Congratulations once again to Republicans for being the political party of choice for white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Holocaust deniers: In March, Republicans are likely sending a man who calls the Holocaust “an international extortion racket” to the election for Illinois’s 3rd Congressional District seat.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that white supremacist Arthur Jones, a former leader of the American Nazi Party, has unsuccessfully run for elected offices in Chicago and Milwaukee since the 1970s—including seven failed bids for the 3rd Congressional District primary. He has, up until now, not once come close to winning the seat. But in this year’s primary election on March 20, 2018, he is running unopposed.
Jones now heads a group called the America First Committee, which he said is open only “to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent.” Jones’s campaign website features images of him speaking at an Aryan Nations conference in 2014, attending a protest against Holocaust survivor and writer Elie Weisel, and other white-power events.
His website, which looks like it was designed in 1999, contains sections called “Flags of Conflicting Ideas,” “Hate Speech?” and “Holocaust?” They are as bad as you would expect them to be, celebrating the Confederate flag as “the flag of a White counter revolution” and characterizing the Holocaust as “the biggest, blackest, lie in history.” His website also links to his blog, in which he rants against non-fascists (or, as he calls them, “Marxist savages” and “Radical Leftists”) and blames them for the violence when neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville. “President Trump,to his credit stated it was the Radcal Leftists [sic] who began all the violence and he rightfully included them in his statements on the entire situation,” he wrote.
Though white supremacists love Donald Trump, Jones is less enamored because Trump isn’t anti-Semitic enough. In April, Jones told the Guardian that he felt “betrayed” by Trump, who has surrounded himself by a “Jewish lobby,” including advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The Anti-Defamation League has been familiar with Jones for years. “For example, in 2009, he protested the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and continues to espouse absurd conspiracy theories questioning the deaths of millions of Jews,” Lonnie Nasatir, regional director of ADL Chicago-Upper Midwest, told the Sun-Times. “He has spoken publicly at numerous neo-Nazi rallies and events, expressing xenophobic policies based in racial and religious hatred. He is, by every definition, an anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot.”
Although Jones is just the latest in a string of openly white supremacists to embrace the Republican Party, the GOP is trying to distance itself from him. “The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones,” Tim Schneider, Illinois Republican Party chairman, told the Sun-Times. “We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District.”
There’s one silver lining, however: unlike former judge Roy Moore, a similarly-bigoted white man who almost won a Senate bid in Alabama, Jones will be running in a heavily Democratic county and doesn’t seem to stand a chance.