A handful of unapologetic white supremacists are running for public office across the US [File: Reuters]
A California-based candidate for the US Senate has openly praised German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, promoted Holocaust denial and expressed his desire to see Jewish Americans deported from the country.
Patrick Little is one of several Republican hopefuls affiliated with the alt-right – a loosely knit coalition of white nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis – who are striving to move from the hardline fringes to the ballot box.
Speaking to Al Jazeera by email, Little said he advocates the “Balkanisation” of the US. “People should be able to go to their own communities,” he said.
Echoing comments he has made elsewhere online and in the media, Little argued that supposed “Jewish incitement against whites” may result in the need for racial and ethnic communities to “form their own states for safety from the mobs Jews incite against”.
Little regularly makes similar comments on Gab, a social media outlet popular among white supremacists and neo-Nazis who were booted from platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
“Jews gonna Jew,” Little wrote in a recent Gab post.
In his campaign platform, which is posted on his website, Little describes himself as a “white advocate” and states his slogan: “Liberate the US from Jewish oligarchy.”
Elsewhere on his website, Little rails against supposed Jewish control of the US government and media, calls for racial segregation and demands the death penalty for US politicians who introduce bills designed to provide foreign aid to Israel.
The California Republican Party has disavowed Little.
String of anti-Semitic candidates
Little is currently outperforming fellow Republican contenders, and he is only the latest in a string of far-right candidates in the Republican Party.
In March, 70-year-old neo-Nazi Arthur Jones, who was also condemned by the local Republican Party, won primary elections in Illinois after running unchallenged.
Jones, who is also a Holocaust denier, garnered more than 20,000 votes in that election.
In Wisconsin, Paul Nehlen is running for the seat of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who recently announced he will not seek re-election.
Much like Little, Nehlen has decried the supposed Jewish control of the media. He has also appeared on a podcast hosted by David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
Last week, Duke endorsed Patrick Little, who has also made appearances on the podcast.
And in Montana, former KKK organiser John Abarr is running House District 21 seat. Although he initially announced his candidacy as a Democrat, he switched to the Republican Party in mid-February.
On his website, Abarr apologised for a highly publicised attempt to create a KKK chapter that would include members of the LGBTQ community and racial minorities, describing it as a “hoax” he conjured up to “infuse fear” in those communities.
But his campaign platform includes a vow to fight for the designation of “European Americans” as a “protected class” under the law, echoing the widely held belief among white supremacists that white Americans are victims of a multicultural society.
For his part, Little remains unapologetic for his anti-Semitism and white supremacist advocacy.
“It’s all a matter of whether or not we can remove the Jews from power before the anti-white hatred the Jews are pushing starts leading to stuff like we’re staying in South Africa,” he added, referring to a widely circulated conspiracy theory that white people are systematically oppressed in post-apartheid South Africa.
He also attended “Unite the Right“, the deadly rally that brought white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis from across the country to Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017.
During that rally, James Alex Fields Jr allegedly rammed his car in a crowd of anti-racist activists and others, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of people.
Since Unite the Right, the alt-right has grown increasingly isolated and failed to recreate large demonstrations in the streets, usually drawing mere dozens to far-right events.
Jared Holt, a researcher at the Right-Wing Watch website, said that losing platforms and mounting legal problems have created several challenges for the US far right.
“Facing potential financial devastation and having lost their easy access to mainstream conservative media has placed them on defence and their fragile infrastructure has further eroded,” he told Al Jazeera.
Nonetheless, Holt warned that new leaders could pop up in the place of those who are increasingly isolated.