My Interview with ‘The Klanbuster’, Daryle Lamont Jenkins
Activist Daryle L. Jenkins, of One People's Project, attended and videotaped a celebration of Leif Erikson Day on October 10, 2009 in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event was hosted by the Keystone State Skinheads (KSS).
Keystone State Skinheads (KSS) have stated as the initial goal for its formation, in aiming efforts for “ …. uniting all racially aware skinheads in the state of Pennsylvania, we set out to mobilize the explosive potential lodged within the Keystone State."
A Philadelphia article, written by a local reporter covering the event, noted Mr. Jenkins was being referred to by the Keystone State Skinheads (KSS) at the event as 'that colored dude'.
According to the article, under the guise of a White 'cultural' event, the celebration was attended by those with White nationalist/supremacist beliefs, including a comedy duo that strolled among the participants, working the crowd.
The comedy duo appears on the internet with former Republican Louisiana Representative and Ku Klux Klan (KKK) Grand Wizard David Duke at Stormfront.org, founded by former Alabama KKK Grand Wizard Don Black. The website has the reputation of being ‘the most well known hate site on the internet’.
Daryle Lamont Jenkins, a former columnist for the Bridgewater Courier-News in New Jersey, is the co-founder and spokesperson for One People's Project (OPP), a Philadelphia-based watchdog organization which monitors and reports on the activities of Right-wing hate groups located all around the country.
Established in 2000 in the aftermath of a racist rally in Morristown, New Jersey, OPP maintains records and databases of information not only on the groups themselves but on their individual members as well.
Mr. Jenkins has been the subject of feature stories in a number of newspapers, and has appeared on TV as a guest on Montel Williams, A Current Affair and the FOX News Channel.
Karen Hatter (KH): Mr. Jenkins, how did you acquire the nickname ‘The Klanbuster’ ?
Daryle Lamont Jenkins (DLJ): A reporter started calling me that a few years back, due to the general nature of my work. It’s funny because, in truth, the Klan is a dead letter organization.
White supremacists, in this day and age, gravitate to groups with less of a stigma. Those who still identify with the Klan – which is actually fractured into several organizations, most of which are not connected to each other – are not exactly considered the brightest bulbs.
KH: One People’s Project (OPP) was founded after an incident at a rally occurring in Moorestown, New Jersey in 2000. Would you describe the rally and the events that transpired on that day?
DLJ: A White supremacist named Richard Barrett had announced in April of that year that he was going to hold a rally on the fourth of July in Morristown, New Jersey. Local activists decided they were going to oppose it somehow with what we called the One People’s Rally. During the rally, we wanted to maintain the coalition to further the work we were engaged in, and that’s how we came into being.
KH: What are the goals of the organization?
DLJ: In a nutshell, we seek to diminish the ability of Right-wing groups and individuals to function in any capacity. Yes, you have the right to believe however you wish and live however you wish but, the people we have dealt with only believe in that for themselves. The rest of us should have strict limits on us should we not conform to their worldview.
I am not just talking about some lunatic fringe group that may feel this way. We have mainstream politicians who feel it is perfectly fine to restrict Muslims in this country from practicing their faith. We are talking about a day and age where a Muslim-sounding name is all an airline needs to keep you off one of their planes.
That needs to stop and should have never been started in the first place. That only happens when you have the information about who is responsible for such things being put into action, and how to keep them from being in the position to do so.
KH: As mentioned in the introduction, you recently videotaped the activities at an October 2009 Leif Erikson celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. How were your efforts met by the majority of those in attendance at the event?
DLJ: Well, being that the majority of those in attendance were the neo-Nazis that put on the event, they weren’t too pleased with my presence, as well they should not be! They don’t want to be documented by people like me. They want to fly under the radar screen and be left alone – as they go after all of us.
KH: You have documented and identified a variety of White nationalist/supremacist individuals at events across the United States. Have you interviewed any of the organizers or participants assembled at the events?
DLJ: I have interviewed a number of them, as well as had private conversations with them. The discussions have been interesting to say the least, but ultimately, I only come away even further resolved that they are a pathetic bunch.
KH: What insights have you gained into the White nationalist/supremacist sub-culture?
DLJ: For one thing, today’s nationalists are far, far, FAR removed from what we are familiar with. I have been pointing out lately that the old guard has been dying and today’s generation does not that the foundation and the history that those who come from the Jim Crow era had.
Today, we are dealing with a bunch of psychopaths that are using people of color to excuse their own behavior, their own shortcomings. That is actually one of the many failings of nationalism to begin with. If you cannot function as an individual, nationalism is there to make all of your decisions for you. You had best stay in line or it won’t work for you.
Now a lot of those that get into this White nationalist/supremacist nonsense are pretty young, and a lot of them have personal baggage that comes into play well before we even get into their political beliefs.
KH: Have you observed an increase in attendance or heightened racial fervor at any of the events since the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president?
DLJ: I would say I have observed an increase in the fervor. And once again, it is not just restricted to the fringe. Mainstream conservatives are talking in language that, just a few years ago, would never even have been thought of.
When Rush Limbaugh called Colin Powell to task because Powell said he was voting for Obama, saying that is was a vote on race, no way would anyone else get away with making that charge without being able to back it up. If any activist came to a presidential town hall meeting before Obama, with guns strapped to their legs, there would have been legislation against being allowed to do so within days.
Honestly, it is to be expected. We are talking about a segment of society that had spent the past 200 plus years doing whatever they could to keep the White House a ‘White’s Only’ residence.
They don’t know what to do with themselves once they failed. So, they lash out, have their collective temper tantrum. In the end, however, they only hurt themselves. The rest of us are doing fine.
KH: At the One People’s Project website, the statement ‘Hate has consequences’ is displayed on the Home page. What would you consider some of the resultant consequences?
DLJ: I think whenever your racist activities cost you your job, your lifestyle, or even your freedom, when you break the law, that is what should be considered consequences.
We have helped people clear their desks out, so to speak, many times in our nine years. One guy worked at Halliburton. Another was a court assistant for a top judge in Brooklyn, NY.
A third was a realtor who used his position to find the home addresses of those he had a political ax to grind. His name is Hal Turner. He is currently in jail awaiting trial on charges that he threatened two politicians in Connecticut as well as judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago.
KH: What do you believe have been the greatest achievements or successes of One People’s Project?
DLJ: I think the successes that are definitely up there are the times we have helped people to leave this nonsense behind and go on with their lives.
It shouldn’t be about the negative all the time. Sometimes, you find that your work is responsible for someone seeing where they have been wrong in their lives, and that is particularly rewarding to us!
Thank you, Mr. Jenkins, for your work with One People’s Project, exposing the often ‘hidden in plain sight’ reality of the existence of bigotry and racist activity in American society.
A link to Mr. Jenkins’ organization can be found at OnePeoplesProject.com.
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