that the Russian-Jewish immigration has ceased after the wave of “organized” resettlement in the 1980s-early 1990s. It is true that the size of this immigration has declined significantly, perhaps not so much due to the lack of demand (many polls show that demand for emigration from the FSU remains very high) but rather due to the more restrictive immigration rules and other barriers. But Jews keep coming – through academic, employment, and other channels, often spending many years in a legal limbo while fighting for a permanent status, just as immigrants from many Asian or African countries. The annual American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census has shown a 27% increase in the number of Russian-speaking households around the country between 2000 and 2009, and anecdotal evidence suggests that many if not most of those households are Jewish or have a Jewish connection. These newer immigrants want and deserve a voice in our communal affairs.
So in accepting and trying to make palatable the positions of Gilchrist, Storobin is essentially stabbing his brothers and sisters in the back. He’s climbed the ladder, and now has no problem those seeking to take it away from other, even if they are also Jews from the former Soviet Union.
Maybe Storobin believes that the needs of this community can be addressed in the manner his own were, but it is clear that Gilchrist and his allies, like Mark Krikorian’s “Center for Immigration Studies,” (CIS) which whitewashes its agenda by calling itself “Low Immigration, Pro-Immigrant,” do not agree.
Soviet Jews had two things going for them when they sought to come here. The first is that they were refuges from communist oppression.
But though political oppression has not ended in Russia (though it has diminished), communism has, and with it, so has American enthusiasm (such that it ever existed) for refugees from such countries.
Further, in 2005, CIS has issued a long report which strongly questioned whether there was ever a need to treat Jews from the former Soviet bloc as refugees.
The report cites a quote from former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) noting before a Senate hearing in September 1989 that some Soviet Jews had said that they would rather stay in the Soviet Union than go to Israel. "If they would rather remain than go to Israel, that says something about the level of persecution...no other group of refugees on earth gets a choice of country of first asylum." The report noted that, at the time, several prominent American Jewish leaders shared the view that Soviet Jews were not political refugees as defined in American law. In March 1989, Morris Abram commented, "...they are not refugees, in my judgment. If you come out of a country and have access and automatic citizenship to a free country [Israel], you're not a refugee. They came here because they are 'refugees' and get the benefits of being refugees, payments of cash, money, and medical services and other things."
To be fair, this was the viewpoint of both Yitzhak Rabin and Yitzhak Shamir, as well as of a good deal (though not a majority) of the American Jewish establishment—not out of prejudice against Soviet Jews (though some of that existed), but mostly because of belief that Soviet Jewish settlement in Israel best served the needs of both the Soviet Jews and Israel itself (there was also a humanitarian concern that other potential refugees were not so lucky as to have a country begging them to come there, and since America would absorb only so many refugees, it was best to take those who had no other place to go).
Of course, as someone part whose spouse was part of one of the waves of Eastern bloc Jewish immigration, and whose spouse then spent her career first helping to resettle such people, and then to service their ongoing needs (currently those of their elderly), I am biased. I am glad America has resettled so many Soviet Jews, and it is partially because of my commitment to that issue since I was a teen that I am generally supportive of liberal immigration policies, especially for refugees.
My question is, given David Storobin’s own experiences, why would he try to whitewash such people?