The image below is the current leadership of The John Birch Society. Notice anything about it? The top three leaders (CEO, President, Chairman of the Board) are all white men. Of the regular council members, 23 are white men and one is a white woman. I’m not saying that this alone means the group is racist. The truth is race is an invented construct. And I’m sure even all these nominally white people have lots of mixed genes from all over the world.
But it is certain that everyone in this image thinks of themselves as white. And The John Birch Society has long been closely tied with neo-confederates and Posse Comitatus. What’s more, one of their big complaints is that the government tries to chip away the privilege of whites, even while maintaining that no such privilege exists.
There is no doubt to me that The John Birch Society is a racist group. What’s really sad is that this fact is one of the less frightening aspects of the group. Although it is doubtless true that its racism is a big reason that the group gets people to join where their minds can be further poisoned by anti-government propaganda and the fear that a Communist America is just a couple of years away — just like it has been ever since 1958 when the group was formed.
I’ll be writing more about The John Birch Society in the coming days. It is important because it is the prime early example of the combination of rage, ignorance, and conspiracy theorizing that fuels the Tea Party. In fact, during the glory days of the Tea Party, The John Birch Society was right there at events signing people up. Different name; same philosophy; same people.